Medium Rotation — The Loneliest Time; Love Me Forever

CARLY RAE JEPSEN The Loneliest Time (604 / Schoolboy / Interscope) — It’s well established by now that the Carly Rae Jepsen pop music factory is about as dependable as they come, every new widget of hooks and beats heaved off the loading dock made with the clear pride and care of a union shop. The Loneliest Time, the latest from the Canadian firecracker, is a wheel largely free of reinvention, but why tinker when the ride is so smooth. Nineteen-eighties pop remains the primary touchstone which Jepsen and her steady fleet of laudable collaborators return to only to draw from it their own shimmery splendors. Even the occasional divergences — a touch of house on “Western Wind,” a Robyn-y smack to “Talking to Yourself,” a kissin’-Kacey pop-country saunter to the wry ballad “Go Find Yourself or Whatever” — comes across as toe dips into different streams rather than full cannonball plunges into those waters. When she enlists Rufus Wainwright to trade verses with her on the title cut, the result is lavish and lovely, a kindly claiming of her partner’s chamber disco for her own that serves to establish her well-honed sound can enwrap just about anything else into with a couple artful origami folds of her sonic sheet. In addition to those already mentioned, run away with these cuts: “Surrender My Heart,” “Sideways,” “Beach House,” “Shooting Star,” and “No Thinking Over the Weekend.”

PINKSHIFT Love Me Forever (Hopeless Records) — Love Me Forever, the debut LP from Baltimore trio Pinkshift, is here to remind listeners whose ears stopped ringing long ago just how furious punk rock can be. As lead singer Ashrita Kumar practically warping the microphone with her roar, Pinkshift blasts through a set of songs so relentless it’s almost more jolting on the few occasion when the speedometer isn’t pinned. Piano ballad “in a breath” is the prime example of the shocking slowdown, and the next track, “Cinderella,” also starts slowly, as if allowing the listener a decompression chamber adjustment before the assault begins anew. Mostly, though, the album is blissfully blistering, driven by Paul Vallejo’s buzzsaw guitars and drummer Myron Houngbedji’s almost overwhelming drumming. “GET OUT” is like an avalanche, and “Trust Fall” scrapes the sky of heavy metal thunder. Best of all, the band are honorable stewards of the hardcore ethos of shouting out angsty truths, exemplified by the single “nothing (in my head).” Like all the best punk, the whole album is like a defibrillator to an outcast soul. Love these tracks forever: “i’m not crying you’re crying,” “the kids aren’t alright,” “BURN THE WITCH,” and the album-closing mini-epic “Dreamer.”

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