I. The Flaming Lips Embryonic
So it seems like everyone is raving about the latest Flaming Lips album. A noisey return to form, they say. Well, they got the noisey part right. Don't get me wrong, the Lips are one of my favorite bands. Like Sonic Youth, even a subpar album from them leaves many other releases in the dust. But Embryonic is hardly a masterpiece. The band has said that they wanted to see what it would be like to create an album the old fashioned way -as a band rather than through electronics- and on some levels it works. But the songwriting isn't there. The songs on Embryonic just don't have that quirky melodicism that the Lips do so well, the kind that sticks to your brain like a hot tar injection. The usual sci-fi elements are there, but the album also doesn't seem to have the warped sense of humor that fans know and love. The end result just falls a bit flat.
II. Korg microSAMPLER
I saved up for almost 3 months to buy one of these things. I finally had the cash together last week, but after a few days of tinkering with it, the microSAMPLER just seems like a toy. True, it does its job as a sampler, and has a nice effects processor. But the onboard sequencer leaves alot to be desired. It's good for loops and little else. The lack of step programming and song functionality severely limits this instrument's usefulness. Needless to say I returned it for a full refund.