Critic’s Notebook: Lonnie Holley, Future, Western Medication

Notable recordings from the world of pop music.


Lonnie Holley (Mike Arnett)

Lonnie Holley

A few years ago, Alabama-born sculptor Lonnie Holley stumbled into a recording studio. He walked out with a cult album that’s still searching for its cult.

Released late last year, “Just Before Music” finds the 63-year-old improvising melodies on synthesizers and in his own throat — free-form outsider soul that approaches Arthur Russell’s avant confessionals, Alice Coltrane’s new-age meditations, Rammellzee’s
techno-spiritual babblings and Terry Callier’s folk-soul laments.

Holley makes beautiful music with a battered voice, and his lyrics touch on everything between his church pews and the outer rings of our solar system. He sings like a man quietly attempting to swallow the cosmos.

Future and the Freeband Gang

Once your rap career turns molten, it’s good form to bring your buddies along for the ride. With his new mixtape, “F.B.G.: The Movie,” Future sticks to the custom but never lets his Freeband Gang understudies outshine him.

How could they? The Atlanta rapper’s melancholic moaning casts an intoxicating spell with “Chosen One,” a song where Future’s big-money boasts are garnished with disbelief. He sounds dazed by the 24-carat trappings of his success, tipping his ball cap to divine intervention: “When you make it from the bottom, you’re the chosen one.”

Western Medication

This Nashville foursome’s new EP, “The Painted World,” lasts only about 12 minutes, but that’s more than enough time to inflict burns. These tunes evoke the tightly coiled songcraft of Wire, deep-fried in reverb. “Problems in D.C.” is the standout cut — a nya-nya-nya diatribe about federal government gridlock. It’s riled up, barely intelligible, refreshingly punky and unintentionally wonky.

Chris Richards became the Post's pop music critic in 2009. He has covered D.I.Y. house shows, White House concerts, go-go and Gaga.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Lifestyle
Next Story
Cara Kelly · January 28, 2013