This week in music, we got some more soundtrack work, some live performances, and a lot of party albums. Black Eyed Peas bring us another play-by-play of the best weekend of our life, while Daft Punk fall short of their abilities and awe on the Tron soundtrack. No matter what music comes through this week, we got the best and the… not so best to introduce to you:

The Bad

Daft Punk, Tron Soundtrack

No, we don’t think that Daft Punk has done a “bad” job on the Tron soundtrack, or that the electronic duo should fall under the bad category at all. Its just the fact that we have come to expect great things from Daft Punk… and honestly, their work falls short on this soundtrack:

  • Amp Radio: “And that’s what you have to keep in mind, the album takes Daft Punk’s sound and makes it applicable to not only the themes of the film, but the use of an orchestra.  So if your hope is to ingest the same heavy beats that made them famous with Homework, think again” — Sabrina Cognata
  • Pop Dose: “if you’re expecting the Tron Legacy soundtrack to be the latest album from Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, you’ll be a bit disappointed. I have no doubt they were the driving force behind some of the themes, specifically a motif of descending notes that figures heavily in the score, but the overall soundtrack is predominantly orchestral with Daft Punk adding electronic touches within arrangements” — Dw. Dunphy

Tron Legacy is available on Amazon for $11.88

Duffy, Endlessly

There’s no doubt that Duffy’s talent and sultry voice has what it takes to entrance listeners and critics, but on her latest release, Endlessly, the problem is that there’s just nothing new. With the lack of even a radio hit, Duffy’s latest is definitely not her greatest:

  • The Guardian: “Duffy is back with a second album of modernist takes on a distinctly 60s pop-soul sound that ought to act as both nostalgia and a gateway drug for anyone not already familiar with Petula and Dusty. Endlessly is unlikely to repeat Rockferry’s wildfire success – what could? – lacking as it does instantaneous radio killers” — Will Dean
  • The Telegraph: “But although Duffy’s voice ticks lots of boxes, there’s a big blank space where her soul should be. And when she sings of heartache, I don’t believe it’s anything that couldn’t be fixed by a chocolate milkshake and something twinkly from the high street” — Helen Brown

Endlessly is available on Amazon for $11.99

The Good

Simian Mobile Disco, Delicacies

Simian Mobile Disco has brought us another techno-heavy, grunge savvy album, something that we can all be thankful for. Delicacies is a rich album full of pop craftsmanship and skill, proving to be one of the better album releases this week:

  • Clash: “Akin to The Chemical Brothers ‘Battle Weapon’ series where they ditch the vocal collaborations in favour of a channelled and often banging selection of instrumental grooves – ‘Delicacies’ proves that this aging duo still have the fire in the belly of their hard drive” — Matthew Bennett
  • Music OMH: “The highlight of Delicacies is Casu Marzu, which most successfully captures SMD’s gift for developing atmospheric layers through a track that fans of their live performances will celebrate. Equally, Sweetbread matures into a moody and intense track that reminds of the high impact tracks of Attack” — Michael Ashton

Delicacies is available on Amazon for $13.36

Black Eye Peas, The Beginning

The party never stops with Black Eyed Peas. Admit it, you’ve been waiting for The Beginning in order to discover your new party anthem, and Black Eyed Peas show us that the fun never stops on their latest album. The group has mastered their craft by now, creating those poppy and radio-friendly tunes that always end up cranked high in your car:

  • The Independent: “Lord knows I’m no opponent of sampling, but it’s only honorable to add something new to the musical gene pool while you’re at it. Similarly, “Love You Long Time” sees will.i.am laying that Full Metal Jacket quote over KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Give it Up”, and so it continues” — Simon Price
  • Mirror: “Staying true to its predecessor’s full title, this is truly a record where The Energy Never Dies. The collective intelligence that powers the Peas delights in the dynamic interplay on lead single The Time, the ruthless thunder of techno and the glistening shards of minimal electro” — Gavin Martin

The Beginning is available on Amazon for $12.99

The Great

Regina Spektor, Live in London

Regina Spektor, as bold and confident as she may seem, has done her career a huge favor with the release of her first live album, Live in London.  The young singer/songwriter admittedly hates watching and hearing herself, so in order to gain self-confidence, she has decided to release a life CD/DVD of her London performance, and despite the quality and sound value, its like experiencing her show first hand:

  • American Songwriter: “Regina Spektor’s live shows can be like a religious experience. On this DVD, filmed in London in front of an adoring audience, the spell the Russian-born, piano playing sprite from the Bronx weaves is palpable. The orchestral arrangements add depth, and the extra oomph she puts into songs like “Apres Moi” is worth the price of admission” — Evan Schlansky
  • BBC Music: “Spektor is a sweet and spellbinding performer and it’s the onstage eccentricities that make her so riveting to watch. To see Apres Moi peppered with “ugh”s, larksong and verses in Russian, her mike-tapping percussion on Eet or her awkward acceptance of Hammersmith’s balcony-quaking applause is to feel your wide-screen warp with Spektor’s talent and warmth. And with each song inter-cut with rehearsal footage and tour bus tales of lost luggage and tourist stop-offs, it’s drenched in the character that’s threatening to make Spektor fem-folk’s cuddliest icon” — Marc Beaumont

Live in London is available on Amazon for $16.13

Other Albums Released This Week: