Results for Ted Leo and The Pharmacists

interviews

Ted Leo

This week, Jim and Greg are joined by singer-songwriter Ted Leo in front of an audience at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago. Leo gained fame in the early attention with his tuneful yet political approach to punk rock with his band the Pharmacists. But it's been seven years since Leo's last album. In that time, he formed a successful collaboration with Aimee Mann as The Both (who were Sound Opinions guests in 2014). But his family also suffered emotional and financial crises, which inform his ambitious new album, The Hanged Man.

The album's expansive sound is the product of being able to tinker alone in his new home studio in Rhode Island. No longer on a label, Leo crowdfunded the album through Kickstarter and released it himself. Ted Leo discusses how his personal turmoil affected his music and how his fanbase gave him a lift. He also gives an intimate solo performance of songs from The Hanged Man.

Go to episode 624
reviews
Living With the LivingLiving With the Living available on iTunes

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Living With the Living

Next up is a review of Living With the Living by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. This is the band's fifth album, but first to be released by Touch and Go Records. Greg thinks Leo is full of energy and enthusiasm, but explains that the singer/songwriter wears his musical influences on his sleeve. It's not difficult to hear the reference points of The Clash, The Kinks and The Jam. Jim agrees, and explains that where the music falls short is when it goes the reggae route. He doesn't think Leo and the band are very good at that style, but adds that The Clash weren't that great at it either. Neither Jim nor Greg can recommend Living With the Living as a whole, but both critics say that Leo and the band give a great live show. The album gets two Burn Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 68
The BothThe Both available on iTunes

The Both The Both

Unlike other collaborations, Jim and Greg have reviewed in recent memory, the coming together of two of indie rock's most esteemed stars, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, finally feels like a collaboration that works. Mann is probably best known for her Grammy and Academy Award nominated songs in director Paul Thomas Anderson's film Magnolia, while Leo has been the leader of the Ted Leo and The Pharmacists for the past fifteen years. Known collectively as The Both, the two singer-songwriters have released a record that Greg thinks does a remarkable job of creating a sound all it's own instead of just sounding like Leo and Mann took at the wheel of every other song. Leo's impressive guitar playing perfectly underscores Mann's emotional melodies throughout, making The Both a Buy It for Greg. Jim thinks the potential to bring together Mann's penchant for heartbreak and Leo's political idealism is there, but the two eschew all of that in favor of an album that amounts to just a decent collection of pop songs. Jim expected more, but likes enough of what he hears to recommend listeners Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 437