Sunday, May 01, 2011

Music, Music, Music

No biking today, rain from 4 to 10 am. But Dexter and I had a nice 1h20m walk after the radar gave the all clear. So I will take this opportunity to get caught up on, what 7 months of new music?

Lots of good stuff. I appear to be a total sucker for peppy pop and emo stuff. God, it goes back to liking early Todd Rundgren. Well, here we go:

  • Phoenix. From Versailles, France, with southern accents. Wow, I gave all four of their albums, "United", "Alphabetical", "It's Never Been Like That", and "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix", 4 stars. My favorite song was "Long Distance Call". Erica pointed me at them, her favorite was "If Ever I Feel Better".
  • I got another big dose of music from Erica at the winter solstice. Another peppy french band I also liked was Jamaica, "No Problem". They only got 3 stars tho. Here's one of their good ones.
  • "National Ransom" by Elvis Costello. Nothing special, 3 stars.
  • "Merriweather Post Pavilion", by Animal Collective, via Erica. Interesting, reminiscent of Department of Eagles, 3 stars.
  • eponymous, by Miike Snow, via Erica. More peppy euro-pop, 3 stars.
  • "The Cold Nose", by Department of Eagles. This was their 1st album, a very interesting contrast to their 2nd album "In Ear Park", which I gave 4 stars. There's much more experimentation with different styles, which had gelled for the 2nd album. 3 stars.
  • "Featuring Norah Jones", by Norah Jones. A compilation of Norah Jones performing with other people. Some great stuff, 4 stars. Who can resist "Baby It's Cold Outside", with Willie Nelson?
  • "Lost Where I Belong", by Andreya Triana, via WRFL. I really liked the beat of "Up In Fire" that I heard on the radio. But it's by far the best song on the album. 3 stars.
  • eponymous, by Brett Dennen, via Alexis. 3 stars. Of note is "All We Have". Quite the androgynous voice.
  • "I'm Having Fun Now", by Jenny and Johnny. Fairly mainstream popish with maybe a little country tinge occasionally. 3 stars, except I have "While Men Are Dreaming" 4 stars.
  • "The Winter of Mixed Drinks", by Frightened Rabbit. Very nice, more folky, 3 stars.
  • "Flamingo", by Brandon Flowers. I think he was the lead singer for The Killers. Good tunes, 3 stars.
  • "xx", by The xx. Decent alternative, 3 stars.
  • "All Delighted People", by Sufjan Stevens. No new ground from his earlier work, 3 stars. He does like long tracks: 11:40 and 8:09.
  • "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy", by Kanye West. This got great reviews, I figured I'd give it try. Mainstream rap/hip-hop just don't do much for me, 2 stars.
  • "Maintenant", by Gigi, via Erica. I put this in genre "Girl Groups", it's kind of got a Phil Spector production sound?!?!? Overall the album strikes me as "cute". 3 stars.
  • "Love and Its Opposite", by Tracey Thorn. This album really grew on me, 4 stars. Songs by a middle aged woman (former techno queen), about divorce, hormonal clashes with her teenage daughter. I love the chorus on "Long White Dress" which starts with the full band at 2:15. "And I filled my head with so much shit." -- nice lyrics. Also good is "Swimming".
  • "Strange Weather, Isn't It?", by !!!, via Erica. Kind of reminded me of Jamiroquai, funky dance music, I classified as R&B. 3 stars.
  • "Northern Lights-Southern Cross", by The Band. Their last studio album, somehow I missed it. "It Makes No Difference" another one of those Band songs that makes you feel like your guts have been ripped out. "Hobo Jungle" and "Arcadian Driftwood" were both new to me and very good. 4 stars.
  • "Brothers", by the Black Keys. These guys still don't do much for me, 3 stars.
  • "Halcyon Digest", by Deerhunter. So nice quirky alternative stuff here, 3 stars.
  • "The Man on the Moon II", by Kid Kudi, via Erica. Actually somewhat listenable for Rap/Hip-Hop. 3 stars.
  • "Sound of Silver", eponymous, and "This is Happening", by LCD Soundsystem, via Erica. NYC hipster dance music. I like that Wikipedia gives him their own genre: dance-punk.
  • "Big Echo" and "Talking Through Tin Cans", by The Morning Benders, via Erica. More peppy pop, young emo dudes. "Dammit Anna" blogged yesterday. 4 stars. Sigh.
  • "Astrocoast", by Surfer Blood, via Erica. Standard alternative stuff, decent tunes. 3 stars.
  • "King of the Beach", by Wavves, via Erica. Kind of like tripping surf music. 3 stars.
  • "Kiss Each Other Clean", by Iron & Wine. Nice tunes. 3 stars.
  • "Let's Roll", by Etta James (2003). I enjoyed this more than most blues I listen to. Ms. James still had it going on in 2003. BTW, watched "Cadillac Records" last night, about Chess Records, founded by Leonard Chess and Muddy Waters. Very interesting file, and Etta James plays a big part. 3 stars.
  • "Deerhoof Vs. Evil", by Deerhoof. The unique sound that almost puts them in to the "Unclassifiable" genre. Another good effort, 4 stars.
  • "The King Of Limbs", by Radiohead. It gets better with more listens, but still, nothing standout. 3 stars.
  • "21", by Adele. I like this less than her first, but some strong songs. The Rolling Stone review says she has taken over from Amy Winehouse as the R&B belter. Here's a nice video of Gwyneth Paltrow covering "Turning Tables". Oops, YouTube has taken it down. 4 stars.
  • "Rock 'n' Roll Party (honoring Les Paul)", by Jeff Beck. 20 tracks. The world's greatest living guitarist. Imelda May and her husband Darrel Hingham. Les Paul and Mary Ford songs. What a value! Here's "How High The Moon", and "Peter Gunn", featuring Trombone Shorty. 3 stars, with a couple of 4s.
  • "Wake Up!", by John Legend and the Roots. Protest songs and songs of freedom, somehow somewhat depressing??? 3 stars.
  • "Kaputt", by Destroyer. More emo, this time out of Vancouver, BC. All the songs sound alike -- but I like them all??? 4 stars??? Here's a sample. Takes a while to get going (and sounding like all the other songs on the album).
  • eponymous, by The Head And The Heart. Folky alternative, nice tunes. 3 stars.
  • "Towards The Sun", by Alexi Murdoch. Very folky, I like it less than his first. 3 stars.
  • "Go", by Jonsi. The lead singer of Sigur Ros. Swooping, very high, totally emo lyrics. But, somewhat uplifting. 3 stars
Phew! 7 more albums still in the Unrated list, we'll save those for next time. I've been leaving stuff there longer, letting it burn in more, that's working out much better.

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