Sunday, January 15, 2012

Music In

Man, how can I get so far behind on music in? I guess it's because with books, as soon as you finish it, you can normally review it. Whereas music you have to live with a while to give it a chance to sink in. Anyway, going back to October:
  • "Biophilia", by Bjork. Ms. Guttmunsdottir, the world's greatest living composer, hits it out of the park again. Plus, lots of songs that express the wonder and awe of science, on topics like dark matter, evolution, viruses. 4 stars.
  • "Ceremonials", by Florence + The Machine. Another very strong offering, although I like it a little less than her prior. 3 stars.
  • "Realistic", by Ivy, 1995. I am such a sucker for sappy Europop (actually a NYC band with a French lead singer) like this. 4 stars.
  • "Innervisions", by Stevie Wonder, 1973. $5.00 special from Amazon. The body of work that Stevie produced in the early 70's is completely excellent and represented a huge advance in pop and R&B music. 4 stars.
  • "Highway 61 Revisited", by Bob Dylan, 1965. $5.00 special from Amazon. Set the wayback machine for 1965. Great stuff. 3 stars, 4 for "Highway 61 Revisited", and "Ballad of a Thin Man". "Because something is happening here, but you don't know what it is. Do you, Mister Jones?"
  • "50 Words For Snow", by Kate Bush. Ethereal arrangements, haunting lyrics. 4 stars.
  • "In The Clear", by Ivy. Filling out their discography. This 2005 effort sounds a little tired, maybe they're ready for a change. 3 stars, I think, still unrated. I still have to try their latest, which came out just last year.
The next 5 albums I got from the Rolling Stone Top 50 Albums of 2011. I think Josh at Azur pointed me at that. I thought about doing my own Top 10 list for 2011, but when I'm pulling from someone else's list, that seems like cheating. 4 of these I also gifted electronically to my NYC daughter for Solstice -- they should not take up too much space in her tiny Brooklyn apartment.
  • "Thank You, Happy Birthday", by Cage The Elephant. A Bowling Green, KY band no less. Some of it is a little too punkish for me, but some great tunes. 3 stars.
  • "So Beautiful Or So What", by Paul Simon. I'm not that big a Simon fan, but there were some great tunes here. A nice (short) instrumental too, you forget that this guy's been a pretty good guitarist for 50 years. 4 stars.
  • "W H O K I L L", by Tune-Yards. Wow, that a vocal range Merrill Garbus has! And what catchy grooves! 4 stars.
  • "Nine Types Of Light", by TV On The Radio. Nice tunes, very consistent. 3 stars.
  • "Ritual Union", by Little Dragon. Swedish techno R&B. Makes sense to me. Killer grooves. 4 stars.
Finally, two albums downloaded as a result of watching "The Royal Tenenbaums" with my daughter Erica when she was home for solstice. Both oldies.
  • "Chelsea Girl", by Nico, 1967. I think her first solo album after her Velvet Underground / Andy Warhol gig. Kind of the prototypical Europop/trash female lounge singer. Surprisingly good. 3 stars.
  • "V.U.", by The Velvet Underground, 1985. That date is suspect, this was a compilation album, but a lot of the tracks don't appear to be anywhere else. Again, surprisingly good. "Stephanie Says" is the track in the movie. 3 stars.
That brings us into 2012. BTW, Happy New Year!

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