An overflow of ridiculously good music has been released in the past several weeks and you and I both would get sick of me blathering on if I did a proper review for all of it, so here are a few mini-reviews.
Interpol-Our Love To Admire
I was really surprised by my love of this album. Sure, Interpol is good in small doses, but I have trouble making it all the way through their other albums because all the songs are EXACTLY THE SAME. This album is…different from all the others, it still sounds like Interpol but the influence of a major label (Capitol) is very apparent. The songs seem more “radio friendly” and although they all sound similar they don’t all have the exact same bass and drums like their previous albums. I don’t say this in the derogatory way that is usually associated with hipsters such as myself talking about “selling out” to a major label, for Interpol I actually like their major label sound better. Can I just say that “Pioneer to the Falls” is possibly the best album opener of 2007? Because seriously…it totally is, you guys. Also, does anyone else think this whole album sounds a little bit like Coldplay? Maybe if Carlos D joined Coldplay and Chris Martin was a little more metaphorical and a little less British? Maybe? Now please excuse me while I am tarred and feathered by the emaciated, argyle-wearing masses.
Bishop Allen & The Broken String
Bishop Allen has really grown into one of my favorite bands with their EP-a-month antics and this album does not disappoint as a follow-up to that daunting project. Some of the songs on here are directly from the EPs or are re-recorded versions of songs on the EPs, but there are also several new gems. This is one of those few albums where on first listen I was listening to the lyrics as much or more than the music because their lyrics are so engaging and at times quite witty, like this line from Chinatown Bus: “his gloves were pristine white just like the girls I used to know would wear to dance their first cotillion/Every single one of them named Jennifer.” I must advise you to do yourself a favor and get the January EP for “Corazon” because the version on there is much better than the version on this album. That being my only quip with this album it is the perfect summer pop album, it’s light and happy and at 40 minutes just the perfect length for listening to while cooking dinner with all the doors and windows open so as not to succumb to the ever-present threat of heat-stroke. Also, BA is playing what is sure to be a fabulous show with Page France at the Crocodile this Saturday August 4th.
[mp3] Bishop Allen-Rain
Spoon- Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
From the Merge website: “First off, about the title: it’s pronounced ‘chk chk chk.’ Ok, not really?actually, it was inspired by the piano sound that pulses over Britt Daniel’s triple-tracked vocals on the exposed and sinuous ‘The Ghost of You Lingers.'” So that explains it. This realization is actually kind of unfortunate because I really don’t like “The Ghost of You Lingers,” but I love the rest of the album. Not quite as much as Gimme Fiction–it doesn’t seem as cohesive as an album, but the songs individually are simply fabulous. In addition to a string of quality albums, Spoon is one of the best live shows out there right now. Britt Daniel is such a charismatic and passionate lead singer that it is impossible not to enjoy a Spoon show. They are playing at The Showbox September 5th and I highly recommend forking over the $20 to see them.
[mp3] Spoon-The Underdog
John Vanderslice-Emerald City
More on my newly-found unhealthy obsession with John Vanderslice in a later post, but for now a review of his newest album. I don’t actually have possession of it yet (it’s in the mail), but I’ve listened to the online stream and it is truly amazing, even with my crappy laptop speakers not doing it any amount of justice. I predict that when it gets here it will assume Headlights-like obsessive listening status. His music is a strange mix of lyrics about personal experience, social commentary (the title is a reference to the Green Zone in Baghdad, not Seattle), and complete fiction on top of guitar, drums, and a healthy dose of moog synthesizer (I think, I’m not really sure what exactly some of those sounds are). Here’s the kicker though: it was mostly recorded live, and using 100% analog equipment. Crazy.
In conclusion, here is a picture that really just needs to be on my blog somewhere:
John Vanderslice and Britt Daniel