Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekend Music Roundup

I know I skipped a week, my sincerest appy polly ogies. As I mentioned before, I've been using the last few weeks to really dive deeper into some of the more brilliant music that I've acquired of late. My friend, and former roommate of four years, were talking this week about how when we were poor and music was something we splurged on, often spending would-be meal money on two CDs instead, we used to live with those albums for months. I still do that, but not as often. Yet, there's something about getting to know a great album intimately that I need.

However, I'm always in search of the next great album that will stir something inside of me. So, I haven't abandoned checking things out either. Here's a list of some worthy albums of late. There are also some albums on here that aren't so worthy, but for one reason or another need mentioning if only because they are of note to my music autobiography. 

Liam Gallagher - The Acoustic Collection: Throughout the decade, Liam apparently used to do radio appearances here and there in the UK where he'd play solo acoustic sets. This is a collection of those and it's brilliant. The songs take on a very different tone. "Supersonic" becomes very angry..."Live Forever" very solemn...etc. Yes, I know you're all probably sick of the Oasis love already, but I'm in one of my "Oasis are brilliant" phases, you'll have to bear with me.

Dark Meat - Truce Opium: I've been anticipating this second album for quite some time. Their first album Universal Indians was a treat of two summers ago, a genre bending blast of up tempo intrigue. This is very different but just as enjoyable. It's much more experimental and psychedelic. Definitely not a record for lets the freak flag fly high.

Brett Anderson - Slow Attack: There was a time when Brett, as leader of Suede, was one of those daring front man with a view of the world that felt revolutionary. Then, in his own words, he lost his demon. There was a short lived revival with The Tears, but then came a really boring solo album. This second solo album is better than that for sure, but still quite disappointing. I'm not one to kick someone when they're down creatively. I understand that feeling. My problem is that it just doesn't feel personal. I don't expect everybody to be brilliant all the time, but I do expect the art to feel personal and I just haven't felt that from Brett for awhile. I still hope for it in the next album. 
The Morning After Girls - Alone: Another second album that I've been waiting over two years for. The band's first album was like a revival of the Smiths into a much darker world. Though trying to be faithful to that sound, this album falls a little flat. It's by no means bad, but at times it as boring as the cover. If you don't know the band, definitely go out and get yourself their first album Shadows Evolve. It's fantastic. And I have faith this is just a bit of sophomore slump. 
Rain Machine - Rain Machine: Solo album from TV on the Radio singer, this was a pleasant surprise. Though in many ways, it's very much a sort of hold-over album for fans, it's also very different. You can certainly hear TV on The Radio in this album. But where TVOR cuts there songs in short produced bursts, this album lets itself wander through the songs (many over 5 minutes long to nearly 10 minutes). The result is something very pleasing and fuller almost than disco-ness of TV. 
Soulsavers - Broken: Yet another long-anticipated follow-up to an album of two years ago. Here's the thing about this's really good but I couldn't help but compare it to the last album. It's almost just as good (which is saying a lot because It's Not How Far You Fall is AMAZING). Had I never heard that album, I probably would be saying that about this one. My only complaint is that there's no song quite as grabbing as "Revival". Still though, probably one of the stronger albums of the year.

Horrific Child - L'etrange Monsieur Whinster: Nothing like a dose of French prog from '76. This album was interesting, though certainly not something to get into more than a few listens. It feels very much like a story album, almost like listening to an audio play or old radio show. It would probably be more interesting if I spoke the language and knew the story. Still though, love the band title. 
Bevis Frond - North Circular: I've had, and loved, this album for years but recently listened to it again for the first time in a few years. The Frond had two albums that came out in '99 (this being one and Vavona Burr being other). At the time, I was more obsessed with Vavona Burr and tended to put that on instead of this one, possible because this is a double album and needs more time to digest. Now, I'm not sure this isn't the better album, or just as good. It's certainly an album out of time, by that I mean it would be very hard for a listener to place when it was made. It could be any time in the last 30 years. The Frond has always been that way, part classic rock, part pioneer and just great melancholy indie rock that is as American as the Brits can get. 
Alice Cooper - Love It to Death: The more I get into the early Alice Cooper albums, the more obvious it is that he really started the whole hard rock, glam sound. Listening to this, it's hard to believe it's from 1971. Easily a few years ahead of it's time. It has the rawness of the Stooges and the coolness of the New York Dolls...and all before they really got into the glam scene. 

Dave Mason - It's Like You Never Left: Dave has been one of my favorite singer/ guitarists as a member of Traffic and his first solo album Alone Together is one of my favorites of that early '70s era. This album is three years later ('73) and there's a shift to be sure, but it's still great. While there's no "Sad and Deep As You" moments, as a whole I found the guitar playing to be almost better, or more evolved on this album. All in all, a great, little known album of the period.

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