segunda-feira, outubro 24, 2005

430. A.C. Newman - the slow wonder

originally uploaded by jrd550.
As the sticker states, this is the first solo effort from the leader of the New Pornographers, and it's a great debut. Filled with the same catchiness and inventiveness as TNP, Carl's songs have the added benefit of being a bit more sober and grounded - i.e. slightly less fantastical but still poetic.

8 out of 10

429. The New Pornographers - electric version

originally uploaded by jrd550.
'Electric Version' plays like the soundtrack to a brilliantly canceled show or sitcom - every song packs enough energy and individuality to fill up a half an hour episode... it also helps that, like many great shows, TNP is brought to life with a great ensemble cast (Neko Case, the guy from Destroyer, and a bunch of other Canadians)... great pop, that sometimes is too good, and almost a caricature of the entire genre... also, every cd design this band uses looks like it was made in Power Point - what gives?

8 out of 10

quarta-feira, outubro 19, 2005

428. Rogue Wave - out of the shadow

originally uploaded by jrd550.
If this was the only CD you had on a deserted island you'd think it was a masterpiece of delicately woven melodies and cascading harmonies. To a very large extent it is a masterpiece, just not right now. This album suffers from the most unfair prejudices. For example, I had just made a flier using the same font in which the band's name appears - to me that made it seem like it was less special. The fact that Sub Pop was putting it out and all the comparisons to the Shins made it feel like one big marketing scheme. But in reality this is a great album that I am just not entirely ready for right now, but I'll come back to it.

8 out of 10

segunda-feira, outubro 17, 2005

427. Modest Mouse - good news for people who love bad news

Someday we'll recognize this album as a great tribute pop album by Modest Mouse - a tribute to all the pop songs that we love and hate, crafted by a band that naturally escapes any sort of classification. But for now it will probably be seen by some as a crossover album or a summer single... a shame.

8.5 out of 10

domingo, outubro 16, 2005

426. Modest Mouse - everywhere and his nasty parlour tricks

I have never heard the deluxe version of 'Moon...' that was released a year ago or so, but I imagine the bonus disc sounds a bit like these tracks, which seem to be pulled almost for the same sessions. In reality this ep collects four tracks off of a previous vinyl release and the balance are remants from those dream like sessions, with 'rat' paying us a visit again in an identical version that appeared on 'Moon'. I am sure there was a better way to wrting this, but fuck it.

7 out of 10

425. Modest Mouse - the moon & antarctica

originally uploaded by jrd550.
A remarkable album. The band's third proper release and major label debut is brilliantly produced, written and thought through. The band takes their signature sound from past releases and takes it a step further to new highs and lows - a classic 'headtrip' of an album, truly appreciated with headphones or nice and loud. Released in 2000.

9 out of 10

424. Modest Mouse - building nothing out of something

originally uploaded by jrd550.
On this release MM begin to marry the manic with the pensive, creating a quieter, more reflective release. Though the album collects singles and bsides from other releases Brock's 'what am I doing here?' lyrics link all the songs together into one continous flow.

'The universe works on a math equation that never really ever even ever is in it and/ Infinity spirals out creation.'

8 out of 10

423. Modest Mouse - lonesome crowded west

originally uploaded by jrd550.
So much and so good. 15 tracks that sound so far away from anything the band had done before (and today for that matter}, a medley of genres with Isaac's vocals going from well kept hums to pissingly sloppy chants, and for the most part we gladly lap it up. A great album to sit around and play Uno to, with an array of fruits and vegetables.

8.5 out of 10

422. Modest Mouse - this is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about

A meandering album with no clear direction - no beginning middle, or end, but still somehow fulfilling and yet not. Does that make sense? Contains the classic 'ohio'. Pick it up, put it in, then put it down and away. Rinse and repeat if desired.

6.5 out of 10

421. Modest Mouse - the fruit that ate itself

originally uploaded by jrd550.
The band's first 'real' release (an ep) is surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because MM always sound like they are on the cusp of complete chaos, and somehow, even on these early releases they manage to stay loosely focused. Brock's vocal style is very much 'sing along' like, a style he slowly sheds as the years go by, turning into a lead vocalist with a style all of his own. Released in 1996, before many of you were born.

6 out of 10

420. Modest Mouse - sad sappy sucker

originally uploaded by jrd550.
Before I get into these MM releases, I realize that they don't really fit into this category, at all - so they are being moved to the next one, but I'll be reviewing them now anyway. Another band Meadows introduced me too ages before anyone knew of them. Being the completist that I am, I picked this up and now sort of regret it. There are moments of brilliance here and there but for the most part this sounds like my friends and I messing around (so we wish).

4.5 out of 10

419. The Postal Service - such great heights

originally uploaded by jrd550.
I got this based on Joe's recommendation of Iron and Wine's cover of 'Such great heights' - he was right, Sam Beam's version is even better than the original. Unfortunately the song made it onto 'Garden State' and the result? It's on a M&M commercial now too, I love it when something personal becomes commercial… label mates The Shins chip in with 'we will become silhouettes', which is cute and quaint. Contains unreleased Postal Service track 'There's never enough time'.

7 out of 10

418. The Postal Service - give up

originally uploaded by jrd550.
We all the know the story by now, but one can't help by still being impressed at how well this album turned out considering the manner in which it was made. The songs are electronically and lyrically equal: poppy, dramatic, witty and sad. This album, for better or worse, officially crossed indie over into mainstream and helped save the major label owned Sub-Pop from being known only as 'Nirvana's label'.

8 out of 10

417. Death Cab for Cutie - live at the crocodile cafe 04.14.00 (bootleg)

A decent live album from the 'We have the facts…' tour - the quality isn't always spot on, but the feeling is. Though only their second album and tour you could tell the band was going to be around for a while.

6.5 out of 10

sexta-feira, outubro 14, 2005

you're perfect yes it's true, but without me you are only you

Sorry for the absence, but I am back now and the rock will flow...