Tuesday, May 18, 2010

3-Sentence Reviews: Music from the Past Few Years

Every once in a while, a list of music I've wanted to listen to and that friends have told me to listen to reaches critical mass, and I go on a music purchasing/ripping/"acquisition" spree. Here's the fallout (in brief) from the most recent one:

(What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Oasis (October 1995): It's tough to think I'd never listened to this album until now, especially because of its significance to Lost. The album is excellent from start to finish, and it has a clear Beatles influence throughout. Its only problem is that some of the tracks are too good--everything that's not "Wonderwall" seems like so much filler, even though most of them are very good on their own merit.

Romance is Boring, Los Campesinos! (January 2010): My impetus to listen to this album came from the Paste sampler, where I stumbled upon apparently the one listenable track out of fifteen. Nonsensical song titles, references to Americana, and a disregard of structural convention might invoke Sufjan Stevens, but there's a critical difference: Stevens' music is good. Instead, Romance is smug noise-pop that, go figure, earned an outrageous 8.3 from out good friends at Pitchfork.

Night Train EP, Keane (May 2010): Yes, you listened to this album correctly: this is Keane plays at Brit-rap and J-Pop . (The rapper in question, K'naan, is technically Somali/Canadian, and the Japanese singer in question, Tigarah, purportedly classifies herself as "Baile Funk", whatever that means, but it's all the same.) This sort of screwing around is fine for an EP, but it's a little close to "Chicago rapping" for my tastes; let's hope Keane reels itself in before its next full-length.

Fantasies, Metric (April 2009): If you've ever listened to Metric and thought "okay, this is pretty decent, but I bet it would be downright amazing if Emily Haines actually sang rather than talking rhythmically over music," then Fantasies is your chance to prove yourself right. There are a couple of weak tracks, and in general the album gets worse as it goes along, but the better parts more than make up for it. In many years, it would rate as "good to very good", but for 2009, it's retroactively in my top ten albums of the year.

The Flying Club Cup, Beirut (October 2007): It may sound a little disingenuous, less than three years on, to describe something as "so 2007", but give Cup's chamber-pop-meets-world-music a listen and tell me I'm wrong. It all goes by a little quickly, and there are fewer obvious hooks than I'd have thought, so I'm not entirely sure what my position on this album is after a first listen. I do know that I like the concept and the use of horns and the complexity enough to make second, third, and fourth listens happen.

Currently listening: "I Me Mine", the Beatles

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