Monday, April 21, 2008

Some Overdue Reviews

I haven't reviewed everything I've bought in the past few months. So, I'll take this opportunity to write some overdue mini-evals on some recent purchases.

The Foundry Field Recordings - Prompts/Miscues
Fifty-One Words: I previously misjudged this band. Meeting Billy Schuh made me give this local band a second (third, fourth, get the point) listen. It's way bigger than COMO and that's a good thing. The songs are sophisticated in their structure and production, while maintaining the focus on matters of the heart.

The one song that makes it worth $17.95: "Assembled Hazardly"

Pitchfork Says:

Yeasayer - All Hour CymbalsEighty-Nine Words: Three things made me confident in buying this record: 1) Nearly every music critic listed it on their year-end list; 2) Their Take Away Show was incredible; and 3) The conversation between the two clerks behind the counter went something like this.

Record Store Clerk 1: Dude, this has sold really well.
Record Store Clerk 2: That's because it's good.

Well, it mostly sounds like silly hippie crap to me. The lack of good songs cannot be hidden amid drum circles and chorus lines. Sorry, record store hippie dude.

The one song that makes it worth $17.95:

Pitchfork Says: 7.8

Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Sixty-Nine Words: I'm always slow to pick up an Animal Collective release. I like and totally get what they do, but I have to be in the mood for something so challenging and even somewhat silly to really get into it. This record really is as mind-blowing as all the critics claim, but it's almost too difficult to listen to on a regular basis. Pitchfork and I actually agree for once.

The one song that makes it worth $17.95:

Pitchfork Says: 9.3

The Kills - Midnight BoomSeventy-Five Words: I've always had an appreciation for the dirtier, sleazier side of indie rock. Bands like Brainiac or John Spencer Blues Explosion filled this need. Now, The Kills have to feed my hunger for sleaze. At times, this record hits me in that good place. Other times it puts me to sleep with its overuse of synths and drum machines. Rawk bands like this should hit me with guitar, howls, and drums. That's it, nothing more.

The one song that makes it worth $17.95: "Black Balloon"

Pitchfork Says: 6.8

Destroyer - Trouble in DreamsNinety-Two Words: I've always wished that The New Pornographers could be more like their name suggests: dark and a little strange. Then, I listened to Destroyer. Dan Bejar makes as cool an album as they come. So much so, that it made me search the liner notes of New Porno records to see which songs were his. And sure enough, many of my favorite moments on those albums were Bejar-penned. This record does nothing to contradict this assessment. In fact, Trouble suggests that his New Porno band mates may actually be holding Bejar back.

The one song that makes it worth $17.95:
"My Favourite Year"

Pitchfork Says: 7.7


gemmanuel said...

You inspired me to give Strawberry Jam another go and I agree: Totally interesting but not the first thing you feel like listening to on any given day. What to make of albums like this? I think ultimately listenability will have to rank higher than artistic merit in my book, and I just can't give it high marks.

comoprozac said...

The cool thing about "artistic" albums like this is that your shuffle will stumble upon them once in a great while. You'll go, "What the hell was that?" and look down to see good ole' Animal Collective or slint or Joan of Arc or something artistic and difficult. Then you listen to it again. It's enough just to listen one time through, then you forget about it for another 5-10 years.

Jake said...

Yeasayer's album is really good, I like it a lot. And, contrary to my previous comments about AC on another post of yours, I have grown the love Strawberry Jam.

comoprozac said...

Jake, I must be chasing you through my blog...

I tried and tried to like Yeasayer, but I just can't get into it.