Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Better Late Than Never Reviews

In order to get these records out of the way, I'll make it short and sweet...

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Lie Down in the Light
One Hundred Thirty-Five Words: Will Oldham is a master of invention. First of all, he invents many monikers for himself including Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Palace Music, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Then he bounces between his role as musician and actor with a little indie scenester mixed in between. And he has done the same with his records. Each album is Oldham's unique take on roots music that somehow infuses aesthetics of punk, bluegrass, and an earnestness not heard much in music today. The one thing that he doesn't have to invent each time is a great record. It just happens. His last three albums might be as good as his first three, and that's saying something. The last of those three is Lie Down in the Light and it holds up well against any Palace or BPB material.

The one song that takes you back to 1993:
"Easy Does It"

Number of times Will Oldham's voice cracks: 13

Joan of Arc - Boo! Humans
Seventy-Seven Words: OK. So, it took me a while to get this record. It shouldn't surprise me. Joan of Arc is not an easy listen. But I put in the time it took to get it. What I found was Joan of Arc's most complete album since 1999's Live in Chicago (which is not a live album) or their Owls spin-off. They still might not be for everyone, but if you're game, it might just be worth the effort.

The one song that makes you go "Huh?":
"9/11 2"

Number of Kinsellas:

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
One Hundred Fifty-One Words: My Morning Jacket frustrates me to no end. I remember reading about how great this new roots rock band out of Louisville was live, in concert. Their front man, Jim James, has this unearthly voice that haunts and soothes simultaneously. They get big write-ups in the Times. Then I pick up their records. This band, for as great as they have been billed, fails to deliver the goods on their recorded work. (Of course, I have yet to listen to the new album.)

In Fleet Foxes, I have found the My Morning Jacket for which I was looking. Their debut on Sub Pop is nearly flawless from beginning to end. They're not a rock band like MMJ, and I know little about their live show. What I do know is that they wrote and executed as good an alt country album as I've heard since...since...Bonnie "Prince" Billie (see above).

The song that makes you forget My Morning Jacket's disappointing albums: "White Winter Hymnal"

Number of foxes in the mire: 5

As you can probably tell, my hopes for music in 2008 are on the rise. Everyone will like the Bonnie "Prince" Billie and Fleet Foxes records. Everyone. The Joan of Arc record is difficult to say the least. You really have to be committed to like their music. ("Committed may have two meanings here.)

Look for a post on my beer tasting experience last night at Sycamore and a some pics of the nearly finished nursery. The orange grove is finally on the wall.


ks said...

Wow. I thought I was the only one who felt "blehhh" at MMJ. I'll have to check out the Fleet Foxes album. Thanks for the pointer. (And Joan of Arc was always difficult...i think they're just code for "i'm cool" & nobody actually listens to them.)

comoprozac said...

Oh, you are not the only one. In fact, a lot of people aren't feeling MMJ. Check their record sales.

I actually listen to them.

GE said...

I'm loving the new Bonnie "Prince" Billy too. Thanks for the heads up. I didn't even realize he had a new album...

DJ Mike said...

I'm a big MMJ fan, but the new album is terrible, terrible, terrible.

Fleet Foxes have put out two of my favorites this year. Have you heard the Sun Giant EP yet?

comoprozac said...

I have not checked out the EP, but I will. I should also visit your new blog...

DJ Mike said...

My new blog is dullish so far. I'm trying to liveblog and DJ at the same time, to no avail.

I owe you some music. I'll send you the EP shortly, among other things, including MMJ's terrible, terrible new album.