Wednesday, October 08, 2008

September in Review

I had planned this group of reviews for a certain website which will remain unnamed until someone finally makes some changes. September was a busy month, but I was able to fit in a few interesting releases. Forgive my tardiness and the lack of music posts on this site. I do realize that my music posts are the milkshakes that bring all the boys (and girls) to the yard. So, here goes...

I barely had any time to listen to the two albums from the ninth. They arrived in the mail late and we were busy starting at about 3:30 AM on the 10th. Since then, I made it a point to listen to Kimya Dawson's Alphabutt and Okkervil River's The Stand Ins as much as I could.

Luckily, Alphabutt was purchased with Lucia in mind. This is Dawson's foray into Zooglobble territory after contributing more mature fair to Juno and less mature material to The Moldy Peaches. She wrote songs for and about her daughter, Panda, and all their EC misadventures. There are also plenty of songs about smoothies, animals, and anything generally related to butts. I have always loved the quirky naivete of The Moldy Peaches and it's great for my kid. Actually, Lucia loves this album. It sooths her every time I play it.

The Okkervil River album is the follow-up/companion to last year's The Stage Names you would expect. The songs fit seamlessly with Stage Names while also creating something new and unique. Main songwriter Will Sheff moves the band's sound away from Uncle Tupelo and closer to Spoon as the arrangements and instrumentation take on a pop-centric style not entirely expected. Part of me wonders how much their tour mates, New Pornographers, had to do with this evolution. Either way, album is a suitable follow-up. Every time I listen to it, I want to put on Stage Names. Actually, Lucia was soothed one day as my mom rocked her to sleep to Sheff's emotive vocals. I have more to say about Will Sheff in an upcoming post.

One of the more highly anticipated albums for the fall has bee
n TV on the Radio's Dear Science,. This is now a case of records I have barely been able to listen. To me, it sounds as if the band is making a vain attempt at crossover success. The result is a Prince album from the back of his vault. I can't say that I'm very impressed after the first listen. Honestly, it's only been one listen with several interruptions in between. If I mention this album again, it's because it did grow on me, much like TVOTR did several years ago. However, I'm skeptical.

The other release I anticipated on the same day TVOTR dropped (September 23rd) was Cold War Kids' Loyalty to Loyalty. Let me just say this record is a major disappointment. It's the same thing that happens every time a band of white dudes with some soul or a case of the blues spend too much time in the studio or start to over-think their shtick. Check the Afghan Whigs for example. Gentlemen, their first major label release, was as perfect an album as you'll ever find. The next record was fine, but you could see what was coming: an over-produced, Vegas-like piece of crap (1965).

So, I made it through four freakin' records in a month. I guess that's OK. Anyway, here
's the reason for the lack of posts this week (this is for you, Ashley)...
(Lucia loves her little lamb!)

1 comment:

Ashley said...

There we are, I was getting the shakes. :)