Monday, July 16, 2007

What I've Been Listening To

I know, I know, I went and started a music blog elsewhere, but now I'm mucking up this other one with a long post about what I'm listening to? well, in the interest of keeping that blog solely "on topic", I'm going to throw up some quick thoughts on the gang o' CD's (and downloads) I've picked up through the last few weeks. This is mostly because of the one-two punch of Father's Day and my birthday, plus, I lost a whole gang of songs when my e-Music renewed and I forgot about it, so I made sure to use up my downloads immediately so that didn't happen again. Anyway, here's what I've been listening to:

Afghan Whigs: Unbreakable A Retrospective

As I've said before, I have an almost OCD love of best of/greatest hits albums, as evidenced by me wanting this disc, despite already owning the entire catalogue of the Whigs in some shape or form. But hey, why burn my own best of disc when I can pay someone $15 to make on for me? Well, at least there are two new songs on this (both recorded last year). The new songs aren't bad, they're pretty much b-sides, but for the completist, they make this CD a necessary buy. Luckily, I got it as a gift, since the track list, is, well a bit lacking. It's too bad I can't blame it on record-company lackeys since it looks like this was compiled by Greg Dulli. They leave off some good singles (Honky's Ladder) in favor of bad ones (Going to Town, a song even the band admitted they hated in 1996, but put out since the record company wanted them to) and include a good cover (Come See About Me) instead of one of their great covers (Creep or Band of Gold). Obviously, there's good stuff here, just not what I would've chosen. I mean really, no Miles iz Dead, are you kidding me?

Paul Weller - Hit Parade

OK, onto anther Greatest Hits set, this one covering Paul Weller's career, from The Jam, to The Style Council to just plain ole' Paul Weller. This album is not a replacement for owning the Jam's Greatest Hits, if you don't already have that (or the individual albums), buy it instead. On this album you get 6 Jam hits plus quick overviews of the SC and his solo stuff. Since I've heard good and (mostly) bad things about the Style Council, I figured this was a good place to start and the best I can say is that it's not bad, but I don't think I'll be chasing down too many of their albums. Just way too 80's for me. The solo stuff is good, bluesy, brit-pop and I may have to chase down some of those records. Overall, a good CD to keep in the car.

One quick note on this CD, the compilers did themselves no favors by going with a mash-up of the various stages of Mr. Weller's career instead of going with a straight-up chronological track list. You do yourselves no favors by shifting straight from the great Jam tune Going Underground right into the Style Council's Shout From the Top. Ouch.

Art Brut - It's a Bit Complicated

This is a short review. This is a very good album and it pretty much sounds like disc 2 of their first CD. If you like Art Brut's style of not-very-good-at-their-instruments-but-darn-they're-having-fun style of new new wave brit rock, you'll like this.

Interpol - Our Love To Admire

I was pretty ready to write Interpol off after they did a pre-release show at the Metro for $30, I mean, it's been two years since your last record and you want me to drop $30 to listen to your not-yet-released new album and up to this point your live shows have been, shall we say, lacking? Bite me. But now that I picked up the record, I'm feeling more charitable, it's good, not great, but good. In some places you can almost feel the record company telling them they really need a single as it gets a little more "angry-rock" than the normal "angry-mope", but it's all good for me. I just hope their next show is cheaper.

One last irritation from this band: instead of having a track list on the back of the CD, they chose to just go with a black back-cover with the band name in the lower right corner, thus robbing me of having any clue of the names of the songs as I listened to them in the car. This really bugged me.

Another Sunny Day - London Weekend

I know DB's been on the Sarah Records bandwagon for quite some time, but it took Douglas Wolk's article on eMusic to push me into downloading one of their full-lengths and darn, if it isn't just as good as advertised. As Wolk describes it, it's emo-pop music by "Very, very angry, smart wimps." Yup, that's what I like.


Bill said...

Agreed regarding Interpol although I might come off a bit harsher than you. The album, as a whole, is just kind of there. Absolutely nothing on the record jumps out at you, either positively or negatively. If anything, I suppose that it's just a boring effort. Not bad and not good, just boring. I'm definitely once again questioning the lifespan of this NYC foursome and how long they can go on.

Anonymous said...

I'm not too high on the new Interpol. It starts off sounding like The Arcade Fire and then winds up Manfred Mann territory.