Monday, March 13, 2006

The Ear's March Munchings

After a long and unannounced hiatus, I have returned. It's spring break and I believe things have finally calmed down long enough for me to attend to my much neglected blog. And the first matter on the list is updating "The Ear's Current Cravings" section. As you may have noticed, the selections were a bit . . . old. Sure, it's possible that I've been listening to Low's Christmas album through the holiday season, all the way into March. But, really, I don't like Christmas music that much during Christmas. So I certainly wouldn't prolong the experience. Even if Low is wonderful.

I've decided to write a little blurb on the albums I select each time I update the section. I like the idea of having a personal record of what music I liked and why at different times. And, who knows, maybe people are curious. Or maybe I have an inflated ego.

I haven't been very aggressive in finding new music to listen to lately. Most likely a result of being overworked and stressed out. The majority of these are favorites that I've rediscovered as of late.

Björk - Homogenic
I've often heard people complain of not liking Björk's vocals. And I remember being among them for a short while. I had to be in just the right mood to listen to her. But, having given Homogenic a good proper listening, I can't find any justification for my prior feelings. Her talent for arranging and composing is self evident throughout the album. She has quite the knack for combining avant sensibilities with more traditional composition techniques. And good grief can she sing. Examples: "Immature," "Bachelorette."

Rachel's - Selenography
I have yet to discover a Rachel's album that I dislike. But of the ones I've heard, Selenography is my favorite. It's a bit more traditional than, say Systems/Layers, but it still manages to be captivating, complex, and original. It's also a bit more cohesive than some of their other works. The overall mood of the album is somewhat dark and brooding--when I played one of the songs on my radio show, a caller commented on how "haunting" it was. All in all, it is lovely music.

New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
Needless to say, I love me some good pop music. And that is exactly what New Pornographers provide. Honestly, it took a while for this album to grow on me. Though I'll lose a bit of "indie cred" for this, Electric Version was the first New Porno's album I heard; I didn't listen to their earlier work until later. After a few listens, however, I quite like Mass Romantic. They really use Neko Case's powerful vocals to their fullest here. There are fewer "oh wow! This is so catchy!" moments than Electric Version, in my opinion. But when they do happen, they'll be in your head for days. "Letter from an Occupant," anyone?

Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
The only recently new album on the list! I'm not familiar with the entire Belle and Sebastian repertoire, so I'm not qualified to judge their latest effort in full context. But, based on its own merit, I quite like The Life Pursuit. It is delightful, catchy, well crafted power-pop. It's far more upbeat than anything I expected from them. Sometimes, though, surprise is nice.

Rockpile - Seconds of Pleasure
I owe Matt (aka The Definitive Source) for this discovery. This Nick Lowe fronted band has a real knack for fun, clever songs. They sometimes get a little silly (see "A Knife and a Fork," a song about a woman eating herself to death), but never lack wit. It's a short and sweet, effortless-sounding album with plenty of catchy moments. After singing "When I Write A Book" in my head for nearly a day straight, I am convinced of Nick Lowe's song writing brilliance.


Anonymous Keegan said...

Nice songs... and have a happy Pi Day!!! (Pretty funny that it ended up being Albert Einstein's birthday today too)

3:11 PM, March 14, 2006  

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