Friday, November 25, 2005

You Should Hear...

Here are a few things I'm currently listening to. I guess they are sorta reviews. Don't expect them to be new albums, just good ones.

Explosions In The Sky: The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
Lovely instrumental guitar music that reminds me of Dif Juz and Tortoise, except it's different from either of them. They've got five other albums I have not heard. They're from Texas, home also to the wonderful Midlake. Comparisons to Godspeed! You Black Emperor are idiotic. This is much less mannered and juvenile.

Sufjan Stevens: Come On Feel The Illinoise
Absolutely his best album yet, and one that enough other people have raved about that I almost feel it's pointless commenting further. I must say that there is a repetitiveness to his songs from album to album that worries me. Now that this is out I cannot listen to the last two records; they sound like distant shades of greatness. Then again, the same thing happened to Cocteau Twins for over a decade and they just got better and better until Blue Bell Knoll. But look, "Casimir Pulaski Day" makes me cry and everything else here is fantabulous. So sell his previous records and buy this one.

Ulrich Schnauss: A Strangely Isolated Place
Both his albums are lovely but live he just hid behind a laptop and played too loud. Huge romantic swelling electronic music with a retro feel and an obvious love of Sky Records.

Blue Aeroplanes: Cavaliers
Well, it's not as good as their early stuff but a darned sight more honest than the major label releases. This sounds less like the previously rambling shambling poetry dance rock'n'trad group and more like than a solo project. Maybe it isn't really any good at all. But I likes it!

Japan: Tin Drum [extended]
Their final album and my favourite, packaged together with some nice b-sides. The 12" version of "Art of Parties" is one of my favourite songs ever, but every track here is atmospheric, groovy, or sing-along-able. Dynamic fretless bass playing? Check! Cool oriental Oberheim sounds that are not cheesy? Check! Smooth Sylvian vocals? Check! Percussion all over the place? Check! Perfect production? Check! Crypto-Maoist imagery? Check-mate!

Arcade Fire: Funeral
I am almost bored of this but "Rebellion (Lies)" is godlike. So is "Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)". "Sometimes we remember bedrooms, and our parents' bedrooms, and the bedrooms of our friends." Brilliant. Canadian.

Susannah Kelly: Demo
That's my beloved. And, no, you can't have a copy. And she'll get all shy when she reads this, even though it's at the bottom of the page. :-) Sweet, honest, woman-next-door pop music with a slice of soul and a groove too. Deserves an audience.


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