Friday, November 11, 2011

Current Album Obsessions

Five albums that have spent an unhealthy amount of time in my car stereo of late:

Have One on Me- Joanna Newsom
Find it in the catalog!

I avoided listening to this album for almost a year after it was released.  While I like Ys. initially, it wasn't a record that I wanted to listen to over and over again.  And this album is three discs and over two hours long.   It seemed exhausting.  However, I find Have One on Me a lot more enjoyable that Ys.  The songs are still super long and complicated, but they have an easygoing, seventies Joanie Mitchell vibe to them.  Also, while the album works together well as a whole, it's not necessary to listen to all three discs in a row.

Track Obsessions:  "In California", "Have One on Me", "Good Intentions Paving Company", "Does Not Suffice"

The Rip Tide- Beirut
Find it in the catalog!

It's been four long years since Zach Condon's last album, 2007's Flying Club Cup Being a fan of both previous Beirut albums, this was one of my most anticipated albums of the year.  Upon first listen, The Riptide seemed a little bit underwhelming.  It lacks the big, orchestral punch of the previous two albums and is, instead, more an understated synth pop album (but not of the Cut Copy variety).  However, after repeated listens, my appreciation for the album has grown considerably. Though Beirut's sound has evolved, The Rip Tide still has the moodiness and old-timey quality that I enjoyed on his previous albums. 

Track Obsessions:  I almost always hit repeat (at least once) on "East Harlem" and "the Peacock."  "Payne's Bay" (especially the first two minutes) and "Santa Fe" are favorites as well.

Meadowlands- The Wrens
Find it in the catalog!

I had never really listened to the Wrens before, having had them mildly confused with late 90s Canadian folk punk (that's a real thing, apparently) outfit the Weakerthans.  I listened to the Weakerthans during my short-lived emo period, which is not a musical phase I like to revisit often.  Anyway, I'm glad I finally checked out the Wrens.  Meadowlands is a breakup album, which always wins bonus points from me, but it also rocks pretty hard on occasion. 

Track Obsessions:  "Hopeless" has become a recent favorite of mine, but "Everyone Chooses Side" is still my absolute obsession here.  It gets repeated at least twice per album listen. 

Apocalypse- Bill Callahan
Find it in the catalog!

I hadn't heard of Bill Callahan or Smog until his record, Sometimes I Wish I Was an Eagle, was listed on fellow blogger Jason's best of 2009 list.  Because I refuse admit that there are musicians that I haven't heard of, I immediately checked him out and I have been a fan ever since.  Callahan has a lo-fi sound, mixed with witty lyrics and a gloomy baritone.  Apocalypse is his latest seven song EP and it ranks among his finest work.

Track Obsessions:  "Drover," "Baby's Breath," and "Riding for the Feeling."
Yuck- Yuck
Find it in the catalog!

The cover of this album (Google it, if you must) is one my least favorites of the year. In general, this would cause me to avoid listening to all together like Cocorosie's Grey Oceans (click on link at your own risk- you cannot un-see it!).  However, I was desperate for something new to listen to and had heard good things. Yuck's sound reminded me a lot of the 90's guitar driven alternative rock like the Smashing Pumpkins that I listened to early in my high school career.  In fact, with hints of the Cure and guy/ girl vocals, Yuck would have totally been my favorite band ever, if I discovered them in high school.  I'm glad I checked out the album in spite of the aesthetic unpleasantness of the cover, though Grey Oceans is still gonna be a no-go.

Track Obsessions: "Get Away," "Suck," "Sunday," and closer "Rubber."