Do You Hear What I Hear? No? Well You’re Missing Out…

20 10 2007

Great time for my CD player and iPod to be on the fritz. It’s a good thing I get to listen to my music at work, because there is so much good ear candy out there right now, I feel spoiled like I’m at grandma’s house. I took the liberty of posting a few of my favorite new albums that have all come out in the last few weeks. Since fall isn’t here yet – its still 80 degrees outside – I’ll say that these are my favorite parts of the last month or so. Had there been a nip in the air or a few more leaves changing, it would have been closer. But not right now. Mother nature is being beat down by some hot rock. Down goes Frazier.

Jimmy Eat World – Chase This Light

There is a good chance that this could have been terrible and my rose-colored glasses for Jimmy Eat World would have made me fine no fault. But its definitely not terrible. With the same big rock, anthem emo of their last record, Futures, coupled with the pop hooks and hand claps of Bleed American, Chase The Light is the musical equivalent of sunshine, open roads and long weekends. But not in a lets sit around and watch some Raymond reruns until Monday kind of way, but in a life is for the living, we’ve got a roadtrip planned we can’t realistically finish and also get adequate sleep kind of way. Ok, that may be a ridiculous analogy, but I think you get it. This thing rocks and it will make you smile. Period. Hot Jams: “Big Casino”, “Chase This Light”, “Firefight”, “Dizzy”

Band of Horses – Cease to Begin

I’ve always kind of seen Band of Horses as a cross between The Shins and My Morning Jacket with some Southern flair, and from my limited interaction with their first record I liked what I heard. This time around though, I saw it coming and was waiting with a little more anticipation to try out Cease to Begin. And I was not disappointed. Its potentially the best record to come out of South Carolina since Hootie’s Cracked Rear View (even though this one came by way of Seattle). And I think my comparison still holds true – there are the reverb vocals, splashy cymbals and fuzzy guitars of MMJ, and the melodic range, pop sensibilities and “la-di-das” of the Shins. The lyrics are simple, personal and endearing and you have to believe he means it when he says “No one is gonna love you more than I do”. And they have a song named after Detlef Schrempf. I’m sold – I’ll take two. Hot Jams:”The General Specific”, “There is a Ghost”, “Window Blues”

Radiohead – In Rainbows

A) Radiohead has no label. B) This album is free if you want it to be – no joke. click here. C) This is Radiohead’s most beautiful album since The Bends. Don’t get me wrong, I love and respect everything Radiohead has done. OK Computer is on All Time Top 10 lists of music snobs everywhere, Kid A and Amnesiac were two of the most ambitious records ever made by a band who had earned the right to try it out and Hail To The Thief is what happens when musical genius gets politcal and pissed off. All that aside, In Rainbows is fantastic. Its spacious and progressive but accessible, ethereal but melodic, and has the human touch that made songs like “Fake Plastic Trees” and “High and Dry” ones you stopped everything to listen to. Plus, did I mention that its free? Just try it – it will be your best chance to love Radiohead if you haven’t had the love before. Hot Jams: “Nude”, “All I Need”, “Reckoner”, “House of Cards”

Iron And Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog

Before this album, Iron & Wine was perceived by many (and by many, I mean myself – I didn’t ask anyone else to confirm this mass generalization) to be gentle, whispery acoustic folk pop that demanded you to not turn it up, just to listen more closely. Songs like “Sodom, South Georgia” and “Sunset Soon Forgotten” are soundtrack songs for hammock naps and crisp morning walks. But somewhere, sometime after that, something changed. Sam Beam apparently traded in a years worth of haircuts for a guitar amp and box of leftover percussion instruments. The Shepherd’s Dog doesn’t hold you sweetly, it rocks you gently. It grooves in all the right places all while still being musically stretching. There is even a little bit leftover goodness to help people bridge the gap from the old to the new (“Resurrection Fern”) – but don’t worry, the new is looking like a good place to go. Hot Jams: “The Devil Never Sleeps”, “Innocent Bones”, “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car”

Ryan Adams – Follow The Lights

This is more of a heads up than a review. I can’t buy CDs fast enough to keep up with the most prolific songwriter of my generation. This thing came out Tuesday and I’ve only heard one song off of it so far – “My Love for You Is Real” – and its (as expected) awesome. Whenever I do hear the whole thing, I’ll come back and write something here. But until then, I’ll listen to that one song, a cross between “Call Me on Your Way Back Home” and “Dance All Night”, over and over. Because I can. And thats what I do.

I was going to write the noticeably absent Elizabeth King mix review, but she’s impatient and I’m teaching her a life lesson. So there. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow. Maybe.




One response

2 11 2007
Rachel Olshine

jimmy eat world does make me smile. loved reading your blog…made me smile too

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