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Playlists: Ten Albums

What I've been listening to over the past few months, in no particular order:


Poets of the Fall, "Carnival of Rust" (2006): Finnish group singing in English. Mixed bag, some very good (the title song, and catch the video if you haven't!), but some are more blah. Reminds me a l;ittle of Dredg.

Blitzen Trapper, "Furr" (2008): Grows on you? :-) Better and better with listening. I've told people it has echoes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, but I hear strange noises sometimes. The title track is a lovely little piece.

Owl City, "Ocean Eyes" (2009): OMG it's sooooo POPPY! No, wait, it isn't? Well, yes, it is, but he writes songs about sadistic dentists and one with the line "with fronds like these, who needs anemones?" and it's generally excellently geeky wordplay from a guy who started recording in his parents' basement. "Fireflies" is what everyone's heard, but I like "Cave In" best.

Grizzly Bear, "Horn of Plenty" (2004): Have you heard the term "lo-fi"? Dull, droning music. And then your ear starts catching all the layers, as eyes adjust to starlight. On the other hand, this was their first, and the guy has been quoted as saying "actually I just didn’t know that much about microphones".

David Bowie, "Hunky Dory" (1971, but 1999 remastered): Uh.... ooookay. Weird, very weird, at least from this date and time. I like "Song for Bob Dylan", but "Andy Warhol" not so much.

Falconer, "Among Beggars and Thieves" (2008): Medieval Swedish folk tales in power metal, and a few straighter folk passages, and some still in Swedish. Reminds me of Jethro Tull, a little (remember, I hear strange noises). "Dreams and Pyres" is a whole mini-opera.

TV on the Radio, "Dear Science" (2008): Love it! Layered, complex, intelligent pop (*cough* = alternative rock) for grown-ups. "Best album of 2008" by possibly too many reviewers, but it's very good. Favorite tracks: "Halfway Home", "Dancing Choose", "Family Tree", "Lover's Day"... um, lots?

Massive Attack, "Heligoland" (2010): I'm not sure I see much of anything strikingly new, but I'm not saying that's bad. A few songs I'll throw away, but I may revisit them later: it's that sort of album. Meanwhile, I'll listen to "Pray for Rain" and "Paradise Circus" over and over.

"All Virgos Are Mad" (1994): various 4AD artists at what was earlier called a "happening" (okay, a music festival), with Dead Can Dance, The Breeders, Lush, and others. Deliberately mixed bag of scraps but all with very artsy patterns. And how could I resist the title?

Faith and the Muse, "ankoku butoh" (2009): Beautiful packaging of CD, DVD, and a booklet that showcases the lyrics as illustrated poetry, and that's how they come across in the hearing of them, too. And I'm going to see them at TT the Bear's on April 24th! Anyone else interested?

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