cold cave – death comes close
listening to this with my roommate, she asked me “is this electro?” and i said, “no, this is new wave” and then next song corrected myself – “well this is kind of electro”. truth is, i was wrong both times. cold cave sways between heady, bleached out melody and something more aggressive – it can’t easily be categorized. whatever bucket you put them in, they’re creating songs that deserve to challenge you.
julian casablancas – phrazes for the young
with such a distinctive voice it’s hard to listen to casablancas without making straight up comparisons to the good times that were the strokes albums, but phrazes for the young is a different beast. reviews for this album have been pretty acerbic, but when he’s good he’s very very good; “out of the blue” and “river of brakelights” are both beauties and once you let “glass” warm up you’re going to be happy you gave this the chance to grow on you.
bricolage – bricolage
there’s seems to be a pattern in scottish music which has veins part bitter and part raucous. this glaswegian band has created an album of poppy goodness that every once and a while bites back. i’m trying to avoid using sour patch kids as a reference…
the big pink – a history of love
with vocals that swoon and swell with shards of guitar and drums, this album is a sonic gem. by far one of my favorites of the year, a history of love lives up to its bravado.
patti smith – horses
horses doesn’t prove that smith has an exceptional voice or that she needs to work only with her own material. but it is her real, pure music at its core, and that is rock and roll.
perez prado – havana, 3a.m.
better known as the “mambo king”, prado leads his band in the perfect cuban mix of spanish and african rhythms. he finds himself with a better flow on this record than some of his others . the band is so tight, and yet when sections break way into solos they feel like an entirely different entity.
bonus: following the break up of the clash, paul simonon named his (short-lived) new band after this album!!
various artists – 41 original hits from the soundtrack of american graffiti
this is mostly a mix of rock and doo-wop hits from the late ’50s and early ’60s. george lucas and francis ford coppola spent almost all of the money allotted to music in the film on obtaining the rights to these songs. because of that the film doesn’t have a score – think of what that could have meant for some of their other, less known, films…
the national – alligator
very understated, yet feels a bit rambling. it is amazingly gloomy and catchy all at once. how can you not love a man with that deep baritone?
(side note from the blogger…this is one of my favorite albums…ever.)
and for your listening pleasure, here is a mixtape featuring songs from the above albums!