Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Bought Two Great New Albums Today

Sunday morning, and here we are, Kevin, Brian and myself, sitting outside in Fairbanks at our rummage sale, waiting either for people to show up or the rain to fall. An excellent time, I thought, for some music shopping. (Thank you wireless technology, where I can sit in my garage drinking beer and purchase music simultaneously.)

Anyways, my shopping led me to two full-album purchases--pretty rare for me, who usually buys everything by the song and spins them into mixes. But these were two artists I couldn't deny.

Beck's new album, Modern Guilt, came out last Tuesday. Right away I bought the title-track, and I love it a lot, so today I had to finish purchasing the rest of the album. There is a lot to like here: Danger Mouse (pretty much of Gnarls Barkley fame) produces, my love Chan Marshall sings backup on some tracks, and more than any of that, IT'S BECK! Beck has made so many amazing songs and albums over the years, there is bound to be a few tracks that blow your mind here. "Modern Guilt" is certainly one, as is the straight-ahead bossa nova/rock (maybe?) of "Gamma Ray," and the Beach Boy-inflected "Chemtrails." It's good times.

This other album, entitled The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties, is by Emily Wells. Now, honestly, I'm not sure how crazy I am about this album at this point; I like the first song "Symphony 1 In the Barrel of a Gun" (all the titles are like that), but overall I'm not sure I'm crazy about what she's up to here (oh, and she's up to something very thoughtout and earnest here, if perhaps a bit too high-minded for me from time to time). But when Emily starts laying it down there is nobody better; honestly, this girl covers a huge range between from Tori Amos to M.I.A., all the while doing her own wonderfully creative, electronic/funk/classical-tinged thing. Her last album, Beautiful Sleepyhead and the Laughing Yaks stopped me dead in my tracks in Summer 2007, and I'm sure she's going to do it again this summer, as well as many summers to come. And her voice is unique; it has "personality," one might say, but only in the same good ways as singers like Amos, Ani, Cohen, Dylan, and Waits. And, quite honestly, this new album is growing on leaps and bounds as I write this. I'm sure my official review on iTunes (well, I don't know which is official for sure) will rate the album much higher. I'm realizing I need to add "hip-hop" to the above "tinged" list, and wow, that's an amazing statement about an amazing artist.


Amy E. Vorro said...

You know... Sean downloaded Beck's new album and given that his last few haven't been so great, I wasn't that enthused, but have have convinced me to not only give it a listen, but also feel a little excited about it. Well done - thanks!

Anonymous said...

ha! busted. you're all over the place. i had no idea that so many of my friends were writing in these places. i'm genuinely excited! look at the prolific use of exclamation points!

now i'll have to link you to my blog too!

love all the music reviews. this explains jill's "sexy cd"...