Yoko Ono is, without a doubt, the hippest 74 year-old Asian woman in modern music . But seriously, Yoko rocks. In case you didn’t know, she released a remix album, Yes, I’m A Witch, earlier this month. Among the contributors are Peaches, Le Tigre, The Flaming Lips, Cat Power, and the Apples In Stereo. While Yes . . . is by no means a masterpiece, it really is a fun little album. Among the highlights of the album is Peaches remix of Kiss Kiss Kiss. While Peaches sex-centric lyrics often overshadow the actual song, this track gives us an opportunity to enjoy Peaches bias free, and lets us remember exactly how good she is a creating great minimalist electro. Enjoy.
Some Loud Thunder
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Everyone knows the story of the original Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album. Five kids from Brooklyn and Philly come together to make their own album, release it without a record label, and go on to become one of the most popular indie acts of 2005. However, just like most indie acts that become popular, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was better suited to obscurity, to an existence without expectations. That’s not to say that CLHSY‘s debut didn’t deserve the attention it garnered; it most certainly did.
However, with that attention came astronomical expectations, that no band could ever hope of meeting. And of course, CLHSY tried to meet those expectations. The result is a hopelessly uneven album. Some Loud Thunder is home to some truly great songs, some middling ones, and a few atrocious ones. There’s little continuity between songs, and the whole album feels like it’s about to be torn apart by the distance between neighboring songs.
Listening to Some Loud Thunder is a great experience, but at the same time, an excruciating one. The good songs are just too good to be broken up by the bad ones, which seem to meander on forever, without reaching any real conclusion. They just end, and another track begins, completely unaffected by what preceded it. There’s no cohesion, no reason to listen to the album as a whole.
The skip button is your friend here. Still, I can’t hate this album; the band clearly loves, and more importantly, respects music. They fall victim to the sophomore curse, but only because of their debut success. Ironic, huh? I had high expectations for this album; we all did. Which is exactly why it falls flat on it’s face.
Songs To Download:
Emily Jean Stock
Mama, Won’t You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning
Yankee Go Home
Wu Tang Clan have finally revealed some of the finer points of their new album, announced either late last year, or early this one (I really have no clue which). The will be called 8 Diagram, and will be released sometime this summer. Also, they are planning a tour to promote their new album. Let’s hope this one works out.
As you all know, Bright Eyes is set to release Four Winds EP on March 5th, as a forerunner to his new album, Cassadaga, set for release on April 10th. The EP contains one track, Four Winds, that will appear on Cassadaga, and five other tracks that won’t be. One of those tracks, Tourist Trap, has made it’s way onto the internet tubes. It’s a great little song, filled with Bright Eyes trademark melancholy. However, it shows much growth on Bright Eyes part, with more complex instrumentation, employing a piano, and a background beat that sounds suspiciously like footsteps. If this is any indicator, Cassadaga, should be a real treat.
Well, the beginning-of-the-year drought is finally over, and there are several big-name releases coming out today. Among them are:
Wincing The Night Away
After a few years of silence from the Shins, they have finally released their third album, Wincing The Night Away. Once again the Shins move into new musical territory, with songs bearing little resemblance to either of the bands earlier albums. However, it’s also their most mature record, even more subtle than even Oh, Inverted World, and seemingly more subdued. It takes longer to fall in love with Wincing The Night Away than the Shins previous work, but in the end, it’s the Shins best album to date.
The Good, The Bad, The Queen
The Good, The Bad, The Queen
Considering the major players involved in this album (Damon Albarn,Danger Mouse, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen, Simon Tong), The Good, The Bad, The Queen comes off as very, very low-key. This isn’t the album that you’ll love the minute you play it. It’s dark, moody, complex, and demanding. But even if you have patience with it, you never quite feel as rewarded as you would like.
Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
This concept album from of Montreal certainly contains it’s share of oddities. The lyrics, the title and the tracks are all unique. But the sound is by far the strangest part of this album. It’s that certain mix of genres that defies any real description, and can only be described as indie pop. Each song is different from the one before it, and the albums hangs together very well as a whole. A great indie release.
Finally, Rough Trade Records and World’s Fair Label Group have set a release date for the former Pulp frontman’s debut album here in the states. On April 3rd, crazy American fans will finally be able to buy Jarvis in stores. But really, didn’t all the people who wanted this album already import it? I sure thought so.
As if you didn’t already know this, the Shins new album, Wincing The Night Away is finally out today. Most of you are probably already waiting in line, or downloading, but I thought I’d share my joy with you all anyway. Expect a full (collective?) review in the next few days.