Monday, May 4, 2009

New Music Monday Night

To make up for last week I will be giving you a bonus fourth review tonight. All of these albums are excellent and three out of the four have a chance of showing back up on The Skog Blog for the Twelve Days of Christmas End of the Year Countdown.

The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound

This might be my favorite album of the week which is saying a lot once you continue down this list. However, this is the album that won't be on my Top 12, reason being that it came out in August of last year. I'm not sure how I missed the boat on this one so badly but it is fantastic stuff. I read a glowing review of it a few weeks ago and had to check it out for myself. I'm glad I did. The band describes their sound as 'Bruce Springsteen singing for a Cure cover band' and it is a formula that works.

Fiction Family - Fiction Family

Fiction Family is comprised of the lead singer from the band Switchfoot (never been a huge fan) and the guitarist from Nickel Creek (no, not Nickelback) - a folk, bluegrass band that is currently on hiatus. Although it seems like an odd pairing these two gents have combined to make an excellent debut album that I hope is not just a one time deal. The sound of Fiction Family hits folk, 1960's pop and a hint of rock. I had trouble narrowing the quality tracks to three so you get four samplings of this pleasant little album. When She's Near dabbles in Beatles Pop and Throw It Away channels early Coldplay. If you didn't know better you might actually think it was Chris Martin singing. Highly recommended for all.

Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella

This album just came out this past Tuesday and I was so dedicated to U2 week that it slipped under my radar for a few days. Usually when a new Ben Folds album is released I have downloaded it months in advance but then I am also at the store waiting 10 min before it opens so that I can be the first to get my hands on it. University A Capella is not your normal album by Mr. Folds. The story goes that Ben had seen many collegiate a capella choirs posting their renditions of his songs on youtube and rather than sue them or tell youtube to pull down his copyright infringed tunes he decided to hold a contest, select his favorites and then help the choirs arrange and record them. Pretty cool in my book. I had forgotten how much I love a capella crap. I decided this week that one of the greatest mistakes of my life was not joining some sort of a capella group while in college like Andy Bernard because deep down I am a choir geek. Oh well. I will admit that I'm not crazy about some of the voices on the lead vocalists of these groups but the album as a whole is really well done and these kids are quite talented. I have included the original Ben Folds tracks in order to see the creative takes on the songs. This one is for you, Broomhead, wherever you might be.

Jason Lytle - Yours Truly, The Commuter

I'm not quite sure why I left this album for last as I feel it will be the least well received of the bunch, but that's ok. Jason Lytle is the former lead singer of the band, Grandaddy, and this is his solo debut which is basically just another Grandaddy album. Grandaddy might be a bit of an acquired taste. I would describe their sound as the following. Let's say that John Lennon, Mozart, and Brian Wilson were all frozen when they passed away (I realize Wilson is still alive but go with me here) and were unfrozen sometime in the year 2327. Then they proceeded to write an album about computers and space travel - that would be Grandaddy. I guess. Something like that. Like a Space Age Beach Boys/Beatles hybrid with a hint of Pink Floyd. Anyway, KG loves them as do Wheels, Flanksteak, Vanwarmer, Dogface Boy and many others who have given them a chance. Listen to them more than once and I guarantee you can find some pleasure in Mr. Lytle's tunes.

1 comment:

Corbie said...

I finally had time to sit down and listen to some of these - that Fiction Family stuff is fantastic. Plus, sometimes I wish my family was more fiction, less reality, so I pretty much liked everything about that band.