Well, after a bit of a delay, (I got a little consumed with the Stanley Cup Finals…which as I nearly predicted, the Penguins won!) I return with the fourth edition of Music that slipped through the cracks. Some of it is not only good, but darn good (Camera Obscura, Joe Purdy), while others make me wish I hadn’t spent 72 minutes listening to them (Tori Amos):
My Maudlin Career
April 20, 2009 (UK)
Beautiful, elegant 1960s infused pop, My Maudlin Career is Camera Obscura’s latest take on melancholic heartbreak. If you have three-quarters of an hour to yourself, you won’t be disappointed. “French Navy”, the first track (and first single) on the album, is already in the running to be on my year end list of favourite songs. It is a near perfect pop song that would sound good in 1969, 1989, or 2009.
For a taste, check out the appropriately sweet retro-styled music video for “French Navy”
i’ll be criticized for lending out my art
i was criticized for letting you break my heart
why would i stand for disappointed looks
fooling all but i’m on tender hooks, ooh with the looks
on tender hooks,
ooh, with the looks, the looks, the looks
i wanted to control it
but love, I couldn’t hold it
– French Navy
Last Clock on the Wall
March 17, 2009 (US)
Oh, Canyon Joe is back at it! The prolific Mr. Purdy puts out another album (something like his sixth in the last two years!?!?), self-released (as usual), and it brings the expected goods. Basically, if you like Ray LaMontagne, William Fitzsimmons, Iron & Wine, J.Tillman, or any other singer-songwriter-bearded fellow, you will love this album.
For a cup o’ Joe, check out the title-track, “Last Clock on the Wall”, performed live
and the whistling of the boxcars
threw me out into the wind
and it was cold in san francisco
and i was thinking back to when
yeah when you dropped me down by the water
and you danced on the golden gate
and i was thinking about a love we had
yes and a love that we used to make
– Last Clock on the Wall
Around the Well
Iron & Wine
May 19, 2009 (US)
As Around the Well is a compilation of b-sides, unreleased tracks and covers, it doesn’t really count as a new album for year end review purposes. However, Sam Beam delivers again, adding another great edition to any audiophile’s library, and making it noteworthy to mention how enjoyable this collection is. Plus, he has a great beard.
For a taste, check out this cover of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”
May 19, 2009 (US)
Question 1: Do you like falsetto? If yes, proceed to Question 2. If not, skip listening.
Question 2: Do you like annoyingly upbeat tracks? If yes, proceed to question 3. If not, skip listening.
Question 3a: Do you like Matt & Kim or MGMT?
Question 3b: Have you ever wondered what they would sound like together?
If yes to both, proceed to listen to Manners. If no to either, skip listening.
For a taste (and only if you passed the above questionnaire), check out “Sleepyhead”
but darkness falls likes shattered pieces
torn and tattered and crowned
oh i’ll not be told “no” to “no more!”
– Make Light
Abnormally Attracted to Sin
May 19, 2009 (US)
Okay, so Tori Amos’ last album, American Doll Posse, got bad reviews because it was way too long (23 tracks) and convoluted by being a concept album with five voices (all Amos). Abnormally Attracted to Sin, is also way too long (17 tracks, but only six minutes shorter than Posse), and, though it is a relief to only have to focus on one Tori in this album, 72 minutes is far too long for me to listen to anything. If you are a Tori Amos fan, I’m sure you’re enjoying the abundance of music, but for a casual listener, such as myself, it’s just not going to happen. For every decent track on here, there are two that make me cringe. Tori Amos seems to be abnormally attracted to musical sins, such as self-indulgence. Maybe an abridged version could come out where she pares it down in half, picking only the top tracks. I’d begrudgingly listen to that. Until then, I wouldn’t recommend Abnormally Attracted to Sin to anyone but the most die-hard fan.
For a taste (all you’d need, really), check out the video for “Welcome to England”