Posts Tagged ‘Radiohead’

Quick Hit or Miss – Catch Up Edition

July 18, 2016

I mentioned in my last post that I had some albums I wanted to write about. Here’s a few newish albums and my hit or miss thoughts:

A_Moon_Shaped_Pool

1. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool. To cut to the chase, this is a Hit. Radiohead seems they can put out a cohesive and musically interesting album in their sleep. This goes in the top half of their canon for me, though it’s not without its small faults. Radiohead could always put out songs that had soaring orchestral feeling while using traditional rock instruments. Here they actually have quite a bit of real orchestration, starting with the strings in opener Burn The Witch and continuing throughout the album. It seems unnecessary in some places. My favorite track is Ful Stop with its menacing bassline and spacey effects. Identikit is also a standout and one of the more “traditional” Radiohead tracks here. And overall, even with those orchestral additions, this group of songs hews closer to earlier records than some of the more knob twiddling of recent efforts.

The_colour_in_anything_blake

2. James Blake, The Colour In Anything. I give Blake and his producers credit for putting himself up front and center in his music and he usually delivers. The skittering, clattering beats and music that back him most often take a back seat to Blake and his nice vocal range. The album has a consistent sound throughout, which works to a point. But at 17 tracks, I feel like it’s a few tracks too long. The funny thing is several of my faves are in the back half; after opener Radio Silence, my two other standouts are  tracks 11 (I Need A Forest Fire with Justin Vernon) and track 15 (Modern Soul).  I’d give it a qualified Hit.

Human_Performance_(Front_Cover)

3. Parquet Courts, Human Performance. They still have a sense of humor; opener Dust becomes the go-to indie rock song to sweep to. They still can tell a good story in the span of a 3-4 minute song. They still hold the stranglehold on being the NYC-est rock band out there. They still throw in a few curveball weirdo songs. They are America’s Kinks. So, yeah, Hit.

Big_black_coat

4. Junior Boys, Big Black Coat. Mostly synth pop harkening back to the 80s with  a few dalliances into house music, this is a fun album. They get a little dark and serious to keep this from getting monotonous. Opener You Say That and album closer Big Black Coat are my two favorite songs, the latter being one of my most played of the year so far.  I give this one a Hit.

Someone Published A List on the Internet, It Must Be Critiqued!

October 23, 2011

As I mentioned in my last Spotify post, NME, English indie music mag, celebrated the 15 year anniversary of its website with an ambitious 150 best songs of the past 15 years list.  And as the very astute MeadowMuffins pointed out to me once, lists are Internet gold because anyone who cares about the subject of the list is going to have an opinion about it.  So, a couple thoughts from this music lover:

  • A good chunk of the time period for the list was a dark ages of finding new music in the “indie rock” world as I generally had other stuff going on in my life and what new music I was into was mostly in the East Coast independent hip-hop scene and electronic music.  So, there’s some stuff from this list that I definitely want to check out.  The Foals and the Libertines each have a song in the top 20 and I don’t really know anything about them, much less have heard these two songs in particular.
  • Radiohead clocks in with 5 songs, including #1 Paranoid Android.  My thinking is that over a time period of 15 years, there’s so much music getting put out that any one band getting more than 2 songs in a list like this leaves me skeptical.  As for Paranoid Android, I can think of several songs on OK Computer that I would have put ahead of that song, so obviously it wouldn’t be my #1.
  • I’m a big Blur fan, so while I understand the inclusion of Song #2, it’s not really representative of some of the really good music in their post-1996 output.  Coffee & TV, if I had to choose one song, would be it.
  • I’d flip-flop White Stripes’ Fell In Love With a Girl and Seven Nation Army.  Seven Nation definitely would be in the top 10 for me, I can’t get enough of that beat.
  • Nothing from DangerMouse’s Grey Album?  The king of mashups didn’t have a song better than Crystal Castles?  I don’t think so.
  • Also no love for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.  I could think of a few tracks that could easily make the list.  From their last album, say Money?
  • And probably the biggest omission, no Black Keys.  What?!  Their last album is an absolute classic, and opener Everlasting Light would be a top 20 track for me.
  • Glad that Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony got such a high rank.  Such a good song and kudos such is this is pretty much all the band gets from the song, thanks to Allen Klein.