Friday, January 26, 2007

the absence of light

I picked up the a couple of new CDs yesterday. I grabbed the new Arbouretum; The Good, The Bad & The Queen; and I grabbed the new Shins on Tuesday so it's a little bit of a music overload for the week.

I was really excited for the new Arbourteum album Rites of Uncovering as Pale Rider Blues has been bouncing around in my head for a while now (I think I got the MP3 a couple months ago). I wasn't familiar with either Arbouretum or David Heumann before this but I am definitely going to check out everything I can find. I love the fact that he seems to let the songs say what they want to say. If they space to grow and develop that just fine-though the Rise would do with a little tightening up in my opinion. Alternately he is not afraid to make a more concise statement as with the superb Ghosts of Here and There or Tonight's a Jewel. Still I can't say enough about Pale Rider Blues. IT is honesty one of the best songs I have heard in years. I highly reccomend this album

I have to admit that The Good The Bad & The Queen was a bit of a surprise. I mean what can you expect from Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Simon Tong, and Tony Allen (oh yeah and Dangermouse on the production too)? I wasn't expecting something amazing but something that was good, and at first that was exactly what I thought of it. However after repeated listens, it's begun to really grow on me and I am liking it more every time. History Song opens up the album pretty much how you would expect it too. Good but nothing special, but as you continue the album just seems to take you to a place and beginning with Nature Springs on to the end of the album, peaking with Green Fields (my pick for the best song of the album) and cruising along to an outstanfing finish with the self-titled final track, it just grabs me and just stays with me. Now granted Behind the Sun sounds like a leftover Gorillaz track the rest of the album really has a feel all it's own, part blur, part Gorillaz, and part something else altogether.

Now I kind of feel like I'm the last person on earth to check out the Shins (especially given the number 2 spot on the Billboard charts), but the songs I heard off their previous efforts just never made me want to dig any deeper. Kind of like spoon, in that their earlier albums just seem to have nothing for me but Gimme Fiction continues to rock my world. Yes even I turn my camera on. Getting back to my point the new Shins is kind of like that for me. To me it sounds like the songwriting is a little more varied from the songs that I have heard in the past or they did a little more with the production. I especially like Spilt Needles and the rather Jam-ish A comet appears.

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