Friday, June 24, 2011

All of My Favorite Bands are Making Noise

This seems to be a good season for music so far. I've already got three albums on my OMG-need-this-now list, and one of my favorite bands is coming out with another. Let's review, in order of least to most excited.

Oddly, I'm least excited about the new Radiohead album that came out behind my back when I wasn't watching. They've been my favorite for about ten years - basically since I heard friends gush about them and I explored their sound to find out why. I love their experimentalism and that even though, in Spousal Unit's words, they're droney and sleepy, they're not easy listening. Each album takes effort to read behind the first notes and decipher the deeper meanings.

That said, In Rainbows was the new OK Computer. Those two albums are probably going to be the best they ever achieve, so I fear that The King of Limbs will be another Amnesiac - very experimental, still a good listen, but less cohesive and more a jumble of sketches thrown together.

At least, that was what I feared before reading reviews. One said this is Radiohead's "most immediately accessible" album yet - easier on the ear from the start than their others. I don't know if I like that, because one of my favorite things with a new Radiohead album is listening to it for days on end until I decipher it. For me, it's fun, like reading code to find the hidden meaning, to solve the murder.

I hope this album is awesome - Lotus Flower is promising, but we'll see about the rest.I've only heard one song from Bon Iver's new self-titled album, and I don't even know which one it was, but I liked it. Justin Vernon is from my hometown, Eau Claire, and we even went to the same high school, though he graduated before I started. Even then, he was a legend of sorts.

Before I listen to the new album, I have to give his old one a chance. I've only heard a few songs from it, but it just didn't catch me in any way. Maybe it was something about the stratospheric falsettos. Everyone I've talked to about Bon Iver loves For Emma, Forever Ago, and the title certainly thrills me. Maybe we just need to sit down over a cup of tea and have a heart-to-heart.

In one review of the album, lead singer Ben Gibbard said he was embarrassed about the "self-loathing" in their last album, Narrow Stairs. Hopefully that means Codes and Keys, if not happy, is at least a bit less depressing.

I heard You Are a Tourist on the radio earlier this week, driving home from errands. After it was over, I had to turn off the radio - nothing else could live up to that song at that moment, and I wanted to let it reverberate in my mind. I love New Song Nostalgia. I already knew I wanted the album, but this song cemented it for me. (Definitely not the chorus girls in the video, though.)

My one eternal sadness about Death Cab is that they don't do vocal harmonies, and as I've said before, harmony is my favorite. You Are a Tourist almost has some of that - but singing in two different octaves isn't quite harmony. Getting closer, though. And that carefree guitar part is perfect.

This album isn't out yet, but I'm so excited for it. It doesn't have a title, it doesn't have a release date. But after Viva La Vida, who wouldn't be thrilled for a forthcoming album? I love how each one has its own unique sound - definitely recognizable as Coldplay, but so different that there's clearly a reinvention between each one. It's no less so with Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.

I'm a little nervous at lead singer Chris Martin's comment here that some "bad stuff" was happening in the band. I hope they stay together for another decade or two - the world needs more music like theirs.

1 comment:

  1. King of Limbs is in the stack on top of the shelf downstairs. Bon Iver be coming in the mail any day now- I can leave it out for you...


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