Monday, June 27, 2011

Good Better Best Vol. 1

Haven't reviewed any music for awhile. After Scott took his game stratospheric, I've become a little self-conscious of my sophomoric approach. But a Ben can only keep his obnoxious opinions to himself for so long before they must bust free and head home, to the Internet, where they belong.

I am going to test out a hypothesis that albums can be best discussed concurrently, especially when they have something in common. In this case, we're going with a (drumroll please): Beardo's With Golden Pipes Edition. I've had only these three in the car with me for a month. Here is what I think:

Fleet Foxes

Mostly pleasant, Coffeehouse Deluxe stuff: its hard to imagine truly forming an emotional connection to it. There is only one moment of catharsis in Helplessness Blues and of course Robin undercuts it immediately by singing about motherfucking apples in sunshine. Geeesus. He's a good kid, I just wish I could burn his record collection and give him a new one. Also needs to lose the Ben Gibbard Desire to Enunciate Complete Sentences Syndrome. Goddamn Seattle. Still, that moment where he gets some gravel in his throat (The Shrine quarter of that mess of a song) gives me hope.

My Morning Jacket

So this was a Hold Steady record, in that it showcases some new songs that'll sound great live, and then some filler around it. So be it. A great MMJ cut makes my life better and a poor one is still pretty good. Unless its about peanut butter. (Also in the albums-as-excuse-to-tour mindset: Wilco.)Also, the title track might be my favorite MMJ song ever.

Bon Iver

special Godel-Escher-Bach-ian Sub-album breakdown:


Lisbon, OH



Towers (opens like Tom Petty)
Hinnom, TX


In the liner notes he thanks Kanye for teaching him to go hard in the studio, and he does. Dude just has better ears than 99% of his peers. He doesn't rest on a 'good-enough' idea, everything is fleshed-out until its perfectly recorded and sounds intuitive, like a song you've always heard. The album is entirely self-possessed and self-assured. It should go without saying, but in our amateur-hour Indie where everyone gets a gold star for not trying, here is a grown man absolutely passionate about making the best album he could. The drums are stellar. The horns are great. The strings are key; unobtrusive, not Coldplayed. And he absolutely earns the sax in Beth/Rest. The only thing I can take away from it is that it does have three pieces (the Goods) which function basically as breathers, particularly Wash. and Lisbon bookending standout Calgary. Definitely a must-have; medicinal in the best sort of way. This will cure you for at least a day. I know I'll save it for those times the world has me beat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top Five Kanye West Albums {Pat Was Right Edit-ion}

5. 808's & Heartbreak

4. Late Registration

3. Graduation

2. The College Dropout

1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy