Thursday, March 02, 2006

Album meme

I've been tagged by Ezzie for an album meme. Jewish Blogmeister started this. I'm not sure who I should tag. Maybe Andrew Sullivan and The Cunning Realist?

Bad joke. I will tag Charlie -- who I need to Blogroll -- and Zen. It seems as though Bassizzzt blog is down, but he'd be perfect for this.

The question:
My question is what album are currently listening to and what do you like about it?
The Strokes -- First Impressions Of Earth. The BBC review (always go to the Brits for rock reviews):
However, the opening three tracks show the band at their best. "You Only Live Once" is a brash and winning opener, sounding as vibrant as a lost Blondie classic.

Nick Valensi provides thrilling guitar work throughout. It's Casablancas singing and songwriting that let's the side down, and with fourteen songs he gives himself a lot of space to disappoint.

If this undeniably talented band are to repay that initial excitement, their fourth album is going to have to offer a great deal more consistency and invention than on display here.
Dead on. Well, plus tracks 5 (melancholic and angry) and track 14 are good. My dear friend likes 4's lyrics, so this Brit reviewer is not completely accurate. But, absent the amazing music, the lyrics leave a lot to be desired throughout the album.

Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not The Guardian review (this one makes me chuckle):
Their debut album suggests there is plenty more that is remarkable about Arctic Monkeys. In recent years, British rock has sought to be all-inclusive, cravenly appealing to the widest audience possible. Oasis started the trend, hooking mums and dads with familiar-sounding riffs and "classic" influences, but it has reached its apotheosis with Coldplay, who write lyrics that deal only in the vaguest generalities, as if anything too specific might alienate potential record buyers. Over the course of Whatever People Say ..., you can hear the generation gap opening up again: good news if you think rock music should be an iconoclastic, progressive force, rather than a branch of the light entertainment industry.

Alex Turner can write lyrics that induce a universal shudder of recognition: Britain's male population may grimace as one at the simmering domestic row depicted in Mardy Bum ("You're all argumentative, and you've got the face on"). For the most part, however, anyone over 30 who finds themselves reflected in Turner's stories of alcopop-fuelled punch-ups and drunken romantic lunges in indie clubs should consider turning the album off and having a long, quiet think about where their life is heading.

Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys' sound is based entirely on music from the past five years. The laconic, distorted vocals bear the influence of the Strokes. The choppy punk-funk guitars have been filtered through Franz Ferdinand, the frantic rhythms and dashes of ska come via the Libertines. Turner's refusal to tone down his dialect probably wouldn't have happened without the Wearside-accented Futureheads. Thrillingly, their music doesn't sound apologetic for not knowing the intricacies of rock history, nor does it sound wistful for a rose-tinted past its makers were too young to experience. Instead, Arctic Monkeys bundle their influences together with such compelling urgency and snotty confidence that they sound like a kind of culmination: the band all the aforementioned bands have been leading up to.
Excellent description of this synthesis. It may all be by accident though, and Britain needs to calm down. These guys started playing music about five years ago. Album number 2 is the real important one in gauging a band. Franz Ferdinand made a large leap forward with theirs. The Strokes, eh, not so much.


Blogger Ezzie said...

Talk about DETAIL!! :)

1:25 AM  
Blogger Rex Publius said...

First Impressions of Earth's B-side is a lot better than most give it credit for. "Ize of the World," for example:

Your dreams are sweet and obsessed
and you're overworked.
You're overtaken by visions of being overlooked.
How disappointed would D.(ead) I.(dealistic) D.(esperate)
I.(nventor) P.(ioneer) P.(hilosophers) be
to see such power in our hands all wasted on greed?
I am a prisoner to instincts or do my thoughts just live
as free and detached as boats to the dock?
Just like when music was born
and detached from your heart.
Is your free time to free minds or for falling apart?

I mean, that's good shit!

6:14 AM  
Blogger Bassizzzt said...

I quit blogging altogether.

Current CD:

Slade - Slayed?

8:58 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Ezzie, thanks.

Rex, enjoy the concert tonight -- he's seeing the Strokes, guys.

Bassizzzt, why did you quit?

10:31 AM  
Blogger zen said...

I've responded with Zen's recent can read here.

It's all over the place.

8:53 AM  

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