Stranded In Stereo: Under Review: Music 2007, Part 2

Friday, June 29, 2007

Under Review: Music 2007, Part 2

We're rounding the month of June with a two-part blog showcasing the best releases of the first half of 2007. The idea is to list the albums that I think we'll be in my Top 10 at the end of the year, and see how many of them live to see that mark [Note: these are not in any order; I was going to alphabetize them but then i just became a lazy blogger.]

LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
Definitely a record I have been spinning way too much since first hearing it at the tail end of 2006. I also give James Murphy and the rest of the band
props for actually making me dance when I saw them in May at their show at the Avalon. As for the album, though, talk about near perfect: the Eno tributes that go off throughout opener "Get Innocuous," to the soul searching, near tearjerker "Someone Great," to the 'crank it up it's Friday night, let's go driving with all of our friends' message of "All My Friends." The title track brings the album down (I think it's the vocals,) but beyond that, LCD is definitely not a novelty act. [Buy Here]

The National - Boxer
It's not just Matthew Berringer's distinctive voice that carries this band and keeps them interesting, it's also the musicianship of this Brooklyn by way of Ohio sextet. Songs like "Squalor Victoria" and "Mistaken For Strangers" are carried by the intricate drum patterns, while "Fake Empire" using piano and light brass to kick it off. The band use the same formula to concoct their breakthrough Alligator, and it's obvious it's a formula they should not stray far from. And "Start A War" still has that vibe of Sonic Youth jamming with the school band, coming off immaculate and controlled while testing listeners all at the same time. [Buy Here]

The Rosebuds - Night of The Furies
Sometimes bands reinvent their sound with every new record; Ivan and Kelly Rosebud instead have their own signatre sound and just build upon it. Over their first two albums and EP, this North Carolina couple threw beach party after beach party, next to nighttime drive music. With Furies, though, they again improve on their sound and take a stab at making a pulsing, dark 80s record. The toy piano on "I Better Run" is the best fit to go along with Kelly seductive vocal, while Ivan coos over the drum machine and acoustic guitars of "Hold On To This Coat." And as the six minutes of the closing title track go on in to obscurity, collecting everything the album stands for, it fades and the sun sets, making you wonder what they will do next to top themselves yet again. [Buy Here]

The Clientele - God Save The Clientele
Think if the Monkees hung out with The Byrds back in the day, you'd get the newest long player from this UK outfit. I initially saw them live in 2005 and wrote them off as a Luna/VU wannabe, but then was delighted with Strange Geometry. Their new album does not let the listener down in the least: recorded in Nashville and augmenting the record with several string arrangements and the addition of a new member in Mel Draisey, the band has never sounded better or tighter. Where the pop lies in opener "Here Comes The Phantom" or the standout "Bookshop Casanova," it's album closer "Dreams Of Leaving" that still makes me well up every single time. [Buy Here]

Peter, Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
Technically, this album initially came out around the world last year, but did not hit the US until this year, so it is open to argument. Needless to say, it is an album that cannot go ignored. We all still whistle "Writer's Block" in unison at the office, I still rock out during "Up Against The Wall," and "Roll The Credits" should be where the album ends, not that afterthought known better known as "Poor Cow." Every song on this album is gloriously catching and amazing, one that will always be a record revisited that I just play from the start. If you ever get a chance to see them live, please do: they recreate the songs and go off on stage like kids loaded on sugar. Pretty sweet if you ask me. [Buy Here]

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