December 31, 2007

'07's Music to Love More Than Music: Love More Than Music

This is Part 4 of 4 of my best of. These are the albums that I had a hard time not hosting an mp3 of every song on the album.

Love More Than Music (<3>)

The String Quartet Tribute to The Arcade Fire's Funeral
There are few albums that give me the shivers, and the list of albums that give me the shivers as soon as I start the album is even smaller. The list, however, of albums that give me shivers as soon as I start it and continue to give me the shivers throughout the album no matter how many times I hear it is down to a handful ... and this is one of those albums. Now, truthfully, I'm willing to admit that this is probably only because I'm so totally in love with the Arcade Fire that pretty much anything they touch turns to gold. This album is probably no surprise to anyone who is familiar with string quartet tributes and even less of a surprise to people who have heard the album it's based off of. It is what it is, no more no less. It plucks my heart strings for reasons I can't explain, and, I dunno, maybe it will for you too. give it a shot:
The String Quartet - Wake Up
The String Quartet - Rebellion (Lies)
The String Quartet - Neighbourhood #2 (Laika)

Cloud Cult - The Meaning of 8

This album was a contender for album of the year. It is probably one of the most touching and painful albums I've ever heard. For those of you who don't know, the album was written about the death of the child of 2 of the band members. All ready you know this shits going to be heavy. With nearly every song directly about Kaidin's death (understandably so), one can't help but feel ... well ... straight up bad. It is a painful album, but that is what makes it so beautiful. Sure it's experimental, and it uses really awkward musical methods and all that jazz, but what makes it beautiful because, well, a work of art made to relieve pain is, more frequently than not, more touching. I dunno, I'm having a hard time describing it. Listen to it yourself:
Cloud Cult - Pretty Voice
Cloud Cult - A Good God
Cloud Cult - Your 8th Birthday

Winterkids - Memoirs
Small-British-Village Dance-Pop-Punk that just comes from out of freaking left field. Elements of Bluegrass and Folk give it charm, but the pure talent the band members have in regards to writing a song and playing instruments make it basically one of the best executed albums I've ever heard. The lyrics are a little juvenile, which is where it leaves some points (i.e. what puts it behind the album of the year), but, personally, I find the lyrics rather charming and easily relate-able (hey, we're all a little childish sometimes). Honestly, I expect a heck of a lot from these kids if their debut is this astonishingly fantastic.
Winterkids - Tape It
Winterkids - I'm Not Used to You
Winterkids - Who Am I Kidding?

Foot Ox - Ghost
Rounding out at just under 20 minutes, this lo-fi triumph is one of the most brutally honest albums I've ever heard. Every note is from the soul, every song sounding like a collaborative effort of every good hearted person in town. From the lyrics to the music, every part is straight up touching and real, basement production only helping. I'll keep this short and sweet like the album, because, sometimes, all you need is a few words:
Foot Ox - Carriers
Foot Ox - Wet Blanket
Foot Ox - New Boyfriend

The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust
Like the ghost of a fleet of war torn WWII fighter jets screaming through the sky overhead, The Raveonette's new album comes straight to your ears and utterly destroys ... if that makes any sense. The album is an ethereal tribute to 1950's pop mixed with a hint of shoegaze. The wall of noise hits about a minute and a half in and rarely lets down. The whole album seems to bleed together, but in a good way. It's one of those albums that you can get lost in for hours on end. I found myself playing it over and over and over again, initially feeling guilty because I had other albums to listen to, but then reveling in how absolutely amazing it is. So, freaking, great:
The Raveonettes - Hallucinations
The Raveonettes - Dead Sound
The Raveonettes - Aly, Walk With Me



Album of the Year (sm12<3>╬╝sic):

The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

I'm probably going to get a lot of shit for saying this is the best album of the year, especially since MSN.com said it was too ... check that, I've already gotten a lot of shit for loving this album, because from the second I heard it I knew I would think it was the best album of the year, and, when provoked (or even unprovoked), I would say so. Granted, it's not nearly as diverse as Funeral, but I think it's much more intelligent.

Funeral for many people, including me, was instantly nostalgic. It reminded us of childhood and unrestrained hopefulness, instilling the listener with a sort of "whatever happens will happen, and I'll make it through, torpedoes be damned!" sense of self. It was a triumphant cheering anthem for the success of the spirit. Neon Bible, conversely, is angry, and dark, and boiling over with hatred and pessimism. It's the death of the child that was re-born in Funeral (what an awkward sentence). The band has never been more full of energy and spirit as they are on this album. they're no longer singing songs, they're screaming their souls out. They're no longer playing instruments, they're making their instruments bleed music. Neon Bible is one of the darkest albums I've ever heard, and it's also one of the smartest, because it's so subtle at times, and in your face when it needs to be. It's never over the top, it's spot on. It's everything I could possibly ask for from music.

The Arcade Fire - Intervention
The Arcade Fire - The Well and The Lighthouse
The Arcade Fire - My Body is a Cage
The Arcade Fire - Ocean of Noise


Well Tthere you have it. I know I missed a whole bunch of really good albums, but This is all I had time to write about. Trust me, I didn't get a chance to mention even close to all the albums I like. I'm definitely going to do this differently next year.

2 comments:

Coleen said...

Wow Luke Monster! Until now, I didn't realize how much awesome new music there has been this year! *sighs* so many fond memories...like having the luck to see Sea Wolf before my birthday! Yes it was great. Oh, btw, I went to HS w Drop, Dead Gorgeous...and I'm glad that you at least like them because I cannot say I do, but someone should! I'm thinking with some of my Xmas money I should head out and buy some music, perhaps Arcade Fire! Keep up the good work! *hugs*

Mystik Spiral said...

You summed up some of my faves beautifully - Cloud Cult, Sunset Rubdown, Bishop Allen, The National, Andrew Bird, Okkervil River... Well done.