January 1, 2008

'07's Music to Love More Than Music: Love, pt. 1

This is Part 2 of 4 of my best of. These are the albums that put a smile on my face, and will make me pay more attention to the band's next release, because they may just be on the verge of great greatness.

Love (<)
Rock Plaza Central - Are We Not Horses?
I honestly wish I liked the album more, but there just weren't enough amazing songs. When the good songs hit though, they hit HARD. (btw, Amazon.com says it's an 07 release, so I trust them.) I loved this track (one of the my favorite tracks of the year):
Rock Plaza Central - Are We Not Horses?

The Sound of Animals Fighting - We Must Become The Change We Want To See
I had always liked the idea behind TSOAF, but never really how it was executed, until now. This live show is probably one of the most interesting experiments with live music that I've heard in a while, somewhat because of the fact that it's not noise, and it's not jamming out for an hour, and I've honestly never heard of this type of thing before, especially when it's executed as well as this was. Well done boys.
The Sound of Animals Fighting - Act 2: All Is Ash Or The Light Shining Through It

VHS or Beta - Bring On The Comets
When I listen to this album it fills me with hope. Dunno why, but it's just got this optimistic feeling to it. Light hearted and free spirited, VHS or Beta croons their way into your dance party, takes over, and, awkwardly, that one person you had your eye on across the room just looked your way and smiled, and, because the music has so many euphoric side effects, you can't help but dance your way over to them. Where will the night go from there? who cares, VHS or Beta is playing.
VHS or Beta - She Says

Burbuja - Burbuja
Reminiscent of acts such as Tunng or Psapp, this young lady sculpted an album that was instantly engrossing, and consistently peculiar, without being too over-the-top weird for the sake of weird. I'd say it reminded me of the Karen O demo tape, but it's pretty unlikely that Burbuja wasn't doing her thing prior to the demo's "release." Hip as hell, putting a smile on your face while making you wonder "where the hell did she come up with this stuff?"
Burbuja - Roped
Burhuja - Who Knows

Creature Feature - The Greatest Show Unearthed
Campy Goth Dance-a-thon, kept my head bobbing through the whole thing, but it wasn't incredibly inventive, which is where it loses points. Puts to mind acts such as (mid-career) Mindless Self Indulgence and the Tiger Lilies. DAMN good debut. The lyrics are amazingly cliched, which makes the songs even better (because even if they actually are being serious, you don't have to think they are). If Goth Pop were a genre, this would be it. JTHM would be proud.
Creature Feature - The Greatest Show Unearthed
Creature Feature - Six Foot Deep

Neon Horse - Neon Horse
These guys are like Cheeseburger's little brother (see their album in my Love More section) who has heard a few disco albums and didn't necessarily not like it, but would never admit that they know anything about it if questioned ... and they certainly have never tried on women's clothing ... certainly. Balls to Walls throwback Man Rock brought forth from fellas who probably aren't to certain themselves if they are serious or not.
Neon Horse - Cuckoo!
Neon Horse - Speed Killz

Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me
I honestly respected only 3 pieces of work by Marilyn Manson before I heard this album, and that was his tryptic: Holy Wood, Antichrist Superstar, and Mechanical Animals. Everything else just seemed to forced and poorly thought out, shocking not as a result of his art, but shocking for the sake of shocking. It was understandable that MM would want to change things a little, and, with this album, he did just that. Check that, he changed a lot ... for him. It's still rock, yes, but he's softened and become minimalist (compared to his older stuff that is to say). There is a certain "I did this just for me" feeling to the album, which, truthfully, makes me repect him and the album all the more. No album of the year, but I like what it represents, and the songs were well thought out ... mostly (people like Brian Warner and Trent Reznor never stop being angsty, no matter how hard they try)
Marilyn Manson - Just a Car Crash Away

Editors - An End Has A Start
Honestly their live show is what sold me on the album. Granted it's an album that could stand alone as a rather nice piece of work, but it's nothing, for me, if I don't think of it as a companion piece to their live show. Everyone else is busy raving about this album or talking about how big of a let down it was, so it looks like you'll probably have to decide for yourself. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and, truthfully, I think you will too.
Editors - An End Has A Start

Sage Francis - Human The Death Dance
A friend of mine once said (not verbatum) in response to Sage Francis being brought up in conversation "I don't care about what he has to say, his beats suck." Well I do care about what he has to say, but I agree that a crappy beat heavily takes away from my enjoyment of an album. I feel that this is Sage Francis' most sonically pleasing albums to date. With producers from all corners of the anticon universe, the beats aren't Timbaland beats, but they're not casiotone presets either (not to say those don't have their charm). Lyrically, this is not the best I've heard him do, but that's hardly saying it's bad. Overall, a general sucess in the world of music.
Sage Francis - Clickety Clack

The White Stripes - Icky Thump
The White Stripes have this awkward habit of releasing music that is a year or two ahead of it's time. Not to say that they're particularly innovative or avant-garde, but that everytime they release a new album, the album before it seems to get better. This one was fun and good and all that, don't get me wrong. All I'm saying is ask me how I feel about it when they release their next one, and I'll say I love love love it.
The White Stripes - Rag & Bone
The White Stripes - Bone Broke

José González - In Our Nature
Suprisingly short in length, but not in soul, José's new one is just as touching as his last effort. Coving a Massive Attack song this time (I personally would have been happier with another cover of another more underground artist, but I feel as though it worked out well), José sings the songs of a society obsessed with the fear that we may not be able to help ourselves when it comes to hurting people. Well, that's what I got from it. You listen and decide.
José González - Teardrop (Massive Attack Cover)

DevilDriver - The Last Kind Words
I never really did like Coal Chamber, which didn't give me much faith in DevilDriver, who I really didn't like all that much either. Their music either seemed to uninspired or juvenile, both things that I don't find very interesting. This new album destroys. It's like the members of the band all stopped taking their Thorazine and got to work. It's powerful and charging sound takes you and shakes you for a good 45 minutes. Then you can't help but listen to it again. Metal baby.
DevilDriver - Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Sea Wolf - Leaves In The River
The true charm of Sea Wolf is the lyrics. Granted the music is transcendental, but damn his lyrics just take you and shake you to your soul. It's not the most memorable stuff in the world, but the first couple times are just amazing.
Sea Wolf - You're a Wolf

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