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I buy a lot of CDs. And I live under the misconception that people care about my opinions. And I like to catalog things. Therefore I've decided to keep track of all the CDs I buy and what I think of them.

Thursday, July 29, 2004 :::

One Plus One is One by Badly Drawn Boy

Why I bought it: Because BDB is one of my all-time favorites.

What I think about it: This is a more mellow affair than I am used to from Badly Drawn Boy. Not that he's normally rawking, in fact he's always flirted with the adult-lite side of contemporary pop, but he's lost some of the grander symphonic production of his last CD. These songs are simpler and more focused, and that's not a bad thing. There are fewer stand-out tracks on this CD than on his previous CDs in my opinion, but I can already tell that this is the type of album that only gets better with repeated listenings. If you've never heard a Badly Drawn Boy CD, I'd recommend starting with his first: The Hour of Bewilderbeast, which is outstanding in that every track is a masterpiece and that it never gets dull, no matter how many times you listen to it. This CD is worthy addition to his collection, though.

Song(s) worth a listen: Another Devil Dies ; One Plus One is One ; Year of the Rat ; Plan B

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 9:46 AM :: #

Riot on an Empty Street by Kings of Convenience

Why I bought it: I'm not really sure.

What I think about it: Honestly, these guys are really good at what they do, but it's really hard to get jazzed up about what is essentially the return of Simon & Garfunkel. Quiet guitar plucking and whisper-soft harmonies are great as background music when it's cold outside, but as music to really appreciate or get obsessed with, it's just not possible. Especially in the summertime. Don't expect to listen to this and then be able to get off the couch for the rest of the day. One listen to this album, and you're in for the night. But if you got a fire going, and a blanket, and a few hours to nap, it's perfect.

Song(s) worth a listen: Homesick ; Stay Out of Trouble ; Know-How

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 9:37 AM :: #

The Disconnection by Carina Round

Why I bought it: I heard it at Electric Fetus and it ruled.

What I think about it: She's loud, angry, and verging on hardcore, but once you get past the whole Riot Grrrl aspect of her image, it's her songwriting that really stands out, and the versatility of her singing. Softer than PJ Harvey, but just as intriguing, she sounds to me like someone who is destined to hit it big. Sometimes I think I may be a little too old and the wrong gender to truly appreciate this kind of music, but what can I say, I think it kicks ass.

Song(s) worth a listen: Into My Blood ; Lacuna ; Monument ; Elegy

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 9:27 AM :: #

Thursday, July 22, 2004 :::

A Sun Came! by Sufjan Stevens

Why I bought it: cuz I likes me my Sufie.

What I think about it: I'll buy anything by Sufjan. He's got me hooked for sure. This is technically his first CD, but it has recently been reissued with a couple bonus songs for those who were not around to appreciate it upon initial release, like me. It's a hit or miss affair, with some really great songs jumbled in with some really bad ones, and almost embarrassingly heavy use of the pan flute. The problem is that there is no consistency or defined sense of style. He'll go from the good ol' quiet introspective Sufjan we know and love, to Beck-like southern-fried funk, to guitar-driven loud-rock, to Eqyptian pyramid dance, to a dreadful five-minutes-worth of dischordant saxamaphones. Just pick a style and stick with it, already. Some people like variety in their CDs, like when Celine Dion raps or incorporates a zesty latin beat, or when Shania Twain goes pop. I don't. I like a CD with a theme, a sound, and a solid concept (like Sufjans most recent releases). This CD is all over the map, but every now and then a great song emerges, and the last two bonus songs alone make it worth the purchase.

Song(s) worth a listen: Winner Needs a Wand ; We Are What You Say ; Loverless Bed ; Joy! Joy! Joy!

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 11:14 PM :: #

Life is Full of Possibilities by Dntel

Why I bought it: Because he is half of The Postal Service, who put out a pretty darned good CD last year.

What I think about it: Boring twitchy background music that drones and rarely ever climaxes. It's like the kind of crap you hear being "spun" in the background of some ultra-hip, under-lit yuppie restaurant where everyone is wearing black mock-turtle sweaters and pseudo-messy hairdos. Not that I'm judging, but c'mon, songs should consist of more that random chirps and blips. But the guy definitely has talent. You should really listen to The Postal Service, if you haven't already. I'm just really not into DJ sets.

Song(s) worth a listen: The Dream of Evan and Chan

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 11:04 PM :: #

Tuesday, July 06, 2004 :::

Musicology by Prince

Why I bought it: because I was forced to buy it as its price was included in the price of the concert ticket.

What I think about it: Blech. Prince pisses me off. After all the time and energy I devoted to him in the 80's, he craps out another useless derivative collection of sleep-inducing junk. What a waste. If I wanted to hear bland soul-funk, I'd turn on a smooth jazz radio station, or hang out at a dentist's office. He gets pissed off when people ask why he doesn't make music like he used to. He says he has to keep evolving or he'll die. But his critics don't mean that they want him to go back to his pop roots. They mean they want him to be innovative again. Well this was his last chance with me. I give up. I can't bare to listen to even one more boring pseudo-funk ballad that he shat out of his ass. And the crappy cardboard slip-sleeve the CD came in at the concert? Rip off. Religion has made you boring, Prince, the industry has made you crooked, and your self-righteousness has made you unlikable. There will always be people who flock to your concerts, longing for the good old days, stroking your ego, and making you think you are still on the right track, but they are simply blinded by the spectacle and their memories of the old Prince, awaiting his return, hoping for a renaissance. They are waiting in vain, cuz it ain't ever going to happen. And you may get all uppity snoot-faced and say that you don't want to go back to being the old Prince, but guess what, nobody wants to follow where the new Prince is going. You are in desperate need of a wake-up call. And I don't mean from Jehovah. But good luck with all that.

Song(s) worth a listen: I would pay money to erase them all from my head.

Listen at amazon, if you must.

::: posted by dan at 2:00 PM :: #

Monday, July 05, 2004 :::

The Cure by The Cure

Why I bought it: because I was a Cure devotee for many years.

What I think about it: I can't tell if I've lost my interest in the genre of music or if The Cure is just making uninteresing music now, but their last couple of CDs have really been underwhelming for me. I know that I still love listening to my old Cure CDs, Head on The Door and Wish in particular, but maybe that's just for nostalgic reasons. All I know is that this CD bores me. It's not bad, and I didn't expect anything different, but it just doesn't mean to me what it once did.

Song(s) worth a listen: Before Three ; Anniversary ; Alt.end

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 11:32 AM :: #

Kokomemedada by Komeda

Why I bought it: because Komeda writes good songs.

What I think about it: I'm not sure why Komeda aren't more popular than they are, because they write some the funnest, quirkiest pop songs you'll ever hear and they have a super cool image. Maybe it's because that even though each song is good on an individual basis, 11 Komeda songs in a row seems like an overkill that is almost too much to bear. It's true. Komeda writes great singles. Each one catchier than the next, with funky rhythms and creative production, but only in small doses. Good stuff for a home-made mix CD, but don't play it from start to finish or your head might implode.

Song(s) worth a listen: Nonsense ; Victory Lane ; Brother

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 11:26 AM :: #

Books by Belle and Sebastian

Why I bought it: because "Your Cover's Blown" is one of the best songs ever recorded.

What I think about it: I don't like Belle and Sebastian. I've tried many times. They have a huge cult fan-base and an ultra-hip reputation, and I have never understood why. But I have to admit that "Your Cover's Blown" is one of the best songs I've ever heard, and it doesn't really sound like anything they've ever done before. It's a six-minute pop-epic that is so catchy and so lends itself to singing along in the car that I must've listened to it thirty times in a row, and it will definitely be on my list of the year's best singles. This CD is actually only an EP with just a few other songs, all of which are just okay, confirming that "Your Cover's Blown" is a fluke and that no matter how hard I try I will never be hip enough to truly appreciate their music.

Song(s) worth a listen: Your Cover's Blown

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 11:17 AM :: #


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