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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.

Friday, September 24, 2004 :::

Drag It Up by the Old 97s

Why I bought it: It was a promo. Sweeeet.

What I think about it: I've always wanted to like the Old 97s, but when it comes to the Alt Country genre, I'm rarely able to stray far beyond Wilco's poppiest releases. The good news is that even though Drag It Up has its share of downbeat waltzes and shameless two-stepping ditties that wouldn't be out of place at a suburban church bazaar, it also has a few of the finest pop songs released so far this year. In fact, I would have purchased this CD on the strength of the first song alone. The sad thing is that out of 13 songs, about six are near-brilliant, while most of the others (which all happen to be conveniently lumped together up front) might test the limits of your CD player's skip button. It's half-full of inspired pop, and half-full of some plodding country cliches. Not that the songs are that bad, but when you put them in close poximity to great songs like The New Kid and Adelaide, their weakness really stands out. It makes me wish they would drop the cute country routine and just put out a solid pop record already, since those are the waters they seem to be testing anyway. And yet, the breezy twang of this CD suits me better than lead singer Rhett Miller's overcooked solo CD from a couple years ago. Back to the main verdict: it's definitely worth the purchase for the good half alone, especially since the first track, Won't Be Home, has an obsessively catchy sing-along chorus and a cool cursed-at-birth vibe, and it will most likely make my year-end best-songs-of-2004 list.

Song(s) worth a listen: Won't Be Home ; The New Kid ; Bloomington ; Adelaide

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 11:36 PM :: #

Friday, September 10, 2004 :::

Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand

Why I bought it: The marketing machine of MTV/Radio/Best Buy/ browbeat me until I submitted.

What I think about it: For the last three months, I've heard nothing out of MTV and the radio besides hype for Franz Ferdinand, Keane, and The Killers. has practically brainwashed me by recommending them so many times, and they all got prominently displayed on the prime real-estate that is the end-cap at Best Buy. On one particularly weak-willed day at Best Buy, I bought Keane (read review below) and Franz Ferdinand, both because I liked the singles they had released (and which had subsequently been played to death on the radio). This CD, much like Keane, has little more to offer me. The poor Killers, whose CD I will probably never purchase, is a casualty of a lesson learned by dan: never buy a CD based on marketing hype or a single song. I learned that one a long time ago. Don't know why I haven't stuck with it. Again, this is probably 2.5 stars. So totally average. And to think that this just won the prestigious Mercury prize.

Song(s) worth a listen: Take Me Out

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 5:07 PM :: #

Hopes and Fears by Keane

Why I bought it: The radio played that one song so many times that I eventually had to cry uncle.

What I think about it: It's pretty underwhelming. The first song on the CD is the best. Of course, it's also the one you've heard on the radio twelvity billion times. The rest of the CD sounds a little too much the same, and it would take me a good three months of listening before I'd be able to tell any of them apart, and I just don't have that kind of energy to expend on a CD. Plus, something tells me that they are England's answer to Five for Fighting, and I just can't approve of that on basic principle. Anyway, it's inoffensive, average, forgettable brit-pop. I'd give it 2.5 stars if my rating system allowed it.

Song(s) worth a listen: Somewhere Only We Know ; She Has No Time

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 4:54 PM :: #


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Beauty & Crime by Suzanne Vega
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