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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, February 24, 2006 :::

Sun, Sun, Sun by The Elected

Why I bought it: I liked their last CD. Lots.

What I think about it: I was a pretty big fan of The Elected's debut CD, Me First. It was fun, catchy alt-county-pop with some minor electronic flourishes. They scaled things back for their sophomore CD, though, and unfortunately all that ingenuity seems to have vanished. Instead we get an almost boring set of overly-polished alt-country meanderings with whispy vocals and lackluster energy. None of the songs are exactly bad, mind you, but not a single one is catchy either. It's like alt-country limbo, where all the songs float into view effortlessly, and then just as fast as the arrive, they evaporate and disappear. There are some good lyrics, and some sunny sounding melodies, but the edge is gone. Booo. I had high hopes for this band.

Song(s) worth a listen: Would You Come With Me ; Fireflies in a Steel Mill

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 3:35 PM :: #

In Case We Die by Architecture in Helsinki

Why I bought it: I stole it from the internet and liked it too much not to make a purchase.

What I think about it: I've heard people try to describe this band as "hyper-pop", but really it's unclassifiable. I guess they kinda sound like a children's pop group, only for adults, who sing crazy elaborate pop songs that start out as slightly annoying but end up as genuinely intriguing. And every single one of them makes you want to jump up and down. I'm terrible at describing the "sound" of a band, but the original instrumentation and structure of their songs combined with the sheer energy of their performance makes my head spin in a good way. For being so pessimistically titled, it's an incredibly fun CD to listen to, from beginning to end. It makes me feel like I'm in Kindergarten.

Song(s) worth a listen: It's 5! ; Maybe You Can Owe Me ; Wishbone ; In Case We Die

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 3:24 PM :: #

The Greatest by Cat Power

Why I bought it: I like Cat Power.

What I think about it: Cat Power has one of the warmest voices in contemporary music, but she's also a complete and total train wreck of an emotional basketcase. This is a good combination for making wonderful music. I have to admit, I much prefer the raw indie rock of her last CD to the polished blues rock of this new album, but both CDs are incredible in terms of craftsmanship. And maybe that's because this new CD is a lot more upbeat and optimistic than her previous work. Maybe I'm a glutton for the depressed and downbeat. I heard somewhere that her emotional basketcase routine was just part of the act, in which case she really knows how to sell it, but regardless, she writes and records beautiful music. And no one else out there sounds anything like her.

Song(s) worth a listen: The Greatest ; Love and Communication ; Living Proof ; Could We

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 3:03 PM :: #

Omnibus by Tarkio

Why I bought it: Because Tarkio is the former band of The Decemberists frontman, Colin Meloy.

What I think about it: Recorded years before, yet packaged and released after The Decemberists made a splash on the indie scene, this Tarkio compilation disc gathers all of Colin Meloy's early songwriting material and bundles it together for the true die-hard Decemberists fan. Is it worth a purchase? Maybe. Does it sound like the Decemberists? Kinda, albeit a little more countrified and with a lot more fiddle. Does it live up to the expectations created by The Decemberists? Not exactly. Out of two discs and 24 songs, there are definitely a few standouts, but it's not the type of CD that you'd put in the player and fall in love with. It's exactly the kind of CD that you would pick out a few favorites to rip into your iTunes Jukebox and then store the actual CD in your collection next to your Decemberists CDs, as a symbol for how big of a Colin Meloy fan you truly are. Or at least that's what I'm gonna do.

Song(s) worth a listen: Devil's Elbow ; Caroline Avenue ; Slow Down ; Am I Not Right?

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 2:48 PM :: #

Whatever People Say I Am... by Arctic Monkeys

Why I bought it: It was super internet-hyped and who can resist the power of the internet.

What I think about it: It's not bad for power pop punk rock, but it probably isn't quite original enough to warrant all of the hype, which I'm sure even the Arctic Monkeys themselves would admit. But if you want loud, energetic, propulsive music, you could do a lot worse. They basically take a cool riff and play it into the ground, with above average lyrical content and some vaguely interesting delivery. But it's quite impressive considering how young they are. To be fair, this is not really aligned with my typical taste in music, so me judging it is sorta akin to an eskimo (sticking with the arctic theme) judging the world's best beaches. All I know is that it didn't blow my mind.

Song(s) worth a listen: The View from the Afternoon ; I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor ; When the Sun Goes Down

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 2:33 PM :: #


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