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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.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 :::

Subtitulo by Josh Rouse

Why I bought it: His last CD, Nashville, was fantastic.

What I think about it: Woah. Boring. After Nashville, this is a huge misstep. It's not terrible, really. It's harlmess enough, I guess. But damn. I'm writing this review to be as boring as the CD itself so as to give you an idea of exactly what I mean. You kind of forget all about it the second after you read it, don't you?

Song(s) worth a listen: Who knows.

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 6:57 PM :: #

The Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake

Why I bought it: It heard it online at and liked it.

What I think about it: If, as stated in my last review, The Scissor Sisters are a revival of the best in 70's disco-pop brilliance, then Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther is its 70's revivalist counterpiece, only it takes the warm pop-rock approach of Fleetwood Mac or maybe even the early Eagles for that matter. It has lots of over-dubbed harmonies and fuzzy quitars that envelope you in warmth and coziness, regardless of the downbeat lyrics. All in all it's a good vibe and a strong CD and will perhaps be a fantastic winter soundtrack.

Song(s) worth a listen: Roscoe; Head Home ; Young Bride

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 6:39 PM :: #

Ta-Dah by The Scissor Sisters

Why I bought it: I like them. Shut up.

What I think about it: I'm not sure who I'm more angry with: The Scissor Sisters themselves for being so grandiose or the American Music Media who characterizes them as being some sort of transgender novelty act. My musical integrity tells me that I shouldn't pay attention to the "image" of the band and I should just listen to the music, but sometimes when there's so much flash and glitter that prospect can be a little difficult. Here's the bottom line: In terms of image, The Scissor Sisters are an over-the-top pop act monstrosity whose on-stage antics and rainbow-colored persona push them to the point of near-parody which very nearly overshadows their music. Not that that's bad, necessarily, in fact it can be quite fun, although it can certainly make the critics cringe. On the other hand, the music itself is entirely derivative of, yet vastly superior to, almost anything that their inspirations the Bee Gees or Elton John have ever recorded. Okay, that's perhaps being a tad melodramatic and unfair to the Bee Gees and Elton, but seriously, if you close your eyes, forget all the feather boas and shirtless overalls, and actually forget The Scissor Sisters are responsible for what you are hearing, you might actually think you're listening to one of the best Bee Gees CD ever made. I guess they wouldn't be The Scissor Sisters without the extravagant showmanship, but they really don't need to try so hard. They are fantastic enough without all the bells and whistles.

Song(s) worth a listen: I Don't Feel Like Dancin' ; She's My Man ; I Can't Decide ; The Other Side ; Oooh

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 6:17 PM :: #

Putting the Days to Bed by The Long Winters

Why I bought it: They put out good CDs and great singles.

What I think about it: Putting the Days to Bed is a near perfect collection of solidly written pop songs with an earnest sense of raw craftsmanship. There aren't any tricks up their sleeves and they aren't defining any genres, but nearly every single song on this CD has a catchy hook and a glossy production that surpasses in quality almost everything else being released today. It knows when to start and when to stop. It knows how much is too much. It's never verbose or cryptic, yet it's not entirely unchallenging. Sometimes The Long Winters evoke the sounds of other musicians, most notably Matthew Sweet with a little Flaming Lips thrown in for good measure, but comparing them to other bands seems almost unfair, as they are clearly aware of who they are. They aren't trying to be anyone else. The CD wears itself proudly on its sleeve, and it's, by far, one of my favorites of the year. Just try not to single along to the exuberant chorus of Pushover, or to marvel at the simple yet brilliant lyricism of Fire Island AK. The only reason it loses half a star in my opinion is for the re-recording of the previously brilliant Ultimatum, which made a MUCH more impactful impression on a previous EP release. It was already one of the best songs released so far in the new millennium, and I'm not talking in hyperbole. Why re-release an inferior version of an already perfect tune?

Song(s) worth a listen: Pushover ; Hindsight ; Teaspoon ; Fire Island AK

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 5:53 PM :: #


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