Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Listening Roundup

Another month in the pipes, and I am starting to think about what might be the entries for "album of the year" from the Spring semester.  For now, here's what fed the player in April:

Radiohead - The King of Limbs: The King of Limbs initially presents itself as a tad obtuse, but it soon opens up into a brilliantly arranged collection of atmospheric songs. Its a unique entry in Radiohead's oeuvre that is currently commanding my interest.

Battles - EP C/B EP: Again, a bit more esoteric than Mirrored, sometimes bordering on the hypnotic. Makes me excited for the release of Gloss Drop.

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - Moanin': A straight-ahead combo jazz classic. Great soloing and a driving rhythm section.

After Forever - Decipher: Killer symphonic prog-metal from the early 00s featuring the pristine pipes of Floor Jansen. Her vocals bring Decipher to life.

Philip Selway - Familial: Although his songs seem simple, there is a noticeable depth to Selway's work that is realized elegantly on Familal. Fans of Beck's Mutations might also get into this.

Alash: Contemporary traditional throatsinging from Tuva. If you keep your eyes open, this group and others like it tour constantly - a live encounter not to be missed!

I Monster - Neveroddoreven: A fine collection of eclectic electro-pop psychedelia. It took me awhile to latch on to the narrative of the album, but now I really look forward to hearing it when it comes around.

Gustav Holst - The Planets: I think that several movements from The Planets don't get a fair shake, especially Saturn. Still, there is a reason that Mars and Jupiter are so popular - the latter of these two literally brought me to tears in the car last week simply because it is so beautifully and masterfully crafted.

Trey Gunn - Modulator: This may be a classic for me, although I'm not sure I could hum you a single measure. Its uncompromisingly complex and addictively fascinating.

epo-555 - Mafia: Mafia has a couple of really great songs surrounded by several that have not really grabbed my attention. Not bad, but not great.

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light: Like the Foos? You'll like this - they don't change formula, but I think they turned up the amps to the proverbial "eleven."

TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light: I reserve judgment on this one based on the amount of time it took for me to connect with Dear Science. I think it coheres better than that release, but its clearly still in the simmering stages.

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