Another weekend road trip, another bag of CDs for the picking. Here's what came up...
Taraf de Haidouks - Authentic gypsy music for....well, record producers. Still, considering the Haidouks consist of accordions, flutes, violins and the like, they produce some of the best metal you are likely to hear - in spirit, anyway.
Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire: People say that he is not his father's son, but I disagree. Returning to this album is a joy.
The New Pornographers - Challengers: This is probably my favorite album by this band. Their collective approach to songwriting sometimes produces uneven albums, but here they cohere quite effectively.
Sting - The Dream of the Blue Turtles:There are several Sting albums that I think are mediocre and self-indulgent, but his one has its moments. It is a little dated, but it is a classic within its own pre-Dr. Dre world.
The Yellow Moon Band - Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World: Instrumental psychedelic folk-prog that is energetic and easy on the ears. It won't stick to your ribs – ten minutes after it is over, you will forget what happened - but it is an enjoyable listen.
Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun: There are many albums by the Tree that I could suggest. Although this is not my favorite, I still think that this band can do no wrong, and they did a lot right here.
Radiohead - Amnesiac: This one got a bad rap in an earlier post, so I felt like it deserved a revisit. I still think that it is probably their least consistent release – it includes one of their best songs (Knives Out) right alongside electronic re-imaginings of kids blowing bubbles in milk.
Black Star – A great album from Mos Def and Talib Kwali. I need to get some new hip-hop.
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion – There was quite a bit of hype around this album when it came out, which it mostly lives up to. It’s a great shimmering, looping, epic collection that opened my ears to the current potentials of electronic music.
Yes - The Ladder - Lots of activity in the Yes camp recently has reinvigorated my interest in their ouvere. The Ladder is by far their most successful late-period album.
Queen - Sheer Heart Attack: Queen is not quite the band that they will become on this pre-Night at the Opera album, but it has a few fantastic moments. They really have to be one of the all-time great bands to ever exist period.