|Photo Credit: Kate Wurtzel|
Also, because of the Year in Rush project ( for which I have gotten very positive feedback - thanks!), the single song In the End from Fly by Night actually represents three albums. These are listed at the end of the roundup.
Finally, a few of the albums I have been spinning this month are not available for streaming through Grooveshark, so they can't be represented on the widget. The first couple of these are independent releases that could benefit from some extra exposure, so I urge you to check them out further. I'll list them up front.
Tito Carrillo - Opening Statement: Tito was a friend of mine in high school that has made a good name for himself as a session trumpet player. This solo jazz debut from him is quite impressive.
Pop Campaign - Kraut Popping: This is a slick and well-crafted collection of complex, beat-driven electronica that straddles the past and the present. It would be great to see them break into the club scene with Kraut Popping.
Wilco - The Whole Love: After rediscovering Yankee Hotel Foxtrot last year, and seeing generally positive reviews of The Whole Love, it seemed worth a spin. To be honest, I'm still not quite sure what to think - it may take some simmering.
Now, moving on...
Field Music - Plumb: Relatively few bands have expanded on the Beatles' nonstandard excursions. On Plumb, Field Music takes the second side of Abbey Road as a starting point for a fascinating stream-of-consiousness pop exploration, heavy on the musicality.
Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact: The swirling, electronic psychedelia of Eye Contact still holds me in its thrall. There is a surprising amount of depth and thought put into this album.
The Roots - Undun: For almost two years now, I have been on the lookout for a new hip hop album to blow me out of the water. With its irresistible hooks and heady concepts, I think that Undun is the one to do it.
Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning: Wilson continually confounds my expectations with his top-notch songwriting, production, and arranging skills. Not many people should maintain a solo career, but Wilson has my vote.
Kraftwerk - Autobahn: This album predates Rush's debut by a year, but maintains a relatively contemporary sound throughout. Kraftwerk was later repurposed in hip-hop samples, which provided them with a name in dance music, but here their explorations are more ethereal and contemplative.
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic: Probably one of the few albums that holds my attention for an entire CD length. With 18 tracks, the Lips somehow avoid filler while simultaneously throwing in more noise and exploration than ever before.
And the Rush sub-Roundup:
Rush: If, after reading the post on this album, you are a bit confounded by the Who comparison, check out the Live at Leeds album. Then thank me.
Fly By Night: I think that a case can be made for considering Fly by Night as Rush's true debut album. It's relationship to the rest of their catalog is much clearer.
Caress of Steel: If you consider Fly by Night as Rush's debut, then Caress of Steel is their sophomore slump. This album is infamous for nearly ending Rush's career, and although it is not the worst entry in their catalog, it is probably their least cohesive.