Thursday, May 03, 2007

What's all this then?: Back Again (Today My Heart Swings)


Have you missed me terribly? No? Okay. In any case, I thought I'd poke my head in here and let you two or three interested readers know my thoughts on some recent albums, seeing as that is what I DO.

First things first, though.

Interpol, that fashionable troupe of NYCers oh so close to my heart, have went ahead and put out a brand spanking new single. For a change, I am completely satisfied and can't stop listening to this song. I can't be looking forward to their new album more. Oh yeah, they have a new album coming out on July 7th. It is entitled Our Love To Admire, in just about the most pompous showing of clever kid mentality I've seen in a great long while. Just fabulous.

Let's see, what else.

M.I.A. has been letting tracks eek out one after another from Kala, due out in August. The latest bit I've heard, "Hit That" apparently may or may NOT be on the final album. The jury seems to still be out. It's quite the enjoyable track, but would seem very much at home on Arular. The whole militant, schitzo-clusterfuck thing she seems to be going for lately isn't really evident here. It's a very simple song, mixing sexual politics with her usual socioeconomic candor. I don't know about anyone else, but I dig it. I think it could fit on Kala quite nicely if maneuvered correctly. You can check it out here.

NOW, where to begin? Where to begin?

Ah, yes. Leslie Feist. She released one of my favorite albums of 2005. She is a charter member of that mostly brilliant collection of Canadians, Broken Social Scene. She is arguably one the more beautiful faces in the independent music scene; not to mention, she has a voice that sounds like buttah and melts you in just the same way. With her latest outing, The Reminder, none of that has changed really. Feist can fairly easily rope you in to any stanza of which she is in charge. The only real problems I had here were A) my expectations were probably a bit too high (even though that is MY fault) and B) Leslie has seemingly devolved into far to slight of a version of herself. She appears to have slowly adopted this indifferent persona that is only communicated through her faint presence in the background. Again, her voice still has that rapturous quality it has always had, but it doesn't seem to be backed up anymore by those genuine tugs at the heart strings. The Reminder, save for several admittedly remarkable tracks, is mostly elevator music with Starbucks' best kept secret crooning behind the mic. Not necessarily a bad album, but a marginally disappointing one.

Moving on, I was pretty late in obtaining the new Deerhoof album entitled Friend Opportunity. No matter though. This is every bit as ingenious and invigoratingly ridiculous as The Runners Four. The only difference is that they seem to have actually found a cohesive structure that, lo and behold, makes them a lot more accessible upon repeated listens. Really, you either like Deerhoof or you don't. I'm not gonna sit here anymore and argue as to how they are actually a pop group, or that the brilliance in their compositions is that their is no composition because none of that is actually true. Truth be told, Deerhoof are probably one the most meticulous rock groups working today. Their eccentricities in regards to overall song construction and, of course, vocals, only compound the nature of their brilliance. Friend Opportunity is exhilarating, manic, delicate, and inspiring. This is Deerhoof's best album to date.

Sticking within the same species, (ba dum ch!) Deerhunter also seem to be making waves lately. The folks over at Pitchfork seem to be thoroughly in love. Meanwhile, you can check out the group's myspace page for various hate mail they've received or gotten wind of from when they toured with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and people didn't seem to take kindly to their particularly brand and geeky, gangly, no-wave. That aside, Cryptograms is without a doubt one of the most enthralling albums I've heard in recent memory. Atmospheric and eerie in all the right spots, Deerhunter are a relatively young band who have such a mature understanding of their abilities and shortcomings. It's like they out Sonic Youth Sonic Youth here. Roll your eyes all that you want, I say believe the hype with these guys. One of the best albums of the year.

Well, that's all for now. I'll be checking in here shortly, though. So don't get TOO comfortable without me. Until then, continue being nice to the boss, and I'll see ya next time.

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