Thanks to iTunes and the Lord of the Byron, I got three new albums on Sunday night/Monday morning.
I will likely not give them the time they deserve because I have bought way too many albums this year and haven't given them enough time yet either. Oh well. My college/Prague days are clearly over.
On to the albums...
The first impulse buy was Yellow House by Grizzly Bear. (And yes, I actually do buy the vast majority of my albums with actual money). They're a Brooklyn band, I liked their album cover, the Pitchfork review was glowing and the clips sounded good. And it was the early morning and I was continuing to bemoan the fact that this year hasn't been nearly as good for music as last year was.
So I like it. It reminds me a bit of Kingsbury Manx. But I can't shake the pretentiousness I hear in this album. It's pretty, it's seemingly what I would want in an album, yet I picture the band with smug looks on their faces as they play their various instruments. I haven't much basis for this, I guess, it's just that their music is a tad too precious, and their Web site really fucking annoys me, what with the posed band photos and these descriptions of the band and their album:
Home-recorded songs can feel incomplete whilst being as tantalizingly indicative as the sketches before a painting. The outlines, though interesting in their own respect, are not as satisfying as the finished version. Grizzly Bear, however, have approached song writing as a craft to master from their very first album, Horn of Plenty onwards. Enamored by how a song "reads", they were fully present from prologue to denouement even though singer/songwriter Edward Droste recorded them by himself in his Brooklyn bedroom. Fuelled by a bout of post-relationship inspiration, those first songs celebrated the creative liberation of the ProTools era. They explored the depths of break-ups through crystal-clear tones, field sounds and woozy, complex harmonies.From prologue to denouement, I find their Web site to be incomplete whilst being as tantalizingly indicative of really bad PR copy or what a bunch of fucktards actually think about themselves. And:
The new material that comprises Yellow House (released on Warp Records on September 4th) puts the band at the vanguard of contemporary song writing. The album was self-recorded during an idyllic summer. The makeshift studio was provided by Droste's mom's living room in a yellow house just off Cape Cod.In other words, after brunch with Buffy and Skyler down at the Club, the band reconvened to continue celebrating the creative liberation of the ProTools era. Released: September 5, 2006.
M. Ward has been recommended to me enough times now and his new one, Post-War, is getting critical acclaim, so it became my second pickup of the early morning. On first listen, I liked it more than the Grizzly Bear album, although this is again an album that seems to favor style over substance.
He's an indie singer-songwriter and it's an album of indie singer-songwriter songs, his first with a backing band. Chinese Translation, the single, is either charming because of the beat and the sing-a-longability or annoying because the storyline seems like it's promising to impart some wisdom but doesn't, at all. (Yes, yes, his point is that there are no actual answers, and that we're all on the same quest for something that can't be found, blah blah blah, but I'm sorry, I don't buy it). I do like some of this album, but I could see myself listening to it for about another week. I am evidently missing something, because everyone else is shitting themselves over this one. Released: August 29, 2006. M. BORED.
Everytime Beck releases an album, I wonder if I should get it, eventually do, find it nice enough I guess, and then it collects dust (real, digital or otherwise). This is probably going to be the same exact thing, and, if so, I may have finally had enough. Released: October 3, 2006. BLECCH.
Boy, am I negative this evening. Did I mention how awesome Bread, Love and Cha Cha Cha is?