Wednesday, June 01, 2011

TV On the Radio, Korey Dane, Keren Ann, Dear Euphoria

It's been a while.  I apologize.  For a while I was listening to a bunch of horror related songs, and watching a ton of horror movies (which you can read about at my zombie blog).  But there has been a ton of great music recently, so it's time I wrote about it...if only a little.

TV On the Radio - Nine Types of Light

My love of TV On the Radio has been well-chronicled.  That will not change on this album.  Sure, I may not like it as well as Dear Science, but that's a pretty hard peak to reach.
This album stands at 10 songs.  It's nice and concise.  There isn't a bad song on it (I'm not crazy about "Killer Crane", but I wouldn't call it a bad song), and there are two insanely amazing songs ("New Cannonball Run" and "Repetition", which are back-to-back).  
Once again, the production (provided, once again, by member Dave Sitek) is top-notch.  The songs are terrific, but they're taken to an entirely different level with Sitek's production.  There's that wall of sound feel, without it ever feeling cluttered.  It just sounds big and just makes me want to turn it up as loud as possible and have the sound fill the room.  The drums are massive.  Just...massive.  
If you like TV On the Radio, you're sure to like this album.  If you've never listened to them, this isn't a bad place to start.  They're still their inventive selves, but this is also a pretty accessible album.

Rating: 5/5
Favorite Track: "Repetition"

Korey Dane - Loomer

I just happened to stumble upon this album, and I'm glad I did.  At first listen, it just seems like a nice little folk album.  And maybe it is.  But there appears to be something more to it.  There's an openness and fragility to this music that seems real...but there's also something warm about it.  His voice is terrific, and it's complimented well with a female vocalist.
The album really starts out strong with the first two tracks ("Mother Father" and "Blue (Kids on the Weekend"), which are my favorites on the album.  There are still some great songs after those two ("Rattlesnake Love" and "Oh Louise" stand out in my mind), but those are my favorites.  They're just amazing.  Here's a version of "Mother Father" (stripped of the orchestral stuff on the album version):

That video explains his sound better than I ever could.
It's a solid album.  Like I mentioned, 4 tracks stand out in my mind, but the rest of them are all pretty good, too.  Not amazing, but pretty good.
If you like this kind of music at all, definitely check this out.

Rating: 4/5
Favorite track: "Blue (Kids on the Weekend)"

Keren Ann - 101

I loved Keren Ann's self-titled album.  It's an amazingly gorgeous album...lush soundscapes built behind her beautiful and unique voice.  It had been 4 years since that album was released, and I had no idea what to expect with this one.
I still don't, really.
It's a lot different from any of her previous albums.  It's a lot more pop.  At least, it starts out that way.  "My Name is Trouble" is a jaunty little pop tune, capable of getting stuck in your head before you know what hit you.  Same goes for "Sugar Mama", or the 50s-feel of "Blood on My Hands".
But, once I started listening to this album, I realized there was a lot more to it than just the memorable pop moments.  "You Were on Fire" is a slow song, driven by the bass line and the orchestra.  It's beautiful and heartbreaking in a way that only Keren Ann can do.  "Strange Weather" is a dark, piano-driven song that almost sounds like a descent into madness.  The closer, "101", is an odd spoken-word piece, where she counts down from 101, with something for each number, starting with, "One-hundred-and-one floors."  
It's an album that reveals more with each listen.  There are a number of pop moments, but this is not your typical pop album.  Of course, it's Keren Ann...who could expect a typical pop album?
It's not my favorite album of hers, but I like it a lot.

Rating: 4/5
Favorite track: "You Were on Fire"

Dear Euphoria - This Night Will Flee EP

This is a short EP...only 4 songs.  Dear Euphoria are from Sweden, and have not caught on in the states yet (to be honest, I'm not even sure how big they are in Sweden).  As such, this EP would be very easy to overlook.  But that would be a mistake.
Words can't quite describe how I feel about this EP.  It's incredible.  It's lush and beautiful, and Elina Johansson's voice just seems to float over the walls of sound behind her.
Actually, as long as "Coming Down" was on this EP, the other three songs could be terrible and I would still love this EP (for the record, the other three songs are also incredible).  This song is just...perfect.  It's remarkable.  Listening to this song in headphones is an otherworldly experience.  There's just something to it.  Here's the video:

Put on your headphones, turn up the volume, and just listen to this song.  I'm madly in love with it, and I only love it more with each listen.

Rating: 5/5
Favorite track: "Coming Down"

Coming up soon...Tyler, the Creator, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, and my summer listening.

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