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Friday, March 29, 2013

Further Seems Forever -- Penny Black

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Further Seems Forever sound older but not washed up on their reunion album, Penny Black, happy to be making music together again. Returning original frontman, (the now gritty) Chris Carrabba, sounds more energetic than anyone, wanting to give something back to the band he left twelve years ago.
Penny Black's production is strangely muddy, which may be the band experimenting with a harsher tone more befitting men in their 30's. If anything, it is definitely different.
Penny Black does start to bog down in sameness in its latter half, but it never completely runs out of steam, and the acoustic closer, "Janie," sounds more like a casual victory lap than a resignation of fate.  Perhaps most importantly, Further Seems Forever prove that they can still churn out some classic songs, with the two opening tracks being prime candidates. My favorite Penny Black track, though, is "A System of Symmetry," which breaks completely new ground for Further Seems Forever. It is a strange mix of repetitive riffing and electronics, and if they ever plan on releasing another album, I wouldn't mind if they explored this particular path a little more.
Of course, the main thing we all want from a Further Seems Forever release is the rock (I'm guessing this is what you guys want...if not, maybe "the polka?" "The Tango?" "The Django?"), and as long as they continue to bring it, they can put out as many reunion albums as they want.

2012 Rise
1. So Cold 3:17
2. Rescue Trained 2:47
3. Way Down 3:11
4. King's Canyon 3:20
5. Staring Down the Sun 2:51
6. A System of Symmetry 2:37
7. Penny Black 3:19
8. On the Outside 2:47
9. Engines 2:31
10. Rusted Machines 3:17
11. Stem the Loss 3:02
12. Janie

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tonight At Six

I'd rather be the person on the bier than the person who has to take my mid-term.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Further Seems Forever -- Hide Nothing

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Apparently, what I want Further Seems Forever to sound like is far different from what most other people want Further Seems Forever to sound like. Case in point: the band's third album, and only release featuring vocalist, Jon Bunch, Hide Nothing.
I love Hide Nothing. I gives me everything I want from Further Seems Forever. The complex, but brief, and rocking songs feature catchy choruses that don't make me feel bad when I look in the mirror after singing them. Jon Bunch sounds like a grown-up, as opposed to the man-child sound of FSF's first two vocalists. Instead of singing about romantic woes or successes, he sings about the struggles of life in general. This epic band always deserved to have a vocalist singing about matters of eternal significance, not fleeting emotions. Bunch is this vocalist, and he fills this role astutely, with lyrics exponentially more stirring then the words gracing Further's previous work.
"I'm not living for the past, I'm not living for the memories, there's no use in looking back, when there's nothing there to see," he sings on "Call on the Life." I was coming off of my mythic 9-month migraine in 2004 when this album was released, and an album like this was just what I needed. Bunch and the rest of the band's work on Hide Nothing is incredibly uplifting and inspiring. The title couldn't be any more apt, as Further Seems Forever leave everything on the table with what was, before this age of miraculous reunions, their final album. They play their hearts out on these ten varied tracks. They even reach a celestial plain on the two part "Make it a Part"/"All Rise" duo, something they never even came close to before. Perhaps most tellingly, drummer, Steve Kleisath returns to his freewheeling, ten rolls a minute drumming, re-energizing the band's sound. Exactly what I want to hear.
But not, apparently, what the majority of people wanted to hear. Most Further fans I knew in 2004 were let down by this album, depressed, I guess, that Hide Nothing didn't sound "young." One of my best friends, completely disgusted with Hide Nothing, gave me her copy after just a few listens. I ended up marrying her, so it would have been mine anyway. This is a great album.
Yeah, there's a light up ahead! Also, get the Best Buy version of this, if you can. The three additional acoustic tracks are on another level. They're sort of like the heaven to the rest of Hide Nothing's earthly existence. I know I said the band reaches a celestial plain on "Make it a Part"/"All Rise," but on this version they close the whole album out with an acoustic rendition of that duo that's somehow even better.

2004 Tooth & Nail Records
1. Light Up Ahead 3:08
2. Hide Nothing 2:56
3. Already Gone 3:52
4. Like Someone You Know 3:16
5. Make it a Part 2:41
6. All Rise 2:49
7. Call on the Life 2:52
8. Lead the Way 2:32
9. Bleed 2:57
10. For All We Know 5:21
11. Bleed" (acoustic)* – 3:23
12. Light Up Ahead" (acoustic)* – 3:02
13. Make it a Part/All Rise" (acoustic)* – 4:25

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Only Song I Ever Liked By This Band

But I like it a lot. Keeping me going right now. Somebody take these mid-terms for me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Further Seems Forever -- How to Start a Fire

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Further Seems Forever's second album, How to Start a Fire, certainly starts strong. New vocalist, Jason Gleason, injects grit into the opening line, "Let's set this city ablaze" on the album's opening title track. This is a manly step up from the whinier previous vocalist, Chris Carrabba, though Gleason sometimes has to near scream to hit the high notes Carrabba smoothly sang. With all that said, Gleason is just as over-dramatic as Carrabba was. They both sing every line like someone is pointing a gun at them and screaming, "MORE PASSION!
Throughout the rest of How to Start a Fire, the band still rock, but there is unfortunately a little less skip in Steve Kleisath's drumming. He doesn't drum-roll through every song like he did on The Moon Is Down. Maybe he was experimenting with restraint, but when you are your band's strongest asset, you probably shouldn't do that. That isn't what weakens How to Start a Fire below The Moon is Down status, though. What weakens How to Start a Fire is the band settling into this thing around the halfway point where too many of the songs start off quietly or sappy, then build to a quick denouement. I don't know if this is because of the band's change in second guitarist, or what. Gleason's dewey-eyed, lovey-lyrics in some of these songs do nothing to abrogate the problem (though at least the girl he's singing them to is pretty cool), and he somehow eclipses the lyrical cheese factor of his predecessor.How to Start a Fire feels a little less because of these two factors, and the fact that the closing track is little more than Gleason singing over light strumming giving way to distortion adds to the short-changed feeling--in other words, this album flies by, but in a bad way. You don't completely feel like you are getting your money's work. Still, there are plenty of strong songs to make this recommendable, despite its flaws.
To close on a positive note, How to Start a Fire reminds me of my DJ'ing glory days, receiving albums weeks before they came out, and generally feeling awesome.

As with all Further Seems Forever albums, it would have been interesting to see what the vocalist could have done if he had stayed for another LP.

2003 Tooth & Nail Records
1. How to Start a Fire 2:51
2. The Sound 3:41
3. A Blank Page Empire 4:09
4. Against My Better Judgement 3:41
5. I Am 3:24
6. Pride War 3:04
7. On Legendary 3:40
8. Insincerity as an Artform 3:44
9. The Deep 3:46
10. Aurora Borealis (In Long Form 4:50

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Can't Tell If I Like This or Not

Actually, I feel that way about all of The xx's music.

What's the point at being that good at building up something, but NEVER EVER paying it off? There's an obscene metaphor I could make here, but I'm going to keep this post classy. Besides, I already made you think about it anyway, so sorry. There are more propulsive re-mixes of this song that do have more of a payoff. I guess I just need dynamics in my music. Dynamics are what make waiting worth it. Song's pretty good, though, I guess, if you really, really enjoy foreplay.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Since I've Been in a Sadistic Mood All Week

Goodnight, except I'll be doing homework and eating M & M's. FML, and not ironically. You ever have one of those moments where you're not sure what you hate more between yourself and everything else? It seems like an emo statement, but if I'm the only one who feels that way sometimes, the communists win.

Further Seems Forever -- The Moon Is Down

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Chris Carrabba's singing can be a bit much to take. Over-dramatic doesn't even begin to describe it. If you like your male singers to sound like manly men, you are looking in the wrong place. Carrabba sounds like he is belting out songs next to a rainy window, gesticulating wildly with his hands. His vocals were the wall I found myself having to climb to enjoy Further Seems Forever's debut album, The Moon Is Down.
The best ladder with which to climb over that wall is the band's music. Actually, the guitar riffs on The Moon Is Down sound like ladders or spiraling staircases. Wow, I can already tell, this review is going to suck. Sorry, I guess. Anyway, the majority of The Moon Is Down rocks hard, but gets the job down in three-minute, chorus-heavy increments. The album's secret weapon is drummer, Steve Kleisath. He plays a style best described as "active." Kleisath plays fills for much of the album, still keeping perfect time and beat. His constant drum rolls never grow tiring, but consistently carry The Moon Is Down to its conclusion.
Past this musical hook, The Moon Is Down has an even more obvious secret weapon, one I've already mentioned as a detriment: Carrabba, himself. Once one gets used to his style of...singing, his voice grows less distracting. As Carrabba had already started his new main gig, Dashboard Confessional, by the time of The Moon Is Down's recording, he now had an alternate outlet for his weepier tendencies. Here's a pointless bunny trail, since this review is already terrible:
In mid-2001, an acquaintance of mine raved to me about how much fun he had just had at a Dashboard Confessional show.
"It was great!" he insisted. "It was like one big sing-along, and everyone had their hands on each other's shoulders."
"Wow," I said. "That sounds awful."

Anyway, Carrabba, now having an outlet for his whinier, weepier tendencies with Dashboard Confessional, keeps that stuff to a minimum on Further Seems Forever's The Moon is Down. In fact, The Moon Is Down version of Carrabba sounds like he is smiling and winking through most of the album, adding an infectious charisma to The Moon Is Down that truthfully makes it irresistible. I can't count how many ridiculous car sing-alongs friends and I have had with this old scratched up CD. Car sing-alongs are far superior to the previously mentioned shoulder-holding sing-alongs because no one is touching or crying. Whelp, I think that's about it.

2001 Tooth & Nail Records
1. The Moon Is Down 3:12
2. The Bradley 3:01
3. Snowbirds and Townies 4:26
4. Monachetti 2:42
5. Madison Prep 2:54
6. New Year's Project 4:14
7. Just Until Sundown 3:14
8. Pictures of Shorelines 3:12
9. Wearing Thin 2:59
10. A New Desert Life 8:52

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fuel -- Sunburn

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I can't tell you when I first heard that song. It might have been during warm-ups before a basketball game. It might have been in a videogame. It might have just been on a car radio. Whatever the case, Fuel's "Shimmer" was an oasis in a desert of really awful 1998 music. How awful? The most dominant band that year was Goo Goo Dolls. Enough said.
For a song specifically about ephemerality, "Shimmer" is a remarkably addictive and timeless song. I wanted the rest of Sunburn, the album the song is taken from, to be that good. Of course, it isn't. "Shimmer" is one of the best radio-rock songs of the past two decades. If Fuel had recorded ten more songs of that caliber, the result would be one of the greatest albums of all time. That's a pretty unrealistic expectation for anything, and now that I'm older, I can see this album for what it is: a good one.
The sound Fuel helped pioneer in the late 90's and early 00's is so copied and played out by this point, it is very easy to forget how good they were with it. Sunburn is full of examples, particularly the excellent title track.

Man, 90's fashion ruled. So does Sunburn. There isn't a bad song, the band plays great, the dynamics are perfect, it flows well together, and it ends right when it needs to. 90's forever!

1998 550/Epic
1. Untitled 3:58
2. Bittersweet 3:51
3. Shimmer 3:33
4. Jesus or a Gun 3:58
5. Sunburn 4:23
6. New Thing 3:19
7. It's Come to This 3:39
8. Song for You 3:46
9. Mary Pretends 3:36
10. Ozone 3:49
11. Hideaway 4:03

Monday, March 18, 2013

Frodus -- And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea


In the dawning of the new century, every now non-existent music website I used to visit had pretty much declared Frodus' recorded, but unreleased final album as the greatest work of art ever made.  I wasn't a huge fan of Frodus' "spazzcore" sound, but their name sounded like "Frodo," and their upcoming album was titled And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea. With a name like that, I had to hear it.
In 2001, Frodus finally found a label to release And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea, two years after it had been recorded. I downloaded any song I could until my good college friend, Craig Slaven, loaned me the album. This became such a regular occurrence that Craig Slaven, an early digital adopter, just burned And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea to his computer and gave me his copy. Craig Slaven, I just said your name three times because I haven't talked to you in more than two years, and I'm hoping to exercise the Beetlejuice effect.
Anyway, as you can guess, spazzcore means that a band plays crazy, time-signature shifting, heavy music with screamed vocals. Frodus do this a little bit on And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea, but they seem more concerned with stretching out their sound and giving it space. Six of the album's tracks either eclipse or approach the five minute mark. Frodus is more content filling this time with moody, slow-building instrumentals than musical freak-outs. The screaming is even leveled out with an equal amount of singing. Not poppy-singing, mind you. This band is so anti-commercial, I can't imagine what smooth vocals would sound like over their songs. That said, the singing isn't bad and adds a lot, lending a slight warmth to And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea befitting of its title.
And We Washed Our Weapons In the Sea's wandering basslines are the album standout, though, adding a complexity to the band's sound that is more fun than baffling.
Overall, I don't think And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea is quite a masterpiece. It isn't focused enough, and some songs seem unfinished, or just need a little something more. Then again, this is also a positive.  And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea is one of those rare albums that truly feels alive, changing just a little and meaning something different every listen. It's the reason Frodus still has an operational website fourteen years since their final album was recorded. Today, I give it a nine.

Fueled by Ramen 2001
1. Red Bull of Juarez 2:18
2. The Earth Isn't Humming 4:40
3. There Will Be No More Scum 4:46
4. Out-Circuit the Ending 5:48
5. Chiriacho Summit 1:54
6. Belgian Congo 5:55
7. The Awesome Machine 4:20
8. 6/99 4:43
9. Hull Crush Depth 3:34
10. Year of the Hex 4:57
11. And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea 3:05

Friday, March 15, 2013

Foo Fighters -- Wasting Light

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Wasting Light, Foo Fighters' seventh album, is something of a renaissance for the band. After selling out stadiums for years, frontman, Dave Grohl, decided there was only one way for the band to get back to their roots: record entirely to tape in his garage. Grohl also brought Butch Vig, the producer of Nirvana's seminal Nevermind, into the mix.
The result is Foo Fighters best work in ages. Wasting Light's songs, recorded live with little room for error, sound raw and electric, but the writing is that of a polished veteran. The combination works wonders, as an aging Grohl reflects on his life and mortality.
To bolster the old-school nature of the album, no computers were involved in the making of Wasting Light. Even the artwork was made with copy machines. Early Wasting Light buyers (myself included) received a slice of the original analogue tape masters, which were destroyed after recording for that very purpose.
If Foo Fighters wanted to endear themselves to fans with this album, I can vouch that it worked. I've had just as many good times with Wasting Light as the soundtrack as I did with the band's older work. Foo Fighters can put to rest any grumblings that they aren't the real deal, even in their own imaginations. They are one of the great American rock bands.
Here is Foo Fighters' video for "Rope," which was directed by Grohl himself and shot entirely to VHS.

2011 RCA
1. Bridge Burning 4:46
2. Rope 4:19
3. Dear Rosemary 4:26
4. White Limo 3:22
5. Arlandria 4:28
6. These Days 4:58
7. Back & Forth 3:52
8. A Matter of Time 4:36
9. Miss the Misery 4:33
10. I Should Have Known 4:15
11. Walk" 4:15

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Foo Fighters -- In Your Honor

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After 2002's disappointing One By One, Foo Fighter's decided to do a little something different with 2005's double album, In Your Honor. The album starts off with a very strong opening trio, culminating in the powerful "Best of You."

The rest of disc one just sort of happens. I don't know, for some reason it just doesn't do it for me. I admire the band's decision to make the first disc their most rocking yet, but I'm just not a huge fan of the songs. They aren't bad, they're just there. I mean, I like "Resolve" a lot. I don't know. Anyway, moving on, disc two is something entirely different. It's an album of entirely original acoustic songs. I have to be honest, these songs really hit a sweet spot for me. They are a product of their time in that they are heavily indebted to Beck's Sea Change, which is in turn influenced by the work of Nick Drake, which I guess is beside the point except to say that timeless music can beget timeless music, and does at a few points on In Your Honor's second disc. There are some are really nice, subtle, and sometimes ambient touches to these tracks. I'd also name The Dismemberment Plan's "Automatic" as a point of reference, particularly on disc opener, "Still."

Overall, disc two contains a quite satisfying morning after feeling, and in my opinion, makes up for disc one's shortcomings quite well. This comes from someone who usually enjoys rocking music quite a bit more than acoustic songs. Man, "quite" is such a lazy word.
On a personal note, I've referenced my interesting 2005 exile many times in these reviews, and you can get a good idea of my states of mind just by reading the eighty-six remaining posts from that year. In Your Honor came out that summer, during a short-lived period of time where MTV2 earnestly attempted to rededicate itself to music. Shortly before In Your Honor's release, the channel gave itself over to Foo Fighter's four members for an entire twenty-four hour period. Having nothing at all better to do, and not sleeping, I watched the majority of this. Hey, if Dave Grohl didn't need sleep, neither did I. This broadcast became a surprisingly entertaining twenty-four hours, with the band growing nuttier as the time wore on. Sometimes, I really miss that summer.

2005 RCA
Disc One
1. In Your Honor 3:50
2. No Way Back 3:17
3. Best of You 4:16
4. DOA 4:12
5. Hell 1:57
6. The Last Song 3:19
7. Free Me 4:39
8. Resolve 4:49
9. The Deepest Blues Are Black 3:58
10. End Over End 5:52

Disc Two
1. Still 5:15
2. What If I Do? 5:02
3. Miracle 3:29
4. Another Round 4:25
5. Friend of a Friend 3:13
6. Over and Out 5:16
7. On the Mend 4:31
8. Virginia Moon 3:49
9. Cold Day in the Sun 3:20
10. Razor 4:53

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Foo Fighters -- There Is Nothing Left to Lose

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Of all Foo Fighters' albums, I most definitely have the warmest feelings toward 1999's There Is Nothing Left to Lose. I've detailed my love of 1999 in plenty enough posts. At the end of that year, I had a fairly major surgery to remediate a situation I had mistakenly thought was life-ending. The surgery, along with a viral infection I picked up in the hospital, put me in the bed for quite a while. Shortly after New Year's, I limped out of my room and into my family's living room, and plopped myself on the couch. My parent's were watching this and laughing hysterically.

"Look, he's dressed up like a woman," my dad said, pointing at the television. My parents' enthusiasm for Foo Fighter's cross-dressing antics was enough to send me into painful hysterics. Now, every time I hear any song from There Is Nothing Left to Lose, I think of hanging out in my parents' living room, watching music videos and VH1 Behind the Music marathons. Spoiler Alert: Whoever the Behind the Music episode is about is doing better by the end.
Apparently, Dave Grohl has warm feelings about this album, as well. According to Wikipedia, Grohl says There Is Nothing Left to Lose "might be his favorite album that they(Foo Fighters)'ve ever done." During the There Is Nothing Left to Lose period, Grohl was recovering from some truly awful times. Despite this, and though his band was down to only three members, Grohl was not deterred from making music. He took his two remaining band-mates to his studio-equipped home in Virginia that spring, and the three friends hung out, relaxed, and recorded whenever they pleased. Feelings of positivity and healing are usually absent from a rock album, but they are There Is Nothing Left to Lose's greatest assets.
The album finds cohesion in this relaxed atmosphere. It still rocks, especially in opening track, "Stacked Actors," but it doesn't force anything. At all times, There Is Nothing Left to Lose sounds like three talented musicians just playing together in a room (and perhaps consequently, Nate Mendel's excellent bass-playing has never before or since been given this much prominence). Strangely, this environment somehow resulted in Foo Fighters most experimental moments, as well. They've never really recorded anything as delicately powerful as album centerpiece, "Aurora," since. That's a shame, as it's a beautiful song. I admit it's moved me to tears once or twice, when I've been coming off some bad times.

Because of it's cohesion, flow of emotion, and lack of filler tracks, There Is Nothing Left to Lose is Foo Fighters first complete album from start to finish. It makes me miss some good times, but it consequently brings them back every time I listen.

1999 Roswell/RCA
1. Stacked Actors 4:17
2. Breakout 3:21
3. Learn to Fly 3:58
4. Gimme Stitches 3:42
5. Generator 3:48
6. Aurora 5:50
7. Live-In Skin 3:53
8. Next Year 4:37
9. Headwires 4:38
10. Ain't It the Life 4:17
11. M.I.A. 4:03

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Foo Fighters -- The Colour and the Shape

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Like most people my age, The Colour and the Shape was my introduction to Foo Fighters. I don't remember when I first heard it, I only remember my excitement that the drummer from Nirvana had a new band, even if he wasn't playing drums in it (ironically, Dave Grohl plays drums on all but two of The Colour and the Shape's tracks. Taylor Hawkins became the full-time drummer a short while later).
The singles from The Colour and the Shape were and are certainly something to get excited about. "Monkey Wrench" and "My Hero" are both awesome, rocking songs. "Everlong" is not only the best song Foo Fighters have recorded, it's one of the greatest songs of all time. It probably deserves a video better than this still-awesome dose of late-90's weirdness.

The rest of The Colour and the Shape is so-so. There are quite a few filler tracks, but there are also some gems like "Walking After You" and "New Way Home." Basically, the first three songs are awesome, the last three songs are awesome, and the middle song is awesome. The rest is okay. The parts are greater than the sum. General cliche statement about buying the album for the singles. End review.
Just kidding, here's a NOTE:
Adding to the X-Files-first-movie-had-an-awesome-soundtrack thread I've been subtly weaving by making additions at the end of reviews with the word "note" in all caps, Foo Fighters re-recorded "Walking After You" for that film. Here's a fan-video someone made

1997 Roswell/Capitol
1. Doll 1:23
2. Monkey Wrench 3:51
3. Hey, Johnny Park! 4:08
4. My Poor Brain 3:33
5. Wind Up 2:32
6. Up in Arms 2:15
7. My Hero 4:20
8. See You 2:26
9. Enough Space 2:37
10. February Stars 4:49
11. Everlong 4:10
12. Walking After You 5:03
13. New Way Home 5:40

A Bunch of Weirdos Cover M83

I recently came across this beautiful, unplugged cover of M83's "Midnight City" and assumed the performers were hipsters. It turns out the band is led by a dude, the banjo player is his dad, and one of the girls is his sister, so they aren't hipsters, they are just a bunch of familial weirdos called "The Last Bison." That's cool, keep it up, weirdos. I like it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Note On These Upcoming Foo Fighters Reviews

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First off, I'm not reviewing every album because I don't have every album. I never bought One By One, or Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace because I didn't like what I heard from them, and they seemed redundant to the Foo Fighters' catalogue. Maybe I'm wrong about them, and they're awesome. I also never picked up Foo Fighters' first album because I didn't know that Dave Grohl had a new band until The Colour and the Shape came out. Everybody didn't have the Internet back in 1995. Anyway, I never got around to picking up Foo Fighters' first album. All that to say, if these reviews seem skewed high (and honestly, I don't think they are), it's because I've only purchased the 4/7 Foo Fighters' albums I thought I would enjoy. And because this post was so dry, here is a picture of a monkey eating a banana.
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Friday, March 08, 2013

Flyleaf -- Momento Mori

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I saw Flyleaf's Momento Mori on sale for $3 and picked it up thinking my wife would like it. We had recently seen the band live at one of those 2009 Rock the River events, and their show was pretty good. Turns out I actually like this album more than my wife does.
Momento Mori features slightly above average hard rock tracks. It's X-Factor is singer, Lacey Sturm, whose charisma and vocal powers elevate the album to an enjoyable listening level. Momento Mori doesn't change or improve the current heavy music scene, and it's more radio fodder than anything, but it's also pretty irresistible. Fourteen tracks are a bit much, but you are not going to throw on Momento Mori to achieve a transformative album listening experience. You throw on Momento Mori when you want to hear something catchy with a bit of an edge. It achieves that purpose quite well--at $3, it was a steal, even if it didn't reach it's intended audience.

2009 A&M/Octone
0. Uncle Bobby (hidden pre-gap track) 4:22
1. Beautiful Bride 3:03
2. Again 3:05
3. Chasm 2:54
4. Missing 2:54
5. This Close 3:20
6. The Kind 2:47
7. In The Dark 3:47
8. Set Apart This Dream 3:15
9. Swept Away 4:09
10. Tiny Heart 3:07
11. Melting (Interlude) 0:57
12. Treasure 3:24
13. Circle 3:03
14. Arise 4:18

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Florence + the Machine -- Ceremonials

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Ceremonials does that sophomore album thing where its arrangements are louder and more full, and the songs across the board are a little stronger, but it all kind of blurs together and makes you feel sleepy by the time it's over. It's not a downer, though, which is important.

2011 Island
1. Only If for a Night 4:58
2. Shake It Out 4:37
3. What the Water Gave Me 5:33
4. Never Let Me Go 4:31
5. Breaking Down 3:49
6. Lover to Lover 4:02
7. No Light, No Light 4:34
8. Seven Devils 5:03
9. Heartlines 5:01
10. Spectrum 5:11
11. All This and Heaven Too 4:05
12. Leave My Body 4:34

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Anything But Blue

What is going on in the world? Though you're alive, darkness looms only inches away. A world where any move you make could be a dangerous mistake. So, we will step away from the mainstream and live like vagabonds and common dropouts. A psychedelic rhapsody for someone just like you. Next episode, Bohemian Rhapsody. Don't you wanna hang out and waste your life with us?
Spike Spiegel, nothing in my life has made me happier since.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Florence + the Machine -- Lungs:The B-Sides

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Out of all the recent "big things in media," Twilight has got to be pretty close to the worst--badly made, badly written, and badly acted. Yet that series has two saving graces, or at least the couple of movies from the series I was forced to watch do: setting (the beautiful, mysterious Pacific Northwest) and music. I have no idea how the producers of the Twilight films managed to get such quality artists to record such quality songs, but I'm just going to guess that their motivational tool can be summed up in one symbol:
Anyway, the Twilight series benefited from one of Florence + the Machine's best tracks, "Heavy in Your Arms."
Yeah, team Nightcreature!
This decent collection of F+tM b-sides also greatly benefits from "Heavy in Your Arms." It's by far the best song here.
In addition to "Heavy," you have your throwaway demo or remix versions of Lungs' songs, and the token rap-addition. You also get a dreary, completely unnecessary cover of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love." However, the majority of these songs are originals, and while they are a little weaker than what made it onto Lungs, most of them are pretty good. Fans of Lungs won't be as pleased with this collection, but they won't want to throw it in the trash (or delete it now, I guess?), either. Now as for Twilight...

2011 Universal Island Records
1. Swimming 3:21
2. Heavy in Your Arms 4:46
3. Ghosts 2:59
4. You've Got the Dirtee Love 3:42
5. Dog Days Are Over 4:16
6. Falling 3:33
7. Are You Hurting the One You Love? 2:58
8. Addicted to Love 3:19
9. Bird Song 2:55
10. Hospital Beds 2:15
11. Hardest of Hearts 3:28

Friday, March 01, 2013