Thursday, March 29, 2007

Musical Musings

  • I picked up three new CDs this month. The first is Acoustic Extravaganza by KT Tunstall, and contains a batch of new acoustic works, as well as some new renditions of her old stuff. The best song on on the CD is Girl and the Ghost which seems to capture her style to a fine point. Also notable is her reworking of Universe and You as a quieter, more intimate piece. It's very rare that I like an acoustic recording of a song after hearing the "full" version, but I think I like this one just as much as the original -- it also highlights how little the power of her voice depends on the surrounding orchestration.
      Girl and the Ghost (516KB MP3)
      Universe and You (original) (501KB MP3)
      Universe and You (acoustic) (545KB MP3)
  • The next CD, Long Distance by Ivy, is something of a departure for me. The music is a lighter, atmospheric blend of electronica and simple patterns, and I picked it up on the strength of two songs, Edge of the Ocean, and Worry About You. These two songs turned out to be the best songs on the album, and while the CD is still good background music, I didn't find anything noteworthy on the rest of it. Plus, the heavily accented English of the French-born singer can get a little distracting sometimes. You have probably heard some of Ivy's music at some point -- they're liberally borrowed for TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, Alias, The 4400, and every car commercial ever made.
      Edge of the Ocean (515KB MP3)
      Worry About You (672KB MP3)
  • The final CD is a British import, Alright, Still by Lily Allen. Her songs are about as deep as a wading pool, but they shine in their catchy beats and infectious hooks, ranging a gamut of styles from rap to ska to dance. Her style is best self-described at the beginning of her LDN video as a "sort of punky electronica kind of grime, kind of like new-wave grime, kind of maybe like more broken beats, like kind of dubby broken beats, but a little bit kind of soulful...". There's a couple weak tracks towards the end, but overall it's a fun CD, and only costs $10.
      Smile (remix) (397KB MP3)
      Shame for You (525KB MP3)
      Knock Em Out (429KB MP3)
      Alfie (343KB MP3)
  • There was an article on CNN.com the other day documenting the incredible success of Nickelback, obviously one more sign of the impending apocalypse. It looks like Chad Kroeger is going to develop a Bono-complex and start aiming for the TIME Man of the Year award. I still don't understand how anyone can find it pleasant to listen to the sounds of a trachea being forcibly ejected in musical form (160KB MP3) -- I'd sooner stir seagull guano with my pinky and then stick it up my nose.

  • New on my playist this month:
    • Badly Drawn Boy, Once Around the Block
    • Dirty Pretty Things, Bang Bang You're Dead
    • Joss Stone, Tell Me 'Bout It
    • Miri Ben-Ari f. Scarface & Anthony Hamilton, Sunshine in the Rain
    • Ordinary Boys, Lonely at the Top
    • Todd Rundgren, Onomatopoeia
  • Take that to your next rain dance
    Prepubescent purity balls
    Dumbest moments in business

    tagged as music, reviews | permalink | 2 comments


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