Thursday, January 31, 2008

Casual Listening 2-1-08

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

Special Guest Reviewer: Yesh Pavlik

February 1, 2008

!! Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (rock)

Am I allowed to put 2 “!!” up? Because this album is awesome! Your ear is ready for this awesome band. Afro-pop inspired, New York kitsch representing, Vampire Weekend will have you smiling, throwing your body around and dusting off your Paul Simon, “Graceland” album. You’ll get cooler just by listening to this.

* The Helio Sequence – Keep Your Eyes Ahead (rock)

This is for all of the U2 fans out there. Helio Sequence’s sound is what I imagine flying like a bird to feel like. Steady, smooth, self-propelling and rhythmic. A great choice for a nice long drive with this one. Highlighted songs include, Lately, and Hallelujah. (It will also join the ranks of those songs people think they know the words to but end up singing things like, “Bring me a pie of love” instead of “Bring me a higher love” (Cough – Katrina))

*Alberta Hunter – Amtrak Blues (blues – special market re-release)

Originally released in 1987, Alberta is getting a new chance to sing as this album is re-released this week. And thank goodness! Hunter’s famous large personality, sweetness and sass seem to fall out of her mouth with her words. Her “aww, yea” sound belongs alongside classic Ray Charles and Dinah Washington.

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (electronic)

While I’m pretty sure they are wearing random swim trunks they found at the Salvation Army on their album cover, their music is worth a listen. A little poppy, pretty hip and hypnotic, MGMT creates a sound that has some rockin’ 70’s and 80’s beats, Michael Jackson qualities, and wacky electronic sounds. Check out Electric Feel and Time to Pretend to really get a sense.

SSM – Break Your Arm for Evolution (rap)

Not at all what you’d expect Rap/Hip-Hop to sound like. SSM is a little spooky, a little like a Salvador Dali painting, a little like a hipster kid singing to his drum machine. Interesting to say the least, the jury is still out on this one.

Pat Metheny – Day Trip (Jazz)

Pat Metheny is undeniably a living jazz legend. This album is a credit to his reputation as a master. Colorful, easy to listen to, and full of Metheny’s signature improvisational genius. This album is worth your attention.

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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