Against Me! – New Wave (rock) released July, 2007
Gabe Gonzales, a loyal Casual Listening reader, suggested this album, which garnered a lot of buzz as a standout political punk album last year. Gabe describes this better than I can, so I’ll print his review:
Two songs sing out. One is thrash unreal and the other is borne on the fm waves of .....
I love these songs for two different reasons. With thrash unreal, the lyrics are insane. The chorus alone is enough to grab you "No mother ever dreams that her daughters gonna grow up to be a junkie, no mother ever believes that her daughters gonna grow up to sleep alone" and there's more "when people see the track marks on her arms she knows what thier thinkin, she keeps on workin for that minimum, as if her high school education gave her any other option"
But the final line is the killer "if she had to do it all over again you know she wouldn't change anything for the world". Turns out after all that heavy shit that the song is an anthem. Crazy.
Borne on the FM waves is a different kettle. Its a summer love song that begins with the words "No... that's not what I meant to say...." And later "exciting and excited, you give me no mercy. Grind my teeth smooth and flat in my sleep" but it's not the lyrics alone. The riff that underlies the chorus is the sound that coldplay always reached fruitlessly for. The build of the song, starting with a lone electric guitar and ending with a wall of sound that spector would envy, is intense. And who could hear the chorus of "just fighting to stay in control of the situation" and not think of what it meant to be in lust and 15.
And finally, the indictment of the music industry that "up the cuts" provides is materful. As an organizer, i totally feel the chorus "are you restless like me?"
Its more than a paragraph, and i could go on. But rather, read this and listen again.
Oh and one more from thrash unreal "they don't know nuthin bout redemption. They don't know nuthin about recovery. Some people just ain't the type for marriage and family"
Melody Gardot – Worrisome Heart (jazz)
This CD is even more impressive when you know the story behind it (which you can find thanks to NPR here). The music is solid vocal jazz, on the mellow side, and straight ahead. If you’re a Nora Jones fan, you’ll probably dig this as well.