On the Highway of I WRITE LOTS ABOUT 2007 ALBUMS

(blogspot's method of doing pictures is completely stupid. That being said, let's continue.)

The Shins - "Wincing The Night Away"

Blah blah Garden State blah. There. Moving on.

The Shins are a pretty decent embodiment of what modern alt rock is. The soft tonality, the vulnurable singer, the David Bowie tributes. Typical SubPop artist fare, in a way. The Shins have a more natural approach to their songwriting, and if you're into that kind of thing, that's fine. For me, though, the album went in one ear and right out the other without me noticing it. I've tried multiple listens, in various states of sensory deprivation, and I just can't do it. It sounds like a soundtrack to a movie, and not an album. I am probably alone in this feeling, but hey, my blog, eat it. Moving on!

Fu Manchu - We Must Obey

Holy shit! There's new Fu Manchu and no one told me! As a lover of stoner rock, this is nothing but good news. Well, at first, that was the case. This sure sounds like Fu Manchu, but I don't remember them being this angry. Well, they are. Maybe it's just general frustration at the world or geopolitics or something, but this is the angriest Fu Manchu album ever. There's none of the levity that you expect from Fu Manchu, so it comes of as much more of a Kyuss album in slow motion than a Fu Manchu album. I like Kyuss alright, but I like Fu Manchu a great deal, and this really isn't a Fu Manchu album. However, at the same time, it is a good metal album, and it leaps between thrash with pounding anthemic songs like "Between The Lines," but it's lacking in any breaks. I guess that's good for metal, but it just continues to show that this isn't really much of a Fu Manchu album. If you liked "Evil Eye" a lot, you would like this album. Me, I was always more of a "Laserbl'ast!" and "Trackside Hoax" guy, so this doesn't do much for me.

Maximo Park - "Our Earthly Pleasures"

Holy shit! There's new Maximo Park and no one told me! Wait, this didn't work out. Maximo Park is a great, GREAT modern britpop band, with a surprising traditional element to their music, that comes together and really sets them apart from most rock bands, with straight forward lyrics, and a usually strong, relentless beat that borders on infectious. "A Certain Trigger" was a great album, not just a great debut album, and I still listen to it all the time. So, new Maximo Park. Awesome. The cheesy lyrics and uplifting powerchords start the album, so I am immediately psyched. After listening, this is totally new Maximo Park. "Our Velocity" is a great summary of what makes Maximo Park so damned awesome, combining synthesizer melody and pop-punk power chords, with blunt lyrics that are almost unintelligble at times, thanks to the British accent. Like "A Certain Trigger", the album is an unexpected surprise, only because it's a solid followup that had almost no press, so I had no idea it was coming out. Pick this up if you're looking for good modern britpop. It is out there, and it's Maximo Park.

- The Good, The Bad, & The Queen

Speaking of Britpop, how about that Damon Albarn guy? He's alright. Makes some good stuff sometimes. Didn't really like "Demon Days", but that was more because I was protesting the criminal lack of Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, than it being a bad album. The singles were all good, although "Feel Good Inc." was way overplayed. Hey, that Danger Mouse guy, he's cool too. I didn't listen to Gnarls Barkley until this year, and actually, Gnarls Barkley is the reason I'm reviewing albums all year instead of just at the end, because I felt REALLY bad about not having that on there after listening to it. And some guy from the Clash, too. I dunno. It's all piano powered for the most part. Really, I can do nothing besides suggest you listen to "History Song" to see if you'll like it. It's pretty much what the whole album is. If you don't like the one song, I really doubt you'll like the album. Overall, though, it's just middling. It's nothing completely mindblowing. It's even a little overbearing at times, and a lot of the songs don't have drums, which is weird considering their drummer is Tony Allen. Whatever. I guess I don't like it because it's supposed to be a commentary on living in England nowadays, and I don't have that context.

1. Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible"
2. Ted Leo & The Pharmecists - "Living With The Living"
3. Clutch - "From Beale St. To Oblivion"
4. Maximo Park - "Our Earthly Pleasures"
5. LCD Soundsystem - "Sound of Silver"
6. Fu Manchu - "We Must Obey"
7. The Good, The Bad, & The Queen
8. The Shins - "Wincing The Night Away"

Next time on the road...
-Air. Air is good for breathing. Air is also good listening. Weird, huh?
-Bloc Party. Well, sort of.
-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, plus openly asking what the hell is wrong with some people.
-Trent Reznor masturbating. I hear he's all muscly now. Can only imagine the kind of pud pulling involved.




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