Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Same Harmonious Tune

Okay, so, back when the Dolls' Vol. II came out, I played it, and I was so happy with having the Iris demo on it, I had to share it with my parents. (Don't judge me... They're Goobers, too.) And, so my step-dad, who's the Takac-fan of the two, asks if R's signing with J during the demo at points. To this very second, I don't really know, but... Hell, y'all know me, I'm all for them singing together, so I assume they are and I tell him so. Then, to my shock, he tells me, "Yeah.... Wow, they cannot harmonize together."


My heart broke a little. Now, I know precisely SHIT about music and music theory etc.... But! I know what I like, and I like them together, all my gooey romanticism aside. (And, I meant that in a platonic sense.)

With that back-story fully in place, let me now tell a tale. So, I've kind of slipped away from Goo these last few days, as in I've been listening to a lot more other bands. Particularly, I've been playing the hell out of EC. In fact, I recently remembered that So Much for the Afterglow is their GF; i.e.: It's practically flawless.

Anyhow, today I've got my WinAmp on shuffle, as per usual, and I'm not really paying any heed to it. Yeah, sure, the Dolls are coming up every now and then, but it's stuff I've heard before -- Like, some performance of BB, or that January Friend from LiB... And, of course, there's other band's, too... And, I'm looking on-line for info about Thee Armada (they're writing for a full album!), and I'm updating my f_book, and checking on some people...

And, I guess I'm not really paying very good attention, because a performance of Name comes on. Now, let me explain for a second... Although I once decided (and semi-convinced another Goober) that Name's their best song, it's not a song I really... Play anymore, you know? I just don't think about it, because it's so ingrained into the fandom (for myself, definitely, and other Goobers, too, I'm sure), like Iris and Slide, etc.... I don't go out of my way to put it on, no matter what version/performance it is. (Honestly, I can't remember the last time I purposefully listened to either Name, or Slide... Iris, well, yeah...)

So, anyway... Name, performed live at the 1995 Summerfest is playing, and I hear that it's Name, and I just gloss over it, drift away back into what I'm doing. Then, out of nowhere, the song hits 2:42. And, well, it's like... Being brought back to life, or woken up after a long dreary nap, or...
It's like something mystical and beautiful just at the fringe of your periphery; just brilliant enough and alluring enough to catch your whole focus, and then, once you turn, maybe you catch a quick glimpse of the beautiful thing... then it's gone!

I'm talking about the moments at 2:42 and 2:56 where the bass infuses with the treble; where Takac's goose-bump-inspiring rumble is a sudden, yet unassuming and warm addition to Rzeznik's leading, that life's like a dream (so much so, that when I first heard it, I had to skip back a little to make sure I wasn't imagining anything...), and it's proved that, well...
They harmonize perfectly.

(Perfectly enough that I've been looping this performance for... God, I don't even know how long now.)

Or... At least they could. I have no idea, really, if they can now or not... Korel did a lot of Takac's backing on the LLI tour, and Rzeznik's voice has changed so... But, I like to dream that they still sound amazing together; as their partnership, their ability to be more together than they could ever be apart, is partly what attracts me to this band. (Amongst music, lyrics, general heart and soul, etc. ...And, yeah, y'all should know by now how much a romantic I am.)

So, if anyone in the Goo camp ever reads this blog... Please pass this thought along to either of The Two...

(I'd love y'all even more, and that's really saying something.)

In other news... Michael's birthday is tomorrow, and I got him a card. I hope he likes it. I see Stephen Lynch in less than a week, and Dad visited today. I got the 'drinking is bad' talk, which is fine with me.
i don't think i'll make it on my own

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All the Plans

And, so I'm finally listening to Starsailor's new one, All the Plans. My God, you guys... I know some of y'all don't exactly care for them, but... I still have to gush. This album is fantastic. So far this year, it's the best I've heard, from anyone. Hell... It's great, period... I haven't been this moved since... God, I don't know... SSPU's Carnavas. And, that was a while ago.

If Goo can blow me away half as much as SS has this time around... It'll be fantastic!

So, without further adieu...

Artist: Starsailor
All the Plans, studio album
Release: 2009, Virgin

Song 1: Tell Me It's Not Over
Okay, this is definitely the single-song of the album. I like it. It's more pop-rocky than they usually are, so it's a nice change of pace. And, on another note: the video makes me think of the Dolls' video for
Stay With You.

Song 2: Boy In Waiting
Okay, this is much more like typical SS. It's a simple low-key song. Good, solid music, and it just lets James Walsh's voice soar and sway.

Song 3: The Thames
It sounds a little country-ish, and I'm digging it. Especially, wow, the opening lines: "Is love just a big mistake/a risk we all take/in order to keep the blues away?" This band is a lyric-focused band. Always have been, always will be, I think. Oh, and the chorus is a nice swing in tempo.

Song 4: All the Plans
Title-track time! This one's a little rock-ier than the last few. Like, I'm finally hearing, music-wise, what Rolling Stone heard when they called them Britain's GGD... I'm also feeling a little Powerdfinger-vibes, too. And, I'm all for it. And, as always, the lyrics are just honest and powerful. "I want to win your heart"- God, perfect. And, my God... There's harmonica!

Song 5: Neon Sky
Slowing down a bit... All right, understandable coming from the last track. Ooooh, Walsh is hitting some gorgeous high notes! I dig. Oh, the chorus!!!! Oh, wow... The backing just completes it.

Song 6: You Never Get What You Deserve
Another amazing track... It's just great. The lyrics? Fallen angels and shining stars... That's all I need to say. I love the use of piano, while it still rocks... And the re-occurring theme of plans.

Song 7: Hurts Too Much
The repeating piano notes.... It's got me hooked. And the lyrics are just sooooo powerful, and there's backing vocals again... And, it's like all the amazing elements of the album so far rolled into this one song. "You're looking for something you already know"...

Song 8: Stars and Stripes
I'm sensing some political thoughts here, and it's okay... In fact, as much as I don't like obviously-loaded songs, like this one, the music is a good enough groove for me to almost ignore the lyrics. Almost.

Song 9: Change My Mind
I'm still in love with bar-room feel to the majority of their piano this time around, as a whole. And, this song is just another great example. It's bluesy and wonderful, and the up and down of Welsh's voice is perfect for it. Take note of the breakdown mid-song.

Song 10: Listen Up
Why don't you listen.... Why don't you listen tooooo meeeeeeeee....
Oh, wrong band.
Anyhow. The music is fan-fucking-tastic this time around. The thudding constant beat is great, and the dreamy random chimes half-hidden in the background are an interesting touch. And, I love Walsh's vocals, but it's somehow brilliant how he's nearly-swallowed by the music in the chorus.
(and possibly my favorite track on the album.)

Song 11: Safe at Home
The deep notes that almost echo; love 'em. It's a real simple song, and his vocals are great -- a little less Walsh-ish than normal. The slow simplicity is a great way to finish off their best album to date.

Artist: Starsailor
Album: All the Plans, acoustic bonus disc
Release: 2009, Virgin

Song 1: Listen Up
WOAH, WOAH, WOAH. It's the same song, with alternate lyrics... And it's done a complete 180... It was hopeful, but now is love-centered and complex. And, once again, Walsh's voice seems a little subdued, insomuch that it can be.
"There's just something from your heart I just might not ever understand."

Song 2: Tell Me It's Not Over
This song is so much more powerful with the amps turned down.

Song 3: All the Plans
Walsh just sings so well... I mean, you love him or hate him... And, well, I clearly love him, and this is just a great example of his talent.

Song 4: Merry Go Round
I just went on about Walsh's voice... it's all th emore impressive when it's backed-up. And, those high notes? Woah.

Song 5: The Thames
This song is somehow sadder, and I didn't think it could be. Maybe it's the strings-like sound in the background that's all th emore apparent?

Song 6: Change My Mind
This is the only song I *almost* dislike as an acoustic... His vocal stylings in the middle of this version are a little jolting.

Song 7: Stars and Stripes
Still my least favorite song. It's less flattering acoustically.

Artist: Starsailor
Album: Boy In Waiting EP
Release: 2009, Virgin

Song 1: Boy In Waiting
Same as the album one.

Song 2: Do You Believe in Love
A little more rockin'. Everything grinds a little more on this one. I dig, and I can see how I might not have fit with the rest of the album.

Song 3: Black Limosuine
Same thing with this one... Except, not precisely bluesy, just harder rock (for them).

Song 4: Darling Be Home Soon
Pretty strings... Somewhat dreamy. And he used 'dawddled' and made it rhyme.

In other news, now that Tim Palmer's been announced as the producer for the new Goo album, I'm officially excited. That's right; I've broken my own spell of apathy (which was a defense mechanism) and I care again.
i wanna write the one that cuts just like it should

Friday, March 13, 2009

Life, the Universe and Everything

Okay. So, I got Amungus' '05 ambient piece, Life, the Universe and Everything earlier than I expected. That's because it was delivered here, to H-Town, whereas I thought it was going to be shipped to H-Ville. At first, this kind of sucked, because I had to explain to Mom that it only cost, like, ten bucks, as she went on to remind me that I'm a poor college student, etc...

But, then, things got better. I thought that, here, I wouldn't have the time to really sit and listen to it all. But, wait, you ask... You've done that with the Cure and Thursday, what's different this time around? Well, okay... I'll answer that, imaginary person.

See, this cd is a 42:42 ambient/mood piece that Amungus did to accompany (I'm assuming) Wendy Marvel's artwork, and others', at the '05 MiA/Rockin' at the Knox festival up in B_Lo. It's not just a collection of 12 or so songs, like the Cure and Thursday, and anything else I'll be listening to this year will be. It's one solid work, which means that to scribble about it properly, I'd have to be able to really listen to it -- all of it -- beforehand. I couldn't do what I did with the others and listen to a song here or there, if needed.

That explained; I'm on my fourth listen. I can't let it go.

And, no, I'm not the first Goober to talk about this. Rzeznik-Girl beat me to it, as she should have. And... I'm glad she did, because, as unintentional as I'm sure it is, she's giving me a springboard, as I'm not sure how to even start... So, here we go.

Okay, so Steph equated all of this to water, and I can totally see... Hear what she's getting at. She also suggested (and I might be misunderstanding...) that the purpose of this piece (accompanying artwork) might have effected its sound. I can see what she's meaning, if I'm understanding her. Though... I like to think that Schulmeister and Takac had these dreamscapes in their heads and were, perhaps, just waiting for a reason to unleash them; like this was just some nice coincidence. In the end, though, it doesn't really matter, as this can just be boiled down to a 'chicken vs. egg' debate.

What matters is the product, and this product is... Really amazing.

Before I do my best to try and tackle it, let me back up and explain something... I was a little iffy about their EP, as dance/elctronica/pop/club music is very hit or miss for me, and as y'all know I was pleasantly surprised. The Truth Is... kicked ass, and it's constantly in rotation in my car, as I loooooove Search Your Soul, Green Tea and Broken Love.

I'm re-hashing this to point out that... I assumed, going into LtUaE, that I'd like it. See, I'm one of those H-Town chicks who used to tune in every Saturday night at ten o'clock, to 88.7, the U of H station, in order to hear Hearts of Space, an hour-long, syndicated ambient program. I dig ambient music, even when it's just wtf-ish walls of sound. (All right, that, to an extent.) So, it was a safe bet that I'd like this piece.

And, I love it. I really, really do. I love how it reminds me of water, in all ways imagineable: floating in it, sinking in it, watching it rain, drip by drop, down and up; seeing it freeze over and shatter, or just feeling it run and trickle over you, or collect all stagnant in puddles. (And, no, that wasn't some half-assed refference to the Dolls' video for Real.) I also love how, on my fifth listen now, I still don't know where it'll go next. I thought I might have it down, but no! I don't. It's a dynamic piece...
...That I have no idea how to write about.

So... This is my solution... I can't go through it, minute by minute... So... Here are some highlights to this aqueous work. (all times are approximate, but you'll know it when you hear it.)

30 seconds and onward: Droplets... drip, dri-dri-drip, drip; a foundation, and it builds.

2 and a half minutes: breathing underwater (isn't that how long Yuna can hold her breath in FFx-2?...)

3 minutes and forty seconds: addition of piano-ish synth notes (y'all know I'm a sucker for piano... Hell, I love Slaughterhouse...)

4 minutes and forty-five seconds: little knife-like sound, like a sword being drawn

5 and a half minutes: everything's just building and becoming more complex

6 minutes and 11 seconds: HERE'S OUR MOTIF. (nice crackle-ing, too)

7 minutes and five seconds: more of that nice piano

8 minutes and forty seconds: that effectual sound of something being ripped away, like time slipping backwards

9 minutes and twenty seconds: it's all dies down; absoultely gorgeous

10 minutes and forty-five seconds: that deeper, wavering sounds that's thrown in

11 minutes and twenty-five seconds: see above, just uitlized more (omg, love it.)

12 minutes: those little metallic notes that seem to bounce around the space

12 minutes and 15 seconds: those mechanic/technological noises that seem static-y

13 minutes and thirty-two seconds: everything climaxes after a unique build

14 minutes and twenty-five seconds: more of that awesome wire-y, harder sound

15 minutes and eleven seconds: the motif comes back, to provide us with some ground

16 minutes and nine seconds: melody.

17 minutes and forty seconds: MORE PIANO!!!!!! and it's beautiful.

18 minutes and seventeen seconds: background noise that becomes prevalent, like something being spirited away

19 minutes and twenty-six seconds: everything's getting heavy again

20 minutes and twenty-two seconds: a hint of some structure, in the background, for those who might want it

20 minutes and forty seconds : there's our motif again, but disconnected... almost like it's under water

21 minutes and forty-four seconds: a small background noise that makes me think of a siren, a la Kill Bill, almost

23 minutes: things start to get a little sci-fi ish, and i'm all for it.

23 minutes and fifty-seven seconds: little soft twinkle of notes

25 minutes and ten seconds: still deep in sci-fi land

27 minutes and twenty-five seconds: our motif, in yet another form

30 minutes and twelve seconds: some more low melody, in the background

30 minutes and forty-six seconds: GREG FUCKING SURAN on guitar. that is all.

34 minutes and twenty seconds: it's all getting hard and heavy again

35 minutes: there's that motif, amidst the staic and grit

35 minutes and fifty-three seconds: piano added, like it's all coming together

38 minutes and forty-two seconds: it's all mixing in and out of each other, and there's some wind chimes

39 minutes and forty seconds: birds?... in the background, faintly?

40 minutes and twenty seconds: another breath? are we coming up for air? out of the water, and about to dry off?

41 minutes and on: everything's flickering in and out, like something fluttering, or dying

41 minutes and fifty-five seconds: wind

And, you should be blown away by then. (Oh, and it appears that I did a minute-by-minute anyway... Ooops. My bad... It's just that good, I guess.)

In other news: I saw Watchmen today, and I don't know what everyone's bitching about, but I thought it was excellent. Then again, I had no issues with V for Vendetta, either... And, it seems like people who were meh on that one are meh on this one, too. And, some people are bitching about Snyder directing, and I love what he did. Then again, I loved 300, too.... Hmmm, perhaps I have shitty taste.

Also, apparently the Dolls have picked a producer: Tim Palmer.
.....Fuck, I have been trying so hard NOT to be excited about this album, but now... FUCK, NOW I SO AM, OMG!!!!!! Just go check out what Palmer's helped with, and get back to me. You'll see what I'm dying over. (Hints: Kajagoogoo and Cure...)

Oh, and new music continues for me. Today I got Deluxe from >Ezra. I used to have a copy, but it up and went missing years ago. I also got Yellowcard's Lights and Sounds, and Cure's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me; because I need to work on building my discographies of, well, all three.

I'm hanging with Delmy tomorrow, and we might see the remake of Last House on the Left. Hooray for Spring Break.

Oh, and happy Friday 13th. Mine was wonderful. (Isn't this the second one we had in a row?)
i've been up all night writing books about heroes and crooks

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Common Existence

Okay. So, Spring Break continues tomorrow with a trip to the noodle house and then a venture down to Rave to see The Watchmen. I've heard up and down reviews, and I'm trying my best to be open minded, so y'all'll hear my thoughts later.

New Music 2009 continues! I just found out last night that Better than Ezra is going to drop an album this year, too. And, they'll be hitting up H-Town's House of Blues in June! I'm actually going to try to go... I've wanted to see them for a while, and this might be one of my last times for awhile, so...

Anyway. To continue with new music... Let's look at Thursday's fourth major label release, shall we?

Band: Thursday
Album: Common Existence
Release: 2009, Epitaph

Song 1: Resucitation of a Dead Man
Not to dis on Thursday, because I really like them, or anything, but... Man, is this song much more powerful WITHOUT a video accompanying it. Let me explain. This is the only song I'd heard before purchasing the album, and it was only because I saw the video, with an interview, on Fuse. Sure, it was really cool, and pretty... But... It somehow took away from the song. At least, it did for me. Anyhow... In auditory-only land, this song rocks, and it's a great opener.

Song 2: Last Call
Okay, digging the crazy drums. And, I love how it's about a wedding... About how we're all thinking about a last-second escape route at these things. It's a soft subject, hidden under such hard music.... I'm digging it.
Totally approve.

Song 3: As He Climbed the Dark Mountain
I dig lyrics that are rich in poetic devices. Like symbolism and metaphor... Like this song, that even questions itself as to what it all means. I like that, too... It's almost tongue-in-cheek, doing that, but everything's so powerful... It's utterly wrenching, and I'm in love with the fast-slow pacing...
Totally approve.

Song 4: Friends in the Armed Forces
Meh....... I don't dig the subject matter, but the music's pretty rockin'; I really like the sound so... I could totally let this play if I just put the whole album on, you know, and kind of fade out on the lyrics... However, I wouldn't single this one out, you know?
Not quite so much approval.

Song 5: Beyond the Visible Spectrum
What is it with this band and the song names? A little EB-ish... Though.... EB came out after..... Uhm, anyway... The vocals are a little too swallowed during some of it, but it works out well, in the end. Geoff Rickly's vocals are soaring in this one, and carrying me away, and I'm all for it.
Totally approve.

Song 6: Time's Arrow
I fucking love this one. That. Is. All. (Take notice of the backwards theme manifested by the sound effects mid-song.)

Song 7: Unintended Long Term Effects
For some reason, the start of this makes me think of RHCP's "Can't Stop"..... Anyway, after that slowed-down time-trip, we jump back into what Thursday does best: delivering well thought out lyrics in the midst of hard and fast alt. rock. It rocks, and it's quick; clocking in at barely over two minutes.

Song 8: Circuits of Fever
I'm loving the siren-ish guitars. Of course, Rickly's delivering spot-on vocals, as he always does. And, this time around... They're a little softer, a little whisper-y, and it totally works. The music break is good, and then elongated wail is nice, with 2 minutes to go. And, then we switch to the yelling, and then there's some cool twinkle-y effects, and it all works.

Song 9: Subway Funeral
Eight leads directly into nine, and that's cool. There seems to be a little more bass, or the bass is... Singled out some, and I'm all for that. (gee, really?) The bass is what's keeping me going this time, because... I'm not quite feeling this one. Oh, well. It'll play if I play the whole thing.
Meh approval.

Song 10: Love Has Led Us Astray
Starting out very low-key? Okay. I dig. I'm also digging the simplicity and relative quietness. It's just cool for them to prove they can turn down the energy, and still succeed. It's also a good chance for Rickly to show off just how well he sings. The filters and effects on him are also a nice, poignant touch. The upswell in the end is also a nice climax.
Totally approve.

Song 11: You Were the Cancer
Ok.... Starting out really slow.... Oh, some whispers/spoken lyrics? Okay, I'm following. And, then, some killer guitar jumps in, and I'm hooked, not to mention the nezt layering and effects they use. Hell, how can I not be hooked with a title like this? ...And, to sum it up, this is just another good solid Thursday effort. Great way to end the album: making me want more.
Totally approve.

Final thoughts? Once again.... Just like the Cure.... This album, I'd say, surpasses Thursday's last effort. And, A City by the Light Divided, was good, too.... I'm just enjoying this one more, and I can't wait to see what they do next!
the clocks turn back in retreat

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

4:13 Dream

Okay. So, I spent the last day and a half with Dad, and it was a good visit. He got a new couch, so I don't have to sleep on an air mattress anymore! It's brown, and courdoroy-ish. (My spelling suck, etc.) We wanted to go see The Reader, but time wasn't on our side. Oh, well.

In other news... It seems like the trip to San Antonio has been cancelled, due to rain. Oh, well; no Alamo this year. Maybe next. It's not a big deal. There's some other things I can do to get my field trip credit for my Crossroads course, so... It'll all work out. I just wanted to go.

So, let's move on to the poi- Oh, wait.... Let's continue with listing off all the bands who have had, or will, or maybe will have albums drop this year: Silversun Pickups, Thursday, Starsailor, Dave Matthews Band, Chevelle, Default, Chris Cornell, Third Eye Blind, Evans Blue, Blue October, Weezer, Incubus, Goo Goo Dolls, Our Lady Peace, Lifehouse, The Fray, and Aerosmith.
I'm sure there's more.

Anyhow, now to the point. I don't know how this happened, but... Last Fall, I completely forgot to pick up the new album from the Cure. I know! I can't believe myself, either. And, it's funny, because I remember knowing about it... Knowing how they were making a big deal out of systematically releasing singles up until the drop-date... And, yet... I completely flaked when the time came. (If I pull this shit with, say, 3EB... Someone remind me, okay?)

Well, I've made up for lost time by finally getting it today, along with the amungus album I was missing (life, the universe, and everything), and the latest from Thursday, Common Existence. So, what does that mean? IT MEANS IT'S REVIEW TIME!!!

Artist: The Cure
Album: 4:13 Dream
Release: 2008, Geffen Records

Song 1: Underneath the Stars
4:13 opens with a six-minute lead-in, and it's a harken back to the Cure we all know and love. The music is moody and entrancing. There's heavy, emotive guitars, and Cure-ish windchimes. Then there's some drums, but not too many, and that's only when we're getting to the two-minute mark, perhaps to wake you up. After which, Robert Smith's voice... That angelic, tortured, whiney, painful swell of auditorial emotion... Rumbles in from beneath distortion and echoes that you'd expect from Cure. It perfects the mood of sinking into a comforting abyss, with those chimes acting as a lifeline, keeping you grounded so you don't go careening off into the darkness of entrenching love.
I love this opening... This opening, that you'd expect to be a closing.
I greatly approve.

Song 2: The Only One
Oooh! This is upbeat! It's an about-face from u_t_Stars, that's for sure. In more ways than one, in fact. Sure, it's upbeat, and full of happy synthesized noises, but the lyrics are also a change... To a point. Because, yes, this is another song about love. How could it not be? This is the Cure! Anyhow... Where the previous was all about the power of heart-wrenching love, how it soothes and hypnotizes and holds you down... This one is how falling in love will lift you up...
How it's all "like a dream". ...I'm getting Mint Car vibes, personally.
Totally approve.

Song 3: The Reasons Why
So, I'm expecting another song about love. Why not, right? But, Smith throws me a curve, with the opening line: "I won't try to bring you down about my suicide." ...All right, okay. We're delving into the moody Cure. I'm ready!
The beat's kick ass. Before he even starts singing, and I'm thrown, I'm already nodding along. There's low guitars and bass to drive the beat, with some simple drumming, and there's those chimes! Always there, adding a bit of the ethereal. Smith's voice drawls wonderfully on the titular lines, and swells and rises over the low music throughout.
The lyrics are wonderful, and I sense a theme... "I'm falling through the stars," he confesses, and I'm falling, too. Three songs in, and this album is kick the last's ass. Hands down.
Greatly approve.
(p.s. to my Goober friends: This makes me think of that story about Rzeznik phoning Takac in the middle of the night, all guilt-ridden and neurotic...)

Song 4: Freakshow
You know... I should have known that this streak of awesome wouldn't last for the whole album. Granted, the lyrics are interesting, but it's just too pop-y for me... I'm not feeling this one. Oh, well. At least it's only 2 and a half minutes.
Don't approve.

Song 5: Siren Song
Do I hear the distorted twangs of country mixing with the typical keyboards of the Cure? Yeah, yeah I do. Add to that interesting mix Smith singing a tale of a beautiful girl putting him under som spell, and mix it all together with a distorted chorus that folds in and under itself, and you've got this one all wrapped up.
I approve.

Song 6: The Real Snow White
I've got you want? Really, Smith, do I? Nice way of opening with a clear invocation; I dig it. I also dig the use of the typical dreamy groove that accompanies most of their work. And, I'm totally loving how the vocals are falling in and out of being swallowed by that groove. It's interesting: I want to listen to the words, but I get too caught in with the music, and just when I start to close my eyes and get caught up in the notes, I'm back hanging on each and every one of Smith's lyrics. Fantastic.
I greatly approve.

Song 7: The Hungry Ghost
Hmmmmmmm. I can't believe I'm saying this, but, musically...? The first minute, at least, makes me think of a whole other band... Like, maybe something Rzeznik would do. No joke. Then the distorted synths kick in, and the elongated, drowning vocals, and it's straight back to Cure-land, and I'm all good with it. I love their synth work, always have. It's really easy to snap along with this one. And, don't ask me what the title means: I have no idea... Just enjoy it, get lost in the piercing guitars, and the haunting sounds.
I greatly approve.

Song 8: Switch
....It's a switch, indeed. The guitars are more distorted, and the tempo's picked up. It's almost a little too grainy for my ears, and Smith's vocals are a little too quick for me to really dig. But, there's still some bass in there to keep the toes sort of tapping. Sort of. For this one, I think they may be should have kept it without vocals... They get too lost in everything else.
Don't really approve.

Song 9: The Perfect Boy
Oooh, I like these lyrics painting a literal-dream romance. I love this... This one's a little simpler in the music department, but the vocals wonderfully swoon and expand in just the right places, "on the edge[s] of beautiful thing[s]." And, everything quiets, slows, and dives right back in, for the right amount of effect, the set-up for an abrupt end.
I greatly approve.

Song 10: This. Here and Now. With You
A few whispers, and we're off into ambient, typical Cure-music. Then back into the fast delivery of vocals, but it totally works this time, as the music sounds so under water. It's hard to understand Smith on this one, but it still sort of works when everything gets louder and more complex, until it dies down as he breathes the titular lines. From then on out, it's a little easier to access, for the better, I think. Still digging the under water feel.
I approve.

Song 11: Sleep When I'm Dead
More vocal effects... Up-tempo groove, almost dance-ish. I'm wondering how this will balance with the seemingly heavy lyrics. It's a sort of failure. I think there's a major thematic point to the lyrics, but the vocals are buried, so you'd have to read 'em to see what Smith has to say. In fact, I'm going to just read it later ans skip the rest of it now.
Not really approving.

Song 12: The Scream
Barely audible lyrics start us off. Okay. I can dig it. Heavy distorted synth noises, as per usual. All right. Pained, echoing, disconnected lyrics. Check. The vocal delivery is too sparse to keep my interest, and the music is oddly unpleasing this time around, and I find myself not really caring where the song goes.......... Until.......... 2 minutes in.... A long not drawn out, a pause, and then a dive back into it all... And, it's too much of an attempt to save it, so... No.
Do not approve.

Song 13: It's Over
Well, it starts out like a rock song. Like... Like what I'd expect and opening song to sound like. (I see what y'all did there, Cure.) Over a minute in and there's no vocals... I think this one might be the instrumental of the track... With some faint background wails. Nope, almost two minutes in and there's a little more from Smith... But, not enough. Okay, this is... Oh! There it is. Now we've got lyrics. And, I'd complain that it's too late, but the music was rocking enough to keep me interested, so now I wanna hear all of it, all the way through to the end. Rock on, Cure.
I totally approve.

All right. Ending thoughts? I like this album much, much better than their last self-titled release... That one was actually quite disappointing, imo. (Seriously, only two songs stick out in my mind from that one... "End of the World" and "Before Three"...) So, this one is a kickass reminder that the Cure can rock as much and as well as they can emote.

Expect amungus and Thursday to be reviewed soon.
you'll lose the need of certainty, and make-believe eternity to find the true reality in beautiful infinity

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Music. It's Coming.

Okay. So, I'm going to take Sam's advice and just keep on swimming. To do that I'm, more or less, going to copy off Erica, and report in on this year in New Music: i.e., what's to come. Listing it all out, and pondering about it, will pick me up. So, here we go.

Let's start off with confirmed releases:
"Swoon" - Silversun Pickups
"All the Plans" - Starsailor
"Ursa Major" - 3EB
Untitled - Aerosmith
Untitled - Dave Matthews Band
I've already pre-ordered SSPU's and 'Sailor's new albums, so they're in the bag. 3EB's album has been confirmed for awhile. Aerosmith and DMB seem solid, too. After all, Aerosmith is planning tour dates as I type.

Now, let's go onto unconfirmed releases:
Untitled - GGD
Untitled - LH
Still Standing - Default
Untitled - Chevelle
I'm starting to really wonder about LH and GGD. I mean, I could see LH making it out, because it always seems like they get their shit done quickly. GGD... I could see it being either late this year, or pushed to next. Default seems very probable, as does Chevelle, since they're doing small touring (including a stop in Houston, which I'll miss!) this April.

So, it looks like Music's gonna rock this year. We'll follow this story as it develops.

EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to mention that The Clark Brothers might finally have their album out this year, too! So, yeah. Them, too. Oh, and it's rumored Natalie Imbruglia might also have a release. So, rock on!
i'll wait for you when saturday's a memory