October 14, 2007

Newish Releases I've sunk my ears into

Stalin writers try to be cutting edge in terms of new releases in books and music, but sometimes life bogs us down and we get backlogged. Jenn barely has enough time to play sudoku and mess around on Facebook; Furge is doing whatever Furge's do; I refuse to read new releases because I hate getting swept into hype and superficially liking a book.

So what am I endorsing by listening to it?

Radiohead In Rainbows
I didn't really like Hail to the Thief. I think Radiohead is a very overhyped band, despite having a career defining masterpiece like OK Computer in their discography, three good-if-not-great albums (The Bends, Kid A, and Amnesiac), and then Pablo Honey and Hail to the Thief out as well. It's not like the hype isn't deserved.
Then they go and decide to release their new album digitally for whatever price the consumer is willing to pay, sans label support, then giving fans the option of spending $80 for a massive box set containing an array of goodies best described as a fanboys wet dream. So without releasing a single note, the album became highly anticipated. What the fuck do you make of that kind of shit?
Well, it's damn good shit. I'm not a great reviewer and I'm not going to try and glowingly describe in excruciating detail the lush orchestral sounds that litter the second half of the album. No, I'm going to tell you to fight the hip notion to hate what everybody else likes and get this album.

Maritime Heresy and the Hotel Choir
I really loved the Promise Ring. I kinda tolerated Cap'n Jazz. I enjoy Maritime. Davey von Bohlen plays with words in a bedeviling, cute-as-hell kind of way that makes me mad that I didn't think of it first and no matter what band he's in, I will probably have a fanatical following for it.
I acquired Heresy and the Hotel Choir in that kind of "friend of a friend of a friend" kind of way and will have to find that person and thank them. I felt the last album had a little melancholy ring to it and I feel that vibe has been stripped away. It's a lot more of a happy-go-lucky kind of album and it feels familiar, but not in that "the only reason Smirnoff vodka won the New York Times vodka taste test was because it reminded the reviewers of getting smashed in college" way. Please buy this.

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