Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's Time For You To Lose Your Excitement

In a week when all the hip bloggers are likely talking about new releases from Art Brut and the White Stripes, I'm going to focus on a few I'm excited to hear that aren't getting their due.

Polyphonic Spree Fragile ArmyPolyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army
Ok, so the cool kids might like this one too. I've yet to pick it up, but judging from this review, it sounds like their masterpiece. I like the idea of ditching the robes and relishing in the militant spirit of our times, yet keeping the sunshiny symphonics you'd expect from the Spree. Sounds great:

The melodies are far more varied than on previous outings, and the sense of dynamics and balance of tension in these songs -- and the arrangements that accompany them -- are the most sophisticated this group has ever pulled off.
Mandy Moore - Wild HopeMandy Moore Wild Hope
Alright, alright, I know. Mandy Moore. I do admit that her 2003 album of cover songs, Coverage, was one of my favorites at the time. She worked with pop superstars on that one and had choice song selection for the most part. It raised my hopes that she would embrace that power-popster lying beneath her adorably, accessibly hot exterior. From what I've heard of Wild Hope so far, though, is a reversion to the Lilith Fairy frivolity that completely wiped out any edge Sarah McLachlan had in her music. Nonetheless, her bold attempts at shedding her manufactured teeny-pop image both musically and cinematically have earned her a download. Frankly, she had me when she bit her knee. Yeah, not surprised to read this:
Whether on screen or on record, she exudes likeability, so it's easy to listen to Wild Hope with all its flaws - but it's just good enough that it's hard not to wish it was better.
Robert Forster & Grant McLennan - Intermission
Here's a novel collection of solo highlights from the two brains and brawn behind the Go-Betweens, a band that has been on my "learn more about" list for at least a decade now. Embarrassingly, the only piece of music I know well from either of these guys or their highly-revered band is McLennan's Simone & Perry (download here), which incidentally is not in this collection. This personal shortcoming is a travesty, which I will correct in due time.

Lifehouse - Who We Are
Yeah, kidding.

Bon Jovi - Lost Highway
More of that kidding.

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