Back in the mud again...
So, 2006 is off to a hell of a start with some fanastic albums already on the board. Got some thoughts here on my most recent listens:
Liars, Drum's Not Dead
A dark, unpredictable excersise in the bare-bones effectiveness of music at its most simplistic and primal core. The album is almost as tribal as it is methodical, but it is also remarkably cold. I found nothing gripping here. While I appreciate its bravery as well as its daring spirit, I do not enjoy it. I see it as important release though.
Islands, Return To the Sea
While I don't think I dig this QUITE as much as some seem to, this is maybe one of the best debut albums of the last several years. There's a unique voice running through here, which is REALLY surprising. Its charming, and inviting and complusively listenable.
TV on the Radio, (UNTITLED)
So, I really cheated with this one, and I almost feel bad. But it's not like I won't buy the album when it comes out. This appears to be unmastered, and I wouldn't be surprised if the order/make up of the album was shifted around a bit (though it works the way it is). The addition of a live studio drummer really helps to add another interesting dimension here. For the most part they expand on the, sometimes fruitless but always interesting, experimentation on Desperate Youth... but are able to better themselves, in that they are confident in a way we haven't seen from them yet. Heartbreaking, mature, sonically diverse (as expected) and actually INTERESTING. I can't wait to hear the final product.
Flaming Lips, At War With the Mystics
Just a sweeping, graceful masterpiece. Essentially, a transport to another fucking world. The Lips create these expandable walls that are constantly switching your expectations and comfort zones. A beautiful piece of music.
And last but not--blah, blah, blah...
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
Show Your Bones is what could be a career defining album. If Fever To Tell was the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' mission statement, Show Your Bones some how provides their OWN contrarian response. It's raw and delicate, sexy and melodic. For all of Fever To Tell's thrid act revelations, the stoicism seemed to carry throught out most of the experience. Here, we have an earnest but bruised version of the still charmingly crude theatricality that make the band so dangerously charming. An exhaustive and purging dance between trashy personas, pop mentalities, and soft underbellies. And what a dance it is. I would be surprised to hear a better album this year.