It’s been some time since I’ve written anything (here, lots of writing elsewhere) and my friend Carla suggested I review some recent music purchases (which may be her way of getting me to stop IMming her these reviews as I listen…) So, without further ado, I’ll start working through the last few months of new music.
Death Cab for Cutie: Narrow Stairs This album came out just this week and I’ve listened to it maybe 3 or 4 times (not including the songs stuck in my head on infinite repeat!) and I am enjoying it a lot.
They start out their first track, “Bixby Canyon Bridge” with a much harder sound than I’ve heard from them before, lots of cacaphony and noise but offset by the lead singer’s high and comparatively thin voice, which gives it an overall interesting effect.
The track getting all the airplay is “I will Possess Your Heart” and is either an insightful song about how hard relationships are to start or a song about a really creepy stalker. My take was the former. The latter was my wife’s take (Jack’s too, actually). Either way, the song is an interesting one (and the bonus video is really intriguing – a woman traveling the world looking pensive). We have mixed reviews on the slow, long buildup of the instrumentation at the start of the song. I rather like it but then I’ve always been a fan of minimalism (which this is not, but it’s analogous) whereas my wife felt they should get on with it already.
“No Sunlight” is stuck in my head more than the others even though it is a somewhat dark song talking about how as a child the skies were all clear and there was always sunlight (warmth, protection, safety) and as one ages, the sunlight goes away. Pessimistic to say the least but, like all of their songs with darker content, still excellent and catchy.
The rest of the album is similarly excellent though I am not as familiar with it enough to comment on each and every track (nor did I really intend to, it just so happens that the three I liked the best start off the album). (Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon MP3 Download | iTunes)
The Weepies: Hideaway. Somehow The Weepies have eluded me until recently. I just happened to find this one via Amie St and fell in love with the sample clips (1:30 vs. iTunes :30). Every single track on this album has, at one time or another, grabbed me and pulled me in. Their sound is both simple and yet, at the same time, lush and I just love every ounce of it. Of all the tracks, “Wish I Could Forget” is by far my favorite.
There is not a single track on this album I would skip and there are many standouts. What I like the most is how diverse their sound is. They take turns leading in vocals so some songs are lead by Steve Tannen and some are lead by Deb Talan which varies their sound wonderfully. Together they harmonize beautifully and I just love listening to them sing. (Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon MP3 Download | iTunes)