The past two weeks of music have had me in a frenzy. I went from musical stagnation to an overflowing amount of inspiration. It could not have come at a better time. When you and your collegues and friends are all struggling with the modern conflict of making money in a material world and doing what you were born to do, a little inspiration helps to take the load off.

3 of my favorite bands released albums in the past two weeks: Band of Horses, Bruce Springsteen + the E Street Band and Radiohead.

To say the least, the latter two are above idol status for me musically. I use that word (idol) lightly. I'm not sure I can sum up their influence. As for the first, they have been a breathe of fresh air in an otherwise pop sunken music culture. I saw these releases looming on the horizon a few months back (probably too far back, I read Pitchfork way too often). The build-up was clearly there. I went out and picked these up the minute they were released (or downloaded). Here's my take so far (not that you care). I'll review them in order of their purchase.

Bruce Springsteen + the E Street Band - Magic:

Ok. It's the Boss...like the same one that wrote that little song "Born to Run." Yeah. That one. So it'd be hard to write something bad in my point of view, but I've had two weeks to let this one sink in. A friend of mine spoke of it this past weekend like this: "It's a complete record...all the way through. The highs aren't as high as The Rising (Springsteen's 2002 record and his last with the E Street Band), but it's complete." And that is a damn hard thing to do. Ask any musician, writer or artist. A complete work. The Rising was close that for me. I didn't let that CD go out of my head for 2 or 3 years. But there were gaps in that record. No gaps here. You may doubt the Boss's sound, but you'll never doubt the songwriting. It's all there.

Band of Horses - Cease to Begin:

Their first record, Everything All the Time, had an atmospheric sound that made me soar when I heard it. Loads of reverb on the vocals made Ben Bridewell's lyrics float through space. Clearly, I held it on a pedestal...so I was pumped to hear the Horses were releasing a new disc this fall and even more ecstactic that they recorded it right here in Asheville, NC in hopes that I'd see the boys @ the local pub and be able to have a brew or two. It didn't happen, but the second LP came along real nice. The sound is the same here as its predecessor. There aren't too many tricks up the sleeve, but Bridewell's songwriting has clearly evolved and the overall feel of the CD is a bit different. Rather than driving 4/4 drum lines, BOH changes things up. Some of the tracks almost (almost) have a shuffle feel. The reverb's still there (yessssssss), but the album's one downfall (like the previous LP) is too damn short.
RadioHead - In Rainbows:
I've only had a day and half to listen to this record. I've listening to it 15 times. It's incredible. Really. It's that good. No one else in the rock realm of rock sounds like this. It has kids yelling, piccolo snares, crazy, but lovely guitar and bass parts. I mean really, not really sure what to say about it. Go out and buy it. Much like Springsteen's album was 'complete' Radiohead have always had it right about making works of art (it is one of the reasons you can't find their albums on iTunes). You can't take one track out of context on this one. You need to sit down and listen to the whole thing. Really, really good.
I'm done. And very happy. I like talking about music.



thos said...

ha ha! nickleback IS gay...

1. i saw the boss live from jersey last nigh!
2. amy doesn't like BOH. maybe the new one will change her mind - i haven't got to listen to it as much as i've wanted to. everything all the time is a great album though.
3. oh-em-gee... i feel like i've been waiting all my life for this radiohead album. it is truly amazing!

pat said...

...in continuing with thos' excellent numbered points...

1) this is perhaps the most well-written post you have ever made...from a grammatical standpoint...very impressed...

2) the boss...really all i have to say

3) i like BOH...have no heard this record..

4) Videotape...frikkin awesome

Anonymous said...

Pat. you are an idiot. but I agree with you. videtape is above awesome. it sounds a snow shower.

Revolu said...

brian stop leaving comments under an anonymous name

kate said...

I concur with anonymous BHeth 218: Pat is an idiot...I counted many grammatical errors and I'm sure Mrs. Francese did too.