So many records and so little time. Some good and some bad. I’ll tell you what I think and let you listen if you want to. At least of few of these albums might even find themselves lingering near (or perhaps onto) my favorite albums of 2008 list.
The new Sigur Ros album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, sounds markedly different than much of the Icelandic group’s previous work. Instead of creating grandiose cinematic swells that conjure up images of majestic landscapes, this one sounds much smaller and much more personal, even if it is (at least at first) more “pop” than just about anything they’ve done before. This is music that looks inward rather than reaching for the stars. Still cinematic, but on a smaller scale.
MP3 | Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Anarbor has a new EP called The Natural Way and it does nothing for me. The four songs are catchy but unoriginal pop-rock that has the potential to move a ton of units. While there is nothing terribly offensive about Anarbor and this EP, there’s nothing that really sets them apart from the rest of pack. Just imagine a cross between Fall Out Boy and Paramore but in the most boring possible way.
MP3 | Anarbor – Right There With You The Natural Way EP
Blackmarket plays pretty standard alternative rock music that has some hooks but none big enough to beg me to listen over and over. The songs on their self-titled EP are a little edgy but still friendly; which means they aren’t edgy enough. Kinda like a cross between In Reverie-esqe Saves The Day and much of the commercial late-90’s alternative radio rock that really didn’t have much staying power. I can’t even remember any of those bands right now.
MP3 | Blackmarket – Sheila Blackmarket EP
Plus/Minus (or is it +/-) is a cross between Pinback, The Postal Service/Death Cab For Cutie, Stereolab, and The Notwist. Their album has been sitting in this pile for months and it is really really really good. It is (as you might expect from the above comparisons) a pretty laid back listen where soaring vocals, melodic chiming guitars, groovy live drums, some nifty brass, and electronic flourishes collide. It all adds up to make X’s On Your Eyes on heckuva a great album. I need more than 50 spots in my top 50.
MP3 | Plus/Minus – Snowblind X’s On Your Eyes
Chicago, umm… punks Rise Against have a new album out now called Appeal To Reason and it is (by far) the slickest and most “major label” sounding of any of their records. It still sounds like a Rise Against record but Tim’s vocals are a little different. Maybe this band is way bigger than I thought, I mean, Appeal To Reason did debut at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold about 65,000 copies in its first week.
MP3 | Rise Against – Re-Education (Through Labor) Appeal To Reason