Go to the NEW FORUM
Oh, and "Second Song" is awesome, and not just for the fact that they put a song called "Second Song" as the first song on the album. Early contender for song of the year.
Bill Callahan's New record is magnificent. Bill has threatening to make his masterpiece for some time, and with "Apocalypse" he now has his "After the Gold Rush, Blood On The Tracks, Blue, Song of love and hate". Sounds like it was recorded live, giving it a sense of pending doom. At times reminding me oddly of slow grinding Sonic Youth songs. This album will definitely go down as one of the years finest records.
My big hangup with Bill Callahan is his voice. Talk-singing only works for me in a few specific cases. In a lo-fi context I find it extremely offputting.
On first listen I found King Of Limbs boring but it grew on me fast.
Looking forward to listening to both Fleet Foxes and TV on the Radio, but I will prbably wait for their official releases.
I will also look out for Bill Callahan's Apocalypse after your comments.
Now listening to Bibio's Mind Bokeh. Seems a bit uneven until now.
I think Track 10 - The Shrine / An Argument. Is the best piece they've done. Im sure I wont be alone in saying this. I think you guys need to dig a little deeper on this one. For a site that favors crazy music like "Merriweather Post Pavilion, Kid A, The Age Of Adz" I find some of these comments lacking any real interest. Dont sprinkle - drop bombs.
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Age of Adz and Kid A are 'crazy'?
They're quirky, sure, but they're pretty accessible to anyone who's into indie.
Tune-Yards' W H O K I L L is sonically mindblowing. Indie music beautifully executed.
For folk fans there's the new Alela Diane out that i need to check out soon :D
I just think the only people who would call those albums 'Crazy' are people who only ever listen to one genre of music. I would rather reserve the term for the really weird stuff. Stuff like Animal Collective is mostly pop melodies with less polish and more distortion, and in some cases a liberal sprinkling of computer effects.
Tune-Yards delivered the best album i've heard since Let England Shake hands down. This is something truly special. Pure pop bliss and reminded me of Kala in an awesome way.
Panda Bear streaming now at NPR for those who are interested and curious about it.
Panda Bear and tUnE-yArDs both feel a bit uneven to me, but whereas Tomboy varies between 4/10 and 7/10 tUnE-yArDs varies between 6/10 and 10/10. I've gotten a little ahead of the Best Moderately Acclaimed album game, so I had some time to listen to new albums. Here's my top 10:
1. Josh T. Pearson - Last Of The Country Gentlemen
2. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
3. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
4. TV On The Radio - Nine Types Of Light
5. tUnE-yArDs - W H O K I L L
6. Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
7. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
8. Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On
9. James Blake - James Blake
10. Destroyer - Kaputt
A handful of the tracks on Tomboy are amazing. The rest I'm sure will sink in.
It's not a huge departure from Person Pitch, but it feels more dense, somehow aquatic and fills the room out. If PP was The Lion King, this is The Little Mermaid soundtrack.
Tomboy was really not the departure that i was expecting. All the "it's not the same sound of before" hype is wrong. It does look like a grower so i'll listen a few more times. The slower moments of W H O K I L L hold the album back in my opinion. So far. Hopefully they simply don't share the immediacy of others and will grow. Still not enough to overshadow the highs like My World, Gangsta, Powa, Killa and Bizzness. There's a lot to be enjoyed here and it's really the best pop album i've heard in a long time and a 2011 AM EOY top 20 top-contender. That's awesome to me. Fleet Foxes and TV On the Radio also growing with more listenings, especially the former.
Hopefully when these albums come out (yeah, they leaked or are being streamed) people will opine about them and post their lists, so far!
Albums I've heard so far-
1. James Blake- James Blake- 9.2
2. Let England Shake- PJ Harvey- 8.7
3. Tomboy- Panda Bear- 8.6
4. The King of Limbs- Radiohead- 8.3
5. Zonoscope- Cut Copy- 8.3
6. Angles- The Strokes- 7.8
7. Kaputt- Destroyer- 7.8
Albums I'm really looking forward to-
TV on the Radio
I think Radiohead is better than TVOTR but I like TVOTR too much to take objection to any praise directed at them.
I'm getting into Bibio. I'm still trying to hear Josh T Pearson. Even though he's gotten physical release in the US his links aren't working on Rhapsody and he's only got two songs on Grooveshark.
Edit: You're right, Josh T Pearson is awesome.
I'm looking forward mostly to TVOTR and Fleet Foxes. I also have high hopes for Hercules and Love Affair.
That Tune-Yards album is killer! I don't want to turn it off!
New Panda Bear is terrific. One of the best releases in a long time. So mysterious. It'll take months for people to wrap there head around. Can't wait to hear it at the beach!
Heh, PF gave Josh T. Pearson a 4.0.
1. Panda Bear - Tomboy
2. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
3. Fleet Foxes - helplessness Blues
4. Colin Stetson - History of warfare Vol 2.
5. Radiohead - King Of Limbs
6. Julianna Barwick - The Magic Place
7. TV On The Radio - Nine Types Of Light
8. Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
9. OFF! - First 4 EP's
10. Gil Scott Herin/Jamie XX Remix - We're New Here
An Amazing year so far. So much great stuff too listen to.
On first listen, Nine Types of Light was good but not great like their previous two. But TV on the Radio albums always take a few listens to sink in, so I'm sure it will grow on me. This one does seem more consistent but surprisingly lacks a standout track. "Second Song" is probably my favorite.
I like the new TV on the Radio as much as their other albums, which is to say some. "You" is my favorite - I've been walking around with that riff in my head for days.
In on the new Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Surprised it hasn't been brought up.
I still need to give a full listening to Crystal Stilts, Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Low! Hopefully they won't disappoint.
Albums That Matter:
1. Milkman - Algorithms
2. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
3. Lupe Fiasco - Lasers (almost entirely on the strength of The Show Goes On and Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways))
4. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
5. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
6. Radiohead - The King of Limbs
7. The White Panda - Pandamonium
8. TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light
9. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
10. Cut Copy - Zonoscope
Top 10 at the moment:
01. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
02. Radiohead - The King of Limbs
03. TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light
04. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
05. Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
06. Raekwon - Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang
07. Josh T Pearson - The Last of the Country Gentlemen
08. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
09. Toro y Moi - Underneath the Pine
10. Panda Bear - Tomboy
Haven't heard the new Fleet Foxes yet though.
I have not heard much albums yet but what I have heard from the UK and US have been quite disappointing, except for the Dodos (still way behind Visitor though) and Bill Callahan.
French music has been strangely exciting, the most acclaimed (it's sort of a bet given that French critics tend not to give grades) must be Cascadeur, and I have to say it is very good on the first times. I will see if it stands the test of time, given that some acclaimed it quite sounds like did not age well (Cocoon, Aaron...). Midlake appears in 2 songs and it has been compared with Erik Satie and Robert Wyatt.
Be warned, a friend of mine told me that the lyrics are lame enough to be annoying ; my english is not good enough to notice that for now, but yours might be.
Le Prince Miaou and Joseph d'Anvers have received lot of praise too, but the biggest buzz is directed toward La Femme, a band of teenage Parisians. Usually, that's almost an insult given the shitty rock scene (the Brats, Plasticine, Naast, BB Brunes...) which spread in the past years. But here they take their influence from bands like Taxi Girl, Joy Division or Stereolab. The female singer voice can be slightly annoying (like Yelle, who released a rather acclaimed album recently too, or Stereloab) but on this song, Telegraphe (from the name of a parisian subway station), they sound very promising.
Ok, Nine Types of Light has grown on me to the point where I'd consider it about even with Let England Shake for AOTY so far. The chorus of "Second Song" is just the bomb.
I do agree with reviewers that say TVotR decided to make a very good album instead of the great one they could have made, but even a decent effort for them blows away most other bands.
I can see myself listening to this album for a long time.
Yeah, like I mentioned before I also think Second Song is absolutely fantastic.
Gave the new Battles a spin, and it's a slight disappointment. Not bad, by any means, and I didn't expect them to get another song like "Atlas" but it's a bit too muddy compared to "Mirrored" which had a much clearer sound.
Has anyone heard Paul Simon's new album? It's getting excellent reviews.
I've heard it. It's really bland, very similar to Surprise. I love his voice though so I can listen to even the bland stuff, but I'm really surprised to see the good reviews because it's really not that good. There wasn't a song that hooked me but at the same time it's always nice to hear Paul Simon sing a few new songs. I doubt I'll listen to it again though.
Really? I think it's great, certainly the best thing he's done since 1990. I'm a pretty big fan, but I'm really enjoying this more than his last few albums. It's beautifully melancholy with some great lyrics. Dazzling Blue is gorgeous.
I like Simon's new album, especially the first couple of songs. But it's not up there with the best of the year so far, in my opinion.
Furthermore, I like Low's C'mon a lot. Reminds me to get into their back catalogue.
For the past few days I have been listening to the new Foo Fighters "Wasting Light" non-stop. This is a band that put out some good albums in the past, but nothing as dynamic and powerful as this album. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up in alot of year end lists. I wanted to get some feedback from anyone else that's checked it out so far and see if I am over-hyping this album, or if it's the real deal...
Way to dis the entire forum with your first post, especially without citing any facts to back up your viewpoint.
I don't think there's a single person here who can't distinguish between the quality of Nickelback and the Foo Fighters. And while I'm all for genre diversity, listening to even a few songs on virtually any mainstream rock radio station is nauseating. Looking at this chart, there's little hope for mainstream rock outside of the Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Strokes, etc.
The Foo Fighters have a few really good songs, but even their bad songs are leagues better than Nickelback.
Creed has a couple respectable songs too. Way better than Nickelback, way less good than Foo Fighters.
How many posts in this forum have you actually read? Mainstream rock is pretty popular. There just hasn't been much of it since about 1996.
In fact, I think a lot of the big indie acts now could have been mainstream in the 80's or early 90's. Not all of them, but certainly ones like The National, TV On The Radio, Arcade Fire.
I agree there's some lo-fi that's just pop melodies with a grating quirky throaty voice and a lot of noise, and Pitchfork overrates it heavily, causing lots of other critics to follow suit.
But, that doesn't mean the whole appeal of lo-fi is just a 'Hipster fad' that's 'run its course'. Lower production brings out the emotion and the energy of a song and showcases the songwriting and technical talent of individual members of the group. Whereas high production when misused makes the song sound bloated, artificial and generic. Some producers go as far as to adjust the pitch of the instruments so everything sounds exactly the same, and it drains the personality out of the song.
The production level of a song should be based on what suits the sound of the band and the needs of the song.
I also dislike the term overproduced. "Poorly produced" would be better to use in almost all of these situations. Overproduced makes it sound like adding production effects inherently makes a song worse, as if songs like "Tomorrow Never Knows" would be better if they were stripped down.
Lo-fi production is pretty hit or miss, but it's undeniable some artists do it well (ex. The Microphones). A lot of Pitchfork-endorsed stuff that I don't like also falls under this category, so I agree with BillAdama with that point.
Overproduced applies to a lot of rock music today. You can call it poorly produced I guess, but one of the main reasons it sucks is because the producer is the driving force behind the album instead of the band. It's why bands who jump to major labels put out bad albums quite frequently- the producer tries to get his signature on the music instead of just letting the music speak for itself.
Exactly. High production works for some bands and not for others. U2 or Kanye West wouldn't be the same groups if it weren't for their perfectionist approaches to effects and mixing.
Of course, in those cases, the artist is in charge of the producing. Also, the artist writes their own songs and has control over the music. I guess those are necessities for production to be a good thing. In pop songs where every drum hit sounds identical the next, every note is exactly on pitch and the singer's voice sounds perfectly smooth, it sounds forced and dull.
I've only heard 5 albums from 2011, and none of them are particularly great. My favorites so far:
1. The Strokes - Angles
2. The Human League - Credo
3. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
New Alison Krauss is awesome.
Horray for Bluegrass!
Not a huge fan of J Mascis's 2011 solo effort, but Where Are You is a fantastic song, and there are a couple other strong showings, as well.
love smith westerns- also really loving foster the people and grouplove. anyone else listen to them?
Never really liked Gaga, but Judas is a really good song.
Between the cross on the single and that opening, anyone else get the sense she's been listening to a bunch of Justice lately?
Just listened to Panda Bear's Tomboy in its whole. This album is getting a bad rep on quite a few forums. Granted, it ain't as stellar as Person Pitch and the sound is very similar to Animal Collective's MPP. Still, I think it's a fine album. One of the best I've heard in 2011 so far.
Had a great time as well with James Pants' latest. Issued on the Stones Throw label, usually home of left-field hiphop and R&B. But this is something entirely different. Pants has tossed his cute popsongs in the distortion blender and then soaks the remainings in a bubblebath of echo. As expected, this album is somewhat of a mess, but it's an intriguing mess. A bit like My Bloody Valentine without the guitar overkill.
JAMES PANTS-Strange Girl
Also of interest may be Salon Des Amateurs by Hauschka. You can call it Modern Classical or Minimal, but that seems a bit too much on the serious side. Salon Des Amateurs is mainly made up of piano patterns, all melodic and catchy. Yann Tiersen meets Erik Satie, if you will.
Last, a recommendation for the new tUnE-yArDs' album, which sounds pretty good on first listen as well.
New TVOTR is really good. Not as good as their previous three yet, but Dear Science was a big grower on me, so who knows? Tomboy is okay but notably unspecial.
I still can't stand Bill Callahan's talk-singing.
Seems I'm in the minority with Paul Simon, even FastnBulbous liked it. I'll give it another shot.
Too bad to hear that the bass player from TV on the Radio lost his battle with lung cancer today. I still need to hear the new album but I've liked most everything they've done.
Bon Iver returns in June
I'm sticking with my review of So Beautiful after listening to it again. There just aren't any memorable moments on the album for me, it just floats at the same level the entire album. It's missing that trademark Paul Simon soul just like the past couple albums.
I liked Paul Simon quite a bit. At least, as much as any of his other solo stuff I've heard. I also recommend Charles Bradley. It sounds like a Motown recording.
Does anyone know how to get more information about releases from groups from various genres lumped in the US as 'World'? Say, French rock, Brazilian pop, Japanese rock, Indian pop, etc? All the music publications from those countries seem to focus on the same music American publications do.
I feel like there's all these local rock scenes around the world I'm missing out on, and I don't have any portal to explore them.
Pains of Being Pure At Heart- Belong is my new favorite album of 2011.
Off the top of my head, in a very vague order, are my favorites of the year so far.
1) PJ Harvey (It has grown on me with each listening, because I wasn't super impressed at first.)
2) Lykke Li (I'm surprised by a couple of things: a) That I like it this much, because it's generally not my type of music. b) No one else has mentioned it yet. Seems like she'd be right up Moonbeam's ally.)
3) The Decemberists (They're better when they don't have any grand concept they're trying to pull off)
4) TV on the Radio (I've only given it a couple of listens so far, so it could be a mover.)
5) James Blake (I'm surprised I like this one as well, but it's great mood music.)
6) The Drive-By Truckers (Consistently good as usual.)
7) Paul Simon (I think it's a notch above "Surprise," pretty even with "Rhythm of the Saints" and two notches below "Graceland.")
8) Tennis (Pretty hard to resist)
I can't remember anything else impressing me all that much. I haven't heard the Fleet Foxes yet, but I have heard Radiohead.
James Pants sounds like the modern day Suicide. Which isn't that bad a thing, really.
Smith Westerns grew on me hard.
New Wild Beasts here. It's sublime:
let's not forget tomorrow big release... beastie boys hot sauce committe part 2 comin out! i've heard most of it through a preview they did and some leaks... classic beastie. glad to see they still rockin.
My scourging of the esoteric charts on RYM has finally paid off in spades.
Everyone check out Hungarian folk-metal band Dalriada, with their new release, Igeret! Year end top ten list contender.
Come for the satisfaction of saying 'Hungarian folk metal band', stay for the awesome music.
My top 5 (without order) :
Cascadeur : The Human Octopus
Panda Bear : TomBoy
Timber Timbre : Creep On Creepin On
The Go! Team : Rolling Blackouts
The Dears : Degeneration Streets
Time for an updated top 10. "Two Dancers" was my second-favorite album of 2009, so I had high hopes for "Smother" and it certainly does not disappoint. I'm not sure which album is better, but it's damn close. And, to quote BBC: "Lion’s Share is gorgeous, no question about it.". "C'Mon" dropped out of the top 10 was thus slightly disappointing and "Ígéret" was interesting and worth a listen but not top 10 material for me. It does remind me that I have to check out "The Mantle" by Aggaloch though.
1. Josh T. Pearson - Last Of The Country Gentlemen
2. Wild Beasts - Smother
3. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
4. tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l
5. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
6. TV On The Radio - Nine Types Of Light
7. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
8. Paul Simon - So Beautiful Or What
9. Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
10. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
My top 5 since yesterday (we have a newcomer on #1):
1 Fleet Foxes
2 PJ Harvey
3 Lykke Li
They've done it again, a new fantastic album, I just love it. With harmonious vocals (that Simon & Garfunkel could have never topped) they reinvent folk. More variety than debut album, although some stealing with integrity and pride from fellow musicians like e.g. Sufjan has happened.
Stephan, my top 3 is in your top 10, and have to confess that I haven't heard the other 7 yet. Work to be done. Also curious about new releases from Feelies and the Antlers.
Antlers. They've done it again. Perhaps less catchy than Hospice, but darker and more compelling. The atmosphere their sound generates (listen to the end of Parantheses, for example) is better than anyones.
Edit: I'm calling it. This is better than Hospice.
I completely agree that they've done it again, but I don't think it's darker or better than Hospice. "I Don't Want Love", "Putting The Dog To Sleep" and the three songs that form the centerpiece of this album: "No Widows" (my new favorite song of the year), "Rolled Together" and "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out" are of Hospice quality, but "Tiptoe", "Corsicana" and the fact that Hospice was so much more than the sum of its part means it's not quite as good.
That said, I am probably more likely to listen to this album at any given day, and I don't know how else they could have followed up Hospice. Strong contender for my album of the year. Wow.
New album of the year for me, surpassing PJH:
Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
I didn't think they could top Saint Dymphna, but they did. It's fantastic for those that like their grooves all experimenty.
EMA - California
Jesus. Song of the Year leader for me is either this or Cults - You Know What I Mean. Probably this.
The critics must be in heaven this week. It's reminds me of Decemeber when all the "FOR YOU CONSIDERATION" movies come out. Wonder why all the acclaimed indie bands decided to release material this week.
For some reason there always seem to be tons of big indie releases in May.
Last year, Archandroid, High Violet and This Is Happening all came out the same week.
Now, May again.
I picked up Gang Gang Dance, Okkervil River, and Wild Beasts all today. I've been falling behind on my listening just because of the deluge of albums I found from the RYM esoteric charts.
Great rec on Cascadeur.
I gave all these records a spin last night so here's first impressions:
Africa Hitech - 93 Million Miles
Encompassing a wide range of electronic/bassy sounds, it sounds out quite weird and clubby and ends up hypnotic and groove-based. Got an 8.2 from P4k, worth checking out.
Austra - Feel It Break
Great synthpop record. Dark in the right places. Really enjoyed it.
Boxcutter - The Dissolve
Halfway between funk and the weirder fringes of UK electronic music, this was good too.
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
I've never been too into the man - enjoyed his stuff, but never really found myself listening to For Emma more than a handful of times - but this was really great. Not so sure on the late 70s pastiche of the closer but otherwise, lovely.
Got new F*cked Up, Junior Boys, Friendly Fires and Arctic Monkeys to listen to in the coming days. My top 15 (unordered) probably stands like this:
Gang Gang Dance
The Smith Westerns
Tyler, The Creator
The Joy Formidable
Bon Iver, Bon Iver is growing on me. Even the last song sounds good now. Arctic Monkeys are balls. Shitballs. That is all.
How do albums leak so early especially albums that don't really receive that much airplay? Doesn't make sense to me. I don't have any beef with downloading but I hate when albums leak. Record releases used be such an exciting event, now most people already have heard the album weeks before it's out.
The Fleet Foxes album is great at first listen, way above the rest
Bill Callahan is the next thing I'll listen too. I don't care much about TVOR
Mostly they're promos sent to critics for review; you'll notice that the Radiohead album didn't leak just because it was only released online initially. Whenever artists ship albums, be it promos or the actual album to the shop, there are a lot of people who handle that CD. It takes only one.
Like I said though, it's a shame for great albums like this to leak so early because it could cost a small artist like Bon Iver some considerable sales. A week seems like a normal thing nowadays, but a month is a really long time and could convince even someone intent on buying it to download it out of sheer curiosity.
Edit: This instance seems to be an iTunes mistake though, they intended to put it up for pre-order but put it up for download instead. Think Vernon has a case if he sues them?
Heard the new Lady Gaga leak yet? This is some mind-blowing stuff,the pop album of the century without doubt. She has taken the game to a new level.
I take a week off to travel and suddenly there are thousands of leaked album to listen to
Cults streaming and so is Death Cab For Cutie
Never understood why Bon Iver is so acclaimed, even after hearing "Calgary". Just another indie singer.
I can't look at that album cover without laughing. Every picture I see of Lady Gaga looks completely ridiculous.
If this one gets good reviews I'll listen to a few songs from it.
Lady Gaga is a real mystery for me...I must confess than I prefer Dylan than Lady Gaga (I just want to know if gaga means senile in English as in French ?).
Otherwise, the two last albums I really food excllents are :
The Antlers - Burst Apart
Grails - Deep Politics