May was a pretty good month for some fine quality music. I can't think of anything good coming up next month, but here is what I picked up for this month:
Rosie Thomas Only With Laughter Can You Win. With this great album, my Rosie Thomas collection is complete. Rosie continues to be one of my main interest in music. Her albums are simply beautiful. Here on Rosie's second album, she sings about love, family, and God. Rosie uses more piano than on some of her other albums producing supremely tasteful folk songs. Rosie is like an island of peace in a furious sea.
Bjork Volta It's been a couple of years since Bjork's last album. Her last album was Medulla which was a experiment in vocalization , but Volta is an experiment in beats and world music. Bjork is one of the most creative and innovative artist around (as you could tell by the cover). I really dig the first half of the album. The songs are classic Bjork with experiments in sound and rhythm. The best is the opening track, the eco friendly Earth Intruders. Unfortunately half way through the album, it all falls flat. The last four tracks start blending together so much were you just don't care anymore. Bjork tries taking a stand on Declare Your Independence but it doesn't suit her.
Travis The Boy With No Name Properly the best new album this year. After their last album 13 memories got a mixed response, Travis return to what they do best, making pop friendly guitar jangles. Travis returns to being that band you listen to and think "I bet they're pretty nice guys". Their songs are catchy and timeless. Battleships is my favorite on the album. Singer Fran Healy uses battleships as a metaphor to describe himself and his significant other in the drudge of daily life. It kind of makes you reflect how hard it is keeping in a relationship with all the damage we take through out any given day.
A-Ha Analogue You might remember these guys from the 80's as the "Take On Me" one hit wonders. Back in 2000, they released a comeback album Minor Earth, Major Sky and have been on a roll ever since. A-ha is popular all over Europe but will likely never see success again in the states. Bands like Coldplay, Keane, and even Joy Electric have cited A-ha as a major influence in piano and keyboard pop. A-ha has modernize their sound but keep their catchy sythn pop style. Check out the title track.