Thursday, November 01, 2007

October's music

Radiohead In Rainbows Radiohead made history this month with a "pay what you want" download. Apparently they are between record labels and decided to release their new music through their website only. The kick is you pay what you want to (I paid about a pound which translates roughly to $1 in US dollars). I wasn't sure if the download would work, and at first it didn't since apparently the rest of the world was downloading the same time. But about an hour later, the download came through. Best pound I ever spent. I wouldn't say the new album breaks Radiohead into a new sound or musical direction, but any Radiohead album is going to be great. From what I hear, the gamble worked, and Radiohead is coming out ahead financially on this. Radiohead is one of the few bands on earth that has enough of a following to pull this off without a record label, but it does bring up the prospect of doing away with record labels sometime in the future.

Dashboard Confessional The Shade of Poison Trees My first impression of this album is that it is more of a return to what I used to like about Dashboard Confessional--a sensitive guy on a acoustic guitar singing bitter songs about failed relationships. The past couple of Dashboard albums has had Chris Carrabba (lead singer) with a back up band playing stadium type college rock. Here, Chris and his guitar are more the focus. Chris is a great song writer (I wish he was around when I was a teenager) and a singer who can mix angst and sensitivity well into the same song. Honestly, with all the new albums out there, I haven't listened to this one enough.
PJ Harvey White Chalk Another album I haven't listen to enough because of too many other albums coming in. White Chalk is a daring move for PJ. Usually her albums are pretty heavy on distortion and not very polished. This album radiates darkness. Years ago, she put out a great album called Stories of the City and Stories of the Sea. The album was fantastic and helped to land her a opening spot for U2. I think if she continued in that direction, she be selling a lot more albums, but she is a true artist and doesn't want to repeat herself.
Over the Rhine Snow Angels Usually I don't like a lot of seasonal albums. After all, you only listen to them a couple of times a year, but this isn't the case with Snow Angels. At it's heart, this is a album about X-mas and the redemption that it brings. During it's most enjoyable moments it paints the most beautiful X-mas I never had such as riding a brand new white horse in the snow with a loved one ("White Horse"). I don't feel the X-mas theme is over done on this album making it a strictly X-mas album. Redemption is what echos throughout the album. These songs can be enjoyed year round.
Vigilantes Of Love Blister Soul Probably my favorite VOL album forgotten by most. I've decided to buy at least one VOL or Bill Mallonee album a month. The catalog is so vast and rich with great songs. Most of the songs on Blister Soul I've heard before, but it's nice to have them all here on one disc as they were intended to be heard. My favorite VOL song "Skin" is on this album. It's a great song of Vincent Van Gogh's tragic love of a woman who rejected him. Vincent ended up cutting his ear off over a broken heart. Bill Mallonee captures the whole thing so well in song.
Dave Gahan Hourglass For over twenty years, Dave was the front man for Depeche Mode, and that is all he was. Never wrote any songs, but was a great performer. Then a few years ago, he takes a crack at writing songs on his first solo album Paper Monsters and to every one's surprise, he can write a good song. He even contributes songs on the last Depeche Mode album Playing the Angel. Dave's songs pretty dark and dirty. After all he writes a lot about his demons that drove him to try to commit suicide (he actually succeed and was dead for several minutes before being revived). Most of the music is in the same vain of Depeche Mode. Not a huge departure. But Dave needs Depeche Mode to make such classics as "Enjoy the Silence" or "Precious". No such classics are on Hourglass.


Portland wawa said...

I can't say I've heard any of the albums except Dave Gahan. I remember you playing it in the car, but I don't recall what it was like. It is interesting to see what you've been doing all month.

f o r r e s t said...

Radiohead's new one is good.

I passed on the new Dashboard. The new one sounds like it would be better than ther last two, because I was more a fan of his acoustic stuff. I liked his last album, but I never really listened to it. So I skipped the new Dashboard to tryout some more adventurous stuff.

Snow Angels is a good album of orignal tunes about Christmas. You can call it a Christmas album, but it works all winter long.

You should definitely get the Bill Mallonee "Yonder shines the infant light" christmas album next month for your monthly dose. You can download it off his website. it is spectacular.

Yes, Blister Soul is a great album and probably one of my favorite Vigilantes of Love records.

shakedust said...

I heard about the Radiohead business model. It's probably a good idea for a lot of bands who aren't doing it. The real question is how many people are going to pay $1 who would have paid $15 and how many people will buy who wouldn't have otherwise.