Monday, September 01, 2008

August Music

In case nobody checks out my music on Facebook, here's a closer look at what I got this month.

The Verve Fourth This month's big new release came from The Verve. Over a decade ago, they released their last album Urban Hymns containing the song "Bittersweet Symphony" which got them a lot of attention. Urban Hymns is often regarded as one of the best albums of the 90's. But the band members have never got along very well, and following their commercial success, they broke up. Now they released Fourth which is a fair effort, but doesn't come close to achieving what the Verve did on Urban Hymns. Without a doubt, it does have some good tunes, but a lot of the songs drag out to over 8 mins. Too long for a brit pop band. Still, it is good to have The Verve back.

Hem Home Again, Home Again EP I've been interested in Hem for a while now, but haven't been able to get into any of their albums. The lead singer has a beautiful voice and borders on the same gentle sounds of the Innocence Mission, but a little too folksy sometimes. This EP is a pretty good introduction to the band. The lead song "The Part Where You Let Go" is beautifully delivered. The rest of the EP is pretty manageable being only 6 songs.

The High Violets To Where You Are My only shoegazer album this month comes from this local Portland band. They are the biggest shoegazer band in the area. Of course, they might be the only shoegazer band in the area. Best of all, they prove that Portland has got some serious talent outside of the Shins. Very ambient and pop sounding.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Erglova The Swell Season I recently saw the movie "Once" after several people highly recommended it to me. It's a low budget indie flick, staring Glen Hansard (former lead singer of the Frames ) as a vacuum repair man who also is a street performer who meets Marketa Erglova and discover that they musically are a kindred spirit. The movie goes on to show them start to develop a more personal relationship (which ultimately doesn't work) and the struggles of putting a record together. Personally, I liked the movie and the way it showed how artist pour their soul into their music. After watching the movie, I immediately went out and got the soundtrack. It's gorgeous and heart aching all at the same time. Marketa has a beautiful and sweet voice that enhances Glen's arching emotional lyrics.

Elbow Leaders of the Free World After hearing Elbow's latest album The Seldom Seen Kid I decided to go out and check out more from this band. Leaders of the Free World came out a few years ago, and isn't as good as the one before (Cast Of Thousands) or their latest. Elbow tries to get out their political views, but it just doesn't work as well for them as other bands.

1 comment:

shakedust said...

I think it is difficult to do a good job with an album that is basically a political opinion piece. It can be done well, but unless the artist is careful and intelligent, it comes across as propaganda or craziness to those who do not already agree on the position.