Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's a Roundup!

Here are a bunch of albums that I've checked out recently. In alphabetical order:
  • Arrested Development - The Best of Arrested Development (2005). This is one of those "oh, they did that song too?" albums. I bought this cheap for "Tennessee," lucked into "Mr. Wendal" and "Revolution," and ended up with a nice collection of songs from a talented and long-forgotten rap/soul group from the early 90's. I'll get more out of this than I paid for it. Not worth it for fans, great if you want an overview of the band.
    CD Placement rating: CD Rack.
  • Brendan Boogie Band - Disposable Pop (2008). Once again, if you send me your CD, I will review it. (Perhaps not in a timely fashion, but I will eventually get to it.) First of all -- the CD design and concept (it looks like a Bazooka Joe Gum CD sleeve) is one of the most eye-catching ones you'll see. Very cool. And the songs live up to the album title: it is "disposable pop" in many ways. It's got good harmonies, smart melodies, and pop-smart lyrics, and a good bit of self-effacing humor to boot, plus, it's always helpful to have a standout tune, and "Pharmaceuticals" fits the bill. I'd like some more variety in their sound, and they can be a little paint-by-numbers at times, but in the end it's still fun pop, and better than just "disposable." That's good enough for me to keep it.
    CD Placement rating: CD Rack.
  • Devo - Freedom of Choice (1980). Now despite the fact that my man Sean has "D-E-V-O" tattooed to his fingers... sadly, I had never listened to this album before I went to pick him up at the airport en route to our buddy Scott's surprise 40th birthday party. (My indie cred just took a serious hit, I know.) This is a great album; but "Whip It" and "Girl U Want" alone are worth the price of admission. I'm glad I picked up this old chestnut from Akron's finest.
    CD Placement rating: Portable CD Case.
  • Buddy Holly - The Definitive Collection (2006). We all know that Buddy Holly died in the plane crash that also killed the Big Bopper and Richie Valens in 1959. Even though I've been listening to him since I was six, I never realized his "career" lasted a little under 18 months, and that he was 22 (and Valens 17) when they died. Despite that, his creative influence on rock n' roll was huge in that very short period of time -- allmusic.com calls Holly "the single most influential creative force in early rock & roll." This is a great retrospective or introduction.
    CD Placement rating: Portable CD Case.
  • Parts & Labor - Receiver (2008). This one was recommended by Dan. I first heard this in the car and couldn't see what he was talking about, other than "Nowhere's Nigh." The big stereo revealed "The Ceasing Now" and "Wedding in a Wasteland"... and a good, low-to-mid tempo, layered indie rock offering with a lot of interesting sounds. As much as I was ready to kick this to the curb, it turns out I can't. Thanks, Dan!
    CD Placement rating: Portable CD Case. Who knew?
  • U2 - No Line on the Horizon (2008). Full disclosure: I have not been a fan of any album by U2 since Achtung Baby. They do remain one of my all-time favorites, and I have really liked some of their songs in the interim; they just moved in one direction while I moved in another. After listening to this in the car, I came to the conclusion that this one was doing nothing to change my opinion. I even wrote the review prior to the final big stereo listen -- conclusion: Pile of Death. Midway through the opening track on the home speakers, Mrs. Snilch and I had the same thought: this is much better than either of us had heard on the radio or in the car. I love surprises like this. This will not make you forget The Joshua Tree -- it definitely has its flaws -- but it is a good album. I'll take that, and keep it.
    CD Placement rating: Rises out of the Pile of Death and into the CD Rack.
- Snilch

3 comments:

TPapi said...

Honestly I had no idea that Arrested Development did anything after "3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of..." and I think that all the songs that you mentioned were from that. I'd stick with the original. As for U2 I had just about the same reaction to "No Line On The Horizon". It's a quality album, and from another band I'd be impressed, but I expect more from U2. They had a great run through "The Unforgettable Fire", "Joshua Tree" was too indulgent, which "Rattle and Hum" didn't help. "Achtung Baby" was transcendent, but what I hoped was a rebirth seems to have been a last gasp before mediocrity.

Seano said...

Funny you should mention Buddy Holly. Just this afternoon I heard one of his songs and was pondering how he revolutionized recording by "co-inventing" (Les Paul was playing with it too) multitracking. His songs are so advanced for his era it is wonderfully terrifying to think what he could have done had he lived. The world lost and lost big with that plane crash...

- S w/ the D-E-V-O knuckles...

Cowboy said...

I have a lot of Devo albums, but "Oh no it's Devo" is definitely my favorite. Check that one out!