1196 words on Music
There hasn’t been a proper music post for a long time and there have been many albums around. If you saw my recent Sampler Ⅲ, little of what you find here will be a surprise. I note that, for a change, there’s a refreshingly high number of girls in the music of this post. So go and enjoy: Tapes ‘n Tapes, Mando Diao, The Thermals, Love Is All, The Pipettes, CSS and more….
People over in the US started being all enthusiastic about Tapes ‘n Tapes in spring. And from the samples I gathered from the web I thought their music was all right, but not all that exciting. In August their album finally made it over here and I have been bitten by the Insistor (download, video) bug since. That song is just so outstanding that I had to hear it about a gazillion times. And I’m sure the neighbours could enjoy it several times as well. Because it’s even better in loud. (Surprisingly the CD seems to be mastered at a refreshingly low level, so it’s extra loud in terms of amplifier settings.)
OK, that song’s just perfect, great lyrics (I wondered a bit about lost == lust? fought == fucked? when reading them and what kind of slang does ‘be your badger’ come from?), subtle sounds and even a sense of humour with that lisping thing can be found in there. I like it.
And don’t be terse and don’t be shy // Just hug my lips and say good lies…
Unfortunately, Insistor is followed by Crazy Eights a song which I find rather dull and boring. Insistor may also be misleading about the rest of the album which doesn’t follow its high energy and fast pace in general. Still the album is well worth listening to.
Mando Diao were my favourite band of 2003. And since they have become deservedly famous. Following their fantastic intial album Bring ‘em in and solid sophomore effort Hurricane Bar, there’s now their third album Ode to Ochrasy. And it’s the first album of them that I am quite indifferent about.
Which doesn’t mean it’s all bad. But it’s mostly more of the stuff they’ve done before. And in that more of the less exciting stuff they’ve done before. That’s a shame. I’d rather have them give me seven songs of new greatness instead of these fourteen songs of repetition and mediocrity. There’s danceable goodness like the single Long Before Rock’n’Roll, there’s mild boredom in Amsterdam and there’s the vaguely old-fashioned and different Good Morning, Herr Horst.
More Swedish goodness is coming from Love Is All. My first impression was that they sound like a stained version of Architecture in Helsinki (whom I never got around to lauding here it seems), but that wouldn’t quite do the music justice as those ‘stains’ also bring more power with them. I’m impressed.
You should really listen to their Album Nine Times That Same Song (the quickest and cheapest way to currently get this in Germany is ordering via amazon from a seller in the U.S. – which is quite absurd) which is less repetitive than its title suggests. You’ll be rewarded with their charming singer, squeaking instruments and the need to go out. So if you don’t hate it, it may be a bit addictive. Particularly Busy Doing Nothing, Felt Tip, Ageing had never been his Friend and Turn the TV off – i.e. at least half of the CD.
And if you’re in for a treat, you could also try their single Busy Doing Nothing with a cover version of a song called Motorboat on it that the original artist even wrote a ‘thanks’ style introduction to.
Their new album The Body, the Blood, the Machine starts off with a mild organ sound to the powerful Here’s Your Future which sets the pace for 36 minutes of songs which express a certain, err, scepticism about an overly evangelical society. While I agree with that sentiment, I am generally a bit afraid of albums focusing on such issues as the content may get in the way of the music. But my impression is that The Thermals mastered that hazard. The album may be a bit more carefully produced than its predecessors and thus be a bit lacking in terms of that extra ‘kick’ but I don’t think that’s due to the lyrics.
Attention Escapists!!! —
We were born to sin…
A refreshing bit of summer music is brought to us by The Pipettes. And they seem to have gone from nowhere to rather successful in a very short time span. Musically they mock the sound of cheerful 1950s all-girl groups and touch that up by using slightly less pleasing lyrics. Which isn’t exactly my type of thing, but is still fun to listen to.
If you think that this is cruel, you should see what my friends do….
I read about Brazilian band Cansei de ser sexy somewhere on the web and they might just start developing a bit of a hype around them. I’m not really sure that I like their music too much. It’s a bit trash-poppy with cheesy 1980s beeps and more modern and destructive singing to it. But it’s not that bad either. It also seems to be an appropriate thing to listen to while doing some CSS work…
Let’s make love and listen to death from above
Things I noted in passing: Sugarplum Fairy, the ‘little brothers of Mando Diao’ band seem to have a new album as well; while a bit more cheesy than their older brothers, what I heard of it wasn’t as bad as I had expected; but that may just be my expectations. Then, the press seem to have been fed with Lo-Fi-Fnk’s album Boylife which sounds like some teenagers playing with their keyboards trying to mock ‘summer hits’ and slapping hip-hop cover art on it. Even more people seem to be writing about and even listening to the Scissor Sisters; I completely don’t get that and think their music is quite crap (and that’s before getting into the whole image thing they put on) – my 1980s allergy still in good working order, I suppose. German band Madsen have their sophomore album out which seems to confirm the less charitable opinions I held about the band. What I’ve heard of The Rapture’s new album Pieces of the People we Love is a bit disappointing as well – more on the boring and less on the interesting side.
To finish, let me waste your time by expressing that I really like Sub Pop LPs because of the nice stars and stripes on their labels.
I’ve only heard “Get Myself Into It” off the Rapture album, which I liked well enough (i.e. it sounded like the half of Echoes that I liked). Amusingly enough, they’re signed to Motown in the U.S., which is, well, cute.
I agree on Get Myself Into it, which may not be extraordinary but is quite enjoyable. But it’s really standing out.