Long live rock, I need it every night

Friday, October 27, 2006

10 Great Albums Released This Year, Part II

Blue Collar by Rhymefest - To me, rap is like art; I'm no expert, but I know what I like. It's not the rap about "bitches and ho's and guns and money". I like thought provoking, original, edgy, yet humorous artists. Rhymefest is all of these things. I'm not into rappers who talk about how gangsta they are or how they're the greatest rapper of all-time. We settled that debate years ago (Biggie, right? No?) Rhymefest likes to portray himself as the working-class rapper. He's not a bling man. I can respect that. Plus, his music is slammin'.*

*I tried to think of description where I wouldn't sound like the whitest man on Earth. Clearly, I failed.

Rather Ripped by Sonic Youth - With Ripped, Sonic Youth reminds people that it can still kick ass. Their new tour even includes pyrotechnics and Steve Shelley performing a drum solo while spinning in a cage above the stage. Suck on that, Motley Crue!

Okay, so maybe they aren't quite Motley Crue (thank god), but they do crank on this album. I love the guitar work, the straight forward rock, and the strong vocals from both Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. Sonic Youth has always been a favorite of mine. I rank this album right up there with Murray Street, Dirty, and Goo (but maybe not Daydream Nation). Summary: Jason will enjoy this, James will not.

We, The Vehicles by Maritime - Infectious pop goodness with lots of big hooks. I may do a full review on this later so I'll keep this brief. It's bouncy, fun, and tight. Just like that hot girl you hoped to hook up with in college (didn't happen, did it?). Well, maybe this record will help you forget you got no action at school. Hey, not everyone can be a love machine like Erin. Oh, wait. Never mind.

News and Tributes by The Futureheads - As good as their latest album? Maybe not, but still better than the vast majority of records put out in 2006. The Futureheads deserve admiration for the way they approach music. They have the same post-punk inspirations as hundreds of other bands but they have a creativity all their own. All four members take turn on the vocals and the interplay of singers, along with their explosive sound, makes for a great listen. "Yes/No" and "Skip To The End" are great tracks and measure up against anything from their first album.

We're Already There by Mazarin - "Northeast Winter" is one of my absolute favorite tracks of the year. However, I'm an album guy and not suckered in by one good song. An album needs to deliver the goods from start to finish. Mazarin does this with a collection of indie pop, instrumentals, experimentation, clever lyrics, and the best melodies I've heard this year. This is a band I'll insist we go to see next time they're in town.

1 comment:

KCG said...

I've heard Northeast Winter! I've heard it! I've finally heard of something mentioned in this blog! And I actually like it.

Have you guys heard Justin Timberlake's new one?