Friday, May 06, 2005

Chock Full o' Reviews.

I'm going CD crazy right now. I've already mentioned this week's purchases and haven't had a chance to review yet. I'll start with the easy:

Arcade Fire-"Funeral"
I love it, but I don't want to hear anything more about them. I've heard enough. I know I'm supposed to love them, and I do. Now leave me alone. I'd love to be really ironic and say I hate it just to stick it to their popularity, but I can't. I love it. It's reminds me of Modest Mouse meets Neutral Milk Hotel meets the Talking Heads.

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals-"Cold Roses"
Geez what else can I say about Ryan Adams. He's great live and has had projected moments of brilliance in the past, but God do I hate him. Dunn and I used to joke that we'd be kicking his ass and saying "I really loved Gold" at the same time. He's just too frustrating for me. Let's recap.....
Rock n' Roll-meh...okay, interesting
Love is Hell-I still don't know what to think of this one
Cold Roses-OVERKILL!!!
It's a step backwards, which for him is a step forwards. Very reminiscent of Whiskeytown and Heartbreaker, which is good, but jeez do we really need this much material at once?? It's like 80 minutes of mostly the same song. Hey it's good. I love the twang, but just getting the motivation to listen to this thing is very daunting. Plus I have to buy two more Ryan Adams CD's by the end of the year? Still I'll never regret buying it. It's a good deal. Did I just recommend this album? I have no idea. Just go get it and judge for yourself.

(Right now there are fireworks launching outside. I have no idea why.)

Now to the meat......

Buy this album now!!

Just do it, trust me. You'll never regret it.

I can't remember the last time that I have been this emotionally attached to a CD. It's funny too. John Darnielle has typically written fiction. This is his first major spurt of autobiography largely involving his abusive stepfather. I wasn't abused as a child. And I'm the one that's attached? Lyrically this is one of the most brilliantly emotional things I've ever heard. It's so interesting to hear too. Take "Broom People" for instance. John lets his typically long-winded imagery cover 99% of the song with only one or two lines of action. However, that line or two will just kill you inside. After so much deep imagery, it's hard not to become attached. That's payoff, my friends. I swear he can sit in my shed out back for a half hour and write something fascinating about my lawnmower.

From the nostalgic longing of "You or Your Memory," to the primal "Dilaudid," to the bouncy "Dance Music," to the oh-so-sad ode "Song for Dennis Brown," everything is just right. So many heavy themes, but there is this distinctive positivity that follows throughout. As depressing as these songs can get, there is always a silver lining. It never goes overboard. He'll take you to the depths of despair in every song, but always brings you back up in the big picture. Listen, take a big deep breath, and listen again. Beauty, thy name is John Darnielle.

Now I have to get to sleep. I've got to leave at 6am for a 5K...