Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Few of My Favorite Things, Pt. 2

Okay I'll finish up what I started earlier with a couple of album reviews.....

...but first, did anybody catch last night's "Lost" season finale? God I love that show!! I'm so glad that they didn't answer too many questions. Usually I get frustrated with shows that constantly leave on cliffhangers, but this one does a great job of keeping your interest without frustrating. It's the perfect show! I haven't been this obsessed with a TV show since I learned of Dr. Who reruns in high school.

Gorillaz "Demon Days"
One of two killer CD's I purchased on Tuesday. I was so excited for this one because I'm a huge Gorillaz/Blur fan. I'm glad to report I am not disappointed in any way. It's just as great as their debut. It's not quite the same, but it retains their quirkiness. This one seems cleaner, more produced and maybe a little more serious. I love it for what it is. I loved Dan the Automator's production on the last one and I love DJ Danger Mouse's production on this one. There are some daring parts (strings and choirs on more than one song) and they really pay off. No, I won't choose between this one and the last one. Both are just killer albums with awesome cameos. The best cameos on "Demon Days" are from De La Soul, Ike Turner (killer piano solo), and Dennis Hopper's weird spoken word.

The standouts for me are:
"Dirty Harry" (my fav)
"Feel Good Inc."
"Every Planet We Reach is Dead"
"All Alone"
"Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head"

Sufjan Steven "Seven Swans"
The other purchase from Tuesday. First my backstory:

I didn't know too much about Sufjan Stevens, but kept seeing his name pop up on my Amazon recommendations. I usually ignore those, but he was EVERYWHERE on there. I finally decided to read a few reviews on several sites and figured he was worth a look. Tuesday at Hastings I was sifting around and came across "Seven Swans" used for only $6, so I picked it up too. Now let me say.....This album is amazing!! If you like Iron & Wine, you need to check this dude out, but it's a bit more contemporary than Iron & Wine.

I mentioned some daring moments in the new Gorillaz, but this album is full of boldness. Firstly, the primary instrument on most of it is a banjo. Usually it's used as a filler or as a solo, but he's strumming it as a lead part. Secondly, Sufjan really wears his Christian faith on his sleeve. It shouldn't be a daring move, but very often religion is taboo or vilified in indie music. Now, it's not preaching, but mostly Biblical retellings....and they are beautiful, intense, and very endearing. The most intense point is the album's climax on the self-titled track. The choir of voices that close that song just makes my heart feel like it's going to jump out of my chest. That song leads into "The Transfiguration" to close out the album. It is impossible not to smile while listening to that song. It's just so bubbly and quirky. The whole album is an incredible experience. I highly suggest picking it up.