Thursday, May 11, 2006

Five Stars and Two Thumbs Up

Pretty good release day on Tuesday. I had the decision between new albums from Danielson and Grandaddy. I was more excited about the new Danielson, but I would pick up the new Grandaddy if it was less money. Both were the same price. I bought Danielson's Ships.

The extended Danielson Famile is largely what I've been listening to (Sufjan Stevens, Half-Handed Cloud.....still haven't picked up any Deerhoof). However, the whole Danielson Famile extends way past these folks and peaks out around 40 people. Listening to Ships, it's apparent how many people it takes to make something like this.

Ships is brutally complex and difficult to listen to. Songs change as sudden as a car crash, no need for a bridge. Just as a song begins to take shape, it collapses in on itself. This is one of the most self-destructive and chaotic albums I've heard in a very long time. Kinda like Blueberry Boat.

All this chaos is what makes Ships so brilliant to listen to. Even after listening to it extensively for three days, I still can't predict where it's going. The album builds up so much, it's like going up a roller coaster for almost 45 minutes straight. Never a dull moment. Plus, Daniel Smith is so much fun to listen to. His screeching echos the crescendos of the music.

Definitely one of this year's strongest releases. It's equal parts Decemberists, Fiery Furnaces, Arcade Fire, Pixies, and Frank Zappa. Five stars and two thumbs up.

Danielson is playing in Charlottesville on July 14, three days before my birthday. I'm so there.