Monday, May 12, 2008

Quick Music Thoughts

Even though I've been pretty scarce as of late (including my reviews), I've still been listening to and enjoying music. In fact, I bought three CDs recently: Third by Portishead, The Odd Couple by Gnarls Barkley and Rising Down by The Roots.

So, in anticipation for possible reviews, here are some brief thoughts on these albums and other music of note.

-Portishead's Third is probably my favorite album released thus far in 2008. I was kind of worried that the allure of this group would've worn off after such a long time but I was pleasantly surprised. The music itself is often times fantastic. The beat of "Machine Gun" is so simple and addicting that it stuck in my head for days. I admit that it took me a little bit to decide if I like the way Beth Gibbons's voice sounds now (it does sound different) but I do.

-The Odd Couple by Gnarls Barkley isn't as immediately enjoyable as St. Elsewhere was, but it's ultimately pretty rewarding. It's a better experience as an album than their last, but as a result, the songs don't stand out quite as much outside of the album until a few listens. I haven't figured out if that means it's better than St. Elsewhere or not, but I do know that Gnarls Barkley did not succumb to the sophomore slump.

-Rising Down by The Roots does feel like a step down from the excellent Game Theory but it's still quite good. It's sort of a more gritty, less overtly aggressive companion to their last album in that it's just as dark. Anytime an album starts with an actual argument (over the phone) between label reps and the group, any trace of happiness gets tossed out the window.

-I know it's a little late, but let me say how enjoyable Rhymefest's Man In The Mirror album is. It really, really makes you wish that Michael Jackson could make a Madonna-esque relevant comeback.

-I've always kind-of-sort-of liked Nine Inch Nails and after their recent free and semi-free releases, I like them more. No major record company in their right mind would have released Ghosts I-IV and that's a shame. I just really hope that Reznor and crew don't overdo it. I want them to keep casual and hardcore fans alike on their toes and continue to focus on quality and innovation and I'm confident they will.

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