Dec. 24th, 2011 04:59 pm
urgencytobleed: (Default)

I could go on about all of the ways Paint It Golden fails to live up to Illuminate - the lyrics aren't as strong, the music isn't as layered and rich, the songs are more repetitive and predictable structurally - but the fact remains that, despite these shortcomings, Paint It Golden is still, in my opinion, a very good album and, really, there isn't much reason to be disappointed in it. Sure, it doesn't touch Illuminate but what possibly could? That was a perfect album that gripped me and wracked me emotionally at the perfect time, a once in a lifetime listening experience that is rarely replicated, particularly by the same band. Taking that into consideration as well as realizing that, at this time last year, Lydia no longer even existed, Paint It Golden is far more than a fan could expect or ask for. Though, as a studio band, Lydia now consists only of frontman Leighton Antelman and drummer Craig Taylor, along with the invaluable assistance of producer Matt Malpass, Paint It Golden still sounds surprisingly like the work of a full band. It may only occasionally rival the expansive swells and crescendos of Illuminate but this seems to be a deliberate choice and not a side effect of the band's reduction. Songs like "Seasons" and "Birds," built on multi-layered harmonies and slowly-building instrumental sections, sound full and lush; the former particularly sounds like a lost Illuminate track, though slightly more upbeat. In fact, the overall biggest difference here is that, though the lyrics remain rather depressing, this is a lighter, more major-key version of Lydia. The majority of the first half of the album is overtly poppy; some of it is excellent ("Dragging Your Feet in the Mud") and some of it is just okay - "Get It Right" and "Best Nights" are catchy, highly enjoyable tracks but they also illustrate the album's biggest problems, namely the fact that they sound a bit too surface and glossy as well as Antelman's occasional tendency toward lazy lyrics that seem to depend on curse words in place of something deeper (for example, the chorus of "Best Nights:" "On my way home/Still wishing I was inside your bedroom/Just talking shit for the hell of it/Yeah, on the best nights/So hurry up, hurry up/Goddamn, this just feels right"). The second half of the album, on the other hand, contains some of the best songs he's ever written. "I'll Bite You" and "Skin+Bones" are very simple musically but reveal far more depth and emotion than some of the earlier tracks and their simplicity allows Antelman's unique voice to shine through. "Ghosts" is probably the biggest highlight, musically, lyrically and vocally. Here, Antelman finally allows his vocals to soar like they did on the biggest choruses of Illuminate and the lyrics leave a meaningful impact, making the earlier inconsistencies in that department even more baffling: "I just followed the birds right to the coast/Hoping she would follow my footsteps like some kind of ghost/Whispering close,/'We're not here for long, let's live for this week/'Cause I'm so goddamn sick of losing my sleep'/She'll be my defeat." I feel like I may have ended up making more points against Paint It Golden than for it but that's only because I hold the band to such impossibly high standards. Even if this album failed to live up to those expectations completely, I do still genuinely love it and any complaints are just minor nitpicks on my part. In the end, Paint It Golden really cannot be compared to Illuminate at all, because they're very different albums and both have very different, but no less vital, things to offer.

urgencytobleed: (Default)
Alright, so, about that 2010 list of mine. I've only got about half the reviews written at this point and at the moment all of my creative energy is being harnessed by other things so I'm not sure when I will have the rest ready. I know I could just copy and paste my first reviews, since I've already posted about most of them before, but even though it is illogical to write the same things in different words all over again, I can't help it. So you'll have to wait for that awhile longer. But here is something to hold you over until then. I've also mentioned a lot of these albums before but some of them are here for the first time so it's not entirely a waste of a post. Also, I can't really call this entire list honorable mentions because, well, some of the albums I don't like much as a whole but they happen to have a couple really amazing songs. So it's just a list of... everything I felt I needed to mention that isn't in the top twenty for whatever reason.

I'm begging with my fingers and it's starting to burn. )
urgencytobleed: (i put a pearl in the ground)
So, I wanted to make a Halloween mix, an idea that I first tried out on here awhile ago (almost three years ago, what the hell?!?) but wanted to expand to a more CD-filling running time. At first, I was only using songs that had scary/Halloween-y words in the titles but then I ran out of those and focused on songs with a creepy/haunting vibe to them musically and, in the end, both of those groups ended up being pretty equally represented. So it's not exactly strictly Halloween-based anymore but it fits the spirit of the season well anyway. Enjoy the music!

All hail the queen. Still, I've never seen a witch this mean. )
urgencytobleed: (sebastian <3 <3)
So... um, I haven't posted in a couple of months, have I? Sorry about that. It's not that there's been a lack of music to inspire me, it's just that I'm lazy and... yeah, mostly lazy but I've also been burned out on writing in general for awhile now. All kinds of writing apparently: music reviews, fiction, fucking around with no purpose but to entertain myself. Yep, it's all been pretty difficult to accomplish lately. But here I am, trying to amend that! By briefly convincing you to check out some albums from this year that I haven't gotten around to mentioning yet! There are quite a few because, as we have established, I am a lazy fuck so this will be split up into a couple entries. It's basically a mix of albums I adore, albums I really like and albums that aren't so great but have a few really good songs and, hey, sometimes it's fun to say bad things instead of good all the time, isn't it? So, yeah, have fun, discover new music, be merry. I will try to be more prompt regarding the next installment.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs )

Azure Ray - Drawing Down the Moon )

First Aid Kit - The Big Black and the Blue )

Jenny and Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now )

Lydia - Assailants )

The Narrative - The Narrative )

Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard )

And, truly, saving the best for last, even though this is more a review of two songs instead of an entire album because regarding these specific releases, that seems far too daunting a task to even comprehend for at least several months...

Sufjan Stevens - All Delighted People/The Age of Adz )
urgencytobleed: (ballerina dancing to your rock n roll)

The Morning Of - The Way I Fell In )

The Way I Fell In is out everywhere today. Support the band and buy it if you love it.

P.S. Go check out Lydia's Myspace to hear a brand new song called "We Clean Up So Well" from their upcoming summer release. It is predictably lovely. Just try to focus on the song and not the announcement that this album will be their last. Because it's far too depressing a thought to dwell on (I know because I am).
urgencytobleed: (pushing daisies plastic wrap kiss)
Alright, as promised, today = the top ten. I can honestly say that I adore every single one of these albums. So I'm quite happy with this list. I've also realized that my reviews would be a whole lot shorter if I didn't quote so damn many lyrics... What can I say? I'm a sucker for good lyrics. Anyway, I think that's all I have to say. Except that these all come highly recommended, obviously, so if you haven't listened to them, I think you should give them a chance. Oh yeah, and if anyone is surprised by my number one, well, you must be new here because it's so predictable if you know me. That is all. On to the music...

#10-1 *drumroll* )

urgencytobleed: (mindy and leighton are so cute)
Here are a few random songs/artists I am loving at the moment. No *NSYNC this time, I promise. ;)

Click for music. )

And also, because I'm feeling generous and because no one is really getting anything out of me keeping them to myself, here are links to some random things I have uploaded in my MediaFire folder - a few albums, some songs. They are all good, I promise, so download whatever you'd like! Remember to change xx to tt for the links to work.

Links. )


Oct. 21st, 2008 10:33 pm
urgencytobleed: (mindy and leighton are so cute)

Alright. One more post and I promise I will stop shoving this band down everyone's throats for awhile. However, I just have to mention the fact that Illuminate has finally gotten a wide release today and anyone who has been turned on to Lydia through this blog or other means should go out and buy it if you haven't already! This band is so so good and deserves all the exposure and support that they can get. If you like good music, you will not regret the purchase. (Maybe that's a little overblown... but this is one of those bands that I am so obsessed with that I've become admittedly biased and cannot fathom anyone disliking them - just don't tell me if you do in fact feel that way and we're good, okay?) You can get it at Amazon or as of this moment, there are still copies with autographed booklets available at Newbury Comics or with a (kind of bland but free) t-shirt at SmartPunk or you can pick it up at retailers like Best Buy and such. I always like to encourage people to buy CDs from bands that they really enjoy (and try to live up to that standard myself, as much as I can) but this is a case where I feel like it's even more important. Or go see them on their current tour with Copeland and Lovedrug (I unfortunately cannot but if you can, do!). Or buy a t-shirt from their online merch store. Or just go to their MySpace page and tell them how amazing they are. Anything! I feel like this band is my baby and I have watched them grow up and now I'm so proud of them and I must tell everyone I encounter about it. Okay, I'm starting to babble incoherently now. If you are still not convinced, you can read the review that I wrote back in March (and just so you know, I love the album a thousand times more now than I did then, as impossible as that seems) or download the many songs that I've uploaded in the past. If you still do not like them, we aren't friends. Just kidding. Maybe.

P.S. You should also go to Mindy's solo MySpace page and listen to the two songs there. I don't know how long it's actually been there but I just discovered it and the two songs are absolutely gorgeous and lovely and amazing, despite the lo-fi sound quality. The first one, "These Wings Are Useless", I have especially fallen in love with.
urgencytobleed: (lee pace is adorable)
I've been kind of non-existent here lately, I know, at least compared to the rate that I used to post, but here's a little something to make up for that. I've been wanting to make a new mix lately but had absolutely no ideas for it. Between that and trying to think of something - anything! - to post about, this one was born. The seed was planted last night when my Zune decided to play me "Get Big" and "Warrior" back-to-back and I thought it sounded quite nice, so then I kept thinking about other songs that would work with those two. There is really no hugely obvious theme this time... I guess just that all of the songs are kind of dark and moody and sad, different aspects of depressing, I suppose. And basically I just think they all sound good together and they're mostly songs that I've been obsessed with lately. I think there are only two that I've posted previously, so that's a plus. And I just have to say, I'm the kind of person who feels like it's wasteful to not use the entire 80 minutes of a blank CD, so it was extremely hard for me not to try and fill up the last twenty or so that remain with this. But there are really no other songs I felt the need to add and I was afraid that any half-hearted inclusions would disrupt the entire thing, so I left it be. Also, there is really no reason for the two parts, just me being pretentious, I guess. (And yes, I realize that Orenda Fink is technically on the CD three times which I generally try not to do but whatever...)

I'm landing now, forgetting how. Your gravity ruins everything. )

Download entire mix (87 MB)
urgencytobleed: (mindy and leighton are so cute)

So, hey, I know I've posted about this band ad nauseum at this point, but I have reason to this time - I swear! Here's a little announcement that was made yesterday:

Linc Star is proud to announce that Lydia will be signing to Universal/Motown Records today, August 25, 2008. Stay tuned for Lydia's Major Label debut, Illuminate, coming this fall. Also be sure to keep updated on Lydia's myspace for upcoming tour dates, as they will be supporting a major tour this fall.

Obviously, this is very exciting news. Right now, the album is only available online, but this re-release means that it will be much more widely available and hopefully fairly easy to find in stores. And of course, more exposure = more fans = more touring, etc. It's kind of strange to get used to them going from having basically no label to being on a major label and I hope that the major label thing will actually work out for them; if it does, it can only lead to very good things. So... here are a few songs to celebrate!

And if you've somehow been living under a rock regarding this blog for a few months. )


urgencytobleed: (Default)

April 2012



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