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: (jenny scream)
Alright. This review is kind of all-over-the-place and unfocused, but when it comes to Jenny and Rilo Kiley, I begin to absolutely dissect every moment until I can't anymore and make confused statements that make little sense because they illicit such strong emotions in me. So with that being said, here.

Jenny Lewis



Acid Tongue

I was prepared to say that this album is good - very good, in fact - but a bit of a disappointment. However, the more I listen to it, the more I realize that I actually love it a lot for the most part. So I have to concede that Acid Tongue is a great album after all. For me personally, the slight disappointment comes from the fact that this isn't the Jenny Lewis from The Execution of All Things or even More Adventurous and that reality is a bit hard to accept at first. For some reason, I place these insane expectations on her - more than I do for most artists - so when I don't hear something completely mindblowing, I immediately think of it as mediocre. Upon the first couple listens to Acid Tongue, it bothered me that, lyrically, she seems to be sticking in the same vein as Under the Blacklight, not as far as actual lyrical content goes, but in the simplicity and repetitiveness of them. I'll admit I like wordiness (obviously), I like pretentiousness, I like big words and verbose introspection. However, just because Jenny seems to be veering away from those kind of lyrics, it doesn't mean that she's suddenly a terrible songwriter. The big difference between the simplicity here and the simplicity on Under the Blacklight is that where Blacklight seemed dumbed down, forced, and rushed these songs feel much more genuine and insightful. Once I got past my initial longing for the Jenny of five years ago, I realized all of this and it was much easier for me to enjoy the album then. It also helps that the production is much more minimal and Jenny's voice much more alive and even flawed at times. I've come to appreciate Under the Blacklight for what it is at this point, but Acid Tongue mostly blows it out of the water for me. Now, onto the dissection!

read more... )

Acid Tongue is out now on Warner Bros. Go buy it!
 
urgencytobleed: (dresden dolls hot)
Favorite Songs Currently:

I hated this the first time I listened to it, probably because the vocals really took awhile to grow on me, but I kind of love it now. It's very catchy but also very intense. This is from their last album, but they have a new one coming out that is apparently extremely polarizing but I kind of like it... a lot... though all the negativity makes me feel like I shouldn't. But it has some kickass songs. Now I'm going to go cry in a corner because they are touring with Lydia and I am probably not going.

I have to thank [livejournal.com profile] msmoocow for introducing me to this band a few posts ago. They are extremely lovely. The male vocalist reminds me of Ben Gibbard the teensiest bit and overall, their songs are very reminiscent of Straylight Run, though maybe more on the mellow side. They have four songs on their myspace and I adore them all. And if you do, you should buy their EP which has two other songs, because I know I will be as soon as possible.

Okay, okay, I posted this song already back when I was first getting into them, but I have a newfound obsession with it. It's so beautiful, especially on the chorus when the female voice kicks in ever so subtly. And the end synth-y instrumental break. And I just adore Andy LeMaster's voice no matter what he's singing, really. You should also go back a few posts and find "Night Vision" and "Dark Light Daybreak" because I'm still obsessed with those two as well.

I posted about this band right as I was getting into them; flash forward a week or two and I'm in complete love. Love the vocals, love the strings, love everything. This song is gorgeous. The chorus is quite epic in a non-flashy way. It's just beautiful; that's all I can say.

Who Killed Amanda Palmer:

Guess what? This album finally comes out next Tuesday and you can pre-order it right now from the official website. The uber-special uber-expensive package is probably about sold out by now, I'd say (and I, of course, have already got mine safely ordered). I'm not sure if they'll still be offering them un-autographed, but you can at least get the CD by itself (with an instant download of it + two bonus tracks) or with a t-shirt and what looks to be an amazing upcoming digital EP with unincluded songs and different takes of some that did make it. If you haven't heard this, just trust me, it's worth it to purchase, okay? Amanda is an amazingly talented person who deserves your money and it's an added bonus that the album is truly fantastic - her best work to date, I'd venture.

Acid Tongue:

Well, this is a surprising development, but the whole album has been put up for streaming on Jenny's myspace. I'm not sure how long it'll actually be there for, so if you're adverse to illegally downloading it or anything, I'd listen to it on there as soon as possible. As for my opinion, I'm not quite sure yet, but it is growing on me the more I listen to it. It's just a lot more... sparse and slow, I guess, then I was expecting it to be. And Jenny's doing some different things with her voice that will take some getting used to. But my favorites as of this moment are: "Black Sand", "Bad Man's World", "See Fernando", and "Jack Killed Mom".
urgencytobleed: (jenny smile)
Well, I've been waiting quite impatiently to hear something from Jenny's upcoming album, Acid Tongue, other than 30-second clips and the title track, and finally the day has come. "The Next Messiah" is an eight-minute-plus epic consisting of three distinct segments - basically three songs in one. I don't even mind Johnathan Rice on this song and I've had a general dislike toward him for awhile now, so that's a pretty massive accomplishment. And Jenny's voice sounds as amazing as ever. Also, loving the Ben Gibbard cameos at the beginning of these clips; if you follow this video to Youtube, you'll find two others that feature more amusing antics with Jenny, Ben, and Johnathan along with the title track for your listening pleasure. Now do I seriously have three more weeks to wait for this thing? I need it now!

urgencytobleed: (mindy and leighton are so cute)
Apparently, I've found my niche in sharing with all of you my latest discoveries in the world of bands that feature both male and female vocals prominently... so to keep in that direction, here's another!

One for the Team



So here's an interesting story: I saw a promo ad for this band's new album in a magazine a couple weeks ago and based solely on the adorableness of the above photograph, I decided that I would give them a listen. I was expecting to be let down, honestly, because of the totally random non-music-related reason for checking them out, but I was surprised - very pleasantly surprised. It turns out they are actually extremely good and their album, Build It Up, is very steadily making its way closer to the top of my ongoing list of favorite '08 releases.

What exactly do they sound like? Well, I myself would call them slightly lo-fi power pop (and it seems that I'm at least semi-close - their MySpace lists one of their genres as power pop as well). Anyway, not wasting any more time with meaningless genres, basically their music is full of synth-tastic melodies, uber-catchy hooks, perfect boy/girl harmonies, and cute-cute lyrics ("Let's move, let's move to Brooklyn together/We'll both get internships at Matador records/And we'll get an apartment there so small we'll only call it a part/One part you, one part me/We'll live in moderation in the NYC"). In other words, all of the ingredients to be completely awesome. Here are a few songs from Build It Up, which is currently available at Amazon mp3 and other digital music retailers and will be released on CD August 19th through Militia Group (pre-order here).


In other news, I haven't been keeping you up-to-date very well with the latest developments in my two most anticipated upcoming releases. So, let's get to that!

urgencytobleed: (jenny smile)


Jenny Lewis will be releasing her second solo album (and first sans the Watson Twins though there are plenty of guest contributors taking their place) entitled Acid Tongue in September, the ninth according to Amazon though the official press release doesn't list a specific date. I have a feeling this will be very good, as long as it doesn't sound as overly-polished and perfect as Under the Blacklight (even though I've kind of been more in love with that album recently) and as long as all those special guest appearances don't outshine Jenny herself. Judging from the four songs that she performed on her last tour and the details of the press release, I don't think there's much to worry about but I'm trying not to let myself get set up for a disappointment. Anyway, for more information, including tour dates and the tracklisting, click on the cut, and below that are live versions of a couple of the songs for your listening pleasure.

read more... )

In other reasons why September can't come soon enough, you may have noticed that I'm also very excited about the upcoming solo endeavor by another charismatic leading lady, Amanda Palmer. If you haven't been keeping score yourself, you can now listen to "Ampersand" on Amanda's MySpace and it does not disappoint, with a gorgeous string arrangement, her always impressive and relatable lyrics, and an emotional vocal delivery. And I updated my previous post to reflect this, but if you didn't see that, you can also listen to/download "Leeds United", which is set to be the record's lead single. It seems a bit odd to already have so many songs when the album is still two months away, but, hey, I'm not complaining; they seem good enough so far that their appeal won't wear off anytime soon. But seriously - does anyone have a time machine? It still seems so far away...

P.S. This has nothing to do with this post, but this is something that's really bugging me, so if any of you guys have Last.fm accounts, do me a favor. Go to the Lydia images page and vote for a more recent picture! Preferably this one since it's the only one that features the current line-up (and lags way behind in votes due to their mindboggling system) but as long as it's not one of the really old ones (this, this, or this - vote thumbs down on those) it's fine. They just need an up-to-date image, damn it, and apparently there aren't enough fans to get one as the default! (Actually, a more recent image has been bounced back up to the top, but it's still pretty old, so vote on the others anyway.)
 
urgencytobleed: (matthew gray gubler)
Now that we've got all that top ten craziness out of the way, there were obviously tons of other awesome releases this year. And then a few that might not be so awesome overall, but have that one amazing song. So, here are some of my favorite songs of the year (excluding any from the top ten, obviously; I think I've got them well covered). Also, album title = purchase link.



And because I'm weird like that and want to stretch this out to last the whole week, the rest of the songs tomorrow!

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Shannon

April 2012

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