Monday, October 02, 2006

New Releases...Should You Buy Them?

The highly anticipated sophomore album from the Killers, Sam's Town, is released tomorrow (or today if you're reading this on Tuesday). The album artwork is brilliant, as it has this trashy suggestive tone to it. I'm listening to it, and I'm wondering where all this comparison to Bruce Springsteen comes from. There is that inevitable curse of the sophomore album, and I think it's been bypassed here. You're going to hear plenty of that synth sound that was on Hot Fuss, and that distinctive voice of Brandon Flowers hasn't changed either, but you're also going to hear a lot of the Killers breaking out some new sound. Remember "All These Things That I've Done?" If not, then you need to crawl out from underneath your rock. Anyways, that collective vocal stuff they threw in there is done on a lot more tracks for this new material. There are times when it seems like there's a gospel choir backing the music, and it's a pretty powerful addition. I've been loving the first single ("When You Were Young") for a couple of months now, but check out "Bling (Confessions of a King)" for an almost Muse-like feel and the title track for a dive into classic Killers. Should you buy it? Yeah, I think so. But expect something slightly different than what hooked you to Hot Fuss.

Onto the next one...Beck's The Information. I'll honestly say that I only recently got into Beck past the stuff I used to hear on the radio back in the day when I was actually listening to the radio. This seems to be along the same lines of the older stuff, and so that makes me happy because I like the older stuff. I'm not sure if it's the shitty speakers on the iBook or if it really sounds like this, but Beck is sporting a very haunting echoed vocal distortion that makes me feel as if he's singing to me from above. I'm really digging on "Think I'm in Love" and "When Dance Alone," where you get the Beck-rap and video game sounding backbeats. Should you buy it? If you like Beck, then you're probably already planning to, so go ahead, and enjoy it.

I also got the Decemberists new one, Crane Wife, in the mail this weekend, and it didn't sound like they really stuck to the old formula on this one. Usually, when I listen to them, I feel like I should be out on a boat like a sailor (not like a sunbathing beauty, but an actual sailor, like back in the day of the Count of Monte Cristo or some shit), considering they boast the "shanty" sound. This album is a little less like than and a little more like rock, but not enough that it strays from Colin Meloy's signature vocal and lyrical content. Should you buy it? Why not? The Decemberists are great, and if you're not aware of them yet, change that.

One more for you that actually came out last week, but is most definitely worth mentioning is Knives Don't Have Your Back, which is the first solo release from Emily Haines. Don't know who Haines is? Actually, you probably do. She started off as one of the many singers for Canadian sweethearts Broken Social Scene before joining up with one of my most favorite bands, Metric. If you know of Metric, you're aware of her high angelic-like vocals that are coupled with amazing and smooth music. This solo stint is going to bring you a very chilled-out version of that, with lyrics that are mentally all over the place, and the fact they're sung with a largely haunting tone and meshed with an equally creepy piano makes it hit even harder. This is certainly one to check out to calm you.
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