I kinda lost track of 43things about a year ago, but I have been listening to tons of CDs lately, and I’ve created a blog just for music stuff, plus my http://last.fm page is quickly filling. Woot!
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Alix has written 7 entries about this goal
Rob Thomas – ...something to be
I’ve been a fan of Matchbox Twenty’s music since before they were Matchbox Twenty. I even still contemplate that some of their best work was done as Tabitha’s Secret. But I was wary of this solo thing. Maybe it was the haircut on the album cover (ick), maybe it was just being cautious about anything new. I don’t know. I don’t listen to the radio, so I’d never even heard the single when I finally picked this up. My overall impression is that a lot of it is candy, and most of the rest is boring. I’m not saying that candy is a bad thing. It’s fun, and if you put all the high energy tracks together it’s almost a perfect workout disc. But I wanted to hope for more.
Vanessa Carlton – Harmonium
Be Not Nobody was one of my favorite albums in 2003, so I was really looking forward to Harmonium. When I bought it, shortly after it came out, I played it once, and was so disappointed I put it away. I decided to give it a second chance. My first impression was mostly right
- a lot of it is bland and a bit immature - she’s traded emotional emphasis for technical quality in a lot of places—but there are a few bright spots, and it’s generally a good listen, even if it’s nothing that’ll blow you away.
“White Houses”, “Personal Radio”, and “C’est la Vie” are better-than-average pop songs, that are just fun to listen (or work out) to. The lyrics and music of “Who’s to Say”, “Annie”, and “San Francisco” are emotionally interesting. “Afterglow” and “Wreckage” are musically beautiful. The overall impression of the whole album is very nostalgic for me, especially “White Houses” and “Personal Radio”. For some reason it keeps taking me back to my preteen years, which are not often on my mind. It’s an interesting feel, and worth it for that alone.
Dar Williams – The Beauty of the Rain
While I’ve been listening to Williams’ music for a while, this is the first time I’ve sat down with a full CD. “The Mercy of the Fallen” is my new favorite song, but really, the entire thing is near-perfect. There isn’t a song I dislike, though there are parts I find a little out of place or jarring (the intro to “I Saw a Bird Fly Away” comes to mind). Even “Fishing in the Morning” where the lyrics are kitchy, the music somehow makes it all work.
“The One Who Knows” is deeply moving for me, bringing me to tears when I live in it. “Closer to Me”, “The Beauty of the Rain”, and “Your Fire, Your Soul” are additionally meaningful and lyrically interesting. And the simple “Whispering Pines” and “I Have Lost My Dreams” are poetic in their beauty and meditative qualities.
Tori Amos – The Beekeeper
I have a love/hate relationship with The Beekeeper. It took a long time for me to get past the monotonous quality of the CD as a whole into the individual songs. I hate the B3 Hammond, so that was an additional barrier.
Eventually I came to love some of the songs (“The Beekeeper”, “Jamaica Inn”, “The Power of Orange Knickers”), hate others (“Witness”, “Ireland”, “Hoochie Woman”, and “Martha’s Foolish Ginger”), and like a few that are meaningful to me, but nothing that I find compelling musically (“Cars and Guitars”, “Parasol, “Sleeps with Butterflies”).
With so many tracks, there really is something for everyone, but the one real stand out of the album is the extra track: “Garlands”. Garlands is 8 minutes and 20 seconds of pure piano heaven built around some visually compelling lyrics. It is definitely reminiscent of her earlier work on Under the Pink. I’m so in love with this song.
Damien Rice – O
This is some of the most sensual and powerful music I’ve heard since Sarah McLachlan’s Surfacing. Really gorgeous, though I find “Eskimo” to be a little cheesy. “I Remember” more than makes up for any faults in the rest of the album. The combination of Rice’s lyrics and vocals, Vyvienne Long’s cello, and Lisa Hannigan’s female counterpoint is pure orgasmic bliss.
I would like to immerse myself into 12 new CDs in 2005. By “immerse” I mean more than just casual listening.