I've been in a rut, musically speaking, lately. I haven't really heard anything new, nor have I been actively seeking out new music. So I decided to try a bunch of new things. I've spent most of the week at work listening to these new albums and here are my thoughts, in 50 words or less per album.
The Tiny Dancers - Free School Milk Never heard of them before, but really enjoyed the record. Musically they remind me of the Trash Can Sinatras, but vocally I can't quite put my finger on who they remind me of. I recommend this.
Alexander Schultz - If You Forgive Me, I'll Just Do It Again If you had to over-generalize the type of music I prefer, it's singer/songwriter stuff. What I especially like about this singer/songwriter is that he's Norwegian and his accent creeps through his vocals.
Tom McRae - King of Cards I liked this album at the start, but by the end of it, his voice was really getting on my nerves. Don't know if it was my mood or if I just can't take a whole album of him.
The Nightwatchman - One Man Revolution This is Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine doing his troubadour thing. There are one or two really good songs on this, but the overall impression I get is it's a protest folk parody. But it's not.
Joan As Police Woman - Real Life I don't think I gave this one enough of a chance. My initial thought was "what if Amy Winehouse didn't drink and put out a record." I think this one I need to give a few more spins to before I can say for sure.
Dolly Parton - Straight Talk Okay, this isn't new, but it's new to me. And this is everything that was wrong with Dolly Parton in the early to mid 90s.
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky I've spent years avoiding Wilco. They are critical darlings and I was pretty sure than when I finally got around to listening to them, they wouldn't live up to the praise. I like this album a lot, but I don't think it's the greatest thing ever.
Dresden Dolls - Yes, Virginia... I think I'm too old to listen to the Dresden Dolls. I kept thinking that this is something I might have really gotten into ten or fifteen years ago, but not anymore.
Joan Osborne - Breakfast In Bed Is this my favorite Joan album? No. (Last year's Pretty Little Stranger is.) Is it a damn fine Joan album? Yes it is. I like the formula of mixing new songs with a handful of well known covers. She's groovy.
Crowded House - Time On Earth One of my most looked forward to new albums this year. They still have it. My only complaint about the album is it could have used a couple more upbeat songs. But otherwise, I'm in love with it.
Southerly - Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist This was a great find. All pop music should be this good. Lush folky pop that makes me a happy boy. Give this one a try.
Cary Brothers - Who Are You I love, love, love this album. He looks like a dirty boy, but he's got a great voice and he writes really great songs. Kind of reminds me just a little bit of Howie Day. If you like Howie, this is right up your alley.
Pink Martini - Hey, Eugene! If you're looking for a fun, 50s loungy throwback album, this is for you. Listening to it reminds me of the Ultra-Lounge series of cds Capitol Records put out a few years ago. Kitschy and fun.
They Might Be Giants - The Else To be honest, I'd lost track of TMBG over the last few years. I wasn't digging their newer stuff too much. I decided to give this one a chance and I'm glad I did. Sounding more like their older stuff (at least to me), this was pretty good. I just hope it holds up to repeated listenings.
Rufus Wainwright - Release The Stars I think Rufus is awesome and this album continues to please. I can't say enough nice things about this cd.