Thursday, August 12, 2010

A few current spins, open for debate

I've got a number of newish things in regular rotation that deserve a mention.  Not that anything has blown me away.  Quite the contrary when it comes to the new Arcade Fire album.  I've been a big fan and I've seldom waited as anxiously for a new album.  And while it's good, the cumulative effect is far from great.  My rating - a mildly-disappointed, bored B-minus.  There are some strong turns and I expect the live shows that come from this new material will also be beefy given Arcade Fire's awesome performance chops.  But I'm about as fired up giving them an obligatory review as I am about the backlog of this summer's "Top Chef" on our DVR.

I also feel the need to lump together some new albums that I've fallen in and out of heavy petting like with recently.  Menomena's most recent album ("Mines") is where I come in contact with their creative arc.  Portland-based indie rock.  Works best loud.  Surprisingly resilient.  I have to give it a durn good review.  Solid B rating.  But, then again, after listening a bunch of times....well, I'm not convinced I know enough of their package to give a complete assessment.  I am intrigued enough to have subsequently tracked down their first album ("I Am the Fun Blame Monster!").  That's probably the way to initiate a fresh flirtation with a band that ain't new.  Don't hate me for an early poke in their collective grill.

Otherwise, I can't get fired up about Wavves latest ("King of the Beach") - rating a C-plus that probably would benefit from a road trip.  Or The Roots ("How I Got Over") - rating a re-tread feeling C-plus. Oddly, the thing that I've liked the most recently is a compilation release from the long since defunct Seattle band Carissa's Wierd.  It's folk rock, although that characterization makes me throw up in my mouth a wee bit.  Newbies might hear some faint echoes of what made The XX such a surprising breakthrough act last year.  I give "They'll Only Miss You When You Leave" a sentimental B-plus rating.

Hope your own listening doesn't get in the way of all the books you've got on the proverbial nightstand there days.  Rock on.

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