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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Playing Catch-Up: Impressions

So in general, I usually check out 5 to 10 new albums a month while only reviewing a handful of those. The ones that aren't fortunate enough to be judged by my superior music-reviewing self usually just end up in what I like to call "Cale's Big Box of Unreviewed Music." As a rule of thumb, if i don't review an album, I usually don't have strong feelings towards it. So in general, I either really like an album that I review or I really hate it.

Here are some albums that I never got around to reviewing and my thought on them. You may see some of these as reviews in the future, but I wouldn't count on it.

Air: "Pocket Symphony" - I've never really been an Air fan. Their music is very comforting and mellow to say the very least, but their vocals are usually fairly terrible. "Pocket Symphony" unfortunately falls into the category of albums whose best moments are when no one is singing. If you can get past the childish vocals of "Once Upon A Time," you may find something worth enjoying. While I value Air's musicality and talent, the vocals are just something that I've always struggled with.

6 out of 10 Stars

Blonde Redhead: "23" - I know that because I'm a indie-music blogger that I should be more familiar with bands like Blonde Readhead. But the truth of the matter is that, though I'd heard of them, "23" is the first album of their's that I've ever actually listened to. My final verdict is that I'm not too impressed. I can definitely pick out bands that have been influenced by their sound, but the album is full of ups and downs. More often than not, vocals are strangled by an overabundance of noise to form what are just talented distractions rather than actual impressive works of art. "Spring and Summer by Fall" is a fantastic song, as is "Top Ranking," but other than that, "23" suffers from overproduction. It could've been a great album, but it's just not.

5 out of 10 Stars

El-P: "I'll Sleep When You're Dead" - I actually kind of respect this album a lot. In fact, I sort of enjoyed it as well. I suppose the main reason that I never reviewed it was that I don't consider myself qualified to critique hip-hop at all. Suffice to say, El-P is probably the most daring emcee around today, and the production quality here is through the roof. If you're in the market for a truly remarkable hip-hop album, this is the best one I've heard all year.

8 out of 10 Stars

Feist: "The Reminder" - I really do like Feist, especially "Mushaboom." That's probably why I'm not too crazy about "The Reminder." There's not a song on the album that matches the creativity or genuineness of "Mushaboom." Sure, "The Reminder" does pack a bunch of decent songs, and it does validate Leslie Feist's position as one of the top female songwriter's today, but these songs seem to be lacking the magic that made "Let It Die" so special.

6 out of 10 Stars

Again, these are just a few of the albums that slipped through the cracks. I highly recommend you give them a listen and make your own opinion. Although, mine will always be superior. That's just the way it is.

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