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Monday, December 24, 2007

The Top 31 of 2007 - #8

Cale's Pick
Released: July 11, 2007

Some friends and I went and saw The New Pornographers and Spoon a while back (link). Afterwards, I was tired as all hell and I needed something to keep me awake on the 40 minute drive to the Whataburger at which we would reconvene. I chose Justice set to "really loud." It worked. Anyways, they beat me there by a few seconds, to where they were already walking up to the entrance while I was pulling in. Looking at the bewildered look on their faces, I could tell immediately that my one-man Justice dance party had now spread to the parking lot of my local Whataburger. And they couldn't figure it out. Here I was, coming back from seeing two indie rock powerhouses...and I'm listening to dance music? What? It's true. You see, I have no rational explanation to what I like and what I don't like, especially when it comes to electronic music, but I'll try here to explain why Justice is the dance album everyone should own.

Where most dance music is just idiotically repetitive, Justice is revolutionary in it's evolutionary practices. I'll explain. My sisters are not bright. They listen to bad (BAD) techno music because, "Like, you can, like, dance to it!!!1!one" So they show me a song by Fedde Le Grand called "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit," and like most terrible techno songs, the title is repeated throughout the track ("Put your hands up. Put your hands up. Put your hands up. Put your hand up for Detroit!"....all the while I'm thinking, "But Detroit sucks ass!"). But you can dance to it so it's good right? Wrong! Any idiot can stumble upon danceable track after a few hours in the studio, and it doesn't exactly take a genius to find a random audio sample and loop it over and over again. It's dumb. It's dumb music. Music for dumb people.

But Justice is smart, and as I said, revolutionary in their evolutionary practices. Where your run of the mill techno track will repeat itself until it reaches a decent playtime, a Justice song is constantly evolving, constantly surprising. Where techno tracks all sound the same, Justice is jarring in their use of distinct, harsh samples. It literally sounds like nothing else you've ever heard before, which is extremely revolutionary in the genre of electronic music. And for that, I can't help but be amazed over and over again that I actully listen to dance music. Or that I actually like it. And it's French...go figure!

For giving me more one-man dance parties than any one man should have, Justice climbs to the #8 spot.

The Top 31 Songs of 2007 - #8
"A House is Not a Home" by Field Music, from the album, Tones of Town.

Jill's Pick
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: Raising Sand
Released: October 23, 2007

On one hand: to borrow a popular Internet phrase in regards to Led Zeppelin: do not want. Led Zeppelin and Rush and Radiohead are such inflated, overrated bands that I turn a deaf ear to them if subjected to them. I know that's wrong, at least, that's what I've been told, because well they're supposedly "classics" and "trend setters" and "genius." (insert eye rolling here)

On the other hand: there's Alison Krauss. She's already been on my list. She's awesome. (See my review of her if you need a refresher on my opinion.) I enjoy her to no end.

What happens when you put Robert Plant and Alison Krauss together on the same album? You get the oddest, most bizarre pairing ever. You also get one of the most surprising albums ever made. A lot of people don't like it and I realized that those people are Zeppelin fans, who were expecting something more vintage Zeppelin sounding apparently. Oddly enough, Alison Krauss fans LOVE this album and I can see why: it's a combination of Roots and Bluegrass music crafted by two people who truly love what they are doing.

This album, when I listen to it, makes me feel like I'm listening to something "adult" which isn't a bad thing. For once, I can finally say Robert Plant has done something I actually really enjoy. This album's ethereal qualities are one I am so very glad I did not miss. It's perfect for those late, lonely nights in my life.

My favorite track: "Rich Woman" tied with "Let Your Lesson Be Your Loss"

Songs you should give a listen to:
--"Rich Woman"
--"Gone Gone Gone"
--"Fortune Teller"
--"Stick With Me Baby"
--"Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson"

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