Every year, at around the same time, I get hit with a slew of new albums by some of my favorite artists who seem to enjoy making me pay for everything at once. I know what you’re thinking, who the hell pays for music? I guess I’m one of the few nowadays, but I’m actually pretty proud of that. These artists worked hard and deserve to see their work hitting high sales lists. Honestly, nothing is more depressing than feeling that all of your pain was for nothing. Granted concerts get the blood pumping and the green flowing.
Anyway, I just wanted to talk briefly about my favorite recent albums... and some other noteworthy ones:
Big Whiskey And The Groo Grux King (Dave Matthews Band) - I think this is what you’d call a masterpiece. It comes from the heart and soul. The band took a massive hit when LeRoi passed, but somehow out of the tears a new bond was formed. It took the missing man’s passion to rekindle something in the almost separated band’s friendship... I think the coolest thing is LeRoi’s last tapes inspired the album as a whole. So we can sort of call this LeRoi’s last stand.
Hombre Lobo (Eels) - While not the greatest album E has ever shaped, it has moxy. E has a great deal of fun here and I’ll be damned if I can’t play along.
Around The Well (Iron & Wine) - These aren’t necessarily “new” tracks... but they’ve never (or rarely) been heard before. Their last album, The Shepherd’s Dog, is one of my all time favorites. And this one feels like a lovely companion piece including some of the B-sides and alternate takes from that effort. Iron & Wine is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. In fact they lead my top 25 most played list on iTunes.
Far (Regina Spektor) - Far is one of those rare albums that just lifts my body up while smashing my head into the mud. I think I’m in love with Regina Spektor and she kind of shoves it in my face. Blue Lips and Eet are such good tracks I listen to them and laugh out loud because I’m so happy.
No One’s First, And You’re Next (Modest Mouse) - Just a good collection of B-sides from a growing band. Like Iron & Wine’s The Shepherd’s Dog, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank tops my favorites list... it just hits me in a different emotional place.
The Birth (Stardeath And White Dwarfs) - The kid brother band to The Flaming Lips... and very much a triumphant Freshman album. I’ll buy the next one too.
Wait For Me (Moby) - Just a great album. Emotional and Eclectic. Moby kicks ass and raises the bar for electronic music every time he spins a record.
Life On Earth (Tiny Vipers) - I feel like I’m the only person who knows this band, but it is amazing. beautifully simple and melodic. I have all four of her albums and love them love them love them.
Humbug (Arctic Monkeys) - An oddly darker album by a band best known for their hit I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor... but you probably won’t wanna dance to this album. That’s alright though. Listen in the car. What’s weird to me is the way the drums sort of over power. Not in a bad way. It’s just surprising. It’ll grow on you.
Dark Night Of The Soul (Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse) - So amazing. So sad. EMI won’t let this album be released traditionally. So if you can... you have to go illegal to get this bad boy. If you don’t already know, just check it out HERE.
These are just some of the summers best (in my eyes, or ears). Maybe you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.