You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m going to save my “Best Albums” list until last. I’m like Casey Kasem that way.
But this week, I’ll post my runner ups!
1. !!!: Myth Takes.
Hitting my ears at about the same time the first LCD Soundsystem and Rapture albums came out, along with tons of sound-alikes, Chk x 3â€™s Louden Up Now just didnâ€™t move me. It sounded common, for the most part, with a few exceptional numbers stuck between a bunch of sound-the-same tracks. Iâ€™ve listened to it a few times since then, just to give the band another chance, but I still wasnâ€™t impressed.
Then along came this yearâ€™s Myth Takes. If Louden was punk-dance, this one is dance-punk. Heavy on the beat, this is a geek-chic disco masterpiece. Although the real star is the percussion, they use brass and strings as rhythm instruments, just like James Brown, sprinkling in quick toots and beeps for extra flavor. (Ignore the lyrics, and consider the vocals an afterthought.) Songs like “A New Name” recall Studio 54, while â€œSweet Life” is anthemic. Most surprising is “Infinifold,” the free-form ballad that wraps up the CD. Yes indeed, the band is finally showing range.
Iâ€™m not saying Myth Takes is a work of genius, or even that it will have a lot of staying power. What Iâ€™m saying is that itâ€™s the bandâ€™s strongest release so far, tighter and denser, and itâ€™s not like anything else Iâ€™ve reviewed this year. For now, at least, I thoroughly enjoy it.
2. THE TEETH-You’re My Lover Now
For fans of The White Stripes, Pela, Robbers and Cowards, The Walkmen, and The Cold War Kids . . . Groundbreaking music as familiar as it is unlike anything youâ€™ve heard before. Every time I hear this album itâ€™s like hearing it for the first time.
3. CHRISOPHER BLUE-â€œRoom Tones.â€
A radioheady blues collection of very well-written mellow rock. Complex, catchy, and thought-provoking. I was this close (makes small space between fingers) to knocking !!! off and putting this record on my best-records-of-the-year-so-far list. Itâ€™s just that good.
(Oooops! I just gave something away about tomorrow’s post!)
4. MF DOOM Meets Clutchy Hopkins.
Anything with MF DOOM on it is worth a listen, but this is just a mash up of the Masked Man with underground legend Clutchy Hopkins. The six raw cuts, untitled and leaked to the web, show potential. But without original material, it just whets the appetite. And whereâ€™s that confounded DOOM/Ghostface team up, anyway? Anyway, this was an unofficial release but if you can track it down, it might keep you cool while you wait for GFK and MF to get their shit together.
5. LILâ€™ WAYNE-Da Drought 3
This mixtape was probably more anticipated than most records, based on the sheer power of last yearâ€™s Dedication 2 (and the sheer crap that the record industry–particularly hip hop producers–put out on major labels). Da Drought is mostly meat, less filler. Spitting over beats like â€œThis is Why Iâ€™m Hotâ€ and â€œBlack Republicans,â€ Weezy again proves how much better he can do other peopleâ€™s songs. You gotta hand it to hip hop: Mixtapes were basically the first blogs. Places where fans and artists could release edgy stuff without the restrictions of a label or the need to be commercial. And Weezy puts all his best stuff out this way, anyway.
This also seems like a perfect opportunity to point out how much Weezy
looks like Cassandra, from Survivor.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow: The Best of ’07 So Far . . . The Albums!