I am a music freak. I spend about half my income buying music via iTunes and eMusic.
So here are my quasi-reviews of what I’ve been listening to over the last 2 weeks…
1) Queens of the Stone Age – “Era Vulgaris” I’ll give it a A-. Some hardcore Queens fans aren’t going to like it as there has been a slight style shift since they kicked out the bassist. This album is not as heavy as say “Songs for the Deaf” or “Lullabies to Paralyse”, but its good in its own way. My favs on the album are “Turnin on the Screw”, “Into the Hollow”, and “Misfit Love”. The album seems to favor more pyschedelic tunes than before, despite already having earned the ‘stoner-rock’ label. Josh Homme, who basically is the only consistent member of the band, is great on guitar as always. If you wanna rock, this is an album for you.
2) Battles – “Mirrored” I give it a C right now. I haven’t listened to it enough to understand it that well. Right now I use it for background sounds when I drive. I am not a huge fan of instrumental music, but this is some densely interesting music from time to time. My only beef is it starts to drone after a while. Churbuck is probably cursing the C rating.
3) The Traveling Wilburys – “Collection” I give it a C as well. I don’t remember the Wilbury’s too well, as I was only 11 or so when their first album came about. I find it amazing that Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison all hung out and did this. There are some decent songs here from Dylan which was rare for him at the time, but overall the album is somewhat cheesy. The 80’s production values are what really bother me. Way too over processed. Nothing really bad but just not that many songs that really grab me. Of course I got it cuz of Dylan.
4) David Bowie – “Lodger” and “Station to Station” – Both are B+/A- Good stuff from Bowie, more accessible than some of his other stuff around the time. Bowie was so ahead of his time that people still haven’t caught up.
5) White Stripes – “Icky Thump” Still can’t grade it yet, haven’t listened to enough. Some decent songs on there, in particular the title track.
6) Ryan Adams – “Easy Tiger” So far I rate it as a C, I got it this morning and listened to it while I was running this morning. I am a huge Ryan Adams fan, but find this album kinda boring. It sounds like he was trying to be more mature, but to me its just not as catchy or memorable. Last year’s “Cold Roses” and “Jacksonville City Lights” are much better. And its still sort of depressing he’s never been able to top “Heartbreaker” which might be in my top 5 albums of all time. I plan on listening a few more times to see if I like it more. It look a couple of times for me to get behind “Cold Roses” too.
7) Dinosaur Jr. – “Beyond” – Give it a B+. Always been a big Dinosaur Jr. fan. In fact, wore a purple Dinosaur Jr. cow t-shirt under my baseball uniform in high school (alternated with the Public Enemy shirt). J Mascis and the original Jr. lineup are back and rock out with long guitar solos and whiny Neil Youngish-vocals. 1992 sounds great again.