Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Music (to me)

I have been downloading a lot of music lately. One goal of mine has been to complete albums for which I only have a few songs (usually due to the high price and low quality of iTunes, except Plus, see mp3fiesta). Other goals were simply to expand my musical horizons, check out new releases and get further releases from favoured musicians. Of course, MySpace Music is an awesome resource and I can't wait for its store to open. The store should provide an easy way to access all that good music and will save me emailing artists about purchasing their music. Frank Mackie, whose song New Wave Fall Express was featured in the last Shralp Snow videocast, is a recent favourite.

Throughout this downloading process, I have found some gems and disappointments. Flight of the Conchords' Collection is very disappointing and besides the hilarious song "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room," The Distant Future is pretty weak. Although Shawn Colvin's latest album, These Four Walls, is fairly good, it's just more of the same, so I wouldn't recommend it if you have previous albums. Groove Armada's latest Soundboy Rock has some good songs, but none that make it stand out, though it's still worth getting. Last Night by Moby has some new beats and if you like his style you'll enjoy this album (the chords from his keyboard still weave through the beats creating a lulling flow and there is a good selection of vocal tracks). After Cru and the Life Aquatic soundtrack, I looked forward to hearing Ana and Jorge. There are definitely some good songs, but the album and the concert lack fluidity and compositional congruity. My introduction to Ana Carolina was the best thing I gained from the album. Her deep voice and amazingly lengthy high notes compliment Jorge's raspier voice; the same goes for her crisp guitar playing, which compliments Jorge's loose-string casualness. Ana can also funk the bass; listen to Tanta Saudade. Of course, they had their hits and their version of The Blowers' Daughter (from O and Closer) is good in a pop way:

This song reminded me of K'naan and Nelly Furtado's duet. Check out the drum box (I've heard Futureman play them live a few times; they're awesome):

Bebel Gilberto reaches for new heights with her title track Momento; it has the finesse of some of her mother's work. Although her voice on Close to You reminds me of her father, the next few tracks seem somewhat redundant, each having the same pop construction. With Cacada the polished tunes in the same vein of Momento returns and continues for most of the album. I've always found her previous albums patchy to some degree, so if you enjoy her previous work you'll enjoy this one.

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