I have not written about what music I am listening to in a while. Just wanted to say some stuff about what is really good out there in the ever changing world of music. I jotted down a few things about some albums that just came out, some others that are tickling my fancy, and some old stuff that may just rock your boat a little bit.
John Mayer (Battle Studies) – John (I can call him that cause we go way back) comes with a classic rock sound on this album, obviously. Well maybe I shouldn’t say that because I bet there are still a bunch of late 20’s ex-sorority girls just waiting for his next ‘No Such Thing’ or ‘Your Body is a Wonderland,’ needless to say they will still be waiting. John seems to always be growing in his musical styles and it seems to me that he is putting distance between his acoustic-pop beginnings (which I believe was always his plan). Anyways, the album is not as catchy off the bat as its predecessor ‘Contiuum,’ but the way in which he grabs you in his simple (but complex) melodies will keep you coming back to this album because of the depth that lies beneath. Check out ‘Heartbreak Warfare’
Phil Wickham – (Heaven and Earth) – If you haven’t listened to Wickham yet, this is the time. You can even do it for free, go to Philwickham.com and download his ‘Singalong’ album for free. His new album is full of great lyrical songs, that make you want to get a mob together or start rioting for a cause. Whats great about Wickham is not just his voice or guitar playing (which are both up to snuff) but the passion and fervor in which he sings and plays. Songs such as the title track and ‘Because of Your Love’ really just show the depths of his writing. Great album. I recommend getting the acoustic album as well, if you can find it, because it is just as good, if not better then the whole dolled up album.
Passion Pit (Chunk of Change) – “a shiny bouquet of synth pop roses.”- Rolling Stones. Figured there wasn’t much to add to that. Check out ‘Sleepyhead’ which is now on a cell phone commercial, so you know they are going to get bigger quick. Be the first one out of your circle of friends to listen to them and then turn and say “I liked their older stuff better…”
The Fray (the fray) – The only problem I had with the bands sophomore album is that they named it ‘They Fray’ They must have used all the creativity on the album and not the name, because this is a great follow up to the success of ‘How to Save a Life’. This is how piano pop/rock is done, take note OneRepublic.
Dashboard Confessional (After the Ending) – Guilty because Dashboard stirs something inside me that makes me feel like its the last day of summer and college is calling. The feeling that things are fresh and new. Good feeling. And just like always Dashboard does not fail to deliver that feeling on ‘After the Ending.’ In fact, it is dripping with all the guilty honey flavored sweetness that you have grown to expect. Even better… the acoustic version that is included.
Justin Beiber (My World) – I wish I could lie to myself about this one, but ‘One Time’ has been stuck in my head for days and I don’t see an end in sight. This albumette (7 songs) is sugary pop goodness, catchy hooks, good beats and a guest spot by Usher all add up to ‘My World’ being cavity worthy. (okay maybe not the Usher part)
Switchfoot (Hello Hurricane) – Always a solid pick, Switchfoot turns up the amp a little in this push play album, no need to skip songs. Almost all are catchy and have great melodic flow.
David Crowder Band (Church Music) – Not Crowders all time best, but definitely some great songs, and the album is worth the buy just for his rendition of ‘How He Loves’
Shane and Shane (Everything is Different) – What is great is that everything is not different when it comes to Shane and Shane. They still have their amazing harmonies and excellent acoustic guitar skills. What can I say besides, Shane and Shane are just legit. Listen to ‘Worthy of Affection’.
Explosions in the Sky (The Earth is Not a Cold Dark Place) – Great Great Great. Good to just listen to while working or while trying to relax. The ups and downs in these songs are so well done, it ridiculous. Personal fav, ‘Your Hand in Mine.’
Pick it Back Up/Download
Jack Johnson (on and on) – No one doesn’t like Jack Johnson (yes I know, its a double negative) But for real, throw ‘Taylor’ on and let Jack sing to you sleep.
Kanye West (The College Dropout) – Back in 2004, when Kanye was not stepping on stage and being all crazy, he had one of the best Rap albums ever made. And on top of that he made yellow cardigans work for rappers. Two equally impressive accomplishments.
Not Worth The Buy-
OneRepublic (Waking Up) – OneRepublic needs to ‘wake up’ and realize Timberland is what made them successful not their own version of fall by the wayside piano pop. Check out “Everyone Loves Me” to see that I’m not just a hater.