Nov 23, 2005

np: "So What" - The Cure

Let me kick this one off by wishing each and every one of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Get your fill of food and naps on the couch now, before the hectic shopping season kicks off in earnest. Can you tell I'm not excited to do my Christmas shopping yet? I'm just not excited about buying gifts when I have no idea what to get everyone. Anyway, safe travels and enjoy the much needed time off - I know I will.

One of the many reasons I've been slacking on updates over the past couple weeks is the massive amounts of time being spent preparing for year-end list making. I've been spending every spare moment re-listening and re-examining much of the music I've come across since January, be they albums or singles or what have you. I'm aiming to compile a list of my 100 favorite singles and 50 favorite albums of the year, results to be posted here within the next couple of weeks. So start thinking about your faves of the year because I'm really hoping the lists will kickstart those comments from you readers. Don't be afraid to leave one, seriously. It's easy.

At any rate, here's a quick rundown of some of the stuff that's really grown on me as I've done my listening over the past couple weeks. Stuff I either underestimated at first or just plain missed out on the first time.

Broken Social Scene - S/T:
This was most definitely a "grower" for me this year, an album that didn't reveal its full impact until somewhere around the 9th or 10th full listen. It's not as striking as You Forgot It In People, nor as solid, but don't let the legions of naysayers keep you from giving this gem a chance. It may be a tad bit overproduced, but just pop this one on with headphones and let the layers and intricacies overwhelm you.

The Magic Numbers - S/T:
The first couple of spins did absolutely nothing for me, but looking back I'm not sure why. This album features some of the most gorgeous melodies of the year and a ridiculously good single in "Love Me Like You". If you like your pop sunny, pretty, and completely endearing in a dorky kind of twee way - give this one a shot.

Mariah Carey - "Shake It Off", "We Belong Together (remix)":
I really fell of Mariah back in the late '90s, when she became what I liked to call the "hip-hop ho". Didn't really have anything to do with the look she was going for back then (ok, sorta), but more with the constant pimping of her vocal talents to rappers who wanted a quick and easy hook without really letting Mariah's voice shine. The hype on the new album started building early, but I refused to be sucked in. But sure enough those two songs sunk in and I fell for them - hard. The girl still has an amazing voice, let's just be thankful she decided to put it to full use again.

Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger:
While my love for the awesome single "Apply Some Pressure" never has wavered, this album originally struck me as nothing special. I think the problem was hearing this so late in the post-punk revivial craze and being somewhat sick of that sound by the time this came around. Luckily putting the album away for a few months before digging it out again was the best thing I could have done. Songs like "I Want You to Stay", "The Coast is Always Changing", and "Graffiti" have revealed themselves to be the treats they really are.

Nov 10, 2005

np: "Hotline Operator" - The Constantines

It seems I have to once again apologize for the slacking in updating this site lately, but things have gotten really hectic around here these past few weeks. Between work and just trying to keep up with life in general the blog kinda took a backseat there for a bit. But I promise to be back into the swing of things soon, especially with the end of year review stuff starting to kick into gear. I've been spending the last couple weeks reviewing all of the albums I've heard this year and organizing all my favorite singles of the year in iTunes, all to prepare for my annual list-making. A couple months ago I was thinking that 2005 was a really weak year for singles compared to 2004, but the more I review and dig around I'm finding some really fantastic shit that I originally missed out on or passed over. The problem is that there hasn't been a killer single that has completely knocked my socks off, although there have been several to come pretty close (Fall Out Boy, I'm looking at you). Reviewing all of the albums I've heard from this year is turning into quite the monumental task. I didn't realize just how many albums I've bought and/or reviewed this year, let alone how many of them are actually quite good. Trust me, you'll get a full rundown once my final lists are decided. It's actually been a pretty damn good year for music, you just had to know where to look for it.