Monday, April 09, 2007

my stereo is playing...

Up until a few months ago, I hadn't bought any CDs for ages. Instead, I had been eyeing them in shop windows longingly and covetously. I decided that I was not going to buy any until I was absolutely sure they would be good'uns, and really did not have the money to buy them even if that was the case. However... *feels guilty* Over the last few months I have bought several CDs! And I have decided to review them on here just in case anyone else was looking at them longingly too.

Gnarls Barkley's St Elsewhere - no, it's not very recent, but it was one of those albums I looked at for a long time, wondering if I should get it. The first single 'Crazy' was great, but I wasn't too sure about buying an album on the basis of that single. Finally when 'Gone Daddy Gone' came out I decided it was worth it. I was wrong. I still love those singles but every other song on the album seems like a cop-out in comparison. The only one that was musically interesting to me ('The Boogie Monster') just grossed me out - the first line being "I've got a monster in my trousers". Hmmm. That's right. Two stars from me. The singles are great but as a whole, the album doesn't satisfy and just makes me feel like they tricked me to get my money.

Lily Allen's Alright, Still. Not recent either. This is a really fun album with funny and clever lyrics, and pretty cool music. Some of it isn't that memorable but on the whole the album is very good and she has particularly good melodies. 'Alfie' is probably the best single released; it sounds like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory paired with juvenile delinquents. Very funny. It was also the single that made me decide to get the album. Another song on the album, 'Littlest Things', wasn't released, but is one of her best, in my opinion. It's a sweet and original take on the nostalgic breaking-up song. I was disappointed, though, that one of her singles wasn't on the album. It was about her granny, and it was hilarious. I'm not sure why it wasn't there - perhaps she didn't want to offend her granny or something?! It seems a bit odd and misleading to release it as a single, though, and then not include it on the album. Overall, Lily Allen has got a great accent and a nice doesn't-take-herself-too-seriously attitude - so she gets three and a half stars.

Brooke Fraser's Albertine is a more recent buy. She is a New Zealander who has done pretty well here and in Australia, but I'm not too sure what her prospects are in the States at the moment. She's a Christian singer and makes it pretty obvious, but at the same time its more implicit than overt, so she's done very well on the mainstream charts here and is fondly referred to as Brookie most of the time. It's the sort of album that could be characterised as easy listening, which doesn't often go down too well with me, but I really love this one. She's also got a beautiful voice. Whenever I have gotten overly stressed in the last few weeks, I've listened to the second single 'Shadowfeet' before I go to bed, and it has helped my sleeping no end. 'Albertine' stands out in the album; it was written about an orphan she met in Rwanda whose mother died for her during the genocide. As well as being about an amazing subject, it's also great music. 'C. S. Lewis Song' is another great one. I was sure to like it as it's dedicated to someone who I admire so much but again, I don't think I'm being too biased in saying it's a fantastic song. Overall, it's a great album, and I'm very satisfied with my purchase, but at the same time some of the lyrics tend to be a little laboured and there isn't a huge amount of variation in style. Four stars from me. I'm shouting my friend tickets for her 21st birthday to Brooke's concert in Christchurch on April 15, and I can't wait.
Regina Spektor's Begin to Hope. I bought this today! I had only heard the first single, 'Fidelity', which is just wicked, but I had intended to wait until I heard more. However, I listened to some in the CD shop, and made a spur of the moment decision to get it. I am so happy I did. I have only listened to it once through, but every song is unbelievably good. I can't believe how varied this album is. It's like she's influenced by jazz, rock, the blues, Russian piano music by composers like Rachmaninov (of whom I strongly approve) and more and more. Some songs she's like this sweet innocent little girl, and others, completely different. She doesn't just sing them, either - she interprets them. Every one of the songs stood out to me, but if I had to choose some of the best, I would point to 'Fidelity' (obviously - until they play it too many times on the radio), 'Samson', 'Apres Moi', 'That Time' and '20 Years of Snow'. This is the best album I've bought in years. I think anyone would enjoy it. Five stars.

More albums I'm lusting after at the moment: The Killers' Sam's Town and Silverchair's new release, Young Modern. If anyone has got either of these, or any other albums they just feel they have to recommend to the whole world, please let me know!

Quick change of topic: my dad has just planted a brand of spinach called 'Perpetual' in our garden. Does anyone else think Perpetual Spinach is a very funny name, and sounds like a horrible land in an Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl book? The Land of Perpetual Spinach, where all naughty children go.


LEstes65 said...

We play Lily Allen so much in our house, my 3 yr old tries to sing some of it (misquoting her in hysterical ways). My MySpace profile song is her Knock 'Em Out because I got really gross guys asking to be my friend (my profile picture is Anne Baxter as Nefertiri and they think it's ME. Dolts!).

I will have to look into some of the other women you listed. I love finding new stuff to listen to.

JenKneeBee said...

Ooh! New artists! I'll definately have to get myself acquainted with them.

Don't get "Sam's Town." I adore The Killer's first cd, but I think their second is pretty much crap. A few songs are likable, but it's not worth getting the album for them.

ukrainiandiva said...

I looooooooooooove Regina Spektor so much!!! How exciting! Samson is definately my favorite song on that CD, but aside from one or two, they're pretty much all amazing. I'm so excited to know someone else who likes her! She's pretty unknown in the states.

Bonsai said...

Albertine!!! goshhh... ok thats it im going to buy that CD. i've kinda been craving listening to her songs since April. seriously, Brooke Fraser is awesome.