New Releases, Old Turds
I just recently purchased the new Sloan (The Double Cross), My Morning Jacket (Circuital, album cover pictured above), Fleet Foxes (Hopelessness Blues) and Gloss Drop by Battles. The Battles album is the only band out of those 4 that I am not totally familiar with, and purchased solely based on critical plaudits.
You may recall that the album I last bought based on critical droolings was TV on the Radio’s “Return To Cookie Mountain”. The critics loved and praised the album like it was the 2nd coming of Christ Almighty, and like the weak willed man that I am I bought into the hype (even though, many years ago, Flavor Flav told me not to) and purchased said record.
God how I loathed it. Here’s a quote from my review way back when:
”It is a plodding, lifeless album wanting desperately to be ‘hip’ and failing miserably to the point of embarrassment. Your average 40-something hipster college music professor should absolutely adore this putrid pretentious platter of puke. No offence to average, 40-something hip college professors intended.”
As a matter of fact I was so pissed off at purchasing such a turd that I destroyed it by tossing it out of my car window.
On Highway 5, going 80 miles an hour.
I swore I wouldn’t make such an impulsive buy again, but then I remembered some of the gems I found this way: Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket, Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, Super Furry Animals, etc. The list of good stuff I discovered through critical praise has been legion, probably the exact same number as the amount of musical shitheaps.
My conclusion is that it’s probably worth the risk. Thanks to sites like allmusic, who list bands influences, contemporaries, genres and sub-genres, the likelihood of discovering a good ‘un and sidestepping the God-awful is pretty damn good.
How do the albums I just bought stack up? So far so good, actually. A new Sloan album is always a safe bet, their power poppiness well ingrained in their DNA by now, the My Morning Jacket album sounds more like the logical successor to 2005’s marvelous, experimental “Z” than the schizophrenic, but still decent, “Evil Urges”, and Fleet Foxes pastoral psychedelia just appeals to me in some weird way that it’s hard to take it out of rotation. I ordered the Battles album which is described as prog electronica with punky, experimental and psychedelic overtones (in other words, Math Rock), so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out how it measures up.
High hopes, folks.
I’ve got high hopes.