I am obsessed with two very different albums the last couple of weeks. There might be those of you out there obessed with the new Little Boots. And I know there are those of you obsessed with Mars Volta...But there might not be many people into both these groups. I assume most people who like The Mars Volta are probably not big fans of pop music, and most fans of pop music are not big fans of The Mars Volta. They are sort of extreme opposites -- but I love them both. It keeps my life interesting. I have never been into just one specific genre of music. I am sure you have all heard of Lady Gaga by now. She sort of took over the world this year. It was hard to stay away from "Just Dance" or "Poker Face." There was obviously a big hole before she came along. We obvioulsy needed her. Love her or hate her, she made an impressively catchy dance pop album. I don't know where we would be without her. However, she has been overplayed just a bit. I guess DJs just don't know what else to play. Every time I turn on the radio I can always find a Lady Gaga song. And I am not just talking about a couple of months ago -- this is still the case. Every time you go into a bar and most certainly a gay bar, you are bound to hear some Lady Gaga. Pop music needs stars like her. It would be nothing without her. I still sort of appreciate that she exists but I am done. I have had enough! So I was happy to first hear about Little Boots. She couldn't come to us at a better time. Her debut album Hands is out now as an import. It might not come out domestically until 2010, so you might have a couple of months to get into her before the rest of America does. I am sure she will take over the world quickly. If she could even get a fourth of the airtime that Lady Gaga got, I am sure she could become a star out here.
Victoria Christina Hesketh, also know as Little Boots, is from the UK...sort of England's answer to Lady Gaga. She has the same sort of electronic pop sound as Lady Gaga, but I find it more interesting. I might get sick of it in a year, but for now it is a great alternative. The album is nothing if not fun. It is hard to get through the album without a smile on your face. And all the songs on the album really hold up to the others -- not a bad song on the album. One of my favorites on the album is "Symmetry." It is a duet with Philip Oakley who I recognized immediately as the voice of The Human League. A perfect man for her to do a duet with. The song is really brilliant. He helped create the genre she is emulating, so it is nice to see him on the album. She is not really doing anything that drastically different than Lady Gaga, Madonna, Santogold, Robyn, or Kylie Minogue. It is just pop music. Music that is easy to fall in love with. But it is also the kind of music that is easy to hate and make fun of, which I think is where Lady Gaga is headed right now. I am sure that there are fans out there that will defend her until they die, but this is the nature of pop music. It is not always timeless. It can quickly feel outdated mostly just from being completely overplayed. I have even been known to hate certain songs by Depeche Mode and The Cure. It is nice to hear the songs you love over and over again, but there is always the tipping point when you have heard it one too many times and don't ever want to hear it again.
I have been a long time fan of The Mars Volta since before their first EP came out in 2002. I really loved At the Drive-In and was sort of devastated when they broke up. I only got into them their last couple of years but luckily I got to see them live a couple of times. It seemed that just as I was getting obsessed they decided to call it quits. They basically split and became The Mars Volta and Sparta. My sadness quickly became replaced by joy once the two bands started releasing albums. I loved the Tremulant EP. I loved the first full length album De-Loused in the Crematorium. Frances the Mute came out in 2005. I still liked the album but my love was just not as strong. They released two more album in 2006 and 2008 but I just never got into them like the first couple. So I was expecting to probably like the new album, but not to really want to listen to it over and over again. I do love Cedric's voice. It is why I keep coming back for more. It is one of those weird and fantastic voices that I just can't get enough of. It is the reason I first got interested in At the Drive-In. The new album is called Octahedron. I do love it. It did not take much time at all for me to like it. It reminds me much more of their first album than anything that they have done since. They may have gotten a bit too proggy for me with the last couple of albums, but I love what they have created with this new album and I can't stop listening to it. I am glad that they are back in my life.
also out 6/17...
Over & Over by The Legends
also out 6/23...
Farm by Dinosaur Jr.
Split CD by Envy/Jesu
Travels with Myself & Another By Future of the Left
God Help the Girl by God Help the Girl
Deliverance by Hawk & a Hacksaw
Last Choice by Love Is All
Dragonslayer by Sunset Rubdown
Beacons of Ancestory by Tortoise