I can't believe it's time for another Jack Penate album already. This year has gone by so fast. I really fell in love with Jack Penate and his debut album from last year Matinee. It was one of those fun albums that just made me feel good when I listened to it. It was not my normal sort of album that I would become obsessed with, but I listened to it a lot and it really grew on me. It was one of those albums that most people didn't get around to listening to-- I feel like it was a bit forgotten among all the other releases from last year. I really recommend that you go back and discover it, or just listen to his new album Everything Is New. It is as good as the first album in many ways, but it also makes some improvements on that first record. It is for sure more produced and polished, so you may just end up liking the first record better, depending on you taste. The first record seemed more like a pub record -- an album you would listen to in your favorite pub or bar. But the new record is more of a club record; it is a bit more dancey than the first. I love them both, just for different reasons. They both serve their purpose and are both great albums on their own. I am a big fan of his voice and it is what keeps me coming back to these records. He is also a great songwriter. These are some catchy songs that will stay with you.
Here is a video for "Spit at Stars" from his first album Matinee...
and here is a video for "Be the One" from the new album Everything is New...
I often want artists to just put out a second album that is the same as the first, like just an extra 10 or 12 songs that could have easily been on the first album. It is hard to get that same feeling for a second album that you have for a debut. Bands like The Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes could never repeat that feeling of their first albums. Maybe it is just because it is so exciting and new at first. It is so much fun getting excited about a new band. You also have great expectation for that second album. Your expectations are usually too high so you will never be satisfied by that second album. It just becomes impossible for the artist to deliver with that second album. It is just better for an artist to try to do something different for the second and third album. Still, creating an album that has the elements that made you fall in love with the first one is important in a way, while simultaneously creating new sounds and styles that give you the same kind of excitment that you had for the first album. Jack Penate manages to pull it off. The album is completely different from the first but it manages to get me excited just like that first album did. It is not an easy task to pull off, and more often than not, most second albums fail to pull it off, so it makes it even more fantastic when it happens. I am loving the new Jack Penate. You could easily fall in love with it without even hearing that first album. I am almost starting to forget it even existed.
My most recent favorite is Frankmusik. His debut album Complete Me just came out as an import. It quickly became my favorite of the year after my first listen. I had watched a couple of videos before I picked up the album so I already knew I would probably love it -- I just didn't know how much. It is one of those albums made just for me. It combines all the things I love about 80's new wave and 90's dance music, and it manages to get rid of all the bad things that some artists forget to get rid of. Frankmusik is Frank Turner. It should come as no surprise that he is from the UK. This is where most of my favorite music seems to come from, back in the 80's and still to this day. The album is pure electro pop -- music made to make you feel good and dance. It makes perfect sense that he was the opener for The Pet Shop Boys for some shows in Europe. I have been listening to the album over and over again the last couple of weeks and I have been trying to think of what to compare it to. I just can't get Hall & Oates out of my head whenever I listen to this album. It might not seem the obvious comparison at first, but his voice is very similar and the songs could easily be Hall & Oates songs. I think there is a very similar strong structure and even the lyrics are very similar. I really think Frankmusik should do a whole album of Hall & Oates covers. Or maye just a song. I could really go for a cover of "Maneater" or "Private Eyes." Try to imagine Hall & Oates combined with Daft Punk, Marc Almond, and Patrick Wolf. This is what Frankmusik sounds like. There is not a bad song on the album. There are some more ballady type tracks on the album, but I love them all. It is a perfect album to end the summer with.
Here is the video for "Confusion Girl" by Frankmusik...
and here is the video for "Better Off As Two" (try to imagine Hall & Oates singing this exact same song)...
Here is the Hall & Oates video for "Maneater" (just in case you forgot the pop brilliance of Hall & Oates)...
and here is the video for "Private Eyes" (just in case you can't get enough Hall & Oates after watching that first video)...
also out 8/18...
Hospice by The Antlers
Love (Expanded Edition) by The Cult
Watch Me Fall by Jay Reatard
This Is For the White In Your Eyes by Choir of Young Believers
Wind's Poem by Mount Eerie
Luminous Night by Six Organs of Admittance
Inglourious Basterds Soundtrack
also out 8/25...
Humbug by Arctic Monkeys
My Guilty Pleasure by Sally Shapiro
Hail to the Thief (Collectors Edition) by Radiohead
Amnesiac (Collectors Edition) by Radiohead
Kid A (Collectors Edition) by Radiohead
Black River Killer by Blitzen Trapper
Whatever It Takes by Sandra Bernhard
No More Stories are Told Today Sorry... by Mew
My Weakness is Strong by Patton Oswalt
Vinyl Reissues by The Smiths!!! (The Smiths, Meat is Murder, Queen is Dead, Strangeways Here We Come)
also out 9/1...
Curse Your Branches by David Bazan
Terra Incognita by Juliette Lewis
Solo Electric Bass by Squarepusher