what is coming out today...6/ brut...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 18, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment
Today is the big exciting day of the new White Stripes album "Icky Thump." I am going to let my fellow blogger Miss Ess review that one. I like what I have heard so far. But that girl is like their number one fan. Not in a creepy Kathy Bates Misery kind of way. But almost. I will spend some time today talking about two smaller albums coming out. First up is the new album by Maps called "We Can Create."

Maps is basically James Chapman. He is from  Northampton, England. He has been releasing singles for a while now, slowly gathering his fans. This is one of those albums that I was immediately drawn to and liked right away. But I also knew that it would become one of those albums that my love would continue to grow for. Now listening to it for the 4th or 5th time I am quickly falling in love. It is kind of amazing that he used no computer or fancy programs to make this album. I can already hear people complaining that the album is too electronic and computer generated sounding. But like I said, no computers. He did it mostly himself with tape loops.

The album feels very warm and fuzzy. He is obviously influenced by some of the shoe gaze of the 90's like My Bloody Valentine and Lush. But also by the early electronic groups of the same period. And on some of the songs I even hear a bit of Beach Boys. Which is weird for me to even notice, since I happen to hate the Beach Boys. But I do hear it. However, it does not ruin the album for me. You can also hear a bit of Sigur Ros or Album Leaf or maybe some Postal Service. The album is consistently good. There is not just a couple good songs. It consistently works. James is bound to find his fans in the U.S. just as he has abroad. He has sort of a nice soothing pop voice. Kind of like Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service. It mixes nice with the electronics. It is less cold and distant than you would expect with this sort of electronic instrumentation. He will quickly make his way into your heart. I think.

Also out today is the new album by Art Brut. This is their second album. The first came out a little over 2 years ago. The new one is called "It's A Bit Complicated." While Maps might be better to listen to in your bedroom by yourself. Art Brut is made for being out with your mates and doing whatever you do when you live in England and hang out with your mates. The only thing this band shares with the Maps is that they are both from England. But that does not mean I don't like it. Even though I loved My  Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, I always loved bands like Pulp and Blur just as much. It really is hard to get over Art Brut's comparison to the Fall. Maybe its just because my coworker played The Fall today. But I seriously hear a lot of Fall on this album. Maybe a more accessible modernized Fall. But still The Fall. The singer speaks a lot of his lyrics over the songs. Simply telling his little stories. Seeming to not really care if you want to hear them or not. The lyrics are indeed pretty funny. And the music is good and fun.

They do remind me of the fun of bands like Blur. Its nice to know England is still producing bands like this. It is very british. Which is part of the appeal to me. I have always been intrigued by England and all the music that comes out of it. Some day I will have to get over there and visit all the places that I have been hearing songs about for years. I really have a clear picture of England from years of listening to these bands and watching their videos. But I suppose it is sort of warped and distorted. Much like some English kids view of the U.S. who has never been here. We are not all like Avril Lavigne and Big and Rich. But I guess some of us are. Alot of people do dress and act like the bands they like. Some people actually just like the bands that look and act like them. Not sure which came first.

also out today...

"Icky Thump" by The White Stripes

"Fragile Army" by The Polyphonic Spree

"Anonymous" by Tomahawk

"Tromatic Reflex" by Von Sudenfed

Relevant Tags

We Can Create (1), Maps (3), Art Brut (1), It's A Bit Complicated (1)