Much More Music: Part II

Here's some more reviews. And with this, I have covered all the noteworthy albums I have gotten this last year. And if music reviews aren't really your thing, I am not totally converting to a music blog. I will be writing just as I always have, but from now one, when I get a new album that I think deserves to be mentioned, I will write a new review.

Final Fantasy: He Poos Clouds
R: Owen Pallat is an amazing composer, and his songs—string compositions composed into 4-minute pop songs--are beautiful. When I’m listening to my iPod on shuffle, this album doesn’t really fit in, but if I’m in the mood for orchestrated strings without being pretentious, Final Fantasy is the perfect choice. 3/5
T: I really liked Final Fantasy at first, but it hasn't really past the test of time. The background music is so beautiful. I am a sucker for string music, and Owen Pallat is the string master. The problem I have with this album is Owen's voice: I really don't like how it sounds against the music - it is kind of, for lack of a better word, Icky. 3.78/7 (2.70/5)

Frog Eyes: Tears of the Valedictorian
R: Lets get one thing straight: I Love Frog Eyes, but I do understand that it isn’t for everyone. Carey Mercer plays a frenzied guitar and sings like a rabid dog, so it seems quite cacophonous at first. But if you are able to get into this album, it is wonderfully complex and more emotional that whatever whiny emo-band is popular right now. 5/5
T: Frog Eyes is not my favorite band, but it does have one thing that I like: the best yelping in the world. I swear Cary Mercer must be half wolf cause sometimes he sounds like a dog that has been attacked by his one true love. Frog Eyes is just a little too much for me; there is just too much to digest. 3.03/7 (2.16/5)

Menomena: Friend or Foe
R: Menomena’s songs are complex creations that seem to wander all over various unique musical territories filled with piano and horns. Unfortunately, I just don’t find them interesting enough to follow their path enough to fully appreciate what they are doing. This album is best when it keeps things simpler. 3/5

Arcade Fire: Neon Bible
R: Arcade Fire’s debut was simply a masterpiece, and I can’t help but think that my expectations highly influenced my opinion of this album. When I first listened to it, it seemed like AF had lost their energy, since these songs were less enthusiastic then their predecessors’ and as foreboding as the church organ that is featured in many of the tracks. Looking at it on it own, though, I recognize Neon Bible as another impressive achievement. 4/5
T: Maybe if this album weren’t the follow up to Funeral, I would have like it more. I mean it is good, but it is nothing compared to Funeral. Win’s voice is not as raw as before, so it seems like he left his cool on the bus somewhere. I would recommend you listen to it though. It is good, just not as good. 5.49/7 (3.92/5)

Feist: The Reminder
R: This album is an amazing mix of incredibly infectious dance numbers and intimate acoustic melodies. The music is good, but what make Feist such a pleasure to listen to is her voice, which at the same time raw and polished. And those dance numbers can’t be beat. 4.5/5
T: I have to say, this is my favorite new album of the year: it is so darn good. This is saying a lot, because I have a tendency to hate follow-ups to albums that I really like (in this case “Let it Die”). I like this album even more after I saw her live - she is pretty much so awesome and talented, and is amazing to watch. 6.89/7 (4.92/5)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Some Loud Thunder
R: I was thoroughly disappointed with this album: Clap Your Hands has moved away from the folky music that made them popular and become, well, generic. I should say, though, that “Love Song No. 7” is my favorite of all CYHSY songs. 2.5/5

Apostle of Hustle: National Anthem of Nowhere
R: When I first listened to this album from a regular Broken Social Scenster, I thought that it was a cool blend of Broken Social Scene’s messy brand of rock and Latin music. But after repeated playings, when the novelty wore off, I discovered I didn’t actually like any of the songs. 2/5

Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
R: This album has a few really good tracks, and a few duds. When Isaac Brooke is up to his old tricks, with tortured lyrics and frenzied yelp-singing, his music is as good as anything on “Good News” or “Moon and Antarctica.” But when he isn’t these songs are a dull as a preschool’s safety scissors. 3/5
T: Don't even get me started; Modest Mouse has broken my heart. I was so excited when I heard that the radio was going to play a new Modest Mouse song, but when I heard “Dashboard,” I wanted to amputate my ears. AMPUTATE! I hated it that much. I love the sad and tortured Modest Mouse, so it’s just awful to hear Isaac Brock singing about how much he loves the fresh air! Where is the anguish? 2.34/7 (1.67/5)

The Most Serene Republic: Phages
R: Although The Most Serene Republic is kind of an obscure band, and this EP is a concert-only record that has recently been released digitally, I decided to review it because I love it so much. What really sets this record apart is the way the combine jazz and rock into these catchy, innovative songs. Quite a nice surprise. 4.5/5