Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Me'Shell Ndegeocello - "The National Anthem"

Me'Shell Ndegeocello - "The National Anthem": "Me'Shell Ndegeocello taking on Radiohead? Awesome! Me'Shell takes the abrasive squonk of the original track and makes it simmer with a funk-rock blend, while her gentler vocals add a sexy element that one would be hard-pressed to find in the original track. Of course, her trademark excellent bass is front-and-center in the track as well. How did I miss this when it came out?"

Monday, July 30, 2007

Soulwax - "Too Many DJs"

Soulwax - "Too Many DJs": "More people know them in their DJ incarnation (billed as 2 Many DJs, ironically) or perhaps from later period work, but here's a taste of Soulwax's energetic alt-rock from the late 90s. Tasty."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Maximo Park - "Going Missing"

Maximo Park - "Going Missing": "Fabulous, jaunty Brit Rock. Also appropriate as I'm going out on vacation for a while, so I'll be...going missing. (Wocka wocka!) See you back in a bit, blog fans..."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Peter Bjorn and John - "Young Folks (Live from Rhapsody Rocks Austin party)"

Peter Bjorn and John - "Young Folks (Live from Rhapsody Rocks Austin party)": "This live take of their hipster hit bubbles with a certain exuberance, especially in contrast with the almost coolly-detached album version, in spite of this version almost being stripped down entirely to just drums, bass and vocals. Definitely worth checking out."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Maps - "Elouise"

Maps - "Elouise": "From the label that brought you M83...it's British M83 - Maps! OK, that's a bit of a crude simplification, but they are label-mates with M83 (Mute Records) and they do share similar synth-yet-shoegaze/drone qualities, just with more obviously British vocals and a touch more rock instrumentation. (In some of the vocal parts of this song, they are not unlike early Lilys.)"

Friday, July 06, 2007

Janet Jackson - "The Pleasure Principle"

Janet Jackson - "The Pleasure Principle": "It's really simple R&B pop and maybe that's why it succeeds. As opposed to later Janet songs, you can understand a lot of what she's singing and the track isn't glutted in production. If anything, quite the contrary - the percussion pops in tune to the synth bass and that's almost it, aside from some spare guitar riffs. Most importantly, she sounds like she's having fun without trying too hard and that's what makes the song fun for the listener too."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Crowded House - "Don't Stop Now"

Crowded House - "Don't Stop Now": "Just a simple guitar/bass/drums/vocals song, but in Neil Finn's hands, it all adds up to being one contemplative and beautiful pop song, in the best way possible. (From the brand new Crowded House album, Time On Earth.)"

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Aimee Mann - "Lost In Space"

Aimee Mann - "Lost In Space": "The gorgeous title track of Lost In Space, the song is full of understated keyboards and guitar, ultimately climaxing when Aimee sings that she's 'not even there / gone, but I don't know where'. I guess it should be a downer of a song, but it sounds too good to hurt.
Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, happy 4th of July, all."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Idlewild - "No Emotion"

Idlewild - "No Emotion": "Despite being a fan of Idlewild, I had a hard time getting into their latest album, Make Another World. It just seemed like frontman Roddy Woomble kept trying to fit more words into each song than there was actually space for and it gave an awkward feel to many songs. But, after further listens, I am learning to love the album (as I do their others) and this song is the clear winner. Admittedly, it's because it's closest in feel to The Remote Part album (my favorite), but adds in some highlights from Warnings/Promises, like the ghostly chorus elements from 'Love Steals Us From Loneliness', to make a new great song."

Monday, July 02, 2007

Missy Elliott - "Hit 'Em Wit Da Hee"

Missy Elliott - "Hit 'Em Wit Da Hee": "''I subpoena you to my funk room, see?' Awesome. Missy came out guns blazing on this first track on her first record - and rightfully so - the record is still just as hot, 10 years (!) later."