Frightened Rabbit The Midnight Organ Fight

This is a spectacular album mainly lyricallly. "The lead singer has a wonderful way of understating significant instances in people's lives", said Robin Hilton of All Songs Considered. While that is definitely true that in songs the lyrics do wonderfully understate experiences in people's lives, this album does go farther than that in it actually find very alternative ways of describing experiences in people's lives.

Take the excellent song, The Modern Leper, this song describes maybe one could say a sated life until one meets someone they are really attracted to. The lyrics are describing the ability of one to control those feelings as to being a leper. While this may seem quite disgusting of an analogy to use, within the song itself, it is a wonderful analogy and they more than aptly describe the feelings attached to it.

Song of Note: Modern Leper, Fast Blood, The Twist

 

The Decemberists The Hazaards of Love

This is my favorite album of the year and one of my favorites of all time. The album takes one through a brief love affair of the main character wrought in strange events.

While a rather disturbing song taken alone, Rake's Song is a parody nearly but more so taking the every heightening tension of the album to its peak. Prior to this song The Decemberists are taking you through one love affair and aft that song, it is taking you through the beginning of a new one, maybe more proper as the first one ends in the death of his wife and the infanticide of the children had with that woman.

Again, this sounds horrible but it is a tremendous album and one should really put time aside to give it a listen.

Song of Note: Rake's Song, The Hazaards of Love IV (the drowned)

 

The Rural Alberta Advantage Self-Titled

This is an exceptional album. I really do not know what to say when I think what it sounds like but the best way I have found is acoustic punk. It is not really light punk because it has electric guitars but it is definitely has punk tones to it. Usually I do not like a lot of albums from Saddlecreek but this is a great album to sit and listen to.

One of the very nice things is that unlike any rap cd, The RAA's album is very tight. While I have not checked the length of it, I would assume it is somewhere in the 20 minute area. The music itself is so enjoyable that when I finish I keep thinking, damn, I want to listen to that again. I have not really been able to spend a lot of time analyzing the lyrics but damn is this an exceptionally put together album.

Songs of Note: Liciana, Sleep All Day

 

Dirty Projectors Bitte Orca

Their music has progressed significantly over the albums they have created in my humble opinion. Their music is structured chaos at times in that all the instruments work on different tempos and to their own beat at times but it is melded together to form beautiful music similar to the great Miles Davis Bitches Brew album. It is quite exceptional and something that very few artist are able to pull off with any intelligence.

While I sure enjoyed their prior albums, this one really sets them apart from everyone else. There are strong themes of patience in the album which is kind of what they must have had to have to create such a sound as they do.

The females that they sing with are one the same pattern as the instruments. Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian are the female leads that sing who have such great knowledge of symmetry in their singing that it really blows one away to see them and hear them do it live. On an album, what seems like one singer is actually two.

Fronted by David Longstreth, who plays a right handed guitar lefty, whom is an exceptional guitarist, they are definitely growing in my heart.

Song of Note: Patience is the Move, Bitte Orca

 

The Tallest Man on Earth Shallow Graves

It is just him and his guitar on stage. On the album he has background musicians but it is exceptional in any way you say it. His lyrics are so bucolic and pastoral, if you sit back and free your mind as he sings, you get such beautiful imagery of rolling flower filled fields with nature (animals and birds) everywhere. He is one of the better ones at using nature in his metaphors to create a more full and meaningful song.

It is fairly complex but easily understandable folk music and is one of the better ones to me. I really look forward to him developing more as an artist and fulfilling more my expectations as an artist. He is definitely one of the better young ones I have heard. This is only his first album after all.

He uses a lot of juxtaposition in his songs, and the titles, that I really enjoy hearing.

Songs of Note: The Gardner, The Blizzard's Never Seen the Desert Sands, I Won't Be Found

 

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