Wednesday, March 10, 2010

5 newbies!!

This week was a great week for new releases!! Here they are!

"Good Morning (The Future)" by Rogue Wave:

Gone are the days of the Rogue Wave with the hauntingly beautiful folk-rock tunes (like "Lake Michigan" and "Chicago X12"). However, this does not mean I dislike "Good Morning". In fact it kinda seems like Rogue Wave have taken a queue from Phoenix in terms of the way this song sounds, in that it combines techno-influenced guitar hooks with lush harmonies and melodies. Much like how "Lake Michigan" was an environmental lament, "Good Morning (The Future)" seems to be a lament on how screwed up life has become for some of us, like the main hook of the song says ("the future...isn't what it used to be").

"Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap:

Someone listen to this song and tell me they DON'T hear U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" in it!! The main hook is practically the same except it's played on a lower fret. "Sweet Disposition" and The Airborne Toxic Event's "Sometime Around Midnight" could go head to head in a musical battle for which song sounds the most like "Where the Streets Have No Name", and "Sweet Disposition" would win, hands down!! But wait! This does not mean I dislike "Sweet Disposition". For one of the many alt and indie bands to follow in U2's footsteps, The Temper Trap are actually pretty sincere and heartfelt compared to some bands (*cough cough, Coldplay, cough cough*). "Sweet Disposition" is able to do something to me that most Coldplay songs (from their sophomore album on) can't do to me - it's one of those songs that takes me into a different world when I hear it. And that is what good music is all about!

"Swim Until You Can't See Land" by Frightened Rabbit:

This is probably my fave out of all five of the songs I'm reviewing for this week! When I first heard this song a couple days ago, I instantly fell in love with it! I barely know the lyrics (currently), but sometimes all it takes is an honest, heartfelt melody and harmony for me to find that central quality in a song I always look for. The guitar riffs are echoic of both The Byrds and Nick Drake, and I love how melancholy, but still innocent, both of them sound. Frightened Rabbit have preserved that '60s folk-rock sound pretty well for "Swim Until You Can't See Land", which makes it a surefire winner for me!! From what little I know of the lyrics (the chorus), "Swim Until You Can't See Land" seems like it's about perseverance, which only adds to how much I love this song. Please check this one out if you don't check out any of the others, it's an instant classic!

"The Mystery Zone" by Spoon:

With a name like "Spoon" it's gotta be quirky! And this song is just that. The guitar echoes with each riff that is played (including the brief but worthy guitar solo of the song), and the drums consistently hit on the "3" of the "1, 2, 3, 4" time signature each time. And what exactly IS this "Mystery Zone" they keep mentioning?! My best guess is that it's exactly what it sounds like, a state of confusion (as mentioned, or at least hinted at, in the lyrics, "How come it feels so familiar when you've never been there?") Existential lyrics with a danceable beat? Sounds like a rip-roarin' good time to me!!

"You Must Be Out of Your Mind" by The Magnetic Fields:

This one hasn't gained as much airplay as the other four, but I thought I'd review it anyway since at least three adult alt. stations I know of have added it to their playlist (and also 'cuz it's such a good song!) I had actually known of The Magnetic Fields for quite a long time, and they seem like one of the few bands in the indie crop whose unique brand of folk-rock is more folk than it is rock. "You Must Be Out of Your Mind" continues in that tradition, and it adds in stringed instruments (like the violin), perhaps to make it sound even more like it belongs in another decade. Pretty much every Magnetic Fields song seems to sound more suited to the '60s or early '70s than it does to the 2000's or 2010's. "You Must Be Out of Your Mind" also carries on the lyrical tradition of satire meets sincerity that The Magnetic Fields other songs have had (like "All My Little Words", for instance). Unlike "All My Little Words", however, "You Must Be Out of Your Mind" seems a bit MORE focused on the satirical element. It has a bittersweet melody coupled with a sarcastic chorus ("You think you can leave the past behind/You must be out of your mind"). But musical quirks like these are the reason I love bands like Magnetic Fields, so I strongly suggest that all you irony-lovers out there give this one a good listen!