Gosh darn it I’m taking forever to write something so I’m just going to skim through the listening highlights of the last month or two.
Pearl Jam – Vitalogy / Vs – Remastered
Here’s a surprise – I like these albums so much more now than I did when they were first released. Perhaps it wasn’t very cool to like Pearl Jam post “Ten” at the time, or perhaps these were perceived as not living up to “Ten”. They certainly stand on their own now and worth a re-purchase.
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
I should be ashamed at how long it took me to track down “For Emma, Forever Ago” after I first got the “Blood Bank” EP. Enough has been written about the epic alone-ness of “For Emma” for me not to wax wistfully on about it. It was certainly time for the poor man to move on as there’s only so much one wants to hear about other people’s ex-girlfriends from 5 years previous. It’s fair to say I like a lot of this album, and love the opening track “Perth” which I play repeatedly (which is very unusual for me). I’m still trying to work out how the last track “Beth/Rest” was a good idea. It still sounds like something Pete Cetera missed out on including on a Karate Kid 2 soundtrack.
The Twilight Sad – Acoustic EP
I stumbled across this freebie on their website – a few popular tracks alongside demos I think. Some of the recording is pretty sketchy – the audio is clipped here and there which takes me out of it, but in general it’s a solid, authentic performance. These guys add to my bizarre attraction to Glaswegian bands along with Frightened Rabbit and We Were Promised Jetpacks.
Ben Williams – State of Art
And now for something completely different (it’s jazz people). I’ve been looking for something along the lines of Christian Scott’s “Rewind That” album but nothing has shown up for me. Ben Williams has delivered a typically straight-ahead jazz album but with some infectiously groovy tracks and then his hip-hop influences shine through with specialist collaborators on bunch of tracks like “The Lee Morgan Story”. This is on fairly high rotation to curb my jazz hankerings currently.
Terri Lyne Carrington – The Mosaic Project
While we’re talking jazz this is another great album that leverages collaborations all over the place, with TLC taking centre role as drummer extraordinaire. She totally blew me away on a Herbie Hancock DVD I have – she is super-awesome. When I saw she had an album of her own out I had to have a listen, and it’s good. I’m not a great R&B fan but she seems to have a knack for pulling some straight-up R&B tracks into a post-bop format (I’m sounding like a nerd again so I’ll wrap up).