Archive for March, 2011

Radiohead – The King of Limbs

Not only are you blessed (or cursed) with two album opinions in one day, but I’m not going to write boring crap about my boring life and my boring obsession with contemplating the validity and inconsistencies of my blog writing. Wait…crap.

When I listen to Radiohead in my dorm, I am at peace with the world; I see shooting stars in the sky and I know that Radiohead is the greatest band to grace this earth…not. I’m no Pitchfork writer who while spending nights in a VW bus waiting for the 22nd Radiohead tour date this year, uses listening to Radiohead as an aphrodisiac for wild role-playing as Radiohead band members pleasuring each other. Disturbed? Yeah I guess that went a little too far, but the whole shooting stars bit can actually be seen in a review of one of their albums (I’ll let you do the hunting to find out which one). I am, however, called a hipster if caught listening to Radiohead through my speakers. Is this claim unfounded? Probably not.

Is The King of Limbs the best Radiohead album yet? Unfortunately, while every successive Radiohead album has achieved some very rare ability to out-class its predecessor, this one just isn’t that special. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not seeing any shooting stars. It’s a little bit on the short side, and while I applaud their cutting some weaker songs from the album, I still enjoy a fuller experience. The album’s first single, Lotus Flower is one of my favorites on the album. Like many of the tracks, it is quite stripped down driven very strongly by that distinctive glitchy drumming in strange time-signatures. Yorke employs his well developed falsetto and the minimal guitar work for a 3-guitar band compliments the song well. Even more interesting is the video for this one which is basically Thom Yorke carelessly dancing like a maniac for the camera while singing. I’ve been told that his dancing is actually quite accomplished, but I can barely get past the lunacy it seems to portray. But kudos to him for not giving a flying [expletive].

The vocal effects in the album are also very enjoyable, especially when Yorke comes in from the background with an effect like a troop of trombones.  For whatever reason, though, Separator takes the cake for my top pick of the album. It’s much more reminiscent of the Radiohead we knew before. I love it when the guitars fade in and prance around in that Jonny Greenwood style.

But the important thing to get out of all of this is not what songs I like, how disturbing my mind can get in deprecating Pitchfork, how obvious it is that I’m just trying to cover up my hipster obsession with this band, or even how much I don’t know about music as evidenced by when I try to comment on it, but it’s that I like Radiohead’s The King of Limbs.


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Cut Copy – Zonoscope

Yes, yes, I know; the world came to a staggering halt because I have neglected to write a blog post for several weeks. No, the music industry was not silent for that time, I was just sufficiently lazy. And no, despite some of your hopes and dreams, this blog is not a dead one. And yes, I’m done answering unspoken sentiments now.

In addition to my extreme laziness, I was also well behind the eight-ball in my purchase of Cut Copy’s Zonoscope. I had to contemplate how much money I would like to put into this silly blog and whether or not I wanted to purchase this CD, because it had not shown up on Grooveshark yet and I have deadlines to make. The great self-substantiated metaphysical debate was settled eventually, I splurged, and now I am here giving you my unappreciated two cents about the album.

I was fortunate enough in my life to never live in the 80s. I was saved from that mundane existence by a mere four days. So, I have nothing to offer you in first-hand experience pertaining to the supposed “death of music” that occurred then. This is what I have always been told; that music died in the 80s. But despite that fact, it is extremely evident that a very large assortment of artists recently are playing with many 80s music devices. Cut Copy, however, ends up doing this well. You can really think nothing but 80s when you hear this music, but in some strange gesture, the music sounds surprisingly current as well. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, [popular 80s character specifically in the entertainment business].

When I first listened to the album (albeit substantially later than the release date), the clouds opened up in grimy north-western Pennsylvania and Spring finally dabbed its toes in the metaphorical water to see if it really wanted to come back to this wretched place. I know I won’t be fortunate to experience this beauty in full for quite some time, but it was nice to feel warm outside again and to listen to Zonoscope as a sort of sound track. The songs were remarkably Spring-like and I couldn’t help but slink along like a Jet (West Side Story reference achieved) snapping my fingers and pounding my thighs to the catchy beat in “Where I’m Going”.

So if you’re looking for some fun and you actually liked 80s music, check out Cut Copy’s Zonoscope. If you don’t and you didn’t, but you want some spring music jive to, check it out for that reason. If neither of these two reasons apply, then you’re quite possibly Oscar the Grouch (Sesame Street reference achieved (not as rewarding or exciting as West Side Story)). Regardless, the important thing to get out of this is that I like Cut Copy’s Zonoscope.

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