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Archive for March, 2010

New Hold Steady!!!

The Hold Steady (who inspired the name of this blog) have a new song out from their upcoming album “Heaven is Whenever.” Here it is. The song is called Hurricane J.

Let me know what you think!

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Since I’m not smart enough to review albums, I’m going to leave album notes on the blog. These are more selling points to albums that I think deserve some recognition. The first album I’m writing notes on is Frightened Rabbit’s “The Winter of Mixed Drinks.”

I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that this is my favorite album so far in 2010. I loved their 2008 “Midnight Organ Fight.” WMD (that’s kind of funny) comes across bigger than MOF. Usually that’s a big turn off to me when bands take a smaller sound and try to grow it out to fit arenas (I’m looking at you Kings of Leon), but for some reason, it works here. Maybe it’s the Scottish draw. Maybe it’s the lack of gratuitous f-bombs that were laced throughout MOF. Whatever it is, it works.

The lead single, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” is a song about trying to get away from everything. FR tend to write sad songs, and this one falls under the mopey sadness from prior records. The big difference is this track has a little more jangle and hopefulness than before. Which is good. Since Scott Hutchinson has a depressing voice in general, they have to fight a little harder to have some uplifting music.

The standout track, in my opinion, is “Nothing Like You.” I was not surprised when I read an interview with Hutchinson where he said the chorus was a leftover from MOF. This makes sense since it sounds like a breakup song. I really like the chorus “She was not the cure for cancer.” I have no idea why, it just grabbed me. The song’s tempo is really pushed hard, but sounds natural. Something I hate is when there’s an unnatural sounding tempo. But this fits perfectly.

Critics will hate this album. Too polished, not personal enough, not as good as MOF. But whatever, it sounds good, and that’s the most important thing to me.

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What’s coming up

To say the next couple months in the rock/pop category is an embarrassment of riches is the understatement of the year. The lackluster year that was 2009 is definitely making up for it in the first half of 2010. March 9th we get the new album by Frightened Rabbit, whose album Midnight Organ Fight was one of my favorite albums of 2008. And although I’ve never been a big fan of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Brutalist Bricks may be what gets me into them.

March 16 gives us a new album from The Whigs. I’ve enjoyed their last 2 albums, although I liked Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip better than Mission Control. There have been mixed reviews on this record. People say it sounds too polished and too much like Kings of Leon (who they toured with last year). I guess we’ll see.

April is a little slow, but May brings us a major mother load. Until then, happy listening.

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