Wednesday, September 28, 2011
If It's Tuesday, It's Wednesday: New Releases, 9/27/11
WILCO- THE WHOLE LOVE
I'm not hearing the "back to basics," "alt-country" sound that many critics have been hearing. But I don't mind. Like all Wilco records prior, "The Whole Love" did little for me at the start, but slowly crept up on me and attacked.
There are moments, "Black Moon" comes to mind, that will take you back to "Being There." But this new one is not that record, or any other Wilco record, and this is why I love this band. "The Whole Love" is another step forward for Jeff Tweedy and company. Not a giant step, but a respectable step.
It's not back to basics. It's actually a bit demanding. It takes the subtleties of "YHF," the textures of "Sky Blue Sky," and even a few of the pop sensibilities of "The Album," and delivers a worthy entry to the Wilco catalogue.
I'm counting on this to get better with each visit.
One disappointing note-- the iTunes and vinyl only bonus track is one of the better tracks.
DARYL HALL- LAUGHING DOWN CRYING
I've been considering a John Oates "Weekend Mix" for some time, but quite frankly, I'm afraid. It'd be a breeze to compile a baker's dozen of H&O tunes, written and sung by John Oates, that should impress the lot of you. And while I have the utmost faith in my readers, I anticipate a phalanx of snidery, not to mention those who will just ante up a big "Not gonna do it" without hearing a note. (Ah, maybe I'll do it anyway.)
That said, I do prefer Daryl over John. Daryl Hall's solo output has been too infrequent. The Robert Fripp produced "Sacred Songs" is a masterpiece. (Yes, a masterpiece.) "Three Hearts In The Happy Ending Machine" is full of power pop and soul brilliance. "Soul Alone" suffered from over-production, but still had many moments. And his last effort, the elusive "Can't Stop Dreaming" offered, in spades, the white boy soul that has made Daryl a star.
"Laughing Down Crying" builds on all of this, as well as the inspiration of the many guests he has hosted on his genius internet show, "Live From Daryl's House." Really good stuff.
MATTHEW SWEET- MODERN ART
I want to love this record, but I don't. I love Matthew Sweet, but "Modern Art" needs more than just "that sound." Harmonies, backwards guitar, 12-string strumming...it's all here. It's just not enough for me.
It's been a while since something solid has come from one of the better singer/songwriter/power pop stars of our time. 1999's "In Reverse" and 2003's "Kimi Ga Suki Raifu" both had a handful of jangly winners, and I do like the two covers collections with Susanna Hoffs. But as uneven as The Thorns record was, that side project with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge had the last bit of truly memorable music from Mr. Sweet.
(Speaking of Susanna Hoffs, there is also a Matthew Sweet-produced record from The Bangles that hit yesterday. Haven't heard enough to comment, but their Nazz cover, which I did hear, is just so-so. Still, I love them for doing it.)
PINK FLOYD'S BIG TIME, EXPENSIVE RE-RE-RE-RE-REISSUES
"Immersion Boxes," in which you get not only the music, but extra stuff like pashminas sporting the "Dark Side Of The Moon" logo, Richard Wright's recipe for pudding, blu-ray DVDs with 5.1. and maybe even 5.2 and 5.3 mixes of everything, metallic balls of something, lots of foam, and more.
I bought, fool that I am, the new 2011 remasters of "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" and "A Saucerful Of Secrets," and I will admit on these pages, I WILL buy the "Experience" editions of "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall," because I love this band, and you know...these new editions just might sound better.
I had the opportunity to listen to the "DSOM" remaster, as well as the unreleased early "Alan Parsons' mix, and I gotta tell ya, it sounded damn good. Still, it's fun to make fun.
NIRVANA- NEVERMIND (20TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION)
I want to keep this short because it may be a touchy subject.
I love this record. It was a game-changer for a reason. But, a) I don't understand why Kurt Cobain is considered a genius, and b) I still don't hear how "Teen Spirit" and "More Than A Feeling" are the same song.
There's a big, 4 disc set with a rare mix and b-sides and other stuff. Maybe you can tell me why I should consider Kurt Cobain a genius, and how I can hear Boston in "Teen Spirit."
STING- 25 YEARS (3 CDS & 1 DVD)
Hey Gordo. Take your $119 boxed set with it's 9 minutes of unreleased audio and 40 minutes of live footage featuring such rarely played chestnuts as "Roxanne" and "Message In A Bottle" and shove it up that stick-filled ass of yours. You and your label have bigger balls than Truck Robinson.