The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

Archive for September, 2008

New Issue: Fleet Foxes

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Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes – The last of the albums I purchased before my computer was stolen. And what a happy note to end on. Yet again, I was sucked into a hype machine about this band, but it all paid off. Much like my Panda Bear and Devendra Banhart posts (which both site Beck as a reference. Maybe I need to branch out more…), I am slowly allowing myself to be sucked in by the ’60s. Better yet, I am shedding some of my fringe limitations for music, most notably for folk. I was brazenly searching the internet for anything new that was worthwhile and stumbled upon “White Winter Hymnal”. After the 15th listen, I allowed myself to admit that it is fine to become obsessed by a folk song. The reason – layered harmonies so thick and well, harmonious. After a bit a research, I found out I had totally missed the Sun Giant EP release but had a good chance on catching the full album. And that’s how I came upon this glorious record – a bit of luck, a small obsession, and an ear opening to contemporary folk.

Now, it probably shouldn’t surprise you that I love this album because of the sound alone. I am trying to get better at lyrical interpretation, but my natural instinct is to let the sound just wash over me and catch lyrics as they slowly diffuse into my brain. A shame really since this album seems to be adept at both. The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young vocal homage never seems to lose it’s luster. Or maybe I have such a limited knowledge of good folk music that I am easily persuaded into anything that sounds non-mopey and distinct. Hold up, let me give myself a little bit of credit. I’ve been hangin’ with Ryan Adams for a minute. And I DO love me some Kathleen Edwards. And didn’t I see Devendra Banhart on my birthday?! OK, the self deprecation can stop here. The album is good regardless of how many folk artists you can name. Plus, the album artwork is pretty funky – a nice, quiet pastoral scene only the “nice and quiet” is actually muted violence. Fun for the whole family!

Written by TopDrop

September 29th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

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New Issue: The Kidz in the Hall

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Kidz in the Hall, The In Crowd – NEWS UPDATE – Yet again, a long break from the blogosphere. This time with a good…well, ultimately bad reason. Much of what this blog is about hinges on the fact that I have online access. Simple, I know. However, this was all taken away from me August 4th when a lovely burglar decided to pick my flat in London as his target (there is even a suspect! I’m hoping to get the rights for a Law and Order Criminal Intent episode). I now am a proud citizen of the net-less nation. I’m constantly hunting for available computers and roaming wireless. Or, I’m just often out of touch. And out of luck. Not only is this a regressive step for my blog posting abilities, I also have few options for listening to new music. Maybe my old discman will make a special guest appearance for the next few months. Anyhow, this post may be the last for a little while as I save up enough funds for a new computer. But who knows… music conquers all!

Album #2 in my most recent stack of good music. And by recent, go back to the date of the last post. Yeah, old. Anyway, I hope this continues becomes I am having a ball and it’s been a while. Oh, and it’s the SUMMER! I deserve some good tunes. Which the Kidz deliver in spades. One of which is so monstrous, so perfect, so summerific, it is enough to qualify the entire album as a hit. “Drivin Down the Block” is an anthem that is long overdue and long on life. Much like Will Smith’s “Summertime” (yes, you saw it here first, a Will Smith musicianship shout out) “Drivin Down the Block” puts you into an instant laid back posture and floods your mind with memories of all things hot and lazy. This is the only song that makes mie miss driving. I’d even bump this while sitting in traffic on I285 (what up ATL!). A suprisingly easy on the ears and easy to follow lyrical assessment from two Ivy league grads. Yep, Kanye isn’t the only one to start turning the dial towards middle class black rap. See also The Cool Kids, The Knux and Kid Sister for fresh bourgeosie rhyming that also hearkens back to the ’80s. There is definitely a coalition of the willing that wants to push mainstream hip hop back towards the middle ( we aren’t red states or blue states…) and I like the Kidz’ chances. The album itself is pretty fly but loses steam halfway through. The early themes and production play well for Naledge’s rhyme style (a little bit of old with the 70’s/’80’s samples but new with shouts out to Chardonnay and the Champs Elysee) but runs into trouble when he has to start talking about how hard the Midwest is. I do believe it gets rough out there ( I’ve seen it myself), but I don’t buy it from Upenn grads in Marketing and Systems Engineering. Furthermore, they don’t really give me reason to buy into it as the lyrics and production fall off dramatically.

Again, I’m glad that hip hop is starting a new direction. I was surprised to return from the UK and notice that the top artists and genres did not budge one inch in a whole year. I thought we had shorter attention spans than that 😉 If you can handle at least 9 tracks of good hip hop, get the Kidz and the Hall album. Because your worth it.

Written by TopDrop

September 8th, 2008 at 11:32 am