Posts Tagged ‘new album’

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Radiohead – The King Of Limbs [2011]

February 20, 2011

Post #52.  LP8, though hardly L.  My only disappointment with this album is its length. I want more!!  I’m such a Radiohead glutton that one of the reasons Hail to the Thief is my favorite Radiohead album is its length.  How can you beat 56 and a half minutes of Radiohead?  At 37 and a half minutes across only eight tracks, The King of Limbs is Radiohead‘s shortest album.

Perhaps keeping the album brief is an evil Radiohead trick to get me to listen over and over so I spend more time absorbing the details in each piece.  Well it’s working as I’m on my 25th listen and each track gets better every time through.  Whether this was intentional or not, TKOL needs multiple listens.

TKOL explores elements of psychedelic minimalism, with subtle themes entering and exiting, stream of consciousness lyrics, and droning undertones, which keep the songs from making major transitions as many other Radiohead songs do and give them an inward focus.  Unlike most other psychedelic rock, the droning elements to these songs are interweaving strings and horns orchestrated by Radiohead‘s lead guitarist, Jonny Greenwood.  In some senses the band is lost in this album.  There aren’t any crazy Max/MSP solos and you have to try really hard to hear contributions from Ed O’Brien, the traditional rhythm guitar glue that holds a Radiohead song together.  The band member that stands out most to me is actually Phil Selway, as he takes the wheel for beat-driven tracks 1-5 and 8 and gives the rest of the band room to play and extend the range of their instruments.  The vast sonic landscape explored on this album is also largely facilitated by the work of producer Nigel Godrich who cleverly separates and blends each instrument.  His touch is especially evident on Bloom and Feral.

Here’s the music video for Lotus Flower and a full youtube stream of the album below.

source: deadairspace

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Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz [2010]

October 9, 2010

Post #48. Sufjan StevensThe Age of Adz, to be released October 12. Sufjan drops a big one!  What’s he getting at with calling this The Age of Adz?  The age of advertisements? Is he really talking about an adze? Or is it the age of odds?  I stopped trying to interpret too much of Sufjan‘s lyrics when he explained that The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us has no underlying social or racial meaning, but is instead the story of him being frightened by a wasp as a boy.  The reason I love this album is the way it builds to I want to be Well and settles down for Impossible Soul.  Sufjan mixes swirling wind instrument patterns (used heavily in The BQE) and some new electronic tricks into his trademark flowing folk, which results in a fun and somewhat scatterbrained sound.

Stream the whole album until October 12 at NPR.

source: npr, dataless