Thursday, December 20, 2007

30. Feist - The Reminder

This being the third female artist (out of 11) on the list so far, you may think that this is the year in which females are more highly represented than ever. You probably haven't even noticed, but if you're thinking this, you're wrong. In fact, the opposite is probably true. If you've never heard me talk or write about my unintentional prejudice against women in music, start here. I'm not going to get into it further, except to say that I like a lot of music made by female artists, but I guess it's just very infrequent that I really love them.

This album is a good reference point for the statement made in that last sentence. Similar to Regina Spektor's 2006 offering, Begin to Hope, Feist's The Reminder is front-loaded with a few songs that make me feel optimistic that this is going to be a fantastic album..."So Sorry", "I Feel it All", "The Park". But, then there's a drop-off. The difference between this and Begin to Hope (fitting title, huh?) is that the latter has a solid handful of eagles, whereas The Reminder has a bunch of really good songs and a few that drag a little. Still, it's my second favorite album of the year by an exclusively female act, which may sound patronizing, but I say that's nothing to scoff at.

29. Pelican - City of Echoes

I've certainly listened to my share of post-rock (or whatever you call it) bands, thanks to a particular rock snob friend of mine. While were on that subject, "The Rock Snob*s Dictionary" defines post-rock as follows:

"Amorphous genre born of rock-crit necessity in the nineties, mainly to explain to the skeptical public that the free-form, slo-mo noodlings of such semi-smart strivers as Tortoise and Low were not lazy, unstructured cop-out jams but the music of the twenty-first century".

Well, it's the 21st-century, and I still find that most of the stuff that falls into this "genre" just can't hold my attention for an entire album. I generally find that it's good for a 15-20 minute drive home on a cold dark night in Poughkeepsie. That's its niche. Not much potential for commercial success there.

Pelican's City of Echoes, despite its 4.4 Pitchfork rating, not only held my attention for the entire 42 minutes, but it did so again and again, and this was during the summer. Its conciseness might very well be a good reason for this. Regardless, returning to it again as I write this, I'm still digging this band's brand of heavy instrumental rock, although I'd like to suggest to them that they release their next album somewhere between November and February.

No comments:

Post a Comment