Friday, May 28, 2010

Frequent Spins (2010.4)

This is going to be a pretty brief Frequent Spins in terms of the number of words written here. The reason is that I don't have a lot of free time lately, and I want to get in a quick post, but also because these albums pretty much speak for themselves, with this short list ranking as possibly the strongest since I began doing this regular feature.

The Apples in Stereo - Travellers in Space and Time
A little reminiscent of E.L.O.'s Time, the latest from these Elephant Six Collective veterans just might be as good as 2007's New Magnetic Wonder.

Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
At first I thought this one was not as good as their masterpiece, Cease to Begin, and I was probably right. But, as the weather begins to take a turn for the better, I've discovered that it's kind of a summery album. So, if it doesn't instantly grab you, pick up a four-pack of Allagash White and give it a few more spins.

The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
Craig Finn and company have always been about great lyrics that tell great stories about a crowd much younger than the band members themselves. On their latest, the subject matter seems to be growing up, with a major theme here being whether to settle or not, particularly on "Soft in the Center," "The Weekenders" and "Hurricane J."

The National - High Violet
Their performance of "Afraid of Everyone" on Letterman, with Sufjan Stevens guesting on backing vocals, was quite impressive. But, there are many other highlights on this record, including "Bloodbuzz Ohio," "Lemonworld," and pretty much the entire second half of the album.

The New Pornographers - Together
This band just keeps cranking out great indie pop tunes. As usual, the highlights are the songs that most effectively intertwine A.C. Newman's pop sensibilities with Neko Case's vocal twang, such as "Crash Years" and "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk," but my absolute favorite on this one is "A Bite Out of My Bed."

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