A recurring feature on elbuzzard that no one appreciates are Brent and Kent’s biannual music reviews. It’s time for the best of the first half of 2007! This year, we made a concerted effort in the month of June to listen to every album that we had released this year. There was a lot of crap. Tons, in fact. We suffered through it, all for you.
Stuff we agree on.
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Kent: It was hard for me to decide which album between Amy Winehouse and Menomena as my favorite so far of 2007. I listened to Menomena so much more, but Winehouse is way more accessible, and fits into more situations. The production values on this record are what makes it so worthwhile, it’s beautifully recorded for a modern pop R&B album. Winehouse can really belt it out, too, and isn’t exactly what you would call shy with her lyrics either.
Brent: I have my darling wife to thank for getting this CD. I would encourage anyone I know to buy it. I would not encourage everyone to get the Menomena CD.
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
Brent: Arcade Fire is great. I think bombastic is their strength. They seem to feel they have to balance it out with slower stuff. I do not agree.
Kent: I wasn’t blown away at first by this one, it seemed somehow less than Funeral. Eventually, I came to terms that they weren’t going to do the “Big Finish” thing that I loved on their first album and started to enjoy it more. Plus, they put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen.
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Brent: 2007 has been a sorry year for music so far. Lots of CD’s that have like 6 good songs, and nothing that is quality through and through. That said, this one, Arcade Fire, and Amy Winehouse come pretty darn close. Here’s my issue with James Mercer being on the album: It’s not bad…but I’d much rather have Isaac Brock singing those lines. If I were him, I wouldn’t let anyone sing with me except maybe Joanna Newsome or Tom Waits. So you cut out the songs that the Shins guy ruins, and you have a very solid album.
Kent: BK likes this album up until the guy from the Shins makes an appearance. I think the album is ok until the guy from the Shins makes an appearance and then it gets really good.
Continue reading Music: Best of the First Half