I've been having a hard time locating some good CD's at my local stores. But last week I was able to pick up a few new ones and I'm enjoying all of them so far. Let me point to two of them that have gotten the most play.
Drive-By Truckers: Brighter Than Creation's Dark (MySpace, Metacritic). Had to pick this up after liking their previous album, A Blessing and a Curse, and seeing such a great buzz about this album. This is provocative southern rock for folks who can appreciate the drawl and the open discussion of sin. Eye-opening explanations of the problems (and pleasures) of sin.
What at first blush might sound like unhealthy entrenchment turns out to be a brilliant study in duality, as Cooley and Hood-- seemingly in conversation with one another-- weigh the respective pulls of decadence and dependability.
The band expands its familiar rock sound with forays into soul..., Southern boogie, and AM-gold country—all in service to tales of hard-drinking fathers, vengeful ghosts, weird Harolds and director John Ford.
Brighter Than Creation’s Dark belongs to Mike Cooley, who contributes seven of his best, most rousing songs about hard-luck characters—the kind you know and probably avoid—proving the Truckers are at their best singing about people at their worst.
...this cosmopolitan quartet has streamlined ska, post-punk, chamber music and Afropop into a glorious ultramodern groove.
Bring any baggage you want to this record, and it still returns nothing but warm, airy, low-gimmick pop, peppy, clever, and yes, unpretentious-- four guys who listened to some Afro-pop records, picked up a few nice ideas, and then set about making one of the most refreshing and replayable indie records in recent years.
There will always be a new band that just comes in and knocks your socks off with a great album. Usually it takes a while before you find it but it almost always happens once a year. I just didn’t think it would be here so soon in 2008 with Vampire Weekend. This is a magnificent debut, filled with endless melodies, memorable hooks and plenty of toe-tapping moments.
I'm not a big fan of Animal Collective. But I'm always eager to hear them out and give them a chance. Their Take Away Shows are quite interesting, so I offer them here for you.