Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chill out or dance around

What I've been listening to: Oh, Joshua Radin. Can I describe your music as dreamy? Maybe describe you as dreamy? I really enjoyed Radin's first CD, We Were Here, and I think I like this new one, Simple Times, just as much, maybe a bit more. I've only a few listens to it, but the first song that jumped at me was Sky. He sings on it with some woman (maybe Ingrid Michelson?) and it's so lovely. The refrain is catchy: "Oh, oh, oh, oh, you know the way to keep me on my toes/ I, I, I will be fine - just say you'll stay forever mine." Another sing I liked instantly is Vegetable Car, with the refrain: "She drives a vegetable car/ diesel Mercedes, green, two door/ I barely know who you are/ Lisa Loeb glasses I'd sure like to ask you to stay." That's probably the most uptempo song on the album, but still so chill.

When I'm feeling for more engertic music, I turn to Ben Folds's new album, Way to Normal. I never know quite what I'm going to get with a Ben Folds album. I can always count on quality piano playing and slightly off key singing, but what the songs are going to be like is more up for grabs. On Songs For Silverman, many of the songs seemed deeply meaningful, pieces of social commentary or the heartbreaking love-song for his kid, Gracie. Way to Normal is different from the past few Folds release, and, to me, it feels a bit like a return to older stuff, Ben Folds Five stuff, the stuff that made me deeply devoted to Ben Folds when I spent a whole entire summer in the early 2000s listening to Whatever and Ever Amen and the Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Mesner over and over and over... And I'm glad for that. Many of the songs on this album are dance-around-your-bedroom uptempo--a nice antidote to all the moody alt rock flowing from the speakers of my stereo all too often. I bought this album for the song You Don't Know Me, featuring the divine Ms Regina Spektor. I kept hearing this song on the radio (thank you, WFUV) and the chorus would end up stuck in my head for hours! The tune more so than the lyrics is sooooo catchy. And while this song was what originally propelled me to fork over the $ for this CD, Cologne is the song that keeps me listening, the song I want to put on repeat and listen to over and over. This song above all the others really harkens back to the old days of BF5 for me, with its cascading piano and lush orchestration. The chorus is good: "4, 3, 2, 1, I'm letting you go. I will let go if you will let go."
And there's a reference to that crazy lady who wore the diaper to drive across the country to kill her boyfriend. :)

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