Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New iPod listening

I first heard of The Weepies from Jessie's mom Terri after she asked about them form hearing them in her Yoga/Spinning class. So, I looked them up, got their album sight un-heard and gave them a test run on a my 50min. drive into work. Luckily for me the entire album clocks in at around 40 minutes with 13 tracks. The duo is comprised of Steve Tannen and Deb Talan and this is their major-label debut. They stick to what they produce best which is sentimental, folky-pop. This also includes vocal and guitar melodies that are harmonically simple, yet pleasant. They take turns singing from track to track, and often create beautiful harmonies together. In doing some background reading, the title "Say I Am You" is a quote from a 13th century writer named Jelaluddin Rumi, who was known for intensely passionate poems. So, the title fits the love-song laced album. It was a great way to start an early morning with crappy L.A. traffic. Not jaring, interesting and poingant lyrics that spoke about love presented in some news ways. Highly enjoyable listening.

FINALLY. I've been telling friends (mostly of the male gender) that Mayer has some serious guitar chops. They never believe me, and now there is a studio album to back this claim up. Mayer has never unleashed his full guitar arsenal on his two previous major label releases aimed at the 12-22 female demographic. Until now. The 3rd studio effort comes packed with electric guitar lessons a la John Mayer. He's got skills, creativity, and passion. These tracks are still totally Mayer-esque with the unrequited love and loss, but adds a new element of global analysis expected more from Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen than 29-yr. old Mayer. There is the catchy single 'Waiting On The World To Change' and a cover of Jimi Hendrix 'Bold As Love' at the other end of the spectrum. I don't think anyone has successfully covered a Hendrix song better than what is presented here. Most artists try their hand at (the originally Dylan tune) 'All Along the Watchtower' with varied success. But here, Mayer pays homage to the guitar King and proves that not only can he write songs that make teenage girls swoon but can kick some serious ass with a guitar solo. The whole album exhibits Mayer's expertise, especially on the slower blues-inspired ballads where flaws can become transparent for lesser players. Not to be lost in the fray are Mayer's buddies Tino Palladino, and Steve Jordan in the rythm section. Both of whom run a tight ship that was initially heard on the John Mayer Trio effort "TRY." Mayer shines from top to bottom of this album. If you're a guy and somehow embarassed to buy this album, borrow it from your girlfriend, you may find yourself enjoying Mayer's guitar as much as I do.

I have to admit that this is the first I've listened to TV on the Radio extensively. I had a few songs from the Young Liars EP, and Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes album, but I never really dove into them like some other friends. So maybe I'm a little late to the bandwagon, but these guys are for real. This does NOT sound like a pop album. It's hard to figure out where the instruments start and stop and where the electronic elements come into play. The vocals are out of this world, even if you can't always understand what's being said. The multi-talented Tunde Adebimpe (vocalist) and David Andrew Sitek (producer) are also both visual artists as well so it's no wonder they create amazing textures of sound, mixing palettes from many different genres and places into one cohesive, unique canvas (sorry for the art analogies). Overall, this album will start off confusing you, then blow your mind, then you won't be able to get enough of it. I initially got a pirated pre-release rip of the yet-to-be-final track listing. I don't think it changed much from then to know, but either way, it's awesome. This could be one of the best records released this year.

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