Thursday, February 26, 2009

L-L-L-LEAKED

It's Blitz! leaked earlier this week and it was not long before Yeah Yeah Yeahs fans obtained the coveted collection of synth-pounding songs. Yesterday, I was torn between patiently waiting until April 14th to listen to the record and downloading the album instantly. I chose the latter method of acquiring Yeahs new release. 

Although I have listened to and evaluated It's Blitz!, I am not going to review it just yet. 

I do not have any moral issues with the leak of It's Blitz!, but I do believe that Yeah Yeah Yeahs new release is controversial enough. Avid fans are either attacking YYYs new sound, announcing that the band has fallen into the mainstream, or drooling over the mere thought of the third release, already collecting It's Blitz! memorabilia. I also do not want my personal opinion to repel more people, who would normally enjoy the album, from listening to it, and vice versa. When all is said and done, I would prefer to review It's Blitz! when it is available to everyone. 


For those who have chosen to wait for the official release of It's Blitz! on April 14th you are in for a treat. iTunes is including a deluxe edition of the album with acoustic versions of "Soft Shock", "Skeletons", "Hysteric" and "Runaway." Also, an exclusive track called "Faces" is included, and a bonus track entitled "Clap Song" is available when one pre-orders the album. Although, I already downloaded It's Blitz!, I would definitely enjoy having some extra tracks and would like to support a band I love. 

Check back in April for an in-depth review of It's Blitz!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

UPDATE - WAVVES//YYYs

WAVVES not-quite-self-titled debut album, WAVVVES is not available in stores until March 17th. Unsurprisingly, iTunes, being the music mogul it is, managed to obtain the distorted, pop drenched music of Nathan William and the album is now on sale at the iTunes store. Buy WAVVVES as soon as possible. It will not disappoint.

* * *

Yeah Yeah Yeahs unveiled the release date, cover art and tracklist for It's Blitz! (Now with an exclamation point) this week, and discussed the sound and style of the anticipated album with Spin and Rolling Stone. The art-punk trio announced that It's Blitz! is arriving on April 14th and, for those who can't wait another second to hear YYYs new sound, the album's first single, entitled "Zero" will debut on February 24th....I think Yeah Yeah Yeahs themselves present the news much better than I do:

Blossoms blooming? Bees getting nasty with birds? Temperature getting higher and higher and YYYs dropping our big fat album in your laps?? THAT IS CORRECT our new record IT'S BLITZ! Hits the shelves on APRIL 14th US APRIL 13th UK!! But on it's way first is ZERO the new yeah era track release on APRIL 6th!! Oh lord there's no stopping us now!!!!!!!!!!!!! LUV YYYs

Cover art (It's Blitz! first, "Zero" second) and tracklist are below.

1. Zero (4:25)
2. Heads Will Roll (3:41)
3. Soft Shock (3:53)
4. Skeletons (5:02)
5. Dull Life (4:08)
6. Shame and Fortune (3:31)
7. Runaway (5:13)
8. Dragon Queen (4:02)
9. Hysteric (3:50)
10. Little Shadow (3:57)
Badass cover art, along with a discography of tracks with titles that suggest stunning sound, gives the impression that It's Blitz! may be more than worth the wait. It's a completely different sound for Yeah Yeah Yeahs with a style that lead singer, Karen O exclaims is about "Less angst and more positivity, man!" Also, the album has a few guests in the studio, including members of TV on the Radio, who will make contributions and help produce the album. This only increases my enthusiasm, but I find some information about the new record to be disconcerting. 

My apprehension has been steadily growing ever since I discovered that Nick Zinner, the guitarist for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is trading his Fender Stratocaster for vintage synths. According to the band, It's Blitz! is inspired by '70s disco, Joy Division and Karen O's love of dancing so I can understand and accept the addition of synthesizers, but at what cost? I am worried that a severe lack of Zinner's powerful guitar playing will understate It's Blitz! I believe that Karen O and Co. will create a fun album that no one can resist dancing to though. No one can judge until It's Blitz! arrives on April 14th, so until then fans will have to wait for the onslaught of brand new Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

He's A Beach Punk

WAVVES debut album is out March 17th and I am very excited for its release. I have heard, and enjoyed, five songs off of the new album entitled WAVVVES (Notice the extra "V" in there. Sneaky.) and it is the first album I've pre-ordered in about three years so there must be something incredible about it. There better be! I mean I just dropped $30.45 on the CD and "the first collectable fully-peelable sticker book" (Don't laugh, it's awesome.) and ordered them both from Amazon. I didn't have to spend that much money, but I want that book badly. In other words, I spent more money on obtaining this album than I had to so it better be good. 

Now, some background information on the one-man band called WAVVES.
 
Name: Nathan Williams

Age: 22

Hometown: San Diego

Genre: Lo-fi
New Wave
Garage Rock
Indie Rock
Punk

Websites: Myspace Page

Sounds Like: A San Diego beach at 8 o'clock at night during the month of July. The beach is littered with teenagers who have just begun preparing for the summer night festivities. A barbeque is being heated up and people are dancing to the music blaring from a portable radio resting on a rock near the dunes. An hour later, the music's volume has increased and stars have begun popping up in the indigo sky. The young crowd are enjoying themselves throughly. They are chomping on cheeseburgers, chasing each other through the foamy waves and will not stop dancing. Two teenagers who have been lusting for each other since they arrived are finally hooking up, one pushed up against the back of the shower shack. Three have begun snapping photos of the wild antics happening along the shore. Twelve are raising a net and starting a volleyball game, with friends cheering from the sidelines. This flurry of activity continues until early morning and all who were there agree that it was a fun night, to say the least.

I got a little carried away, but picture that scenario with the WAVVES track, "Beach Demon" blasting. You'll understand my train of thought.


This post cannot only consist of positive statements about Nathan Williams's creation though. I am concerned that WAVVVES, after I listen to it enough, won't hold my attention for long. He can create catchy pop hooks and addictive riffs with messy layers of distorted fuzz and sound, but he needs to polish up his music in some areas. Think about Beck for a second. When Beck debuted with 1994's Mellow Gold, he had a fantastic album that was energetic, fun and different. I absolutely adore Beck but when I listen to his debut, I can't shake the feeling that he was still experimenting and had not perfected his music. Think of how much Beck has progressed. What if every Beck album released after Mellow Gold sounded exactly like it, an experimentation with none of the kinks ironed out? WAVVES does not sound like Beck (He is more akin to No Age) but you understand what I am trying to say. I'm just hoping that WAVVES can evolve and keep me entertained. I want an album that I won't only listen to during the summer.

Nonetheless, I hope you do enjoy WAVVES sunny temperament as much as I do and check out WAVVVES on March 17th.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bird Is A Noble Beast



Andrew Bird's new album, Noble Beast was released on January 20, 2009 (My birthday!) and I wrote a review of the record a couple of days ago and I decided to share it with you. Read the review below and enjoy!

During the last week of March 2008, while recording his new album, Noble Beast, Andrew described on his blog on the New York Times website what he desired the album to sound like, "The record I want to make here and now -- the one I wish I could find in my local record store -- is a gentle, lulling, poly-rhythmic, minimalist yet warm tapestry of acoustic instruments. No solos, just interlocking parts. A little Steve Reich, but groovier. A little Ghanaian street music, but more arranged. Thick and creamy vocals like the Zombies's Colin Blunstone. The bass warm and tubby like Studio One dub." After hearing Noble Beast, which can only be described as an airy, relaxed symphony, listeners will discover that Bird achieved his goal of creating the record he envisioned.
 
Noble Beast is a laid back album, with a style that paints a picture in the listener's mind that is similar to the peaceful, sunny landscape found on the album's cover. The Chicago-based singer, songwriter, guitarist and violinist, Andrew Bird, has completed six albums so far in his musical career and each record has had at least a slight change in genre and style. His early works include gypsy jazz, traditional folk and other genres. His latest creation, Noble Beast, released on January 20, 2008, combines these unique sounds. It also introduces more complex combinations of instruments, interlocking melodies and frequent, energetic whistling.
 
The songs on the album vary from enthusiastic and easygoing, to operatic and mellow. The first song on the album, "Oh No", opens with a lilting string section and a few plucks of a the strings of an acoustic guitar. The sound of the two instruments suggests that the track will be somber, but Bird's chipper whistling slides in, bringing with it a happier, spirited tone. This back and forth between the darker and lighter sounds continues throughout all of the songs on the album. This creates the effect that Noble Beast is really just one song that is 54 minutes long.
 
Andrew Bird proves to be a skilled musician, perfectly constructing his music so that it paints a picture in the listener's mind and makes the sound of many melodies flow together. For fans of folk pop, Bird's latest creation is sure to please. People who prefer loud and fast music might find the album unsatisfying or boring. In some instances, Noble Beast can be an enjoyable album for all. If anyone, no matter what type of music they prefer, wants to relax or hear something that will brighten their day, Noble Beast is for them.


I found a video that perfectly explains what I hope I conveyed in the review about everything in his music just sliding, combining, merging, and fusing together. Check it out, it's got a really great sound.