Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Delay and Other Reasons to Push Back

>> Featured Artist: The Shins

It's a good thing the songs they write will change your life, because The Shins are calling their fisrt mulligan on a release date. Now we're hearing early 2007. Alas, we figured we'd remind everyone that we haven't heard from them in three years.

Of course, the Shins themselves argue this is the best stuff they've ever done, and they're very appreciative of the additional time they've been given. Considering every artist is always working on the best stuff he/she has ever done, we're cautious. Let's all pretend it's still 2003 when we were all "Young Pilgrims."

>> Album Lookout: Ben Kweller

Ben Kweller - To Be Released: September 19, 2006 ATO

Another artist we haven't heard from in a few years is actually going to put out a record this year. And soon.

Ben Kweller, older now, is also convinced this is the best stuff he's ever done. We can't argue with that...the lyrics have always been a little iffy. But lyrics were never Ben's strong point. His pop sensibility has always outshone all the details. And in person, he has won over Mister Toaster with being obsessed with the Toaster's red cord blazer.

"Penny on a Train Track," the first song released from the forthcoming self-titled album, is strong and seems to take a step forward - into musical ability and maturity of topic - from the last album, 2004's On My Way. He's still only like 25. We still hate his youth.

>> Reverting to: 1971

Joe and his neverending pursuit of the perfect classic rock song has found a number of gems that the Toaster had never heard. This James Taylor classic marks the best he's ever done.

That's all we can say: "You Can Close Your Eyes." One of the best songs ever written.

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