Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Meet Sugar (Part I)

SUGAR is a collection intended for summer's blinding, life-crushing heat. It's a little recipe passed down from Toaster's maternal great aunt, twice removed.

It aims to soothe.

01 >> LCD Soundsystem Watch the Tapes
02 >> Immaculate Machine Dear Confessor
03 >> Moonbabies Take Me to the Ballroom
04 >> Spoon The Underdog
05 >> Art Brut Pump Up the Volume

If anyone has a claim on anthemic summer songs, it's LCD Soundsystem. "Watch the Tapes" is one of many endlessly catchy hits to pop off of the band's latest LP. Take it in and wiggle your hips.

* * *
Immaculate Machine has come a long way (from Canada), paired with supergroup New Pornographers for tours and even lending co-lead Kathryn Calder to be a permanent member of said supergroup. "Dear Confessor" is a shipshape representative of the pop sensibilities they've honed over the past few years. The ballads, however, are where the band takes off. Check out "Roman Statues" if you get a minute. Keep the SUGAR on pause.

* * *
Every time I turn this song on I think it's Death Cab. Hmm. Still, once over the hurdle of realizing it sounds a whole lot like something from Plans, I am won over by this song's lush arrangement (sweet, sweet melodies). SUGAR finds it to be a perfect transition from the fun-fun-fun of Immaculate Machine to the more serious side of Toaster.

* * *
"Jon Brion-produced" is sometimes all you have to say to get my attention. I enjoy Spoon; don't get me wrong. But this song jumps from "enjoyable Spoon romp" to "team-sports anthem of the summer" in its lovely few minutes on SUGAR. She loves to be underestimated.

* * *
Fuck it. Art Brut is everything I want to be. The irreverent, we're-not-phonies rock they've churned out now on two critic-blessed LPs is a source of love - not the deep kind of long-term love that each of us deserves. No, this is more of the "summer fling, give me that pop music" love. Who hasn't been there before?

Next week, The Toaster will feature the next five songs from Sugar: There's Dangerous Levels of It Here.

Stay tuned. And stay hot, compatriots.

(Some would say this was a day late, but really I'm on vacation...in the future.)

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