Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More Catching Up

>> Featured Artist: Jimmy Eat World

Very little appeals to me about a new Jimmy Eat World album. Futures never really grabbed me the way that Bleed American or earlier works had. And for some reason it's also left me feeling unexcited about anything forthcoming.

Clearly this is a band that can ooze talent and hooks on demand. It can scream emo or it can rock you straight. It can write songs that grab you and sit you down until the fade. But can it every do all of this well again?

Reviews are mixed on Chase This Light, the band's latest foray into rawking and feeling, etc. I'll sum up what I've read: Butch Vig produced it, so it's too glossy and too big-and-important sounding. It fails mostly, though, in that there's nothing adventurous really going on here. "Formulaic" - if not uninspired - is a word that seems to floating around a lot.

So now I'm really not all that excited. And the new single, "Big Casino" just kind of reinforces all of that (Though I was a bit into it when I heard it at a bar last night, but I think that's because it followed something awful). "Carry You" sounds like something off of Bleed American, which should be a great thing to say. But I guess I'm just not the same person (or, more accurately, age) I was when that album really moved me. Maybe it's me (it's never me).

>> Album Lookout: Hey Venus!
Super Furry Animals - Released: August 27, 2007 Rough Trade

Cue up the Wall of Sound, it's time for some Super Furry Animals. This is a band I've always liked from afar but whose appeal never last enough to actually make me buy an album. I came closest with 2003's Phantom Power. Somehow, after six or seven listens, it all starts to sound the same, and their efforts to sell me have all been cruelly thwarted.

I'm still open, however, to the prospect of picking this one up. "Run-Away" is a very catchy song, even if it does remind me a lot of later Pulp - and, for that matter, of everything else this band has ever done. But our music critic buddies are always so happy about everything they do, so we'll do a little more digging into what Hey Venus! has to offer.

>> Reverting to: 1992

Finally a shout-out to R.E.M., well deserved members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2007. I still remember "Stand" as the song I played over and over from the first mix tape I ever got (from my dad). In fact, a LOT of songs from that mix have ended up on the Toaster. As one of my friends put it, it's like those were the only songs the radio played back in those days. This isn't one of them, but it's one of my favorites from that era: "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite."

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