Music Music reviews

Recent Listening Time Again

The last one of these was on the [22nd May 2006][]. I haven’t been getting much opportunity to listen to music, so this is probably going to be the last one of these this year.

[22nd may 2006]:

Sam's Town **Sam’s Town** by *The Killers*

This album starts to take off on its third listen (with the exception of *Bones* which, if you have any taste, will make you shiver with glee right off the bat). Oh, sure, you can go through it highlighting the influences (“This one sounds like *Franz Ferdinand*, that one sounds like *Meatloaf*, this one sounds like *Bruce Springsteen*, that one sounds like *Queen*, this one sounds like *The Cars*…”) but that’s just miserable. Let go of your pretentions, and this is actually a most enjoyable collection of songs. It gets off to a good start, and with each song that passes you think to yourself “Yep, I like that one.” And so on until track 5, *For Reasons Unknown*, which starts off dreadfully, but straightens itself out gradually. It then proceeds in good fashion, peaking at track 8 (the aforementioned *Bones*). The remainder of the album is unremarkable, but to be honest, I think that eight consecutive successes is an acceptable result.

Lyrically, for the most part this album does nothing for me. Apart from when their delusions of profoundness make me squirm a little. I recommend that you avoid listening too carefully to them.

Twelve Stops And Home **Twelve Stops And Home** by *The Feeling*

This made a great first impression, but I rapidly lost interest in it. Many of the melodies are fabulously catchy, true, but once you’ve heard them once, the element of surprise is gone. There also seems to be a lack of cohesiveness about the album – by the time you get to the end, it bears no resemblance to the beginning, and there’s nothing to tie it together, meaning that it bursts and squelches about on the floor like a burst paper bag of sausages. There seems to be no depth here at all, no intimacy, no clues indicating who *The Feeling* really are.

I’m most disappointed, especially as initially, songs like *I Want You Now* and *Fill My Little World* sounded fan-bloody-tastic.

Idlewild **Idlewild** by *Outkast*

Before I commence this review, I should warn you that I’ve listened to this once and not paid any attention at all.

This is an album of songs. There are some songs, in a specific order, that comprise this album. It is made by *Outkast*, who are two men. One of them is a man, and the other is also a man. They make music, such as the music that appears on this album. The album comes in the form of a CD, which you put in your CD player. There is also a case to protect the CD against scratches and other such damage.

*(**UPDATE:** Okay, I’ve listened to it a bit more. It’s bloody good.)*

Castaways and Cutouts **Castaways and Cutouts** by *The Decemberists*

This is actually over three years old now, but I’ve only just got round to getting it. I was less than pleased with [Picaresque][], but this is much more up my street. I feel like it has a bit more delicateness, a bit less in-your-face. It’s no secret that *The Decemberists*’ big strength is their lyrics, and sadly I’m someone who doesn’t always listen to music in situations that enable me to give the lyrics my undivided attention.


Under The Iron Sea **Under The Iron Sea** by *Keane*

This grew on me, and I have to say that I ended up liking it more than I expected to. I found the first album to be reasonably pleasant to listen to, but it didn’t have the power to excite me. I think I prefer this one. If you listen to them side by side, it makes the songs on the debut album sound unfinished, like they had a good idea but hadn’t really taken it to its conclusion. This album, however, sounds like a lot more effort went into it.

At this point I was going to write that there are some less-than-memorable tracks. I put the album on so that I could shuffle through and identify them, only to discover that I was wrong. The reason that they are less-than-memorable is that they don’t exist. Every single song on here has the power to hook its claws into your brain and possess you for a while. However, on the flipside, I will say that there isn’t a broad variety of sounds on this album, so your 12 songs do sometimes feel a bit like 8.

If you have the patience, you need to give this album at least five listens for it to realise its potential. I was still most indifferent after two listens, but fortunately I am too lazy to change the CD in my car, so I listened to it a third time and the tables started to turn.