The New Pornographers - Challengers
I was very surprised with how good this album was. I am not sure it has a bad song on it. Carl Newman shines on "My Right Versus Yours," and "Unguided." Also, Neko's songs are absolutely brilliant. I am not even a fan of her solo stuff, but her NP songs prove to be astounding. See "Go Places" and "Challengers" which is quite possibly my favorite song on the album. Just as those words exit my fingers, I proclaim that "Myriad Harbor" could also be the strongest. Dan Bejar (of Destroyer) basically can do no wrong...in my eye. To all the critics, what could you possibly want? Granted there is no specific song like "Bleeding Heart Show" that chorally sings "Hey-La's" that will make you get chill bumps, but the aforementioned tracks stand near Heart show's lonely pedestal. Grade A-.
Avett Brothers - Emotionalism (on emusic)
How much time you got? I can't say enough about the Avett Brothers. This album continues their amazing creativity of Four Thieves Gone. It is full of fun upbeat songs as well as pretty slow songs. Highlights include "The Weight of Lies," "Die, Die, Die" and "Will You Return." Packed with Banjos, Cellos, Guitars, and Harmonized singing, Emotionalism is a no brainer. BUY IT. Grade A
This might as well be a Broken Social Scene album. Most of the Broken Social Scene albums have at least two or three throwaway tracks, whereas this album does not. Spirit If contains the bouncy melodies of BSS tunes as well as the slower tempo tunes. Kevin Drew's nonchalant vocals provide a relaxing yet uplifting feel that is certainly pleasing. Grade B+
NEW TO ME:
Josh Ritter - Animal Years (Released in 2006)
I finally caved in and got Josh Ritter's older cd Animal Years (on eMusic). I must say I am quite impressed. The man is a talented lyricist as well as vocalist. He reminds me of Ryan Adams Whiskeytown and Heartbreaker days before he turned terrible. It is one of those albums that hits you somewhere deep; I am not sure if it is from being from the South...Just something about this type of music. I am looking forward to purchasing his new cd The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. Grade: B+
Drive By Truckers - Pizza Deliverance (released back in 1999). (on emusic).
I know, I know, the worst album title in possibly the history of America. However, one of my buddies recommended this album to me and sure enough, it is one of the finest DBT albums, Who Knew? The first track, "Bulldozers and Dirt", is one of the finest DBT songs in their collection. How I missed this album through the years, I don't know. The album even contains banjos and mandolins. Other highlights include "Box of Spiders," "Uncle Frank," "One of These Days," and "The Night GG Allin Came to Town." Grade B+