Archives

Purchase log, 2024-02-27

[Nakamori Akina - CRUISE]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

Catalog

CD
  • Adam Lambert, For Your Entertainment
  • Big Star, Third / Sister Lovers
  • Daniel Bedingfield, Gotta Get Thru This
  • Janelle Monáe, The ArchAndroid
  • Marilyn Manson, Smells Like Children
  • Matt Pond PA, Emblems
  • Robbie Williams, Rudebox
Vinyl
  • Olivia Rodrigo, GUTS
  • The Damned, Machine Gun Etiquette
  • Tyler Childers, Rustlin’ in the Rain

Reissues

CD
  • Nakamori Akina, CRUISE (2024 Lacquer Master Sound)
  • Nakamori Akina, Fushigi (2023 Lacquer Master Sound)
  • Taylor Swift, Midnights (The Late Night Edition)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Favorite Edition 2023 Year Final

[SYML - The Day My Father Died]

Two things prevented me from really exploring new releases of 2023: working on my own music and discovering the work of Brian Fennell, id est SYML.

My iPod Touch has a playlist of unreleased Observant Records tracks that at one point lasted 2 hours. I have an EP, a reissue and a number of singles ready to unleash over the next two years. So I’ve been working in my own monkey house for a while, which means I’m probably losing perspective on how good this work may be.

Back in 2019, SYML released his debut album and showed up on a number of my social media feeds. My reaction: Oh, he’s cute. When he showed up again in 2023, I decided to listen to The Day My Father Died. I’ve since gone back and listened to his back catalog and also the albums he recorded with the band Barcelona.

So it’s just been me and Brian Fennell for most of 2023.

SYML, The Day My Father Died

When I first put The Day My Father Died on the half-year list, I hadn’t yet explored SYML’s self-titled debut. Now that I have, I actually like that album a bit more, but it didn’t stop The Day My Father Died from consistently getting multiple plays on my media players. Fennell has a great voice, and he’s a great songwriter. But his songs are so well-suited for his voice, it’s hard to imagine someone else covering his work. Still, it makes for some engrossing listening.

Kelela, Raven

My first play of the album was underwhelming, but I gave it another few spins, and before I knew it, the album had seeped into my consciousness. Nothing on this album stands out as a chart-topper, but in its entirety, Raven has a seductive quietude.

Eluvium, (whirring Marvels in) Consensus Reality

Eluvium albums tend to be more meditative, but this one goes for epic gestures. And it’s a welcome change.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Weathervanes

Jason Isbell is similar to Emmylou Harris in how they both don’t really make bad albums. But Weathervanes made me rethink just how much I liked the albums preceding it. Both The Nashville Sound and Reunions had reached the year-end favorite list, but Weathervanes has an emotional core about as raw and vulnerable as Southeastern, his breakthrough album that turned 10 in 2023. It’s probably his best album since Southeastern.

Everything But the Girl, Fuse

Do I like this album more than Walking Wounded, Amplified Heart or Temperamental? No. But Ben and Tracey reuniting is just the balm we need for the start of the 2020s.

Kesha, Gag Order

I love it when pop stars have genuine axes to grind, and Kesha comes out swinging.

Soundtrack, BLEACH: THE BLOOD WARFARE I

BLEACH: Thousand Year Blood War is the only scripted television show I watch, and I have been enjoying the conclusion of the BLEACH storyline immensely. A lot of the music on the soundtrack is familiar to anyone who’s watched the show for any length of time, but the stakes raised in the story means the score has to rise to the occasion. So real orchestra players come in where synthesizers held court, and Sagisu Shiro’s score gets more intense as a result.

Danish String Quartet, Prism V

Over the course of five albums, Danish String Quartet explored the connections between Beethoven and Bach on composers that came centuries in their wake. In this final edition, the quartet pairs Beethoven’s Op. 135 quartet with a quartet by Anton Webern written before Arnold Schoenberg’s influence would take a strong hold. As such, the Webern link to Beethoven and Bach is clearer than the ones the Danish drew with Bela Bartok, Dmitri Shostakovich or Alfred Schnittke.

Vagaon, Sorry I Haven’t Called

If you liked Vagabon’s self-titled album , this album doesn’t disappoint. Lætitia Tamko occupies that nebulous space between pop and indie rock navigated by the likes of Solange, Jamila Woods and Sampha (the latter who also released albums in 2023.)

The Drums, Jonny

The singles preceding this album’s release were some of Jonathan Pierce’s catchiest, and the rest of the album is no slouch. Plus, the album cover is quite … honest. I like it.

More favorites:

  • Olivia Rodrigo, GUTS: I’m not the target audience for Rodrigo’s lyrics, but man she sure gives us olds that big rock sound.
  • NUMBER GIRL, Mujo no Hi: Yes, “Toumei Shoujou” shows up four times on this live set, and yes, each iteration sounds as vital as the one before it.
  • Troye Sivan, Something to Give Each Other: I like the cover of this album too.
  • Jamila Woods, Water Made Us: Did you like Legacy! Legacy!? This one is good too.
  • Queens of the Stone Age, In Times New Roman …: Recommended if you like … Like Clockwork.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Purchase log, 2023-11-28

[The Donnas - Get Skintight]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New releases

Vinyl
  • Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels, The Last Roundup: Life from the Bijou Cafe in Philadelphia, 3/16/73
  • INXS, Shabooh Shoobah Rarities
  • Joni Mitchell, Court and Spark Demos
  • Linkin Park, Lost Demos
  • Olivia Rodrigo, GUTS: The Secret Tracks

Catalog

CD
  • Alice in Chains, Sap
  • Huey Lewis and the News, Hard at Play
  • Tracey Thorn, Out of the Woods
Vinyl
  • Grace Jones, Island Life
  • Hüsker Dü, Metal Circus

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Justin Townes Earle, Yuma
  • Meat Puppets, Forbidden Places
  • The Donnas, Get Skintight
  • The Jesus Lizard, Blue

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,