Muchness Dump: 2007; Thus Far (Music)

Thus far into the year, we can look back together and decide on what we think to be the best albums and films of the year so far, and what the major disappointments so far have been, and this is the theme of my post today. This week there will be a post every day hopefully, as I am spending a few extra hours in work to make up for my Friday off this week to see off Hazel into the blue yonder of world travelling for 10 weeks. It might be less if I make it out there, but that is up in the air at the moment.

Album of the Year: Disappointment

This year has been a massive mix of downloading albums and listening to new bands, which are slowly shaping the way my music is falling. Artists such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Kronos Quartet and Peatbog Faeries are so different from anything I used to listen to, and anything I know anyone else listening to, it makes me feel like a pariah. In this new, bolder, more individual musical landscape, which looks post apocalyptic, with dead trees and blood pouring out of the hands of the rich, I find it harder to accept mainstream artists for what they are. This is where I find my self loosing faith in bands I would have otherwise been shouting their success from the roof tops. On this note, my most disappointing album of the year is probably the new Arctic Monkeys album.

So similar to their last album, so hyped up it was intrusive, and so simple, I think I may be missing the point of the whole affair. His lyrics are “smart”, which means they are about things the reviewer does not understand, and “innovative”, which means that the reviewer has not listened to someone talk about real life of the 20something for a long time. According to some the music is “intricate”, but with single string guitar riffs, and partially indulgent drum rhythms, the only thing going for the band is the slightly off normal time signatures that the band does use. It is not the best album of the year, not even the best album of the month of its release, and it angers me when they are hailed as the best band around.

Album of the Year: Best

There are two that strike me as being excellent, and both are equally opposite, so both will be mentioned here. The first is the incredible second LP from LCD Soundsystem, “Sound of Silver”. The punk infused rock dance that was the surprise of the debut is more complex, and the lyrics are far further reaching than the debut, and some of the arrangements are more akin to The Beatles than Daft Punk. The albums opener, Get Innocuous! Is possibly the best track to start a night out with, and would feature on my set list if I was a DJ – I fail anyone to not start tapping their foot at around 1.47 when the second bass line kicks in. Someone Great is an insanely deep track for a “dance” band, and the albums outro is like Lou Reed. I have not even mentioned All My Friends, which is the albums stand out track.

Secondly, Modest Mouse have taken some of the best parts of their previous efforts and polished them, shouted them back into a mirror, chewed some cocaine, and bought loads of Smith records. Johnny Marr taking task with the band is a match that initially I was suspect about, but listening to Fly Trapped in a Jar, and Steam Engenius are two of the best songs of the year, not forgetting the incredible three song piece Spitting Venom, and the beautiful Florida.

Tomorrow, I will chat about the best and worst films of the year, and on Wednesday rant about something in Insanity Crash, and maybe startle you with a tale of anonymity in a office where your voice gets drowned out by the suffocating silence.