May has been the month of some great new music albums, from some of my favorite people! In wanting to actually buy the cd's for once, this has made my bank account tiny, but my ears so content. I thought I might give a little run-down on some albums lately, and my stylistic interpretation of them. I even made handy photoshopped Album Cover Comics!
Firstly, Bjork's new album Volta was released last week. It features Bjork in a huge plastic creature-suit on the cover and wacky typography (if you can't read it it must be a cool font!). The music on this album is more raw, improvisational, and just a little bit underdeveloped, but hey, there's also an electronic thumb-piano player, a pipa player, the clavichord, and an all-female brass band. So in other words it's typical Icelandic fare and I'm obsessed with it.
Tori Amos' new album, American Doll Posse features multiple personalities (when do they not?), a more rock-heavy flair of electric guitars, and a very grey cover of multiple Toris, including one Tori holding a rooster. Which I can only presume symbolizes 'cock'. I thought I wouldn't like this album, but its more poppy songs are beginning to grow on me, as are the rest of the 23 tracks on the cd. Also growing on me is the 'typewriter' font of the album cover. Not growing on me is mold, small children, or the fact that Tori doesn't seem to want to actually 'play' the piano in a pianistic way anymore. What ever happened to the notes on the piano above, say A5?
A new artist, Mika, has an album out called Life in Cartoon Motion, which has been out for quite some time but is new to me. So here is my interpretation of the Rainbows! Color! Disregard for Color Schemes! cover that is the album. Some of the songs are quite infectious, as are his hit singles 'Lollipop' and 'Grace Kelly', but I prefer songs like 'Relax' which have a distinctly 'everything good about the 80's' sound to them, which is sort of a combination of sexy/gay/Eurochic/Freddie Mercury/piano/electronic. He can also sing about three octaves higher than I can and make it sound completely off-the-cuff. Thus, I love to hate/hate to love him.
Finally, Feist has a new Cd out called The Reminder, which I'm loving in all of its glamorous, yet shabbychic way. Feist's works can convey so many influences without smacking you in the face with them. Contained within 45 minutes is jazz (a great cover of Nina Simone's 'See-Line/Sea-Lion Woman'), blues, French crooner pop, bossa nova, '60's folk, new indie pop, and my personal favorite, songs that make you get up and dance in choreographed motions, as if the whole world was a music video.
In addition, I still have to go listen to Laura Veirs' new album, Saltbreakers, 'cause who doesn't love rock songs about manatees, glaciers, and igneous rocks? I don't know of anyone!
There just better not be any other new music I want to listen to coming out soon, or I'm going to have to go back to waiting in line for the 23 holds of The Shins CD at the Carnegie Public Library before it comes to me through Interlibrary Loan. With luck, I'll get that album in a year.