And the winner is:
Deerhoof – “Breakup Songs.” Short and to the boogie-woogie-point, the point being your butt.
Cat Power’s “Sun.” I saw Chan Marshall in concert in 1997, and I saw her on the street last year near my home. Better-looking through chemistry. Better albums? Maybe. “Sun” departs from the soul formula of her last two albums, which, while admirable, had me listening no longer than I would to a Norah Jones album (34.6 seconds). ‘Sun’ also returns to the complex, beat-rich arrangements found intermittently on “Moon Pix,” and includes the melancholy drama abandoned after “You Are Free.” And then there’s auto-tune and Moog stuff. Which is okay. It’s her Radiohead album. It’s an ok listen. And SFJ of the New Yorker was listening to a different album than I was, his talents eroding after challenging his I Am Critic! muscles by repeatedly wasting words on technically un-reviewable pop pap like One Direction.
Jens Lekman – ” I Know What Love Isn’t.” Lekman lost heart halfway though this album, it seems. “He Don’t Want You Anymore” is among his best songs, but the rest aren’t. I can’t listen to Paul Simon’s “Heart and Bones” all the way through, and I bet you can’t, either.
Bob Mould -“Silver Age.” One of my sad,old-guy achievements: Still a teenager, I saw Sir Bob live in 1990(89? 91?) at the now-defunct Marquee with Tony Maimone and Anton Fier his only accompaniment. My ears rang for days, and as a 7th grader I saw Fascist Nugent, and he’s a pussy compared to Mould in the volume department. My achievement? I haven’t lead a champion’s life, but life has lead me far enough to name-drop: Mould is a friend of a friend, Maimone is a friend of a friend, and that night’s semi-famous opening band’s svengali is now married to my wife’s boss. I was still in more movies than any of them, though. They could name drop me if they dig 80s B-movie horror flicks.
And the “Silver Age” album? Once in a blue moon I dig hanging out with that old friend who goes by the name “The 90s,” but it’s still sad since he sounds slightly off, and maybe that’s age, and it only makes me wanna go home and forget about time and not see him again for a while. Trick metaphors aside, “Copper Blue” is being reissued, and so hurrah, but then for me (and maybe you?) Mould’s defining Sugar-moment was the ‘Beaster’ EP, which was not topped by anything he did post-Husker aside from “Workbook” and most of “Black Sheets of Rain.”
The Loser: Animal Collective. No comment.