Saturday, September 30, 2006

New Release - Lenine - MTV Unplugged

Singer, composer, arranger, musician and producer - few artists are acknowledged talents in so many differnt areas. The Recife-born Lenine has become one of the stars of Brazilian popular music, acclaimed by the public, the press, his fellow artists and tastemakers alike. He is considered one of the standard bearers of the Brazilian scene for the 21st century, combining original music with the rhythm of Northeast Brazil over a base of rock, pop and electronica. He has been influenced and inspired by everything from pop and rock to Massive Attack and Gilberto Gil.
This MTV Unplugged (only available in Brazil for now) has been just released. To me, hearing such beautiful unplugged versions of his classic songs, it's amazing... it literally gave me goose bumps. Lenine FOR ALL... Musically speaking, he's way beyond anyone in Brazil now.
+ Hoje eu Quero Sair Só
+ Paciência (Cristina Braga plays harp)
+ Jack Soul Brasileiro

"New" Release - KLEE - Honeysuckle

Klee hails from Cologne, Germany and this is her first album. It came to my attention after visiting SPIN's service for emusic. I though it was a cool cover, so I checked it inside... I was gladly surprise by the combination of electro-pop+feminine german vocals and amusical cascade of guitars and synthesizers showcases extraordinary beauty not unlike a Paul Klee masterwork (which the band's name is derived from). Fans of Depeche Mode, Camera Obscura. Check out this great review.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

U2 - ZOO TV Tour Live From Sidney (DVD)

Although I haven't seen this DVD yet, it's promising to be another great release by U2. They have always been on the top 5 favorite bands for me and it's great to see The Zoo TV on DVD and the nice work to put up this one together.
+ U2 - "One"
+ U2 Live 1993 - Royal Dublin Showground (from Zooropa tour)
+ Check it out the trailer!

The Killers - Sam's Town (The First Listen)

It's a known fact that the long-awaited 2nd album by The Killers will result in quite a few reviews and comments everywhere.
Here's my 2% on the album:

1) Sam's Town - is a great opening track reaffirming them on their best - distorted, anthem-like guitars and synths all over with lots of overdubs! At the end, you could tell they might have listen to the "Yellow Submarine" tracks by the Beatles.
2) Enterlude - "We hope you enjoy your stay..." is a quick piano+vocals cheasy song, inviting the listener for this CD "it's pleasure to have you with us even if it's just for a day". Perhaps a little too obvious...
3) When You Were Young - should be known by everyone by now. Heavy references to Springsteen. For those who are fans of that, they'll eat this up. If you're not, you'll probably focus on the fact that the instrumentation is pretty good, probably the best part of the song. It's well produced, with strings and synth and changing dynamics and everything.
4) Bling (Confessions of a King) - It's certainly one of the best tracks of the new album. Clear influences of U2 here with the delay effects on the guitar (aka the Edge).

5) For Reasons Unknown - The beat, synths and the way Brandon sings reminds me a lot of Mr Brightside (especially when they get to the chorus), almost the same progression on chords.
6) Read My Mind - Another great track. Simple with the great hooks present in the previous album.
7) Uncle Johnny - Maybe a filler?!? It has all the characteristics...
8) Bones - Their second single for Sam's Town. It was recently announced the recording of the videoclip under the direction of Tim Burton, the director behind goth flicks Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. The song itself, hum.. average at best... repetitive with the horns and trumpets. I would expect a lot more the be chosen as the 2nd single.
9) My List - a regular track, good hooks but not impressive again.
10) This River is Wild - This one could be on Hot Fuss without problems. Glad that I made on this album, bringing some hope that it will get better towards the end, right? SPIN called it "the most hysterical track".
11) Why Do I Keep Counting - Great harmonization of the backing vocals with the Beatles influences scattered through the song. A good song to close a concert and the CD, hey but not yet...
12) Exitlude - "I hope you enjoyed your stay...", again too obvious and totally unnecessary. Well, is their choice right?

As Rolling Stone stated (**/5) at the end of their review "On Sam's Town they seem like they're trying to make a big statement, except they have nothing to say - and who thought a band as shrewd as the Killers would fall into such an obvious trap?".

I'm underwhelmed by this album... and certainly expected much more.

+ The Killers - "When You Were Young"
+ The Killers - "Sam's Town"
+ The Killers - "Bling (Confessions of a King)"

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Lake House (OST)

I just finished watching this movie with my sweetie. The movie itself is a romantic, warm, and somewhat supernatural... Like all good romantic movies there’s a beautiful house on the lake and a cuddly dog. Good writing, great direction, sweet cinematography and good acting -- even by Keanu. However, what touched me the most was the soundtrack!
They included The Clientele, Nick Drake, Eels but what stands out is the song by the great Macca. This Never Happened Before which appeared on his last year's album "Chaos And Creation In The Backyard", sets up the atmosphere in the slow dancing scene which happens in the past. The rest of the album is made up of Rachel Portman's intimately romantic score.
+ Paul McCartney - This Never Happened Before
+ Official movie's website
+ Buy OST here!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Diana Krall and How Insensitive...

Diana Krall (aka Mrs Costello) did a phenomenal job recording this classical brazilian masterpiece (Insensatez) from our master of bossa-nova Tom Jobim, with lyrics by Vinícius de Moraes. "How Insensitive" has a natural beauty and swing which blends so well with Diana's velvety voice.

How insensitive I must have seemed when she told me that she loved me
How unmoved and cold I must have seemed when she told me so sincerely
Why? She must have asked did I just turn and stare in icy silence?
What was I to say what can you say when a love affair is over
Now she's gone away And I'm alone with a memory of her last look
Vague and drawn and sad I see it still all her heartbreak in that last look
How, she must have asked could I just turn and stare in icy silence
What was I to do, what can you do when a love affair is over

+ [MP3] Diana Krall - How Insensitive

The Decemberists and their new album (The Crane Wife)

The Decemberists are from Portland, Oregon and are releasing The Crane Wife on October 3, to continue Colin Meloy's literary rock journey, their fourth LP. The album is promised to fill 60 minutes with eleven tracks. Donning their usual vintage wear, this release is their first major label bow with Capitol Records since leaving Kill Rock Stars.
Picaresque, their last album (which I listened exaustively) was produced by Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) and boy... he can make any good band sound like a great band!
(All from Picaresque)
+ [MP3] On the Bus Mall
+ [MP3] The Soldiering Life
+ [MP3] The Engine Driver
+ Check out the new single "O Valencia" at their MySpace website.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pilot Speed or Pilate?

Formely known as "Pilate" this Canadian band's origin came from far east... Pilot Speed's lead singer-songwriter Todd Clark who was born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand's capital. Their sound is a mix of U2 with Coldplay with Snow Patrol with the new electro-pop-rock, whatever.... The scorching first single, "Barely Listening," with Clark's explosive vocals backed by Greenough's staccato, lashing guitar and Keeley and Bumrah's driving, lock-step rhythm is emblematic of the album and already a Top Twenty radio hit in Canada.
Give them a try.
+ [MP3] "Barely Listening"
+ [MP3] "Knife-Grey Sea"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Check these 2 great pop albums just out by Carbon Leaf and New London Fire!

Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat

The band's songwriting and musicianship takes another great leap forward on this record with compelling new tunes. A great pop album, enjoyable with good harmonies and backing vocals. The band's songwriting and musicianship takes another great leap forward on this album with compelling new tunes that explore the often-turbulent emotions of the human heart. Produced by Peter Collins (Queensryche, Jewel, Lisa Loeb).
+ Official website
+ Check the exclusive performance here!

I Sing the Body Hollographic

Though primarily a pop record, I Sing features a dose of the overdone disco-punk genre, thanks in part to the instrumentation. While the vocals and melodies are strangely Brit-pop, the backing tracks are full of drum machines, keyboards and frolicking bass lines. New London Fire manage to be a fairly unremarkable hybrid of Franz Ferdinand, Blur and the Postal Service.
+ New London Fire - Different
+ New London Fire - We don't bleed
+ New London Fire - Sing The Body Holographic
+ Official website
+ website

Sunday, September 17, 2006

John Mayer - Slow Dancing in a Burning Room (Live)

Here is the video of his performance @ Webster Hall in NYC on Sept 13th 2006. Thanks Ajax!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Beck - Sea Change (FTL - Part 3)

(****/5 stars)
Sea Change was reportedly written in a heat following the end of a long relationship, and it sounds like it; the disc takes a heartbroken stretch of days and compresses them down to album size, in a way that might have sounded oppressive in its self-pity if Beck were any less assured.

Working again with Nigel Godrich, producer of the similarly delicate but otherwise divergent Mutations, Beck swaddles the hurt in a lush assortment of elements that would sound like Babel under anyone else's direction. Steel guitars meet Morricone strings, and beneath it all, Beck sings the blues.

+ Lost Cause (Live)
+ The Golden Age (Live)
+ Pink Moon (Nick Drake cover)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left (FTL - Part 2)

Continuing the series of the CD's I ran across in my library, here's what I've got.

(*****/5 stars)

Rarely has an album been recorded that is more tragically self-aware than Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left. The title refers to the marking on the inside of a packet of cigarette rolling papers that indicates only five more remain; a prophetic title indeed, given that five years after the release of his stunning debut album, Nick Drake would be dead at the age of 26.

Nick Drake was more of a poet than a performer, shy and introverted, and terrified of playing before an audience. It is lucky and ironic that during one of his infrequent gigs he was spotted by a member of established English folksters, Fairport Convention, who convinced their producer Joe Boyd to give Drake a listen. Boyd was impressed enough with Drake's demo tape that he
signed him to a contract in 1968 and set to working with Nick on his debut album.

Drake's sensitive guitar work and sensitive vocals are backed by the baroque sounds of a chamber string group, and the platter's lyrics show maturity well beyond the age of their 20-year-old creator. Newcomers be forewarned: this music is as infectious as it is bleak.

+ 'Cello song (4.48) [mp3]
+ River man (4.01) [mp3]