I have some thoughts on several albums and pretty much all of them are positive.
The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream: This album is super sonically pleasing and catchy. But there's still something a bit Don Henly about it all that keeps me from fully losing myself in it. I think once I get over that and settle in I'll be good. The production is really warm which makes me kind of wanna get the LP because I know it's going to jump out at you and nestle softly in your ears. This warrants way more listens.
Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else: This is one of my favorites so far and I fully connect with Dylan's lyrics. He writes some of the most memorable melodies. It feels so good to hear songs concerned with self preservation and moving past sulking. Simple sentiments come across strong in this one. It's more straight forward and aggressive. I love it. Can we mention the drumming on this and Attack On Memory? He is sneaky good. And I dunno what's going on with the way he he crashes his ride cymbal but it certainly fills up a lot of space during the builds. This may just be me. Killer record overall.
Sun Kil Moon - Benji: My favorite release so far. Not a lot I can say that hasn't already been expressed here. I do want to express some counter to the feelings of certain lyrics that could be deemed cringeworthy. I think the bluntness of Mark's thoughts should be taken at face value. And while he can be extremely clever and poetic, most lines are just him telling it like it is. It's writing exactly what you're thinking with seemingly little editing. There's something really cool about that. When he's talking about a good fuck and oral sex on Dogs, it's such an honest and common male reflection on past loves it's scary how spot on he is. Whether or not other listeners feel like it's too much or undeserving to be written about, that's up to you of course. And I haven't had a bigger shit eating grin on my face than when I heard the first several lines of Micheline. The Paul McCartney line makes me crack up and it's one of the fondest most vivid moments of the year for me.
Perfect Pussy - Say Yes To Love:
I started listening to this just last week and it's so demanding of attention. And that's not just because of the unintelligible vocals going on, but how attacking the entire band sounds. Just wild hardcore punk and they sound tight. It takes you by the shoulders and pushes you to the ground, not to kick you, but to motivate you to get back up again. The ethos is fantastic. The guitars are fucking nuts. I'm loving the shit out of it. You can feel them using their entire bodies to bombard everyone within earshot. I can't wait to get my hands on a lyric sheet. They are a force and I'm going to try like hell to gather my pennies together and catch them in LA on Thursday.
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra...Fuck Off Get Free...:Such a huge album. I never heard anything from them prior to this. Although I understand and sympathize, I think it's kind of weird that some people can't get past the vocals considering how much mind fucking music everyone listens to in the board. It's really not that bad for me. But I've never had a problem with Craig Finn or Patrick Stickles so I dunno. Lots of layers and soaring melodies. Really fucked up imagery everywhere. What We Loved Was Not Enough is one of the best songs this year. It's so tragic and beautiful and it doesn't drag or lose steam. I feel like people are going to forget or sleep on this one. I hope I'm wrong.
Cheatahs - Cheatahs: I get the love for this. It's all of the best sounds of the 90s. I enjoy this record but I don't love it. I think the production is the essence and majority of what makes this record a sweet listen. There are catchy guitar hooks and riffs. The Swan is an awesome track. My problem is the songs do blend into each other a bit and the melodies don't stick with me most of the time. This is a problem with Morning Phase too. Essentially the song writing could be stronger. I don't agree with a retread of sounds/style being a bad thing. It's practically unavoidable and if something is done well I think we can still appreciate it.
St. Vincent - St. Vincent:
I love Annie's exploration and transformation into this higher being art-pop-rock queen. The riffs are still there and now she's got all the David Byrneness oozing out of her. More of an infectious and upbeat, even danceable tracks on here. I love the beautiful shimmer on the Regret chorus. Digital Witness is easily a top ten track of the year so far. I'm on board with Fantano thinking that some of the ballads fall short, especially I Prefer Your Love. Her voice sounds incredible but i don't find the melody all that interesting. How about that riff at the end of Huey Newton? Fuck is that shit heavy. A strong pivotal album that makes me really excited to see where she goes next.
Ok I think I'll stop.