Category: "Music: Listen"

Led Zeppelin - Over the Hills and Far Away

August 29th, 2008

Led Zeppelin - Over the Hills and Far Away

If it is rare for someone to find a song that seemingly takes them to another place, I am glad to be part of the lucky few. This song takes me...well basically it takes me over the hills and far away. Whenever I hear it, be I in a good mood or bad, I just want to close my eyes* and listen. The band has so many good songs that it is often hard to pick a favorite and I like many of them. This song may not even be the one I like the most, but for whatever reason it is not like the rest.

(There are only a few songs like this for me, and though you may expect the others to be similar to this, but they are not.)

* Don't worry; I don't do it while I'm driving.

matt pond PA - If You Want Blood EP

August 1st, 2007

matt pond PA - If You Want Bloodmatt pond PA's latest full-length album recently broke into the select company of albums I listen to most. As I started to realize how much I enjoy the sound of the album, I needed more. As if right on cue, the band releases 5 new tracks (with a new LP allegedly coming in the fall).

This EP is listed on Amazon as "Limited Edition," but I haven't been able to find any details, there or elsewhere, regarding a limited release. Limited or not, I really like these songs. If Matt Pond and the gang keep this up I will be very happy. They stay creative with their lyrics and stretch their music further than many other bands today. For example, the album features drums, percussion, an organ, guitars, bass, banjo, wurlitzer, piano, keyboards, cello, a viola and two violins. This has joined Several Arrows Later in constant rotation.

01. Reading It is clear from the beginning that this EP will be more similar to the sound from Several Arrows Later than some of the band's earlier work. I like this song, but I also think it is the weakest of the 5 (but the bar on this disc gets set pretty high).

02. Magic Boyfriend This is a great song. I love the simplicity of the music and how well the vocals are featured. It is probably the front-runner for my favorite song on the disc and is currently one of my favorites not limited to this EP.

03. Everything Until the East Coast Ends While not as fun as the last track, this is still very good. I like the whole song, but the last minute (of an almost six-minute song) is my favorite part.

04. If You Live If there will be competition with Magic Boyfriend for top honors on this disc, here it is. It might not be my favorite on the EP, but it is probably the "best" of the 5 from as objective a standpoint as I can muster. I want to say that this song captures more of the "Several Arrows Later" matt pond PA sound than the others. It is almost pleadingly hopeful and it is a beautiful song. Well done, MPPA.

05. If You Want Blood The band breathes a little life back into the album here, as the tempo picks back up. This is a nice end to the disc; after the last few songs mellow you out, this brings you back.

For more exposure to matt pond PA, there are lyrics and mp3s available to download from the band's website at

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The Coral - In The Morning

April 24th, 2007

The Coral - In The Morning

I like recommendations as much as the next guy - maybe even more - but not when they crawl into my brain and won't leave. I guess I will offer my thanks to Ace, who had the poor taste to tell me about this little ditty. I cannot really say much about the song except that I like it and I feel the need to hear it over and over again. The video is ok, but nothing you've never seen before, though it does provide you with a way to sample the entire song and listen to it over and over and over...and over. I looked into a few other songs by The Coral and none did anything for me, but this one and it's catchy keyboarding won't let go. I am hooked.

Josh Rouse - She's Spanish, I'm American EP

April 13th, 2007

Josh Rouse - She's Spanish, I'm AmericanWell if your first thought is anything like mine, let me calm your nerves - this album features neither DJ Jazzy Jeff nor the Fresh Prince. What? No love for a He's the DJ, I'm The Rapper joke? You're right. That was bad. Ok, so rather than that actually being my first thought, I have been excited for this EP since I heard it was being made. Josh Rouse and Paz Suay are back at it...musically. After what I consider a successful first collaboration on Josh's latest album Subtitulo, the two teamed up for five more songs. This is a great EP.

01. Car Crash I love the jazzy beat to this song. It is a little higher tempo than material Josh has done before and despite the morbid lyrics about wanting to die in a car crash, it makes for a very refreshing sound.

02. Jon Jon They waste no time before jumping right into the second track. Everyone has a friend named Jon Jon who seems to always be in trouble and can't find his way out of a bottle right? Me neither, but this is another optimistic tune with less-than-optimistic lyrics. It is probably a theme we should get used to on this short album, especially since we're two for two on songs I like. Paz handles this one alone vocally.

03. The Ocean Always Wins A little backstory here is that Josh Rouse and Paz Suay were living in two separate places on separate continents and had agreed to move to New York City together. Before she had a chance to leave to meet him, he surprised her by moving to live with her in Spain. This song is either an accurate or fictional account of someone who is about to cross the ocean to be with the one she loves. It is beautifully sung and could put Paz Suay on your list of favorite female vocalists.

04. These Long Summer Days Josh Rouse re-enters the album vocally here. I like this song a lot. As we approach the comfort of the warmer months this is a gentle reminder of the carefree feeling summer brings.

05. Answers Josh Rouse has a very delicate and comforting voice. He showcases it very well here. I like this song, too, but just not as much as the other four on the disc. He gets a little more experimental with the sound on this track and it doesn't do much for me.

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Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block

March 28th, 2007

Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's BlockPeter Morén, Björn Yttling and John Erikkson are the three men from Northern Sweden who began making music in 1999 under the name Peter, Bjorn and John.

One of the year's most misleadingly titled releases, Writer's Block is by far the most studiously crafted of Peter Bjorn and John's three full-lengths. Channeling romanticized 60s U.S. pop through the D.I.Y. filter of 80s New Zealand indie rock, the Stockholm trio's songs are more charmingly inventive here than ever: "Young Folks" fashions bongos and whistling into an elastic groove that's simultaneously soaring and navel-gazing; "Start to Melt" lays guitars and distortion like brick and mortar; "Let's Call It Off" shuffles on a floor tom/handclap beat and a goofily catchy chorus; and every last note sounds basted in liberal doses of reverb. So PB&J aren't fooling anyone with that title: Writer's Block evokes a sense of crippled creativity without falling victim to it, capturing the feeling of being uncomfortable in your own skin and wanting to be anywhere but wherever you are.
--Stephen M. Deusner
PitchforkMedia's Top 50 Albums of 2006 (#24)

01. Writer's Block I still do not understand the need for an Intro track. At least this one is short and quiet, unlike many.

02. Objects of My Affection The music on this track has a very righteous, hold-your-head-high feel to it. It is nice when someone comes into our life and makes a positive impact. If you're looking for a song to reflect that, look no further.

03. Young Folks Young Folks is probably the best-known single from the trio. Featuring Victoria Bergsman (until recently of The Concretes), this song is regarded as one of the best of 2006 (Pitchfork #5). The lyrics on most of the album are incredibly charming and profound. This song is an excellent example of that.

04. Amsterdam "Baby went to Amsterdam..." I can't help it; I love this song. It is admittedly not as good as Young Folks, but it is my guilty pleasure track on this cd. For some reason I enjoy the non-challance of the song as it is sung very matter-of-factly.

05. Start to Melt I am not a huge fan of the noisy, screechy feel of this one. It is hard to understand, and not my favorite track, but at least it is short at just over 2 minutes.

06. Up Against the Wall I love the duality of this song. The pleading lyrics against the upbeat percussion gives you two ways to listen to this song. You can opt for the drums and bob your head or for the lyrics, but be careful you might find yourself singing along unexpectedly.

07. Paris 2004 This is a simple little song which chronicles the end of a trip and its immediate aftermath for two lovers. Not a lot happens, but they certainly emphasize the feelings they have for each other. If it were a little less repetitive I would really enjoy this song.

08. Let's Call It Off With such a wide variety of musical influences on the album, this is the song that I feel is most closely linked to Young Folks from an instrumental perspective. Lyrically they take us down a different path as they turn the page to a relationship that just didn't work out. This is a good song which works well on this album, but with this subject matter it might be hard to find a place for it on a mixtape.

09. The Chills There is a bizarrely psychadelic cloud hanging over this song that makes it almost ridiculous to listen to. I like how they added the echo element to the vocals, though. Somehow I still kind of like this song.

10. Roll the Credits This song weighs in at nearly 7 minutes long and has an instrumental intro that goes for almost one minute. With such drawn out feel, I would expect this song to actually end the disc. All of the fun and enthusiasm that went into the rest of the album was left out of this song. Place it at the end of the album so I can turn it off missing other tracks in the exchange.

11. Poor Cow This isn't the best song on the album, but it definitely doesn't deserve to be buried behind the track before it. I can't imagine that I would ever go to this song directly, but if it came on shuffle, I probable would not turn it off, unless I was doing anything that required any energy.

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OK Go - Here It Goes Again

February 21st, 2007

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

This song is probably more well known for the genius of its video than for the song's own merits, but at least for OK Go the song is well known. I like the song a good deal and enjoy turning up the volume if only for this one track (but secretly I LOVE the video just like everyone else). Either way you choose to enjoy the song, I hope you do enjoy it.

Outwork - Elektro

December 18th, 2006

Outwork - Elektro ft. Mr Gee

Even though the video leaves much to be desired, I like this song a lot. I guess you could always watch this version instead; it may hold your interest better. I happened upon the song using my most-likely-not-to-be-renewed free subscription to a satelite radio service. While I only dabble in the electronic genres, I am surely a sucker for a fun dance song. And no, that doesn't mean I will dance for you. I think the proper remix would have a room full of party-goers bouncing off each other excitedly. This is a fun track you may enjoy if you like to turn the volume up and let the music pulse through your body.

Hellogoodbye - Here (In Your Arms)

December 4th, 2006

Hellogoodbye - Here (In Your Arms)

We may have found another track to add to the cd we wanted to build around Beating Heart Baby. Alas, I think I am sufficiently over the desire I once had to put "BHB" on a cd, so my timing could have been better. Regardless, Hellogoodbye gives us a fun song about a girl. Unlike many songs about girls, "Here" is complete with strange electronic music and a video set at a summer camp that featured a bully who lords over the camp because of his prowess with Pogs (you expected something else, maybe?). Anyway, the song is a good way. I dig it. Check it out.

John Legend - Once Again

November 17th, 2006

In 2005 John Legend won 3 Grammy Awards. He won for Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance on his song "Ordinary People" and Best R&B Album for Get Lifted. Both of Legend's albums have been released under Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label. Get Lifted was a great album, but I think Once Again is better. John Legend - Once Again

a href="">Save Room As the music starts, don't be startled. You are still sitting on your couch, or driving your car. You have not been physically transported to inside an elevator, it is just the song and it will pass. But before you know it you'll want to be sure you have someone in your life into whose eyes you may gaze while you sing along.

02. Heaven There is comfort in John Legend's voice and it comes through in this song. I am not a huge fan of the hollow, tin sounding female support singing "Heaven only knows," but it works well enough.

03. Stereo My guess is that you will be hard-pressed to find a song where you can feel the singer's passion like you can in this song. Listening to this song and this album you, too, will fall in love with your stereo.

04. Show Me While pleading for someone to show him that they love him, Legend shows us how comfortable he is in his upper vocal range.

05. Each Day Gets Better This is the track you will want to take not of on this album. This should be the new relationship anthem. Guys, if you don't get a copy of the album, at least get this song. If your girl has out grown the legend Barry White, try this Legend's "Each Day Gets Better."

06. P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care) This is really the first track on the album where we see the rusty sound in Legend's voice that delighted so many in the Grammy winning "Ordinary People," though it is in short supply. It comes out more later in the album. Gents, this is another track with which to woo your special lady friend.

07. Slow Dance Smooth. Let's drop everything so our arms are free for each other. It's a great message and a great song.

08. Again This song slows the album; it changes the pace and the tone. The first song with conflict in the lyrics is just another way for John Legend to show his versatility on the album.

09. Maxine The jazzier sound here could make this a song you would hear in a more up-scale bar/club/restaurant. It's a good song with a slower tempo.

10. Where Did My Baby Go This is probably my favorite song on the album. It is not the most up-beat subject matter, but it is one of the higher-energy songs. Probably the highest compliment I could pay John Legend is saying that this song is reminiscent of Sam Cooke. It also brings back that rusty, off-key singing that Legend does so well. I love this song.

11. Maxine's Interlude I am not sure why this was added to the album, except for dramatic feel to this story-told-in-an-album. At under 2 minutes, it is not too obtrusive, but I still usually skip this track when I listen to the album.

12. Another Again This is a good song. It is a shame that is on this album because it is overshadowed by so many of the other songs. And maybe if you haven't heard "Prototype," from OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, you won't mind how similar the music is.

13. Coming Home This is a beautiful song with which to end this story. There is more emotion here than in most of the other tracks, which makes sense as the album/story comes to its grand conclusion.

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New Found Glory - Too Good To Be

October 6th, 2006

New Found Glory - Too Good To Be

New Found Glory, the pop-punk band from Florida, has released a new album. Each album seems to be a bit slower than the last, but that is not to say they are not as good as the ones that came before. A definite highlight from the new album, Coming Home, is Too Good To Be. The song is more of a ballad than most of the songs they have released and I love it. Really the only thing that links this song to New Found Glory is Jordan's voice. You could easily mistake this song for a different band; it would definitely appeal to a broader audience. It quickly made the short list of songs I cannot stop playing right now.