David Crowder Band: Double Take, The Velvet Underground & Nico, Sandra McCracken: The Builder & The Architect, George Michael: Ladies & Gentlemen – The Best of George Michael, Coldplay: Viva la Vida, My Morning Jacket: Evil Urges
After an itunes Christmas I was left with a healthy itunes balance. I made it all the way to June before exhausting the generosity of family and friends. This post will serve as part review, part confession. See: Michael, George
The six selections pictured above are the purchases I’ve made since my last music post. Double Take is the first album pictured and it really isn’t an album at all; it is a special deal Apple does that combines two albums and sells it for the price of one and a half. I am a sucker for sales so I was unable to resist the package of the Can You Hear Us? and Collision albums by the David Crowder Band. The songs are upbeat, fun worship songs that the more cynical person might find cheesy. Not me though, I’m a fan.
I was compelled to buy The Velvet Underground & Nico (pictured second) and My Morning Jacket albums (pictured last) because of the law of three. On three separate occasions I heard or experienced positive things from reputable sources about the Velvet Underground and My Morning Jacket. The three Velvet Underground occasions are more interesting so I’ll share those.
1. A few years ago when David Gray walked on-stage at the Fox Theatre to a brilliant John Cale song, Big White Cloud. Cale was a founding member of the Velvet Underground.
2. ‘I’m Sticking With You’ featured on the Juno soundtrack that I thoroughly enjoy.
3. ‘Heroin’ was rated the 77th best song of the 1960s by Pitchfork.
So you see I had no choice. I have listened to the album three or four times through and I enjoy it but I do not know enough about music to truly appreciate the album. Similarly, if I am not an early adopter I am reticent to fully embrace an artist and that is my problem with MMJ. I’ve gotten over this petty pathetic-ness in the past and probably will again thanks to great songs like ‘Smokin from Shootin’ and ‘Librarian’ which kind of reminds me of the Velvet Underground. What I especially appreciate about the album is the diversity of songs and sounds that remain distinctively MMJ.
I’m not overly impressed with Sandra McCracken’s album of worship songs, The Builder & The Architect. One of my favorite songs to sing in church is ‘I Boast No More’; it is on the album with the same arrangement we sing but McCracken’s version leaves me wanting more. Red Mountain Church’s similar projects are much more gripping. Not a terrible album and certainly easy to listen to, but nothing I’d recommend.
I bought the best of George Michael after his appearance on American Idol. I confessed the purchase with a facebook status update. Obviously that confession did not do the trick since I am confessing it again. Who can deny the catchiness of ‘Faith’, ‘Father Figure’ and ‘Freedom’? George also won points from me for making fun of himself on a hilarious episode of The Extras.
Viva la Vida, the new Coldplay album is solid. It is undeniably Coldplay but branches out into new, deeper sounds enough that I am not bored. There is not a bad song on the album; Violet Hill is my favorite: the pounding piano, Chris Martin’s falsetto voice, the mix of quiet and loud…who can turn away from that?