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May 09, 2011


Do You Hear What I Hear?

  • Def Leppard -

    Def Leppard: Hysteria
    It only took me 25 years, but I finally picked up Hysteria the other week... and it's everything I hoped and feared it would be. Does it sound awesome? Holy hell yes, it sounds awesome — every explosive drumbeat, chiming/echoing guitar lick and Joe Elliott high note seguing perfectly into a creamy, harmony-driven chorus sounds like the word "awesome" would sound if awesome was a sound. But is it also stupid? Well... yes. Honestly, the lyrics on this album are nothing shy of appalling — bottoming out with immortal "You've got the peaches, I've got the cream" couplet from Pour Some Sugar On Me. (cringes) But when you turn off your brain and allow yourself to get caught up in the gorgeous awesome of all that sound... the appeal of Def Leppard becomes crystal clear.

  • Alcest -

    Alcest: Les Voyages de L'ame
    Honestly, I'm running out of ways to describe this music to you. I can call it shoegaze-metal, but that may not mean a thing to you. I can tell you it fuses the aggression and (occasional) blood-curdling screaming of one genre with the gorgeous melodics, atmosphere and graceful, haunting vocals of the other. I can tell you that the fact that it's (mostly) in French doesn't do a damned bit to detract from the breathtaking beauty and emotional resonance of the music, which stands up to the impossibly high standards set by Alcest's first two albums. I can tell you all of this and more, but unless you give yourself the opportunity to actually listen to what they've created... you'll never really understand why Alcest may be my favorite band in the world right now.

  • Billy Squier -

    Billy Squier: Essential Billy Squier
    I finally got my act together a picked up some Billy Squier. And you know what? His best songs hold up beauuuutifully. This is Rawk music with a capital R, and there's not a damned thing wrong with that. Everybody Wants You, In The Dark, The Stroke, Learn How To Live... I can't believe I waited this long to bring this music back into my life. Awesome.

  • A Winged Victory for the Sullen -

    A Winged Victory for the Sullen: A Winged Victory for the Sullen
    My 2011 album of the year. Achingly gorgeous neo-classical compositions designed to leave you on the verge of tears. I've been listening to it almost non-stop for months; you should do the same.

  • Hammock -

    Hammock: Longest Year EP
    There are few things more frustrating than trying to describe the gorgeous, evocative and profoundly atmospheric post-rock music of Hammock without A) resorting to clichés that, while not necessarily inaccurate, do little to accurately describe the listening experience; or B) having the musical vocabulary to adequately describe just what it is about these lengthy, largely wordless compositions that hypnotizes and moves me so profoundly. So I'll just say: imagine a film. No words; just images. Flashing, semi-grainy images of someone from your past — impossibly beautiful, vibrant and full of life. Someone lost to you forever. Imagine that feeling, of love and impossible longing and desperate, hopeless desire to recapture that moment and make it last forever. Now hunt down the title track to this EP, close your eyes, and listen. And you will know: this is the music for that feeling.

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