June 2024 - Albums I have listened to

  1. I'm not quite sure what to make of this album just yet.

    In the first listen, I was not terribly impressed. "It sounds like every other Decemberists album," I said to myself after three or four tracks in. However, that might just be because Colin Meloy always sounds like Colin Meloy.

    I listened to the album again yesterday and this morning and I like it a little better. Most bands tend to get pegged to a particular era and I think the Decemberists have really just never escaped that early- to mid-2000s sound. Their particular brand of chamber pop is really of its era. That is not necessarily bad but I think it can sound a bit precious these days.

    Obviously, I am pretty ambivalent on this album. It is better than I originally thought but I don't think it will stay in any rotation for me. The Crane Wife remains my favorite Decemberists album; the tracks I like best on this one remind me of that album so I would probably be inclined to just listen to that one.

  2. Cardiac Arrest

    I generally prefer black metal over death metal and while I am not offended by gross-out lyrics and album art, I tend not to have a lot of respect for bands that rely on these sorts of shock-value tactics because they strike me as lazy at best.

    All of which is context for the fact that I put this album on expecting not to like it too much.

    Imagine my surprise, then, when it turned out to be pretty good. I'm sure the lyrics where are super gross but the singing is—in the great death metal tradition—mostly unintelligible and Apple Music doesn't have any lyrics for this album. That means I am free to enjoy it.

  3. Stygian Crown

    This album came out earlier this year and I listened to it once. Then I sort of forgot about it, not due to any failings of the music but more because I was listening to a ton of new stuff at the time and it just got lost in the mix. That is one of the downsides of listening to a lot of music, I guess.

    It turned up in my recommendations again today, though, and I remembered kind of liking it so I decided to give in another spin.

    And you know what? It's pretty good! Kind of doomish but with some pretty fast and heavy parts too, and excellent Dickinsonian vocals over the top. Is it the best metal album I've heard? Certainly not, and I'm not sure it would even make my top 5 for the year so far. It might be in the top 10, though, and even if it's not, it's still pretty good and definitely worth a listen.

  4. I am not sure what brought this album to mind but come to mind it did (randomly, no less 🤣) and so I gave it a listen.

    I'll be honest—I have never been a huge fan of Daft Punk. I don't dislike them, but their albums have never done much for me. They strike me as skilled craftsmen and while I get that their whole thing is "We pretend to be robots who produce robotic music," I have never found any of their stuff particularly interesting.

    This album has not changed my opinion of Daft Punk. It's fine—I don't hate it—and it was alright for having on in the background but that's about it.

  5. Arcwelder

    This one came up in my recommendations feed. Arcwelder is yet another one of those bands that I have always been aware of but had never actually listened to.

    I like it on first listen. It bears a lot of similarity to Hüsker Dü which makes sense, given that these guys came out of the late-80s Minneapolis rock scene. The vocals are quite reminiscent of Bob Mould, but the music is not quite as frenzied. I appreciate that. Hüsker Dü is great but I sometimes find their albums to be a bit crazy-making.

    While I would not call this album essential listening, it's pretty good. I think that is fine—not every album (or band) has to be a classic or ground-breaking.

June 2024 - Albums I have listened to is an album list curated by Pete Brown.

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