Archive for the ‘Overlooked albums’ Category

Overlooked albums: The Narrator

Monday, December 24th, 2007

“SurfJew” is one of the best songs of the year. Better than anything off Strawberry Jam, and Neon Bible, and Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?. It is the lead single off of The Narrator’s sophomore album, All That to the Wall. This album was overlooked for two main reasons. First, it was released around the same time as the new albums from Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Voxtrot, and the National. And second, it sounds a lot like a raw version of Pavement. It’s safe to say that All That to the Wall isn’t as good as an album like Slanted and Enchanted, but the album is still criminally underappreciated. The rawness is enchanting, especially when some albums are so overproduced (I’m looking at you, Voxtrot). But the album is produced just enough to bring out how insanely catchy the songs are, and there’s a real honest quality to it also. Come on, how can you not like a song about a black hole bar mitzvah?

Overlooked albums: Shooting Spires

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

I’m going to start a little mini-series with albums that didn’t receive nearly enough attention this past year. The first selection is Shooting Spires’ self-titled debut. Shooting Spires is BJ Warshaw of the ready-to-explode Brooklyn band Parts & Labor. There were lots of cryptic, noisy, and just plain weird bands that made big names for themselves this year like Health and Clipd Beaks, and most notably, Animal Collective. Shooting Spires shares a lot of the same terrain as those bands, but trades some of the weirdness in for anthemic melodies. The noise is all still there, mainly in the electronic elements, but for those of us who are still suckers for pop songs, it’s catchy enough to warrant repeat listenings. Shooting Spires is an engrossing debut, and one of the better albums of 2007.