To really hear an artist's work, you must look past the hit singles. The entire album is worth hearing to truly get a glimpse of it all in one body of work. Here are some of the albums I am listening to this week.
Devo - Something For Everybody (2010)
The most recent Devo album, and their first album of all new material in nearly 20 years. This album shows them at their most fun and adventurous. What is really cool about this album is that it's tracklisting was voted on by their fans. It was focus group tested, which as far as I know, has never happened before. Their view on the deevolution on society has not changed as evidenced by songs like Don't Shoot, and Human Rocket. To me it's right on par with Freedom of Choice as one of their best albums. It's great to see that they, like OMD, Duran Duran, The Cars and Men Without Hats still got it! Here are some of my personal favorites.
Don't Shoot (I'm A Man)
The Cars - Move Like This (2011)
What can be said about The Cars that hasn't already been said. This band has defied trends time and time again. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone, described The Cars' musical style by saying: "they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the '50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend. With their latest album, it is no different. Songs like Sad Song and Blue Tip bring you back to their 80s sound. I was surprised to learn these were all new songs. They song classic. Producer Jacknife Lee really shines here, the songs really stick out. You might remember him for producing REM's last album and the latest from Silversun Pickups. Here are a few songs I loved from this album.
Smashing Pumpkins - Adore (1998)
I remember when I first heard this album, I wasn't quite sure what to think. They had just finished their Mellon Collie tour and I didn't know what to expect. Their follow up, Adore, sounded mellow to me, but a few songs used electronic beats, which I didn't recall hearing prior, aside from the song Eye from the Lost Highway soundtrack. I ended up not liking it at first, but it started growing on me. There are some very personal songs here such as For Martha, about his mother who had died, and other darker songs like Ava Adore and the beautiful Crestfallen. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was out of the band by this time because of drug use and he seems to have been replaced by a drum machine on songs like Pug and Appels + Oranjes which ended up being another favorite of mine. Though not as classic as Siamese Dream, this album does stand as one of their best and it shows them stripped down from their excesses a bit. You might not care for it at first, but it will grow on you. My favorites are as follows:
MDFMK - MDFMK (2000)
Following the breakup of KMFDM, after the album Adios, several band members left the band, leaving only Skold, Sascha and new member Lucia. They would go on to form MDFMK, which only released this one album. This album had more of a europop and electronica sound than KMFDM. They toured the US and even appeared on the TV program FarmClub, which featured up and coming bands. They broke up soon afterwards and KMFDM came back with the MDFMK lineup with Lucia becoming a fulltime member, Skold would leave the group afterwards to tour with Marilyn Manson but has since worked with KMFDM recently. This album is worth a listen, and has some really fun songs such as Rabblerouser and my favorite Torpedoes. Check out some of the songs here: