Thursday, June 21, 2012

Currently listening to:Week of June 18, 2012

Another late entry to this list, but here goes!

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.

Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania (2012)

Billy Corgan and crew are back with their 9th album, if you don't include all the strange singles and EP they have released throughout the years. I have been a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan throughout most of their career. I saw them live 3 times, I even saw Zwan twice. I was devastated when they broke up. It's good to have them back now after the disappointing "comeback" Zeitgeist in 2007. The album starts with Quasar which recalls the Mellon collie era, followed by The Celestials, a nice acoustic track. The song One Diamond, One Heart recalls 80s postpunk such as Echo and The Bunnymen. All in all a great album, though the title track (over 9 minutes long) just goes nowhere and it shows Billy still have his selfindulgence. Billy may be one of the most egotistical rockstars ever but he has the tunes to show for it. Here are some of my favorite tracks;
One Diamond, One Heart:
The Celestials:

The Offspring - Days Go By (2012)
The Offspring return for their 9th album, also. When I first heard the new single "Crusing California", I was severely disappointed. It seriously sounded like a straight up bubblegum pop single (ala Katy Perry), then I heard another song called Days Go By, and it sounded suspiciously like the Foo Fighter's Times Like These. I really thought the band had lost it. They always had throwaway songs but it was too much. I finally got to hear some songs from the album and luckily, these two songs do not reflect on the album, so please just skip them. One thing I like about this album is how diverse it is. Secrets from the Underground sounds like an oldschool punk jam, OC Guns has a reggae vibe. The Future is Now sounds like the Offspring I loved of old. It could fit in perfectly on Americana. I expect Turning Into You to have heavy radio play as well. This album really surprised me and expect to be a huge surprise for many who have written the band off. Here are some of the best songs.
The Future Is Now:

 Turning Into You:
OC Guns:

And One - S.T.O.P. (2012)

This classic German synthpop group return with their 11th album, S.T.O.P. still crafting wonderful synthpop melodies. I first heard Shouts of Joy and was immediately wowed. They are also an incredible live band. Please catch them if they ever come to your part of town. A severely underrated group. There is a strong Pet shop Boys influence on this release but And One has it's own sound altogether. Here are some of the best songs.
Shouts of Joy:
Killing The Mercy:
 Back Home:

Rush - Clockwork Angels (2012)

Rush returns with it's new studio album after 5 years, Clockwork Angels. This is a very adventurous album, hitting new territories I have never heard the band go before. It also happens to be a concept album...what is the concept about? Here is Neil Peart to answer. " “In a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colourful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life.” There will also be a novelization by Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson, which should be exciting. Caravan is a strong leading single, which seems to be about travel and journeys, find the band stronger and more energetic than I have seen them in years. Expect this to become an instant classic. Other songs I really like are The Anarchist which talks about an angry man who is talking about lost opportunities. Really heartfelt stuff. Halo Effect is a truly great song, Very clean production and it talks about a man getting his heart broken. I love the lyrics ""A Goddess with wings on her heels" Look for this on many critic's top 10 lists. Here are some of it's best tracks;
Clockwork Angels:
Halo Effect:

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