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.
Matt Skiba and the Sekrets - Babylon (2012)
On my last entry, I talked about Alkaline Trio's album Crimson. Now we will discuss the latest from Alkaline Trio member Matt Skiba and his band The Sekrets. Babylon was released around May of this year and it is fast becoming another favorite of mine. This band includes AFI's Hunter Burgan on bass and My Chemical Romance's Jarrod Anderson on drums. A great mixture of songs, some of which reminds me of Heavens, and others have more of the Alkaline Trio sound. I see it as a mixture of both bands. Hunter does bring a darker flavor into this album as well. If you liked Heavens and more melodic stuff from Alkaline Trio, this album is a safe bet. Here are some of my favorites:
Red Hot Chili Peppers - One Hot Minute (1995)
An underrated album from these Los Angeles misfits. This album was released after the band broke through the mainstream with 1991's multiplatinum Blood Sugar Sex Magic album. Guitarist John Frusciante had major problems so they kicked him out of the band and was replaced by....Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction!? A curious choice, but it led to this album, which sounds very different from any other Red Hot Chili Peppers album to date. The addition of Navarro brought a darker edge to the group, but their fanbase was torn. Sales were down from their previous album and Navarro left the group after Frusciante got clean. I like this album because it shows a more diverse sound and it shows the band was willing to experiment. Here are some good ones.
Heavens - Patent Pending (2006)
Sideproject of Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio. Unlike the punk sound of Alkaline Trio, Heavens is way more mellow and gives off a postpunk, Joy Division like feel. There are no fastpaced numbers on this one. I like this because my background is in the postpunk scene (Joy Division, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy). This should please fans of all these groups. Here are some of the best songs on here.
Brendan Perry - Ark (2010)
The second solo album from Brendan Perry, the male half of Dead Can Dance, which was officially released in 2010. This work is more similar to his work with Dead Can Dance than the folkiness of his first solo album, The Eye of the Hunter. Here is what Brendan has to say about this album:
Ark comprises eight original compositions in total that explore the recurring themes of identity, alienation, war, political corruption and the threat that we as a species now pose to our environment.
Despite the dystopian themes that pervade these eight compositions, there are also expressions of great hope and optimism for a better world to be found within the subtext of the songs.
For an Ark as well as being a refuge from the world's harsher realities is also a vehicle for regeneration and renewal. It is an amazing work of art and very expressive in it's themes. It gives me hope to listen to it and one of 2010's best albums. Here are some of my favorite songs: