Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2005

79. Acceptance - Phantoms (2005)

With the wide diversity that now exists in popular music, I must admit that I feel a little guilty when I buy an album by a white male rock band. In fact, it seems almost quaint to still do the guitar-bass-drums-singing thing with no frills or stylistic ideals. As such, I rarely seek out straightforward rock albums.

I first heard Acceptance via iTunes' great "Free Download Of The Week" program, which is exactly what it sounds like. Acceptance was represented by the single Different, a piano-driven piece of passion. Though I dug the song, I felt I could not support another Coldplay clone, especially when the real thing isn't exciting me all that much lately.

But then on a whim I looked up Acceptance's debut album on Amazon.com and decided to take a listen. What a pleasant surprise to discover that the rest of the album has much more in common with Jimmy Eat World than it does with Travis. Indeed, a quick scan through the "thank yous" in the liner notes rev…

78. Vicious Vicious - Don't Look So Surprised (2005)

Don't Look So Surprised is one of the best break-up albums I've ever heard.

Through seven interconnected songs, the CD follows a doomed relationship between our narrator and a girl named Jenny. In the opener, It's A Serious Thing, the protagonist speaks directly to Jenny, telling her "it's time we forget about the days that you used to be mine." And then he spends the next 6 songs remembering.

2 Much Time On My Hands uses a laid-back seventies shuffle to tell the story of how they met, at a swimming pool party where she talks about "hot sex" with her ex-boyfriend. Still, they end up going to a drive-in movie and things begin to snowball. (My favorite part of this song is the repeated line "the cigarette refuses to burn," which seems like an echo of the Hopefuls' - Appelwick's other band - album title, The Fuses Refuse To Burn).

Here Come Tha Police is catchy and funky and expands our knowledge of the characters. We find out they are…

77. P.M. Dawn - Jesus Wept (1995)

In case you aren't a fan of bad television, let me tell you that P.M.Dawn were on the show Hit Me Baby One More Time last night. In this show, musical acts from the '80s and '90s perform two songs, a hit of their own and a hit from today. Then the studio audience votes on who was the best. P.M. Dawn managed to brush off competition from Missing Persons, Shannon, Animotion, and Juice Newton to win the favor of the voters.

In celebration I drug out my copy of P.M. Dawn's third album, Jesus Wept. Of all of their output, this CD intrigues me the most.

We know that P.M. Dawn came onto the scene with Set Adrift On Memory Bliss, a piece of dreamy pop that sampled Spandau Ballet's True. We also know that their second album was an even bigger success, with the ultra-melodic hits I'd Die Without You and Looking Through Patient Eyes. That makes Jesus Wept the classic "artistic statement" record, wherein, feeling assured of their commercial viability, the perf…