Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Music Critic

Last week I bought my first two CDs in months. I used to buy a lot of music when I was going to grad school in Berkeley. There are great used stores in Berkeley, and I must have gone into them a couple of times a week. That was where I finished out my collection of Depeche Mode. You see, they released a 6-piece boxed set (that's 6 boxes, each with 4-6 discs) completely filled with remixes. I ended up buying all the singles by themselves - the boxed set was pretty rare and hard to come by.

Anyhoo, they released another album this month, Playing the Angel. So I picked it up. I wasn't expecting much, and I wasn't surprised by the songs. Well, let me rephrase: the songs weren't that interesting. I was surprised by the noise level in the first song - it certainly started off like some angry teenager might. The songs are reasonable in the middle of the album, and by the end ... not so remarkable - I can't even recall what the end sounds like. They use a lot of distortion, which was never my favorite musical effect.

Overall, the band appears to be moving toward a "hard" image, with aggressive sounding music. And that's not my thing. I prefer music with a good beat - more pop or electronic. I'll probably warm up to the CD after a few more listens, but it'll only be passable.

But wait, I mentioned two CDs - what was the other one?

I had been humming some tunes for a week or so before going to Everyday Music - the Talking Heads "Stop Making Sense" album. For years I've noticed that all movie rental shops (yes all) seem to have that video. Finally I couldn't resist the temptation, and I rented the video. That was a kick @ss concert - I wish I'd been there. So I scoured the EM shop and found the only copy of SMS they had (a scuf in the recent arrivals). I've listened to it more than the Mode album, and it's a sure winner.

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