Jan 27, 2010

JANUARY JUKEBOX: Laura Veirs, Spoon, Beach House, The Magnetic Fields, Vampire Weekend, Marit Larsen, Owen Pallett, Patty Griffin, Lissie

My favorite 2010 album so far is undoubtedly Laura Veirs July Flame — good songs, brilliantly arranged, sweetly sung — closely followed by Patty Griffin's wonderful gospel album Downtown Church: Griffin's voice is at a great age right now, with a nice rasp to offset its innate prettiness. The most original song I heard this month was Owen Pallett's 'Lewis Takes Off His Shirt', with its mixture of whirring synths, falsetto vocals and symphonic orchestral backing. Amazing. I find Beach House a little too washed out most of the time — music to play while sitting on the sofa, thinking the same thought over and over — but 'Zebra' has some nice forward propulsion from this neat little alternating-current guitar riff. The lyrics of Magnetic Fields 'You Must Be Out of Your Mind' make me laugh: they remind of a friend who can be persuaded of nothing. 'The Mystery Zone' is the best of the Spoon album i.m.h.o. Same with the OK Go song 'This Too Shall Pass' (hey, stop getting your song titles from meetings!). Marit Larson and Corinne Bailey Rae gave me my monthly spoonful of sugar. And Lissie sounds great; she just needs to loose all the barefoot grass-chewing authentic-sound-of-the-Mississippi-delta crap in her publicity material.

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