the 216 pontificates on her new music.

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3. Jan. 2008, 4:59

Well, new to me anyway. Christmas is over and now I have several new, er, albums on my playlist. Time for one of those posts I make over here so I don't bore my livejournal readers stiff by yapping about music they don't care about!

Bear in mind I'm not a very good music critic. I can't make Pitchfork-esque statements like "it sounds like Bon Jovi doing an album of Ella Fitzgerald covers" (then again, I'm exactly the sort of music listener the Pitchfork people hate, so that's not really a surprise.) Mostly, I like music to please my ears and maybe engage my brain a little and perhaps not be a total waste in the lyrics department, and if it really pleases my ears I'm willing to give it a pass on the other things. This explains why I listen to drek that makes other people's heads explode. I have no music cred and I've pretty much accepted that fact.

That said, on with the comments.

Zero 7 - The Garden: Eh. It's not all bad. I wish they'd done more instrumentals, since those are my favorite tracks of theirs. Mostly the album just flows past me without me even noticing it's on, which I suppose means it's probably a good "take to work" album. My two favorite tracks are "Your Place" and "Crosses".

Sia - Some People Have Real Problems: Er. I don't actually have this one yet *shifty eyes*. Sia has a distinctive voice and is in full throat here. The album ranges from pop tracks ("Day Too Soon") to syrupy ballads ("You Have Been Loved") to the just plain bizarre ("Academia"). Best tracks in my opinion are "Soon We'll Be Found" and "Electric Bird".

Andrea Corr - Ten Feet High: Bah. Apparently this album came out this summer and completely flopped, and I have to say I totally understand why. Yeah, it's a solo project, yeah, it's not going to sound like a Corrs album, yeah, I get that. The trouble is first, I'm gonna be honest, the songwriting is weak. The songs sound fine; most of them are solid if unremarkable pop songs. It's the lyrics that are frankly inane at times. "24 Hours" features lines like "You know I love inside your head / Cause I can't be there / You're a mystery / Intriguing me greatly / Your eyes grow all big instead" and "I'd stay awake all night / For 24 hours of your love / I'd lead a simple life / For 24 hours of your love". What? Second, the album feels like Andrea wanted to take risks and play it safe at the same time. There's a few dance tracks and "Hello Boys" is definitely not something one would ever hear on a Corrs album but in the end she runs back to the safety of lovelorn pop songs and treacly ballads -- "Anybody There" and "Ten Feet High" wouldn't sound out of place if performed with her sisters and brother. I wish this album had been better, I wanted to really like it. Best track probably goes to "Ten Feet High". Sigh.

Vanessa Carlton - Heroes & Thieves: It seems like Vanessa Carlton has spent her entire career post-the success of "A Thousand Miles" trying to prove that she is Deep and Dark and Mature and A Real Arteest, not that silly little girl who drove around town behind the piano and sang about love. Harmonium tried to be Dark and Gothy and Grown-Up and was at its best merely listenable and at its worst laughably ridiculous ("Half a Week Before the Winter", anyone?). Heroes & Thieves spends so long on being Mature and Serious that it forgets to be fun or anything but bland. "Nolita Fairytale" wins best track solely for being something other than the smoothly-produced and nearly indistinguishable pop that makes up the rest of the album.

Murray Gold (and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales) - Doctor Who Series 3 OST: This wins "Best Recent Download", easy. I collect soundtracks and the score from Series 3 was excellent . . . okay, a bit bombastic in spots but I just skip those tracks. This has all the best bits. I am well pleased.

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