Nine, goddamnit, Nine
Cloud Cult - Living On The Outside of Your Skin
Cloud Cult - What Comes At The End
Cloud Cult - You Got Your Bones to Make a Beat
Cloud Cult - Transistor Radio
[From their Happy Hippopotomus LP]
Brook Veeg is right, you gotta hear this shit in its entirety, but, even so, songs alone are just agonizingly adorable and brilliantly forthright. First to last, HH nearly plays like no other record this year. And, unfortunate, that's the frustrating thing about compiling these lists I talked about yesterday -- factoring in reach-slash-(sub)cultural sway and the like. If this album got enough push it'd be huge, like OC-but-not-just-OC type. It's still going to stick near the top on m'priase-o-thons: perfect melodies and perfect fun in the confines of perfectly constructed pop songs make for one mother EFF of a record. It's like if Sugar Ray considered "Fly" an excuse to make excesspop that dint exactly cater to largertaste. (And, god, that analogy is reductive and ultimately hamfisted). But this shit is gold in a way that a lot of indie-pop can't be -- like the kind of colorful a-o-l away messages jerks like yo smile at when we know airybody could just put up the 'neric "this game takes up my whole screen" shiz. There's care here. There's spark, in a completely organic and artifice-less sense. Each track on the record is a meticulous piece that -- while able to stand alone -- works effortlessly to create an inspiring and entirely (+ adolencently) invigorating whole. It was impossible to pick just four songs to post. Really you could listen to anything on the album and be an immediate convert. Think a Modest (mouse) Beck's quirk tempered by mr. mangum's adoration for unhinged melody and a pinch of Pause's ability to take the organic and infuse it with electricity and binary code. Then there's the str8 rock tracks (like "What Comes At the End") that strike like &serenading-style Mineral, all fuzzed out and used to commune-living. What the Hap Hip amounts to, in a sentence, if you'll allow me to be so limiting, is a twenty plus track argument for the legitimacy of lite-as-a-feather, earth-moving pop that is both intimate and ornate. I'd be surprised if any surprises like this surprise me the rest of the year. PopMatters said it flirts with genius. They're wrong. It is genius. [PLEASE, buy it here].
Aint Answerin' t'Nobody
So I'm back for now. I'll make no promises of an extended variety -- but here I is today.
Since we last spoke, Kells dropped the 5 parter on everyone's unsuspecting heads. It was like that collab with the Isley Brothers ("Contagious") only longer and better. But, part 5 -- the climax, the conclusion, the what-should-have-been-great -- was a bit of a let down. But can we ask for perfection from R. Kelly? He only had one "Happy People" in him I guess. Step to the left, step to the right. Speaking of stepping, Mad Hot Ballroom was the best movie ever, and Land of the Dead was a big waste of time. Elsewhere, Cloud Cult ruled the world, the new Radar Bros gave me sunshiney summertime melencholia, and the last issue of The Source told me that one of the Ying Yang Twins has cerebral palsy (not a bad case tho). Apparently it is list time -- you know, the .5 year shit. Maybe that'll come soon. First, you'll get this:
Missy Elliot - Joy (Feat. Mike Jones)
[from her forthcoming Cookbook LP]
Listening to the new Missy makes me a bit too happy. "Lose Control" was great -- marred a bit by Fat Man Scoop's sort of distracting Jazze Pha/DJ Clue impression -- but I dint expect the record to be *this* solid from front to back. Missy drops Mr. MJ's 2813308004 late on the record PLUS has Swisha House's finest (luckiest?) guest on "Joy," the lead track from The Cookbook. Too much skit/intro/shit at the beginning of the track, but when Timbaland's production oozes in and that breathy sample slices its way through the beat it makes up for the 2 minutes of food-filler. Jones' verse isn't surprising, and next to Missy's eccentricities, seems a bit flat, but set to those tipsy synths, it's hard to argue with the charm of deepass Houston shit.
Wolf Parade - This Heart's On Fire
[from their forthcoming Apologies to the Queen LP]
'Member the Arcade Fire? Yeah, well, fuck them. Here at MBS, we (I) like to make extravagant claims and heap exaggerated praise on shit, so it's time to proclaim Wolf Parade the NEWbestband in Canada. Heard it here first folks. Issac Brock agrees -- loved 'em so much he took the quartet out on tour with Ugly Cass and then recorded Apologies, their first full-length (re-recorded versions of some of the songs from the band's 38087374 EPs). It's some damn fine idiosynch-pop, if you can get past the obviously affected vocal delivery, which shouldn't be hard at all.