New beginnings for ancient endings

OK, I am going to make this a little more regular feature again. 5 albums a week, my inane thoughts and commentary! Here we go!

Keane – Strangeland – after an odd detour, the band returned back to form for this album. I like their sound, but this doesn’t strike much of a chord for me. There were no standout tracks, and it was a bit lengthy.

Quietdrive – Up or Down – half of the time listening to this made me about 20% dumber, but it is a mostly entertaining record, good for some catchy fun, but not much else.

Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game – whoever produces a Rufus Wainwright record really falls to the wayside, as Rufus pretty much has a specific sound and doesn’t stray too far, I thought maybe Mark Ronson might have made a bigger mark (pun intended) on this recording, but really not. Still it’s Rufus, so definitely worth checking out.

Young Hines – Give Me My Change – released on Brendan Benson’s record label and produced by Benson, this has a nice pedigree behind it, and has a few great songs, but it is very inconsistent and I can’t really get a sense of what his sound is, but I think he could develop into something really great.

Eric Hutchinson – Moving Up Living Down – sure, he might be a little overly sentimental, and some of the lyrics are a bit simplistic, but every song gets you moving, and pulls you right in, I think he is a very engaging performer, and owns every song 100%, so it is very infectious and fun.

Recent Releases to Check Out

Did you know that new music gets released every single day of the year? It’s true! Well, we here at Pop Underground aim to get the best of it straight to your ears. So here is a sampling of what I have been digging as of late. I picked a good even number, 10, so hopefully that keeps you crazy kids busy for a week or so.


Explorers Club – Grand Hotel: You may have seen my post from last year about this band’s series of EP’s leading to the new album. Well worth the wait, this album features some amazing songs. Some of the most memorable and engaging music I have heard in a long time.


Butterfly Boucher – Butterfly Boucher: the third release from this amazing artist, 10 incredible songs that have her signature sound, quite enjoyable stuff.


The Connection – Seven Nights EP/New England’s Newest Hit Makers: an awesome set of quick pure rock and roll, very fun and rockin’ collection.


Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis – Cheaters Game: though they have been recording together for years, this is their first album together, and it is wonderful. They go so well together, and the album is a perfect blend to make an awesome listening experience.


Thom Hell – Suddenly Past: When I put this album on for the first time, within seconds I was hooked. Such a great pop sound, and it sticks through the whole thing. Very excellent, indeed.


Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself: This album finds Mr. Bird very comfortable in his sound. It doesn’t feel forced or like it is trying to be anything, despite his quick rise to success over these past few years.


Sweet Diss and the Comebacks – Emerald City Love Song: also recently featured on this blog, I too quite enjoyed this record. It doesn’t jump out at you with any force, just guides you along a fun engaging experience.


Brendan Benson – What Kind of World?: I always enjoy a new Brendan Benson record, and this is no exception. It does however pull back from that return-to-form that I so loved on his last album, and brings in some of that harder edged Raconteurs sound; there are still some good pop nuggets here.


The All-American Rejects – Kids In The Street: I keep wanting to hate this band, but then they deliver great slick pop songs that are just winners all around. This album continues that tradition proudly.


Corner Laughers – Poppy Seeds: a wonderful collection of pop goodness, two parts Beach Boys, one part indie-pop, twelve parts AWESOME! If that doesn’t convince you, then how about this, it’s produced by Allen Clapp, and at least one track features the inimitable Mike Viola!

Audities: Best of 2009

Rank Artist // Album
1 Brendan Benson // My old, familiar friend
2 Roger Klug // More help for your nerves
3 Chris Richards // Sad sounds of the Summer
3 Jason Falkner // All Quiet on the Noise Floor
5 Green Day // 21st century breakdown
6 Paul Steel // Moon Rock
7 Phoenix // Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
8 David Mead // Almost And Always
8 Tinted Windows // Tinted Windows
10 Wilco // Wilco Continue reading

Rock To It!

Hey everybody! I am just cooking with these reviews lately! It’s insane! or is it just inane? I guess we’ll never know for sure! But one fact remains, and that is that if music be the food of love, then play on! Because love is VERY hungry right now, and it needs to gorge on a huge heaping platter of music, deep fried in a harmonic batter, drizzled with melody, double-dipped in a chorus of voices, served hot and fresh. Dig in!

Among The Oak & Ash – Among The Oak & Ash – ***1/2 – Continue reading