This week was all about men and, what can I say? I love me some men. With guitars. Who make good music. (That last one is key.) I highly enjoyed discovering a new band that’s quickly making its way up my favorites list. I also spent some time listening to an old favorite; a man I fell in love with while he was lead singer of a band and who I now get to adore all by his lonesome. And I fell even deeper in love, something I didn’t think was possible, with an old musical flame.
Yup, I had a big, beautiful music orgy this week and I just want more. Bring on the boys!
We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls
The only thing I like more than bands with cool names is Scottish bands with cool names. Seriously. I love Frightened Rabbit. And I highly enjoy The Twilight Sad. So, when I heard about We Were Promised Jetpacks, I thought, “Ooh, I need to listen,” based solely on their cool name. Then I found out they were Scottish and I got even more excited. And you know what? In their album, These Four Walls, they actually sound a whole lot like Frightened Rabbit. And a little bit like The Twilight Sad. So yay for that. They even have a song called “Keep Warm” that I was convinced was going to be just like Frightened Rabbit’s “Keep Yourself Warm.” It wasn’t anything like it, but it’s still pretty amazing and one of my favorite tracks. “The chances of being born/Are so slim/So keep warm, so keep warm/And take some heart at being born/Quite so young/You can learn to talk/And learn to walk/In your own time/You’re so young.” Check out how they say “Learn.” LOVE Scottish accents.
I also really love the album’s first track, “It’s Thunder and Lightning,” with its slow to more upbeat tempo. In fact, that’s why I love the entire album. The sound varies so much, from melancholy to upbeat and back again. If you love Scottish bands with cool names, you need to listen to We Were Promised Jetpacks. And if you didn’t think you loved Scottish bands with cool names, you will still love this album. Side note: After I wrote this, I discovered that We Were Promised Jetpacks will be touring with both The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit in the U.S. this fall. They also share the same label. Am I just really good or are there actually only three bands in Scotland that have totally awesome names and sound a bit the same?
Rob Thomas- Cradlesong
I’ve always been pretty obsessed with Matchbox 20. Like, love them and pray for the day they’ll get back together to make another album. But in the meantime, I’ll be pretty satisfied if Rob Thomas keeps coming out with new solo stuff. It’s not quite the same as hearing tracks from the new band, but at least we can still hear Rob. I loved his last album, Something to Be. Though I’m still learning to love Cradlesong (it’s not as immediately catchy as some of his other stuff), I’m finding myself loving it more and more. I fell for the album’s first single, “Her Diamonds” because it totally demonstrates Rob’s slow but upbeat style. I’m also a fan of they lyrics: “By the light of the moon/She rubs her eyes/Says it’s funny how the night/Can make you blind/I can just imagine/And I don’t know what I’m supposed to do/But if she feels bad then I do too/So I let her be.” Plus, Alicia Silverstone is in the song’s video and who doesn’t love Alicia Silverstone?
I also really love “Someday,” and its amazing lyrics, though I’m not a fan of the totally uncreative song title. “Maybe someday we’ll figure all this out/Try to put an end to all our doubt/Try to find a way to make things better now/And maybe someday/We’ll live our lives out loud/We’ll be better off somehow/Someday.” I do wish Rob’s new CD had a huge immediate standout hit like “Lonely No More” on it, but I have to say I’m definitely feeling the album as a whole. If you don’t love it upon first listen, definitely keep listening. Now please, Rob, just join up with your Matchbox 20 buddies and give us one more. Please!
Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
I have to review it. Even though it was technically available to listen to months ago, it was officially just released last week. And um, it’s amazing. But that’s coming from a pretty big Wilco fan who’s trying to be as un-biased as possible. First of all, I love the name of the album, Wilco (The Album). Yes, I know it’s totally the opposite of creative, but it’s Wilco! They’re obviously doing it in a completely ironic way. I love that the album’s first track is called Wilco (The Song) and that the lyrics include, “Oh, this is a fact/That you need to know/Oh, oh, oh, oh Wilco, Wilco/Wilco will love you, baby.” How cool is Jeff Tweedy?
So, as a Wilco fan, I’d probably have to describe this album as being a pretty awesome collaboration of all their albums. It kind of pulls together a bunch of their different sounds making for the ultimate Wilco album. A song with a title “Country Disappeared” had me a little concerned. “I’m not going to like it!” I immediately thought. But wait – just one listen and it’s one of my favorites now. I’m also a big fan of “I’ll Fight” and “Everlasting.” And the lyrics from “You Never Know”: “Come on children/You’re acting like children/Every generation thinks it’s the end of the world.” The music! The lyrics! Oh my! Just thinking about Wilco puts a smile on my face. And in my opinion, that’s all I need from a band.