Thursday, October 02, 2008

Top Ten Songs On Elbo.Ws Reviewed In 50 Words or Less: 9/16/08--10/02/08

This is a few days late, so the tracks here mirror what's on right now. Apologies all around.

1. The Killers - "Human"

Download: The Killers - "Human"

If I'm going to listen to something this synthesized, I better be watching Cowboy Bebop on early Sunday morning while thinking that I'm about to transcend time itself.

Grade: C

2. Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman"

Download: Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman"

The Ivy-league afro-pop quartet take the opportunity to go into the night with Nick and Norah. The layering of arpeggios during the verses creates an intriguing ambiance, which makes it even more frustrating when the song builds to a totally unremarkable melody. What a waste of a perfectly good white boy crescendo.

Grade: C+

3. Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"

Download: Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"

The Rilo Kiley frontwoman's second solo effort is wholly indebted to the redemptive, soul-searching introspection of bell-bottomed folk-rockers. But any derivative narratives can be forgiven very easily when the tenderness in the multi-harmonized vocals makes listening instantly poignant.

Grade: A-

4. The Legends - "Seconds Away"

Download: The Legends - "Seconds Away"

Swedish noise-pop merchant(s?) writes swirling pop melodies under a considerable barrage of white noise. The production touches here are spot-on, and the chorus is appealingly anthemic (Airiel does something similar), but without a unique touch--say, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor--the pleasure is related to appreciating a familiar sonic aesthetic.

Grade: B-

5. Katy Perry - "Electric Feel" (MGMT Cover)

Download: Katy Perry - "Electric Feel (MGMT Cover)"

Everyone's favorite lipstick lesbian covers a kid-tested, blogger approved electro-pop band by using more acoustic instrumentation. Whether or not that's because of, or in spite, low expectations set by her laughable debut, but this lounge-pop rendition is surprisingly listenable. Perhaps the girl she kissed was Feist?

Grade: B

6. The Piano Creeps - "Hey Love"

Download: The Piano Creeps - "Hey Love"

Comprised of veteran musicians, including members of Madder Rose and Saint Low, the New York-based trio craft a twinkling ballad, with an ethereal electric piano and acoustic guitar helping to create an atmosphere of resilience in the face of melancholy. "Hey love/you make me so damned sad". Yeah, but don't you feel much better now that you've sung about it?

Grade: B-

7. The Spinto Band - "Pumpkins and Paisley"

Download: The Spinto Band - "Pumpkins and Paisley"

I'm not entirely sure how a song can be drowning in indie-quirk (check out the wordless vocalizations and chromatic melody of the chorus) and energy can be so conservative in terms of song-structure, but here it is: every indie-pop song you've heard in the past five years.

Grade: C

8. Walter Meego - "Forever" (Van She Tech Remix)

Download: Walter Meego - "Forever" (Van She Tech Remix)

That song from that beer ad gets the remix treatment from Van She Tech who, in the process of trying to create something new, add some interesting polyrhthms and textures to the track. It's still very "remix-y", but Van Tech She succeeds on adding creative touches to a straightforward pop song.

Grade: B

9. Lambchop - "National Talk Like A Pirate Day"

Download: Lambchop - "National Talk Like A Pirate Day"

The labeled-described "Nashville's most fucked-up country band" uses Kurt Wagner's mordant sing-speak to create a song that sounds like twee as delivered by Stephen Merritt. The Dylan-esque song-structure helps create an appealing atmosphere that shares the whimsy nature of the titular holiday.

Grade: B+

10. Tobacco - "Truck Sweat"

Download:Tobacco - "Truck Sweat"

The solo effort of Black Moth Super Rainbow's Tobacco contains many of the synth flourishes and psychedelic instrumental touches that, while certainly nifty, are redolent of RATATAT and his own group. Still, not bad.

Grade: B-

(Jonathan Graef)

Cross-published on CIMI.

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Blogger el guante said...

i hereby grant you 1,000 points for that cowboy bebop reference.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

El guante -
Thanks! Actually, that comment is somewhat autobiographical, as that's what I did for a little bit after the MBV show.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of seems like that site is off the internet? Hopefully back soon. :S

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eh; just forget what I said. They're up and running again. ^_^

7:25 AM  
Blogger MPLSFR said...

Miss Simarwen -
Just out of curiosity, when was it out? I'd been monitoring it most of the day on Sunday, and it seemed to be working fine. Obviously, the point is moot now, but I'd thought I'd ask all the same. Thanks for reading!


1:26 PM  

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