Education, Education, Education & War by the Kaiser Chiefs
The Kaiser Chiefs are to Brit-rock as H20 is to water. Their boyish attitude and jumpy beat have long been sweeping staples of music festivals, tv shows, and anything else that need be associated with British ruffian culture. But appreciating them for their upbeat tomfoolery is as deep as you can go. Their latest album is a lot of the same, and I for one am tired of their schtick. If one of their “new” tracks committed a crime, and the music police orchestrated a lineup, the witness would pick all ten of them. The tracks are that indifferentiable.
Saudade by Thievery Corporation
The beauty of this album can be satisfiably summed up in the beauty of the title. “Saudade” is a Portuguese word so poignant that there exists no close substitute in the English language. The word describes a profound state of longing; it's the existence of a deeper knowledge that what you wish for will never return. A woman would feel saudade for her husband when he leaves to fight a losing war. “Saudade,” the word, expresses a tearfully complex range of emotions, and so does the album.
La Gargola by Chevelle
You may listen to Chevelle once and discredit them for their demon mantras, shrill screams, and untenable distortion. It just seems like they’re trying too hard. But that would be a base and unreasonable view of a group of talented musicians. The drive and precision necessary to play only a fraction of this album is far beyond the skill of most musicians you will ever meet. Sure, the aesthetic they are going for is a niche category. Not everyone likes plague doctors and body mutilation. But give metal credit where credit is due, this stuff is hard to play.