As fun as it is to complain about “music these days,” and how it’s all been downhill since The Chronic came out, it’s even MORE fun to listen to — wait for it — good music. Every Tuesday, a.k.a. Music Release Day, we’ll highlight five albums worth (legally) downloading or driving to the local Best Buy (lolz) for.
Today, we’ve got GOOD Music, The Killers, Grizzly Bear, and more.
Cruel Summer by GOOD Music
So, you guys might have heard a thing or two about this album…
Shields by Grizzly Bear
GOOD Music might dominate the headlines this week, but it’s Grizzly Bear who put out the best album. Rather than trying to make another Veckatimest, specifically another indie smash hit like “Two Weeks,” the Brooklyn-based group have made something more timeless. It’s gorgeous, carefully calculated ambient pop, with sparkling arrangements and adventurous melodies, but it’s also not afraid to scuff things up a little, like on “Yet Again.” It doesn’t hit as immediately as Veckatimest, but it’s worth the wait.
The Sound of the Life of the Mind by Ben Folds Five
Closer to 1999’s The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner than their snarky, madcap breakthrough, Whatever and Ever Amen, Ben Folds Five’s first album in 13 years is full of raw, majestic ballads with Folds, falsetto unchanged, playing the piano like a drummer would their kit. The Sound of the Life is also a nice reminder that in Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee, who allow Folds to indulge in his jazzy-punk fantasies, the band wasn’t just its namesake. Justified nostalgia.
I Bet On Sky by Dinosaur Jr.
Considering the quality of I Bet on Sky, the third album of comforting feedback Dinosaur Jr. has put out since reuniting in 2007, maybe the late-2000s, early-2010s should be considered the band’s golden-era?
Battle Born by the Killers
This spot very easily could have gone to the Corin Tucker Band, Band of Horses, Aimee Mann (well, maybe not Aimee Mann), LV, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, or numerous other bands, but f*ck it: let’s give it to the Killers. In Sam’s Town and Day & Age, they tried to be a different band than the one who put out the great-for-what-it-was Hot Fuss, namely a group that didn’t live and die by its glam-rock choruses and oversized earnestness. There’s no “Mr. Brightside” on Battle Born, but at least the Killers sound alive again.