Wednesday, December 13, 2006


15) Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSound
Do I begin with an apology? I feel perhaps I should, tainting a fantastic collection of countdowns with white boy R&B. But I don’t want to apologize; I’ll save apologies for later. At first I hated (hated!) this album. It had absolutely no hooks, the lyrics were insipid and it just seemed mushy. Honestly, I wanted a “Justified II” with mega-hits I could blast in my car and guiltily sing along with—I didn’t want some vain attempt at pop opera. However a “Justified II” wouldn’t have made my list, I wouldn’t have even thought about including it. But this album, with its seven minute pop epics bleeding into one another, mixing falsetto with impenetrably complex beats and crunk rap, deserves a spot. That’s all I got.

14) The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love
The first time I listened to “Don Gon Do It” I thought I had the wrong album. The voice was unmistakable but this was not “House of Jealous Lovers” or “Heaven.” Those songs were catchy in their own right, but this, this catchiness was nearly indescribable. I checked it out and yes, I did have the right album, so then I figured the first track was a fluke, but again I was wrong. I can’t pick out a favorite track on this album, don’t ask me to, any one of makes me bob my head uncontrollably, losing myself in the completely fuzzed out, funkified bass.

13) Benoit Pioulard – Precis
Before I picked up this album I read a review advising me to crank this quiet album as loud as possible. So I did. Some music can be described as airy, atmospheric or breezy. I would describe “Precis” as windy—gusty even. Beneath the soft (though perfectly produced) strumming and the breathy (yet oddly dark) vocals exists a wind storm that fills the room. Beginning with the three minute long opener of beautiful white noise to the happy, almost jangly “Ash into the Sky” this album remains captivating. When the entire album finishes under thirty seven minutes you just want to listen again.

12) Lupe Fiasco – Food and Liquor
Clipse allows you to escape in their stories of packing heat, and getting with every honey in the joint. Lupe makes you feel ashamed of the ghetto life style you never lived. You feel bad for being the chauvinist asshole you most certainly are. Lupe’s confidant flow quickly berates you and moves on before you’re quite sure what happened. Some could argue his beats have a bit too much going on, that he could keep it simpler, but the beat needs all the help it can get to keep up with Lupe’s frantic flow.

11) Beth Orton – Comfort of Strangers
Beth Orton is pissed. There are those people who, when angered, lash out with venom dripping from their mouths, biting you with their bitter, enraged words. But such an attack rarely leaves a lasting mark. There are other people, however, who don’t change the tone of their voice, nay they may even smile when they snap at you so that you don’t even notice you’ve been stung. But eventually their words begin to eat at you, restlessly you stare at the ceiling wondering what the hell you could’ve done wrong. Such an attack leaves scars. Orton cuts deep.


Michael said...

austin, half of everything i listen to is white boy R and B. herbert and jamie lidell are white boy R and B. rock and roll started out as white boy r and b.

Jordan Harp said...

rock and roll started out as black boy R and B and just didn't catch on till it was whited. i need to check out that benoit pioulard and beth orton. you've gotten into the things i've never heard, austin. this is become a fruitful operation.

oh man, the dots. check out this new album, but wow...there are sooo many.