Take Five

Another installation (the second, really) of me offering five random thoughts about music in my life:

  • So, as I promised in my first Take Five post, I bought the A Camp album. I have to admit, it was a slow grower. But it quickly fell into frequent rotation. The songs are a bit more orchestral, slower and less poppy than the Cardigans, but no less outstanding, and the sparser arrangements really highlight Nina Persson’s beautiful voice. I think the album’s slight whiff of melancholy also deterred me at first, but once I learned to appreciate Nina for Nina outside of the poppy context of the Cardigans, I was really able to embrace it. I highly recommend.
  • A new Brendan Benson album is coming out Aug. 24! Thanks to my good friend Joey for the tip. I wrote a little bit before  about how I exploited Brendan Benson’s early failures for my monetary gain, but my fandom persevered long after my profits dried up.  (Check out this column I wrote for the now-defunct Splendid E-Zine about “One Mississippi,” declaring it an essential album.) I never really got into the Raconteurs, Mood Elevator or any of his other side-projects, so I’m excited for a new solo BrenBen release. I heard the early demos when they came out, and those sounded promising. Four years is too long to wait!
  • I picked up the new Eels album the other day, and while I have yet to listen to it, I had a downright delightful purchasing experience at the Harvard Square Newbury Comics. There’s this really sweet kid who works the register, and I am always excited when he rings me up because he is so genuinely friendly, and you can tell he *loves* music. We were chatting about the Eels, and he mentioned he was putting the album on the in-store stereo shortly. I told him how I saw them live at the Somerville Theatre a couple of years back, and he expressed the hope that they’d be back soon. I love interactions like that at stores. (I wonder if anyone remembers that I once threw up right outside that Newbury Comics. Hmm.)
  • Other albums I bought but have yet to listen to: beside most of my TWIT haul from last week, the new John Vanderslice, the new White Rabbits, the Big Star tribute album, and Q-Tip’s “The Renaissance.” Hmm, I seem to have fallen critically behind in my listening, as the piles of CDs on my desk indicate. Embarrassing. I confess this to you so I will feel compelled to catch up, listen and share my thoughts here at a later date.
  • One of the most perfect pop songs ever composed, hands down, is Sugar’s “Believe What You’re Saying.” Want proof? Listen for yourself. Ah, the mid-90s. A golden age…

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