Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Keane's Relatively Normal "Strangeland"

I like Keane. Always have since I first heard "Somewhere Only Know." And I have enjoyed the progression they have made as a band over the course of three albums and an EP.  Whether it's being a band without a guitarist or a bass player, layering songs with U2-esque loops and 80's New Wave textures, or inviting a Somali/Canadian rapper to sit in with the band - they are not afraid to take chances (and I like it when bands experiment).

Which is probably why after the first few listens I like - but don't love their fourth LP, "Strangeland." It just feels safe to me. The songs and instrumentation are pretty straight forward. No experimentation, minimal loops and no rappers.

But that is not to say it is bad. It is a very enjoyable record to listen to. If you are a fan of Keane's debut "Hopes and Fears" this is the closest they have come to matching the sound of that record. Again, not a bad thing because that is a great record. The album is strong on singer Tom Chaplin's soaring vocals and keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley's hooks and the songs ease you into the listening experience before it really takes off.

The middle of "Strangeland" is really where it shines. Sometimes there are songs that are just too good that they cannot be ignored, and here those are "Sovereign Light Cafe," "On The Road," "The Starting Line," and "Black Rain" (which has Chaplin paying little homage to Thom Yorke).

Ultimately, if you like Keane you will like "Strangeland." I just wish they would've pushed the proverbial envelope a little more.

On the flip side: after expanding and pushing the limits of their sound over their past three releases, maybe playing it safe was the experiment.

Grade: B+

Monday, May 07, 2012

welcome to words&sound

Today is an exciting day. I have decided to convert this old blog (that I have ignored for the better part of the last half decade) into a music blog. More specifically I'll be focusing on album reviews as well as other bits of tid I feel like sharing (like year end Top Album lists, etc.)

Hopefully I will make this an interesting place for you to stop by every once and a while.

My first review will be up within a matter of minues


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Top 25 Albums of 2007 : Year of the Indie

Well it is that time again , my yearly post or my top albums of the year. Apparently i listened to more indie music this year than ever before...but first the ones that were good but not quite good enough:

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare, Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist, Powderfinger - Dream Days at The Hotel Existence, The Shins - Wincing The Night Away, Travis - The Boy, The Kooks - Inside/Out, Matt Nathanson- Some Mad Hope

now...The Top 25:

25. Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full

24. Silverchair - Young Modern

23. Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero

22. Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City

21. Apostle of Hustle - National Anthem of Nowhere

20. Derek Webb - The Ringing Bell

19. Ted Leo / Pharmacists - Living With The Living

18. Battles - Mirrored

17. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

16. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

15. Interpol - Our Love To Admire

14. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

13. Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light

12. Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight

11. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

10. Fiction Plane - Left Side of The Brain

9. Athlete - Beyond The Neighborhood

8. Menomena - Friend and Foe

7. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger

6. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times

5. The White Stripes - Icky Thump

4. The Editors - An End Has A Start

3. Eddie Vedder - Into The Wild

2. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

1. Radiohead - In Rainbows

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Additional Bloggin'

I am now contributing to the Damascus Road Media and Culture blog that can be found at:



Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dave's Top 27 Albums of 2006!

27 - GOMEZ "How We Operate"

26 - NEW LONDON FIRE "I Sing The Body Holographic"

25 - PAUL SIMON "Suprise"

24 - PLACEBO "Meds"

23 - EMILY HAINES & THE SOFT SKELETON "Knives Don't Have Your Back"

22 - GNARLS BARKLEY "St. Elsewhere"

21 - SUFJAN STEVENS "The Avalanche"

20 - THE RACONTEURS "Broken Boy Soldiers"

19 - KT TUNSTALL "Eye To The Telescope"

18 - KEANE "Under The Iron Sea"

17 - JET "Shine On"

16 - AUDIOSLAVE "Revelations"

15 - ARCTIC MONKEYS "Whatever People Say That I Am, That's What I Am Not"

14 - DRAMA GODS "Love"

13 - SLEEPING AT LAST "Keep No Score"

12 - THOM YORKE "The Eraser"

11 - BECK "The Information"

10 - WOLFMOTHER "Wolfmother"

9 - THE DECEMBERISTS "The Crane Wife"

8 - STARSAILOR "On The Outside"

7 - MUTE MATH "Mute Math"

6 - THE KILLERS "Sam's Town"

5 - JARS OF CLAY "Good Monsters"


3 - PEARL JAM "Pearl Jam"

2 - MUSE "Black Holes & Revelations"

1 - PILOT SPEED "Into The West"

Friday, April 07, 2006

...Been A While...

so it has indeed been wuite a while since i last updated. here's what's new:

-there are now ONLY 25 days left until the new Pearl Jam album! wooo-hoo!

-Erica and I were in Tucson, AZ last weekend and were blessed enough to find an apartment (woo) and i officially have a job with the Signs Now there (HOO!)

-i am dj-ing a friends wedding reception tomorrow

-AND Brett Favre is announcing his play/retire decision tomorrow at 7:30 a.m.; that's early! that's 5:30 Tuscon time! so i'll either be elated or absolutely crushed fro the rest of the day (but sitll put on my happy DJ face on for the recetion. we'll see....

i'll try not to let another whole month go by before i update again.
DJ Choj. OUT!