Fades to snow.
Three days, then the new year beckons.
Yes, it is time. Like I mentioned before: December is a month of lists; not just here, but everywhere else.
You will live in me.
Sky Blue Sky, Wilco
I cannot stress this enough: I absolutely love, love, love! Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky. This album is, oddly enough, a grower: at first, the tracks may sound rather raw, ordinary and lacklustre – but upon repeated listens, it will make you want to rush right out (with a cowboy hat, perhaps), prance about yellow daisies under the lovely blue skies, and embrace all that is goodly in this world.
It is simple, beautiful, and it has got soul. I say this because Sky Blue Sky makes me come alive – it makes my heart soar every single time.
My love relationship with Wilco began relatively recently, actually – back when I first heard A Ghost is Born in 2004, I thought, hmm – I really need to look out for this band. Then the pivotal point came – it probably is not possible with anyone else, but something happened – I fell in love with their brilliant live album, Kicking Television. Then I time-travelled and got to 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; and realised I have ran out of good things to say about this band.
I have also written about Sky Blue Sky here: #1, #2, #3, #4
Favourite tracks: “Impossible Germany”, “Leave Me (Like You Found Me)”, “You Are My Face”, “On and On and On”
Listen, the birds sing.
In Our Bedroom After the War, Stars
Ah, Amy Millan – I think she somehow made Stars’ latest album, In Our Bedroom After the War, so much more enjoyable. There is something about her voice that draws you in amid the fun starship-laser-gun-like sounds of “The Night Starts Here”, and the loneliness and forlornness of the tune in “Personal”.
Favourite tracks: “My Favourite Book”, “Personal”, “The Ghost of Genova Heights”
But we still have the radio.
We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, Modest Mouse
Loud and brash, Modest Mouse’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank occasionally sounds a bit… undecided with its directions. There are the good times, and then there are the bad times. I have to reiterate that there is nothing here that is as strong as their previous outing Good News for People Who Love Bad News – but I must admit that when the hits come, they come fast and furious.
I have also written about We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank here.
Favourite tracks: “Dashboard”, “Parting of the Sensory”, “Missed the Boat”, “Little Motel”
I’m the hypocrite.
Beyond the Neighbourhood, Athlete
Also the album that everyone else hates, Beyond the Neighbourhood became the victim of many critics, who called it “a yawn” and “a blank stare”.
While I would not exactly call this a masterpiece, I do like Athlete (and their previous album, Tourist, too – so there!). Plus, whichever album that has tracks that make me sing along (when no one is listening, of course) or I can easily tap my fingers to, has a good chance of gracing this list.
So this guilty pleasure made it.
Favourite tracks: “Tokyo”, “In the Library”, “Flying Over Bus Stops”
We’ve all been changed.
An End Has a Start, Editors
While the Editors’ previous album, The Back Room is stronger overall (it had the awesome track “Munich”), in An End Has a Start there are two standouts here, which have become my favourite tracks, too.
I love frontman Tom Smith’s vocals: a fitting combination to the sounds this band produces – mostly dark, bleak, broody and (unintentionally?) serious – but it is all good.
Favourite tracks: “Bones”, “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors”
We look like the rest.
Spirit If…, Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew
Added 30 Dec 2007: Well. Five was a nice number, but after another (few) spins last night, I have to – I need to – add this in. Spirit If… is reminiscent to when I first discovered Broken Social Scene’s self-titled album – addictive hooks, some bizarre lyrics, and oh, that familiar voice…
Yay. I simply cannot get “F-ked Up Kid” out of my head.
And with Broken Social Scene coming to Singapore in a few months’ time, I need all the practice that I can get.
Favourite tracks: “F-ked Up Kid”, “Tbtf”
Now, now – I love these albums too; it is just unfortunate that they did not get enough play on my Winamp because I (unabashedly) fancied the above albums more.
Myth Takes, !!!
Australia, Howie Day (2002)
No Cities Left, The Dears (2004)
Everything Last Winter, Fields
In Rainbows, Radiohead
Wincing the Night Away, The Shins
The Con, Tegan and Sara
I Am Not Afraid Of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, Yo La Tengo (2006)
Also listened to:
Neon Bible, Arcade Fire
Twilight of the Innocents, Ash
Roots and Echoes, The Coral
The Reminder, Feist
Widow City, The Fiery Furnaces
Happiness Ltd, Hot Hot Heat
Light Grenades, Incubus
All the Lost Souls, James Blunt
Chase This Light, Jimmy Eat World
The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance (2006)
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, Of Montreal
The Magic Position, Patrick Wolf
Young Modern, Silverchair
The Boy with No Name, Travis
Return to Cookie Mountain, TV on the Radio (2006)