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And then, because I have been keeping silent for a while now, let the music play on…

Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends.Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, Coldplay
June 17, 2008

No “Spies”, no “Amsterdam”, no “White Shadows”. This, I thought, might be a shame – their previous efforts have shined with those aforementioned tracks, so how can there not be even one favourite track off this album to satiate me?

(If I have to choose, it would be the dreamy, blue-sky day “Strawberry Swing”. But of course.)

Still, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends remained stubbornly on my music player. A solid album overall – more orchestral and anthemic, I think, with myriad instruments and more opportunities for energetic sing-alongs (“Viva La Vida”, “42”) thrown in this time around, despite the boggling inclusion of an instrumental track or two.

This band keeps churning out surprise after surprise with every album they make. So you see: growing up with Coldplay is not dull at all. Especially more when you have seen them in action in a concert, live.

Everything All the Time.Everything All the Time, Band of Horses
March 21, 2006

“The First Song” is, well, the first song from Band of Horses that I listened to (and to which I proceeded to hit the repeat button a dozen times more) from their debut album Everything All the Time. I have hardly come across such a strong opener to an album – this one grabs you right from the very beginning and makes you feel acquainted with the band straightaway, leaving no time for awkward introductions or nervous misgivings.

“The Funeral” is supposedly the band’s biggest hit, catapulting them to greater heights, but I found more love with their second single “The Great Salt Lake”.

This album clocks in at less than 40 minutes, leaving you feeling a bit shortchanged towards the end. Their 2007 follow-up Cease to Begin is equally decent as well, with the presence of a few standout tracks, chief among them the (unintentionally?) heartbreaking “Detlef Schrempf”.

Re-Arrange Us.Re-Arrange Us, Mates of State
May 20, 2008

Okay. There are not many husband-and-wife teams to begin with, and so I must admit that I got a little confused while listening to Mates of State and The Submarines back-to-back, for their music sounds somewhat similar – quirky, playful, mischievous…

But I think the former’s Re-Arrange Us has got a slight upper hand between the two – it seems friendlier, with addictive (and at times annoying, as in the repetitive “Now”) hooks to boot. Not to mention that I now have a favourite in “The Re-Arranger” – I know and I mean it I mean it I mean it.

And then you cannot help but feel happy for the duo, for they complement each other very well.

At Mount Zoomer.At Mount Zoomer, Wolf Parade
June 17, 2008

Wolf Parade is back with a new album, At Mount Zoomer – the sounds of which seem to somehow bring to mind The Killers (during their Hot Fuss times).

It kicks off with the instantly accessible “Soldier’s Grin”, working its way through tracks of different lengths ranging from three to six minutes, before coming to a grand finale with the 11-minute “Kissing the Beehive”. It is actually a bit too soon to tell, but I am liking this album already.

Other upcoming releases for 2008:
Doves, Franz Ferdinand, David Gray, Keane, The Killers, Morrissey, The Stills. See Metacritic’s release calendar here.

Details of this entry.Sunday, June 29, 2008, filed under Reviews.
This entry is open to comments.
Recent tracks played are displayed on Last.fm.Strawberry Swing, Coldplay

  1. I keep wanting to get that new Mates of State album, but have this tendency to conveniently forget everytime I pop into a music store. Bring it Back was outrageously catchy from start to finish; it seems a travesty that I’ve yet to lay my hands on Re-Arrange Us.

    Keen | 30/06/08 02:29 AM

  2. Incidently. I think you might have mistakenly switched the covers for Everything All the Time and Cease to Begin.

    Keen | 30/06/08 02:44 AM

  3. Keen – I think I prefer Re-Arrange Us to Bring It Back. Which, unfortunately, seems to differ from most of the critics’ picks… :/

    Ack, guilty as charged – I did indeed put on the wrong album cover for the Band of Horses writeup – I’ve got it corrected now, thanks! (Was having trouble deciding which Band of Horses album to focus on yesterday…)

    Strizzt | 30/06/08 07:09 PM

  4. band of horses roxxor.
    as for coldplay, which prior album is this closest to?

    soporific | 14/07/08 08:56 PM

  5. Soporific – Ack, I don’t know. Maybe some hints from their previous albums here and there, but not so much, really… how do you find it?

    Strizzt | 16/07/08 09:40 PM

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