Atlas Sound - Let The Blind Lead Those...

"Let The Blind..." is the sort of album, that when listened to in the appropriate context, will take you to places you didn't even know you wanted to go to. But when you get there and are immersed in this state of potential euphoria for the fifty plus minutes that the album spins, you realize this is exactly where you have always wanted to be while listening to an album of this nature. You almost find the music crawling inside your brain and massaging it, with all it's worries and concerns of the day,  and eventually putting it to sleep, but it does that in the most appropriate and magnificently beautiful fashion. It almost brings with it a sense of childhood innocence, and not just because of the boy on the album cover, but in a most uncommon way it takes me back to my childhood and sheds light on the beauties of lying in bed with none of the worries of the world, or the simple pleasures of playing in the yard where your only duty is to make sure and come in for the home-cooked meal your mother just prepared.
           All in all, this is an outstanding album full of layers of atmospheric soundscapes that lead the listener to a world of beautiful relaxation, in the most unboring fashion. And when it is all over, you're almost left breathless because of the workout you just got by ACTUALLY relaxing. How is it that Bradford Cox was able to construct an LP, that not only entrances your mind to a sleep like state, but keeps you on the edge of your seat anticipating the next sonic layer about to be spilled out onto you? The answer to that, we may never know, but we can continue to enjoy the fruit of his labor in the mean time. Bradford and my "Wild African BEAST", I salute you.

Muse - The Resistance

6.5/10                                     Summing up my exact opinion of Muse's album "The Resistance" has been one of those types of things that is lingering in the back of my mind, like an annoying fly that you keep putting off trying to kill, even with how much it keeps bugging you. Not to say "The Resistance" has been a bug to listen to necessarily, it's more like I'm not really sure WHAT to say to about it, and everyone keeps asking me what I think. So all I am left to say is that it's kind of one of those albums that most of us have been anticipating for some time since their last outstanding release in '06, "Black Holes & Revelations", and now that it's actually here, and actually quite different from any of their past work, it almost feels like we're all dumb founded and confused a little. Well at least me personally, I don't really know what to do with Muse sounding THIS much like Queen, when I have Queen to sound like...well Queen. In fact as I was listening to to the album the other day I was realizing that on "Origin Of Symmetry" they were guitar heavy, on "Absolution" they were piano heavy, on "BH&R" they were electronically heavy, and on this one....well they are Queen heavy. 
         Now it's not all bad, when it comes down to the concept of the entire album, and the all around stimulation of big arena rock, it does execute proficiently. Not to mention the beautiful melodies mixed in throughout the course of the experience, and the outstanding three part symphony to end the album in a "Muse" worthy manner. But with all that going for it, I still cringe many times at the less then worthy attempts to sound "Queenish", and the over-looming fact that the album does have a sort of over-blown, over the top kind of feel throughout it. I still love the band, and look forward to future efforts, but overall "The Resistance" was a bit of a let down. But life still goes on, right? 

The XX - XX

It's almost like this album came flying out of nowhere and smacked us all in the face to remind us that there is still hope for a simple four piece band, that likes to just play simple, good music, with none of that overbearing need to make a "massive" album filled with hundreds of layers of synth and lustrous symphonies. Though there is a very appropriate time and place for such albums, this one on the other hand reminds us that there is so much value and life found in the simple minute layers of an album. One of the most gorgeous elements is the underlying romantic feel of the entire work, the male and female responsive vocals tune you into the quiet intensities of two lovers whispering back and forth. Though it almost sounds starved of sound at times, it's done in the most perfect way, it's like a fit runner that is set to give us massive amounts of replay (I'm on my 20th listen this week). No doubt, it has my vote for debut album of the year.

Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night

7/10                            So I've been listening to this album for a year now, and have literally watched the American public explode with excitement over this amazing "new" band, who have happened to be around since '99 and released their debut album in '03, in case you didn't know. It's almost as if most of them have been living under a rock for the past ten years and FINALLY decided to embrace a band from our very own USA that isn't a "sell out" act, right? Well we would certainly hope so. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with selling a lot of records or anything, but it does beg the question "why?", when most of the Billboard 200 is stocked full of artists who are either in High School or just graduated in time to put out their first "adult" record,  not to mention the people who don't even write their own music.
           But when it comes down to the record "Only By The Night" there is a massive part of my soul that clings to it for nostalgia sake, not to mention what these boys as a band have meant to me for the past few years. But from an objective stand point I do feel they lost that edge they used to have with head clanging screams blaring at me in "Charmer", or the awkward start stop insanity of "Four Kicks". Now don't get me wrong "OBTN" is an album packed full of some of their strongest songs, and I can't resist singing along to the hits, even when I see two teenie boppers walking in the local mall singing along to "Use Somebody". It's a strong album, but not the one any of us who have followed them since '03 were hoping for necessarily.

Noah And The Whale - The First Days Of Spring


Arctic Monkeys - Humbug


The Antlers - Hospice