It’s been four years since a 16-year-old Lorde became the youngest artist ever to score a #1 Billboard hit. Her album Pure Heroine was a smart and resonant collection, all the more impressive when you took her age into account.
My only association with this Ellie Goulding song, from her 2010 debut album Lights, is my impersonation of its opening lines. My wife was (is?) a fan of this album, while I would pass up no chance to make fun of it.
My schoolyard taunts included saying Goulding sounds like a “wispy unicorn,” mocking her pronunciation of “this love” as “this loaf” and singing the beginning of this song as “a toy a too a tee a toe” in my best Ellie Goulding accent.
Badly Drawn Boy’s 2000 debut album, The Hour of the Bewilderbeast, remains a remarkable collection of baroque pop and acoustic loveliness with a level of quality that Damon Gough sadly hasn’t approached since.
Admittedly, I haven’t kept up with everything he’s released over the past 17 years (which includes a couple of movie soundtracks and five more studio albums) but the few I do have pale in comparison to this beauty of an album.
The Scottish alternative band would morph into more of a power pop band on subsequent releases, but this album sounds like an early grunge record. I’m guessing I’d prefer their later work.
They Might Be Giants has released 19 studio albums, including one as recently as last year, but their most popular and acclaimed remains 1990’s Flood. The record was the Brooklyn duo’s major label release and featured their two biggest hits, ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul’ and ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople).’
I’ve always lumped TNBG in with Barenaked Ladies as bands with definite musical chops that toe the line between legitimate artists and novelty acts. I’m a big fan of most Barenaked Ladies albums, but I don’t know anything by They Might Be Giants other than the two hits mentioned above, so I don’t know if my assessment is correct.
The Washington, D.C-based band is described as “post-hardcore,” which basically mean hardcore punk with a little more thought put in. It still sounds like a whole lot of screaming and thrashing to me. I wonder about the mental and emotional state of somebody who finds comfort or release in music like this.
Liverpool-based The La’s released their first and last album in 1990. The self-titled record is one of those you hear described as the best album you’ve never heard of.
The dozen jangle pop songs on The La’s sound like they could have been released three decades earlier, when another group of spunky Liverpudlians were about to take over the world.