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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Song(s) of the Week: The Verve, Keane, Bloc Party, etc...

Forth” by The Verve. Release Date: August 25, 2008 (UK) / August 26, 2008 (US). Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential bands in British music, “Forth” is the fourth album by The Verve, and their first full set of original material since their career-defining, 1997 commercial breakthrough, ”Urban Hymns”. “Forth” is a solid album, not quite up to the standards set by previous records, but it’s worth the wait. My favorite song on the album—“Love Is Noise” which I’ve included below in its full album version—is also the catchiest and most upbeat track on the album. The rest of the record is much different, more melancholic with strong doses of psychedelia, but there are some other standout tracks like “I See Houses” and “Appalachian Springs”:
Official The Verve Website
Official The Verve Myspace
Order “Forth

Keane’s third studio album, “Perfect Symmetry”, is coming out October 13, 2008. In promotion of the upcoming record, the band offered the first single, “Spiralling”, as a free download on their website on August 4, 2008. It was only a week-long promotion, but the single is now officially available for download on iTunes. I really like “Spiralling”. It’s definitely ‘radio-friendly’ and a bit different from past Keane tracks—has hints of Maroon 5 or Scissor Sisters in it—but I enjoyed the song a lot more than anything found on the new Coldplay record :) Anyway, listen to “Spiralling (Radio Edit)” for yourself:
Official Keane Website
Official Keane Myspace
Order “Perfect Symmetry

The first I heard of The Script was their debut single, ”We Cry”. It was a good song and caught my attention, but it was their next single, “The Man Who Can’t Be Loved”, which made me buy their self-titled debut, released August 11, 2008. I was a little disappointed with the record—it’s a bit rough around the edges and somewhat generic—but I believe the band can get much better and I have high hopes for their sophomore offering. In the meantime, check out “The Man Who Can’t Be Loved”:
Official The Script Website
Official The Script Myspace
Order “The Script

Following in the footsteps of Radiohead, NIN, and The Raconteurs, Bloc Party surprised listeners with the sudden announcement of their third album, “Intimacy”, which was made available as an mp3 download on August 21st while the physical release doesn’t come out until October 27/October 28 in the UK/US. Personally, I think it’s a cool idea and hope more bands will follow suit :) As far as the actual record, I’m a bit torn with it. It’s certainly more polished and, at times, more experimental than previous releases, but I’m not sure I like it any better. “Intimacy” will definitely require several repeat plays before I make a final judgment, but in the meantime I’ve included below the one song (Biko) that immediately caught my ear:
Official Bloc Party Website
Official Bloc Party Myspace
Preorder “Intimacy

Don’t Forget to Remember” actually came out last September. In fact, it’s the fourth album released by Puressence, a band I had never heard of until this year. The production is a little weak, but I liked the record and the vocals are just amazing. “Don’t Know Any Better” is my favorite song on the album and reminds me of a cross between Aqualung and Keane/Snow Patrol:
Official Puressence Website
Official Puressence Myspace
Order “Don’t Forget to Remember


Anonymous said...

Nice feature. I'm a Keane fan but not that big on this new song you featured here, too mellow. I think the new The Verve song is ok, not spectacular. I like the Puressence the best.

Coldplay's most recent material was a bit of a disappointment, as was the album before that. I enjoy some of Snow Patrol's numbers as well.

Robert said...

Calibander, thanks! I actually thought "Spiralling" was one of the band's more energetic tracks. "Love Is Noise" didn't really impress me the first time I heard it, but the more I listen to the song, the better it gets. All four of Puressence's records are supposed to be really impressive, so if you liked the song you might want to check out the rest of their discography.

Yeah, the new Coldplay album was a major disappointment, although I really enjoyed X&Y. Still, some of their best songs are from their first two records.

I like Snow Patrol as well, and if I stick with the Brit-pop theme, I also enjoy Embrace, Athlete, BellX1, Cherry Falls, etc...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for those recommendations Robert, I was hoping you'd have some more in the vein of Snow Patrol/Keane/Coldplay. I'll certainly check out the puressence discos though, because I'm finding I've replayed the song you've featured here about 60 times now.

Anonymous said...

I never got into the first Bloc Party record, but I loved their sophomore disc. It was so dark and catchy and I loved the electronic element. This new song seems to be continuing on in that direction. Thanks for posting it.


Guerric Haché said...

Thanks for posting about the Bloc Party album - it's very nice that they surprise us like that. I've been a fan of theirs for a while, and I hope this album takes the band in a positive direction. I wouldn't have noticed until my quarterly check-up of all my favourite bands on Wikipedia to see whose finally announced a new album :P.

Robert said...

Calibander, nothing more in that vein at the moment, but if I hear anything else worth posting, I'll upload :)

John, if you liked Bloc Party's sophomore album, then I think you'll like the new one. It's not quite as catchy in my opinion, but it's still dark with that electronic vibe...

Garrick, you're more than welcome for the heads up and I hope you enjoy the album!

Jeff C said...

Just an FYI for those who liked the Puressence album. Amazon is selling it in their mp3 download store for just 5.99 for the entire album.

I really liked Keane's first album, but not the 2nd. Interested to hear where they go for album 2.

I posted a music rec yesterday for Airborne Toxic Event. Have you listened to them Robert? Given some of the bands you listed a couple of comments above, you might like them.

Robert said...

Jeff, thanks for the heads up!

Regarding The Airborne Toxic Event, I've been aware of them for a while. Loved the song, "Sometime Around Midnight" and was looking forward to their album, but it was kind of a disappointment. I know they have a lot of buzz, but I think they need some more work...

Another band that's kind of in that Keane/Coldplay/Brit-pop family is Ben's Brother. Their album came out last year and is solid:


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