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This album has left me more or less speechless. Fantastic songs all throughout, and easily one of the best albums of the year.

Some samples:

Twenty Seven Strangers:

The Meaning of the Ritual:

But my love is selfish/And remembers everything/Like the first time it was moved enough to sing/How it dangled on that stage just like a puppet on a string.

Fucking brilliant.

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Music Video Round Up

It’s that time of the year again… As in the end. Time for us to look back at all our many successes (read: failures) and forge out some kind of identifying mechanism for the year that was 2010. And for most of us, the best way of doing that is to recall those pieces of art that informed and entertained us all year-long. Yes, that’s really just an overwrought  way of saying that despite the fact that I hardly ever update this thing anymore, expect to see some 2010 Top 10 lists coming within the next month. Television, Music, Movies, you name it, I’ll figure it out somehow…

2010 has been a pretty slow year for music. (Hell it’s been a pretty slow year for everything.) Or maybe it’s just been a slow year as it pertains to me listening to music. Anyway, today I decided to spend a good portion of the day researching all the top albums that came out this year in the hopes of devising my own favourites. And while my actual list is still quite a ways off, I figured I’d give you a little taste of what (might) to expect. Here are some of the better music video’s I came across today… (And yes, most of these are “copyright protected” so you’re gonna have to click on the link to actually watch them… because you know, putting them online for free is one thing, but let’s not make overly convenient for anyone.)

Kanye West: Power

I don’t even know how to describe this video. I always knew Kanye’s ego was proportionately as big as those over-sized sunglasses he loves to wear, but this is just ludicrous. It’s like the roof of the Sistine Chapel as directed by Michael Bay. The worst part of it all is that despite how tacky it is, I still like it.

I Am Kloot: Proof

This might very well be the simplest music video I have ever seen, but very much like Bright Eyes “First Day of My Life” it is unnerving in its effectiveness. Very interesting video.

The Besnard Lakes: Albatross

Great atmospheric song and video. Definitely something that would grow on you the more you watch and listen to it. And is there really any combination of things that is better than Cinema and Music? (Something that wouldn’t be lewd to print, that is.)

Foals: Spanish Sahara

This is probably the best music video I have seen in a long, long time. It’s simply beautiful. Despite its length, it’s easily something I could see myself watching over and over again.

That’s it for now. Maybe some more at a later date, but who knows… I’ve got a shit load of music to listen to between now and the end of the year. (Not to mention movies to watch.) Pray for me.

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High Violet

By The National

I don’t often write about albums, simply because I am by no means a musician. I love music, and I think that my taste is (for the most part) pretty decent, but I’m not nearly the historian of popular music that I am for television or film. That being said, I might very well listen to music more than I watch films. (Hell, all of us in the iPod generation probably do.) So, sometimes when I hear an album that blows me away, I need to write about it. “High Violet” by The National is one such album.

A few years ago, I was looking at the “top albums of the year” lists around December, trying to find some new music that might be worth listening to. “Boxer” by a band called The National appeared on a lot of these lists so I decided to give it a listen. It seemed decent enough, but nothing really grabbed me right away so it sort of just got lost in my ever-expanding iTunes library. Flash forward to about a week ago and Craig Ferguson’s musical guest is The National. Since the name sounded familiar, I decided not to turn the channel and give them a listen. They played “Anyone’s Ghost” from their new album and it made quite the impression on me. So I checked out this new album and found it to be stellar. So much so that I went back and listened to “Boxer” once again and then found the rest of their catalogue and listened to all of that as well. Long story short, I’m now pretty fluent in The National and they are a fantastic band. I’ve read them described as Bruce Springsteen meets Joy Division and that sounds about right to me. They’re sort of artsy and somewhat pretentious sounding (Joy Division) but at the same time find a way to relate to the common man and have captivating hooks (The Boss). They also sort of remind me of Interpol, if Interpol were slightly more talented. (And this is coming from a man who loves Interpol.)

Regardless, “High Violet” is likely my favourite album of The National’s. It has fantastic song after fantastic song, including: Terrible Love, Anyone’s Ghost, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Runaway, Conversation 16, and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks. That’s 6 songs. That means that more than HALF of this album is awesome. And the other songs are all great too. It’s certainly a top contender right now for my album of the year. Give it a listen.

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By Los Campesinos!

I’ve been listening and re-listening to the new album by Los Campesinos! “Romance is Boring” a lot lately. It’s not because I think that it’s particularly amazing, only that I’m trying to decide my opinion of it. They sort of remind me of what Bloc Party could have become if they had decided to stick with the sound that they started off with on “Silent Alarm” instead of challenging themselves to evolve their sound. That’s not to take anything away from Los Campesinos! only that the songs are occasionally too poppy or whiney to really have an impact. Regardless, this song is quite powerful. And the video is subtle but fantastic. It’s very personal and combined with the song, makes you feel as if you are actually there, taking part in these actions.

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Flash Delirium By MGMT

Whoever Directed this video has watched way too much David Lynch and David Cronenberg films. Oh, who am I kidding, you can never watch enough films by those two. Awesome but crazy video. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re allowed to put this on TV. (Not to mention how the rest of the record sounds!)

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This song has everything you could really ask for. Awesome drum beat, catchy guitar hooks, fantastic lyrics, and momentum that can’t help but move you. All of it makes up for what is probably my favourite Killers song.

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Two fantastic songs from one of the greatest bands on Earth. (But seriously, what’s with me and Love right now, huh?)

I like to imagine that these songs are linked to each other, that “I Still Remember” is the spiritual sequel to “This Modern Love.” The first songs is about finding a love so great it hurts, the second is learning how to cope with losing it. Because we always lose it. Whether we lose the person or not. (Goddamn that’s cynical…) Ah well, enjoy the songs.

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