Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Album Playlist: 1/17/12

With the announcement of SPIN Reviews, a twitter account run by SPIN reviewers to push out 140 character max reviews, the art of the review has become much less sophisticated than it has been in the past. But while the descriptions are much less in depth, it allows the writers to talk about a larger amount of albums in a shorter time. I'm now going to introduce the Album Playlist feature to the site, where I will grade and put a short description of the albums I listen to on a specific day. All grades are subject to change, as they will be based off all the listens of the album up to the specific date of the article. Grades will be based on the letter scale as used on the site, but borderline grades (B+/B, B-/C+) will be included. Read below for impressions of Houston Calls' best album, as well as two The Rocket Summer classics.

Houston Calls - A Collection Of
Short Stories
(2005) (B)
Houston Calls is (probably) reuniting. So I had to take a listen to A Collection Of Short Stories for the first time in a while. It's definitely a fun listen, perfect for working out or driving. The catchy hooks are only amplified by the synth lines. But while the tracks do blend together, there isn't a poor moment in the album.
Key Tracks: "Exit, Emergency", "Bob and Bonnie"
Recommended If You Like: Pop punk that leans to the poppy side that is full of synths and keys, a la Motion City Soundtrack or Farewell.

The Rocket Summer - Hello, Good Friend
(2003) (B)
I had a bit of a The Rocket Summer kick this weekend, as I listened to both Hello, Good Friend and Do You Feel (seen below). Hello, Good Friend definitely is a more raw side to Bryce Avary, especially in the vocal area. But even way back then, Avary proved he's a damn good pop rock song writer.
Key Tracks: "Never Knew", "Around The Clock", "Brat Pack"
Recommended If You Like: Pop rock led by piano, such as The Morning Of or The Morning Light

The Rocket Summer - Do You Feel
(2007) (B+)
The major labels did well for Avary's sound. While the voice doesn't have the rough patches it did in Hello, Good Friend, it kind of loses some of the passion. As with Hello, Good Friend, the album's probably a couple songs too long. But the overall songs are even better than Hello, Good Friend, and Do You Feel is The Rocket Summer's most popular album for a good reason.
Key Tracks: "Do You Feel", "So Much Love", "High Life Scenery"
Recommended If You Like: Read one album up.

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