Archive for the ‘CD’ Category

First off, I’d like to apologize. I haven’t written in a long time. I’ll seriously try to be more constant in the months to come.

So, here we come to the subject. Last week, I finally bought the latest CD from Death Cab For Cutie. It was after I saw their peeformance at Conan O’Brian’s show.

I first discovered Death Cab For Cutie in 2005, with their alblum Plans. I ‘ve been, like many other people, seduced by Soul Meets Body. In 2008, I followed them on their Narrow Stairs. I liked the new direction I was hearing there. They were not stearing in a totally different direction, just slowly exploring new paths. I kind of lost track of what they did after that, so when I pressed “play” I discovered something really interesting.

Home Is A Fire, the opening track, is probably my favorite. It’s jazzy cymbal shuffle, it’s
Structure, the sounds. It seems like the new path they started exploring on Narrow Stairs is now pushed to a higher level. The first comparison that came to my mind was Radiohead. Not that it sounds as Radiohead, but it kind of reminded of their evolution between The Bends and OK Computer. But at the same time, if you’re already a fan, you’re in common groundss too. I mean, they explore a bit, but the essence is still there.

I still need a few listens to fully appreciate the album, but I know for sure that it will get a lot of plays on my ipod this summer. It’s one of those “suprise” album that just goes beyond your expectations.<a

C’est mardi dernier que paraissait officiellement le nouvel opus du groupe montrélais Malajube. Intitulé La Caverne, cet album devait marquer un retour vers le son plus joyeux des premiers albums, délaissant le côté sombre de Labyrinthes.
Il y a quelques temps, le groupe rendait disponible sur son site le tout premier extrait de cet album, une plage intitulée Synesthésie. Ça ne faisait aucun doute. Un son résolument plus joyeux et aussi plus pop. J’avais l’eau à la bouche, je ne pouvais plus attendre pour écouter ce nouvel album.
Premier constat à la première écoute: bien que la formation ait voulu délaisser le côté sombre du précédent album, on sent qu’il laisse toujours sa trace. Personnellement, je ne m’en plains pas. J’avoue que Labyrinthe était (et est toujours) mon album favori de Malajube. Mais, on sent tout de même le côté plus joyeux et festif. On remarque aussi que les arrangements ont été beaucoup simplifiés par rapport à ce à quoi ils nous ont habitués. En entrevue dernièrement, Julien Mineau, chanteur du groupe, mentionnait que, pour cet album, ils ont beaucoup pensé aux spectacles et c’est ce qui les a menés à faire des arrangements qu’ils pourraient reproduire à quatre sur la scène. Mais la musique de Malajube n’y perd vraiment rien. Comme à l’habitude, ils nous balancent en plein visage un mélange de rock, de pop et de progressif, avec des textes qui, selon moi, sont tout à fait délicieux.
Étant donné que le premier extrait de l’album s’appelle Synesthésie, j’ai décidé de me prêter à un petit jeu et d’associer une couleur à chacune des chansons de l’album. Voilà ce que ça donne:
Synesthésie: Rose. Un rose bonbon éclatant parce que cette pièce est un gros morceau de pop bonbon à son meilleur. Courte, accrocheuse et entraînante, on ne peut pas y résister.
Cro-Magnon: Orange. Sincèrement, c’est la chanson à laquelle j’ai eu le plus de difficulté à associer une couleur. C’est finalement la couleur orange qui m’est venue en tête. Tout d’abord parce que le texte fait souvent référence au feu, mais aussi parce que sa “vibe” faisait en sorte que j’imaginais le groupe en train de jouer cette chanson en spectacle, devant un mur de feu. L’image était parfaite.
La caverne: Noir. Noir, car c’est probablement la pièce qui porte le plus ce petit côté sombre qui était si présent sur l’album précédent. Noir parce qu’elle nous entraîne vraiment au fin fond de la caverne.
Sangsues: Brun. Le brun des bottes qui martèlent le sol. C’est que le rythme accentué et saccadé de cette pièce me fait penser à des bruits de pas.
Mon oeil: Bleu. Le bleu du ciel à qui elle emprunte sa légèreté. J’adore cette pièce très “atmosphérique”.
Le blizzard: Or. Cette pièce est fortement influencée par le funk et le disco des années 80, avec ses paillettes et tous ses brillants.
Radiologie: Vert. Le vert de l’été. Une pièce qui respire le soleil, le beau temps.
Ibuprofène: Sable. J’ignore pourquoi mais, quand j’entends cette pièce, je vois une grande plage. Elle est un peu dans le même esprit que le morceau précédent: légèreté, pop, bon temps.
Le stridor: Blanc. C’est la couleur que cette pièce au rythme de valse m’a inspirée. Je voyais une grande réception avec de somptueuses robes blanches.
Chienne folle: Rouge. Rouge pour l’énergie, car cette dernière pièce de l’album en a à revendre. Probablement le titre le plus énergique de l’album. On termine en force.

Voilà! C’est ce qui conclut mon petit exercice synesthésique. J’espère que vous avez eu autant de plaisir à le lire que j’en ai eu à l’écrire. Surtout, n’hésitez pas à laisser en commentaires les couleurs que cet album VOUS inspire.

Wow! It’s been a long time since I have been that excited about new music coming out. I don’t know what’s happening this spring, but new music is blooming everywhere.

Well, where should I start. Maybe with Radiohead who finally put out the sequel to In rainbow in the name of The King of Limbs. I was so excited to finally have new Radiohead music. Even though I think I still need some time to tame the beast and fully appreciate this weird record (to say the least), I think it’s a great record. I really love how Radiohead seems to be able to destabilize us with every new record they put out.

Also, PJ Harvey gave us a new record called Let England Shake. I must admit that I haven’t followed closely her career, but I always find her music interesting. This album is the first PJ Harvey album I bought since To Bring You My Love and I have to say that I really love it. You should give it a try.

What’s next? J Mascis, leader of Dinosaur Jr jut released an acoustic album called Several Shades of Why. I haven’t listened to it yet as it is very difficult to find here, but I ordered it online and just can’t wait to hear this new material from one of my inspiration as a guitarist.

Another album I can’t wait to put my hands on is a record called La Caverne by the Montreal based band Malajube. I really discovered them with their last record, Labyrith, but became a real fan of their music. If you don’t know them yet, give them a try. You won’t regret it. You can find the first single off their new record on their website http://malajube.com/

Also, new music coming next week by the Foo Fighters. I have to admit that I lost some interest in them over the last few years, but the first single Rope really got me back in. I am really excited for this album to come out. I also like the idea the had to entirely record this new album in a garage, using only analog technologies. Can’t wait to hear how it sounds.

Well, well, well. It’s not over yet. As I am typing this text, I am patiently waiting for Jane’s Addiction to put the link on their site to download the first single off their new record. I streamed it online and it sounds really promising. It’s been a while since we could listen to new material from Jane’s. I am really curious to find out how this will sound.

Have I told you it was quite busy? Also, Jeff Martin, ex-leader of The Tea Party (the band, not the political party), just released a new album with a new band called 777. This is a really amazing album and you can read a review of it in a previous post.

I was about to forget Mogwai. What a mistake. This great post-rock band just put out Harcore Will Never Die But You Will. An amazing record I can’t stop listening to.

Also, It makes me think that Explosions in The Sky is also set to release a new record soon. If you go to their website http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/ you can download their first single. If you don’t know them, I strongly suggest you listen to them. It’s one of the best band I discovered in the last few years.
As if it wasn’t enough, Smashing Pumpkins is continuing their Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, and each new song to put out is better than the previous one. Keep it rocking…
I am sure I am forgetting a lot of interesting stuff as I am just throwing ideas as I write. I was just so excited about everything happening in the music world right now that I had to share it.
Hope you’ll find some stuff you like in all that.

Jeff is back

Posted: March 16, 2011 in CD, Musique
Tags: , , , ,

I was in a music store last week, looking at CDs when the artwork of a CD grabbed my attention. I looked at it more closely and saw that it was a new Jeff Martin recording. For those who don’t know him, he was the frontman of the Canadian band The Tea Party, who were active in the ’90s, up to their breakup in 2005. Their style was a mix of raw rock and blues, with a middle-eastern flavour. After the breakup, Jeff put out a solo album in 2006, and a record with a new band, the Armada, in 2008.

Even though I’ve been a little disappointed by his post-Tea Party efforts, I remained a big fan of Jeff Martin. And it was with great pleasure that I discovered he was back…and rocking.

Before talking about the music, I’d like to talk a little bit about the visual. When CD came along, the jacket became less important than it was on a (much larger) vinyl. And it’s almost disappearing now with MP3 and digital music. However, I personally really love that piece of art that is, to me, part of the musical experience. And in that specific case, I must say that I really love the artwork of the CD. It’s really beautiful, and set the vibe for that middle-eastern flavoured record. Even the booklet has this mystical side that is just awesome.

That being said, let’s jump into the music. Right off the bat, Martin and his band set the pace with The Ground Cries Out (which is also the album title). The pounding percussions, the heavy guitars and that exotic melody immediately put us in a Tea Party flashback. However, I have to say that he does not sound like a copy of himself. It’s just that he brought back that spirit that was behind Tea Party’s music.

Of course, you’ll also find on the album a touch of blues and slide guitars, as Jeff Martin seems to cherish it. Good examples of that are Queen of Spades or Riverland Rambler.

Another of Martin’s trademark is instrumental acoustic songs. And of course, you’ll find it here as well, in songs as Blue Mountain Sun or The Mekong. On this last one, Martin widens its influences to add a touch of oriental melodies. I would say there’s a little something Chinese in this song. I believe this is the first time he explores this, on record at least.

The album closes as strong as it opened, with The Pyre. Its heavy guitar riff will leave you begging for more.

To me, this album is one of the interesting album 2011 has given us so far. It sure isn’t The Tea Party. There was something special between Jeff Burrows, Stuart Chatwood and Jeff Martin. Those of you who have seen them live know what I am talking about. But this is clearly a great rock album.

Now I can’t wait to see (or hear) how this will sound live.

What a nice surprise to discover that Mogwai, the Glasgow-based rock band, was offering us the gift of a new Album. Even nicer to see that they will also follow with a tour, that will bring them to Montreal in May.

I have been a fan for 3 or 4 years, after a friend of mine made me listen to Haunted By a Freak. That was it. He then convinced me to go see them live. I new very few songs, but I was blown away by the show. They really transorted me into their sound-walled universe.

So, it’s with a lot of excitement that I put their latest CD, Hardcore will never die but you will, in my CD player (yes, call me a dinosaur if you will, but I still love my CDs). Once again, they didn’t disapoint me.

Let’s start by saying that this is not a “remake” of their previous album, as some bands would do. The mood is quite different that what they offered previously. I have to say that at the first listen, I didn’t notice as much hooks as on the previous album. No Christmas steps, no Haunted by a Freak, no Batcat. However, the more I listen to it, the more it grows inside of me.

Everything is there to make an amazing rock album. Great drum beats (White Noise for example), killer fuzz (Rano Pano), nice melodies (well…all tracks), funky song titles (You’re Lionel Richie), and even a song that has this Joy Division kind of vibe (Mexican Grand Prix).

Hi highly recommand this record. Better yet, check out their website at http://www.mogwai.co.uk/ and find out when they play near you. I guarantee that this is an experience you won’t forget soon.