Monday, October 4, 2010

Albums of the Month: September 2010

Indie: “The Suburbs” - Arcade Fire

The hype for Arcade Fire’s new album, The Suburbs, had been building all summer, but, for once, the album still manages to impress wary listeners, even with all the inflated expectations. Inspired by his youth in the Houston suburbs with brother William Butler, the front man, Win Butler, layers an anguished voice full of yearning on top of pulsing grooves in “Modern Man.” While certain parts still envelope the listener in the band’s characteristic grand, orchestral sound, Arcade Fire has opted to be more restrained and bare in this album centering on middle class malaise. Nevertheless, the album is filled with beautiful melodies and spiritual introspection, and has been lauded by many critics as their “masterpiece.”

-Grace Ma ‘14

Electronic: “Cheese” - Stromae

Parles-tu français? If you said oui, pay close attention. I want to tell you about Stromae, a Rwandan-Belgian electronica rapper who’s taken all of Europe by storm but is, as of yet, completely unknown in this country. He’s like a hybrid between Kanye West and Jacques Brel – a suave iconoclast with a formal education in music theory and provocative existential lyrics delivered with a French accent thicker than Pepé Le Pew’s. His first single, “Alors On Danse”, was released over a year ago, but remains at the top of a majority of European charts for its infectious rhythm and vibe. Other highlights of his debut album “Cheese” are the angsty “Te Quiero” and the religious-rave song “House’llelujah”. This album is hard to define – it’s like a Congolese salsa instructor’s first time as a DJ at a Jersey Shore rave. Give this entire gem of an album a good listen, but if ABBA makes you dread anything dubbed Europop, at least find Kanye West’s remix of “Alors On Danse” released last month. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

-Michael Bennet ‘14

Hip Hop/Rap: “I Am Not a Human Being” - Lil Wayne

Whatever reviewers of Lil Wayne’s new album, “I Am Not a Human Being,” will say, the real appeal to the album is simple: It’s Lil Wayne! From jail! Actually rapping! No more of that so-called rock music on “Rebirth”- this is real rap. For his millions of deprived fans, that’s enough. But for everyone else, it doesn’t hurt to say that the music is actually pretty damn good.

-Trap Yates ‘14

Pop/Rock: “Maximum Balloon” – Maximum Balloon

Do you like TV on the Radio? The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s? Well it won’t make a difference if you don’t, because TVOR member David Sitek’s new project, with all its vigorous creativity and contributors is an animal of its own species. Released September 21st, Maximum Balloon’s debut album featuring Sitek and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s offers a different perspective with each track. One moment, you might hear a bit of Chromeo, while another might drown you in airy female vocals a la Goldfrapp. When it comes down to it, Maximum Balloon might not change your life, but it’s absolutely a lot of fun.

-Lisa Han ‘13

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. You seem to be endorsing this album Lisa, but you support this by mentioning two of the shittiest indie bands out there (Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Tv On the Radio). Are you jumping on this bandwagon of overratedness. Tell me you're not listening to Wolf Parade.