Music Review 2011

What did I listen to in 2011? Not a whole lot, actually. I didn't purchase, or listen to, a whole lot of music in 2011. Especially I didn't get anything brand new or groundbreaking. All of these things are new albums from old favorites. Slow year, I guess, or maybe I am just getting old.

Mogwai, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

This album, combined with their tour coming to town and us going to the show, is a big part of 2011 for me. This is a strong album, and this band seems to keep getting stronger. There's a bit of retro-progressive influence on some of it, and some hard scratchy stuff, and some real earworms.

Elbow, Build A Rocket Boys

Reportedly, their previous album which I liked so much was their foray into trying to be more commercially appealing, and this album was their attempt to get back to their artistic center. While I approve of that in general, I have to say that I found their previous album more appealing to me. This is nice, and I listened to it a bunch, but very little of it sank in in the way "Seldom Seen Kid" did.

R.E.M., Collapse Into Now

I bought this? Wow. I think maybe I've listened to it a couple of times. I hear the band has decided to call it quits. Maybe it's about time. I think each of them has established a strong career individually now, and that's good.

Zombi, Escape Velocity

Again, here's an album I like that I listened to a bunch, but just didn't set me on fire like some of their previous stuff. I wish they'd play Pittsburgh (or anywhere) again.

They Might Be Giants, Join Us

Liked it; didn't fall in love with any of it; didn't even go see them when they played town. Fact is, their kids albums have more inventive songwriting these days, and catchier tunes. I'll buy their new stuff until the world ends, but their older stuff gets my feet dancing and my lips singing almost involuntarily, and nothing on here caught me the same way.

Sigur Ros, Inni

This is a live album compiled from a concert tour, so in a way it is sort of a "greatest hits" album, not that they have had this many commercial hits. The film they made of the tour is a great thing to see if it comes to your town. One edition of the album (2 CDs!) also comes with it on DVD. This is a good intro to the band if you have ignored my recommendation so far.

[2008], [2009], [2010]

2011.12.30 at 10:00am EDT