I’ve been wanting to write a post about music for a long time; ever since I started this blog, in fact. I have very strong opinions about music—and as you may have noticed, I kind of love to share my opinions. For some reason, though, it’s been nearly impossible for me to decide where to begin. So I’ve chosen my three favorite albums of the last year (well, the last 6 months or so), and extensive investigations of those albums will follow in a few parts. For now, though, an introduction.
First up: Steal the Light, the 2013 creation of Australian genre-defying band Cat Empire. Intriguing amalgamations of ska, jazz, and funk with a liberal dose of Latin. The music is thrilling, the lyrics inspirational, the beats unbelievably danceable. Taking a trip through this album involves moving to some brilliant rhythms and simultaneously realizing the profundity of the themes that thread throughout the record. Undeniably my favorite album of the year, though I came to it late.
Round two: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, the third album from my longtimefavorites Franz Ferdinand. They nailed it this time. It’s a brilliant record: it’s got some fantastic dance numbers, a couple of straight-up pop songs, and some heartbreakingly exquisite ballads—all, of course, with that hint (sometimes more than a hint, I suppose) of offbeat weirdness that makes FF’s work so eternally entertaining.
And finally: Seven Nights, Seven Days, another third album by another British band, this time the Fratellis (I swear it’s a coincidence that two of my top three are British…). After a bit of a hiatus, the bold wit is still there, but there’s now a new hint of maturity that adds some substance to the trio’s work. The result is a record that can evoke entirely opposite emotions at precisely the same moment; it might make me laugh, but at the same time I’ll wonder why I feel like weeping. It’s a fascinating balance with an extremely satisfying result.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a close look at each of these albums—this post is more to keep me on track than to entertain you lovely readers (I do love having readers, but it’s the truth). Watch for something about Cat Empire within the week!