Death Cab for Cutie—Plans: 7/10No Doubt—Return of Saturn: 6/10
Sheā Seger—The May Street Project: 6/10
Dane Cook—Harmful if Swallowed (Comedy): "decent"
Dane Cook—Retaliation (Comedy): "great"
Immediately after the first Death Cab for Cutie album I bought, I ordered their latest, Plans. I have to say... I definitely like Transatlanticism better. I gave it an 8, and for Plans I struggled between a 6 and a 7, before realizing that spending time on a a number rating system for music is pretty silly and arbitrary as I have no real training in music or reviewing it. All of the characteristics that made Transatlanticism good are there, really, but Plans just wasn't as interesting to me. But, it's by no means bad; I just didn't like it as much as the last one. Check out Summer Skin, Your Heart Is an Empty Room, and Someday You Will Be Loved.
I also started listening to another No Doubt CD (I bought several in one batch a long time ago), Return of Saturn. I actually haven't listened to it too many times; I find it kind of hard to listen to in one sitting, and it's not something I'm frequently in the mood for. It's not bad... now that I've heard all four No Doubt albums, I can say that each one is better than the last. This is their third one, and I like only Rock Steady, their fourth, better. But, as has been the problem with their previous CDs, only the singles really stand out, and the rest is downhill from there. The best tracks on this CD are the first three: Ex-Girlfriend, Simple Kind of Life, and Bathwater. The rest aren't even close. In retrospect, I don't recommend buying any of their CDs before Rock Steady... just get a singles compilation.
Another Pandora discovery, I tried out Sheā Seger's album The May Street Project. The track that got me interested was Last Time, which is a pretty fun pop song. There's something about her voice that I can't quite identify that I like and dislike at the same time... like it's too raw or unrefined, but in a kind of refreshing way. Her disc reminds me of Sheryl Crow a bit. Anyway, it's not bad, and it's got some good songs, but at the same time, I don't really feel like I need to recommend it to anyone. But, from what I read, fans of Ani DiFranco will like it, and I the AMG reviewer agrees that it sounds like Sheryl Crow. Anyway, besides Last Time, check out Blind Situation (featuring D.R.U.G.S.) and Twisted.
Finally, I picked up two comedy CDs from Dane Cook, Harmful If Swallowed and Retaliation, after having heard the beginning of the latter in a coworker's car. Both pretty funny, though Retaliation is better. Amusing: Someone Shit on the Coats and Abducted. (Explicit; duh.)
So, those were okay. I've got several CDs on the way that I'm very excited about, though... Basement Jaxx—Crazy Itch Radio, Enigma—A Posteriori, and Scissor Sisters—Ta Dah!. Also, one more comedy CD: Sarah Silverman—Jesus is Magic.