Sunday, April 2, 2006

I heart music

I haven't been listening to too much new music recently; I've mostly been listening to some of the more recent stuff I've bought. But, over the past couple months I have finished a few more CDs.

Delerium—Archives Volume 1, and Archives Volume 2. Delerium is a personal favorite of mine. They've got a really cool sound that mixes pop, electronic music, and ambient world music. And, as with many of the bands on my playlist, ethereal female vocals.

This is not that Delerium.

Well, it's the same band. But it's not the same Delerium. Their older tracks would be best described as "industrial and moody." They're kind of like the soundtrack to American McGee's Alice, or a less-energetic Unreal soundtrack. Or, the show Unsolved Mysteries, if you're not familiar with those games. It's weird. Some of the tracks are decent, and several suck. But, each of those albums is two CDs, so out of four CDs I got my $25 worth. It's interesting to see how a band that originally made music like that makes music like this.

From Archives Volume 1, check out Sword (originally from Faces, Forms, and Illusions, 1989), Fragments of Fear (from Morpheus, 1989), and Shroud (from Syrophenikan, 1991). From Archives Volume 2, check out Drama (from Spiritual Archives, 1993), Monolith (from Spheres, 1994), and Shockwave (from Spheres II, 1994). None of those sound like the new Delerium in any way.

But, that transition didn't make sense. There's a missing link somewhere that combines the two...

Delerium—Semantic Spaces. Between their old sound and their new sound, Delerium had an album called Semantic Spaces that is more between the two. It sounds more like their new stuff than their old stuff, but now it makes the transition more obvious. I don't know why they changed their whole style, but I like their new style much better, so I don't mind too much...

From Semantic Spaces, check out Flatlands and Gateway.

It's hard to decide who to recommend Delerium to. Delerium would appeal to most people who like E.S. Posthumus, which is about as obscure as musical artists get. I'd say that anyone who likes Enigma will probably like Delerium, but anyone who likes ambient fake world music or light electronic music with female vocals will probably like them too.

For a more recent Delerium sound, check out Silence featuring Sarah McLachlan (from Karma, 1997), which is the only one that sounds anything like the older CDs I listed above, After All featuring Jaƫl (from Chimera, 2003), and Stopwatch Hearts featuring Emily Haines (also from Chimera), which is basically just pop.

Fredalba—Uptown Music for Downtown Kids. This is a pretty decent CD. I think it's also the only CD that I have that's by someone who's primarily known as being an actor: Eric Balfour, who is apparently on The OC, but that's not where I've seen him. Actually, I don't know where I'd seen him, but I recognized the face.

Photo of Eric Balfour
Eric Balfour

So, it turns out that that guy sings well, and the band is interesting. I don't know who I'd recommend it to, though. It's some variant of rock; maybe I'd classify it as funk. Check out Gimme More, Prepare to Reactivate, and Progression.

Good Charlotte—The Chronicles of Life and Death. This was a purchase I put into my computer to rip with some trepidation. Despite really enjoying the only song of theirs I had heard, I Just Wanna Live, I feared that they would be a pretty horrible pop/punk band. To my joy and surprise, they turned out to just be a pop/punk band. I love Murder (In This World), I Just Wanna Live, The Chronicles of Life and Death, and the fairly absurd Once Upon a Time: The Battle of Life and Death.

Finally, today, I got into the sudden mood to listen to new music while working, and I happened to get a couple new CDs in the mail on Friday, so I listened to them both.

Fischerspooner—Odyssey. I like this. It's electronic alternative rock, I'd say. Parts are a bit unpleasantly emo in a Depeche Mode kind of way, but overall it's fine. It's got a lot of interesting sounds. Watch the Never Win video and you'll have a pretty good idea of what they sound like, though much of the rest of the CD is a little less poppy, so not my fault if you hate it... Also check out Everything to Gain, and the annoyingly-titled "•" for some insane retro electronic wackiness.

Scissor Sisters—Scissor Sisters. This isn't at all the kind of music I normally listen to, and I loved my first play through. Keeping with the theme of today's post, I don't really know what genre it is. All Music Guide calls it "genre-defying" in the first line of its bio, so I guess I don't feel too bad. Fischerspooner and OutKast are both listed bands that sound similar to Scissor Sisters, which confuses the hell out of me. Their album review uses phrases like "fancy-pants disco" and "twittering glitterball beat," and somehow those seem really fitting. Not knowing really where to put it, I think I'd have to call it "disco." Anyway, it's very cool. Check out Laura, Take Your Mama, and Music Is the Victim. You can always minimize the window if the lead singer creeps you out too much.


Anonymous said...

Eric Balfour is on Conviction, the Law & Order spinoff.

Matthew Johnson said...

I think that I like Scissor Sisters after listening to it, but I'm afraid I won't be able to listen to them without getting those images in my head.

Anonymous said...

He's also Gabe on Six Feet Under.