The short version:
Air—Moon Safari: 8/10
Garbage—Bleed like Me: 7/10
Jay-Z—The Black Album: 6/10
KT Tunstall—Eye to the Telescope: 8/10
Around the time that I purchased the Air album I mentioned most recently, Pocket Symphony, I also picked up an older album, Moon Safari. I'd have to say that it's equially as good as Pocket Symphony. (Both are worth about 8.5/10, but I was in a round-up mood back then and I'm in a round-down mood right now, so whatever.) Most of what I said about Pocket Symphony applies to their older work Moon Safari as well. This CD sounds a little more "retro" electronic, and less lounge-y. My favorites are Sexy Boy (:30 clip, or full amusing remix), Remember (full track), and Le Voyage de Pénélope (:30 clip). Kelly Watch the Stars (full track) is great too, at just the right level of bizarreness. (There's a radio edit if you want less bizarreness.)
One CD I've had for quite a while but not listened to until now is Bleed like Me by Garbage. Good stuff. Some parts are a little more angry and emo than I'd like, but overall it's quite pleasant. The best stuff on here is Bleed like Me, Boys Wanna Fight, and It's All Over But the Crying. I don't own their debut CD or Version 2.0 yet, but compared to beautifulgarbage, their previous album, this one is more rock and less electronic, so the sound is pretty different. Both are good.
After loving the Linkin Park and Jay-Z mash-up CD Collision Course, I decided that I should try one of Jay-Z's CDs, so I picked The Black Album, from which several of the Collision Course source tracks come. It's not gangsta rap, which is a nice plus. But, his constant claims that he's the greatest rapper to ever live are severely exaggerated, and he's a mediocre producer. (Of course, there are so many untalented rappers who seem to put out poorly-produced albums, this one still stands out.) That's not to say that there aren't good tracks on here; there are. 99 Problems (:30 clip), Justify My Thug, and Lucifer are the best tracks on here. Interestingly, for each track from this album that was remixed on Collision Course, the Collision Course version is unquestionably better. I don't know if it's because Jay-Z's voice sounds better over rock than a rap background, or that the Linkin Park guys are much better producers than Jay-Z, or both. Compare the album version of 99 Problems to the Collision Course version. Or, compare the album Dirt Off Your Shoulder to the Collision Course version. Jay-Z's original versions sound hollow when heard side-by-side. (Of course, tastes vary, but I'm guessing that there aren't too many Jay-Z fans who read this, so I should be in the clear.) Anyway, overall, it's not bad, but I'm not enticed enough to buy any more of his CDs.
Finally, nearly on the complete opposite side of the musical spectrum, I recently picked up Eye to the Telescope by KT Tunstall. It's great light rock, and KT has an interesting and beautiful voice. She's got a strong voice with a lot of character. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree is just amazing and a good example of what her voice can do, and Suddenly I See and Other Side of the World are excellent as well. Another solid 8.5.
I've been listening to the new Linkin Park CD Minutes to Midnight since it came out, but I haven't quite decided what I think of it yet, so I'll talk more about it sometime later. I'm really digging this Bleed It Out though; it's like Linkin Park's version of party rock.
Currently listening: Mario Vasquez—Gallery, and then Rick Astley—Never Gonna Give You Up, because I can't help it
Generally I agree on the Black Album, although to be fair Jay-Z only had a hand in production on one track, "Threat".
The rest were all guest producers because that was supposed to be his final album. Right.
Ah, interesting. I guess I misread the liner notes.
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