Monday, October 8, 2007

Black Holes and Revelations

The short version:
Muse—Black Holes and Revelations: 9/10
Mute Math—Mute Math: 8/10
Bat for Lashes—Fur and Gold: 5/10
N.E.R.D.—In Search Of...: 7/10

I've been listening to Black Holes and Revelations by Muse recently, and it's pretty great. It's a good 8.5/10, but I'm in a round-up sort of mood right now. I'll definitely be picking up some of their past albums. (And, well, probably this one again since it was stolen.) There's a variety of different rock styles on here—some rhythmic and electronic, some harder "regular" rock, and some lighter vocal-focused songs. Check out Starlight (video) (which reminds me a lot of Keane), Supermassive Black Hole (video), and Knights of Cydonia (awesomely weird video), which are all apparently singles.

Additionally amusing is Mute Math's self-titled debut album. It's also rock, but focusing more on the percussion side of things, which is a cool twist. (Or, maybe they just have a really good drummer.) I picked it up after hearing their rendition of the Transformers theme. The obvious first single Typical (cool video) is the best track on the disc, but there's plenty more quality stuff. Try Noticed or Plan B.

Fur and Gold by Bat for Lashes was not as great. It's yet another rock CD, this time on the weird indie-rock side of things. My favorite track is the one that made me want to buy the CD, What's a Girl to Do? (wacky video). Also good are Horse and I and Prescilla (video with radio version, or original). Most of the rest of the album is a bit stranger and a little tougher to love, like The Wizard. If there were more tracks like those three favorites, I'd happily give the album a higher rating than a 5/10, but the stuff I love on this disc is only about fifteen minutes.

Finally, somewhat ruining my all-rock streak is an interesting rap/rock album In Search Of... by N.E.R.D., aka The Neptunes, who produced Britney Spears' excellent (seriously) I'm a Slave 4 U, Nelly's Hot in Herre, and other hits. This is an interesting CD; I want to classify it as hip-hop, but there's little rap, and it seems more rock-ish and rap-ish. I don't know how to describe it (raising the question of why I even bother writing sentences around these links to music), so check out Lapdance featuring Lee Harvey and Vita (decently hot video with weird sound and a lot of censoring*, or original), Baby Doll, and Stay Together. Worth checking out, especially since it's an unusual sound.

* I think that the video for Lapdance has the least amount of bleeping I've ever heard of the word "motherfucker." I think they bleeped out the "u." And yet, in the same video, they bleep out entirely the words "crackers" and "white trash."

Next up are new CDs by Kanye West and KT Tunstall, as well as one by Rachael Yamagata.


Derrick Stolee said...

Mute Math also did the same stuff for the Jimmy Kimmel show:

Matthew Johnson said...

Stolee's ears perk up every time "math" is mentioned anywhere on the Internet.

Travis said...

Yeah, the Jimmy Kimmel video is pretty cool, though I'd like to see what it looked and sounded like being filmed more than the final product.