The short version:
Kylie Minogue—Aphrodite: 6/10
Parov Stelar—Single Collection Volume One: 6/10
Elbow—The Seldom Seen Kid: 6/10
Fiona Apple—The Idler Wheel...: 6/10
Diddy/Dirty Money—Last Train to Paris: 6/10
Kings of Leon—Only by the Night: 6/10
Justin Bieber—Believe: 6/10
Incubus—If Not Now, When?: 6/10
Alanis Morissette—Havoc and Bright Lights: 6/10
Nelly Furtado—The Spirit Indestructible: 6/10
P!ink—The Truth About Love: 6/10
Cliff Eidelman—Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country: 6/10
In my last music post I covered some of the not-very-good albums I've bought recently. Here are some of the kinda-recommended ones that I've picked up lately. There were so many of these that I needed to give them their own post.
Kylie Minogue's latest album Aphrodite is kinda good. Not great. Just kinda good. I would posit that you would enjoy it if you liked her last one. To verify this hypothesis, listen to All the Lovers (video conservatively NSFW), Put Your Hands Up, and Illusion.
I tracked down Single Collection Volume One by Parov Stelar and it is precisely what it sounds like, though I doubt that they are "singles" in the sense that Americans think of the word, but rather the more literal "individual tracks that aren't on any of his other albums" definition. I got it for Chambermaid Swing and Spygame; Charleston Butterfly is good too but I already had it. There are a lot of misses on the CD though, which one should reasonably expect.
Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid is a rock album with three great tracks, a few other decent ones, and a bunch of mediocrity. Grounds for Divorce is quite excellent, and The Bones of You and One Day like This are lovely too. The vocalist kind of sounds like he has the flu though.
Fiona Apple's 23-word-titled album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do is probably my least favorite of hers so far. The opening is okay, and then there are a lot of dull tracks and then a surprisingly great finish with Anything We Want and Hot Knife.
Diddy (as in Puff Daddy) and Dirty Money's album Last Train to Paris is better than I would expected, with that expectation being "utterly terrible," of course. But there's actually a lot to like about this CD. Plenty about the album sucks, don't get me wrong, but there's a schizophrenic mishmash of awesomeness like Coming Home, Hello Good Morning, and Ass on the Floor along with the awful crap. I wanted to hate this CD, but I just couldn't.
Kings of Leon's album Only by the Night is fairly decent alt-rock. Closer and Use Somebody are both wonderful, and Sex on Fire is pretty good too. It's yet another one of those "the singer is hard to listen to for the whole album start to finish" deals though.
So yeah, I bought a Justin Bieber CD. Believe. It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but it's perfectly acceptable pop music, and the kid can sing. There's actually an interestingly diverse selection of musical styles on the album; Out of Town Girl, Die in Your Arms, and As Long as You Love Me are probably my favorites.
I decided to get the latest Incubus album If Not Now, When? after discovering that they still exist as a band when they toured with Linkin Park and Mutemath recently. It's a really light sound; I thought of them as a fairly hard rock band, but the first two tracks on the album are If Not Now, When? and Promises, Promises are definitely not hard rock. I rather like them, but they are not at all what I was expecting. My other favorite from the disc, Switchblade, isn't quite as light but certainly isn't "metal" like this album is often classified either.
Alanis Morissette's latest CD Havoc and Bright Lights is okay, but her last album was great and this one definitely seems like a step down, which seems like a feeling I've had about almost every CD I've bought from a favorite artist in the past year or two. The opening track Guardian is nice, and Numb is quite good too. Then maybe Woman Down for third place.
After Nelly Furtado's last "look at me I'm hot" CD she has decided it's time for a "look at me I'm a serious artist" CD, so The Spirit Indestructible is her Native American-themed latest little bit of weirdness. The best tracks are the ones that ignore that theme: High Life, Miracles, and Tiesto's remix of Thoughts.
P!nk's got a new disc of angry girl rock out, The Truth About Love, and it opens with an amazing track Are We All We Are and then kinda falls from there. The other best ones are probably True Love (featuring Lily Rose Cooper) and Just Give Me a Reason (featuring Nate Ruess of fun.).
Finally, I tracked down a copy of Cliff Eidelman's soundtrack to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and it's not bad. I like the Overture, The Battle for Peace, and Clear All Moorings.
So those I can all recommend with some reservations. Next I'll get to the albums that I can wholeheartedly recommend.