Monthly Report: September Albums
1. Floored By Four - Floored By Four
Over the last few years I keep hearing about all these new groups and new projects Mike Watt’s got going on, and at one point earlier this year I realized that he reportedly had 4 different albums by 3 different groups in the can and still unreleased. So I was overjoyed that he finally let one loose, and it’s a doozy: Floored By Four is a group featuring Watt, Nels Cline, Yuka Honda and Dougie Brown, and their self-titled debut is 40 minutes divided up into four mostly instrumental jams, each named after a member of the group and ragin’ full on (surprisingly, the track Watt spiels on is not the one named for him but “Miss Yuka”).
2. Superchunk - Majesty Shredding
It’s frustrating in kind of a good, funny way, to watch everyone who hasn’t paid attention to Superchunk in the last 10 years or more hear this album and be impressed, because I’ve been kind of obsessed with later Superchunk and Portastatic over the last few years and just hoping for a new ‘Chunk album. And there’s a little disappointment in the fact that my 2 favorite songs on Majesty Shredding, “Learned To Surf” and “Crossed Wires,” were ones I snapped up on singles the band released last year. But it’s still a very enjoyable album, I like the older, slightly raspier Mac.
3. The Posies - Blood/Candy
My relationship with the Posies is similar to with Superchunk in that it’s only been gradually in the last decade that they’ve become one of my favorite bands of the ‘90s and I’ve kept up with the things Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow have done together and seperately since then, and some of it has been really great. But the first new album from the band in 5 years has been a little hard for me to sink my teeth into, partly because a lot of it sounds less like a Posies album than bits and pieces of their solo albums; “Licenses To Hide” sounds like something off Ken’s Soft Commands and “The Glitter Prize” sounds like something off Jon’s Songs From The Year Of Our Demise. It’s also the least rocking Posies album since Dear 23 a full 20 years ago, and part of what I’ve always loved about the band is how much power they put into their power pop. But the album is slowly growing on me, and I’m enjoying “Cleopatra Street” and “Take Care of Yourself” especially. “Holiday Hours” and “Accidental Architecture” definitely feel like Jon Auer’s love of later Elvis Costello creeping in, very ornate, wordy songs. The “beautiful ride” refrain on “Notion 99” keeps making me think of Dewey Cox and cracking me up, though. This album sounds way better to me on shuffle, for some reason I don’t like the sequencing.
4. Lil Boosie - Incarcerated
When Boosie went to jail right after releasing Super Bad last year, he was already talking about how he had another album in the can, ready to come out while he was away or right when he came home. Then, his sentence got doubled, and it increasingly looks like he might be convicted of murder, and probably will never be a free man again. That may bring up some uncomfortable questions about still listening to and enjoying the guy’s music, but in the meantime I have to say I’m pretty happy that his label still bothered to release that album. This is mostly in line with his darker mixtape stuff but “Cartoon” is pretty fun.
5. Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns
Chris Weingarten was trying to sell me on this album by talking about how epic and artsy it is, but the thing is, I liked the old Linkin Park aggro rap rock jams like “Faint” and “Bleed It Out” just fine, so I wasn’t really enticed by that. Then the 2nd single “Waiting For The End” hooked me in a big way and I decided to check it out, and while, again, this stuff is for the most part not my favorite mode for Linkin Park, there’s definitely some nice production and strong songs here. I wish there was more lumbering brooding stuff like “When They Come For Me,” less wishy washy Chester balladry.