The following represents what I consider the top ten albums of the last decade. The decision was beyond hard, but this reflects the albums which hit me the hardest and stuck with me the longest.
PROS: fan-serving | full-band parts not overdone | heart-felt songs
CONS: not memorable as a whole
If you have heard the name Allison Weiss before, then you probably already know her story. When she was fifteen, she began playing guitar to impress a boy in her creative writing class. Several years, a profile on every social networking site you could imagine and eighty-some YouTube videos later, Allison Weiss continues to build an ever-increasing fanbase. Unfortunately, any fan of hers can tell you that Allison Weiss is most certainly underappreciated. There is no lack of dedication, talent or heart in the sounds Allison Weiss creates, and it seems as though she just needs a little something to push her over the top. Her newest release, …Was Right All Along, is a step in the right direction.
Posted in Album Reviews, tagged 4 Beards, Amy Cole, Canada, Folk, Garage Rock, Indie, Kanye West, Paul Banwatt, Saddle Creek Records, The Rural Alberta Advantage on October 19, 2009| Leave a Comment »
PROS: good song progression | unique voice | good harmonies
CONS: first track feels out of place | not enough female vocals | too simple
With the recent Kanye West outburst, which once again demonstrated the egotism and entitlement of some artists, it is refreshing to see a genuinely nice band. And that is exactly what The Rural Alberta Advantage is. In their recent appearance at the Memorial Union Terrace, the band was earnestly interested in meeting their adoring fans and humbly getting acquainted with them.
PROS: effective use of minimalist composition | original soundtrack style
CONS: less folk-influence than previous work | could use elaboration
Chances are you have never heard of Erik Enocksson, and it is a downright shame. The reason is most likely due to limited promotion, as well as the fact that much of Enocksson’s work is available only as digital downloads or limited edition physical copies. Enocksson, who hails from Stockholm, Sweden, is a minimalist composer and folk artist. To date, Enocksson has released four discs: two soundtracks, one 7”, and a concept album. His latest release, Man tänker sitt (translated roughly as One’s Own Thoughts or Man’s Thoughts*), is the soundtrack to Henrik Hellström and Fredrik Wenzel’s film of the same name (which also goes by the English name Burrowing). Though Years For Beards has not gotten its hands on a copy of the film, a Norwegian promotional text about Man tanker sitt by Fairplay Entertainment says that Enocksson’s soundtrack is an “extraterrestrial musical experience that follows the film’s low-key story about Swedish suburban lives.”
PROS: nothing is overdone | little surprises | satisfying
CONS: far too short
Surprisingly, when Bon Iver’s new EP dropped on January 20th, things were kosher. For an album so critically acclaimed as his debut LP For Emma, Forever Ago, it seemed as though future works would be doomed to fall short in the eyes of purists. But the release did well from the beginning, entering the Billboard 200 at number sixteen. Blood Bank, which is comprised of three new tracks plus one track left off For Emma, proves that Bon Iver is no one hit wonder.