söndag 23 oktober 2011

Album of the year project 1st post.

As I wrote about in a previous post I'm doing the "best of the year list" a bit different this year. I believe this is the best way to decide which album really is the best of the year. The results are obviously only my personal opinion, with a little help from my girlfriend as well sometimes.

So, the first match-up that I'm listening to at the moment is between Decemberists' "The King Is Dead" and Delillos' "Trist Å Väre Glad". Both albums were released in January this year. The Delillos album was one of those that I listened to quite a lot during the spring before the releases of the year really picked up.

It's a tougher match-up that I anticipated actually. I have given the Decemberists album a couple of listens this year and it's a real beauty. I'm a big fan of the country/americana genre with the new Jayhawks album being one of the more anticipated releases of the year. I got it this week but I haven't had the chance to listen to it yet.

Spotify links:
The Decemberists album has more or less everything I look for in an album like this. Great songs, like the album opener "Don't Carry It All" and the beautiful "Rise To Me". The A-side really delivers but flip the record over and the B-side can't really live up to the quality of the former. On the B-side opener they try to pick up the pace with the Springsteen inspired "Down By The Water", but there's just something missing. It's an ok song but nothing more. And that's how the rest of the album continues with the exception of the low-key beauty "June Hymn" in the middle of it. But it alone isn't able to lift the B-side to higher grounds.

The story behind the last Delillos album is an interesting one. During a series of live shows last year (I think it was) they more or less jammed out the songs that were to be the new album "Trist Å Väre Glad". This is a really "fun" album and you always get a warm, nice feeling listening to it. It also features one of the best songs of the year, the title track. The fact that they sing in their native Norwegian language makes the album an honest and personal experience and they paint beautiful stories in their songs. As with the Decemberist album this record really shows it's strong points on the first side. The Delillos album however can keep this quality even on the b-side. They have drinking ballads in the vein of Tom Waits ("Lars Lillos Drikkevise"). They even finish the album with a song about singing in your native language, with the song "Jeg Elsker Deg" ("I Love You").

To summarize: I didn't think that the Decemberists album would stand up as well as it did along side the Delillos album but it really did. However with a better b-side and an overall quality Delillos will advance to the next stage.

Next up is Kaizers Orchestra vs. Iron & Wine.

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