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2024 Album-A-Day: Week 6

Feel free to recommend me albums to listen to for this. If I'm going to drag this out to a full year, I'm going to need suggestions.

February 5th: Teen Dream by Beach House

This was my first time with a full Beach House album (you're probably sick of me saying things to this effect) and I liked it quite.a bit. I don't listen to a lot of dream pop, but this makes me want to reconsider that. From the opening track "Zebra," I knew this was going to be a very pleasant journey. " "Silver Soul" and "Norway" are also great vibe tracks, I love the hell out of "Used to Be," and "Take Care" is a brilliant closer. I fully intend on returning to this.

February 6th: Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me!

Part of why I love this project is some albums immediately grip me, make me fall in love with them, and I end up wishing I'd heard them sooner. It happened with There's A Riot Goin' On, it happened with those The Turning Wheel, it happened with Picaresque, it happened with You Forgot It In People, and once again it happens with Transgender Dysphoria Blues. I relistened to this the next day. I love the title track's hard-hitting riffs, I love "True Trans Soul Rebel" and its anthemic chorus (acutally, most of these songs have anthemic choruses), I love the darker songs like "Dead Friend" and "Two Coffins," and I love the closer "Black Me Out." I'm definitely intent on listening to a lot more of this band.

February 7th: I Didn't Mean To Haunt You by Quadeca

My first exposure to Quadeca was not his music. It was his appearances on the YouTube channel Hivemind (Digset for life). I'd heard some music critics say that they really liked this album when it came out, but I didn't check it out until now. I'm glad I did. Quonka is pretty good at rapping and singing, and at producing. This album is a combination of hip-hop with folktronica, which is the kind of unconventional mix I like. I love the vibe-ier tracks like "Born Yesterday," I love the lyrics on "Tell Me a Joke," I love Danny Brown's feature on "House Settling" (stay tuned for more of him) and I love the album's concept about a ghost singing about his life in the past tense. I'll probably revisit this later.

February 8th: Violent Femmes by Violent Femmes

In terms of Violent Femmes, I knew "Blister in the Sun" and "American Music" before this week, but not much else. This is a very strong album, with some very powerful hooks like "Add It Up" and "Kiss Off" and "Gone Daddy Gone." I don't have that much else to say about this album, really. It's simple instrumentation, fun songs, great hooks, kinda silly lyrics, and off-the-cuff delivery. Short, punchy, genius. Simple as that.

February 9th: Black On Both Sides by Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def)

My familiarity with Yasiin Bey before this project was his role as Ford Prefect in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy film, which was one of the better casting decisions made in that movie (Christ Pharotekton, Sam Rockwell's version of Zaphod is so irritating) but I hadn't heard his music. This album, if somewhat overlong, is a very strong display of his talents. "Love" is a banger, "Got" is great, "Brooklyn" surprisingly interpolates "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (which is a little confusing given what he said about white rock bands on "Rock n Roll"), and my favorite song on the album is "Do It Now" featuring Busta Rhymes, although more because of Busta Rhymes than Yasiin himself. That's the thing about this album; he's good, but I don't really connect with his flow and lyrics the way I do with other rappers. I like this album, but I don't love it.

February 10th: i,i by Bon Iver

Finally finishing the Bon Iver tetralogy, i,i is pretty good. I probably need to spend more time with it to vibe with it more, because I have very specific moods in which I listen to each prior Bon Iver album (For Emma, Forever Ago is for cold weather sad, Bon Iver, Bon Iver is for warm weather existential, 22, A Million is for warm weather sad) and I still need to find the mood for this one. Also I just noticed from writing that that every Bon Iver album has a comma in the title. This feels like an attempt at reigning in the sounds of 22, A Million somewhat but still trying to explore around it. I really like the lyrics on "Holyfields," and the choruses on "Hey, Ma" and "Naeem." I also really like "Salem." What's probably going to happen is that I'm going to eventually form extreme emotional attachments to each of these songs over time, and that's the real power of a band like Bon Iver.

February 11th: Are We Not Horses by Rock Plaza Central

I had to listen to this album when I heard that it was a concept album about six-legged robot horses that believe themselves to be real horses. I can't really follow a complete story on this album, but I don't need to when you have really good indie folk. The opening track "I Am An Excellent Steel Horse" immediately grips you with those ragged vocals, "How Shall I To Heaven Aspire?" is beautiful, "Anthem For The Already Defeated" is a fun morose jam, the title track is great, and the whole album gives me real "Night Vale Weather" vibes, which is one of the highest compliments I can give.

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