Hey. It’s almost April May. Can I slack any more? I figure, since the year is nearly half over, I’ll just post 12 or so albums I liked over the last 12 or some months…
In talking to my friends, the year 2008 was felt to be an underwhelming year for individual artist accomplishment. When I sit down and think of the albums I was obsessed with these last 12 or so months, it was very hard to pick 10 out of the bunch, and then decide who gets a #1 over a #10. While there were not any monumental KILLER albums, 2008 saw the emergence of a few very interesting trends that continue to mature as we close out this first decade of the 200o’s.
The trend I find most exciting is the burgeoning globalism of pop music. Perhaps it’s the Internet, perhaps it’s the slow death of mainstream radio and, or pre-fab rock stars, perhaps it’s even American awareness of global conflict that has inspired them to search outside the typical boundaries of inspiration. Whatever caused it, it’s making pop music a LOT more interesting. There was an explosion of Aussie electro, Scandinavian pop, Icelandic atmospherics, backwoods midwest soul-searching, 80’s obsessed French synths, and, of course, the much-ballyhooed return of Afro-pop….
Here’s one I liked:
Neon Neon – Stainless Steel
(#1 of 12 in no particular order)
Gruff Rhys, aside from his full-time gig as part of Super Furry Animals, is half the double-whammy of Neon Neon — teamed with hip-hop producer Boom Bip and a slew of hiphop collabos. The resulting product is an amalgam of glossy late-80s rock and synthy hip hop that tells the story of coke-and-tit fueled carmaker John Delorean (d. March 2005).
Stainless Style finally dropped mid 2008, amid little hype and a mess of other 80’s-informed electro crossovers. What’s remarkable is that the project was nearly complete 3 years ago. Heaven knows how much of a splash it would have made if it released around the time they played SXSW in 2006.
Theoretically, this LP could have been hot on the heels of The Rapture, Radio 4, Hot Chip, Junior Boys and LCD Soundsystem’s nostalgic disco revamps. Viewing it in the time frame that, quite frankly, they just plain missed, Stainless Style could have been an genre-defining/defying album. The fact that it still sounds relevant years later among other like-minded 80s rock/Electro-rap clones is a testament to this clairvoyant one-off.
Video For “I Told Her on Alderaan / Trick for Treat”: