The fifth in my monthly review of musical purchases and downloads for 2009. My look at April can be found here.
The start of May began with a trip back home and a visit to my old record store. More on my former life can be read in my post at The Music Blogs. Returning to Atlantis Music makes me hark back to the halcyon days of being absorbed in music for 8 hours a day. I do miss it but I know that life moves on and you must depart when it makes the most sense. I still remember getting that giddy sensation Friday mornings when the new release stock would arrive. There was nothing better.
Bob Evans - Goodnight, Bull Creek!
Much like Canadian Dallas Green, Bob Evans (real name Kevin Mitchell) has a continuous knack of releasing albums that are worlds apart from what he became famous for. His band Jebediah were snotty pop punks (good ones at that) however his Bob Evans persona reveals melodic delights and a songwriting craft that guys like Brian Wilson and Neil Finn have made careers out of. 'Your Love' is what a perfect pop song should sound like. A seriously underrated talent.
Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers
The catharsis for The Manics and their fans over the disappearance of lyricist Richey Edwards came with 1996s Everything Must Go. But it is only now we can finally have closure. Interpreting the last writings of Richey and forming them into listenable songs is a monumental achievement given the subject matter but the trio have recorded an album that avoids sounding like a nostalgia piece.. Journal is less a sequel to The Holy Bible and more of a companion piece - less caustic and doomed.
Eskimo Joe - Inshalla
With every album they release, Western Australian natives Eskimo Joe continue to distance themselves from their days as goofy popsters. The first couple of tracks on their fourth album Inshalla sound like they are wading into The Tea Party territory but that is a red herring. It is a good album but it will still see them up against it in terms of cracking the overseas market. Best track on it is 'Losing My Mind', the one song missing from the latest U2 album. Bono should call the authorities.
Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson - Relator
From the "This shouldn't work but somehow does" department. Actress Johansson's voice is limited at best but makes for a nice foil when she duets with Pete Yorn on this great country number. The forthcoming joint album 'Break Up' (his second for the year) could be worth a listen.