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2008 Your Morning Rock In Review – Yostal Edition Monday, December 15, 2008

Posted by Jerkwheat in Your Morning Rock.
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It’s kind of crazy for me to think that we’ve been here for nearly two years now and that this is our second YMR In Review. This year, the Review is being handled by more than just myself. I’m enlisting my usual YMR co-conspirators, Yostal and Matt_T, to help out with this years recap. Today will bring you Yostal’s Top 5 albums. Tuesday and Wednesday will be dedicated to Matt’s album and song choices, and I’ll bring you mine on Thursday and Friday. Then, we’ll probably be with you intermittently over the final week and a half of the year as our contributors take their well deserved holiday breaks. So, let’s get it started today with Yostal’s Top 5…

I need to be clear about something.  Somewhere along the line this year, I got old.  I stopped buying new albums, I only eagerly anticipated about the four or so listed, which is why the ended up on here, but for the most part, I went about discovering music from previous years I had missed rather than seeking out the new.  I know, it’s a horrifying thing when you look at it.

1). R.E.M.–Accelerate
This is clearly a “return to form” pick on my part, as so many of the post-Berry albums have managed to lack, I guess a soul for a lack of of a better term.  But this one balances Stipe’s emotions and channels them in to a meaningful set of songs.  “Living Well is the Best Revenge” and “Houston” were standouts for me, but “Until the Day is Done” and “Hollow Man” have grown on me in recent months.

2). Oasis–Dig Out Your Soul
“The Shock of the Lightning” may be a new level of post-modern achievement, aping your own style from earlier albums, which were attempts to ape the work of the Beatles.  But, unlike the loss of fidelity in the copy of a copy, Dig Out Your Soul balances the songwriting that has developed in this decade with the just “I wanna rock” aspects that were always an Oasis hallmark.  “I’m Outta Time” is one new track I am definitely looking forward to hearing in concert on the 13th.

3). Coldplay–Viva La Vida
I still like Coldplay, but they have reached the backlash point, where people without a good reason to like them just hate them for being so big and important.  The other problem I had with Viva La Vida is that there’s the inevitable point in a band’s career where they have to make the “different” album, just to prove they’re not one trick ponies, forgetting that people like them for the one trick, by and large.  Some bands, like U2, can magically pull it off and not alienate their fan base, but most bands blow it, have the “off record” and then struggle to regain momentum when they attempt to return to form on the next album.  With VLV it was not that I didn’t like the album, because I truly did, as much as I didn’t like the choices of “Violet Hill” and “Viva La Vida” as the two lead singles.  I thought that “Violet Hill” took too long to develop (though I did like it again after about 40 listens) and “Viva La Vida” ends up being ultimately a silly little song about power and losing everything.  Especially when you look at tracks like “Strawberry Swing” or “Lost” (in all of its punctuated iterations) and “Death and All His Friends” which are closer to the core of what I like about the band than “Violet Hill” and “Viva La Vida.”  Alas.

4). The Killers–Day and Age
I assure you that as a fan of the Killers, this placement is due to three critical factors:
a). I have only gotten to listen through the album three times completely due to my only getting it last Tuesday and the ensuing holiday.
b). The fact that I really didn’t like “Human” a lot, and knew it was also strangely featured in the Blackberry Storm ad in a way that drove me crazy.
c). Killers albums have, in the past, taken almost four months for me to totally come around on.

I’m sure it’s a good album, I’m just not sure of it yet.

5). Stephen Colbert and Friends–A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!
OK, I know, I’m insane, but here’s the thing.  I’m a sucker for the chameleon like songwriting abilities of Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne (who also penned “That Thing You Do” for the movie, and in this case, he nailed spot on parodies of Christmas classics, wrote an ode to a spice that one of my female friends referred to as “panty-melting”, and made me rethink my entire approach to the Festival of Lights (side note: “Can I Interest You in Hannukkah” is just an extension of my favorite Jon Stewart standup riff where he explains the critical differences between Yom Kippur and Lent, right down to his genuine frustrated anger with “THEY ARE CANDLES” which he has perfected over the years.)  But also, it gave us a completely revised version of (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding? that makes me realize that it really is, at its core, a song of hope for any time of year.  In paying winking homage to the hoary cliches of television past, the whole album makes one realize that one of the critical things that should be associated with the holiday season is, in fact, joy.  I do worry that the tongue in cheek nature of  Toby Keith’s “Have I Got a Present For You” may be missed in certain parts of this great land, but it is the price we pay.

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Comments»

1. Rockabye - Monday, December 15, 2008

“I’m Outta Time” is one new track I am definitely looking forward to hearing in concert on the 13th.

DeadOn…we’ve got time travel covered.

2. Rockabye - Monday, December 15, 2008

Also, not liking “Human,” a great, searching, toe-tapping pop song equipped with all the mysticism Brandon Flowers can muster, and not liking “Viva la Vida,” a sweeping parable that happened to have some of the best guitar of the year and possibly the most radio-friendly verses of Coldplay’s career, doesn’t mean that you’re old.

But I would wager, Yostal, that you haven’t heard either one on the radio that often, blessed as you are with Lithium and such.

3. DougOLis - Monday, December 15, 2008

My Coldplay backlash started a longtime ago, but now it has a bit of a reverse backlash situation going on with me. I actually decently liked Viva La Vida; it wasn’t my favorite album of the year by any means, but it’s probably deserving of an honorable mention.

How was the Ryan Adams/Oasis show the other night?


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