Once in a while, there occurs a week without any notable new albums. This week is one such instance.
So instead of new album reviews, we will spotlight some recently listened to albums in a new column called, “What am I Listening To?”
Jimmy Eat World – Static Prevails
This album is being reissued on vinyl, along with Clairty. The reissue news prompted me to listen to this album for the first time in at least 5 years and re-remember how enjoyable it is. Static Prevails was released in 1996. It is a pop-friendly precursor to 1999’s mellow Clarity. Songs like “Call it in the Air,” “Thinking, Thats’ All,” and “Seventeen” are two examples of how rocking this band was before “The Middle” swept the nation for a moment. In “Episode IV” and “World is Static” the band displays their ability to succeed in quiet moments. Overall, it definitely holds up over 15 years later.
Guided by Voices – Bee Thousand
This album turned 20 years old recently. Since I was instructed to listen to this album, it has permanently been on my Spotify queue. For those who don’t know where to start with GBV, this album is it (and Alien Lanes). Front to back, it just rules with catchy-pop sing-alongs like “Gold Star for Robot Boy” and “I am a Scientist.” It is a great premier to their unique style of radio-ready and odd-ball songs.
Twin Forks – Twin Forks
I am slightly embarrassed admit that this album was on my queue all week. It is the latest project by Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba. I will take the abuse, though, because this album is better than one might expect. Twin Forks is billed as a Americana-folk-rock group with influences in roots rock. There are male-female vocal exchanges over mandolin melodies and emotional lyrics. I must have listened to this album at least 4 times and each time it made me feel like Carrabba has grown up along with me. As I moved away from the more straight-up emo and to indie-folk, so did Carrabba. “Something We Just Know” has a clap-along (instead of a cry-along) and was one of my favorites.