Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Belated Weekly Post: a Compendium

I've been slow to update this on a more frequent basis, with no valid excuse other than being lazy. Thus, I'll try a bit harder to make each post a little more involved so as to make up for the huge gaps in-between them. After reading O-Dub's tip to DivShare, I figured it was an easy way to appease without turning this into a more full-fledged MP3 blog (which I clearly don't have either the (i) time or (ii) taste for). This RJD2 song seemed like a good start:

Which leads easily into posting the second of the reject record reviews that the local paper didn't run (would probably help if I could remember if it was the Sun or the Province), of RJD2's Third Hand. This also coincides nicely with the fact that the album comes out in the near future (March 6), and to counter, in my opinion, the wave of unfair reviews that have already been posted about it. The only fair review I've seen thus far was in Exclaim, which went along the lines of "RJD2 is a great hip hop producer, but only a good pop musician." Fair enough. I probably gushed a bit more than I should've, but here you go:

RJD2 spent much of his first album being accused of being DJ Shadow-lite, and, much like Shadow, spent his second album chasing after rock over hip hop. With Third Hand, the pattern repeats itself, as the album will undoubtedly stun many, much as DJ Shadow’s recent hyphy album The Outsider was panned as the worst of his career.

Third Hand sees RJD2 largely abandon the beats for indie-pop, and it fortunately works. A producer that’s proven so adept with constructing songs from samples has clearly got an ear for composition, and the short little pop songs that comprise Third Hand are unsurprisingly succinct. The most successful of the songs build on his past catalog, marrying samples with 60s British pop know-how, both rewarding in its immediacy and in its subtleties. While Third Hand will assuredly turn away many (people, it’s been 11 years since Endtroducing!), those with a open mind should find Third Hand more than appealing.
The one thing I have been busy is noticing the ever-increasing amount of unkempt beards that seem to populate Main Street here in Vancouver. If little dogs are a trademark accessory amongst the various suburbanite ladies that populate our city, uncontrolled facial hair are a suitable analogy for the urban hipster set (Colin Meloy second-hand suits being a close second). In honor of said gents, I would've posted a new track off the LCD Soundsystem album, but as their label seems particularly vigilant in going after the various MP3 blogs that have already done so, here's a Giorgio Moroder track instead ("If You Weren't Afraid"):

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