Tuesday, 23 September 2003

Want One, by Rufus Wainwright

1 Oh What a World 4:23
2 I Don't Know What It Is 4:51
3 Vicious World 2:49
4 Movies of Myself 4:31
5 Pretty Things 2:40
6 Go or Go Ahead 6:38
7 Vibrate 2:44
8 14th Street 4:44
9 Natasha 3:28
10 Harvester of Hearts 3:35
11 Beautiful Child 4:15
12 Want 5:11
13 11:11 4:27
14 Dinner at Eight 4:31

Tuesday, 1 July 2003

Greetings from Michigan, by Sufjan Stevens

1 Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid) 3:43
2 All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace! 4:33
3 For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti 3:57
4 Say Yes! to M!ch!gan! 2:46
5 The Upper Peninsula 3:23
6 Tahquamenon Falls 2:18
7 Holland 3:26
8 Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!) 8:20
9 Romulus 4:41
10 Alanson, Crooked River 1:18
11 Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie 2:52
12 They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For the Homeless in Muskegon) 6:21
13 Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?) 9:23
14 Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou) 2:02
15 Vito's Ordination Song 7:06

Wednesday, 2 April 2003

Weather Systems, by Andrew Bird

1 First Song 4:19
2 I 3:13
3 Lull 5:09
4 Action/Adventure 4:04
5 (Untitled Instrumental 1) 1:36
6 Skin 2:53
7 Weather Systems 6:31
8 Don't Be Scared 3:40
9 (Untitled Instrumental 2) 5:10

Weather Systems marks the start of the solo Bird, free of collaborative names of his previous works (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Bowl of Fire). It's a stripped down production, a couple of guitars and some sparce drums. But then there's Andrew Bird's multi-tracked violin, bowed, strummed and plucked, his whistling, and his handsome voice.

    The record kicks off gently with the appropriately named 'First Song', a seemingly simple folk ballad in waltz time, just a violin, an acoustic guitar, and their respective voices (Nora O'Connor.)
    With an electric guitar and Bird's plucked violin motif the CD gets a harder edge with 'I'. It all sounds a bit grim to me, not one of my favourites.
    Luckily the downer is short-lived with the gentle driving rhythm and effortless harmonies of 'Lull'. I like the witty navel-gazing lyrics:
being alone it can be quite romantic
like jacques cousteau underneath the atlantic
a fantastic voyage to parts unknown
going to depths where the sun’s never shone
and i fascinate myself when i’m alone
i’m rambling on rather self consciously
while i’m stirring these condiments into my tea
and i think i’m so lame
i bet i think this song’s about me
don’t i don’t i don’t i ?
i’m in a lull

(to be continued)