Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CD Review: This Is Our Music (Galaxie 500)

My initial impression of the first song on This is Our Music, "Fourth of July," was one of a worrisome nature. I thought "oh no, not another crappy '80s band." But then I started hearing a dreamy voice (no homo), a cross between Jonathan Richman and Ian Curtis. And it dawned on me that what I was listening to was really good. "Hearing Voices" is a shoe-gazer; Dean Wareham recalls Eugene Kelly (Vaselines) -- maybe because both were signed to Rough Trade? Maybe not. In terms of catchiness, "Hearing Voices" is high ranking. "Spook" is funny, at least in part because Wareham kicks up his pitch a few notches. Heavy mid-song jamming, of course, fades back to Wareham's slow-core high pitch. "Summertime" quickly, but not precisely, resembles something Lou Reed would jam. But then it really really doesn't. What gives? It's still awesome. Seriously. A song like this hasn't left this much of an impression on me an a while. "Way Up Here" isn't anything too special...it's chill. It's got this Transcontinental Railroad kind of whistling. That's always a plus. "Listen, The Snow is Falling" switches gender gears. Yoko Ono sings well. She starts out kind of Bjork-y, given the ambient/minimalist presentation of the song. Add a little bass drum and the song really takes off into space. Then there is like 4 minutes of guitar/drum solos that makes you wonder "how in the hell is this song even possible?" And "can this band please just re-unite if but for only one concert?" "Sorry" would probably fit better on a Replacements or a Faces on Film album, but hey it's on this one, I'm not going to complain! "Melt Away," the second to last track, is not a command...it's a desire. It would kind of suck to melt away (literally), but Wareham doesn't really care. He's determined. His guitar solos prove it. "King of Spain Part 2" is full-on Gregorian-like slowcore. This album is amazing. No wonder why AllMusic gave it a 4.5 out of 5.

Grade: 9.6 out of 10

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