That’s an interesting set of releases right there. Clockwise, starting at left, Oasis’ Dig Out Your Soul, Bob Dylan’s Tell Tale Signs (two disc version,) and at bottom, Lambchop’s OH (Ohio). That right there represents a weird kind of evolution – not long ago, I wouldn’t have even considered an Oasis album. I chalk it up to simply forced oversaturation way back when, and they’re long past the days when their latest hits are inescapable. This new one is a big solid ball o’ rock, and I’m enjoying the crap out of it. Viva la revolucion. Or however you spell it. Whatever.
Dylan . . . like many of The Greats, he’s one that I figured I’d never “get.” Turns out I was listening to the stuff everyone says you have to listen to. I tell them now, “hush.” Listen to whatever grabs your ear. If that isn’t his “important” 60s stuff, so be it. And it’s not for me. Oh, sure, I enjoy Highway 61 Revisited and various songs from that period, but I’m not a big fan of the albums. Nope, I really get on board with 1989’s Oh, Mercy. Who just gasped? Hush. You like what you like, and for me, it’s a combination of minimalism in Dylan’s lyrics and Daniel Lanois’ production. And I like the studio albums that followed – which is what this beautiful set covers. But fuck Dylan and Columbia for that crap-ass 3-CD/box that costs $130. What the HELL are they thinking releasing something like that? Assholes. I’ll be downloading disc 3 the moment I find that on a torrent site. Downloading the HELL out of that.
Lambchop . . . there’s a laid-back beauty in this band’s sound that makes them so difficult to categorize. Jazz-tinged country-rock? I don’t know. All I know is that I love the dark tempo that shuffles through the autumn-colored melodies of their music. (Yeah, I’ve got this one in the earphones right now and that’s what it sounds like.) There’s a hopeful yearning hidden in there, along with a healthy dose of smart humor tucked in the corners (the cover looks a bit juvenile, but there’s something oddly fantastic about it once you hear the music. It’s a joke that can’t be explained, but it’s hilarious. And there’s a song called “National Talk Like A Pirate Day.”) It makes revisiting their music over and over again something that I cherish. Some music gets old while some music grows old with you. OH (Ohio) is the latter. I have to go to bed and I don’t want to stop listening.
Can a year-end top 10 list have more than 10 entries? It might just have to this year.