I'm sleepy today. I've been getting up early the last few mornings and I think it's starting to catch up with me. I'm sure I'll adjust.
Today I want to talk about Tegan and Sara, who I declare will release one of the best albums of the year next month. I'm serious! It's at least in the top 5 so far, maybe as good as top 3. The only album I can comfortably say is better this year off the top of my head is the new Of Montreal. But it's not just the music that makes me like this. The product is incredibly listenable. Yes, I think nearly every one of the 14 songs are excellent, but this is not the first album to put together a bunch of great songs.
For one, I like that these songs are short. See, my main music-listening time is on my commute to and from work. Since I only travel for about 20 minutes or so each way, this is not a lot of time to digest my music. This album tho, I can almost get through track 10 before taking off my earphones at my desk. (In fairness, I usually skip partway through track 9, "Burn Your Life Down." Nothing against that song, but track 10, "Nineteen," is my favorite on the disc.)
So that's quite an accomplishment for me. I can usually finish it up once at work if I'd like, or on my way home. (the final song, "Call it Off", is in my top 3 on the album with Nineteen and "Knife Going In", so I usually wanna hear that.) It just makes listening to the album so much more enjoyable. This is part of the reason why I love EPs so much, and why stuff like The Upwelling's EP from a long time ago always find their way back on my iPod.
It helps, of course, that the music is really really good, but the experience of listening to music, be it recorded or live, really only partially has to do with what you're actually listening to. Most of it is the circumstance surrounding the music. Your emotions when you first hear it, what mood you're in that particular time. That's why reviews are always subjective. Why CocoRosie will always have their fucked up fans and why the biggest selling record of the year is rarely your favorite. So if I factor in "being able to listen to it in my most comfortable setting" into the mix, of course that makes me like it more.
One more thing about Tegan and Sara. I always thought I was a huge fan of their last record, "So Jealous." Over time, however, I think I realized that there were only a handful of really great songs on that album, a couple OK ones and a bunch of filler in between. The opening track is truly great, then a few above average, yet memorable tracks like "I Know I Know I Know" and "Where Does the Good Go?" come a few down. After those, there's "Walking With your Ghost" and "So Jealous" about 2/3's through, back to back. And by the time you get past those 2, you look back and think that it was a great listen (cause you just hit the highpoint and it's been properly supported in the right spots.) But that's really it. Maybe, above all else, Tegan and Sara are just great at constructing an album. At least at constructing albums that perfectly fit my listening habits. But all that said, I still think their new album is probably one of the top 3 of the year.
I didn't upload any MP3's, but you can get most of the album by now on Hype Machine, I'm sure. Obviously, however, I'd recommend getting and listening to the entire thing in order.