Sunday, September 19, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I'm going to theorize that one of the traits of really good music is its ability to transcend the time at which it's originally released. This may seem fairly obvious, but what I'm referring to is specifically an album that you may be apathetic to or even dislike after a first listen, but then revisit a few years later and love it. Maybe the mood or the message doesn't speak to you at that point in your life. I've noticed several albums getting consistent play by me in 2010 and have been contemplating why I didn't take to them earlier

For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)
Bon Iver

I specifically remember being annoyed by this album when it first came out because I couldn't figure out why people liked it so much. What a depressingly slow and whining set! I've probably listened to this album more in 2010 than any other.

Boxer (2007)
The National
I imagine I was put off at first by the lazy, mumbling tone in the vocals. It's taken me three years to really appreciate the craft and musicality present here.

Moondance (1970)
Van Morrison

Not sure how this one slipped by, but the vocal performance on this album is astounding.

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II (2009)
I returned to this album because I was curious about all of the critical acclaim, a rarity in recent years for a non-mainstream hip hop effort. The stories and subject matter of these songs couldn't be further away from my life and experience, yet it's hard not to get sucked in. It's a relentless and grungy return to the storytelling that has separated the great hip hop albums of the last three decades stand above all.

Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
Animal Collective
The complexity of what seems like dozens of instruments and vocals present on so many tracks gives this album an epic cinematic quality that just took time for me to warm up to.