New Music Thursday

By tully | "Boredom at Its Boredest" by Michael Tully November 30, 2006 at 7:31AM

New Music Thursday

I know that Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg just released new albums, but the hip-hop record that you NEED to be bumping is "Hell Hath No Fury" by Clipse. Long overdue and highly anticipated, Pusha T & Malice (and the Neptunes) have somehow exceeded all expectations to deliver one of the best albums of the year, hip-hop or otherwise. Listening to it for the third time in a row today, I was forced to create a new adjective to describe the overall sonic experience: DISGUSTING. Of course, I mean that in the best possible way. Every track is a standout, with the exception of album closer "Nightmares," which has a chorus that would make even R. Kelly cringe ("my niggaz say i'm pee-noid"?).

Crossing the border into Canada, another highly anticipated release has finally seen the light of day: Swan Lake's "Beast Moans." I have to confess that after a few perusals, I can't help but feel a wave of disappointment, or if not disappointment, then disappointed underwhelmment. Granted, it would be hard to live up to the promise of "All Fires" no matter how good the other twelve tracks happened to be, but that doesn't hide the fact that they're nowhere near the transcendent level of that song:

"There was a flood
A world of water
The mason's wife
Swam for her daughter

One thousand people
Did what they could
They found a steeple and
Tore up the wood

Five hundred pieces means
Five hundred float
One thousand people means
Five hundred don't"

Though I feel confident that I'll grow to enjoy the record, it isn't the soul-stunning experience I had hoped it would be. Once again, expectation, that dirty, cruel whore, has ruined a potentially great thing. But I'll settle for good.

Finally, let us leave North America behind and head overseas, where two of modern classical music's most important composers have released new works. In Edinburgh, Max Richter's "Songs From Before" continues the beautiful tradition of sublime melodyscapes established on "Memoryhouse" and "The Blue Notebooks." This time around, Robert Wyatt has been recruited to read texts by Haruki Murakami. While over in Iceland, Johann Johannsson returns with "IBM 1401, A User's Manual," which pays sad tribute to an old computer model that Johannsson's father worked on the 1960s, before it met its fateful end.

Clipse, Swan Lake, Max Richter, and Johann Johannsson? Seemingly disparate, but that's how we do things here at "Boredom at its Boredest." Variety is oh-so-very yummy, especially when it sounds this delicious...