Friday 5, pre-Festival style!

Sam Roberts – “Up Sister” from Love At The End Of The World

It’s no surprise why this fella is so popular in his native Canada…the superbly high level of musicianship from Sam and his band is just one reason why his newest album shot right to number one on the Canadian charts when it was released in May…here in the States, we won’t get the album until January, but do yourself a favor and get an import so you don’t have to miss out on this great set for another minute…

Paul Weller – “Have You Made Up Your Mind” from 22 Dreams

I still can’t figure out why Weller’s new album only has 21 songs on it, but what an enjoyably exhaustive listen it is…most of the tracks reflect his soulful Britpop solo records, but a few (like this one) recall the over-the-top arrangements of The Style Council…there aren’t too many Jam moments, which is partly admirable and partly disappointing…word on the street is that The Modfather is coming to Philadelphia in the middle of September…

James – “Charlie Dance” from Strip-Mine

Back in 1988, there was a psychedelic fuzz over the city of Manchester…this resulted in The Stone Roses’ classic debut, the Happy MondaysBummed and James’ frenetic sophomore album, Strip-Mine…much like its contemporaries, James was still building up to its greatest efforts (either Seven or Laid, depending on who you ask), but Strip-Mine is a great listen…see if you can spot the song-for-song similarities between Strip-Mine and Blur’s 1991 debut, Leisure

The Dandy Warhols – “The Legend Of The Last Of The Outlaw Truckers AKA The Ballad Of Sherriff Shorty” from …Earth To The Dandy Warhols…

I haven’t decided if this is the greatest thing I’ve heard all year or if it’s the worst (actually, My Morning Jacket’s “Highly Suspicious” already holds the latter honor)…I would say that The Dandys should stay away from mock-country, but one of Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia’s best tracks, “Country Leaver” is total mock-country…then again, the song is every bit as intriguing as the messy album that surrounds it…though I’m not sure anyone needed the 15-minute closing “song”…

Ultravox – “Vienna” from Vienna

Isn’t it cool when bands record a few albums, replace their lead singer, then go on to be wildly popular?…Ultravox (originally Ultravox! as a nod to krautrockers NEU!) did just that when they replaced John Foxx with Midge Ure around 1980…almost immediately, they had their first major hit with the title track from the first album with Ure…that’s not to say that their records with Foxx weren’t any good…in fact, their self-titled debut was produced by uber knob-twiddlers Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite

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~ by E. on July 11, 2008.

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