Posts Tagged ‘Folk’

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The Pogues – If I Should Fall From Grace With God

Saturday, May 30, 2009
If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988)

If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988)

This album is so fun.

I actually bought this thinking it was Christian music. You would think the title of track two, “Turkish Song of the Damned” might have given it away, but it wasn’t until track three after at least a dozen spittle-spewing f-bombs on the part of Shawn MacGowan that I came to my senses and found this is an album of great extremes, from slow ballands and haunting medleys, to up-tempo dances of firey passion and sometimes even outright silliness (“Fiesta”), all with an undeniable Celtic flavor. What more could one ask of the Pogues (in case you don’t know the answer, it’s “not a lot”)?

The album begins with the title track, a good song, but to me, little more than an intro to the firey and abrasive “Turkish Song of the Damned.” If this doesn’t get the fire boiling in your veins, then something is wrong with you. Seriously.

I’m pretty sure that track three, “Bottle of Smoke,” would probably  give my grandparents a heart attack. It is a thrill ride like no other.

“Fairytale in New York” is the perfect ballad turned waltzy thing on theis album. It’s my favorite Christmas song of all time, mostly because it doesn’t sound like cheesy Christmas music.

But “Thousands are Sailing” is definitely my favorite on the album. A sad song, with this great line “Thousands are sailing / across the western ocean / to a land of opportunity / that most of them will never see.” I always get chills when that line comes, and in fact, God chills just writing it! That’s how you know it’s good!

The last song I’ll talk about is “Fiesta.” If you want to hear an Irishman sing atrocious Spanish drunkenly with a mariachi band with a Celtic twist, then look no further. Needless to say, this is one amazing song.

“Farewell, Streets of Sorrow…” also a good song. Listen to it, if you haven’t!

Also… the banner of this site is the Pogues playing. Fun fact!

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Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Illinois (2005)

Illinois (2005)

I didn’t give Illinois or Sufjan much of a chance. It had been resting in my iTunes over a year before I got down to listening to it. It took overhearing my friend play it to recognize how amazing it was. This is how I always tend to me with music that’s new to me, for some reason.

Sufjan Stevens is one of the most talented songwriters in music history, ever. His songs are incredibly intricate and complex, yet not overbearingly so – never does he sacrifice a memorable yet unconventional melody for the sake of experimentation. He is a jewel of American music, almost the quintessential American songwriter of our generation. He has done something completely original, something no one else would have thought of. Since then, the master has spawned plenty of imitators.

Sufjan uses unconventional time signatures, chord changes, and melodies, yet as mentioned before, it hardly loses any accessibility. It’s hard to imagine anyone not finding something to like about Sufjan.

Drawing on folk, indie, and perhaps even post-rock and other genres, Sufjan Stevens and Illinoise is some of the most interesting music of the 2000s you’ll hear. I’m tempted to say Sufjan Stevens is un-classifiable. It’s hard to believe that one person could have this much creativity.

Highlights for me are “Jacksonville,” “Chicago,” “Casimir Pulaski Day,” “John Wayne Gacy, Jr,” and “The Predatory Wasp.” I’m leaving out a lot of good songs just so you know.