Released first was Frightened Rabbit’s new album Pedestrian Version
More recently: The Airborne Toxic Event’s Such Hot Blood (only $5 at the time of this post!)
I’m not on top of music or anything so I just got both of these albums in July (which comes out to five months late for Frightened Rabbit and a month late for TATE).
I’m sure there are others that I’m not really thinking of that I might have actually gotten when they came out, but so far, these two really hit the “Nels” sweet spot for the kind of almost-poetry/high-school-poetry lyrics and mostly upbeat arrangements. I think I’m not supposed to like the Airborne Toxic Event because Pitchfork gave their first album a 1.6, but the same guy gave the Childish Gambino album a 1.6, so I think that’s really code for “Don’t tell anyone that I actually like this because it would ruin my street cred.”
Sure, a lot of the songs on Such Hot Blood are tailor made for performing in arenas, bombastic anthems that build and swell to something grandiose, but guess what, I like stuff like that.
So, I mean, come on.
It’s rare, very rare indeed, that I actually like all the songs on any given album and can just listen to the album straight through without making a playlist to filter out the lower quality songs. Even those songs on Such Hot Blood are not bad. I’d say ‘True Love’ is my least favorite, but the pseudo-folk-Trampled-By-Turtles thing makes up for the fairly grating chorus and the annoying number of times he says “Cause it’s true love.” ‘The Fifth Day’ gets a little self-involved and over-orchestrated in it’s 6-minute playing time, but the beginning build-up feel so raw and genuine that again, it makes up for my minor quibbles with the middle part of the song.
Now, as for Frightened Rabbit, I feel like their The Midnight Organ Fight and The Winter of Mixed Drinks while both brilliantly titled albums were not wholly consistent in their quality (don’t get me wrong, they’re still really good). (I haven’t heard Sing The Greys or the songs on the EPs, so I can’t speak to that) But Pedestrian Verse is so good that I actually looked up their tour schedule and pretty much immediately bought tickets for their Lollapalooza after show. I go to live concerts even less than I buy music (read: irrationally cheap), so I’m not sure that there’s anything that could speak more highly of an album.