Monday, March 7, 2011

Thoughts Vaguely Referring to Baroque Pop (or) A Review

    First of all, in order to read this blog, you will need to go to the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDTZ7iX4vTQ
   We'll see you back here in about four minutes and sixteen seconds...

    I rarely buy anything off of iTunes, instead preferring to buy hard copy versions of albums I like, and then import them into my iTunes. Why? That's a long story for a different blog.
Suffice to say, I've bought maybe 2 albums off iTunes over the past few years. But yesterday, I bought the new 3-song EP by Foster The People.
    Though I enjoy trying to find old albums, (and even old Blur singles - in order to gather a collection of b-sides), I didn't feel like putting in the time to find a 3-song EP in CD format.
...(besides, this band has a full-length due out in May, of which I can pick up a copy then)...
    Anyway, I bought it because I'd heard the single "Pumped Up Kicks" on the radio, (which is kind of a rarity for me to even listen to the radio). But I happened to catch this song and got hooked on it.
    So let me tell you what I like about this song. First of all, it has a strange baroque-pop feel to it. Case in point, the heavily-reverbed vocals during the chorus and the bassline that drives the song. The tone on the bass guitar part has a definite late-60's sound to it, (i.e. listen to an old Byrds album and hear how the high-end on the bass notes seems to punch through the mix more).
    These traits are really similar to the song "Young Folks" by Peter, Bjorn, and John, and let us not forget the use of whistling notable in both of these songs. ....(As a sidenote, if you're only familiar with the "Young Folks" song from Peter, Bjorn, and John, then you should do a bit more research on them - they've done some truly cool things with simplistic song ideas, sparse arrangements, and straight-forward dance beats. Just goes to show that Sweden is good for other things , not just IKEA, ABBA, and metal bands)....
    Which brings me to my next point: This is basically indie-dance music, as far as I can tell. The other two songs, ("Houdini" and "Helena Beat"), on the EP solidify this sentiment.
    For those of you disappointed by MGMT's last album and hoping for more synth-pop music, you may find something to like in this band, in that their sound has more in common with "Kids" and "Electric Feel" than any of the other songs off of MGMT's "Congratulations"....(although I still stand by the fact that "Congratulations" was one of the best albums of last year)....
    In reality, this EP isn't going to change the world musically. It's not some boundary-pushing sound, it's just good pop music that you can groove to. It's hard to say if their full-length will live up to the EP, but in today's digital environment, it doesn't really matter. Most people buy individual songs rather than whole albums anyway. Which brings me to the idea of singles and their impact on popular music...
    But that too, is for another blog... Maybe next month...
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