Richie Hawtin, "Call of the Wild"
Last time this album came up, in one of the cutting bits of analysis that Five Songs is known for, I mostly bitched about the ID3 tags on this album. TRENCHANT! Anyway, I managed to say nothing about the album or the artist last time. I see no reason to change that today.
Wilco, "Ashes of American Flags"
In the first entry on Wilco, I ranked their albums, which remains the INDUSPUTABLE and DEFINITIVE rankings of their records. I am here to point out that despite the definitive nature of those rankings, the first three albums are very, very close. If you argued for a re-ordering of those three, you'd be wrong, but only barely. You'd also agree with various versions of Josh. That three album peak, from Being There to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, is just an incredible stretch of songs. If Being There established that Wilco was going to be far more than an alt-country band, and Summerteeth established that the band was going to be a tremendous pop act, YHF showed that their palette would even expand to include some sonic experimentation around said pop songs.
In retrospect, I think Jay Bennett's departure from the band after YHF was even more of a turning point than I thought it was. While they would still have plenty of good albums left in them, they'd never quite reach the same peak.
Mr. Lif, "Get Wise"
Edan guests on this track, and I really look forward to Edan coming up here, as he's cranked out a couple of underground classics that I think haven't gotten nearly the attention they've deserved. Edan and Lif were part of the same Boston scene, which I mostly really liked the output of. This track, meanwhile, sounds like a classic DJ Premier beat.
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, "Luna Park"
This album is called The Century of Self. And they sincerely mean that kind of title. Heart on their sleeves, indie/progressive dorks Trail of Dead make big, cornball albums that are unabashedly emotional and bombastic. When the formula works (Source Tags & Codes, Worlds Apart, So Divided), it's a lot of fun. This album is a mixed bag, but it's still a decent listen.
They Might Be Giants, "Cowtown"
This kind of whimsical goof kind of defined TMBG's early career.