Do you respond well to gimmicks? I can tell you, as a writer, I love them - they give me an easy hook, a way in. But as a music fan, I usually couldn't care less. Unless the music is there, the substance, a gimmick is just an empty sales tactic. Ideally, I'm looking for both - a good record with a good concept, or story behind it.
I've got two of those this week. Ben Folds enlisted college vocal groups for his not-quite-a-best-of University A Cappella, and British Sea Power took on the task of re-scoring a silent movie from 1934 called Man of Aran. I enjoyed them both. Click on over to find out how much, then come back here to discuss this week's missive. Thanks!