Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Column: 88 Keys and the Truth

I love the piano. I've been playing the instrument myself since I was about six, which may have something to do with it, but I'm instantly attracted to piano-based music. Can't help it. From Ben Folds to Tori Amos to Bruce Hornsby to the two artists I reviewed this week at, I'm always looking for new artists with a flair for the ebonies and ivories.

This week, I took a listen to the new Aqualung, entitled Magnetic North, and the striking new Rufus Wainwright, called All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu. They're as different as they could be - Aqualung's is a cozy pop album, perfect for warm summer nights, while Wainwright's is the most intimate, nakedly emotional album he's ever made, parts of it in memory of his mother, Kate McGarrigle. But both are excellent, in their own ways, and both are based around the piano.

Also this week, my thoughts on Record Store Day 2010, a quick eulogy for Peter Steele of Type O Negative, and my #6 album of the 2000s. As usual, click on over to read the column, then head back here to comment.


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  2. Hey Taylor. Yeah, I don't hear a lot of hooks either, but I think that's deliberate this time. (Not so sure about Release the Stars...) But I don't hear a lot of meandering either. These melodies strike me as very precisely written.

    Rufus has always composed songs like this - strip "O What a World," or "Go or Go Ahead" down to their essences, and they'd sound like this, I think. But he's usually placed those slow burners next to poppier, more immediate numbers. This is an album of subtler pieces, but I like them a lot. Even my least favorites, the sonnets, keep me interested.

    But yeah, different strokes. What strikes me may not strike you. I like this partially because it shows a different, more emotionally naked side to Rufus. But I probably won't play it as much as Poses or Want One.