Album of the Week Mix: Winter 2008

Treble staff
British Sea Power's "Do You Like Rock Music?"

With minimal (yet definitely worthwhile) spillover from 2007, the beginning of 2008 has shown great promise with an early showing of great music. Ordinarily, we’d wait until at least March to begin on our Album of the Week compilation, but we couldn’t help ourselves. After a long holiday weekend, making mixes just seemed like the most fun thing to do at the time. And we can guarantee that this one is a solid jam from beginning to end.

In this installment, there seems to be more diversity than usual, a sign that no matter how dim the record sale forecasts are, there’s always great music being made. With hip-hop from Lupe Fiasco and CunninLynguists, dance music from Hot Chip, monster riffage from Black Mountain and Saviours, garage rock from Times New Viking, post-hardcore from Future of the Left, iLiKETRAiNS’ post-rock, Jason Collett and Bon Iver’s folk-pop, and good old fashioned indie rock from Vampire Weekend and British Sea Power, we’ve got an impressive assemblage of talent in this set. So listen, watch, download, and enjoy.

CunninLynguists – “Things I Dream”

“With `Things I Dream,’ the `Linguists achieve a staggering climax, with tension climbing to new unbearable heights and all three emcees sounding fierce as ever”

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Cunninlynguists - Dirty Acres - Things I Dream

Lupe Fiasco – “Hip Hop Saved My Life”

“`Hip-Hop Saved My Life’ is a new peak for Lupe, detailing the process of writing a hit rap song and topping it off with the most amusing depiction of writer’s block I think I’ve ever heard”

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Lupe Fiasco - Lupe Fiasco's the Cool (Deluxe Version) - Hip-Hop Saved My Life (feat. Nikki Jean)

iLiKETRAiNS – “Death of an Idealist”

“Just like most post-rockers, iLiKETRAiNS follows the quiet, diligent and atmospheric into impassioned, explosive and dramatic playbook to a tee.”

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iLIKETRAINS - Elegies to Lessons Learnt - Death of an Idealist

Black Mountain – “Tyrants”

“…a multifarious epic that mood shifts from hurtling drum rolls to traveling bard guitar interludes, capped with pseudo-political, battlefield apocalyptica that sets the tone for the entirety of Future’s many elegant dips and meandering curves.”

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Black Mountain - In the Future - Tyrants

Times New Viking – “Relevant: Now”

“At times, New Viking (ha!), recall a mix of the heady melodic days of the ’60s and ’70s (on songs like “(My Head),” “Drop-Out” and “Relevant: Now,” which lifts the riff from Free’s “All Right Now”)”

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Times New Viking - Rip It Off - Relevant: Now

Saviours – “Cavern of Mind”

“`Cavern of Mind’ is pretty enormous as well, and actually pretty catchy to some degree.”

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Saviours - Into Abaddon - Cavern of Mind

Vampire Weekend – “A-Punk”

“`A-Punk,’ the newest single, is a buoyant slice of ska-pop with warm mellotron interludes”

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Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend - A-Punk

Future Of the Left – “Small Bones, Small Bodies”

“Then there’s `Small Bones, Small Bodies,’ simple and direct, like a punch to the face, and it does that with precision and efficiency, not unlike `That Man Will Not Hang,’ only with boasts of `the finest exoskeletons.

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Future of the Left - Curses - Small Bones Small Bodies

Hot Chip – “Touch Too Much”

“Hot Chip’s real stride begins in the middle of the record with `Touch Too Much,’ with a dense blast of synth and cowbell, pulsating and shaking, but retaining the soul of their slower tracks.”

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Hot Chip - Made In the Dark - Touch Too Much

Jason Collett – “Out of Time”

“`Out of Time’ is one of the best pure `rock and roll music’ numbers I’ve heard in a long time.”

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Jason Collett - Here's to Being Here - Out of Time

British Sea Power – “Waving Flags”

“`Waving Flags’ again finds BSP in gloriously anthemic territory, halfway between Arcade Fire’s Springsteen-esque nods to youthful rebellion and Echo & the Bunnymen’s politically-themed tracks from their self-titled `grey album,’ as they address immigration issues.”

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British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? - Waving Flags

Bon Iver – “Skinny Love”

“`Skinny Love,’ on the other hand, unveils Bon Iver’s more conventional song structure for, if not the album’s best song, at least its most accessible as Vernon breaks beyond the subdued murmurs of the previous tracks into a gruff holler and achingly heartfelt chorus.”

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Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago - Skinny Love

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