CDs ya ya

And miles to go before I sleep…

34) Graham Parker: Human Soul

A slew of great songs from the pub rock king’s post-Rumour period, this one came out just after Mona Lisa’s SIster, which I think I have somewhere. That Parker hasn’t had a zillion hits by now is evidence that humanity is a virus on the planet, or at least that record company execs are the descendents of human/reptile interbreeding. “Little Misunderstanding” and “Big Man on Paper” are my favorites this time through, Now is probably not the time to plan future music purchases, but man has this guy recorded a whole bunch of stuff I want to hear, including a collaboration with Kate Pierson of the B-52’s and Bill Janovitz on an album of lesser-known John Lennon/Paul McCartney compositions that had never been recorded by The Beatles, Hot damn! (bonus: Parker has also published 3 books, an illustrated sci fi novella, a collection of short stories, and something called The Other Life of Brian.)

35) Radiohead: Hail to the Thief

Thom Yorke’s songwriting chops grew through Radiohead’s first 3 albums, and then spasmed a bit with Kid A, which is a good enough record but also sounds like someone desperately trying to elude the artistic conditions they’d set for themselves. Hail to the Thief sounds like it wants to balance the guitar theatrics and the computer/electronic sounds, but it also sounds like that’s the main point, to balance sounds, since the songs just aren’t as good, and all the really innovative moves (long measures, horizontal dynamics, the weepy but dynmaic voice) are copies of things Yorke has done already. There are several fine ones, just not a whole disc of well-written, interesting tunes. Johnny Greenwood might have ultimately more range as a composer, given his recent soundtrack work. (bonus: you can’t really blame them for Coldplay, can you?)