Sunday, February 20, 2005

Backlog Part 1: Trail of Dead- - Worlds Apart, +2

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So for a while I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to talk about, but didn't have time to make actual posts on due to some other stuff interferring. So, here's the first of older items for me to talk about- ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's new album, Worlds Apart, and the sampler, Worlds Apart +2.

First encountering Trail of Dead late one night on MTV2 in the middle of the video for "Relative Ways", my first thought was, "Wow, they look like a tanned Brit-pop band." My second thought was, "That spinny Price is Right wheel thing is a tad pretentious." And to some, pretentious goes a long way describing this band, and the Rolling Stone review indicted the entire album on that charge. Mainly based on how the title track of the album mentions MTV. The Stone basically summed up the album as an attack of music played on MTV. Kind of, sort of, not really. "Worlds Apart" also references the BBC and is a critque of the overall media culture. Not just MTV. And that sentiment isn't found on the rest of the album.

In fact, that's what's really great about this album, especially compared to the other Trail of Dead releases- it sounds like a mixtape. A very eclectic mixtape that has the same singer. Gone is the constant barrage of pop-hardcore that's characterized their other full lengths; the dynamics of the great 2003 EP The Secrets of Elena's Tomb are errected, then extended, and instead of going from soft to loud like on the EP, here the songs go from genre to genre- the prog rock "Will You Smile Again?" leads to the punk "Wolrds Apart" to the altrock "The Summer of '91".

There are lots of high thematic points, from the slightly glam "All White", the high and lonesome violin on "To Russia My Homeland", the slow moving, pounding "Will You Smile Again?". It's probably the best album out this year so far. Give it a listen.

Also neat-o is Worlds Apart +2, a sampler with "Worlds Apart" and two other songs. I listened to this all the time on Rhapsody before Worlds Apart came out, and it's a neat little disc for just two bucks. Quite neat, really, and a nice little bone to toss to the fans and to entice new fans.

So. Get yourself a copy. It's wholesome, I promise.

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