Because life is a series of edits

Now Taking Recommendations

In Musicians on June 19, 2007 at 10:03 pm

I’ve got a $10 iTunes gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket and am now taking recommendations for one album (no partials) of ten songs worthy of such redemption.

Post your recommended album title, artist, and demo link (as well as a sentence or two why this album and not another) here between now and Friday. Winner gets my musical gratitude.

  1. * josh ritter, the animal years
    * the weepies, say i am so (not 100% sure on that title)

    these albums will change your life. go to, type in their names and samples should come up. i’m almost tempted to say if you don’t like them, i’ll mail you your $10 back.

  2. I’m a fan right now of the new Paul McCartney CD. I don’t know much of his solo work- but he has a good variety of work in this album (Memory Almost Full). My favorite song is “Dance Tonight” which is the song you hear on his iPod commercial. Not sure if he’s your taste- but you may enjoy this one.

  3. “Redemption Songs” by Jars of Clay. Their best album since the original by far. Excellent modernization of classic hymns without being a sacrilege to the originals or being cheesy and over-the-top. My current favorite album for six months running.

  4. The new Derek Webb cd (ringing bell) is great…and I think it’s just ten songs.

  5. my recommendation would be the album “The Crane Wife” by the decemberists. it’s on itunes for $9.99. my other recommendation would be the new white stripes album, “icky thump” which is $10.99. for the extra dollar you get 14 songs.

    another recommendation (that would actually come before the white stripes is any album by the avett brothers. their newest one is “Emotionalism.” they are simply great. anyway, i didn’t include any links to the albums but that’s because you can find them all on itunes and listen to samples there by double-clicking on any of the songs.

    my advice whatever you purchase is to buy something outside of the christian ghetto. see what the athenians are singing about.

    peace out homey.

  6. One sweet option that you may not know about: iTunes now offers “complete my album” where, if you buy a track or two as a sample, you can purchase the rest of the album for $9.99 minus whatever your tracks cost (i.e., two tracks= $1.98). So you can enter into this endeavor with less risk– if you don’t like the trial tracks, you’re only out a dollar or two and can move on to another choice.

    Maybe it might be helpful to ask the suggestion-maker which track best exemplifies the album…

  7. Feist – The Reminder

  8. Looking forward to listening to these (and more) recommendations. Also been perusing our latest issue of Paste Magazine (if you’re not a subscriber, you should be – Rolling Stone with class) and its accompanying sampler CD (though I haven’t really listened to/studied it too much yet).

    Random Rich Mullins quote from last week aside, I don’t consider myself musically stuck in the “Christian ghetto” – my tastes and experience tend to cause me to pay as much attention to quality performance and production as much or more as lyrical content. Don’t get me wrong – I love a well-written song as much as anybody – but I also love a really amazing arrangement that fills out the stereo spectrum in a way that doesn’t seem to happen quite as much these days.

    As a result, a lot of the independent stuff isn’t as interesting to me musically as it’s sometimes almost too bare bones. Because I was once a keyboardist who came of musical age in an era of advances like MIDI, on-board/software sequencing, digital reverb, etc., I get bored too easily with studio albums that don’t sound just a bit more “studio” (that is, more produced) than the average live album might.

    That said, I do like the Avetts (a lot – Jane Lee got me hooked on them) both for their lyric and melodic gifts. The Jars and Webb are fine. Amy, I almost downloaded McCartney’s new album right off the bat, but I’m cheap and didn’t want to spend four extra bucks for fourteen songs. That’s when I had the idea of asking the blogosphere what recommendations you’d offer.

    But that’s me…and why I ask for your thoughts. Keep ’em coming.

  9. (1) amy winehouse “back to black”-i first discovered her music online last year and loved it and then all of a sudden she burst onto the US music scene this year. the brilliant sound and voice-stylings on this album harken back to 60’s phil spector-esque girl groups and pop music, but with very modern lyrics (that are a bit NSFW but you can buy a clean version of the album). i absolutely love this album, especially the title track, “rehab”, and “you know i’m no good”. I feel that there is a strong sense of honesty in the lyrics and they seem to reflect the current view of love and loss among the 20-something crowd.

    (2) juno reactor “bible of dreams”-this is the album that introduced me to goa-trance and world-music techno. there are many african and middle eastern elements in the music on this album. i especially love “god is god” (listen for the voice of charlton heston as moses in the ten commandments) and children of the night (with a sampling of bela lugosi’s voice).

    i hope you enjoy sampling these albums!

  10. I second Travis. The Avett Brothers, Emotionalism. Hands down.

  11. I third Travis. But I know nothing of the Avett Brothers (or any of the Avett family).

    I would have said the Decemberists and The White Stripes, but in reverse order. If you’re not as much of a fan of stripped down stuff, then go with Jack White. The dude is a genius. Between The White Stripes and his other band The Raconteurs, nobody is any better in mainstream alternative rock (is there such a thing?).

  12. Heard an interview with Jack White on NPR today – sounded like an interesting guy (particularly when he was talking about his Detroit background and upholstery apprenticeship). Good tune he played on backing Loretta Lynn – “Miss Being Mrs.” (though ultra bare).

    Love the comment about the “mainstream alternative rock”. This is my sentiment exactly when it comes to a 21st century definition for “alternative” – it seems as mainstream to me as the pop music world.

  13. Alright, folks. After much listening and evaluation (okay, not that much – I trust you), I went with the Avetts’ Emotionalism. We’re big fans of their last album (Mignonette), so we’re excited to hear more. Thanks, everyone, for your recommendations.

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