This is an ode to the shuffle. How better to get a good insight in your digitized album collection than by a classic shuffle? Finally discover the albums you never got into, finally throw the ones away you will never get into and worship those classics that never grow old again. The Shuffle of this week:

1. José Gonzalez –Hints (Veneer, 2003)


Starting slowly with  the Swedish (born in Gothenburg, parents migrated from Argentina after the junta seizing power) singer-songwriter José Gonzalez. This not so impressive song was on his debut album, on which he’s the only musician, signing for vocals, percussion and his classical guitar sound. Hard to imagine he started his musical career in hardcore (punk) bands.

2. Vampire Weekend  – Oxford Comma (Vampire Weekend, 2008)

Example: ‘My favorite albums are Graceland, Revolver and Foxtrot.’ or ‘My favorite albums are Graceland, Revolver, and Foxtrot.’ The only difference between the two is the oxford comma before ‘and’. I listened the album a gazillion times during 2008’s summer and relistening it entirely again (great album) made me decide to give their third album a shot, as I considered their second one a miss.

3. Fleet Foxes – Your Protector (Fleet Foxes, 2008)

The shuffle infiltrates my brain and switches immediately to the absolute top album of that same summer, or even the entire year. Personally I already consider this one an all-time classic. This track in particular was my incentive to get into it, but it quickly became clear that this album is full of gems.

4. Beatles – Because (Abbey Road, 1969)

As a fan of vocal harmonies, I am spoiled this week when the masters of the genre come around with one of the highlights of Abbey Road. Hearing it again made me start a new poll: ‘Which band has your favorite vocal harmonies?’ . From earlier polls we can conclude that OK Computer is your favorite Radiohead album and Wish You Were Here was chosen as best Pink Floyd album. Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band was elected as best album of 1967.

5. Animal Collective – Daily Routine (Merriweather Post Pavillion, 2009)

If Fleet Foxes was 2008’s best album, then this surely was a worthy successor in 2009. I’ve put this album on a couple of times again after last times’ shuffle and revalued its geniusness once more. Finally time to get that last album:  Centipede Hz.

6. Arcade Fire – In the Backseat (Funeral, 2004)

Looks like we’re heading towards another shuffle of the recent past again, but there’s absolutely nothing to complain about. Next one served is Arcade Fire’s debut album. It had been 5,6 years since I heard it, but giving it another shot makes you realize we’re talking about a classic here… again. Here again the follow-up album disappointed me, time to get The Suburbs!

7. Radiohead – Idioteque (I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, 2001)

Fantastic live intermezzo of today’s rock (?) emperors. An absolute highlight in every live performance that I witnessed yet. The original version is of course to be found on their studio album Kid A (2000). The influences of Aphex Twin on the band around that time are clearly noticeable on this track.

8. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Third Stone from the Sun (Are You Experienced, 1967)

Wake me anytime for a short trip to 1967, and this one brings us to Hendrix’ planet full of guitar effects with vocal intermezzos from Dr. Spock. Fantastic debut album from the Experience, further defining the concept ‘power trio’.

9. Bob Dylan – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Highway 61 Revisited, 1965)

Time for some nostalgia with one of Hendrix’ great examples, Bob Dylan. Not nostalgia in the sense  of ever having been able to witness Bob’s glory days, or even play his revolutionary and  renovative albums at the time they were released. More in the sense of this album being the first album I ever reviewed for this blog, at the same time being the starting point for plenty of other albums that were reviewed afterwards.

10. The Decemberists – Grace Cathedral Hill (Castaways and Cutouts, 2002)

Closing this week with an album that’s 11 years old meanwhile, but I only discovered it last year and in this way it was also my first acquaintance with the band. Some very good songs on it.

 

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