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Random Roundup - June '10
I went a fair while without getting any new CDs, and then a bunch hit at once. I've already said a few words about what is easily the most important, The National's High Violet, but I figure I might as well mention some of the others.

Gogol Bordello - Trans-Continental Hustle - I loved the hell out of Gogol's most recent CD, Super Taranta! - at least, for the first three months. After that, my interest dropped off significantly. Maybe I played it out, or maybe it was an album that was better on first impact. I've yet to figure out if Trans-Continental Hustle is the same, or the opposite - an album that grows on you. It certainly has not made the impact on me that Super Taranta! did, nor even that Gypsy Punks had. It's good, and nothing is bad, but there's no Wanderlust King, nor even a Start Wearing Purple. I know some of the songs, but none of them have really stuck. Maybe I'll get more into it later.

Band of Horses - Infinite Arms - Where Trans-Continental Hustle hasn't made much of an impact, Infinite Arms has completely failed to make an impact. To be fair, I haven't listened to it nearly enough. Still, as with Trans-Continental Hustle, in the times that I have listened to it, no songs have stuck out, and that's not because the album is amazing on the whole. It's fine, and none of it seemed bad, but nothing grabs the attention. It sounds pretty much like Band of Horses' first two albums, and while that's well enough, I think it's past time for them to evolve in some fashion. Infinite Arms is just retreading of the same ground which, given the album's lack of impact, has been tread bare.

Hammock - Chasing After Shadows... Living with the Ghost - Well, I certainly cannot complain about lack of change here. I had previously thought that Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow was the band's "sound", so to speak, and that Raising Your Voice... Trying to Stop an Echo was an aberration of sorts. Turns out I had it backwards. Chasing After Shadows sounds much more like Raising Your Voice than like Maybe They Will Sing. Maybe the ellipsis is the giveaway? The band moves away from pure ambient to a more pseudo-ambient, pseudo-rock sound. There are drums, and bass, and there's some song structure, and there are even vocals and lyrics. I must admit, I do not find that these are things that they do particularly well. While I'll take change of pace over a rehash (I guess), I find myself wishing it were more like their most recent album. This album, like the two others, isn't bad, but also isn't particularly noteworthy.

Recent additions

Ni no Kuni - Worst. Demo. Ever.

Tales of Graces - Why Must JRPGs Have Such Dumb Writing?

Xenoblade Chronicles - Why Must JRPGs Have Such Dumb Writing?

The Mistake That is Inferno and the Auction House

Diablo 3 - Improvements, Changes, and Problems

Glen Cook - Chronicles of the Black Company

Dark Souls

Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys

Okkervil River - I Am Very Far

Explosions in the Sky - Live 4/11/11