REM — Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982–2011
If you’ve always been a REM fence-sitter, this exhaustive, chronologically arranged 40-track retrospective makes for a fine place to start a posthumous reassessment of the band’s career. Conversely, if (like us) you’re a mildly obsessive fan, then the main interest of Part Lies… lies in the three new songs that are included — the last new songs we’ll ever hear from REM. Sob. Unfortunately, they’re not all that great — “A Month of Saturdays” starts with the lines “five o’clock Friday, all my work is done/ I can hardly wait,” which doesn’t quite ring true from a man who’s been in a band for the last 30 years, and all in all is generally a track that would have done better on the cutting room floor. “We All Go Back to Where We Belong” is better, a pretty if ultimately unmemorable ballad, but it’s “Hallelujah” (no, not the Leonard Cohen song) that’s the best of the three, recalling the moodiness of parts of New Adventures in Hi-Fi and making for a fine conclusion to the collection. Anyway, you can listen here.
Oneohtrix Point Never — Replica
In last week’s roundup of albums that you absolutely need to hear in November, we ranted and raved about how much we were looking forward to hearing the new album by Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never. The music gods must have heard our appeal, because the album’s now streaming in full on the Guardian‘s website. And it’s pretty great. We highly recommend you click here and get involved.
Trentemøller — Reworked/Remixed
Another album we’re looking forward to this month is the bumper double-CD collection of Trentemøller-related remix action — both remixes of the Danish producer’s tracks, and his remix work for others. The whole shebang is currently streaming via AOL’s Spinner site, and there’s a lot to digest — everything from Trentemøller’s spacey deconstruction of Franz Ferdinand’s “No You Girls” and his moody take on Efterklang’s “Raincoats” to some fantastic reinterpretations of his own tracks (we particularly like the gently psychedelic pop of UNKLE’s “Neverglade” remix, and also the Marie Fisker version of “Sycamore” that opens the album). Anyway, click here to listen.
Los Campesinos! — Hello Sadness
In a completely different vein, lovers of shouty, exclamation-point pop music will welcome the return of punctuationally adventurous Welsh seven-piece Los Campesinos!, whose new album Hello Sadness is streaming at NPR this week. The record’s not quite as downbeat as the title suggests — we’re not sure Los Campesinos! are capable of being, y’know, quiet — but it’s certainly somewhat lyrically introspective, cataloguing the end of a love affair and the mess that follows afterward. The album’s right here if you’re keen.
Childish Gambino — Camp
Community fans will be particularly excited about this — the debut album from Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino (he got the name from an online Wu-Tang Clan name generator, apparently). The write-up at NPR, where the album is streaming, likens Camp to Kanye West’s The College Dropout, but another comparison sprang to our mind as soon as we hit play on the stream — Glover’s high-pitched voice, off-rhythm rhyming, and abiding sense of alienation recall a certain Mr. Marshall Mathers. The lyrics are full of Glover’s struggle to fit into two worlds, neither of which accept him, from being “the only black kid at the Sufjan concert” to being told that his songs don’t “speak to the good.” And hey, there’s also several references to how much he didn’t like getting called “faggot.” But that doesn’t mean “gay” these days, does it, kids? Kids? Click here to listen.
If you’re the sort who’s possessed of a morbid curiosity, the new brokenCYDE album is streaming right here. Go on. We won’t tell anyone.