Monday, September 03, 2007

Desert Island Discs: Details

I’m discovering as I write these Desert Island picks that all my favorite albums are really inextricably connected to parts of my life. They become sentimental to me because I love them so much that I listen to them a lot, and eventually my love for them comes not only from their objective awesomeness, but because they remind me of other parts of my life. A great example of this phenomenon is Frou Frou’s Details.

My last year in college, this album easily got the most play in the WAffice – it held the top “most played spots” on our itunes except for a few other songs that got obsessively replayed. I think other WA groups also discovered the tendency of that shared office culture toward obsessive song repeating. Hearing those opening sounds of “Let Go” brings me back to those days of hanging out and working and “working” and making heretical jokes with some people who mean a lot to me, even though we are no longer so close. That was a great year.

The reason we went so crazy for Details, though, is because it’s just a great album. These past few years I’ve moved from my love for confessional mid-tempo folk toward music that doesn’t sound like anything else I know. Frou Frou is definitely that – Imogen Heap’s unique voice combined with electronic accompaniment is distinctive, and really the Postal Service is the only other artist I know of that combines interesting lyrics and melodies with this kind of electronic sounds. Additionally, Heap tends to use unexpected intervals in her melodies – have you ever tried to sing along with her? I have. It’s hard. The lyrics are somehow both strange and mundane (example: if love is surrender/then whose war is it anyway?/do just what I tell you/and no one will get hurt), and this ads to the sense of newness. Even though I basically have the entire album memorized it still sounds new and different to me. I love that.

previous picks:
Why Should the Fire Die
Achtung Baby

Other Players:

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