Alison seems like someone cool enough that i should trust her taste in music, so i was very interested to read Largehearted Boy after her link to him stated “He has the same taste in music that i do, which equals great!”
I consider myself to be a fairly open-minded music fan, but the Boy’s taste definitely veers lo-fi and out of tune. I can manage to forgive both of these traits individually, but in tandem i can’t stomach them at all. Speaking of which, witness two posts about my arch-nemesis Bright Eyes over the course of a single month. Someone really needs to teach that boy how to sing.
Bright Eyes aside, Largehearted Boy has a Top 11 of 2003 list up, and what could be a better gauge of his (and, thus, Alison’s) taste in music? I didn’t buy a whole ton of new music last year, and The Boy’s tastes run much more indy-male-rock than my own so, not shockingly, i’m only familiar with three discs on his list.
Lowest ranked is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs disc Fever To Tell, which was subtly disappointing … everything i had heard about them made them out to be “The Next Big Thing, but it’s mostly just girl-lead punk with fairly uncatchy screaming (i prefer The Distillers). Still, i can at least comprehend making this pick.
More objectionable is The Shins disc, which Aim was kind enough to gift me with, at number three. Chutes Too Narrow is a listless sounding attempt at something, though i don’t know what. I keep seeing the words “Pop Masterpiece” thrown around in regards to this band, which confuses me. Does underwhelming, out-of-tune singing combined with deft acoustic strumming suddenly equal MASTERPIECE? If so, please send me the masterpiece application next year.
Finally, at number one, is The Postal Service. Give Up is an album i wanted to like in a big way. It features vocals by Ben Gibbard (lead singer of my co-favorite indy band Death Cab for Cutie) and Jenny Lewis (co-lead singer of my co-favorite indy band Rilo Kiley). Also, it was personally recommended to me by Erin McKeown, who i hold in a very high regard. But, the album fails to claim the title of Best Indy Disc Ever that i was so ready to ascribe to it, which is perhaps attributable to its third collaborator, Jimmy Tamborello.
Jimmy lends beats to the disc in the form of stuttering drum machine clicks and claps, which sound so tiny and far away. I don’t object to drum machines on principal, but they are supported mostly by equally far away guitars and humming synthetic organs, none of which grounds Gibbbard’s shiny half-falsetto in enough reality for me to love it the way i do in DCFC. Give Up has made for some excellent background noise, but to me it is too insubstantial sounding to qualify for a “Best Of” list in any category other than background, which made it all the more disappointing to me.
Now that’s i’ve complained sufficiently about two albums that have been collectively bugging me for months and months, effectively lynching the poor largehearted man’s taste (though, only 3/11 of it, which isn’t all that much), i will now, as a conclusion to this rambly weblog post, admit that i am madly in love with his blog.
Why, you ask? Because his absolute adoration of music seeps through every seam and pore and past every comma and period, and that makes his taste completely irrelevant. I wish i could convey to you my love for music, and how i allow it to surround me, and how excited it makes me, but that has never been and won’t ever become the primary focus of this page. However, i can safely say that Largehearted Boy is the nearest facsimile you will ever find, and i plan to read him constantly if only to remind myself how much joy being a fan can really bring you.
And, well, maybe i didn’t find out too much about Alison’s taste in music, but if she even halfway empathizes with the vibe over at The Boy then i think it tastes just fine.