Friday, April 29, 2005

Pick These Up

For part two of 'Pick These Up' I'm only doing a single-album review, but it is definitely an album I've been listening to a lot lately...

Outside Closer

New listeners to Hood's music may be tempted to draw some comparison lines to such an album as Radiohead's Kid A; however, it should be noted that Radiohead was the later of the two to experiment electronically. Since 1991, the Leeds, England sextet known as Hood has released seven full-length albums, but didn't crack the American market until 2001. On Outside Closer, Hood follows the post-rock aesthetic and infuses elements of electonics with traditional instruments such as piano, acoustic guitar, strings, and drums. Mixing lo-fi with hip hop and classical brings you somewhere near Hood. The songs on Outside Closer layer simplistic guitar plucking with lush violin arrangements and electronic glitches reminiscent of a computer shorting-out. Thin vocals add to the delicate melancholy, setting bleak winter scenes of contemplation. On the seven minute"Any Hopeful Thoughts Arrive", the guitar and drums build to a breathtaking (yes, i did use the word breathtaking) violin finish. The electronic glitches are most prevalent on "The Lost You," which is also the most upbeat song on an album of slow, somber dreamscapes. The lyrics are generally abstract, as seen in the intricate, accordian-laced track, "The Negatives...":

”The Negatives are added but it’s not enough, and if you know the feeling you’ll get beaten up, you need to go to the furthest place from your house, stand there a while and make sure you’re broke…I tried to walk to town but I got so lost…reassure me.”

Although one or two tracks in the latter half aren't as outstanding as the rest, Outside Closer as a whole is a gorgeous album - for the rainy sunday afternoons and chilly winter mornings that find you wanting to lay in bed all day.

Key Tracks: "The Negatives...", "Any Hopeful Thoughts Arrive", "The Lost You"

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