WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU LISTENING TO? I get that question a lot from people at my office when the come in and find me grooving along to something they've never heard. Today it was Bjork. I splashed out and bought her anthology Surrounded on eBay. It retails for about $125, but I got it for $80. Woo-hoo! It's worth every penny. All seven of her albums (Debut, Post, Homogenic, Selmasongs, Vespertine, Medulla and the soundtrack to Drawing Restraint 9) are here, remastered in 5.1 Surround Sound. It sounds like she's in my living room with a symphony. Now I want to upgrade my stereo equipment to get the full effect. What's also cool about this set is that each album now comes on a dual disk, meaning you can flip it over, put it in a DVD player and you view all of Bjork's videos from that particular record. Ain't it pretty?!

So what else am I listening to? Some of this is new, some is old, but it's all worth tracking down.

Massive Attack - Collected: You're definitely going to want to get the UK version of this greatest hits. The special edition comes in a hardback book with two disks. One features all the singles (Unfinished Sympathy, Protection, Karmacoma, etc.), a second disk features b-sides and rarities (including the collaboration with Madonna on a cover of Marvin Gaye's I Want You) and it's also a dual disk, so flip it over and there's all of MA's brilliant videos. This dual disk thing rocks. MA (along with Portishead) pioneered what is called trip-hop, mixing beats and ambient strings to beautiful effect.

Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere: If you haven't heard the first single Crazy, then you must be living under a rock. It's a funked up mix of rock, gospel, r&b with a touch of trip-hop thrown in. The album itself it a cut up of all those different genres, and a few inventive covers like Gone Daddy Gone.

Skye Edwards - Mind How You Go: The lead singer of Morcheeba has gone solo with this beautiful album. That honey voice is unmistakable. Sure, most of the album sounds like Morcheeba, but that's a good thing. The song Love Show is one of the best pop tunes I've heard in ages.

Nelly Furtado - Loose: Poor Nelly has been taking all kinds of heat for straying from her folk-pop roots and teaming up with Timbaland (who produces Missy Elliott). The critics might not care for it, but the public is dancing their asses off to Promiscuous, which is my favorite song of the summer. Maneater appears to be the second US single, and it's sure to be a hit after spending weeks atop the UK chart.

Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood: File this one under "alt-country" I guess. She reminds me of a cross between Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris. I've been absolutely hooked on the songs Hold On, Hold On and Margaret vs. Pauline. The production is big and jangly and she has a world-weary voice that slices right into you.

Gotan Project - La Ravancha del Tango: This has been out since 2001, but I just discovered it (and they've had several albums since). It's a mash up of tango music, electronica, and dub beats. It ought to be a gigantic mess, but it's sublime. Go to iTunes and download Queremos Paz, my favorite piece on the album. You'll be wanting to go to Argentina.

DJ Shadow - Endtroducing... Originally released in 1996, this is one of those groundbreaking albums that comes along maybe once every decade. I was in London when the first single, Midnight In A Perfect World, was released and it immediately become the soundtrack to that trip. The graceful backbeat, the strings, the haunting vocal all made you feel like you were in a perfect world for three or four minutes. When I heard the album in full, I realized I was hearing history being made. No one had ever made an entire album based on cut up samples of early 70s soul, symphony, film soundtracks, rap, strings and beats. No one has ever come close to duplicating (not even DJ Shadow himself) how perfect this album is. The cinematic quality of the music lulls you right into some other world. It's in my top 10 of favorite albums of all time.

My weekend update will be posted tomorrow. Much to tell.


Glad you survived the weekend my friend! I was getting worried.

An interesting mix of music, Collin. Looking forward to your weekend update.
I've only ever heard one Bjork song and it was about a train. Slap me if you must.
Collin said…

MM, get yourself the cheap greastest hits. What kinda homo are you for not supporting the Icelandic diva? For shame. :)

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