Good Vibrations

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Its been a while since I’ve had a chance to post something new.  With the long weekend, I figured now might be a good time to do so.  For those of you taking a long trip, here’s what I’m listening to now.  Do yourself a favor and add some of this stuff to your weekend playlist.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Up From Below: 7.5

Released: July 7, 2009

Label: Vagrant Records

Sounds like: Mamas & The Papas, Arcade Fire, Polyphonic Spree

Sure, it only took me a year to discover these guys, but better late than never.  I was first introduced to this happy group of throwbacks from my friend Casey.  The song “Home” was my first taste; I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either.  Then, more recently on a roadtrip, my friend Roy threw in the whole album and the second bite at the album proved to be more satisfying.  If you didn’t know better, you’d think the album was recorded 30 years ago.  As a whole, its fun, organic, perhaps a bit derivative, but ultimately refreshing.  Great vocals, catchy melodies, and well crafted.

Select Cuts: 40 Day Dream, Home, Janglin

The Roots

How I Got Over: 8.5

Released: June 22, 2010

Label: Def jam

Sounds like: Tribe, De La Soul

How I Got Over is The Roots’ first album since they become Jimmy Fallon’s house band.  On this, their ninth album, this Philly-based rap/soul/jazz group truly shows why they continue to get the respect and adoration of so many.  As I’ve mentioned on previous occasion, the rap genre is much like the broader category of pop music, in that its quite homogeneous (or boring).  Albums like this continue to push back on the notion that rap is dead.  Its fun, creative, and it contains a bevy of credible artists (John Legend, Monsters of Folk/Jim James, Joanna Newsom).  Check it out, there’s something here for everyone.

Select Cuts: Walk Alone, Dear God 2.0, Hustla

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