Holy Ghost! — Holy Ghost!
First of all . . . I guess the band’s name is blasphemous? Or weird? Mostly weird that a band would be called “Holy Ghost!” Either way, I’m here to comment on the album, and this is my main comment: I like it. I’ve been listening to it over and over. It’s odd how another DFA band can come along in the LCD Soundsystem/Rapture mold and yet sound so distinctly original . . . like a serious Chromeo or something. My secondary comment: I saw these guys open for LCD Soundsystem in 2010 and I don’t remember them sounding like this record at all. I remember them being awful good and their songs having really deep bass, the sort that’s so deep that sometimes you almost can’t breathe. Maybe I need to listen to this record with better headphones?
The Rapture—In the Grace of Your Love
Speaking of DFA bands in the vein of LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture . . . here’s that new Rapture record. I nearly didn’t listen to it because, the Rapture? They’re still around? I mean, I guess I’ve seen them three times and their first record (Echoes) was so good . . . their second record (Pieces of People You Love), so not so much . . . but seriously, these guys are still around? And I nearly immediately stopped listening when the first song starts off with the Rapture guy’s distinct wail wailing “Sail . . . Sail Away” and all I could think of was Enya BUT I stuck it out and you know what? Not so bad, this record. Quite good, in fact. Better than Record #2, and different from Record #1. There's nothing on it that jams like House of Jealous Lovers or Whoo! Alright, Yeah . . . Uh Huh but this record doesn't seem to be about dance party tracks, it's a record full of songs instead.
So often I listen to bands that I want to describe as “they don’t sound like anything I’ve heard before” but if I keep doing this, will it even mean anything anymore? Still, Sun Araw . . . he/they don’t sound like anything I’ve heard before. And these two records sound rather different from each other, too. But let me try to describe their sound:
“On Patrol” is like North American ambient dub . . . songs and sounds are repeated to a point beyond repetition. Most of “Off Duty/Boat Trip” is a drony wash, something like a non-metal Sun O))), except beneath all the drone and wash it does sounds like a caravan is passing through this record. Both albums share a definite heaviness and most of the songs are really long, you don’t have to listen to Sun Araw long to realize that this is music meant to be paired with mind-altering substances BUT if you have a job where you’re doing the same thing over and over all day or it's too distracting to listen to songs with lyrics, turns out this sort of music is good for that, too.
This is what I’ve got to say: Kanye knows how to end a record. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’s “Lost in the World/Who Will Survive in America” is unmistakably and thrillingly the highpoint of a record that I’m still not crazy about. Watch the Throne ends with this song “Why I Love You” that makes astoundingly effective use of a vocal hook lifted from a Cassius song (the song being “I Love You So” and the hook being “Oooh, I love you so! But why I love you, I’ll never know!”—which itself is lifted from Sandra Richardson’s “I Feel a Song (In My Heart)”) and I don’t know, it’s not often I’d call a rap song chilling (not to be confused with "chilin'") but . . . this song, I think it’s chilling*. The rest of the record, eh, there’s some good stuff . . . I like the beginning of any verse in “Gotta Have It” or the part of that song where it goes “Racks on racks on racks/Maybachs on bachs on bachs.” The Otis song is fun. You know. Whatever.
*And what’s the deal with Jay-Z and Kanye and sampling French house music? (Stronger, On to the Next One, Why I Love You).
Weezy done fell off.