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JFH Staff Blog | November 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

We Recommend - mewithoutYou, 'It's All Crazy! It's All A Dream!...'

I have decided that mewithoutYou are musical geniuses.  I understand that not everyone likes their music, and I can accept that.  I can't understand or accept when people say that they aren't good.  mewithoutYou is good.  VERY good.  It's All Crazy!... turned a lot of people off, but I can't get enough of it.  This is a brilliant piece of work.  Sure, it doesn't sound like Brother, Sister, but so what?  The music is as experimental as it's ever been for this band, and the lyrics are no less passionate or thought-provoking (and way more spiritual).  "The King Beetle on a Coconut Estate" is a gorgeous waltz-turned-orchestra-turned-rock song that explores the mystery of God and serves as one of the best songs on the album.  "The Angel of Death Came To David's Room" re-enacts a possible dialogue between King David and the angel of death when he comes to take David away, "Cattail Down" is a traditional mewithoutYou-style jam that reminisces on singer Aaron Weiss' days of traveling and train-jumping, and "Fig With A Bellyache" discusses living in sexual sin (in more risque terms than some would like to hear - though it's not terrible).  And everything that Weiss speaks of is wrapped up in a nice little package of breathtaking guitars, drums, mandolin, keyboards, and lots of other instruments pieced in here and there ("The Fox, the Crow and the Cookie" has some tuba and oddly-played violins or violas).  It's a great album, and though it's hard to compete with Brother, Sister, It's All Crazy! definitely has its place as one of the great albums of our time. - Scott Fryberger

mewithoutYou
It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright (2009)

Click here for a JFH Staff Review.

Our synopsis: "Beautiful, thought-provoking, intelligent, a masterpiece.  End of story." (Recommended by JFH's Scott Fryberger)
Perfect For: Insight, humility, submission
Song Highlights: "Every Thought A Thought of You," "The Fox, the Crow and the Cookie," "A Stick, A Carrot and String," "Bullet To Binary, pt. II," "Timothy Hay," "The King Beetle on a Coconut Estate," "Allah, Allah, Allah"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Monday, November 09, 2009

We Recommend - Switchfoot, 'The Beautiful Letdown'

With the release of Switchfoot's Hello Hurricane this week (finally!), it's caused me to kind of reflect on what has been a great career of music for this San Diego rock band. I first heard Switchfoot in 1997 when The Legend Of Chin released, but actually didn't fully take notice of the band until that Fall when I saw the "Chem 6A" music video and then spun the full album again to really give it a chance to soak in. Since then, the trio has expanded to a quintet and for years these guys have just been making some really great tunes. It's tough to try to pick a favorite Switchfoot record, especially since nearly each one has impacted a big time period in my life, but if there were ever one that sort of defined who Switchfoot is and that kind of gave them a new identity and maturity, it'd have to be the career-making album, The Beautiful Letdown. From the opening sounds of "Meant To Live," to the closing musings of the beautiful "24," this is one solid alt rock record. If you're new to Switchfoot, this is the album to start with. And of course, check out Hello Hurricane as it streets this week. It's a wonderful "welcome back" from these San Diego surfers. ~ John DiBiase

Switchfoot
The Beautiful Letdown (2003)

Click here for a JFH Staff Review.

Our synopsis: "This young rock band finds itself and makes its way to the mainstream with an unforgettable batch of songs." (Recommended by JFH's John DiBiase)
Perfect For: Encouragement, wanting more out of life, worship
Song Highlights: "Meant To Live," "On Fire," "24," "Gone," "The Beautiful Letdown".... pretty much the whole thing

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album The Beautiful Letdown? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Monday, November 02, 2009

We Recommend - Jonezetta, 'Popularity'

For me, indie rock is hit and miss; sometimes it can be pure pretentious futility, while other times it is profound and full of life.  Tooth & Nail made a wise choice in signing Jonezetta, who thankfully seem to fit the latter description.  While their sophomore record Cruel To Be Young was a respectable effort by the quintet, it was when they were a four-piece when their dance-rock melodies of Popularity caught my attention.  I actually saw them open for Anberlin during the Cities tour in the spring of 2007, and while the absence of a keyboardist at the time was hard to miss (an instrument very prevalent on Popularity), their performance was enough to incite me to pick up their debut effort, and I was quite pleasantly surprised by the result.  While lyrically there's admittedly not much on the spiritual front, it's all positive material that can differ greatly from Jonezetta's secular contemporaries.  It's good, clean dance rock at its core, and sometimes it is just what I need to get me motivated.  If you're willing to try something completely different in the indie rock market, Popularity is a rewarding listen.
 ~ Roger Gelwicks

Jonezetta
Popularity (2006)

Click here for a JFH Staff Review.

Our synopsis: "Often overlooked, Jonezetta's debut is a great example of indie rock done right while being radically different at the same time." (Recommended by JFH's Roger Gelwicks)
Perfect For: Fun listening, motivation
Song Highlights: "Get Ready (Hot Machete)", "Communicate", "The Love That Carries Me", "Imagination"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album Popularity? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

 

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