Wednesday, August 5, 2009

AOTW?




I know it's a few days late, but what the heck, eh? It's a short album

A few years ago, in a particularly Belle & Sebastian-obsessed stage, back in the days when I read all their posts on their website, (yes, it was before RR) I read that they liked the band Felt. So I downloaded a few tracks. Turns out it was the wrong Felt. The Felt I downloaded was a sort of joke collaboration between a pair of underground hip hopsters. Well, I've come across the tracks a few times in my iTunes library, and I've always liked them. One of the fellows was MURS and I've always had the name in the back of my mind to investigate further. The other day the LastFM-bot suggested that I might like him, so I read up a bit, listened a bit, and got this album.

He's known for his self-deprecating, piercingly intelligent lyrics, and a story-telling style. (these are all quotes, but I can't remember where they're from). This album is entirely produced by 9th Wonder, who uses languid, soul-saturated productions that borrow from the seamless early '70s sounds of groups like the Chi-lites and the Delfonics. (also a quote)

Anyway, I'd listened a few times, and I like it. I think it works as an album of the week, because it's only over the course of the whole album that his personality comes through (the first few songs sounded more boastful than self-deprecating to me, but it makes sense when you've heard more, I think.)

I wasn't going to post a hip hop album as album of the week, because I thought it would exclude too many 'Spillers, but I read that he worked with Aesop Rock and Cannibal Ox, and I know a few 'Spillers are fans; I looked back and saw that Blimpy had actually posted a track of MURS' on the 'Spill at one point; and I know there are a lot of fans of Soul out there, so I thought it might appeal to a few people.
It's dangerously close to RR, so in order to save space in Dropbox, I'm just providing a link to the album on spotify. But if anybody wants me to drop it, just for the day, let me know.
MURS--Murray's Revenge

19 comments:

nilpferd said...

Looks good.. will give it a listen later. In other news, clip joint is up.. *Hippo gets trampled in Steenpede*

Shoey said...

Probably the wrong Felt for me, but no way of knowing unless you do drop it as don't Spotify.

Thanks for posting - beginning to think 'Spill was closed down.

nilpferd said...

It's good.. reminds me of MF Doom, the samples and beats have a similar swaggering quality and the same seventies TV series origins, and the lyrics are also refreshing. I like that he doesn't cuss. Dreamchaser is awesome.

steenbeck said...

Thanks, Nilpferd! I listened to it in the car, and I like it even better. I like the timbre of his voice a lot, and I like the hints of humor. His voice reminds me of somebody, but I can't think who. I have a few critical thoughts, but I'll save them till others have a chance to listen.

Shoey--that's partly why I posted it, it was so quiet around here. (where are the EOTWQ?)

I'll put it in the box and take it out again tomorrow night.

debbym said...

Steen, I think EOTWQ may actually be waiting for the end of the week this week! Now I'm going to try & listen to your AOTW, assuming my computer and my supposed-to-be-asleep-by-now daughter both play along...

Abahachi said...

I thought Gareth was bidding for EOTWQ this week. If there isn't too much of a queue, I can volunteer for next week, as the damned book should be finished by then.

ejaydee said...

I'm intrigued by this, I'd heard about him, but I never checked him out, not sure why. Based on the first track, I think I'm going to like this. It's a bold move to pick a hip Hop album for AOTW. I wouldn't have dared. Oh and I thought about you today, the Mets were playing, but what happened to the pantaloons? Now players wear weird sweat pants.

Christina said...

Me too! Intrigued but never followed up. And I, also, would never have done hip hop, because I think a lot of people (fairly) just don't like it. But it was so late in the week, and the album was so short, and had so many 'Spillish connections....

Ejay, I thought about you with the Barbershop track and the sneaker talk.

ANd, yes!! What is up with the long pants? Seriously, I just saw some professional baseball on the TV at work--who thinks that looks good (the long pants, that get weirdly baggy at the end, anyway)? Why would they ALL do it? I'm major-ly (get it?) disappointed.

Christina said...

Hehheh, that was me, Steenbeck, using somebody else's laptop. Sorry. It seems so funny at the moment...

ejaydee said...

Hehe, I stopped at Barbershop because I wanted to save the rest of the listening until tomorrow, because I should be in bed at the moment. I think also I don't like the cover so that kinda of turned me off. I literally judged this album by its cover, and that's just wrong.

ejaydee said...

Yep, I like it, it's funny how self-deprecating means something different in the world of rap. I like 9th Wonder's beats generally, but sometimes he lacks that extra oomph that Premier has, which means I'll probably pay attention to the lyrics than I normally would.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ steenbeck - did you ever get to the 'right' Felt? I can dropbox some stuff if you want ...

steenbeck said...

ToffeeBoy, I did not. I don't even know who they are. I'd like to hear a few tracks. Are they B&Sish?

Gareth, I'm sorry if I preempted you. I didn't plan to do an AOTW, it just happened.

Ejay--I think my complaint with this album would be that it's too smooth and lacking in oomph. The voice and the music start to lull you a bit, by the end of the album, and I would have liked them to mix it up a little, somehow.

This one from an earlier album is more self-deprecating, though defensively so, and would have been a good song for failure, I think...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k0RIaJrdS8&feature=PlayList&p=8E6584363800E1DB&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=29

GarethI said...

Abahachi/Steenbeck – no worries. Meursault was the AOTW I'd been waiting for and that was last week.
I had a listen on Spotify and liked it – I'm sure he's used some Gnarls Barkley in there. I'm listening to it further while I do some more work after the work I was doing at work. Still, we're in a recession so I shouldn't be moaning.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ steenbeck - Felt were part of the C86 jangly-indie pop thing (I put a track of theirs - The Ballad Of The Band - on my RR social CD). Belle & Sebastian were heavily influenced by the 'C86' bands and I guess Felt would have been on Stuart Murdoch's horizons as a teenager. This is what he said in the sleeve notes for Dear Catastrophe Waitress:

I just came back to the house to have a little lunch and there's a package here from Bob, who's making a little film that I'm helping with. He's sent me a Felt dvd called 'A Declaration'. This to me is very interesting. It's almost too much to take. Lawrence looks so good, it's too much, it's like a dream. I can't believe this band ever existed. They're so perfect. Fuck the Smiths, fuck Orange Juice, Felt, FELT, FELT!! I have to stop watching. I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack today. They just take me to a different place. 'I wasn't fooling when I said. All the people I like are those that are dead'. The dvd's shit quality by the way, so don't go there unless you can join the dots for yourself.

Here are a few Felt links:

Wikipedia
Fansite
TweeNet

Shoegazer said...

Erm....Felt were not on C86 as far as I recall, although vey much a part of the time. Trouble was, in my NSHO, they (He) tended to rush things out and never made the truly great album they could have. Kind of like B&S in a way.

That's at least 2 more 'Spillers upset with me, so I'll stop soon.

Felt are still going as far as I can tell, but have not listened to any of their recent output. Perfect candidate for a 'Spilled over, if we still do that kind of thing.

Missed the chance to listen to the Felt we're supposed to earworm. Apologies.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ shoey - no, you're right. There wasn't a Felt track on the original C86 tape. What I meant (and indeed, said!) is that they were "part of the C86 jangly-indie pop thing". I don't think they're still going, in fact there doesn't seem to have been any Felt activity since 1989 - Lawrence's current project is a band called Go Cart Mozart, about whom I know nothing!

I would tend to agree with you that Belle & Sebastian haven't made a truly great album although I would argue that Tigermilk and The Boy With The Arab Strap both come close.

What they have produced is a significant body of truly great work and while they certainly wear their influences on their collective sleeves, they have also exerted their own influence on a whole generation of musicians - particularly in Scotland.

Blimpy said...

Tigermilk is a truly great record.

steenbeck said...

Thanks, toffeeboy. I think that b & s quote must have been the reason I tried to download some of their songs. I'm looking forward to listening when I get home. Is this the first aotw to have more comments about a diff band than the one posted for the album on the first place?