So I kinda disappeared for a week or so, but I am back with a monster post. I love lists so much, and am constantly working on them. I rarely share them, because by the time I finish them, they are usually pretty outdated. Well I have resolved to making time to finish them in a timely manner. So I am bringing you my favorite songs of the first quarter of 2011.
I started out aiming to give you my top 25 songs thus far, but it has been such a fantastic year for music thus far that I couldn’t limit it to just 25. This list is only about the songs and says nothing about my opinion of the rest of their album. Also I chose to include only one song from any particular artist, so as to share the love.
Cold War Kids released their 3rd full-length album back on the 25th of January and so far it is one of my favorite records of the year. It has been receiving a lot of attention but not a lot of love so far, which I don’t understand. Of all of their previous work I would compare it the most to the Behave Yourself EP which I really loved. 2008′s Loyalty to Loyalty was a bit of a disappointment for me. Lyrically it was fantastic, but I felt like it was just too disjointed and jagged of a record for me to really enjoy listening to. Mine Is Yours is a catchier and smoother album then Loyalty. It is very similar to their debut album Robbers & Cowards, but not quite as bare and raw. It has a very full and warmer sound, which many have then equated to dull. But I disagree and am a big fan of the record.
In the past week the title track has been remixed by both Passion Pit and Yeasayer. I’m privy to the Passion Pit version but they are both fun takes that make an already solid and catchy song just a little more danceable.
A couple of weeks ago, Cold War Kids released their follow up to their sophomore slump, Loyalty to Loyalty, with the stellar Behave Yourself EP. Despite being only 14 minutes long, this record is as big of a step in the right direction as Loyalty was a step in the wrong direction. After the release of the Loyalty in late 2008, followed by several poor reviews of their live shows, I had all but written them off when I heard Behave. After grooving to, being swooned by and then being inspired by Behave Yourself, once again I find myself eagerly awaiting the next project from Cold War Kids. Especially since I just recently heard that on their next record they are going to be working with producer Jacquire King, whose most recent credits include the new Norah Jones record, which we loved, and one of the best rock records of 2008, Kings of Leon’s Only By the Night.
When in search of a musical artist that is head and shoulders above all other counterparts, Ray LaMontagne does not disappoint. Armed with a guitar, beard, and a truck load of God given talent Ray has been on the gold paved road in a sea of solo artists whielding a wide array of styled love songs. His smooth, raspy voice accompanied by melodious guitar offers up a perfect combination, sure to spread love and happiness wherever played. Add the horn sounds of big band and you have, “You Are the Best Thing,” off of LaMontagne’s newest album “Gospel in the Grain.” This performance on The Late Show with David Letterman, illuminates all of the talent Ray LaMontagne has been blessed with. Be sure to enjoy and share this with those you love.
Hailing from Long Beach, CA, utilizing the sounds of british bands, and add a heavy dose of Freddie Mercury (Queen) inspired singing styles and you have the Cold War Kids. Performing “Relief,” off of their second and newest album, Loyalty to Loyalty, this grungy, dark song truly illustrates what separates them from all of the pop music being produced today. With heavy use of keyboard, drums and no guitar, it provides a great foundational beat, partnered with the very different vocal styles of lead singer Nathan Willett; you have their performance that showcases who the Cold War Kids are on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I have personally been impressed with all of the work the Cold War Kids have created, enjoy this great performance! I hope it causes more interest in listening to the great music the Cold War Kids have become known for.