Monday, November 20, 2006

Dusting off the Disc

Last Hopscast I talked about how I busted out a copy of American Beauty by The Grateful Dead for the first time in a while. Sometimes it’s really refreshing to dig through your CD collection and put on something that you don't listen to much anymore. In today’s day and age the iPod and digital music has in many ways killed the album. I won’t get into that topic today. However, another thing it has done, at least for me, is limit the times I bother with older music. I have a lot of CDs. About six binders full of CDs. So it isn’t really practical for me to convert them all to a computer or MP3 player. Since I rarely will import an old album from my collection to play it on my MP3 player or computer some albums just get left in my CD binders to collect dust.

I still listen to CD’s in my car so every now and then I clean out my CD holder in my car and refill it with a bunch of new discs. That’s when I usually throw in an album that just caught my eye searching through my library. American Beauty was an example of when this was a great thing. Often, however, I remember why I hadn’t listened to that particular album in a while. Inspired by this phenomena I’ve decided to start a new column called “Dusting off the Discs”.

The only rule: I’ll only review albums I haven’t listened to in at least a year.

The first Undusted Disc: The Golden Hum by Remy Zero

If you’re asking yourself who Remy Zero is you’re probably not alone. This Birmingham based band broke up a few years ago and never really hit it that big. I don’t remember what prompted me to buy this album or where I heard of the band, but I really did enjoy the album at the time. The song “Save Me” eventually became the theme to Smallville which generated much more success for the band (For the record, I bought the album before that show ever came out). I once even saw them perform at Maxwell’s in Hoboken and they were a pretty decent live band.

Their album on average is just allright. The opening track “The Golden Hum” morphs into “Out/In” and is really a great tune as is “Save Me” - despite the teen stigma associated with it. A few other tracks are decent rock tunes, but wouldn’t really stand out in a crowd. Their singer has a good voice, but not enough to really keep your interest sustained over a full album.... and that is the problem with The Golden Hum. While those previously mentioned tracks are great, some of the ballads and other songs really aren’t very good. It’s not terrible, but really not an album I need to listen to all the way through... which is probably why it remain unplayed in over a year.

Verdict: Pick the best tracks and put them on shuffle.

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