Marry Me is definitely St. Vincent's most reserved album. It's understandable though, because this was her debut solo album. You can see the the beginnings of the more experimental rock of her later albums with this album. Clark's voice is very powerful and emotive, allowing her to gracefully swing from octave to octave. Although the last few tracks close the album out on a quieter note, it still ends up being a very pleasurable experience both sonically and physically.
If I were to have describe Max Tundra's music in one word, it would definitely be 'quirky'. The eccentricities of Max Tundra come from break-neck tempos, falsetto vocals, chiptune-esque styling, and the ability to have very hyper electronic music that doesn't come off as feeling corny in the slightest. The music often gives me an almost nostalgic feeling, which may be because it sounds like a video game that may or may not be glitching out furiously. Even in it's sprawling eleven minute finale, Parallax Error Beheads You never drags because new sounds are constantly being introduced, fleshed out, and iterated upon in inventive ways. Lightning has struck twice this week, and perfection is the result.
Two Dancers is probably the most fun I've had with an album since Thunder, Lightning, Strike and I was pretty much dancing to it while running. The jangly percussion provides a nice momentum throughout and provides a fun environment that will often have you chanting along. The dramatic vocals combined with the superbly clean production provide for an album that has an air of class but still kicks ass. It's another perfectworkout album for me.
Spiritualized to me have always created some of the most beautiful rock music of all time. With it's reliance on many different instruments, it creates a vast landscape of gorgeous melodies and sometimes gut-wrenching lyrics. Songs In A&E continues their great track record of providing luscious songs that are extremely charming and just plain pretty. Even at it's sort of long length, I would highly recommend this album to anyone looking to workout to some amazing psychedelic space rock.
The surprise of this album for me was the difference of perceived funkiness. This album has a lot of smooth funk, where I was expecting faster funk. The first ten minutes are mainly just guitar strumming, which to be honest was definitely not great to workout to. The rest of the album was pretty good though, picking up pace the closer it got to the end. It was a fun listen, but not a great workout. Not terrible, but not great.
Help is my first venture into alternative noise rock group Thee Oh Sees. I was initially expecting just another loud and maybe dark rock band, but this album's content perfectly matches its cover. It's an ultra fun jam from start to finish. With a female vocalist proving backup melodies, punchy guitars, heavy percussion, and even flutes occasionally, this album strives for energy and succeeds on all counts. It's just pure, unadulterated fun. That's why I believe I have discovered yet another perfect workout album.
This album is my second experience with The Shins, the first being Chutes Too Narrow. The first thing I noticed about this album was its more poppy style and subdued nature. The guitar rifts are peppered with a pretty wide array of instrumentation, including even the xylophone. While this may not have been what I expected from Oh, Inverted World, it still ended up providing a very pleasurable and easy going workout experience.
This 25 minute hip-hop mixtape introduces me to what I hope is a fruitful career for artisan rapper Zeroh. With beats lifted from Flying Lotus that really exemplify Zeroh's exquisitely abstracted flow; the result is a hazy collection of alternative hip-hop that is pleasing on so many levels. Working out was a breeze to Awfulalterations and I can't wait to see more by Zeroh hopefully in the near future.
As far as techno musicians go, Matthew Dear is definitely a personal favorite. The overall styling has a bit of minimalistic flare with a dash of microhouse. While it comes in a bit on the long side, Leave Luck To Heaven's thumping bass lines mixed with Dear's ghostly vocals really make for an aurally exciting experience while simultaneously pushing the album forward at a brisk a speed. These all add up to a very admirable workout environment that is both complex and inviting.
Crazy For You sits in a weird place stylistically for me personally. That weirdness is a positive though, because the mix of surf pop and indie rock works surprisingly well together. It's short and sweet, but not sugary in the slightest. Even though I wasn't feeling good at all today, this album gave a little bit of pep to the end of my day.
Rise Above is the third album I've heard by Dirty Projectors, and it definitely sounds like the precursor to Bitte Orca. With its multilayer guitar strumming, Longstreth's idiosyncratic vocals, the occasional lulls into a false sense of security followed by walls of noise, and the abundance of female backing vocals all point it to Dirty Projectors definite forte. The often very abrupt changes in time signatures and the beat focused song structures keep the album fresh and exciting while running.
Destroyer never ceases to amaze me. Every album sounds different, but oddly united in a sense. I went into Streethawk knowing very little other than a rough album length and a liking of Dan Bejar's previous work, but came out with poorly-scrawled barely legible notes of what I felt I needed to say about the album. Here is what I ended up writing:
Mixes of electronic and rock rarely end up being as fun as this album was. The mix of electronically produced bass and guitars gives the band a lot of flexibility. The way Ratatat present their guitars just makes them sound so different then many other bands. Even though the album lacks vocals and really never picks up any hooks to speak of it still has many pop sensibilities that will make the songs get stuck in your head in no time. It provides a really awesome workout experience and is just a really enjoyable album all around.
So This Is Goodbye continues what Junior Boys had began on Last Exit, which is to say beautifully composed minimalist electropop. While I came away from this album slightly mixed fitness-wise, I definitely loved the sound this album presented me. Most of the songs never pass 110bpm, but that isn't a bad thing in the context of the album. The slowness of the album almost made it a point for me to never want to break pace, because the album itself almost never did.
If you know what you're getting yourself into with this album, expect to come out loving it.
I have always enjoyed Snaith's work, and this album is no exception. Andorra provides a mix of psychedelic folk with electronic beat structures, and for the most part it works well in a fitness sense and a musical sense. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with just how well this album made me feel while working out.
Microcastle is my second album experience with Deerhunter, a sort of indie rock and shoegaze band. This album leans back to their more shoegazey roots and provides a lot of beautifully arranged songs that are for the most part very mellow. This doesn't particularly lend itself too well to exercise as I had hoped it would. One song though really stands out as a great workout song. "Nothing Ever Happened" is almost a preview for what you would hear on their next album, Halcyon Digest. It was really the only song I would recommend for such a setting.
I would suggest Halcyon Digest to anyone wanting to get into Deerhunter, as I think it is a brilliant album.
Boxer blasts out of the gate with some really great post-punk songs that really got me to run consistently fast and has so far provided me with my best one mile run time. Unfortunately after the first 4 songs, the album ended up falling back on The National's indie rock roots. Even though the later songs are very well orchestrated, I couldn't help but feel disappointed with the slow down. I was hoping Boxer might at least go out with a bang like on their previous album, Alligator, but sadly it did not.
Though I was left disappointed, the album still gave me a good workout.
Room On Fire does what I expected it to do. Having already listened to their previous album, Is This It, I knew pretty much what I was getting myself into. What I did not expect was that it would do a really good job at providing both a sonically pleasing album and an album I could easily workout to. Even if it isn't the flawless gem its predecessor is, it's still a great album.
I sort of lazily walked through this EP, I have to admit. I don't really know what I expected to be honest. I know that Girls can perform more uptempo songs, but this EP definitely does not show that. It has a lot of twangy guitar and it is quite soothing. Soothing doesn't really work for running though. It wasn't a horrible workout experience, but definitely not a perfect one either. Left me feeling really mixed.