Friday, July 09, 2004

Inspired By (No Guarantee of Actually Being Inspired, Though)

OK then. So, inspired by the list of summer albums on Nerve I linked here yesterday, here's my own Top Five summer albums list.* Forgive the nostalgia factor. It's a list-making inevitability.

Sophie B. Hawkins, Tongues and Tails—-This album is all sexy, late-night humidity. When the sound of the train on the tracks rumbles through your ears at the very beginning of "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover," then oozes into that fat, synthy groove, it’s 3 A.M. on dark back roads with the car windows down, no matter where you are or what time it is.

Rufus Wainwright, Poses—-Rufus made this album at the height of his own self-destructive decadence, and, as such, it has a hazy, lush vibe tinged with a melancholy awareness of one’s own mortality. It’s the ideal soundtrack for throwing caution to the warm, summer wind in that moment right after you ask yourself, "but what does it all MEAN?"

Barenaked Ladies, Maybe You Should Drive—-Yeah, yeah, yeah, how tragically unhip are BNL? Whatever. Listen to this album while driving through a cornfield with your best friend in the dead heat of late July in Indiana sometime, then get back to me.

Duncan Sheik, Duncan Sheik—-Depending on the night, this album is either a chilled glass of white wine that will get you just high enough to fall deeply in love with everyone around you, or it’s an air conditioned room where you can hide away from all the inflamed passions that have scorched everything you thought was beautiful in your life while you weep one salty, art-directed tear.

Mos Def, Black on Both Sides—-"Well, from my understanding people get better when they start to understand that they are valuable. And they not valuable because they got a whole lot of money or ’cause somebody think they sexy; but they valuable ’cause they been created by God. God makes you valuable. And whether or not you recognize that value is one thing." A declaration of independence for a glorious summer in the city, sorely needed after making it through yet another Midwestern winter.

* For a continuation of this topic and to see several other examples of Top Five Summer Albums lists, please go here.

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