|The King is Dead|
The Decemberists have been one of my favorite bands since I discovered them a year or two ago. I love practically every song in their catalog. The King is Dead was getting mad reviews before the album came out a week ago, and now after listening to the thing several times, I know why. The opening song "Don't Carry it All" sets the pace & tone for the rest of the album. Fun, light-hearted, and very Americana in sound, the entire King is Dead is a showcase of American roots prog-folky songs.
This album features Gillian Welch singing alongside Colin Meloy's lead vocals, and their combination is nothing but wonderful. Evidenced by the first single, "Down by the Water," this album is different from the typical Decemberists sound. The band returned to a mostly stripped-down set of songs, forsaking their typical lengthy ballads for something tight and solid. This album is a great mix of musical genres, sounding like a cross between sea shanties, highlands folk, Celtic diddies, classic country music, and REM. While this isn't my favorite album in the Decemberists catalog, it's excellent, and I think any fans of the band would like the songs here.
|Kiss Each Other Clean|
Part of the fun for this album is that it is so different from anything Iron & Wine has released. Traditionally I think of soft acoustic stuff, occasional banjos and electrics, and quiet lyrics. With Kiss Each Other Clean, Beam has dove into heavy synth sounds, weird funky noises, and a much more upbeat experience. If you're an Iron & Wine fan, definitely check this out.
|Dead Space 2|
Dark corridors. Lurking necromorphs. Breaking glass and muffled screams. And a protagonist that's suffering from dementia. It's crazy how a game about survival and terror can make the heart pump and make you feel alive. So far I've only put an hour or so into the game but it's been intense and I've jumped once or twice. In short, any fan of Dead Space will probably like this, in addition to anyone that enjoys survival horror games (which I don't). For me, it's the perfect mixture of sci-fi and zombie-alien-religious story arcs that make Dead Space such a success.