Out of the Shadow
On the wacky and feel-good "Kicking the Heart Out," Zach Rogue sings, "If music is my lover, you are just a tease." Judging from most of the lyrics on the Bay Area band's debut, Rogue has a witty and biting sense of humor. He's also a complete mess. Originally released in '03 and re-released by Sub Pop in the summer of '04, the album evokes Simon and Garfunkel with balls or the Kinks in the Internet-age. Better yet, Rogue Wave serves up all the lollipopery of the Shins without the pseudo-esoteric gimmickry of the Garden State soundtrack.
Here's a secret: I actually hate Gwen Stefani. I mean, sure she's amazing-looking, but she sucks. She totally sucks. Now, having said that, when Gwen says to Blender that she WILL be your guilty pleasure, she is one serious lady. Her solo album is catchy as hell--with the exception of a couple of vomit-inducing pseudo-ballads for Gavin. But, putting aside the obvious album fillers, "Hollaback Girl" is awesome for one simple reason: she actually says "Let me hear you say the shit is bananas," and then...THEN, she spells out the word "bananas." Need I say more?
Saturday Looks Good To Me
"When You Got To New York"
It isn't rare to have a song embody a period of time. "Jo Jo's Jacket" will always sound like a trip I took to NC in high school. "When You Got To New York" is sweet, soft and lively, but I play it over and over because I think it will remind me of what my life will be like right after I graduate college, 10 years from now. Of course, it will probably end up reminding me of the middle of my junior year of college, because that is the "when" of my actual obsession, but you know what? That's OK, too.