Thursday, July 7, 2011

Long Overdue

I watched the first half of "So You Think You Can Dance" (don't judge) last night. At the beginning of the show, the remaining male contestants did a group dance to the song "Prague" by Damien Rice. It had been a long time since I had listened to Damien Rice and it started me thinking, 9 was released way back in 2006 and nothing since...I'm ready for another Damien Rice album.

I started thinking of other artists who are long overdue for another album. I'm not talking artists who left the industry either, these are all artists who are still active, still performing and still collaborating, they just haven't released new material in a long time.

Damien Rice
I started listening to Damien Rice around the time the movie Closer came out, as his music was used throughout much of the movie. I was struck by how beautiful and delicate his first album, O, was. The next album, 9, released four years later was darker and angrier, but still very striking. In the time since that album, he's played many festivals and concerts and contributed to several charity compilation releases, but there hasn't even been an announcement of new material being recorded. Maybe I shouldn't be too antsy as there were four years between the first and second albums, but his music is so dang good, I want more!

To tide me over: Lisa Hannigan, who contributed to Rice's music both in playing and vocals, released a solo album, Sea Sew in 2008, exhibiting much of the same, delicate Irish-folkesque tunes sound present in Rice's work. Also, a friend of mine suggested Dan Mangan, who I intend on checking out very soon.

Amy Winehouse
I know she's not everyone's favorite, but I loved her unique voice and retro style. As immediate as her second album, Back to Black, was for me, it took me some time to appreciate her debut, Frank. I came to love it probably more than Back to Black, though. It's been five years since that album and, despite nearly constant announcements that she's back in the studio working with Mark Ronson, there's been nothing along the lines of an official album announcement. With this one, I feel I can wait a little bit, as live performances of her don't show someone who's capable of producing quality material at the moment. I do hope that she can get clean and get back to work!
"Moody's Mood for Love"

To tide me over: Releases within the past year from Adele and Duffy, though I don't either as much as I loved Amy Winehouse.

Who doesn't remember that video for "How Does It Feel"? That body...those abs. And the music wasn't so bad either. Actually it was really good. He helped to herald in an era for neo-soul, then took a very long break. In that time, he's mostly gotten arrested and gotten fat. album, James River, has apparently been in the works for almost ten years now, but it might be another ten before any progress is made.
"How Does It Feel"

To tide me over: I don't follow R&B/Soul that much, so there aren't any newer artists to fill his void. I can always, of course, go old school and rock out to Marvin Gaye. On the other hand, I could choose some artists to stare at regardless of what I think of their music; I'll go with Robin Thicke and Drake.

I don't even know how or why, but I got obsessed with "Hey Pretty" and its accompanying album, Haunted, when I was in middle school. Around college, I got around to her earlier work, which was quintessential angry female alt-rock...and amazing! Haunted was darker and more melodic, it was also 11 years ago. Other angry female rockers from her time are still around; Liz Phair (who went pop), Alanis Morissette (who calmed down) and PJ Harvey (who's done just about everything) have all released albums within the past two years. She has performed, recorded for compilations and worked with other artists since 2000, but not even a little hint of new material potentially leading to an album.
"Trigger Happy Jack"

To tide me over: Like I said, her contemporaries have new music out. However, I never really was a fan of Liz Phair and I'm not crazy about Alanis Morissette's newer PJ Harvey it is (not a bad choice at all)!

Lauryn Hill
This is by far the most disappointing. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is easily one of my favorite albums ever. I can't even tell you how long I wanted to be Lauryn Hill. This, however, was 14, 14!, years ago. She's done a ton since then, so I don't even believe any of the excuses. She released a live album that, while not great, could have been polished into some great studio tracks. She's written for and performed with John Legend. She's attempted a reunion with The Fugees (well, the other two members attempted). And she even performed at Coachella just this past April. Miss Hill, what is going on?
"Everything is Everything"

To tide me over: Nothing! Nothing! Nothing compares. I'm just gonna keep waiting her out.

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