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Heavy Rotation #22

It's been a while since I've done one of these entries, a combination of a lack of focus during the summer and how Spotify has changed my listening habits. Over the past couple weeks, however, I've been coming back to three albums over and over...

Nada Surf/The Weight Is A Gift - This album is not new to me; I'm pretty sure I bought it the day it came out back in 2005 (when I still bought CDs on a regular basis). I was a big fan of their previous album, Let Go, and had high expectations for this one. I was not disappointed. Why am I listening to it a bunch now? I came back for "Always Love," the soaring song of positivity that is one of my unofficial theme songs. Once I started listening, I couldn't stop. This is melodic rock/power pop of the highest order and the first 7 songs are unimpeachable. After a few quieter ones, it closes with the charging "Imaginary Friends." If you haven't heard it, do yourself a favor and give it a Spotify spin or five. You won't be disappointed.

Michael Penn/Resigned - I was hooked by Michael Penn when "No Myth" was all over the airwaves back in late 1989/early 1990 and bought his first two albums on CD. When Resigned came out in 1997, however, I missed it (as well as MP4 in 2000). I've had mp3 copies of the latter two for a few years and have listened to both off and on. I always considered MP4 to be my favorite of the them...until Resigned hit me like a ton of bricks a couple weeks ago. How about the opening lines of "All That That Implies" - "Filibust and hesitate/You say I procrastinate/And that my heart beat's second rate/To one you recognize?" Those words are grafted onto great Beatlesque rock and the combination goes right the pleasure center of my brain. That song is followed by the flat-out rocker "Selfish" and later we get the slow then heavy "Figment" with a guitar part that lodges in my brain. So so good.

Superchunk/I Hate Music - When Superchunk came back after a nine year layoff with Majesty Shredding three years ago, I fell in love with the band in an entirely new way and they have become one of my favorite bands (I even got to see them in Dec. 2010 in Chicago and the show was fantastic). Needless to say, I was highly anticipating this new album. After listening to it the few couple times, I was feeling worried. The songs didn't seem as strong and the music seemed thin. After a couple more listens, I realized I was wrong. This is a great collection of songs; I've considered almost all of them to be a favorite at some point already. I love the clanging guitar intro and the great bass work of "Breaking Down" and the short power pop blast of "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo" and the charge of "Low F" and the acoustic guitar intro and overall beautiful melancholy of "Overflows" and and and... As of right now, either this album or The National's Trouble Will Find Me will be my favorite of the year. Time will tell...

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