The New Alkaline Trio CD, My Shame is True
This album is fantastic, new vibes, old vibes, instantly memorable and catchy songs. It’s an instant irritation when someone says “[That band] sucks because they don’t sound like their old stuff anymore!” If all the bands I enjoyed didn’t reinvent or try to reinvent themselves, they honestly wouldn’t be my favorite bands anymore. See: Brand New, NFG, Cursive, Modest Mouse. On the other hand, a band that stayed true to their original sound and is worse for it: Plain White T’s. They had such a good thing going, a nice Jimmy Eat World feel, then they hit it big with ‘Hey There Delilah’ and have been trying to recapture the glory of that hit with saccharine slow guitar song after song.
I know, this came out last year, but I only saw it at the turn of this one, so forgive me. It lived up to the hype and I loved everything about it, from the swaying tooth to the music to the acting. Speaking of living up to the hype:
The following night after playing this game, I dreamed about it. Nothing so fantastic as riding the sky hook or opening tears in space time, no, it was simply walking around the beautiful floating city of Columbia, exploring. I still haven’t beat it, but I can’t remember the last time a game has captivated me this well, from wanting to figure out the story, to dreaming about it, to making me think about what’s considered moral. This all leads to my biggest disappointments so far:
Castlevania LOS: Mirror of Fate
The moment I played the demo I was worried. I knew this had been touted as a fresh change and deviation from previous Castlevanias, even so far as saying this game would save us from a series growing stale (had it really been going stale?), but that did little to tamp down the dry disappointed feeling every time I tried to slog through another level. Gone was the fluid fast paced adventure, replaced by stripped down Devil May Cry/God of War gameplay. Hack, Hack, Grab, Hack, Hack, Grab. My beloved Castlevania had turned into an inferior sidescrolling Dynasty Warriors. I quickly traded this in.
The New Red Jumpsuit Apparatus EP
The fault for this one’s on me, to think that I could expect anything else from these one hit wonders who brought us ‘Face Down’. Pedantic, horrible lyrics, they are the Owl City of almost alternative rock.
The Gate Thief, by Orson Scott Card
Recently, I’ve been at odds with his public declarations on being anti-gay marriage and the fact that I love his Ender Series and the Ender’s Shadow books. Despite that, I found myself hooked on his newest book, until I reached a jarring realization: more than halfway through this book, and I still had no idea what any of the characters looked like. There is little to no descriptive text in this, and most of the story is literally pages and pages of conversation. That’s it, just conversation with no description, and he’s really phoned it in with this one.
The New Kate Nash CD, Girl Talk
I’ve tried to enjoy this, I have, but I can’t. She sounds bored, she sounds like she’s making noise just to hear herself, she sounds like she’s capable of so much more. That’s not to say I hate everything on this album, like a Nicki Minaj album, I just hate most of it.
Honorable Mentions of Things I’ve Liked:
The new Biffy Clyro CD is lovely, the new Bruno Mars is great (except for the abysmal ‘Gorilla’), and the book Dreams and Shadows is worthy of the Neil Gaiman and Guillermo Del Santo comparisons.