Monday, December 11, 2006

#5 Asobi Seksu - Citrus

As the race to the finish begins, I try desperately to remember five albums that came out this year that I liked. As with every year, the albums I listened to a lot this year were, more often than not, not especially new, and this is the time of year I realize to what an extent I've been a lazy consumer of music and download 11 albums in one night only to realize that none of them were released prior to 1998.

Anyway. My relatively arbitrary #5 most favorite album of the year 2006 has been decided upon and it happens to be Citrus by Asobi Seksu.

Strange, actually, that I ever even happened to listen to this album, as it came more or less unrecommended by anyone I know, I've still never talked to anyone about it, and I really only know the first half. But man, wow! The first half is boss as hell, as is much of the second half that I've unjustly neglected.

You'll have to realize that for about 2 months (September and October, which are always key months for my music intake) this year I went more or less without new music, and had a hard time listening to albums like Citrus that had only really begun to grow on my towards the end of the summer. Otherwise I could make all kinds of wild proclamations about how great this record is. How the soaring guitars are actually Not shoegaze guitars, they aren't space rock guitars, they're guitars straight out of heaven out of the newly digital euphoria of the early 1980s, which, I think we all agree, has proved itself to be largely superior to the past it's prime analog of whenever some guy gets behind a reel to reel and feels superior. How this album reminds me more of the Cure or the motherfucking Go-Gos as it does My Bloody Valentine.

Stop fucking saying everything sounds like My Bloody Valentine.


These songs are catchy as shit, and they'd be on the radio if they weren't largely sung in Japanese, I'm convinced (ok maybe the production is a little bit lush, a little bit too much of a time-machine trip for modern rock radio these days - but if this had come out in 1987 it would've blown U2 out of the water). Albums like Loveless, as good as they are, are appreciated best in retrospect and with a sense of context. Citrus smiles at context and walks on by. Of course, it is a spring/summer album, and while a spring/summer album still works year round, I think, somewhat ironically, I'll have to wait a few months until I can really feel the full thrust of "New Year's".

The way that song manages to punch you in the gut and soar your face at the same time is really something special, and it's one of the most transcendent moments I've heard on record this year. There's been a good deal of music made this year that has been interesting and passable, but very few people other than Asobi Seksu have really tried for and reached transcendence in recording in the past 12 months, and as we all know transcendence is the only thing I really give a fuck about when it comes right down to brass tacks in the music evalution game. So many records I didn't even bother to listen to this year cause I knew they wouldn't be able to come close to getting me out of my head, simply because of preconceived notions. Sorry Beck. Sorry The Strokes. Hooray Asobi Seksu and hooray for not believing people when they tell you that a band from Brooklyn with a Japanese lead singer sounds like My Bloody Valentine.

This is happy for christ sakes. And especially in the spirit of the season, and the all the goodwill, the stuff, and all of it, it's all about happy, and it's all about pop. Happy pop. And if a band can still do that with reverb and guitars, more power to them.

It pains me. Actually pains me. To believe that there are people who would not be able to appreciate songs like "Goodbye" and would try to imbue it with cred, scene meaning, compartmental values and cultural bullshit, because it is songs like "Goodbye" that truly tap in to the simple beautiful and essential in music. It doesn't fucking come from Brooklyn by way of London or Tokyo or anywhere, cause it's right there! Can't you see it!?

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home