Equal parts melodic, noisy and sad with some well-timed moments of danceability, Crystal Castles eponymous second album surprised me with how good it is. I listened to the whole thing as one complete piece of music and felt very rewarded for that commitment. As I said it's a bit gloomy but there is something beautiful in this record.
The debut album by one of my very favorite bands, Homework is currently available for just $5.00 in Amazon's MP3 store. This is probably an album you've heard of but never heard. Now's your chance.
After rocking the suburbs with the infectious and persistent "Da Funk" (with its amusingly pointless Spike Jonze video), Gallic pranksters Daft Punk unleashedHomework, an album that combined everything good about house music with everything bad about French pop and changed the face of dance music in the process. The sound of production duo Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem is a raw and dirty collage of cheap drum machines (wired for maximum swing) welded to endless filtered loops and embellished with everything from guitars to talk-box vocals. The beats are lifted straight from the Chicago House textbook, but the simple bass lines and catchy hooks make a listenable pop song from what would normally be a stripped-down DJ tool. Uncompromising yet totally accessible. --Matthew Corwin
This is one of the most purely fun records I've listened to in a long time. Night Work is unapologetically upbeat, dramatic, sexy (possibly slutty), and usually danceable. Scissor Sisters' disco influence is a turn-off to some but I think they take that obnoxious Bee-Gees-esque sound and spin it into gold, especially with this release, which also syntheses influences that I suspect include The Cars, Prince, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Talking Heads.