DJ Shadow, "Endtroducing"
A classic piece of electronic music cobbled together out of samples from so many genres it's mind-boggling. Snatches of familiar music will appear occasionally, but these are rare and though there is no "organic" music on the record it is still a completely original composition. Pure genius.
Kings of Leon, "Because of the Times"
I first heard this band a few years back, while still in college. I don't remember being impressed by their first album. However, the opening track of their second one ("Knocked Up") was enough to convert me. Spooky, disjointed and beautiful. Their first album makes sense to me now with this as an entry point. One of my new favorite bands.
Guided By Voices, "Under the Bushes, Under the Stars"
This band has long been a favorite, with "Bee Thousand" in pretty regular rotation within the disco of my mind. However, their catalog has always been a tad daunting for me and I've been picking up their albums slowly. This album is a little slicker than their earlier stuff. It's a mixed blessing. On one hand, the songs stretch out and songwriting is given a chance to shine. One the other had the album lacks the sloppy charm of "Bee Thousand" or "Alien Lanes" and it all starts to sound the same after awhile. Still, a solid album by a solid band and a good entry point for neophytes.
Thievery Corporation, "The Cosmic Game"
I've never been much into any of the variations of electronica, but I've always had an interest. Every now and then I find an entry point that gets me a little closer to understanding it. This is one of those points. A near-perfect synthesis of world beats, horns, politics and house techno, the album is the duo at their peak. Not their best album, and it has a few weak points, but they're working at a level far above the majority of their field.
That's enough for tonight. I'm sure I'll have more next time.