#27 on the 2009 Musical Advent Calendar
Grrr… by Bishop Allen
As it was with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Grizzly Bear, we find ourselves once again listening to a somewhat less-exciting follow-up to a fantastic album, this time by the Brooklyn band Bishop Allen. But we are getting higher up on the list and the quality is definitely getting better.
Quick aside: I find myself, here, now, working on this fifth entry on the Musical Advent Calendar, looking forward to getting farther down the list so I can be writing about those albums from this year that I truly love and will listen to a lot into the future. We haven’t gotten to that point yet, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to detect when we do, as all this hedging and slight negativity will drop away. I think next year I might stick with a true advent calendar timeline and only pick the top 25. OK, back to it.
As I believe everybody on the planet now knows, I started writing for a music blog called Click & Dagger about a month ago. The first thing I wrote for them was about a Bishop Allen show. I had a great time, and a lot of what I found in myself when I wrote that article is responsible for me wanting to start this advent calendar.
I don’t dislike this new album from Bishop Allen. It unfairly has to stand up to their previous album, The Broken String, which is a highly rated album for me. So, in the shadow of the previous album, Grrr… leaves me a little wanting. But as is often the case with going to shows and seeing songs performed that I really hadn’t paid attention to before, I started to like the album quite a bit more post-show. The video above, for the song “True or False,” isn’t the best song on the album, but it’s definitely the most fun video they’ve put out from the album. You can download an MP3 for “Dimmer,” also from Grrr…, and the video for that song is also quite nice.
One of the best things about Bishop Allen is that they split lead singing duties between multiple people. Usually you’ll get Justin singing, but his wife Darbie will take the lead from time to time. Darbie is quite a bit more reserved than Justin is, and the band shifts accordingly, giving you what equates to two distinct musical styles within one band. They’re a lot of fun overall, and I recommend you check out The Broken String before diving into Grrr…, if you can only buy just one.