Muruch’s Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 25

Last week’s selection, Duran Duran: Rio, has held up surprisingly well. Despite the album’s undeniable 1980s style and imagery (the cover art alone is integrally linked with childhood memories of my older sister’s vinyl collection), hits like “Rio,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “New Religion” and “Save a Prayer” are just as catchy and interesting now. And “The Chauffeur” remains one of the most unusual and eerily lovely pop songs I’ve ever heard.

This week’s classic album is…Les Miserables: Original Broadway Cast Recording.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Duncan Sheik: New Mp3 & Covers Album

Singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik just released his new album, Covers 80’s. Best known for his hit single “Barely Breathing” and his Tony-Award winning compositions for the musical Spring Awakening, Sheik here gives his own interpretations of synth-pop songs originally recorded by The Cure, New Order, Tears for Fears, The Smiths, Psychedelic Furs, The Thompson Twins, Love & Rockets, Howard Jones, Japan, Talk Talk, and The Blue Nile. The album features guest vocals by Rachael Yamagata and Holly Brook. His is generously offering a free, legal download of his cover of Depeche Mode’s “Stripped” via his website below…

Duncan Sheik – Stripped (mp3 download page)*

*mp3 hosted on artist’s website & link posted w/ permission of PR rep

BUY @ AMAZON

Duncan Sheik Official Site

Muruch Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 14

Last week’s selection, Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual, was mostly as fun and upbeat as I’d hoped, but it also reminded me how strong and unusual Cyndi Lauper’s voice has always been. As alluded to in a comment on last week’s post, Cyndi was the subject of much debate when her debut, She’s So Unusual, was first released in 1983. Her 1980s music may be seem like tame novelty now, but back then she stirred up a quite a bit of controversy. Much like modern artists Lady Gaga and Amanda Palmer, I recall that Cyndi Lauper was once considered somewhat of a deviant just for her punked-up hair color, eccentric attire and affinity for avant garde performance art. Musically, her songs ran the gamut from catchy pop numbers like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” to heartfelt ballads such as “Time After Time.” In between she experimented with quirky avante-pop, New Wave, rock and even reggae. My personal favorite track on She’s So Unusual is “When You Were Mine.” Now we’ll move up into the 1990s and jump across the pond…

This week’s classic album is…Pulp: Different Class

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Muruch Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 13

Last week’s pick, Radiohead’s The Bends, was even better than I remembered. It’s not an album I’ve listened to much in recent years, simply because it’s tied to some intense memories and emotions that I’m not always prepared to relive (ah, the power of music-induced nostalgia!). When I do listen to it, though, I’m surprised at how inaccurate my memory is regarding the album’s mood. Radiohead’s music, particularly their early albums, has often been inaccurately described as depressing and time always seems to lead me back to that misperception. But listening to The Bends again, I was struck at how beautifully and brilliantly they embellished even their most melancholy melodies with rock riffs and electronic beats. The sneering rock “Just” reminds me why Muse is always compared to Radiohead, but “High and Dry,” “Fake Plastic Trees,” “Black Star” and especially “Street Spirit” remain unparalleled in their elegiac elegance. Now for something a little more upbeat and fun…

This week’s classic album is…Cyndi Lauper: She’s So Unusual

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Crystal Castles & Robert Smith: Not In Love Mp3

Crystal Castles covered Platinum Blonde’s “Not in Love” on their recently released self-titled album and now they’re sharing a new version of the track featuring Robert Smith. This 1980s new wave song is a perfect fit for The Cure’s frontman.

Crystal Castles – Not in Love (feat. Robert Smith) (mp3 removed)*

*mp3 provided by & posted w/ permission of Biz3 Publicity on behalf of record label

You can get the original cover by Crystal Castles on their self-titled album at Amazon and the new 3-track single feat. Robert Smith will be available at iTunes on December 6th.

Buy Album @ Amazon

Crystal

Crystal Castles MySpace