#MusicMonday, Vol. 45

What the CL Music Team is jamming this fine Monday, from Echo & The Bunneymen to Givers and more

Taylor - Mason Jennings, Minnesota (2011)
Minnesota provides nine more reasons why I've been in love with Mason Jennings' music. Once again hitting on angles of love, life, and dreams that most artists overlook, Jennings reminds us that we're human and we fail at being the good person we used to be, like, a lot. But - you can always crawl up out of that self-dug hole and get some good loving back in your life. You can always go home. And maybe storm a castle to save a few lives while you're at it. This is an intense and personal record (as per MJ usual) featuring two piano-heavy bookends and a smattering of other previously unused instruments. Though it's wildly different from his previous material, Minnesota is still comfortably familiar and touching.

Deborah - Select music by Bob Dylan
I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but found myself instantly addicted to Mad Men. One of the strongest elements of the show is the phenomenal musical selection; perfectly timed with the plot twists. The gem below by Bob Dylan, "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," closed out the first season's finale, and has me listening to Dylan's early work today. Though there are several versions of this song, my favorite is the simple original from 1963's The Freewheelin Bob Dylan. Delicate fingerpicking, and lyrics that continue to unfold meaning years and years later. There's a reason nearly every songwriter since has tried to be this good...

Joel - Givers, In Light (2011)
I really dig the jubilant "Up Up Up" with its fuzzy, thumping bass. Tiffany Larson's smoky voice sounds great as she trades off with guitarist Taylor Guarisco throughout the album. But I found the rest pretty unremarkable after a half-dozen listens. In Light isn't bad, but it couldn't escape background music status. I guess the jury is still out.

Tracy - Kanye West and Jay Z, Watch the Throne (2011)
With the announcement of Jay-Z and Kanye's "Watch the Throne" tour and subsequent release of the CD of the same name this past Tuesday, I felt compelled to give it a listen over the weekend. I'm about six tracks deep at this point and my reaction to the songs have toggled between "That's hot" and "Are you serious?" I suppose that with a collaboration of this magnitude, there were some compromises made.

What the CL Music Team is jamming this fine Monday morning to rocket launch the work week. To check out previous entries, click here.

Gabe - Echo & The Bunnymen, Songs to Learn and Sing (1985)
In honor of my new 5-year old friend and the son of a couple of very good friends of mine, I am listening to Echo & The Bunnymen today. I was playing a videogame over the weekend with my new pal that included a character called the "Dancing Zombie," and right on cue, he broke into the Echo tune "Bring on the Dancing Horses" in perfect pitch and tune. I don't ever need much of a reason to reach for any of the records by this fine Liverpool quartet that I've loved since my teenage years but today, I'm enjoying them that much more thanks to how awed I was by being serenaded with one of their hits by this bright kid!

Skillz - Royce Da 5'9", Success Is Certain (2011)
Royce's syllable game on this album downright ridiculous and he is so nonchalant about it he almost makes seem easy. I know better though.The album may not have any radio friendly tracks but it is chock full of quotables. "Writer's Block" is an instant head nodder.


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Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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