Even though it’s not even December, I have a rough framework for my top 10 list as of today. And as I was contemplating with who fits where and who just didn’t have the goods, I realized that a lot of those records which aren’t top 10 material, have still created some very memorable tracks and at times, even epic. Unfortunately though, some of those non-top 10 records have just been forgotten about. For 2008, it would make sense to keep a spreadsheet of every album I do listen to, because a lot of records this year were sampled care of MP3s and then quickly discarded from the HD if it didn’t meet my extensive criteria. (What would a checklist look like?) Wouldn’t it be nice to actually know how many new albums you really did hear the whole year? This could be worksheet two under my “Shows 2008” file, which should probably just be renamed to “NERD.”
Oakland’s Rogue Wave (R.I.Y.L.-Nada Surf, The Shins, Death Cab,) put out Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, their third album and to some, maybe their most mundane record yet. To me, that’s harsh and unwarranted, but the average track is about 4:30. That is practically double of Out of the Shadow’s ‘Nourishment Nation’. I always thought Rogue Wave were best when their songs didn’t exceed three minutes. (My posts are probably best when they don’t surpass 30 words) The first track, ‘Harmonium’ opens up the album with nothing but optimism and is one of the better album openers of this year. Yes, it is also the longest track, but this time the length works to their advantage, while for other songs, it just seems like they go on for days. Harmonium has a buildup that just doesn’t stop with its swelling guitars, breakneck high-hat tempo, lush piano melody, and of course Zach’s smooth vocals. It’s at the five-minute mark where you realize why you fell for this band originally.
Even if they won’t make my list because of only having a great first half of an album, they will make some new fans by being in a Zune commercial. This is the new radio.