Thursday, January 05, 2006

Album of the Year

So, the votes are in (note: there was only one vote) for album of the year, 2005.

Dean Gray: American Edit

I am a mash-up (aka Bastard Pop) novice, to say the least -- my previous exposure to this musical genre was the much-publicized "The Grey Album" which combined Jay-Z's Black Album and The Beatles' White Album. This album still gets more play on my winamp list than either of the two albums it combines, so I guess I should have expected to find further entertainment from this kind of music, but I was genuinely surprised with American Edit.

When I saw the link to American Edit on some blog or other, I was only interested because of the number of comments who were blown away by the album. So I checked it out. Within minutes, I was sending links to friends and posting it on other sites. This was something special.

From a political standpoint, it's American Idiot with giant fucking teeth bared directly at the administration. I mean, American Idiot wasn't exactly politically neutral, but the remixes just remove all doubt. It's somehow deeply satisfying to listen as George Bush's speech is compared to the dialog of a Dalek from Dr. Who.

From a technical standpoint, it blew me away. Songs which I wouldn't even think were similar are blended together seamlessly. For a geek like me, it's a taunt -- look how little you know about music, punk. Watch how we weave these wildly different songs together due to a common sequence of notes, or a similar beat, or whatever else they have in common. I shake my head in admiration and humility -- I have no rhythm in me, and moments like hearing American Edit for the first time make that painfully clear.

Nearly two months after its release, I'm still grinning ear-to-ear whenever I play this album.

I'm sure if you're interested, you can find this album somewhere under the dark corners of the Internet. It's worth it.

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