Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Burnlab top 10s follow-up a.k.a. why Owen Ashworth is so awesome

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone swept my lists this year with ease and humble grace. Etiquette managed to set itself apart from much more polished releases by fellow favorites Perspects, Circlesquare, The Horrors and The Knife in a way that is intangible and difficult to describe. Ashworth's deceptively simple narratives have an ability to cut right to your heart - I would go as far as to call him the Leonard Cohen of Generation X - and he's just only getting his feet wet. The low-fi arrangements and stories of hipster melodrama could easily be dismissed if they were ironic, but CFTPA's music is absolutely honest, raw and as painful as it is beautiful. Young Shields tore my heart out presented a bevy of personal flaws and insecurities on a platter (thanks,) wrapped in an epic equal only to M83's Teen Angst, but 100X more sincere, and Scattered Pearls is as catchy and smart as anything The Postal Service has ever produced, but again drenched in a purity that puts it on an entirely different level. I was a little skeptical about CFTPA expanding beyond the battery powered keyboards for which the project was named after, but the fleshed-out arrangements on Etiquette only add to the power of the music. Ashworth may be the first of our generation deserving residence alongside Williams, Cave, Waits and Cohen in that fabled tower.

No comments: