i can’t give the album anything other than a 10/10. i’ve been listening to it pretty much non-stop since they posted the preview last monday. before that it was live vids/bootlegs in heavy rotation, but as much as i love ’em (and loved seeing the show here in toronto), the album is still blowing me away a little. the little details that you miss in a live rendition and the subtlety that might not come through over youtube just seals it. definitely the best album i’ve bought in the last year, and probably the best of the last few years for me.
as for favourites, it changes from listen to listen, but since the first time i heard it “bandoliers” has stood out – more so on the album than elsewhere. love this one on headphones in particular, with the bass+drums on one side and guitar on the other, just making it a little easier to pull out each player and take a moment to focus on them and appreciate them individually as well as what they’re contributing to the whole.
i think i like “warsaw” more on the album than live – slightly more “concise”, it just stays more focused than the sprawling live version. i’m not knocking the live version – it’s great for what it is – but the album version edges it out a little.
“scumbag blues” has been another that i’ve loved since the first teaser and also from live versions. the album version kicks ass, but i really like some of the recent live recordings that have JPJ adding a little more “flare” and excitement in the middle. i hope they release a live album just so they can capture this more than anything else.
the rest of it is great too, and i could probably find moments in each song to ramble on about. one thing i continue to get from these guys (especially live when you can see the sheer joy in their faces, but also on the album) is that they’re just playing what comes naturally and having a damn good time doing it. we’re lucky enough to be along for the ride and i wouldn’t have it any other way.
i’ve spent most of this evening listening to the album good and loud with little else to distract me, and i can’t help but keep hitting “play” again each time the album reaches its conclusion. this is an album worth listening to, and i’d suggest you do so, as soon as possible, and as loud as possible too!