Listen to three fresh follow ups

I usually don’t like a band’s follow up record as much as their smash debut. They are often cobbled together too quickly and lack the life experience of their breakthrough record — which ususally came from years of thinking and writing.

Every once in a while, a band achieves a great sophomore release. This week, I’d like to highlight three of them that all have new records out.

The Artic Monkeys — Favorite Worst Nightmare
This record retains this band’s sharp point-of-view. Alex Turner remains one of my favorite poets in the music biz right now. His lyrics and delivery are true to his Brit-brat roots. He’s punker than the boys from Oasis and deserves soft comparisons to Lennon or maybe more appropriately Paul Weller (the Jam). Their first single Brianstorm is a killer track, and the rest of the record sizzles too. They made my short list in 2006 and likely will land on my 2007 as well.

Kaiser Chiefs — Yours Truly, Angry Mob
Unlike Franz Ferdinand, Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah and Bloc Party, the Kaiser boys have delivered with a solid sophomore release that delivers 100% of the energy of their debut. Maybe even more. Ruby is the opening track that will get you singing along and you’ll never stop.

Arcade Fire — Neon Bible
OK, this actually their third record, but the first one was very obscure and they had years (and quite a few family deaths) to fuel their 2005 breakthrough record Funeral. That was, in my opinion, the best record of the year. Thier newest record really grows on me every time I listen to it. Intervention and Keep The Car Running are great tunes and the spirituality of this band will eventually get to you (in a good way).

NOTE: I’ll start including links to UK and Canada Amazon next week!