The xx, "xx" (Young Turks Records, 2009)
The first album by The xx, an English indie rock band. I was recommended the album by a friend. It is quite impressive. At once ethereal, at once exciting. At once calm, at once frenetic. It is a pensive album that appears to play into the legacy created for it by dream pop, while at the same time moving it both closer to mainstream and, paradoxically, also in a new, inspiring direction. Worth your valuable dollars.
Florence and the Machine, "Lungs" (Island, 2009)
Another British indies album. This is Indie pop at its best. Florence Welch has an amazing voice, and it is well-complemented by these catchy tracks which feel unexpectedly exciting. Putting aside the tracks that have garnered them mainstream success, I enjoy in particular their second single, "Dog Days Are Over" (T1) and "Cosmic Love" (T9). I'm curious as to where they will go after this. Worth your valuable dollars.
DAISHI DANCE, "Spectacle." (URBAN SOUND PROJECT, 2009)
This is DAISHI DANCE's first album in two years, after doing the famous "the Ghibli set" album and a string of remixes, particularly for Nakashima Mika, whose collaboration track "Memory" is probably the cornerstone of this album (also having been featured in a prominent commercial for the Kanebo cosmetic line "KATE" this year.). The album continues DAISHI DANCE's trademark piano-based house style, this time mixing it with more famous vocals such as COLDFEET and Kinbara Chieko, as well as instrumental collaborations with the shamisen players the Yoshida brothers. It's a very solid album, but it doesn't seem quite to match the "punch" that their last original album, 2007's "MELODIES MELODIES," had. Still, some of the tracks are quite standout, and it's nice to see DAISHI DANCE experimenting with how to integrate their unique sound in new ways.