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Press Play: Set It and Forget It

Posted Mar 10 2011 9:04am

I haven’t posted a in a long time, mainly because I haven’t made a lot of new playlists lately. I’ve gone old school and…started buying whole albums.

Who does that anymore, right?!

Well, since I mostly exercise in classes these days, I don’t need tons of singles to power me through my workouts, and I generally just listen to mash-ups from E-603 and Mochi Beats when I exercise on my own (which is…not often). That means my music these days is mostly for hanging out — working, cooking, driving. For that, I leave behind my favorite workout music (pop and/or the kind of rap that white girls like) and go for less-distracting music that just makes me feel good.

And when it comes to music that will make me feel good, I’ve found that there are some bands and artists I can just set and forget, so to speak. I know that every song is good and will provide the perfect background music for my day.

Here are the full albums I’ve been listening to lately!

21 — Adele. OK, you’ve heard it from everyone and her sister already, but I’ll say it again: this album is boss! I loved Adele’s first album “19″ (one of my only full albums for a long time!) and the follow-up did not disappoint.

Singles to download (it’s so hard to choose for all of these albums!): the upbeat Rolling in the Deep to start your day and Lovesong , the incredibly sexy and romantic cover of The Cure’s original.

Business Casual & Fancy Footwork — Chromeo. Eric saw this band on Conan a couple weeks ago and told me he thought I’d like them. And he was right! I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a band in a long time. I just love their music! Yesterday at work, I was playing their albums and my coworker said, “For someone who doesn’t like to dance, you sure do like dance party music.” And it did sound like an 80s dance party at my desk. I wasn’t dancing, of course…but I might not be able to keep myself from it much longer. I’m so sad I won’t be able to see them perform at SX next week! They are so great.

Singles to download: Bonafied Lovin (+ Tough Guys Interlude) and Grow Up .

The King Is Dead — The Decemberists. I’ve loved The Decemberists since college, when I played “The Engine Driver” on repeat every day/night while I cried over a boy. (The line “If you don’t love me, let me go” may have had something to do with it.) I promise their music isn’t super emo though! It does have sort of a folksy feel, but I really dig it. I have three of their other albums, and I bought this new one the day it came out. I think it’s a little more pop than some of their previous ones, but it’s not a bad thing.

Single to download: Don’t Carry It All . It just reminds me of early morning in the summertime.

Zonoscope — Cut Copy. When I saw they had a new album out, I was so excited! Their album “In Ghost Colors” is another one I love to listen to beginning to end. I played it in the car for my mom once, and she was convinced that she had heard them before in like…1984. They have that fabulous 80s sound down and I love it. It’s also really chill background music. I can work to it or fall asleep to it.

Single to download: Take Me Over ; when I play it, I think that Eric was right when he told me that me that my music makes it seem like I’m always in an Apple commercial.

Other artists and bands I can set and forget: Ratatat, Duffy, Amy Winehouse, La Roux, Fitz & the Tantrums, Janelle Monáe, The Secret Sisters, Scissor Sisters, and Mika, to name a few! It doesn’t even matter which of their albums I choose — they never let me down!

Oh and in the spirit of SXSW this weekend and broke-ass hoedom, I have one more treat for you: a free SXSW Playlist from iTunes ! It has 22 songs — a small sampling of the thousand-ish artists who are performing during the music festival next week.

I’m kind of digging this whole “album” thing. I think it means my taste has gotten better. And also, it means I actually have some motivation to start going to concerts again!

What are your “set it and forget it” albums? I’m always looking for new artists to check out!

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