Bidding summer goodbye and remembering its tunes

It’s true; summer is officially dead and gone. With October already upon us, we’re all going to have to admit that we’re now closer to Thanksgiving than we are to that awesome trip to the beach.

The summer of 2007 was a long, hot, humid one and there were plenty of amazing records to play while partying. I’m sure everyone has a few songs that bring up memories of cheap beer, grilled burgers and sweaty hook-ups, but here are a few summer albums I particularly enjoyed.

Caribou — “Andorra” — Released Aug. 21

Caribou’s mix of 60s-inspired pop, fuzzed-out guitars and occasional flute, electronic and string flourishes lent one of the most pristine orchestral-pop records of the summer. The songs on “Andorra” hearken back to The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and surf rock bands, but they are remembered through a haze of opulent psychedelica.

This album obviously goes well with any sunny afternoon. The melodies, layered vocals and mellow instrumentation remind the listener of sun-drenched pop music readily. However, my best experience with the album came when I listened to it on my iPod while riding my bike during a summer rain. At that particular moment, it was just what I wanted.

Aesop Rock — “None Shall Pass” — Released Aug. 28

These guys have been making regular appearances on MTV lately, rapping and performing skits between videos and teen-based reality shows, so I’m bracing myself for a wave of indie kids claiming they never liked Aesop Rock in the first place. Still, it’s impossible to deny this guy’s talent.

“None Shall Pass” includes some of Aesop Rock’s characteristic hyper-literate hip-hop, with a mass of rhymes and verses that will blow minds. Some criticize Aesop Rock for over-filling his songs with occasionally nonsensical lyrics and putting production values ahead of rhyming chops. However, the unique sound of the album’s bluesy hooks and oddball samples will definitely keep listeners entertained. The rhymes will follow the beats on their course straight to the center of your brain if you keep your mind open.

Justice — “Cross” — Released July 10

Listening to “Cross” is like having a small, aggressive man crawl out of your headphones and kick you directly in the eardrums over and over again for an hour. Seriously. By the time the hit “D.A.N.C.E.” rolls around, you’ll feel like your eardrums are ripping out of your inner ear.

Justice has been offending other electronic dance artists for the last couple years with their extremely aggressive form of dance. The French duo compresses hard rock and powerful beats into an electrified disco-mash of goodness and fun. It’s actually pretty hard to describe this album with words. Suffice it to say, “Cross” is the rare electronic album that makes you rethink electronic albums and keeps the party rolling for the length of the record through constant variety and constant catchiness.

John Crowell is a journalism senior and public relations director for WRFL. E-mail [email protected]