The highs (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Houses, Send in the Clowns) are spectacular, some of the best music I've ever heard. I mean it.
The lows are just as spectacular. Her version of Salt of the Earth was sickening. The Lovin' of the Game, Angel Spread Your Wings, City of New Orleans are uniformly terrible. Apparently, she can't do catchy pop.
And the highs, those slower, majestic songs of sorrow and reflection, are far outnumbered by the wannabe pop hits. I'm still gonna listen to some more of her albums (this is my first experience with Judy), but this was a frustrating experience. I'mma say... 5/10 for the big three. Unfortunately, they each get hit with a lousy song right after and that disrupts the rhythm.
Songs ranked: THE GREAT Send in the Clowns (track 6) Houses (track 3) The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (track 1)
THE GOOD Pirate Ships (track 11)
THE AVERAGE Song for Duke (track 5) I'll Be Seeing You (track 10) Born to the Breed (track 12)
THE BAD Angel Spread Your Wings (track 2) City of New Orleans (track 9) The Lovin' of the Game (track 4) Brother Can You Spare a Dime (track 8) Salt of the Earth (track 7)
The A Side is a haunting mix, with the orchestra and choir providing the perfect backdrop to Dalida's vocals: If this was in English, she'd have been a magnificent singer for a Bond movie. Un pò d'amore (an cover of Nights in White Satin) starts off the album and blows me away. Other terrific songs are Aranjuez, la tua voce (adapted from the piece by Rodrigo) and Mama (an original a cover of Sonny and Cher's song).
The second half drops the ball a bit, providing a lot of good music, but nothing that hits those depths. They're all more fun and less meaty, and that's fine. I just felt that the first half did better. I'm gonna say 8/10 but rating albums is really hard for me. If it's a bad album, I rarely finish it.
"I'm not telling you how to do your thing" says Dempsey in Party On, but... that's exactly what he's doing. I listened to this album because the song Sing All Our Cares Away was used in the Paddy Considine movie Tyrannosaur, and I really dug it. It's a song about kindness in an unkind world, and it is one hell of a way to kick off this album. The second song is no slouch either; Not On Your Own Tonight is perhaps a little corny, but it effectively delivers what I think Dempsey was going for on this album: the power of generosity and kindness over cruelty and greed. These two songs do a great job of putting you in the place of empathizing with someone else's place, of making your life better by making the lives of people around you better.
Unfortunately, Dempsey gets tiring quickly. All of the songs sound the same, for one thing. And he's a broken record that keeps saying "greed is bad" to the point that it is easy to get desensitized. I can't say that I disagree with him on a song like Patience, in which he describes pop as "McDonalds Music" and "an aural lobotomy" as he laments that "Corporations [are] pushin' all this money into pop/To keep the real singers from the top/So folks are never told what these corporations do/Fuckin' up the planet, exploiting me and you."
But... it's very on the nose. And the whole album is split between that and "can't we all be nice to each other" songs that are just as on-the-nose (outside of the two album starters). It's a frustrating listen, because I want to like it.
I'm gonna go with 5/10. I want IceTruckDexter's thoughts on this album, because he's Irish and knowing that a countryman is singing this stuff would throw him into an omnicidal rage.
I'm not a fan of this kind of pop, and Nyro's lyric writing ability is laughable. Nonsense, save for a couple of songs.
But HOLY SHIT is the arrangement and production and music writing out of this world. I'm not versed enough in music to be very eloquent about the "why" of how this album works. I would say that it is never predictable: every time you think you know what Nyro is doing, she throws a curveball and starts singing an entirely new theme, which loops back to the original theme which cuts out midway on a whole new theme without ever getting unwieldy or confusing. It left me breathless, just rolling with whatever she threw out there.
This is the perfect example of someone being so good at the musical end of the job that that what they're actually singing is moot.
Daaaaaaamn... crazy old Pete delivered the goods yet again. On first impression, I'm gonna say that this is as good as How the West Was Won and maaaaaybe even better. First three (already released songs) start it off strong, and the final two are knockouts. Master of Destruction -- about Perrett himself? Sung by his... son? That's some heavy shit. And Carousel a pretty devastating closer...
There's the Velvet Underground-y sound that people always seem to bring up about Perrett, but I'd say overall this has a decent amount of variety with him trying some new stuff along with the VU-y sound. Hope he can pump out another one or two of these...
Post by Johnny_Hellzapoppin on Jun 13, 2019 10:57:38 GMT
It's been a long while since I listened to this album, and my recent falling back in love with the song and video for "Push It" inspired me to give this another whirl. It remains a damn fine album. It isn't among my absolute favourites from the 1990s, but it sits nicely in the next group along. Shirley Manson is a total rockstar. 9/10
I am a Walker fan but it was mainly due to his early baroque pop stuff from the 60's. I thought I would give his avant garde stuff a try and started with this, his last album. Along with the second disk of Can's Tago Mago, this is the weirdest, most far out shit I've ever heard. If you want to hear real avant garde music done by someone who knows how, give this a shot. The instrumental backing is atonal strings and horns, clanging on broken pianos, some distorted rock guitar, and rhythm sections from Latin music or freaky jazz. Lyrical themes include Scott expressing a desire to cut off his own testicles and feed them to someone else, and a 20 minute track where he essentially takes on the role of an insult comic amidst the instrumental backing and says things like "if music were shit you'd be a brass band". Additional percussion on one track is provided by someone punching a dead pig.
When it started out I was just in awe but it runs about 70 minutes so it did eventually run out of steam. Still one of the best of the decade for me. Read about it and apparently Scott's experimental efforts got weirder and weirder culminating in this, so now I'm a little worried the other ones will be a let down by comparison. I'm still looking forward to checking them out soon.
I knew There She Goes, one of the great songs about being shy or heroin depending on your perspective, and knew the story about how they repeatedly recorded it over and over for three years and even when it was released weren't really satisfied, so I decided to give it a shot. To be honest my expectations weren't that high given the circumstances under which it was recorded, but I liked it a lot. That opening run of songs leading up to There She Goes is a great way to begin.
Apparently they weren't happy with the sound because they wanted it to be "rootsy" which it wasn't at all. It very much has that late 80's airy college rock sound, which I like so it wasn't a problem for me. In fact, there are a few bluesy type songs on there which were the ones I didn't like, these guys should have just stuck to what they do right. Still a very good album. When we do the 90's album poll I may slip it into the back end of my top 20/25 albums.
(I'm stealing Countjohn's format here because I find it easy to read)
From the mountains high above To the Valley down below I am with you sweetwater Where'ere ye go And the wind rides high And the wind blows free And the wind marries me
Basho described his music as "Zen Buddhist Cowboy Songs" and that's as good of a description as I think anyone will come up with. Starting with his virtuoso fingerpicking (setting him apart from any other guitarist I'm aware of -- 'cause WOW this man can play!), and continuing to his zealous, sonorous singing, this is a sort of hymnal in praise of the American countryside in a way that nobody else has ever really pulled off.
It's like Aaron Copland died and went to heaven. His visions of the country are full of the wonders of the rivers, and the mountains, and the rain and snow. They're that feeling of being so close to the sky that you could touch it and commune with the angels. None of this would work if he didn't have the skills on both guitar and piano (which he plays in two tracks) to pull it off, but he does. And because he does, this album soars.
I've never even heard of Basho before. This album popped up in my recommended on Youtube and I clicked it because why not. I listened to the first track and said "I've got to listen to this later, because if this keeps up it'll be a bloody miracle." Well, it's a couple days later, and of all the albums I've tagged in the past week, this is the first I came to. And it's a bloody miracle indeed.
David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars 1972
Not too much to say about this, except that I really liked it, much to my surprise. The concept stays together perfectly, and every individual song is a lot of fun to rock out to. The highlight is opener "Five Years" (hard to top something like that), but Bowie keeps the energy up. I dug it.
Pretty fun album. I was expecting something a lot more punk and a lot less reggae, but I definitely prefer this to my expectation. Although I found it enjoyable, it was a disposable and forgettable enjoyment. Outside of a couple of the more introspective songs (Lost in the Supermarket, Death or Glory) there was just fluff. Which is weird to say about some of the more politically charged songs, but meh. Lots of people do politically charged songs, doesn't mean they come off as actually being from the heart.
I give it a weak... 7/10. Maybe a strong 6/10. Decent enough for a one time listen, but I won't be coming back.
First thing to say is that I attempted Within the Realm of a Dying Sun by Dean Can Dance, but I gave it up as definitively "meh." So I move on to Gaye & Terrell.
This is an impressively shallow album, with twelve songs that all say the same thing. But who cares? It's sexy. Fun love songs with a backing brass band that makes me want to curl up in a corner with my beloved is really all I need at the end of the day. Good singers, a really good band and arrangements, what more do you need.
Not sure if an EP that consists of a single 25 minute piece counts, but screw it. After giving up on Darklands by The Jesus and Mary Chain and Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin, I was discouraged so decided to listen to something by an artist I knew that I liked. I never meant to listen to this, but clicking from one De Biasio to another led me to this HELL YES this is what I needed baby. Absolutely EVERYONE compares this to Talk Talk, but I've never heard Talk Talk, so I'll just pass along the message.
And I don't really know how to talk about this one. It's undeniably De Biasio's handiwork. It replaces the smoky, haze filled atmosphere of No Deal (which is utterly brilliant and anyone with a passing interest in modern jazz needs to get on it NOW) with an industrial drone aesthetic, but her understanding of stillness carries over; this is twenty-five minutes long but it never feels like it's spinning its wheels, because De Biasio and her band understand how to make a moment last, and when to move on.
I wish I could be more specific, but I'm no music critic. Hell, I can't even identify the instruments here. But I do know that this is one of the most exciting pieces I have heard in a long time. I think I'm in love with this woman. 10/10
Let's get this out of the way: I'm a sucker for orchestral music. I grew up on boring classical (seriously, only the Russian romantics ever composed any decent classical pieces, and even then the ones with most exposure are inferior), but I always appreciated the full orchestra sound and what it could achieve -- hence my love of video game music, which creates short, hook filled and emotional melodies, with that full-bodied sound.
So a sweet little rock album that uses orchestra backing is my jam. This album can be a tiny bit on the saccharine side, but by avoiding following any one kind of "character" it creates a fuller vision of a day full of workers, players and dreamers, never getting stale and showing how each of the different aspects of humanity are in everyone. Or some such shit, the point I'm making is that it keeps things varied instead of being twelve songs about how my girlfriend dumped me.
And it has an orchestra backing. To be honest, they don't do all that much, but they create a background that makes this feel so much more expansive than it would be if it was just the band playing. And sometimes, that's all you need.
I had never heard of Obel until a week ago when I clicked on a recommended Youtube video on a whim. That video was Obel's "Riverside," the second track on this album (probably has to do with being the label Melanie de Biasio works at). And it is extraordinary. So I filed her away to try a full album.
Well, I'm here. It isn't so extraordinary, but it isn't bad either. It's all very downer, haunting piano music, and Obel never gets out of her comfort zone. It all feels very samey, and very safe. If you love one, you'll love them all, seems to be the idea. But Obel sings too, and how does that fare? Well, much the same way. I mean, her voice fits her music style, and the lyrics are all just opaque enough to not make any sense to anyone but her. And that would be fine if her music ever varied from the same few piano riffs she sticks in each song, but she doesn't vary anything.
And it's frustrating, because I think Obel could do something great if she gets pushed. I mean, none of these songs are bad on their own, but a whole album of this gets so repetitive, even though she's occupying a niche that not many other people try to fill. 6/10