Def the best S&G I've heard. A lot of aching sadness to this album, which is where it is best. Whenever they liven things up, they don't bring much to it. I guess this is a pretty enjoyable album, but it doesn't go anywhere near the heights of the lesser-known folk singers of the time. I think these guys are too pop for my tastes. But pop-folk is better than no folk at all. 7/10
Where has this been all my life? Hell of a gutsy move to open with The Sound of Silence. Hell of an achievement to top the original. This album sets a mood better than almost any other I've ever listened to (starting with that brilliant cover and continuing some of the dreamiest pop music ever recorded). It's a minor detail, but I appreciate how the lyrics do callbacks to earlier songs ("Closer to Grey" quoting "The Sound of Silence" for example) to solidify that this is all one story tied together by these disparate dreams (can't figure out a better word for the individual songs).
I'm definitely hunting down more Chromatics in the future.
The worlds best young band obliterates every rival with this release - this is one of the great "2nd albums" of the 21st century - and there have been a few of those - Strokes, Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Parquet Courts.....but this is far more different from their great debut than any of those bands .......Ireland's Fontaines D.C. didn't even exist 3 and 1/2 years ago.........now they have 2 indisputable classics under their belt and 2 classics that have an entirely unique feel and sound.
Aside from Dylan........nothing else released in 2020 sounds this "major statement" from anybody in Rock - they sound small-time, or conceptual or disposable. Playing it right now and this record sounds scary, threatening, ominous - if I was 20 instead of 220 well.....it would be playing constantly.
Opeth's most consistent album is also their best. It's one incredible song after another. The absolute highlight being the guitar riffing and vocal melodies in the second half of Face of Melinda. 10/10
Last Edit: Aug 13, 2020 23:08:43 GMT by DaleCooper
G Stands For Go-Betweens - Volume #2 1985-1989 - The Go-Betweens - ~8.5/10
One of the best boxsets - if you love them you'll be astonished how much material they had and if you don't know them you'll wonder why not. Makes the case the nobody in the late-80s made more good songs than them......and probably the finest band from Australia at least going by how many good songs they cranked out.
Screeching Weasel - Anthem For A New Tomorrow (1993) - ~8.5+/10
The 2nd best album they ever made - just a step below My Brain Hurts (a classic, 1991) - this lineup influenced a lot of stuff that was nowhere near as good, dangerous sounding or original as they were. They were a lot of peoples fave band in this early 90s period - they appealed to kids who didn't get Nirvana or Pavement (and Green Day was a year away) - and a lot of that was because they sounded like bratty malcontents without any internal editor.
I always argue them as an important American band in this era ...........and this record still holds up.
Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters (2020) - 8/10
I'm making my way through revisiting 2020 records and this one is going to win the majority of "Album of the year" awards (a kiss of death nowadays) but to me it's more like Kid A was in 2000 - a record immediately admired for the craft maybe more than you actually reach out to listen to (that's for me anyway). The record is so densely crafted as presented on first listen it is equal parts stunning and off-putting.
For me it (still) doesn't work as much as has been made out ........but it does work .......and at times spectacularly so.
How clueless is Pitchfork on Rock music or its history in 2020?
Well there are 3 Power Pop albums in my top 10 of the year and they've reviewed none of them. As if you needed another reason to love pacinoyes and hate Pitchfork right?
The Reflectors "First Impression" (8/10) is the least of those 3 albums - The ExBats and The Speedways releases being the others - but The Reflectors get by almost solely on a joyous, infectious spirit. 11 songs in less than 30 minutes with simplistic (though charming) lyrics and sometimes iffy drumming (less charming). You can feel their excitement from start until the end and also how much they love what they are doing here.
You can also play this record at any time ......... driving........in the background......getting ready to go out........and unlike most Power Pop it sounds better all the way through as an album than any single track from it does by itself. It's ridiculously playable.
The Speedways - Just Another Regular Summer (2018) 8.5/10
Did you hand in your "Albums of the 2010s Ballot"? Is this on it? If not, your ballot is meaningless to me. Pfffft.
A tremendous debut from 2018 - that only lags slightly at the end - and that I never really "got" until I heard their followup this year and now it's all clicked big time. I have now raved this band and mastermind Matt Julian like 6 times in a week on MAR- so thank me now before I'm banned from this board.
They're great and they're happening right now too - what else do you have going on? - and like I mentioned in the Current Obsessions thread their videos are an absolute blast for movie lovers.
If you stopped this 12 song album after the first 9 songs you'd have one of the best albums in this genre - ever - or at least since The Exploding Hearts essential "Guitar Romantic" (2003). Then there are 2 filler songs before the great closer (and maybe their very best song in their 2 album career) "In A World Without Love It's Hard To Stay Young" - so that's 10 special songs which pretty much makes this, a no-shit genius top 5 record of 2020 ....or higher.
..............AND this band is creative too in a genre where that's not usually an asset - this song, loops Marilyn Monroe's interview quote "If I'm generally anything, I guess I'm generally miserable" into a whole song and never once mentions her by name - either first or last - just the quote of her voice which makes it about any girl....... and not about just any girl.
That's an inspired idea......... and it's entirely their own creation.
Last Edit: Sept 26, 2020 11:00:42 GMT by pacinoyes
Jesus of Cool (1978) 9++/10 - (2008) Deluxe Edition Nick Lowe
Seriously, fnck vinyl.....this edition of the album only exists because of CD (how uncool is that?) which takes the original album, and adds songs from the American version so it's now bursting with 21 songs - 21 for Godsakes - and you don't have to skip any of them.....which makes this not just one of 1978's best but in this 2008 deluxe version......an all timer.
It also serves as "Punk" as a mindset instead of a specific sound - and it's possible to see Nick Lowe as far more "Punk" than the Pistols or The Clash were - certainly he didn't have guys in suits throwing money at him like they did.........and he wasn't so eager to please an already built in audience either. You'd be hard pressed to find a catchier, funnier, more involving and especially idiosyncratic record than this one - and anybody, of any age, can listen to it too.
Post by Tommen_Saperstein on Oct 2, 2020 18:07:27 GMT
Ohms - Deftones - Haaaaate it. Critical consensus (88 on metacritic!) and popular opinion seem to be squarely in its corner but Fantano just infamously panned it and having heard the album myself a few days ago I agree with him. Really boring metal music. Loud, aimless and boring. Doesn't have the heaviness of their early period or the shoegazey sublimity of Koi No Yakan, it's caught somewhere in the middle with directionless melodies and toothless synthetic experiments. The lead single "Ohms" with its exultant riffs had me excited that the album might be a return to form but instead "Ohms" is practically the only song worth hearing. Only other highlight for me was "This Link is Dead," which IS a return to that crushing late 90s/early aughts sound, but nothing else (apart from the title track) is as remotely catchy.
Faces - Good Boys.......When They're Asleep 9.5/10
One of the best "best ofs" ever - for one of the best bands ever........ if you know somebody who has never heard them - this tells you everything you need to love them.
It would get a 10 except for the inclusion of a late career, post-Ronnie Lane leaving the band song "You Can Make Me Dance...." which is more Rod Stewart lamely solo than the band...... and they could have included "Silicone Grown" instead for Godsakes.
But still that's track 18 and before that.......it's perfect.
Sort of like watching your Mom win the award for best stripper of 2020 - you're happy for her........ but you don't want to see it.
This album has a bunch of great reviews (4 stars in Rolling Stone, comparisons to Husker Du) and it's loud and pissed off - so it's everything I should like right?........ by an artist I've loved - even at times solo.
Except there are almost no songs here for the 2nd record in a row.
This is a guy who has made a lot of great noise and great pop.......and here he makes neither and the lyrics are among the most boring and obvious he's maybe ever done.
2019's best new record......from a guy who had been around a while and was always fun but minor - just this side of a novelty artist ......but here he put it all together in a coherent and thrilling way that upped the ante on his formula - messy garage-pop, lots of hand claps, self-deprecating lyrics with vocal effects and hiss-drenched production - that make it sound like the best radio station that is almost NOT coming in clear at all.
He's due for a new record.....was this a fluke......if it was......well it's a great one.
REM - Fables of the Reconstruction (or Reconstruction of the Fables) - 7.5/10
I've spoken a lot about my love for REM's first 3 releases - Chronic Town, Murmur, Reckoning and how they slowly started to lose me afterwards......but the 3 records that followed while uneven to me still kept them on the shortlist of the world's best bands......and when cherry-picked - like on the near perfect compilation of this era "And I Feel Fine - The Best Of REM 1982-1987" - it is, some of the best music of the decade.
This album starts with 3 great songs before somewhat losing its way while at times righting the ship afterwards. On the downside the bands "mystery" starts to leave them here - never before was Michael Stipe so easy to understand which was a drawback .....but on the best songs they were hitting a sweet spot no other band could - songs that were not linked to age or particular music scenes or trends either current or prior......where before they sounded like a revisionist The Byrds.....now, even though they were hit or miss.......they sounded just like REM.
Only half of this record works but if you already loved them ......you loved that half and ignored the rest and the next two albums while not at the consistent level of the first 3 were better than this one so Fables is very much a transitional album.
Green Grow The Rushes - one of this records peaks: