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The Positive Album Review Topic

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ChickenAndBeer
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#31

Posted 09 October 2015 - 10:24 PM

(Gonna revive this topic.)

Stankonia-Outkast (2000)

 

Is it original? Very. The album touches on sexuality, critics criticizing hip-hop for it's commonly misogynistic attitudes in lyrics, and relationships.

How would you describe the sound? Unlike OutKast's eariler albums, Stankonia's production is fast paced, reflecting the harder drugs hitting the hip-hop scene such as ecstasy and cocaine.  

Is it consistent? Stankonia is very consistent in quality and production. There are some tracks I like more then others, but there is none that I really hate or dislike.

Stand-out tracks? Ms. Jackson, B.O.B, Gasoline Dreams, Red Velvet, Gangsta Sh"t,  So Fresh, So Clean, Humble Mumble, We Luv Deez Hoez, Spaghetti Junction, and Xplosion.

Stand-out lyrics? 

 

 

"Outkast with a K, yeah them niggas are hard
Harder than a nigga trying to impress God
We'll pull your're whole deck, f*ck pulling your card
And still take my guitar and take a walk in the park
Any play the sweetest melody the street ever heard
Now bitches sucking on my nouns and I'm eating their verbs
Get full, and niggas, niggas,
pop, pop, lock, lock to the, to the beat, beat
As if pitbulls went out of style, made a vow to myself
If it's for the wealth i'll stop, well put i like this
It's like me selling some dope because my girlfriend wants to shop
Wrong reason, whatever the season, hey winter, spring, summer or fall
I dont stall, slow drag wit your brain against the wall
Yeah, nigga naw, we learn to the side don't fall 
All y'all f*ck boys, tuck toys inside your pants
Just to pull it out, point it at the ground and make a nigga wanna dance
Now what that be for, you're on that reefer and on that Tupac 
In front of them oooh wops, trying to show out, that's the hoe route
Talking loud talking bout that's gangsta sh*t-"Gangsta Sh't
 
"A baby drama mama, don't like me
She doing things like having her boys come from her neighborhood
To the studio trying to fight me
She need to get a, piece of the American pie and take her bite out
That's my house, I disconnect the cable and turn the lights out
And let her know her grandchild is a baby, and not a paycheck
Private schools, daycare, sh*t, medical bills, I'll pay that
I love your mom and everything, see I ain't the one who laid down
She wanna rip you up, start a custody war, my lawyer stay down
She never got a chance to hear my side of the story we was divided
She had fish fries and cookouts
On my child's birthday I ain't invited
Despite it, I show her the utmost respect when I fall through
All you, do is defend that lady when I call you, yeah"-Ms. Jackson
 
"1, 2.. 1, 2, 3; yeah!
In-slum-national, underground
Thunder pounds when I stomp the ground (Woo!)
Like a million elephants and silverback orangutans
You can't stop a train
Who want some? Don't come un-pre-pared
I'll be there, but when I leave there
Better be a household name
Weather man tellin' us it ain't gon' rain
So now we sittin' in a drop-top, soaking wet
In a silk suit, tryin' not to sweat
Hits somersaults without the net
But this'll be the year that we won't forget
One-Nine-Nine-Nine, Anno Domini anything goes, be whatchu wanna be
Long as you know consequences, to give and for livin'
The fence is too high to jump in jail
Too low to dig, I might just touch hell
HOT! Get a life, now they on sale
Then I might cast you a spell, look at what came in the mail
A scale and some Arm and Hammer, soul gold grill and some baby mama
Black Cadillac and a pack of pampers
Stack of question with no answers
Cure for cancer, cure for AIDS
Make a nigga wanna stay on tour for days
Get back home, things are wrong
Well not really it was bad all along
before he left adds up, to a ball of power
Thoughts at a thousands miles per hour
Hello, ghetto, let your brain breathe,
believe there's always more, ahhhhh!"-B.O.B
 
 

 

How does it fit in with the artists other work or does it? Like I said eariler, the production differs largely from OutKast's earlier albums. So, in terms of production, I don't think it fits in with their other work. Lyrically, however, it does.

What about the artwork? The artwork is basic, but nice and effective.

 

Value for money? I'd say it's worth the 20 dollars for the CD. This album is very original, and breaks out from the norm in hip-hop.

 

I give this album a 8/10 for originality, production, and lyricism. 

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#32

Posted 24 November 2015 - 04:03 AM

Also gonna revive this.

 

 

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LIL UGLY MANE - MISTA THUG ISOLATION - 2012

 

First of all this album starts out with an instrumental track called "MISTA THUG ISOLATION (12TH MOVEMENT)" which is filled with static noise, a repetitive drone/beeping, some filtered noises then half way through comes in with some creepy synth lead which gives the feeling that you're about to be fisted by Freddy Krueger and lets you know what you're in for.

Next track comes in, named "SERIOUS sh*t" which touches on a bunch of subjects like suicide, self worth, stacking $/hustling and generally not giving a f*ck about what others think - some serious sh*t. Full of quotable lines, a repetitive hook and put over a quite upbeat instrumental produced by Ugly Mane (he also produced the whole thing) makes it one of my favourites; even just the instrumental itself is sick. It starts out with something you'd hear in a class of 37 reunion and quickly delves into a solid hip hop beat. The vocal samples for the hook show the lifestyle Ugly lives.

"MANIAC DRUG DEALER III" - Exactly what is says on the tin. Two fast paced verses about Ugly running the drug game and murdering the opposition. One of the shorter tracks but it switches it up. This song is quite noisy and hard hitting and may make you feel like you're in those Rave Party 1997 videos so if you got sensitive hearing back off. Or don't since that'll reinforce the brutality.

"RADIATION (LUNG POLLUTION)" - a track that's generally just about weed, going hard and bitches. Some ATCQ/De-La vibes on this, lots of free flowing lyrics and a solid production that switches up halfway through and drops into some g sh*t. a pure hip hop track that urges you to smoke blunts and f*ck bitches. You might think the other guy on the track (SUPA SORTAHUMAN) is another guy but nope, Ugly with a down pitched voice. He has multiple personas.

"SLICK RICK" - a track about f*cking prostitutes. I can tell people are reading this and thinking "what defines this apart from every other rap song" and I can agree but Ugly's lyrics and flow set it apart along with a repetitive beat. Not my favourite track but it's still a solid one. The chorus is "duck down when you see me in that monster coupe, slick rick said treat em like a prostitute" which is some sound advice since girls can be mean and it's better to blow them off and remain happy than be headf*cked. Note I am not backing misogyny but I'm relating from personal experience.

"WISHMASTER" - This one is f*cking straight g. In Radiation on the second verse his voice is pitched down - this is a whole track of that. Multiple lyrics about stunting on fools, running the drug game, drive by's and a Big Daddy Kane reference. Another display of his production, sounding like some Goodfellas Godfather Reservoir Dogs driveby soundtrack sh*t. The repetitive chorus of "don't you wish you could be me" raises the question? do you? do i? don't we all.

"ALONE AND SUFFERING (INTERLUDE)" - A track that essentially just shows off Ugly Mane's production value. Piano notes, a nice drum beat and some vocals that state "now you're alone and suffering" make it a solid production. If you're emo then don't listen cus it'll probably upset you and make you put on some hair gel and an Asking Alexandria T-Shirt and slit your wrists and sh*t.

"BITCH I'M LUGUBRIOUS" - Personal favourite on the album. More vibes about the hustle, uzis turning faces into gooey sh*t and messing with powder like Scarface combined with a smooth flow and an uplifting beat that contradicts the lyrical content. Ugly knows how to talk mad sh*t while still keeping it flowy. Another one of those pure hip hop tracks; good beat, good rhymes and flow.

"CUP FULLA BEETLEJUICE" - Reminiscent of some old Three Six Mafia Mystic Styles sh*t. It doesn't stand out out like some of the other tracks but it's the kinda sh*t I'd imagine to play when a vicar looks out of a church windows and sees people rising from the graves and sh*t. Spooky production and Ugly reinforcing the fact he's the king.

"BREEZEM OUT" - Another variation which there's alot of in this album. Going from Cup fulla beetlejuice which is some Rick from TWD f*cking zombies in the ass sh*t to this which sounds like the kinda beat you'd here in an elevator or on an informercial selling some damn vacuums. Either way, it's a super relaxed vibe and the verses arent as in your face as other tracks which are pleasant.
Is it original?

"HOEISH ASS BITCH" - It feels like, judging from the chorus, Ugly was f*cked over by a female and instead of putting on some Linkin Park and slitting his wrists instead he focuses on doing his own thing without being caught up on a hoeish ass bitch since there's plenty more in the ocean. Ugly sticks to his roots about stacking $ and being a f*cking g. I need to take advice from this and stack my £ instead of wasting time on these bitches.

"MONA LISA OVERDRIVE"  - "Yeah, you know we had to do something for the ladies you heard me, for the ladies" - Ugly on some romance sh*t although this abit more detailed than your typical love song. PG rated most likely I don't know. 50 Shades of Ugly.

"TWISTIN FT DENZEL CURRY" - Ugly and Denzel Curry on a f*ck I don't even know how to define this beat just listen for yourself. Denzel spitting how he runs sh*t in that Raider Klan style and backed up with Ugly referencing the fact he still is a one man f*cking army but he's down with Raider and pays them some homage since it's clear he developed aspects of his style from them.

"NO SLACK IN MY MACK" - Ugly got no slack in his f*cking mack ya heard. More reinforcing how f*cked Ugly is as a person, solid wordplay plus "I'm bad for your health boy I'm dangerous stuff, lungs full of smoke and a bag full of guts, not the innards of a dutch just a bag full of guts" - dutch makes you think guts refers to weed but nope Ugly carrying body parts reminiscent of that Big L verse that says "aint no food in my fridge - just body parts". There's two versions of this song and the other version samples the movie Dirty Harry and is better than the album version but they're both dope. Also, Ugly dissing Lil Wayne. Remember that track by Weezy called "a goon aint nothin to a goblin"? well Ugly's gonna "gobble up these goons and goblins like they're turkey I'm spitting out their bones in my Patron lord have mercy". Watch the f*ck out Weezy. This sounds like it coulda dropped on a mid 90s Triple Six album.

"LOOKIN 4 THA SUCKIN" - Relatable for everyone unless you're asexual because we've all been looking for the sucking at one point in our life. Solid wordplay such as the hook of "catch me at the airport, flying out to London , stacking up my paper you can tell that I am stunting" - 1 dollar US is like 1.50something so you know he's stacking $ to afford trips out.

"LEAN GOT ME f*ckED UP" - This is another one of those hard in your face tracks. Horrorcore beat and a reference to lean (purple drank aka codeine sizzurp etc) - beat has a sort of woman saying laaa laaaa laaaa over and over which is probably what I'd imagine Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter to sound like if she's getting f*cked. Alot of this song is about Ugly being devoid of humanity such as the line "I'm a project ghost I'm a hood apparition" which is then backed up by "Murder on my mind money is my mission" which could insinuate Ugly is so good at getting sh*t done in hoods and ghetto projects he's in and out with nobody noticing.  This track is slowed much like the effects of lean and it's very flowy and smooth even if the beat makes me feel spooked writing this in the dark at 3AM.

"THROW DEM GUNZ" - One of the most popular tracks from the album. Starts with a loop of a jazz sample from Leon Ware which then goes into Ugly rhyming about life. The places he runs sh*t (sewers to the slums), getting f*cked up on the regular "feelin numb when that herb fill up in my lungs" and "swagger actin' foul, blackin' out roofie up my absinthe in the club, before I stagger out" which goes straight into a nice wordplay about suicide "live or die I'd rather take the latter route, take the ladder route, rope around my neck and kick the ladder out". Other themes include regret of the sh*t he's done, putting in work and being affiliated with the devil. The repetitive hook of "if you got big guns throw em up break that ho split that dutch" is infective and you should stick this sh*t on when you're walking around at night and you'll feel invincible. Until you get mugged although if you've got to this point of the album you might have some murderous fantasies anyway so go for it,

"LAST BREATH (OUTRODUCTION)" - Another production from Ugly. Let's the album fade out in a nice beat and gives a break from the murder wordplay you just got skullf*cked with.

BUT WAIT! THERES MORE! except this ain't scary movie. although Ugly is scary. maybe he should make a movie.

"BONUS: BITCH IM LUGUBRIOUS (COLD SHOULDER EDIT)" - This is just BITCH IM LUGUBRIOUS but it's slowed with a much f*ckin spookier, heavy hitting beat. I f*ck with it.

"BONUS: SEND EM 2 THA ESSENCE" - Now this, is a f*cking track. It opens with over a minute of  noise; echoey footsteps, wind blowing and a filtered synths. If you've ever seen the movie Irreversible where the girl gets raped in a tunnel with a static camera for six straight minutes that's what this track feels like except when you think it's over four f*cking claps come in and Ugly's voice flows reinforced by a heavy ass beat. It's straight demonic horrorcore vibes. Opening with the line "death is in your blood fear is all in your head thats what my OG said so I'm lampin like I'm already dead" - I'm sure you can figure that one out? No? An OG/Elder explained to ugly that we're all born to die and there's no escaping it and it's pointless to fear, so Ugly lives his life with no remorse because he knows it wont matter. There's some tombstone bells whatever they're called in the background on a loop which reinforce the death theme.

 

How would you describe the sound? I'd describe it as Lil Ugly Mane pure and simple. I've seen it described as Cloud Rap whatever the f*ck that is. Closest thing I can think of is Memphis Rap like the old Triple Six albums like Mystic Styles but Ugly puts his own twist on it.

Is it consistent? If by consistent you mean Ugly reminds you of how f*cking G he is throughout, then yes, it's consistent. This ain't one of those albums where it has a few bangers and the rest are mediocre flows, one second you'll be hit with some horrorcore track making you feel like you're gonna have your throat slit and a minute later a nice jazz beat makes you want to drink some bourbon and smoke a cigar. Ugly knows how to switch it up.

Stand-out tracks? All of them. My favourites personally? BITCH IM LUGUBRIOUS for flow and enjoyability, SEND EM 2 THA ESSENCE, LEAN GOT ME f*ckED UP and NO SLACK IN MY MACK for lyrical content and finally THROW DEM GUNZ for an overall look at Ugly both lyrically and production.

Stand-out lyrics?

"Live or die, I’d rather take the latter route, take the ladder route, rope around my neck and kick the ladder out there’s no need to drag it out 28 grams, gotta bag ‘em out standin' in the rain feelin' bad about the mommas losin' jobs over the rocks that I be passin' out in vast amounts" - THROW DEM GUNZ - Ugly describing disregard and even a dislike for his own life, his hustle and the people it affects.

"Plus I'm bad for your health boy I'm dangerous stuff, lungs full of smoke and a bag full of guts not the innards of a dutch just a bag full of guts. Balling on my mind, kareem abdula oblongata Polo Louie V. and Prada anything to get inside her" - NO SLACK IN MY MACK - Ugly is bad for your health/life since he will most likely end it. By a bag full of guts and dutch/weed references you think he means he's got weed; nope, an actual bag full of guts. Balling on his mind like Kareem Abdula Oblongata - balling aka to be rich, Kareem Abdula aka the retired basketball player and Oblongata aka the brain stem. Making money is all that's on his mind, to back up the neck line of "Polo Louie V and Prada anything to get inside her - Ugly will wear whatever to get inside her.

"I let the serpents that I worship underneath the surface murder me preferably refer to me as king I move vertically run the block unmercilessly you got the nerve to curse with me? The gat will discourage any dreams you got of murking me" - SEND EM 2 THA ESSENCE - Ugly referencing some illuminati/satan sh*t, giving his soul to the demons and dying when they want him. Refer to him as the king as he is moving vertically, rising to the top above the opposition. You got a problem with ugly rising? The gat will put an end to any problems Ugly faces in the hustle.

How does it fit in with the artists other work or does it?  All g sh*t aside, does Ugly, real name Travis Scott, live this life? I don't know, maybe. I do know he's been in the game 15+ years producing and rapping and even when this album had a solid buzz and success in 2012 he essentially retired the Lil Ugly Mane moniker and released things under other names like Shawn Kemp to avoid success. Now this could just be modesty although it would back up alot of the self doubt themes since Ugly has always dodge the limelight. When he dropped the moniker he stated "im done with shows, im done with hype. i just dont care at all about it. i made music in my room and sh*t was cool by accident" - take what you want from that.

There is a plethora of work from Travis available and I'm pretty sure I have most of it. It ranges from rap dating back to 2007 demos and there is such a variety in the rap tracks. He's released a bunch of compilations of old, new and lost work and the genres of those are all over the place like a damn suicide bomber. Bad joke don't ban me m8s but that expresses how varied it is. I have the entire Travis Scott discography loaded right now so I'll shuffle it and describe the first 5.

"LIL UGLY MANE - HELLO - THREE SIDED TAPE VOLUME 1" - quite an upbeat almost celebratory instrumental production.
 "dreamo and stormguy - look into the eyes of my heart because they are weary" - This is an old production that was probably made in a garage and to me seems like a spinoff of UK garage/breakbeat.
"Legacy - Backpack Rap" - a track from 2007 with Travis and Young Gus. You can tell from this he was finding his style since some of these rhymes get used on Mista Thug Isolation.
"Across - Discovers, First Sore" - I'm not sure how to describe this - sort of a cross between a thrash and black metal song. It's also released under the name SLEEP UNTIL IT HURTS YOU by VUDMURK and I remember reading it was on a weird diy studio setup on thanksgiving 2007 although this version seems older since it's different.
"LIL UGLY MANE - BRION GYSIN WITH A COOL HAT ON - THREE SIDED TAPE VOLUME ONE" - jazz based smooth hip hop beat thats the kinda sh*t you'd expect to play in a new york movie.

5 tracks where they're all in no way similar to eachother. Travis is varied and has dabbled in a f*ckload of music work and all of it is worth checking out.

What about the artwork? I don't know how to describe the artwork, but I like it. All of his projects have some weird funky artwork and I dig it.

Value for money? You can get it for $5 on Bandcamp. $5 for something I'd put in the top 10 hip hop albums of all time and my personal top 5 albums ever? I'd say go for it, support the dude since he deserves it and if I just took an hour and a half writing this sh*t spend a few checking him out.

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Lazor Guns
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#33

Posted 25 November 2015 - 10:05 PM

furious_7_soundtrack1.jpg

 

The first review on this page for a soundtrack album. I personally think this is one of the best soundtrack album to come out in recent years. With 16 songs by 31 different artists, there's no shortage of variety. The genres consist mainly of hip-hop, EDM, and latin music with the occasional pop song, and for the most part it all fits nicely. In fact, apart from "See You Again" (easily the biggest hit on the album) and "I Will Return", I could easily put this on a club or party playlist without any complaints. Though I will say some songs are definitely better than others. There was definitely a lot of effort into making this soundtrack, with more songs than the previous albums combined with a cast of all-stars. Seems to me that they were finally able to shell out the big bucks to make something spectacular. I'm going to review each song in order.

 

Spoiler

 

Is the album good? Yes, as mentioned above this is one of the best soundtrack albums to come out recently, even if there were a couple of stinkers. However, it very much depends on your taste. If you don't like rap and/or EDM, you're not going to enjoy this and will probably hate it. As for the ones who do enjoy those genres? This is definitely worth checking into.

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Adrian J.
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#34

Posted 06 December 2015 - 03:25 AM Edited by Adrian J., 10 December 2015 - 04:37 PM.

Dream Theater-Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes From A Memory

778a382a165cf0a5d899adf7de1795165afd98ec

This album is simply fantastic. One of the best concept albums out there, and a must for all the progressive rock fans.

Dream Theater really created a work of art, the whole disc is beatifull and diverse. The story presented here pulls you in and it feels like you were there with those character.

My favourtie songs on the album are:

Scene Three: II. Fatal Tragedy

Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On

 

And I'm gonna throw these here if anyone is interested in good music:

 

Chvrches-The Bones Of What You Believe

Chvrches_-_The_Bones_of_What_You_Believe

Proving that Synthpop isn't dead

 

Ne Obliviscaris-Citadel

Ne_Obliviscaris_Citadel.jpg

Another masterpiece in musical form, violin and extreme progressive metal go hand in hand.

 

I really recommend all of these three albums.

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Onett
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#35

Posted 12 December 2015 - 12:45 AM Edited by Tatsuya, 12 December 2015 - 08:32 PM.

BeastieBoysPaul%27sBoutique.jpg

Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys - 1989

"...for the best in men's clothing, call Paul's Boutique, ask for Janice their number is ah, 718-498-1043, that's Paul's Boutique and they're in Brooklyn."

This is a f*cking good album. I guess it's also a rare type of album, being one that was made before strict sampling laws came into place in the early 90's and the fact that it is mostly made of samples (with the exception of one, but I'll get to that later) with it all costing about $250,000. Today, it would cost about $50 million just to produce it and even if the album sold 2.5 million units, you would still be $20 million in the red. So how did this boiling point of 70'd junk culture (I'm told the 70's were big in the late 80's and 90's) and whatever samples they could get across come to be?

TL:DR: The Beasties didn't want to make License to Ill 2, so they did something completely different, and it flopped at release.

Slightly longer: The year is 1988. The Beastie Boys have released License to Ill the previous year and the record has gone triple platinum. However, due to their frat boy style lyrics they've gotten the attention of a lot of moral guardians (hence the line 'running from the law, the press and the parents' from Shake Your Rump) they go into self imposed exile in LA. It's there that they break their contract from Def Jam and sign onto Capital Records (former record label of The Beach Boys and butcher of Beatles albums). It's also in LA they meet the Dust Brothers who are working on this new instrumental albums made entirely of samples. Upon hearing a couple of the songs, they approach the Dust Brothers about making an album from this instrumental album they got going on. The Dust Brothers initially offer to strip it down to just beats, but the dense sampling jungle stays. And so, over a few months in 1988 and 89, they produce Paul's Boutique and it's all ready to go by July 25, 1989. Lots of hype is drummed up. Frat boys everywhere hold their breaths. Executives waiting to bathe in the money this thing will print. And it's highest chart position is on the R&B chart with a #26 position. What went wrong? Well, I guess people weren't expecting the Fight For Your Right guys to make an album like this. This was an entirely different beast to Licensed To Ill. It was slick, funny flowed better and they didn't boast about drinking excesses of beer. Well, most of the time.

So, where did this leave the Beasties? It would be three years before they came up with the jazz/funk/rap hybrid that was Check Your Head (another great album) and they kept the sampling on the low down for that album.

Why was Paul's Boutique so retrospectively well received? Well, for kickers, they didn't sample for the hell of it. These songs were used out of repurposed riffs, snippets from TV shows and lots of pop culture references (lots made about the Son of Sam murders for some reason). And in those two years between Licensed and Paul's Boutique they'd matured quite a bit. While they did boast a lot ("I been making making records since you were sucking your mother's dick!") it wasn't the levels of Licensed. And these samples flow so well together, as if they were made for this. Oh, they used about 105 samples for this thing ranging from James Brown, Pink Floyd, Sly and the Family Stone, The Ramones to The Beatles (the second part of The Sounds Of Science is basically a love song to The Beatles with how many samples they lifted). Though, some live instrumentation is provided, on 'Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun' MCA plays bass and Ad-Rock plays guitar.

The artwork is pretty damn cool as well, it's a (when you fold it out) panoramic view of a street in Brooklyn and it looks good. The area really doesn't look like that anymore, but the Paul's Boutique building remains the same (though it's now a cafe).

I can't really recommended just a single cut off this album, you have to listen to it all (if I had a gun to my head, I'd say Shake Your Rump or Car Thief).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I got a trip to Brooklyn, and I be needing some nice clothes.

Personnel:
Adam 'MCA' Yauch: baritone voice, bass on 'Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun'
Mike 'Mike D' Diamond: somewhere in the middle of MCA and Ad Rock
Adam 'The King, Ad-Rock' Horovitz: whiny, nasally vocals, guitar on 'Looking Down'
The Dust Brothers: production
Mario Caldato, Jr: additional production
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#36

Posted 24 December 2015 - 07:38 AM Edited by athande, 24 December 2015 - 12:13 PM.

Illmatic by Nas..(1994)

Genre - Hip Hop/Rap

 

 

nas-illmatic-billboard-510.jpg

 

"Aiyyo yo, pull down the shade, man

Let's count this money, nigga

Ayeo Nas, put the Jacksons and the Grants over there

You know what I'm sayin'

Cause we spendin' the Jacksons

You know how we get down baby." - The Genesis.

 

The introduction track 'The Genesis' foreshadows what type of vibe the album will deliver, and it's quite a grim yet colourful vibe. Nas' flow and delivery coupled with his vivid rhymes were unlike any other hip hop artists' from the previous decade - which was predominately playful, and this can be seen through his earliest introduction on 'Live At The Barbecue'. One of the reasons why Nas saw the success of Illmatic like he did was partially due to the game changing producers on the album.. seeing the likes of Large Professor, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Q-Tip and QBs own L.E.S. Whether a hard track like NY or a softer more intimate one like One Love, Nas doesn't disappoint. Nas was 19 when the album dropped, and his material that he had crafted was probably written from his younger teen years. The album consists of 9 tracks, but runs for a good 40 minutes. Nonetheless, each song introduces a new piece to the picture that Nas is trying to present to his audience - basically depicting the projects of New York City during his childhood, up until 1994. 

 

You don't have to be a fan of Hip Hop to enjoy this album, however if you're unfamiliar with the genre try and be a little open when listening to it. It may take a few listens to really get a good bite of all the flavours that are presented. The artwork for the album was inspired by the cover art from the 1974 jazz album 'A Child is Born', and depicts a transparent baby picture of Nasir with his home town of Queensbridge behind him. For $17 on iTunes it's worth every cent. 

 

Stand out tracks:

  • NY State of Mind
  • Halftime
  • Life's a bitch
  • One Love

"Then froze only to blow the herb smoke through my nose

And told my little man I'm a ghost, I broze

Left some jewels in his skull that he can sell if he chose

Words of wisdom from Nas: try to rise up above

Keep an eye out for Jake, Shorty Wop, one love."

 

- One Love - Nas

 

9/10 - Highly recommended 

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#37

Posted 01 January 2016 - 02:03 AM

9/10 for illmatic? How come bro?

Ill do a review for summin soon
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#38

Posted 06 January 2016 - 07:26 PM

Great reading these reviews and it's awesome listening to people's perspectives and personal feelings on an album special to them. 

 

Might I suggest the some people are doing '52 albums'. One new album per week. This topic might be useful for some inspiration. 


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#39

Posted 11 January 2016 - 02:48 PM Edited by Mr. Fahrenheit, 11 January 2016 - 04:56 PM.

Ojo0iuq.jpg


~


[Introduction:]
To Pimp a Butterfly was Kendrick Lamar's latest album after the release of the brilliant good kid M.A.A.D. city - a brilliantly cinematic masterpiece that in two short years has been heralded as one of the best albums in hip-hop history. One of the questions that critics and fans alike asked after the release of Lamar's debut was "where will he go from here?" Could Lamar possibly improve on the record?

This question was answered in March 2015, with the release of this album. To start off, this album is brilliant. Poignant lyrics and fantastic jazz/funk influnced beats compliment each other in what only can explained as an overwhelming and visual album. Starting on the brilliant 'Wesley's Theory', a track that criticises the current culture of commercial hip hop, and ending on the surreal 'Mortal Man', a song that questions the continued support of fans and ending with an interview with Tupac that can only be properly explained through proper listening. Every song has something to say, whether it's commentary in current black culture - or self criticism from Kendrick about himself. It's just pure brilliance.

~


[Stand Out Tracks:]
I'd say that every track in the album is fantastic - there are some really great tracks on the album.

For Free? - Even though it's the interlude track, it starts with seething commentary about the exploitation of African Americans, with a jazz tune playing in the background. It's also got a sense of humor - a trend not continued into the later song in the album.

u - A track that was triggered by Lamar's previous depression, it criticises Kendrick for what he feels is his own failings and flaws, with a mad and broken beat playing in the background that goes back and forth between in sadness and frustration.

How Much a Dollar Cost? - The fictional tale of Kendrick failing god's test - laden with metaphors, detailed imagery, and a killer beat sampled from Pyramid Song by Radiohead. It's better than it sounds here, trust me.

Blacker The Berry - Tying back into the roots of hardcore West Coast hip-hop, the song criticises black on black crime and the hypocrisy surrounding it. Killer hook, fantastic message, and it reminds of legendary 90's hip hop.

~


[Verdict:]
It's poignant, it's breathtaking, it's overwhelming, and has a lot to say. And it's the best album of 2015, and perhaps the past decade. In my honest opinion, and take with this with a grain of salt, this might be the next Illmatic. I have just gushing praise for this.

10/10

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EarthGaia
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#40

Posted 15 January 2016 - 03:22 PM Edited by GloryBox94, 15 January 2016 - 03:23 PM.

cover170x170.jpeg

Drifting in Silence - Artificial

Release date: January 1st, 2016

Label: Labille Records

Genre: Ambient, drone, dark ambient


"Much like ambient stuff I listened, I had to start with something this new year, gladly on the first day, a new release came thanks by Derrick Stembridge, still in mood of organic and natural ambient, with a light and dark side, compared with the former albums of DIS, it's in the same way of concrete and layered style, I fell in love with this album, and probably I'll listen it all this year, every track crosses by lighter to darker, and also as I listened much albums with darker and lighter tracks, this is like that".
 
Favorite tracks:
  • Empty
  • Oceans
  • Artificial
  • Emotion
  • Stay
  • Intheend
Veredict:
The organic, concrete and layered vibes are totally perfect, reminds me Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 (Aphex Twin), because of the different moods, crossing to dark and light in every song, and for the people who wants to listen it, it is recommended if you like ambient and drone music, try to don't fall asleep.
 
9.5/10 - Recommended
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#41

Posted 06 February 2016 - 04:17 AM

Outkast-atliens.jpg

 

ATLiens is the second album released by Southern hip hop duo OutKast, Released on August 27, 1996, the album

was completely different from their debut, Southernplayalisicadillacmuzik, in every single way possible. The duo abandoned their hard partying champange-sipping hustler personas on their debut for more futuristic and spacey personas.

 

Two-thirds of the album is produced by Organized Noize, OutKast's primary production team, and EarthTone III, a team that consists of the duo and Mr. DJ. ATLiens has a very extraterrestrial and laid-back feel to it, especially on tracks like "Elevators (Me & You.)

 

-Stand Out Tracks-

 

ATLiens

 

Wheelz Of Steel

 

Jazzy Belle

 

Elevators (Me & You)

 

Babylon

 

Two Dope Boyz (In A Cadillac)

 

13th Floor (Growing Old)

 

-Lyricism-

 

Lyrically, Big Boi and Andre 3000 really shine on this album. Big Boi especially, since he raps some of the best verses on the album. Not to discredit Andre 3000's abilities as a MC, of course.

 

Here are a couple of examples of the amazing lyricism on the album.

 

"Well, it's the MI-crooked letter, ain't no one bettter,

 

And when I'm on the microphone you best to wear your sweater, cause I'm cooler then a polar bear's toenails

 

"Oh hell, there he go again, talking that sh*t"

 

Bend, corners like I was a curve, I struck a nerve, now you bout to see these Southern players serve"-Big Boi on ATLiens

 

"This ol' sucka MC stepped up to me,

 

Challenged Andre to a battle and I stood there patienltly

 

As he spit and stumbled over cliches, so called freestyling

 

Whole purpose just to make me feel low, I guess you willding

 

I said look boy, I ain't for this f*ck sh*t, so f*ck this

 

Let me explain "only child" style so you don't diss

 

I grew up to myself not no round park bench,

 

Just a nigga busting flows off in apartments"-Andre 3000 on "Two Dope Boyz (In A Cadillac)

 

"Once upon a time not long ago

When the player from the Pointe didn't have no flow
A nigga hit me for my tennis shoes, walking to the store
Caught a nigga slippin, but now I lay it to the floor
just like carpet, cause I got the heat in my rhythm
Momma nay not, never braggin just to stay knot
Even when I was a younger lad I learned my lesson
Never talked to strangers in the trap and answered questions"-Big Boi on "Wheelz Of Steel"

 

 

I'd say most songs on the album are consistently great, with the only exception being Ova Da Wudz, which was the only weak song.

 

-Verdict-

 

ATLiens is a great album and I would recommend it to any 90s hip-hop fan. The production is superb, and the performances by Big Boi and Andre 3000 are amazing. Overall, this is one of the best hip-hop albums to ever come from the South.

 

This album gets a 9/10 from me. It's a classic and a must-listen hip-hop album.

 

 

 

 

 

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Craig
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#42

Posted 21 March 2016 - 02:33 PM

Released in 2014 by a member of the Canadian collective “Mood Hut”, this is Sandopolis by Hashman Deejay. If the name alone is giving you the vapours, I won’t blame you for jumping to the conclusion that weed plays a part in the craft and consumption of this music; Mood Hut also boasts members by the name of Bluntman Deejay and Cloudface, and you don’t earn those monikers by smoking eCigarettes. I must admit I’m oblivious to most of the other releases by the collective but if this is anything to go by, they all sing off the same songsheet. Sandopolis creates a unique haze that’s almost balearic in mood. I found this by accident browsing a custom RYM list and it has swiftly grown into those happy accidents where you’re almost sorry you can’t remember how or why you looked in the first place. 

The album begins its journey with Xssential-3 which is exciting and fresh, despite the slightly aged atmosphere one might infer from dated synths. Crisp hi-hats flutter constantly, creating an echoing ripple that take this subtle beach banger in a psychedelic direction. At just ten seconds under ten minutes long, it’s layers work powerfully to ensure your attention doesn’t dip halfway through. Most albums with lengthy opening tracks have to work hard to ensure the listener isn’t dissuaded, and those that pull it off have bigger boots to fill when it comes to dwarfing the rest of the material. Not only does Xssential-3 win the audience over, but it’s done in such a fluid way you’ll wonder where the time went. 

Track two is Statues PF which doesn’t so much embrace the atmosphere of 1990s clubbing as it does stroke its hair and pinch its cheeks like a doting uncle. The house and R&B influences are hard to ignore here, The song seems to come and go with little fanfare, as it runs at a comparatively petite three minutes but the pace and deep, steady drum beat is proof good things come in small packages. 

The third song, Sandfish begins with some basic yet infectious hi-hat work before a dipping and weary synth arrives, turning this initially basic house track into an aggressively groovy affair. By the far the hardest song on the album due to it’s unrelenting cowbell smacks, it again reeks of 1993 and wouldn’t go amiss nestled lovingly between the crates of a set by Gerald Simpson or 808 State themselves. Despite the foundations, it’s given a fresh twist and reminds you there’s still life in the genre. For all it’s solid backbone, Sandfish is still surprisingly easygoing, like an intimidating bouncer suddenly revealing a Fat Willy’s vest under a stiff blazer, offering pills from a poorly concealed bum-bag. 

We move on then to Mercury which has the most to offer out of all the tracks above when it comes to microscopical detail, something which I dare say is lacking from well-respected house classics. We first hear a damp whistling sound that’s straight from the jungle and frantic shuffling percussion is swiftly introduced to add pace and energy to what could easily be a Café Del Mar interlude. We’re taken on a journey through caverns, with occasional glimpses of warm, forgiving pockets of sunlight reminding you there’s still fun at the other end. For now though, the bar feels a thousand miles away and the cocktail umbrellas are blown upside down. 

You may assume that the opening track would be the longest for all I’ve mentioned it, but this isn’t the case - that distinction goes to track five, Mozaicwhich clocks in at a mammoth twelve minutes long. This is truly an anomoly, taking as many twists and turns as a hot mountain path, with occasional shrubs and a glistening sea horizon your only company. Time somehow seems to stand still as you’re taken on the journey only Mozaic can offer. We see many sides to this song, and is as technical as it is breathtaking. Again as with the opening track, Mozaic does the impossible by staying fresh and engaging without barely lifting a finger. 

The album closes with 184, which is apt for this feels like a true sunset song. For the first time on this album, we’re truly offered an experiment on what is a tried and tested crowd pleasing genre. While we’ve been offered tastes, this track truly grabs the formula by its sun-baked testicles and decorates it with tape hiss, rapid hi-hats and a single note progression which is so simple you’ll be annoyed at how infectious it is, and how familiar it all feels. That in a nutshell is what this album is. It wouldn’t sound out of place on a well established house club night, but avoids sounding stale by offering enough layers to keep your attention well into your double-digit listen and beyond. There’s always something going on beneath each reliable and sturdy song. Many albums fall into the trap of sounding dated, but few set out to do it deliberately to show us that music of the past can still dazzle.

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Shakermaker
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#43

Posted 26 March 2016 - 01:24 AM

'Back In Black' (AC/DC, 1980)

 

1) Yes. Many people consider 'Back In Black' to be a hard-rock or even a metal album, but it's not. It's just a damn good rock and roll album inspired by the classics blues/jazz songs from the '50s and '60s.

 

2) The sound is probably the main reason why 'Back In Black' is so great. Producer Mutt Lange (Foreigner, Def Leppard...) and engineer Tony Platt did both an excellent job. The polished/clean but not artificial sound they captured was the blueprint for many other classic records ('Appetite For Destruction', 'Nevermind', 'Black Album'...).

 

3) Yes it is. All the 10 songs are at least good, and they were very well positioned on the tracklist.

 

4) 'Hells Bells', 'Shoot To Thrill', 'You Shook Me All Night Long' and the title-cut (You may have heard of them already).

 

5) "I took a look inside your bedroom door

You looked so good lyin' on your bed
Well I asked you if you wanted any rhythm and love
You said you wanna rock 'n' roll instead"
- 'Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution'
 
6) It's the most important album in AC/DC career. It was recorded right after the death of lead-singer Bon Scott (February, 1980). Brian Johnson was recruited as the replacement and did an amazing job. He did not copy Bon, he did a totally original work without departing too much the band's already established trademark. 
 
7) I think the fully black cover is self-explanatory, the band wanted to deliver a mourning feeling and they did it. It's simple but very symbolic at the same time.
 
8) Priceless. 'Back In Black' is one of the five best-selling albums of all time. It's a timeless piece of art and I think it's recommendable to any music fan anywhere.
 
Note: Sorry for any bad english (not my first language).

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#44

Posted 27 March 2016 - 12:50 PM

The_Doors_Strange_Days-Front-cover.jpg

 

If it wasn’t already obvious, the 1960s were a strange, exciting and trendsetting time for music. Not only did its emerging bands influence countless others from their techniques and sound, but there’s few other eras in music that have captured hearts quite like the 60s have. I’m not going to say it’s the pinnacle of musical foundation, but it certainly strengthened them and sculpted the weird and wonderful in a time where it was socially acceptable to walk into town without shoes. They didn’t know it, but The Beatles had only two more years (if that) following the release of Strange Days. I only mention this because it was an early copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that prompted Jim Morrison and The Doors to make Strange Days. As such with many early albums in a band’s career, this took time to resonate with critics and only recently has it been considered one of their strongest releases from a commercial point of view. It’s an odd angle to consider, but The Doors and The Beatles are seldom heard in comparative sentences. Despite their obvious love affair with drugs, The Beatles were considered leagues ahead whilst Jim Morrison was too much of a hunk and a drunk to be correlated with The Fab Four.

Unfortunately, The Doors didn’t have much time led by Jim Morrison following the demise of The Beatles either - in 1971, only four years after the release of Strange Days and a mere three months after L.A. Woman, Morrison was found dead in a Paris bathtub. Mysterious circumstances aside, The Doors certainly lost more than their frontman on that day and I would say The Doors died with him. As egocentric as it might be, bands that continue without their established lead singers run the risk of alienating dedicated fan bases. From what I understand, the biggest fans are often the easiest to piss off. Rather than turn this into a conspiracy discussion about which member of The Beach Boys poisoned Jim Morrison, I want to take a few steps back and talk about my favourite album by The Doors, which is convenient because L.A. Woman has an album cover that’s about as far away from blue as you could possibly get. 

We kick off with the titular track Strange Days, which sets the tone immediately for what’s coming. Behind Jim Morrison’s haunting declaration (strange days are coming) we hear ethereal keyboards to lead us by the hand. Despite the self admission it doesn’t feel pretentious - it’s straight-forward, and makes you wonder if Morrison knew just how strange they’d get fifty years later. Did he mean strange people or strange places? Track two is just as floaty, and despite the sinister title of You’re Lost Little Girl you don’t feel like there’s any taunts behind it. Instead, we hear acknowledgement and confidence in Ray Manzarek’s organ prowess. They all seem to say “yes you’re lost, but so are we”. 

Track three is Love Me Two Times which offers the closest thing to a pop rock vibe as we’ll get on this album. It’s a display of Jim Morrison’s attempt at croon, and while he may not have the exuberance of Mick Jagger behind a microphone or even the romantic drawl we’ve come to expect from slow 60s psychadelic love numbers, he holds your attention in a way only he can. The Doors were never noted for their individuality but as a collective, which is proven again in the fourth track Unhappy Girl by how much of a groove can be locked in a song that barely hits two minutes. Infectious snare rolls paired with a rising and falling melody make this one of their snappier stand-out tracks. 

Next is Horse Latitudes, which is even shorter and acts as a bizarre interlude to remind you just what it is you’re listening to. As poetic as it is strange, this sounds like a drunken recital at an acid fueled open-mic night. Flutters of harsh guitar and other riffing provide a menacing back drop as Morrison tells the tale of a ship being forced to cast their horses overboard to lighten the load. It is a sharp contrast to the serenading moments heard earlier. From this shanty, we hear track six, Moonlight Drive which is jarring in itself due to the contrast alone - from eerie sea tales we dive right into a conventional blues arrangement. However, the two are similar lyrically as Morrison invites us to “swim to the moon” and “climb through the tide”. It’s no coincidence the two songs segue so well into each other. Despite it’s slightly off-beat rhythm, Moonlight Drive was another single track, albeit as a B-side to Love Me Two Times. I can’t help but wonder how it would have been received had it been packaged with Horse Latitudes as a pre-gap track. 

Track seven carries the theme further with People Are Strange, focusing on the shifting culture seen at the time of recording. It seems to contrast the very lifestyle Morrison himself led and cultivated only a few years prior. It’s either a self-depreciating jab or a true reflection on how far he feels he’s grown since his more hedonistic “free loving” days. We’re then taken to My Eyes Have Seen Youwhich will catch you off guard if you’re still rolling around the maritime doldrums from earlier; a screaming guitar lead and infectious piano work turn this into the single that never was. With track nine we hear I Can’t See Your Face In My Mindand in a stark contrast to the energy experienced in the previous song, this is a subdued number where Morrison relays the experiences of a break-up over a blues melody that seems to weep as much as it drives. Despite this, it’s unmistakably Doors territory. 

The last song offered here is When The Music’s Over and boy, is it a monster. While earlier songs on the album barely touch three minutes in length, this is a whopping eleven minutes, showcasing some of the improvisational talent as seen on their self-titled album. Morrison literally screams, and The Doors play some of their most explosive pieces, keyboard and guitar working in tandem to engulf what’s left of the voice. At one point, everything plummets leaving nothing but bass, giving the listener a brief moment to reflect on what a strange journey it has indeed been. Despite its self awareness, blame seems to be pinned squarely on the previous generation when Jim Morrison asks what has becoming of the Earth. Stranger days to come indeed. Immediately following this condemnation Morrison fires up again, howling at how much he wants the world, and sh*t, does he want it now. Part of me wonders just how much of it would have been his through the 1970s and 1980s had he not met his premature death which is still shrouded in uncertainty. While the hits may be harder to find, and its impact slight in what was an expanding horizon of warped psychedelica, Strange Days is a mature and fearful installment in The Doors’ discography. The album itself asks us to turn out the light when the music’s over but from the sounds of it, the bulb still burns bright.

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#45

Posted 22 May 2016 - 02:22 AM

tumblr_o1zy5ubyoT1v4wxkao1_500.jpg

 

It’s hard to think of electronic music and its origins without thinking of Kraftwerk. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to - with a career lasting over forty five years and counting, you don’t have to look or listen for very long to notice their influence on pop culture. With repetitive, driving rhythms and infectious, subtle hooks, Kraftwerk are clearly pioneers of electronic pop. It’s fitting I should refer to the rhythms as “driving” for a discussion about this album, lending it’s namesake from the famous federal motorway network in Germany. Much like cruising down said road, this album features music that just seems to pass you by but in the best way possible. Despite their monolithic and influencial career, Kraftwerk were still very much in their infancy during the release of Autobahn. The group had only released three albums prior to this, but it’s clear now more than ever that the group took innovation as seriously as they took songwriting. With what seems like a massive leap (or indeed, the burning rubber of a tyre) Kraftwerk took off and set a milestone for those hoping to follow in their treads. Their stage presence is notably understated; stood a fair distance apart, androgynous in appearance and barely glancing up from their equipment, you wouldn’t have assumed from looking at them that something so atmospheric could have come from the four of them working in unison. It’s fair to say that Kraftwerk have let the music speak for them for longer than most groups dare to, and indeed, longer than the industry would usually let most groups get away with. Nowadays, lack of interaction and isolation from one's fanbase doesn't sell albums or put buttocks on seats.

 

The first half of this LP is dominated by the title track Autobahn, which clocks in at just short of 23 minutes long. From the very beginning, a scene is set - the sound of a car door opening and slamming shut can be heard followed by a cheerful car horn to signify the beginning of a long journey. A modulated, robotic voice, somewhat of a trademark by now, announces the album just in case you hadn’t noticed. This album wants you to know just what you’re listening to and is brimming with confidence. It’s worth nothing that this track did get released as a promotional single, believe it or not, albeit at a much shorter duration of three and a half minutes. Whether this is testament to how much of the track is filler isn’t an argument, because that isn’t what the album version is offering. Rather than providing another radio hit, this entire track (and album by extension) is engineered to simulate the feeling of driving on a motorway. There’s rhythm to be found everywhere on the open road - whether it’s the hum of engines left and right, the swoosh of street lights or the brief rumble felt by changing lanes over cat’s eyes you can apply music to just about any experience in life. Kraftwerk are excellent at turning the mundane into something ambient; the boring into reliable. Through-out the fluttering electronic melodies we hear ambient traffic sounds, though the subtlety is somewhat lost in the single version. What prevails in both mixes however is the downright infectious and catchy vocal hook, which is one the only examples of vocals present in the entire LP. Without much processing at all, we hear Ralf and Florian coo “fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn” through-out, translated simply as “we drive drive drive on the Autobahn”. It’s this presence of simplicity which adds an ambient and soothing element to this landmark electronic record. A guitar plucks a gentle melody, which is mirrored by a modular synthesiser to provide a tandem of the man/machine theme explored in future recordings. It’s no coincidence that this is one of Kraftwerk’s stand-out tracks; many of their trademarks were born here, and if not born, at least tweaked to a point where they’re considered a staple of their material from here on out. 

For all I’ve groomed it, it would be grossly unfair to label Autobahn as a one trick pony. Sure, the title track is dominating and central but the theme of a journey continues well into the night and emerging again at dawn, much like one would feel after reaching the end of a long tunnel to be met with piercing daylight. The second and third track, Kometenmelodie 1 and Kometenmelodie 2 respectively, form another twelve minutes of music which take us from a pleasant drive to something far more sinister. Cold synthesisers again form the background to this, paired with thudding bass hits and unsettling sweeping chords. For a band considered to be more machine than man, this is far from unemotional. If you’ve ever wondered what a rough part of town sounds like when you’re lost, this song perfectly captures how it must feel to be vulnerable even when in the relative safety of your own car. The second part of Kometenmelodie (translated to “Comet Melody”) provides some relief as the mood lifts immediately, acting almost as a reprise of the title track. All of a sudden we’ve been lifted out of the dank neighbourhood and found the highway again. Service stops are growing more frequent and even the weather is clearing. It’s astonishing how powerful the visual element is to something so minimal and repetitive, with each listen adding more to “see”. Kometenmelodie 2 is arguably more complex than anything heard so far, the playing much more rapid and comprehensive. We’re picking up speed and making great time. 

Track four is the painfully short Mitternacht, or simply, “Midnight”. The title could not be more accurate - once again we’re plunged into darkness, if only for a short time. Whistling and squeaking synths trickle in and out as discordant walls of sound hit us like sheets of rain on the motorway. We’ve taken a wrong turn again, this time into the industrial part of town. Disused factories and power plants surround us acting as a barricade. The shift in mood is jarring and extremely powerful, and it’s telling as to how easy moods can change on journeys. Just as things are at their lowest, the clouds part and we’re greeted to the warm introduction to track five, Morgenspaziergang. The darkness has passed, dawn breaking before us. We hear pops and chirps of a Moog simulating birdsong and represents how the break of day itself sounds. It’s an amazing technical and sonic display which proves machines can not only be beautiful, but sound just as organic when you have masters like Kraftwerk at the helm. Morgenspaziergangtranslates literally to “Morning Walk” which could not be more fitting. For this outing, we have arrived and we’ve chosen to leave the car behind. Anyone who has traveled by car for long enough knows the feeling of walking after a long stint behind the wheel. It’s foreign but natural, changing pace immediately. The composition is as full as any other track on Autobahn, and loses none of the atmosphere. 

The journey was far from over from here however - Kraftwerk may not have known it, but they paved the way for a path only they could follow, at least at the time. Releasing such a strong album (and some could argue their best) so early on their career could have been daunting, but Kraftwerk took composition for what it was. They were and remain storytellers, and this is why their music remains timeless. The themes are universal enough that the music doesn’t date. Much like how cars evolve and change with the times, so does music and equipment in equal measure. However, the methods remain the same when it all boils down to it and that’s what we hear here. It’s hard to ignore how technologically impressive this album remains, let alone when released over forty years ago. The journey has been long but Kraftwerk’s legacy is far from running on fumes.

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unbid
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#46

Posted 09 August 2016 - 02:57 PM Edited by unbid, 09 August 2016 - 03:02 PM.

I want to review two albums from my tiny collections:
 

Westryderpauperlunaticasylum.jpg
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009)
By: Kasabian


First of all, there are many British Modern Rock band that I've listened to in my life. From Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, and this band. But so far, my most favorite will always be Kasabian. Some of you may know this song from the Premier League, and that might be the reason that you want to hear this album.

This one is their 3rd studio album. What makes it unique is that they did put Psychedelic approach with dark tone in most of their songs, and they worked well. All of the songs are their original work, and the album flow is dynamic. Where there are several upbeat and loony songs with some of the more mellow, darker one in-between, and it ended with a mellow song with slightly brighter note into it.

My favorite songs from this album are "Underdog" and "Fast Fuse", but two of the most stand-out (and also my favorite) of the bunch are the two-minute long instrumental and Psychedelic-laden "Swarfiga", and "West Ryder Silver Bullet" which have the mixture of psychedelic, dark, and lunatic feel to it, much like what the album is all about.

Overall, if you like British Rock with some twist in it, then I highly recommended this album. Even if you found one at the antique record store for $10.


 

Travelling_Without_Moving.jpg
Travelling Without Moving (1996)
By: Jamiroquai


If you know me, then you know that I LOVE Jamiroquai. I even screamed with joy when this song finally made it to GTA V (evethough it was categorized as "Pop", and that song wasn't as popular as other Jamiroquai songs). Well, guess what? That song came from this album.

Personally, this is my most favorite Jamiroquai album to date, and similar as the Kasabian album, this is Jamiroquai's 3rd studio album. It mostly contains your regular dose of Jamiroquai's funk and acid jazz goodness, but the kicker is they also throw in several World tunes that you not expect in a funk album, such as the Carribean island beats in "Drifting Along", "Didjerama" with the second usage of Didgeridoo I know in Jamiroquai's song (the first one is "When You Gonna Learn") and the Lounge-esque "Didjital Vibrations". The flow is somehow constant. You have the more upbeat songs at the beginning, while the more slow and mellow ones are saved for the end.

There are several favorites from this album, including "Alright" and "Virtual Insanity", but two of the most stand-out songs (besides those songs that I mentioned before) are "Use the Force", which used a fast-paced funk beat like you would expect from a chase scene soundtrack, and "Do You Know Where You're Coming From?", a bonus track in collaboration with M-Beat, that combined Jazz and Drum and Bass into one of the best bonus track that I ever heard.

If you like Jamiroquai, Funk, have good taste in music, or just want to experiment with new genre, then this album is for you, because I'm in love with it at the first track and this one is a highly recommended from me.
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Craig
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#47

Posted 10 August 2016 - 08:37 AM

I was hesitant about even writing this and that was mostly due to it’s unconventional structure, at least as far as “traditional” releases are concerned. However, for the genre, the structure is more than apt so I decided to throw caution to the wind. I first thought about how I might break this one down; aside from it’s standard two track release in 1969, In A Silent Way has seen the deluxe edition treatment, further refining the production and adding nearly two hours worth of bonus songs from other sessions around the time that this was album was being put together. I wondered how I could even talk about what this album offers without waffling and making less and less sense as I went on, as if I was writing an uninspired high school essay. For the sake of consistency, I’ll only be reviewing what is present on the 1969 release, even if the additional songs are as powerful and beautifully written as what one would have first heard. 

I feel like it’s apt to mention at this point that I’ll have annoyed a few people at least by branding this a “jazz” album so early on in the discussion. In terms of sound and style, it owes as much to Davis’ personal development as a musician as it does to the era it was produced in. From the very beginning of In A Silent Way it’s clear that Davis’ finds setting trends little effort. It’s pure and it’s timeless, and has remained so for nearly 50 years following. This isn’t to say that albums preceeding this one (or indeed, other moments/projects by Miles Davis) fall flat of this merit, but In A Silent Way achieves musical weight whilst still somehow being sonically light and sparse. The sharp cacophony of trumpets have been replaced with a much more minimal and lounge orientated compositional style. I’m not saying it’s better than anything Miles Davis has ever done, but I couldn’t imagine this album being written and recorded any other way, at any other point in his career. In A Silent Way is static in the sense in captures a specific point in Davis’ career, being captured perfectly and offers a window into just one of many phases. To quote the man himself, “they were done in that era, the right hour, the right day, and it happened. It’s over.” It’s such comfort in your past and apt admittance in what’s done is done that means In A Silent Way is still taken for what it is today. 

But what of the tracks themselves? As said, the original release came with just two tracks, both clocking in at just shy of twenty minutes in length. From the beginning, you can be forgiven for turning your volume way up - the first song,Shhh/Peaceful not only invokes peach and quiet from the name itself, but the easy introduction of organ and beautiful brush-and-cymbal work does a fantastic job of setting up ambience with very little instrumentation. After a while, we’re treated to Davis giving us a tender and emotive trumpet piece which is enough to dig anyone out of a bad mood. One could argue that this is fusion, and it has been suggested that this album is Davis’ first foray into fusion since carefully curating a sound like no other heard in jazz. What makes this fusion for me is the distinctly human element behind some of this music. With In A Silent Way we can clearly tell Davis’ is putting all he has into this trumpet without it falling into the puffed-cheek franticity and out-of-breath territories which makes jazz so energetic. There’s energy here, but Miles Davis is going in another direction. He is devoted to moving us, but not necessarily in a physical way. It’s cool, relaxing, even sombre at times but remains engaging for the entire eighteen minutes. 

The second (and last) track, In A Silent Way/It’s About That Time. The first part, and titular inspiration, is a moving example which carries the lounge feel through towards the second half of the track, which displays the true source of fusion in this record. In both sides, we see progression, especially when taken into context with Davis’ extensive back catalog. If In A Silent Way is a morose foot tapper, It’s About That Time stirs our heads as well as our minds. It’s a sharp track that shows Miles Davis was more influenced by musicians of the time than he was by current jazz trends. With the hectic touring and recording schedule, it took outside collaborators like drummer Tony Williams and vocalist Betty Mabry for Davis to see and hear what was dominating the airwaves. It didn’t take long - within only a few years Miles was running the voodoo down and injecting life into jazz that demanded listeners take the easy road but still feel moved and involved. With every minute that passes, new layers are added within repetitive and looping grooves that warrant third and fourth listens. With two behemoth tracks to be absorbed by, this LP seems to fly by and hosts no airs of pretense. In A Silent Way is what it is.

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#48

Posted 11 September 2016 - 09:48 PM

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Planningtorock - Have It All

Release year: 2006

Label: Chicks on Speed

Genre: Electronic, Experimental, Synthpop

 

"I was fooling around on Last.FM, searching similar artists like The Knife, pure synth-pop and feminine vocals. I found Planningtorock, the name made me think some things: synthpop mixed with rock? Similar like The Knife? I will like this? So, I quickly started with Have It All, and...where is the synthetizers? And I said: "What the f*ck? This doesn't sound like The Knife or Ladytron". I read some stuff about that artist and she made remixes to The Knife (*facepalm* I was a bit judgemental). Experimentalism condensed on an album, the entire release is like "entering inside a terror tunnel of a theme park, and she is the host of the trip". About the style, I can say this is a blend of cabaret, orchestra, her mellow and distorted voice, baroque and lesser-degree synthetizers (higher in the case of "Don't Want What You Don't Want" and "Have It All"), I can say she is like the femenine version of The Residents, music has no limits, and she proves it entirely, from the top to the bottom".
 
Favorite songs:

  • Bolton Wanderer
  • Changes
  • Don't Want What You Don't Want
  • I Wanna Bite Ya
  • Have It All
  • When Are You Gonna Start?

Veredict: There is no limits on music, it's like a canvas, paint and create all the sh*t you want. I was thinking if Planningtorock would sound like The Knife, finally she made remixes to them, she is quite an artist of experimentalism, she likes to play with genres. For people who likes different stuff, which pushes the boundaries, Have It All can be a bizarre but outstanding music experience.
 
7.75/10 Recommended
 


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Shugo Tokumaru - In Focus?

Release date: January 22nd, 2013

Label: Polyvinyl

Genre: Indie, Experimental, World

 

"I laughed when I saw a comment on this album page on Last.FM: "Ladies and gentleman, The Beatles!", and I said: "No sh*t?", yeah the album cover seems like John Lennon or Paul McCartney watching through the loupe. More than anime intros and commercial j-pop, Shugo Tokumaru from the indie scene makes a revelation with his guitar and his army of japanese instruments and kids instruments, with his computer, Shugo joins it. Probably you won't understand a word he will sing, compared with the former album. In Focus really reminds me like I am into a japanese party-carnival, the cheerful mood keeps since "Katachi" to "Poker", the interludes has a lot of variety; toys instrument dominance ("Gamma"), wicked guitar ("Mubyo" and "Micro Guitar Music") and circus delirum ("Pah-Paka"). The different cases of moods are "Ord Gate" which you calm down and relax after a shaky carnival and "Tightrope"; a calm ballad which reminds me the scene of "Tangled" where Flynn and Rapunzel watches the sky lanterns on a boat. But after that romantic track, the carnival comes back with "Helictite (Lesemode)" and "Shirase", we can feel more relaxed again with "Down Down" and "Balloon", after all, there is nothing wrong with the album, even you probably will not understand Japanese, it's cheerful experimentalism folk from the sun-rising land which you will feel more happy".

 

Favorite songs:

  • Katachi
  • Decorate
  • Call
  • Poker
  • Ord Gate
  • Tightrope
  • Helictite (Lesemode)
  • Shirase

Veredict: Music from another part of the world which is not America or Europe can surprise us, you can cool and sometimes bizarre. But In Focus has nothing bizarre, maybe the typical stereotype "Japanese is weird", think again. This album can make you feel the same like I did: "Getting in a japanese party-carnival".

 

9.5/10 Recommended

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Craig
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#49

Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:45 AM

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Sitting conspicuously on the shelves alongside more “serious” records, people new to the comedy duo may either be disgruntled at their style or find themselves taken in by their playful, vulgar juvenoia. It’s easy to forget just how long The D have been around, debuting their own TV show and supporting larger acts as far back as 1997. They’re certainly not the first parody musical acts in popular culture, but they’re a strong contender for the first example of parody in metal or rock, a genre steeped in sincerity and maturity. For all intents and purposes, this is indeed a rock opera so to speak - instead of the usual concept album material as seen by more deadpan bands, Tenacious D turn this formula on its head, seemingly staging the story in their studio apartment. Rather than telling tales of dragons, conquests and usurping, Jack and Kyle bicker over who wrote what song, which T-shirt to wear on gig night and who ate the elusive last schnitzel. It proves that anything can be a story if told with enough gusto, and the sporadic “serious” moments are as intense as any fable told by bands with guitars so angular you’d have to babyproof them first.

We begin this “rock opera” then in the most understated way possible - two men arguing in what we presume to be their living room on how to start. Track one is Keilbasa and you’d be forgiven for thinking Kyle and Jack don’t have confidence in themselves. From the opening chord Jack voices his disapproval. Kyle tweaks things slightly before we launch full swing into a song that could well be a love song if it wasn’t so crass. It’s this attempt at wooing that sets the tone for the entire album. Jack sings about how warm our butt-cheeks are, how much lubrication we need and of course, his Keilbasa sausage. I can’t tell if he’s hungry or horny. Perhaps both? Track two is One Note Song, one of the many skits that allow us a glimpse into the duo’s “expert” writing process. It shouldn’t work, but it does because it’s so genuine you’d be fooled into thinking this is actually what happens behind the scenes. Bookended by a frank discussion about whether there are people living amongst us that are actually robots, this is one skit that doesn’t have you rolling your eyes or hitting skip track so early on. 

Next up is Tribute which is arguably Tenacious D’s most recognisable and revered song. Telling the story about being confronted by a demon on a lonesome stroll through the desert in need of a ride, it’s truly Jack and Kyle’s Stairway To Heaven moment. Grandiose and wonderfully produced, it’s impossible not to sing along with Jack. We’re treated to our first real metal lick of the album, not counting the balls out breakdown heard in the first track, performed by none other than Dave Grohl. It’s almost tempting to skip ahead because we’ve all heard this song too many times to count by now, but in the context of the album it’s worth reliving. Hot on the heels of track three, we have Wonderboy which adds yet more layers of storytelling through a fantasy filter, instead converting the duo into mystic travelers on a quest to defeat a hydra. Initially rivals, “Wonderboy” (Jack’s fantastical alias) and “Young Nasty Man” (Kyle’s front for a balding lute playing bard) join forces and this is apparently how we’ve been met with Tenacious D as a band. With all the origin stories floating about you start to wonder if they’ve ever kept track of how many times they’ve told the same story but in different ways. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful song that should be held in the same regard as Tribute. 

Track five and six serve as the same song to be honest, which the former serving as an introduction to the latter. About as vulgar and as direct the band get in the entire song, we’re presented with a tender love ballad instructing men that sometimes you don’t have to f*ck somebody hard - they need smooches, effort and compromise in order to fulfil certain sexual desires. He might not cook you your favourite dish, but he’ll at least try to order it from somewhere remote and expensive. It’s the thought that counts. This is another song that begs to be sung along to, just make sure there’s nobody impressionable or elderly within earshot. This song was particularly memorable for the graphic and well animated music video that was produced for the single release of the song. Of all the songs for The D to release as a single, it had to be this one. 

Track seven is Explosivo, a seemingly nonsensical powerhouse which is lightyears ahead of anything heard so far - it’s fast, frantic and demands our attention from the very beginning. It’s just as well it makes no sense, because even Jack confesses he has no idea what he’s talking about. All you need to know is they were schooled by Satan himself and this song is living proof of that. It rocks. Period. After a hard and heavy segue we’re met with a demonic voice declaring his many pseudonyms and further confirming just where Jack and Kyle got their talents from. 

The next track, Dio, has become somewhat of a sombre posthumous affair following Dio’s death in 2010. Of course, back in 2001 when this album was released it was intended nothing more as a playful jab towards one of the most influential figures in rock music. In Dio, we hear Jack and Kyle express sympathy towards their titular hero but the time has come to retire, and tell them everything he knows essentially. Even in something now so sombre, there are still comedic moments bred from egotism - Jack implies the sceptre he wants should be bigger than Kyle’s, and that Dio should be put in a home where he’ll be properly looked after. I wonder what kind of gravity this song would have now should they have addressed another ageing rocker like Ozzy or Meatloaf. Either way, this is a sad listen nowadays and shows that not even our favourite musicians are untouchable, regardless of the pedestal they’re put on. 

The mood lifts slightly by the time we encounter track nine, Inward Singing. Jack excitably declares he has “invented” a new technique that will completely revolutionise rock as we know it. Kyle grumpily rolls over from his nap only to hear Jack sing whilst breathing in as well as breathing out. Despite its intentions as a comedic skit, it does a good job at highlighting Jack’s talents even if he does stutter slightly. Perhaps the world just isn’t ready for inward singing? Kyle has clearly had enough at this point as he retires from the band with little fanfare. However, by the very next track Kyle Quit The Band we’re all smiles and celebrating his return in the form of a song which stresses their ultimate goal - make some cash and smoke some hash. You can’t say they demand much. 

This casual tone is continued in track eleven, The Road. Here, Jack tells us of his frustration of touring. Beneath its humour, he remarks of a woman in Michigan with whom he shared two memorable “sessions” with before having to depart once more to continue the tour. It’s a jab at the groupie scene that seems to orbit more monumental rock stars. While most groups would sing about the flurry of underwear, Jack is content with one admiring fan even if he does lament leaving her. Track twelve brings us back home again with Cock Push Ups and for anyone who saw The Pick Of Destiny before listening to the debut the homage becomes all too clear. Without context, the joke still stands on its feet but this shows just how referential The D are. Kyle points out that realistically you can only really do one, but as Jack is quick to retort “one is all you need” because any more than that would be ridiculous, right? 

Track thirteen is simply Lee, which is ode to the obsessed fan the duo meet in their short-lived TV show. A fast-paced song which no doubt struck a chord with other fans named Lee, there’s little left to the imagination - Jack and Kyle obviously hold Lee in high regard, until you see the dark turn taken in the TV show where delusion takes hold and Tenacious D brutally murder him. Without the clip in mind however, the song remains an innocent dedication until we see Lee again in The Pick Of Destiny. Following Lee we hear another two songs that work in tandem, Friendship Test and Friendship which reinforces how important it is to have a friend in the world, even if you do fall out from time to time. Being in a rock band is hard work so you need someone there for you to pick up errant guitar picks when your fingers are blossoming with blisters. However, things take a cynical tone as Jack and Kyle remind us that they’ll always be friends “as long as there’s a record deal”. 

Tracks sixteen and seventeen, Karate Schnitzel and Karate respectively, once again really form one song with the former serving as an introduction. They’re less of a skit, and more of a prelude. While we’ve been met with concepts such as love and friendship, Karate is simply about how much Jack will kick the sh*t out of you should you even dare touch his food. Sandwiched between more focused songs, this is a welcome break to remind us that Tenacious D are still hungry fellows who simply can’t perform without a good slice of German sausage every now and again, no entendre intended. This light hearted affair leads us straight into Rock Your Socks which is one of the tightest, heaviest songs on the entire album and where we really hear Jack and Kyle delivering what they’re known for. A satirically Satanic countdown (1-2-3-4-5-666) leads us right into a tasty, groovy track which seeks to destroy all the false concepts of rock music. For example, it doesn’t matter if it’s good - it only matters if it rocks. In other words, Tenacious D don’t care if you think they’re bad. It’s a deservedly self-inflated ode which commands us to give thanks to Jack and Kyle for giving what they do to the world of rock. I’d say based on the strength of this song, they at least deserve an ovation. Listen out too for a familiar sounding classical riff brought back for a cameo in The Pick Of Destiny. 

We hit pause for a few minutes by the time track nineteen arrives. Drive Thru is simply an exchange between the band and a hapless and often intelligible fast food worker. Jack lists off ways he’s trying to lose weight that are so counter-intuitive it’s no wonder he struggled; half regular soda, half diet as well as the fish sandwich because it apparently doesn’t have as many calories. After what seems like days, poor Kyle barely gets chance to list his order before being berated. To add insult to injury, Jack takes Kyle’s money and cancels “the last two things on the menu” leaving KG short-changed and without burgers. Cruel, but still funny. 

Track twenty is Double Team and this is the sexiest (and most vulgar) cut on the entire LP. In it we hear of The D’s “techniques” when it comes to making ladies feel at home in the bedroom, such as round beds, French ticklers and toe sucking. Even without such crass lyrics, the guitar tone is enough to seduce anyone not yet convinced of the band’s prowess, both on stage and between the sheets. Topping the experience off with a orgasmic yelping from Jack that would make even Prince turn his head in admiration, this is truly one of the album’s highlights. 

The closing song, City Hall is the longest song here and is also one of the hardest hitting. Unimpressed by the government, Jack and Kyle vow to make some much needed changes, including but not limited to traveling in tubes and legalising cannabis, banning those who blocked the bill from the lands for their petulance. Things quickly turn sour once again for The D however as they grow drunk with power, turning on each other and descending into madness. The closing moments of the story are the closest we’ll hear to anything “prog” from Tenacious D but it seems even Jack isn’t a fan, saying he’ll probably cut that part out. As curtain falls and a few minutes of silence trickle past, Jack brings up the argument about writing original songs we heard back in One Note Song with a short ditty about defecation and the beautiful Malibu nights. Once again, it’s proof that Tenacious D can flip between slapstick and semi-serious songs with little effort, though there’s rarely a moment where they take themselves too seriously at all. It’s testament that all you really need to rock is the passion, and while Jack and Kyle are playing characters at the end of the day you wonder where the lines blur with the pair of them. They may not be the sharpest lyricists or the best guitarists, but what they lack in ability they make up for with sheer belly fire. Just make sure you don’t listen along with your elderly grandmother.


EarthGaia
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#50

Posted 17 September 2016 - 09:30 PM Edited by GloryBox94, 17 September 2016 - 09:33 PM.

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Future Sound of London - Dead Cities

Release date: October 18th, 1996

Label: Virgin Records

Genre: Ambient, Techno, Breakbeat

 

"My mind cannot be focused without pure music, and no, I don't use only meditation stuff. Most of the music I use to concentrate is ambient and IDM-techno, today I have a mood of listening an iconic music duo from UK; Future Sound of London left a legacy on the 90's underground electronic scene with a bunch of ambient/techno albums, reviewers can tag that band as ambient, but the London duo doesn't like tags (I agree, they are judgemental). Dead Cities starts with "Herd Killing", an overwhelming breakbeat adding samples used on "We Have Explosive" next to a mysterious and sinister phrase: "I have killed a man, a man that looked like me" and chaotic rhythms, you can use the homonymous song ("Dead Cities") as a soundtrack for an end of the world related movie, the song finishes with a melodic echo, chaotic predominant sound and a creepy girl murmuring. "Her Face Forms the Summertime" has drone samples and psychedelic acoustic melodies, adding trip-hop/turntablism beats. Next is one of the most popular tracks of FSOL; "We Have Explosive", an extreme breakbeat mix of alarms, riffs, explosive mood and a robotic voice saying: "We Have Explosive!". For the next track, it starts with a distorted male voice, tribal drums, drone vibes, (probably) the sound of a bull and the opera singing of Rebecca Caine: "Everyone in the World is Doing Something Without Me" ladies and gentleman, the title (I think) is a bit emo or drama queen. The former track fades and passes to an incoming soundscape-track mixing samples of Vangelis, Ennio Morricone, Gheorghe Zamfir and Ozric Tentacles into a majestic fantasy called "My Kingdom". After screams of children, "Max" is a piano composition to give you sweet dreams, adding flutes, harps and orchesta vibes, often you can listen a part of the song backwards but don't worry, it's not shocking, this ends with another opera singing. The piano magic ends and here comes an IDM-esque track, probably "Antique Toy" will remind you Aphex Twin or Autechre songs. The next song title is large as f*ck; "Quagmire / In A State Of Permanent Abyss", just to get clear, the first part is possibly an attempt of Drum and bass mimicking, but they did well at all, I wish this song could be on a James Bond movie, next second part "In a State..." is a magic and lustful but short soundscape you can feel relaxed. "Glass" keeps the magic, I can imagine a travel to an exotic world, and this song as the background, it's beautiful and perfect, definetely. Now "Yage" makes reference to the engineer which works with this duo and also another alias of FSOL, it keeps a bit magical but mostly experimental and soothing, with voice sample of screams, drones and Asian melodies, a curious detail, there's a remix of this song which is featured only on a longform video called "Teachings from the Electronic Brain". Now is turn to techno with "Vit Drowning / Through Your Gills I Breathe", sure it's bloody good, the title makes reference of a friend of FSOL, Vit, a chinese restaurant owner which he featured several videos of Future Sound of London (Snake Hips, Amoeba, My Kingdom and Teachings from the Electronic Brain longform video). The last track has hidden songs into: "First Death in the Family / Silence / Dead Cities reprise (hidden track by Headstone Lane)" ends with hard techno style, then 1 minute of silence (literally) and an alternative-rock esque song".

 

Favorite songs:

  • Dead Cities
  • We Have Explosive
  • Everyone in the World is Doing Something Without Me
  • Max
  • My Kingdom
  • Quagmire
  • Glass
  • Yage
  • Vit Drowning

Veredict: If I should make a huge of list of best ambient albums, of course I would. Dead Cities is a perfect iconic album of the underground scene of England on the 90's, that decade was undoubtedly the best time of underground electro like ambient, IDM, breakbeat, techno, house, DnB, jungle and trance.

 

10/10 - Recommended

 

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Audio Bullys - Generation

Release date: October 31st, 2005

Label: Astralwerks

Genre: House, Alternative hip hop, Breakbeat

 

"Many biggest reviews pages destroyed this album with bad critics, I started to listen Audio Bullys this year and I think Pitchfork reviewers should sit and spin. Well who cares about those freaking hipsters? Music must be appreciated and Audio Bullys' Generation album is a complete loop of experiments with house, hip hop and breakbeat. "Shot You Down" personally impresses me, joining a Nancy Sinatra song, bullets and great house. Personally since "Keep on Moving" makes a perfect bunch of styles, rhymes and rhythm, neutral lyrical of course and authenticity. Hip hop is not my cup of tea but since I listened Nujabes, it's a different kind of hip hop, not commercial and overrated. We cross through turntablism, house and breakbeats, "Generation" reminds me a Lemon Jelly song called "Stay With You". I prove this is not lame as those Pitchfork chin-strokers says. "I Won't Let You" is a sophisticated house with breakbeat (like Basement Jaxx and Fatboy Slim). "Eq-Ing" has a little something of Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, "Made Like That" returns with hip hop and cool rhymes, "All Sing Along" can make you dance and spin and be a sensation on dance, "Get Myself on Track" keeps a chilling turntablism mood to let through "I'm in Love" (personally my favorite song of Generation"), a strange love related breakbeating track. "Take You There" makes an introduction of classic disco and new jack swing samples to mix it with his style. Now "This Road" is mostly mellow and less breakbeat, electronic with predominant use of a tambourine and "Struck by the Sound" is closely a cross of jazz and house. In a personal though, Generation gives me the sensation of house and hip hop and breakbeat perfection and heritage".

 

Favorite songs:

  • Shot You Down
  • Keep on Moving
  • Generation
  • Made Like That
  • All Sing Along
  • Get Myself on Track
  • I'm in Love

Veredict: I do love alternative hip hop, more than overrated. I am pretty sure if you are into hip hop, you probably would love this album. Hope you have an open mind to listen it, if you love a lot hip hop, especially if it's underground or not.

 

9/10 - Recommended

 

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Emergency Broadcast Network - Telecommunication Breakdown

Release year: 1995

Label: TVT Records

Genre: Electronic, Breakbeat, Industrial, Sound collage

 

"There's a wide definition of "weird" and people link it with Asian people (proven with shocking videos or Japanoise bands performance or products). But stop being judgemental, people on the 90's probably didn't know about this project of 1990; Emergency Broadcast Network from Rhode Island. The big difference between them and (an example) Japanoise bands is because EBN uses in their music and videos a lot of samples of news reports, documentaries, old TV shows and political messages, persuading the people to "watch television", but their style is a undefined but I can link it as breakbeat, and the usage of samples on their (longform) videos probably reminds you a "Youtube Poop", now think again, not all the weird stuff comes from Japan. Well I'll stop defining and linking the weirdness. Most of these songs are pure breakbeat and the entire composition is cut phrases making a phrase, it's the same case with their former longform video "Commercial Entertainment Product". An example is on "Search": "I feel better about myself, I love the characters, I love the special things, my TV and VCR do exactly what I say...". Two tracks from their former longform video are featured on this music album but very different: "Station Identification" and "Get Down, Get Down 2.2". Also this album features the collaboration of Jack Dangers from Meat Beat Manifesto and also a help of Brian Eno, Bill Laswell, Jamie West-Oram and Grandmaster Melle Mel".

 

Favorite songs:

  • Electronic Behavior Control System
  • Get Down, Get Down 2.2
  • 3:7:8
  • Homicidal Schizophrenic (A Lad Insane)

Veredict: I never heard something like that, but this (currently dropped) band makes a nice job on creativity, and it has no limits, if you play an instrument which has nothing to do with the genre, what's the matter? EBN probably makes the difference and a good job of experimentating.

 

7/10 - (Not at all) recommended

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#51

Posted 23 January 2017 - 02:37 AM

Here I'll review two albums I like and which intrigued me at the same time:
 

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Boards of Canada - Geogaddi
Release year: 2002
Label: Warp Records
Genre: IDM, Ambient, Downtempo

 

Review: "Like every artist or band, they will always have a different, obscure and innovating release. Half of people will love it, other will hate it. But about me...it intrigued me, in a good way. And why? Since I got into Boards of Canada, thanks by Music Has the Right to Children (a memorable album which you should listen before you die). And about this iconic release of the Scottish duo, there's a lot of stuff I can think about it; the mood of this album compared with the former release is the mixture of nostalgia, a sense of obscurity and claustrophobic emotions. This obscure release takes a lot of themes like satanism, backmasking, cultism and hypnotism. Each track shows different moods, from the intensity of "Music is Math", "The Beach at Redpoint" and "Alpha and Omega". The nostalgia of "Sunshine Recorder" and "Julie And Candy" and the spooky interludes like "Beware the Friendly Stranger", "Opening the Mouth" and "A is to B as B is to C". Even Music Has the Right to Children was really significant, Geogaddi is the arrival to unknown territory, from the light to dark, which really worked well to them and it's definetely significant to Boards of Canada fans".

 

Favorite songs:

  • Music is Math
  • Dandelion
  • Sunshine Recorder
  • Julie and Candy
  • Alpha and Omega
  • Over the Horizon Radar
  • Dawn Chorus
  • Diving Station
  • You Could Feel the Sky
  • Corsair

Veredict: This album touches a new territory, where the nostalgia and obscurity takes place. Geogaddi is one of the iconic albums in Boards of Canada career, really different and with its own identity. The melodies and vocal samples probably will intrigue you.

 

10/10 - Recommended

 

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Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume II
Release year: 1994
Label: Warp Records
Genre: Ambient, Dark Ambient

 

Review: "The definition of ambient music is about sounds from the pure nature, to me it's very beautiful when they obey that rule. Richard David James' release "Selected Ambient Works Volume II" is an example of pure ambient, the technique which he uses is analogical. But the thing I like is the creativity of Aphex Twin, there's no official track names, we put our own titles thanks by images and pie-charts to guide. But fans in 1994 made the titles which currently are still used but different on each version (USA/UK). To this review I'll guide by the fans tracklist, there's different vibes, melodies and moods on each track; "Cliffs", "Rhubarb", "Hexagon" and "Lichen" are the most lighter and beautiful, while "Radiator". "Curtains", "Blur", "Weathered Stone", "Domino" and "Windowsill" are kinda hypnotic. The darkness of "Hankie", "Grass", "Mold", "Tree", "White Blur 1", "Spots", "White Blur 2" and "Matchsticks". "Blue Calx", "Parallel Stripes" and "Stone in Focus" (available only in Vinyl and Cassette) are mostly drone and calmed, and finally the pure electronic gems like "Shiny Metal Rods" and "Tassels". All the songs has its own structure, and makes a great contrast each other".

 

Favorite songs:

  • Cliffs
  • Rhubarb
  • Curtains
  • Weathered Stone
  • Tree
  • Blue Calx
  • Parallel Stripes
  • Shiny Metal Rods
  • Z Twig
  • Hexagon
  • Lichen
  • Matchsticks

Veredict: In my own opinion, Aphex Twin never stops to surprise me, this album proves he is a completely genius. The songs has no titles and uses images, it's really original and authentic and the songs has different soundscapes to each mood.

 

10/10 - Recommended

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Mister Pink
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#52

Posted 27 January 2017 - 12:08 PM

Awesome Earth Gaia  :inlove:

 

@Criag: Never got in to Tenacious D but that's great review and has be curious to listen. 

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Craig
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#53

Posted 28 January 2017 - 01:23 AM

Their first album is a good place to start. To be fair, it's the only album of theirs I like - the second (The Pick Of Destiny) has some catchy songs and is well produced, but makes little sense outside of the film, which it relies on heavily for narrative. The third one? I wouldn't bother personally.

Great reviews from Earth, two of my favourite albums there.
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EarthGaia
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#54

Posted 2 weeks ago Edited by EarthGaia, 2 weeks ago.

Been dusting off a CD collection and I decided to do reviews of albums I found:
 

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Oval - 94 Diskont

Release year: 1995

Label: Mille Plateaux/Thrill Jockey

Genre: Glitch, Microsound, Ambient

 

Review: "About my knowledge in electronic music, Oval is a pioneer of microsound music in the middle 90's, and thanks by him I discovered and learnt much about this genre, composers playing with microscopic tunes and making melodies with it, like how a computer plays. Every track from this album called 94 Diskont (Discount) shows the intelligence of Markus Popp, going deep in electronic music and choosing small tunes, glitchy and microscopic. The songs like "Store Check", "Line Extension" and "Commerce Server" makes your brain process quick the minimalistic structure, it passes fast the microscopic structure of the song, "Do While" and "Do While ⌘X" has more abstract melodies. Thanks by Oval and this album, many glitch/minimal artists has the inspiritation of this, 94 Diskont projected the future of electronic music and this one received positive critics and tagging the album as one of the best ambient albums all the time."
 
Favorite songs:

  • Do While
  • Store Check
  • Line Extension
  • Commerce Server
  • Do While ⌘X
  • Shop in Store

 
Veredict: There's a lot of geniuses of music, and Markus Popp made a great job, I admire the innovative way of music, taking small pieces of melodies and joining it together to make a soothing but intelligent composition.
 
10/10 - Recommended
 



Richard+D.+James+Album.jpg

Aphex Twin - Richard D. James Album

Release year: 1996

Label: Warp

Genre: IDM, Drill N' Bass

 

Review: "This is another album of Aphex Twin which I left inside a box in the attic, it was full of dirt, but the CD was in good conditions. I remember buying it in the middle 90's, on a local record store in Krasnoyarsk, that is what I remember. Since I like Aphex Twin music, it was the third time I see a grin on the album covers, first it was "I Care Because You Do", "Donkey Rhubarb EP" and then this album, I never got scared of Aphex Twin face to be honest. The content of this album is a mixture, a salad of genres together, combining drum and bass, IDM and classical, it's not the first time Richard uses elements of orchestra, since ICBYD in several, Donkey Rhubarb in the song "Icct Hedral (Philip Glass orchestration)", "4" starts quick with fast beats and cello melodies in the background, after that, some songs has an introduction of phone, fax, internet sounds, like "Carn Marth", "Cornish Acid", "Peek 82454201", "Fingerbib" and "Yellow Calx", while "To Cure a Weakling Child" makes a little uncomfortable trip with a child sample, but the melodies are purely good. "Goon Gumpas" is the innovative masterpiece of the album, composed mainly by a symphony of violins and cellos, "Girl Boy Song" brings the orchestra back and mixes it again with drum and bass structures, probably the favorite of many fans, and to finish there's "Logan Rock Witch", a strange but creative song featuring quirky and insane childish effects, honestly this reminds me "Scooby Doo" movies. And about the American version; it has bonus tracks from "Girl Boy EP" which is pure madness, including Aphex Twin's beautiful voice singing and remixes. The creativity and experimentalism of Richard D. James surprises and intrigues many people, the titles is a tribute to his dead brother which I think is so sweet, having a soft side in this album."
 
Favorite songs:

  • 4
  • Cornish Acid
  • Peek 82454201
  • Fingerbib
  • Goon Gumpas
  • Yellow Calx
  • Girl Boy Song
  • Logan Rock Witch
  • Milkman
  • Beetles

Veredict: Even I am an unconditional fan of Aphex Twin, your point of view matters, you will not find something similar like this album, Richard D. James shows another iconic release, probably Aphex grin would scare you a little, but the songs are a bunch of experimentalism and innovation, there's no boundaries in music.
 
10/10 - Recommended
 
 


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Zero 7 - Simple Things

Release year: 2001

Label: Ultimate Dilemma

Genre: Lounge, Trip Hop, Downtempo

 

Review: "While in France, Air was gaining success, and then new talents started. From teaboys to producers, and because they made a remix to Radiohead, I talk about Zero 7 and their first album called "Simple Things", this album became an iconic trip hop/downtempo album to critics, influenced by Air and Portishead. At the first listen, it wasn't like Portishead or Air, this result a different thing, more loungy than Air stuff, the rythms are usually what you probably would listen in a waiting room but that's a chicle, ugh! Most of the songs has narrative of typical things that happens on our lives, and also includes featured vocals from Sia, Sophie Barker and Mozez, "I Have Seen" is the beginning of Zero 7 career, Mozez voice gives a soulful vibe to this song, while "Destiny is probably the most popular track, a duet by Sia and Sophie, and the lyrics meaning the long distance love, "Distractions" is the narrative of family problems, "In the Waiting Line" is another popular track of Simple Things, which the song lyrics reflects the feeling of being degrated and desolated, and "This World" is quite very soul, romantic and dreamy, the lyrics means how beautiful is the world. Other songs like "Polaris", "Red Dust" and "Out of Town" is pure lounge and downtempo, very delightful. "Likufanele" is like the other mentioned tracks but adding a tribe singing and "End Theme" is like a landscape filming, like you fly away from town. I am glad Zero 7 is present on contemporary downtempo music, not only Air or Massive Attack or Thievery Corporation, this band is appreciated for Ibiza lounges and great fans, Simple Things is simply amazing."

Favorite songs:

  • I Have Seen
  • Polaris
  • Destiny
  • Red Dust
  • Distractions
  • In the Waiting Line
  • Out of Town
  • This World
  • Likufanele
  • End Theme

Veredict: Much downtempo artists like Air, Portishead or Massive Attack has its greatest iconic album, but to generalize...Simple Things was an appreciated album, an icon of lounge and downtempo, the British duo did well during their late 90's period, learning from producers.

10/10 - Recommended

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#55

Posted 2 weeks ago

Prince-BlackAlbum.jpg

 

Dig if you will this album. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Truth be told, little tickles my pickle more than artists who hate or fear their own creations. This is especially curious with Prince, an artist who was a notorious workaholic and perfectionist. You know if it had his name on it, he was truly happy with it. Whether or not we were is another matter entirely, but he wouldn't release just any old sh*t... right? Well, sort of. Ignoring the last two or three albums of his career (and indeed, his life) Prince was 100% everything he produced. He could afford to be picky, and apparently he has hundreds of hours worth of material locked away even still. It wouldn't surprise me if behind the scenes his estate are frantically fingering through it wondering what to do with it. I'm not so cynical to assume the worst, but look what happened to Michael Jackson. Those last two albums were absolute bilge, to the point somebody had to release an unmastered version because that was objectively better than the polished release.

Where am I going with this? Well, back in the mid-1980s, Prince could do no wrong. He had the world at his fingertips, with each release gaining momentum and albums coming out as quickly as two a year. 1987 rolls around and The Black Album is due to hit shelves, only for the man himself to grow convinced the album is evil. He then ordered every single copy to be withdrawn, and presumably destroyed. He was however considerate enough to leave a few copies floating around for collectors to fawn over. So charming and considerate, even in the throngs of sheer terror. To cut a long story short, for this album he channeled an alter-ego called Camille (yes, really) to help him write and record it. It turns out that Camille itself had a bit of a meltdown and produced an alter-ego too, called Spooky Electric (yes, really) and this was evil. Or something. I'm going to be honest, Prince could have turned around and changed his name to Mellow Yellow via deed poll and I wouldn't have bat a ball-hair.

So, it was shelved. It didn't legally hit the shelves until 1994, by which point I imagine Prince had calmed down, had a shower and sworn off MDMA for at least two or three days. I was lucky enough last year to find a legit copy in a record shop, which was criminally underpriced. I had heard little snippets, but truth be told the lore often overtakes the product. I'm glad I've heard it, but before that it was like that lost episode of a TV show or a misplaced alternate ending film reel - sometimes you drool harder over the thought than the consumption. Thing is, that's not to say this is bad. It's actually brilliant, and might just be my favourite Prince album. Unfortunately, having done some research, Bono and The Edge of U2 also consider it their favourite Prince record so I'll be keeping that opinion to myself. Thanks a lot, Bono and The Edge. There's definitely something raw to this, probably a little more raw than Prince wanted. Whether that's to do with the bootleg or not, we'll never know. It's also Prince's funniest record, with one particular track dedicated entirely to slagging himself off. People who were understandably caught up in how sexy he was may well have missed this side of Prince, and if he'd have had his way we never would have seen it.

Okay, what really went on? We don't know. My best guess is Prince took too many drugs and had a bad experience. Combine that with paranoia and the niggling feeling you get in the back of your brain when you haven't done a job as well as you probably could have, and you have the perfect ingredients for a shelving. There's a reason I mention ol' Macko Jacko earlier on. See, back in the 80s, Michael was doing pretty well for himself too. I don't know if you'd heard of anything, but Off The Wall and Bad combined urban sensibilities will accessible pop. I wouldn't have called Prince and Michael Jackson rivals, but they were definitely aware of each other and whatever beef may have lingered could only have added benefit to their record sales. Despite that, Prince's career was taking a little bit of a nosedive thanks to a bloated double album release Sign O' The Times, which at the time alienated fans and critics alike. It was bold, brash and eccentric even for Prince, a step beyond the straight-forward and glossy production we heard on Off The Wall. They might as well have been polar opposites.

If you want my opinion (and if you don't, I wonder why you're still reading), I think Prince had a bit of a shocker. Trying to capture new ground and simultaneously reclaim credibility in the black pop music scene, he wrote this album but didn't feel like it was truly him. Inventing characters to channel ideas through, he was free to explore avenues he'd touched upon but not quite reached. After some late night listening and a couple of doobies, Prince realised he didn't like it and blamed it upon a personality quirk made worse by a demon. There's nothing inherently evil about this album. It isn't like it projects dark messages when played backwards. f*ck, all music sounds creepy played backwards. I think this was about personal satisfaction at the end of the day, and this album was weird even by Prince's standards. Either the world wasn't ready for The Black Album, or Prince wasn't.





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