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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Millions Now Living Will Never Die

Tortoise

1996

Millions Now Living Will Never Die

Album Summary

Millions Now Living Will Never Die is the second studio album by American post-rock band Tortoise. The album was released on January 30, 1996 by Thrill Jockey. The album's title is a reference to a phrase used in the Jehovah's Witness faith in the 1920s. It is, for instance, the title of an essay by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who was the second president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. It was also the slogan of the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.By March 1998, the album had sold over 50,000 copies, with 80% as CDs and the remainder as LPs.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.95

Votes

5192

Genres

  • Rock
Reviews
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Mon Apr 12 2021
5

Really surprising. Never heard of this band before. It's instrumental, something that wouldn't have spoken to me much when I was younger, but I find it excellent now. So much variety and interesting textural and atmospheric sounds. A deep surprise I'll probably find myself listening to again in the near future and maybe explore the band's other work. Djed is the 20min experimental, progressive wild ride that reminds me of Fear of a Blank Planet yet even better strung together. Just awesome find.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
1

A lot of people remember the experience of plugging in a casio keyboard for the first time and wanting to try out all the presets and features all at once. Most of us don't try to call that an album though.

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Fri May 21 2021
5

tortoise is one of the seminal bands in postrock. this is a must listen album for anyone that likes complex, yet gentle long form songs. in the vein of do make say think, explosions in the sky, godspeed you! black emperor

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

This album is great. Purely instrumental with a really engaging, low-key, atmospheric sound. 'Along the Banks of the River' has been my favourite so far. 4 stars, easy.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Essential Post-Rock album. Opening song Djed spans from electronic buzzing to more rhythmic grooves and driving bass. Pulling in an electric sounding key and devolving into more electronic sound it is the highlight of the album. Halfway through the song it opens into a mix of traditional open guitar and electronic sounds and a xylophone. Background, foreground or whenever you listen to it, it can be on constant repeat.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Beautiful as an instrumental album. Great as background. The first track "Djed" is 21 minute opus that goes in several different directions.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
4

Yo La Tengo meets ambient no vocals

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

"Millions Now Living Will Never Die" is not only a very good album, but it also a very important album - as a genre defining record in the post rock genre. Everything that would become a staple for this style is here, specially the focus on textures and timbre in the place of common rock structures like riffs and chords. It's as if rock and roll was becoming free jazz. "Djed" is a 20 minute masterpiece that shows how well Tortoise work together as a band, crafting songs together to create minimalistic sounds, beautiful to the years. In this record, however, they still sound a little crude and it's their next record (1998's TNT) that would show what they were really capable of.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

Surprisingly enjoyable

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Thu Apr 15 2021
2

Unusual instrumentals... Can't imagine picking it up to play as an album but still was interesting background filler

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Tue May 18 2021
1

Why was this even on the list. Pretty weak.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

probably my favorite Tortoise album.

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Sun Feb 28 2021
5

Disco relax

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

This is my kind of album. Really digging it.

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Fri Jul 16 2021
5

Easy 5 stars for me. Like the "Lo Fi Hiphop" youtube channel, with a bit more experimentation and daring. I loved all the surprising twists and turns this instrumental odyssey took.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
5

Lofi classic

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

I dig it. It's very hard for me to put into words what I got out of the album but I think it's fairly representative of what this album achieves. There's just loads of good composition, arrangement, choice of instrumentation, and it all creates a really wonderful texture for my brain to get lost into. Lots of mental images, feelings, the kind of abstract things you might feel that you know would be unbelievably contrived to try to articulate. Will probably revisit this album as well as the rest of the Tortoise discography. I'm genuinely surprised I didn't discover and adore this album in high school, it would have been right up my alley. I guess this is post rock? The thing that really strikes me is the obvious krautrock influence, and I fucking love that genre of music. It's what immediately pulled me into the album. Good post rock is usually devoid of obvious, masturbatory build up and crescendos behind walls and walls of reverb and delay as a lazy attempt to create some kind of effective aesthetic and feeling of catharsis. This is a fine example of how to make stunning post rock without those cliche's. I wish I had better words to describe. There are a plethora of moments in this album that really get me into the moment and I'm in that holy trance of jam. There are a lot of unexpected left turns and stylistic choices but they don't clash at all, it never feels inconsistent. Tons of variety. I love this album actually.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
5

Yay! Alex Talbot

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Wed Aug 11 2021
5

ethereal, clean, coming of age, both hard and soft, fantastically 90s (cool album name too x)

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Sat Aug 21 2021
5

Really interesting textures and ideas coming together - thought provoking instrument music, great for reading and chilling

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Fri Sep 17 2021
5

Great, experimental, easy going, never boring.

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Wed Dec 29 2021
5

Heel speciale instrumentale muziek. Rustig maar intrigerend.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

Right up my alley

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Sun Jan 30 2022
5

Very cool atmospheric Math Rock. Will definitely be adding this to my “background music while I work” collection.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

A post-rock classic

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Thu Mar 31 2022
5

I loved this when it first came out. This was innovative post rock and turned my head (slowly, like a tortoise) Still enjoy hearing this from start to finish. Still sounds fresh and innovative. Brilliant

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

Big fan of post-rock and this didn’t disappoint

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

Peaceful, exciting, and delightfully complex. I'm glad learned about this band, they provide Can levels of bliss. "The Taut and Tame" blew me away.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

Amazing experience, will definitely listen many times again. Great opus.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

Ik hou van post-rock. Dus ook dit album was zeer welkom. Lekker instrumentaal, en net vreemd genoeg dat het goed is

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Sat Nov 05 2022
5

Great for listening in one go. Driving music. I like the erratic changes, harmony and flow, as well as variety of instruments and rhythms

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Fri Dec 09 2022
5

It’s really good

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

10/10 this album has nearly everything I’m a total sucker for complete perfection from beginning to end

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Fri Dec 30 2022
5

Centered around a twenty minute opening salvo that combines glitchy electronica, ECM jazz and muted post-rock, Millions Now Living Will Never Die sees Tortoise take their place amongst the ever changing landscape of alternative rock (or whatever remained of it) and forging fertile ground in the process.

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Sun Jan 15 2023
5

во первых очень красивая обложка, вау сам альбом тоже классный мне понравился

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Wed Jan 25 2023
5

Wow! This is an album out of nowhere for me, but it rocks! I could have predicted a lot of the shade being thrown its way in the reviews but it's really cool and quirky. An experience as much as anything, the opening 21 min track bending and winding its way through the soundscape.

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Thu Oct 08 2020
4

Pretty chill, early indie rock/jam band feel, no vocals

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

I have a soft spot for these types of prog rock albums.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

This was really good. Kinda psychadelic. 4.5

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Well that was refreshingly good! Still not sure what post-rock is supposed to mean, but I guess I like it.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Really interesting instrumentals!

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

Had some cool beats, liked the experimental nature of this album.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Meine Güte, das hatte ich ja völlig vergessen, wie konnte das denn passieren? Fühlt sich an wie eine Wiederentdeckung, und zwar vom selben Format wie die Eno-Platte. Wenn ich der 5 Punkte gegeben habe (was ich jetzt gerade nicht mehr tun würde), dann müsste ich das hier auch, weil sie mich genau am selben Nerv erwischt. Krautig, treibend, fordernd, ständig absichtlich verrätselt und natürlich super artsy. Und intellektuelle Rätsel sind ja immer soo schmeichelhaft! Hab aber trotzdem jetzt keine Lust auf volle Punktzahl (wie eben auch bei Eno nicht mehr), weil: ich bin zu erschöpft und zu urlaubsreif und wünsche mir, dass die nächste Platte entweder von Oasis ist, oder was zum richtig glücklichen Abwatschen. 3,6

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Ich liebe Tortoise, bin aber diesem Album sonst eher zwiespältig gegenüber eingestellt gewesen; mag am mittlerweile besser verstandenem Monster Opener „Djed“ liegen, das etwas unfertig, abstrakt, strukturell technoid wirkt. Da wirkt einstige Schwäche plötzlich als starke Besonderheit schlechthin, folgen doch dann Stücke, die der klareren Postrock Struktur folgen, für die ich damals eine stärkere Neigung hatte. Die Balance ist vorhanden, wechseln die Tracks zwischen diesen Polen immer wieder ab und doch liegt mir das folgende Album TNT ein klein wenig mehr am Herzen. 3.8

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

Psychedelic sounds

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Solid 3.5, gets a 4 because it's better than the other 3s I've rated. When it's good it's excellent, did zone out quite a lot too though

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Really enjoyed this, will absolutely listen again.

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Wed May 26 2021
4

I liked it. Great to listen to during work. Relaxing enough to feel good about it, interesting enough to not get bored. It was a bit weird how the first song was half of the album and stylistically somewhat different from the second half. The first half I clearly enjoyed more and would have rated it a 4.5 whereas the second half was more of a 3.5 for me.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

4

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

Impressively atmospheric and immersive.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Pretty dope instrumentals here. Some went on a little too long but a lot of great bass lines and cool use of sounds. I liked it a lot but it was perfect

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Really nice listening. A bit experimental at times. Made me think "what's really going on here?"

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Quite a surprise of an album. Fully instrumental, I could feel the raw emotion throughout. Will definitely be a repeat listen.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Not Brian Eno, But better than expected

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Sun Jun 27 2021
4

An album that helped establish post-rock. What is post-rock. I don't know. I thought this was krautrock at first. I listened to their other album "TNT" to get a better idea and all I heard was jazz fusion. Nevertheless, this would be a crowning krautrock album that has a general flow but always changing that kep things interesting and fun. It's one of my favorite instrumentals and something I'll play from time to time.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

Good music to listen to while working.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

cool. very sea and cake.

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Thu Aug 19 2021
4

This was a nice surprise. Entirely instrumental album that was really chill and enjoyable. Nice Lofi music to study or read.

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Mon Sep 06 2021
4

Saw them live at ATP. Great music.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

Laid back, technically complex, chill.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

I’m partial to a bit of post rock here and there. Mogwai being my go-to choice. In my mind Every Mogwai album sounds like it should be a soundtrack to a zombie apocalypse film like 28-days later. Tortoise dials down the soundtrack to the end of the world thing, it’s not so bleak…. But it is just as slow burning.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

This was cool! Never heard of it, will listen again. Great for work and study. The songs run together a bit, but in a good way.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

Great for putting on while you’re doing something else. Ambient but not dull

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Sun Nov 21 2021
4

A really relazxing jazz vibe instumental album. I like it

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Wed Nov 24 2021
4

I enjoyed this one - even if as background music I could engage with

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Well, I have to say it's remarkable how virtually every postrock album ever (spanning decades, evidenced by the album at hand) manages to deliver this very specific experience: • oh wow what a title/bandname! Clearly master poets at work. • yes, the jams are good (approx t=40 seconds in) • wait, am I still listening to music? where am I? (approx t=somewhere between 40 seconds and 40 minutes in). • looks at the title/bandname, and laments that the music isn't as poetic (not strictly in the literal sense, but in the artistic balance sense) as the labelling attached to it. I'm a postrock fan, but maybe not for the music. I can't say I understand it, either.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
4

Love may they live

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

like dropping acid while at an aquarium. it's strange, challenging, and your mind wanders, but you find yourself occasionally fascinated by the textures and colors

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

1990's Krautrock. If you know, you know

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

I keep trying to come up with things to say about this album, but it demands more attention than I can give it right now. So, for the time being, I'll say it is an instrumental, shoegazey rock album and I like it.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

A perfect album for a rainy day doing nothing...Or is it?

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

Classic post-rock album. The amount of electronic elements really sets them apart too.

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Mon May 02 2022
4

I'm so glad to find Tortoise on this list as they're not very well known, but are one of my favourite post-rock bands. The bandleader and multi-instrumentalist John McEntire has been so influential in the post-rock world lending his hand to some great groups such as the Sea and Cake, Gastr del sol, and many of Jim O'Rourke's works. The music here is complex, multi-layered and very atmospheric. I think their next album, TNT is slightly better (with one of my all time fav songs I set my face to the hillside), but Millions is also a real gem.

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Wed May 04 2022
4

je m’attendais pas à ça

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Sun May 22 2022
4

experimental wallpaper music. smooth textures, nice driving rhythms and interesting digital sounds and glitchy effects. very psychedelic with unusual arrangements. "glass museum" is heavy. great guitar and drums, cute bell tone. "a survey" is dark, mysterious and foreboding. the chirping insect ambience adds a sense of exploration. "the taut and the tame" sounds like stepping into an arena, ready for the boss fight. perfect accompaniment to the prior track (right down to the same guitar tones). the break and subsequent rhythm - plus unique distorted synth sounds - is great and feels like the soundtrack of a gritty street showdown. the final song, "along the banks of rivers" is the darkest song on the project. incredibly ominous, a vague mood of weary apprehension. the sound of going to hell and back.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

The post-rock pigeon hole makes it sound more pretentious than it is is. Experimental and much lighter than other post rock offerings like Slint (still love Slint though)

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Thu Jun 09 2022
4

I bought this album back in the 90s after getting into Godspeed and wanting to explore a bit more of the post-rock genre. It's been a long time since I put this on to listen to. My impressions today are similar to those I had when I first got it. There's a lot of good ideas here and some interesting experimentation. The band is definitely trying to do something new here. The opening track Djed seems a bit disjointed to me though. I like most of what by brain calls "side 2" which is tracks 2 - 6. "Glass Museum" and "Along the Banks of Rivers" being the high points for me.

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Thu Jun 09 2022
4

I thought this was interesting. The only post rock I have in my collection is Jambinai, which I don't know if I would call that post rock. The first track probably could have been broken up into different movements as the ideas went along. I have to wonder if they play only portions of it live or not. Instrumentals like this, it's hard to imagine them playing exactly note for note live, because it sounds more like a jam in the studio. Still, it' nice background music and I appreciated it for what it was. Do I need to listen to it again to find deeper meaning? Probably not, but it's there if I wanted to. Up on the high 3's, I think. Rounds up to a 4. I think it may warrant another listen.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
4

Gives me pink floyd vibes. I dig the creativity.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

I can see why this is so strongly cited as an influential album. One that takes some time and effort, but definitely worth it.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

I've never heard of Tortoise before and Millions Now Living Will Never Die is all new music to me. The opening track "Djed" started off with sounds that reminded me of Pink Floyd, but as the track moved on I was reminded of some of Wilco's work. "Djed" was the longest track, shifting through a few movements, and my favorite track. Non of the tracks had vocals. The music was acoustic, but it sounded like it was put together with an electronic sensibility. I liked the album enough to listen to the bonus tracks from the Japenese edition. I could come back for a second listen.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

Enjoyed it. Ambient music-ish

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Mon Sep 12 2022
4

Excellent instrumental album.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

I enjoyed this one! I’ll have to give it another listen but it sounds like a less developed Godspeed you! Black Emperor, pretty great!

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

Thoroughly enjoyed this. This will likely be played more often when working

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Wed Sep 21 2022
4

Almost a classic but not quite. 4 stars. Tortoise's Millions Now Living Will Never Die presents a bass-heavy, tranquil and intriguing post-rock sound which would come to have a profound influence on the nascent sub-genre, radically expanding the territory of post-rock from that staked out by Talk Talk in years past.* * Yes, I did just copy and paste this after a brief Google search. It's 5am and I am hungover alright, what more do you want from me you pack of pricks!?

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Wed Oct 05 2022
4

this has to be sarcastic right? pretty opener to the opening song, but a little hard to listen to while working. Started a 3, but +1 star because it's accoustic.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

Still like TNT better.

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Fri Oct 21 2022
4

4.5

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Sat Oct 22 2022
4

Is there a worse name for a genre than post-rock? The name carries a distinct whiff of pomposity, of rock being beneath it. I know the name post-punk has exactly the same lexical structure, but that at least harked to the contemporary state of affairs: punk had died and the bands inspired by punk sought to construct something new on the ashes. When the first bands got labelled post-rock (admittedly not by themselves, but by critics eager to prove their pretentiousness), rock wasn't on the mortuary slab: if we take the early 90s as when post-rock became codified, we have grunge shooting into alternative on one side of the Atlantic, Oasis proclaiming that they were rock 'n' roll stars, and metal had long been established as rock's hardy perennial. Still, rock has been pronounced dead for as long as rock as been alive (apparently, the rock critic Richard Meltzer declared rock dead in 1968), so perhaps I'm being too harsh on a legitimate ambition to move away from the limitations of the rock template. But even this smacks of reductionism. Rock has always been adaptive and audacious in its experiments and its thefts (the oft-called freakiest album in the canon is Trout Mask Replica, which is obviously an album that belongs within the classification of rock), so I don't buy the line that post-rock bands are aiming beyond rock. "Post-rock" is essentially a euphemism for "rock what's a bit weird". Not that that's a bad thing at all, but why gussy it up? Anyway, Tortoise are a Chicagoan collective ("band" seems to miss the point) that started when a few refugees from hardcore punk and alternative rock decided that they wanted to show everyone that they could really play their instruments. As such, their music claimed inspiration from electronica, dub, krautrock (uh-oh, that pesky work "rock"), ambient, progressive rock (that damned word again) and fucktons of jazz. This, their second album, took plaudits by the gallon in 1996's end-of-year assessments. And it's fine. It's fine. The music is good, engaging, smart. Writing about it beyond that seems to miss the point, or at least it would bore both me and you, my friendly chunkers. The main jab I have to make is that it doesn't truly elevate me. It doesn't send me to the paradisiac realms, unlike my most beloved albums. And bizarrely, I feel that's not quite its intended purpose. Millions Now Living Will Never Die feels like it just wants to be perfectly good, in the sense of having no bad notes whatsoever, and I guess it manages that. But that lack of abrasion makes it almost inhuman, like it's a computer program rather than a piece of music. Voltaire once wrote that the best is the enemy of the good. With Tortoise, the good is the enemy of the best. I want Tortoise to embrace the imperfection of humanity. I want Tortoise to come out of their shell (thanks for the applause, you've been a wonderful audience!).

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Interesting post-punk noise. I liked it.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

Pretty good. I liked how experimental it is.

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Sun Oct 30 2022
4

I like Post-Rock. I like this. easy really. It's more jazzier and a bit jammier than other bands I like with whiffs of Can and Eno but it hold firm until the end.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

Super chill. Really liked this.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
4

Fine album

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

Took me by surprise as a solid album. Is it deserving of being on this list? I'm doubtful but I'm glad to have listened to it and so I'm happy with it.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

4.0

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

The description said post rock, and it definitely is in places, but overall it felt more imo like that kinda krautrock infused sci fi "wavescape" type stuff... either way, really enjoyable for a dawn walk up the beach. Fit surprisingly well. Would listen to the first track in a playlist. 4/5

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Fri Dec 16 2022
4

Great listening, very complex and it flowed well.

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Fri Dec 23 2022
4

Elevator música on lsd

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