An absolute masterclass in electronic arrangement and production. Each track is its own small microcosm of carefully layered synths and samples, a small world that exists for only 3 minutes at a time and fully encompasses the entire soundstage. Some tracks could use a bit more variation, but overall an amazing listening experience.
Beautifully vibrant album. Every track manages to twist and turn through several variations within 2-3 minutes while maintaining a core sound throughout the LP - it's immediately clear the influence this has had in Melody's Echo Chamber and other dream/psychic rock projects of the like. Amazing that this was recorded in 1972 as well, each instrument is layered so well in the mix it sounds modern as can be.
Hot take: this would be a semi-decent metal LP (maybe mid-tier deftones level) if you cut a few tracks and the lead singer didn't sound like Ron Stoppable.
I will never understand how such a mediocre band became so monstrously popular. The tracks here aren't bad, moreso forgettable - there's only so many ways you can arrange a major blues scale and noodle over it. Also some majorly uncomfortable vibes on 'Til the Morning Comes'
Falls into the same trap as S/T before it - several stunners on here, but buried in between overlong ballads or operatic tracks that well overstay their welcome. Still manages to be much more entertaining overall than its predecessor, though
Decent tunes, I think this album veers too far into folksy territory for me to appreciate as a cohesive product. The tracks using electric are enjoyable, but the acoustic material just didn't grab me
Liked this way more than I expected to - rich songwriting and lyrics that drew me in
Liked this way more than I expected to - rich songwriting and lyrics that drew me in
Love the arrangements on this one. I would enjoy a greater variance in tempos but given this album's intent I can understand why it likes to sit in the groove. Highlights: Legalize It, WHY MUST I CRY
Not jiving with this at all - the compositions are repetitive and at times cheesy due to overusage of the 80s synth sound. Narratives are a bit lifeless.
Glad I gave this another listen. While the compositions veer from minor to major, there’s still a cohesiveness to this LP which I think stems from Elliott’s vocals. The lyrics are vague but delivered with enough emotion to carry each song from one to the next. I’m not usually a downtempo acoustic guy, but even the slower compositions here grabbed me.
Great interplay between the simple but alluring beats and Biggie's great flows. Lyrics are surpisingly hooky for what I expect a typical rap album to be, there's the usual boasting and explicit content but it's delivered with such authenticity that you can't help but be drawn in.
Some good ones on here but most compositions were a bit overlong/not varied enough to hold my interest. An interesting genre mix though
Great energy for a live album, but felt the tracks didn’t have enough variation to keep me hooked
Good, but not memorable outside the big hits. Some great new wave sounds, though
Not as engaging as their later efforts. Some tracks have a good deal of life to them, but I feel like most are somewhat repetitive and forgettable. Too much straight britpop with sing-song structure
Interesting mix of a little country twang + Beatles-like vocal harmonies and compositions. Not wholly memorable or distinct from other 60s output in the same category but still a good listen
Great flows and beats. I do think the vocal sampling became somewhat gimmicky but not to the point where it sunk the tracks. Great listen
Good jam album, a whole lot more than just a Sleigh Bells sample. I do feel some of the compositions had more room to grow, but the jams as they are were great and refreshingly experimental
Who would've thought that the band that wrote Bellbottoms, a song I enjoy immensely, would write other songs that I enjoy immensely. I can hear so many influences in bands I like coming out of this album - BDoD, VU (inspired by), Autolux even. A great modern garage rock LP
Just not varied at all - some uptempo compositions but most are slow acoustic ballads that all blend together
This one deserves another listen - I loved how fluidly this album moved through genres, and though they didn't always excite me there are definitely tracks worth returning to on this one
A shame Spotify burnt me out on Revival, this is a great LP that sounds surprisingly modern for being released 14 years ago. I do wish they had leaned in more on the more expansive, wall-to-wall production rather than the standard indie rock fare, but this is still a solid listen through and through.
Not vibing with this at all. Bland/repetitive country-esque fare.
Don't know how I called myself a Beatles fan without having given this one a thorough listen. For some reason I thought of this one as disjoint from the rest of their discography, but there's still the narrative whimsy of classic Beatles interspersed throughout. The tension inherent in the creation of this LP is clear as the track lengths thin towards the end, but even these snippets carry a wealth of life and delight.
This kind of choral long-form jazz is just not my thing
Was not expecting the heavy reggae influence here. Even though I don't think this album comes together for me, a few of the tracks on here are definite bops.
Some decent new-wave with interesting influences but nothing memorable
Decent LP but no standout tracks really
I will never understand the unholy fusion of overdriven guitar, cheesy synths, barbershop-quartet vocals, and horny lyrics that is hair metal. Contains two of what are perhaps my least favorite songs of all time ('Love Bites' and 'Pour Some Sugar On Me')
Enjoyed this more than I anticipated. There's a definite cheese factor, but it's genuine cheese - the production is polished but the feelings are still raw. Some great and memorable progressions in here.
Some great energy and messages here, but the tracks could've used some editing -- cut everything by 1-2 min and this would be a much tighter, catchier album
Haven't listened to an album this dependent on narrative song structures in a while. Some tracks definitely overlong, but this is an LP meant to be taken in as a whole.
Me: Mom can we have Sgt. Pepper? Mom: We have Sgt. Pepper at home Sgt. Pepper at home: Enjoyed the psych-tinged 60s/early 70s pop vibes this gave me. 'Time of the Season' is a track that's been on the mental tip of the tongue for a while and the rest of the LP is similarly good.
Not digging the bland, Beatles-country-bluegrass-esque fusion here. Nothing memorable on this one.
Show tunes just aren't my thing
Not a Dylan fan
Some great synth work here - tracks tend to drag on a bit longer than they should but it's easy to see why this LP was revolutionary
Think there are some good ideas here but after a while all the chugging sounds the same. Would have loved more exploration of the harmony blending on 'Dead Embryonic Cells' or the solo work on 'Murder.'
Not what I was expecting after Murder Ballads. I loved the uptempo tracks here - reminded me of Lullaby-era QotSA. Think the slow tracks dragged on way too much though
This one just did not resonate with me. Though technically impressive, the tracks are all over the place and just do not mesh with one another. There's additionally too much push-and-pull between overlong choruses and indulgent shredding that make the songs 1-2 choruses too long imo.
While the front half of this album tends to lose the plot in all its production tricks, the back half manages to nail the balance between instrumentation and cohesion. A solid Bowie-esque experimental album all around.
A decent fusion of blues, country, and rock - I do think 'Gimme Shelter' promises a wholly different album than the one that follows, but the following tracks are enjoyable for the most part.
Does exactly what it says on the box. A good portion of the songs do follow the same drum pattern, but the emotion here is palpable.
Great live rock album. I think one would have to take this in the moment to get the full experience (the out-there interludes don't make for easy listening), but even as a recorded experience the energy and life behind each track is apparent. Reminds me of a prog King Gizzard.
Unsure what to make of this one - absolute rippers ('Seven and Seven Is') among cheesy ballads ('Orange Skies') and extended jam tracks ('Revelation'). I don't know if this stands as an album per se, but the parts themselves are interesting and unique enough to warrant further listening.
Didn't really grab me, good jazz but nothing memorable.
Decent hardcore but overly repetitive and smilar-sounding throughout the record.
Great material for a singer-songwriter album, every song felt unique.
I think what's so frustrating about this album is that it could be so much better if the arrangements were allowed to go even a little off the rails. The opening track and 'When I Look At the World' get close, but otherwise the production is so sterile it saps all the fun out and leaves mega-cheesy ballads behind. Sounds like a Keane album.
The scope of this project is admirable but it runs into a jack-of-all-trades situation as a result. Any memorable riffs were too buried in the kitchen-sink mix to jump out at me.
Better on a second listen - most of the songs here are slow burns but worth the wait.
Surprised by how good the arrangements are on this record. That being said, things tend to get monotonous after a while, and it's hard for things to feel organic with Manson's over-the-top lyrics making everything feel way too on the nose.
Great indie-rock album. Maintains the classic sound of the late '90s without feeling dated or tired. The more synth-heavy, balladish tracks lose me but most everything on here rocks.
Love this mix of punkish-indie rock. Both the bite-sized and longer tracks alike share a kind of spastic energy reminiscent of acts like Squid or black midi today, and the remaster on this thing is insane - sounds like it could have been recorded today. The sludgey guitar tone that features on many of the tracks is absolutely perfect to boot.
I think my problem with Dire Straits has always been the lack of dynamic or structural variation in their tracks. 'Money For Nothing' takes a good riff and then repeats it on end for 8 minutes with few changes, and that just doesn't make for an interesting or engaging song. Also the whole back half of this album sounds like the soundtrack to a chintzy 80s Tom Cruise romance flick verging on porno territory.
Absolutely classic, not a weak track on here. There's no escaping the groove on any of these tracks thanks to the strong instrumentation and lyrics from Fats.
Beautifully vibrant album. Every track manages to twist and turn through several variations within 2-3 minutes while maintaining a core sound throughout the LP - it's immediately clear the influence this has had in Melody's Echo Chamber and other dream/psychic rock projects of the like. Amazing that this was recorded in 1972 as well, each instrument is layered so well in the mix it sounds modern as can be.
Absolutely classic, a list of best ofs for Cash coupled with the amazing dialogue between performer and prisoners.
I can acknowledge that the instrumentation and vocals here are exceptional, but I didn't find anything memorable outside of that in this LP.
Interesting melodic ideas here, I just wish they had mixed things up as each song rehashes the same themes over and over rather than going anywhere new or different.
Angry I didn't listen to this in full sooner. Brimming with a melancholic energy that permeates the entire LP. The arrangements are dense but discernible, and the shifting natures of the track means there's never a dull moment.
Great at first, but the arrangements tend to grow a bit stale after 4-5 minutes of repetition
Standard but solid garage-rock fare.
Definitely some sounds on here that push the indie envelope but the whole slacker-chill vibe wears thin after 5 songs or so
I think I would like this more if the vocals weren't so obnoxious and had more dynamics. The sparse arrangements work well but the shouting doesn't
Some ho-hum B-sides and gratuitous noodling here and there can't detract from the absolute classics on this one. A highlight of early '00s rock for sure.
The slower tracks tend to drag a little, but the vocal harmonies and compositions still make this album a solid listen.
The lo-fi recording style, threadbare instrumentation, and frenetic energy of this album all work wonderfully together. Worth another listen just to piece together the themes of sexual frustration and denial that run throughout.
There are definite highlights, but the lack of variation in the synths means the whole album washes together into 40 minutes of monotony.
This album leans heavily on dense breakbeats and the rhythm section as a whole. That's not wholly a bad thing, but a bit more melody would have made everything feel cohesive rather than 1-2 synth lines over percussion.
Disappointed in this one - the synth textures on 'Virginia Plain' and the earlier tracks promised an exciting fusion of proto-punk and dance, but afterwards the LP fizzled and hit middle-of-the-road territory for me. Multiple times I got absorbed in other things and then snapped back to the music only to be surprised that a track was /still/ playing, often repeating the same riff I had tuned out on.
A bit more plain noodling on here than I expected but still a classic in every way. I do think some tracks meander a bit, but the monoliths of "All Along the Watchtower" and "Voodoo Child" make this LP a must for any rock fan.
Some great tracks on here but the production is lacking - even the enjoyable beats wore 1-2 samples thin over the course of a 3-minute track instead of adding in some other instrumentation or melody.
This album works best when it focuses on the uptempo, guitar-driven tracks, but even the slower songs have their place here. It's clear this is an LP to dance to - the track lengths and structures are undeniable in their rhythm and catchiness. Fun to see the building blocks of early House (four on the floor beats, synth-like piano lines, and tight, compressed guitar looped) permeate this album and remember where the samples originally came from.
I will never understand how such a mediocre band became so monstrously popular. The tracks here aren't bad, moreso forgettable - there's only so many ways you can arrange a major blues scale and noodle over it. Also some majorly uncomfortable vibes on 'Til the Morning Comes'
One trick pony of an album, really. The off-kilter energy of the opener could've sustained a good chunk of varied tracks, but instead we get a slate of bloated ballads that go nowhere quickly.
A lovely album that hits its stride moreso on the uptempo tracks than the broodier ballads. Whether sparse or wall-to-wall in production, the foot-stompers like "Cecilia" have an undeniable genuineness and joy that's hard to find nowadays
A captivating but unconventional listen - hard to pin down a genre on this one as it sways between anthemic orchestral tracks to spoken word to overdriven guitar solos. Definitely an album to be consumed in one sitting, as vocal and instrumental leitmotifs weave the LP into one continous narrative. Need to look at the German to see what the overall message is here, but still an enjoyable listen notwithstanding.
I don't think I've ever listened to an album more reminiscent of the 90s than this one. Some decent melodies and occasional guitar work on here, but it's not enough to escape the LP's datedness or lack of forward momentum.
Interesting mix of Britpop vocals and more punk-leaning guitars. Slight traces of Sex Pistols here and there, an overall enjoyable listen
The LP is at its best when it takes on the frantic but freewheeling energy found in 'Se a Cabo' and ;Hope You're Feeling Better,' but often eschews these joyrides for bogged-down noodling and annoyances like 'Oye Como va'
As a dance album this is great, for just easy listening it's lacking the variation in tempo and composition to make it more than background music.
Falls into the same trap as S/T before it - several stunners on here, but buried in between overlong ballads or operatic tracks that well overstay their welcome. Still manages to be much more entertaining overall than its predecessor, though
This album commits the cardinal sin of being plain boring - while some of the compositions shine, the overall woodland meadow vibe can hardly save the LP given how little vocal range Drake uses.
A fantastic synth-filled romp – some definite duds in the tracklist bring this down a bit, but the freewheeling energy that permeates this LP is undeniably infectious. Particularly impressed how well most tracks function with minimal percussion (usually only relying on a handclap) while creating tight rhythms.
The compositions and vocal harmonies are engaging, but without any solo vocal sections the LP feels way too homogenous. Wish it had leaned more into harder rhythms and flows and dropped the interludes as they completely derail the flow of the album
A much more engaging listen than 'Bridge...' for sure. Dapples in several types of genres and arrangements that create unique, memorable tracks while preserving a sense of unity throughout the LP. Worth another listen for sure.
Blown away by how little key modulation happens in the span of this album. The vocals and instrumentation for each track are good, but rarely does a song venture outside the 4-chord/Verse-Chorus structure in the starting key. Overall bland
Amazing bars, wordplay, and arrangements define this LP. An absolute blast to listen to.
The compositions themselves are beautiful, but often last 1 chorus or verse too long. There's an inherent mystery in the progressions, but repetition wrings out any interest before the tracks have ended.
Even though the guitar tone remains constant throughout the full hour, it works surprisingly well with the brilliantly arranged tracks that make up this album. There's a bit of a slide into monotony near the back half, but still a strong LP nonetheless.
Includes all of the worst aspects of New Wave - annoying drone vocals, flat compositions, annoying synth choices, and arrangements that go absolutely nowhere
Some solid rock tracks on here with interesting arrangement but dragged down by some ho-hum filler in between.
Contains too many callbacks to 80s hair metal to be enjoyable as a whole, especially the made-for-radio ballads on the back half. Still interesting to see the groundwork being laid for later progressive metal like The Mars Volta, At The Drive In, etc.
Some great tracks on the front half, disappointing to hear the album turn to repetitive and uninspired ballads on the back. That being said, the astounding mix of R&B/Hip-Hop + production (especially on the vocals!) show that Badu knows exactly what she's doing.
Hot Snakes with a horn section. While the arrangements are somewhat simple and SJR's voice can't carry all of the tracks, there's a solid core of great balls-to-the-wall rock songs here.
A decent Brit pop-rock LP. Female vocals are a much-welcomed change of pace from the usual fare in this genre.
An absolute rock classic. This is the band's rawest LP by far, but the production makes every Muff-slathered guitar lead shine through. Tight riffs and tonal shifts make for a thrilling and varied album that remains fresh to this day.
Bland British pop-rock – seems like the band is trying to force these big, emotional moments but they're not earned anywhere in the instrumentation or track layout. The more upbeat and enjoyable tracks just sound like discount Blur.
Great mix of influences stirred together and dashed with some off-the-wall production. Some of the more minimal tracks tend to grate with annoying samples/vocals, but the others lean fully into a complete wall of sound and clever drops that make this a joy to listen to.
To this album's credit, the instrumentation is diverse and interesting - each track has its own sonic identity and stands out from the rest. It's in the composition that this album fails to impress. Once a groove is locked in, it remains in neutral while Kiedis' questionable RATM-esque delivery is the only dynamic element of the song. Things get stale quickly, though there are still flashes of pop-inspired brilliance that would foment in greater quantities in later Peppers albums.
Some good tracks on here but the final product is ultimately too disjointed to read as a cohesive album. Comes across more as a set of B-sides and demos, a view reinforced by the garage-level production
Starts off strong but the arrangements quickly lose creative steam and blend together. The unearned bombast of the horn section is grating as well.
Decent early garage rock LP, some tracks reminded me of Ty Segall and Oh Sees.
Good varied instrumentation and voice leading, but French Tropicana is just not my thing.
Not sure how to feel about this one. There are some excellent/classic tracks on here, but this LP tiptoes dangerously between tongue-in-cheek and all-out cheese. When the balance is right things are enjoyable, but some of the later ballads strain patience.
Overly jammy on some tracks, but the tip-top arrangements, production, and guitar tones compensate to make for a mostly enjoyable album.
Expected more in the songwriting department from John on this one. Lyrics veer way too repetitive and obvious, instrumentation could use a boost of originality and harkens back to Beatle days.
Earns its title as an indie classic - sounds like an album that could have been released within the past 5 years. Not all of the tracks are stunners and sometimes wear their welcome thin with repetitive arrangements, but there are enough high points here to make for an enjoyable listening experience.
Enjoyable riot grrl LP with some unexpectedly deep songwriting and arrangements along the way. Need to give this another listen to fully appreciate it.
An interesting mix of influences leads to an LP with a surprise around every corner. Though the instrumentals shuffle on well past their end-by date, each track still blossoms with its own unique sense of adventure.
Takes its time to get going but encompasses a wide swath of well-blended influences at its end. Swing, acid house, a touch of Tropicana and more are blended into unique pop operas that have a life all their own. The interludes could be trimmed (even in the context of the narrative) and some fat cut from overlong arrangements, but a great concept album over all.
Overreliant on one to two vocal samples to drive each track, this album fails to impress in terms of originality and variation no matter how catchy some of the underlying DnB is. The sampling and arrangement brilliance of the last two songs show how the others could have been so much better.
Much more dynamic and inspired than 'Liege and Lief' - the songs here are varied and draw from a wide range of influences that surprise and entertain at each turn. Track length is still an issue, though, with several pieces beating one verse and chorus within an inch of their lives.
While some of the individual tracks impress with their strong instrumentation and influences, the album as a whole reads more as a grouping of demos than a cohesive product.
A slog of a listen - songs tend to drone on without soul or purpose, meandering through with plenty of annoying synths and vocal accents but no substance to speak of
Some interesting tracks here and there but missing the unifying element to bring it all together, especially for an album of this length
Strives to hit some balance between choral, dance, and indie but ends up becoming a bland, repetitive mess in the process
Some decent tracks on here but nothing memorable, especially given their other work.
I cannot put into words how much I hate this album. Muzak-like synths, awful violin parts, and lyrics dripping in cheese make this the worst examples of 80s indulgences
Not enough here to generate substantial interest from a singer-songwriter standpoint. Most tracks abandon any interesting improvisation in favor of rehashing the chorus on a loop, but even then the style isn't strong enough to differentiate it from the crowd.
Overall enjoyable but needs more variation - blends into an indiscernible amalgam of Beatle-esque jangle pop after a while.
There are several stunning compositions and brave production decisions throughout this album, but they're overshadowed by odd interludes and a cheese factor that's hard to shake and dates the LP heavily.
The virgin Harry Rag vs. the chad David Watts
Some fun vocal manips and beats here but not enough to justify the runtime
From the get-go it's clear this is John's 70s album. Borrows influence from prog all the way through tropicana and injects them with his typical bombast to make each track uniquely its own. Whether the LP holds together as a cohesive whole is dubious, but each track is a great ride in and of itself even outside the well-known hits.
An absolute masterclass in electronic arrangement and production. Each track is its own small microcosm of carefully layered synths and samples, a small world that exists for only 3 minutes at a time and fully encompasses the entire soundstage. Some tracks could use a bit more variation, but overall an amazing listening experience.
A little disjointed sample-wise, but still some solid beats and bars here. Wish there was more of the aggressively nasty synth and guitar present on some tracks, but the lo-fi production still brings out the savagery across the rest of the tracks.
Some interesting instrumentation, but most tracks are dreadfully one-note in structure
Solid early Ska album with some B-52ish influences. This does lend some annoying vocals at points, but the varied melodies and innovative use of chorus compensate to make for a good listen.
Great early 2000s alt-rock statement. Sharp instrumentals and arrangements complement witty lyricisms for an incisive (if sometimes repetitive) LP.
This isn't a joke? I'm not being put on here, am I?
Few interesting tracks on this one, most are repetitive and instrumentally bland
A great early alternative, guitar-driven album. The back half of the LP does seem to lose steam and resort to repetitive arrangements, but the combined force of the instrumentation and charging title track still make for a decent listen.
A shame that the production mutes the raw intensity present on this LP. As a progenitor of the lo-fi distorted chorus sound, it's boggling that this album eschews a louder, more visceral production style for the flat mix that does nothing for the tracks.
There’s no denying this LP is well-constructed, but it leans so hard into one-note rhythms and song structures that it all kind of blurs together into an overlong porn Muzak compilation
Surprised by the range of influences on this LP, but a bit disappointed in how monotonous the album becomes after the first few tracks
The highs are smashing but the lows are disappointingly bland on this one. 'Heart of Glass' still slays though
Much better than 'USA' - this is a big, bold album bursting with life. While the tracks aren't mindblowing (save for the absolute screamer of a title track), they bubble with a life and individuality that makes the LP a fun listen.
Some Elton John has creeped in during the intervening years between 'Born to Run' and this LP. This one does cross too much into ostentatious territory, unfortunately - the tracks feel just a tad overwrought but not memorable.
While there are some clever lyrics ('Political Science' for example) to be had on the album, the compositional choice for most tracks to be standalone piano ballads or have sparse orchestral backing strands the majority of the LP in uninteresting waters.
Solid classic rock album both contemplative and riff-filled. Some dynamic contrast could have livened things up a bit but good compositions nonetheless
Sounds to me like Beatles-meets-Monkees here and there, could definitely use more of the former as the slow, shambling one-note ballads could use some more lyrical and instrumental variation to move things along.
An album that goes well beyond the meme. Some amazing narrative lyricism + expertly minimal instrumentation makes for a rapturing listen even if country isn't your genre. The explicit religious themes of 'The Master's Call' dates/detracts the narrative and loses this LP a few points, but doesn't hamper the album enough to make it any less of a lyrical joyride
While most of the songs lean on their lyrical theme pretty hard and there are some questionable choices ('Jailbait') made, there's no denying that at its core this is an absolute charging rock machine that's a classic for a reason. RIP Lemmy
Some dark, contemplative rock on this one - the longer, trying, experimental back-end is balanced out by some concise bangers on the first half.
An interesting mix of bluesier influences and proto-rock but not enough for an engaging listen
Starts out rough with meandering tracks searching for a plot, but comes into its own strongly on the back half with gazey, domineering guitar parts and strong psychedelic overtones.
A zippy live album for sure. There's no dynamic contrast or distinction to be found, but the rollicking energy of Lewis and the crowd still provide an enjoyable listen.
While this is still definitively a S&G album, the wealth of influences it incorporates within their iconic sound pushes it well beyond their past output. The brash synths, upbeat orchestrations, and more sinister compositions here all build into an album that changes face with every track but maintains a coherent throughline.
Interesting guitar work here and there but not enough to overcome the repetitive song structures and annoying vocals
An amazing hip-hop album, great production and flows + a lyrical focus on social issues that are /still/ relevant today makes for a fun but engaging listen
Interesting tracks here and there punctuated by just enough tongue-in-cheek energy and wild abandon to make things work. Kept me interested enough to listen through all 2.5 hours at least
Leans too hard into the blues portion of blues rock, way too much gratuitous noodling over what would otherwise be nice, concise rock tracks.
This LP sounds unsure of what it wants to be - it starts off with some gratingly repetitive country tracks, tries to go in for big bombastic numbers that Young's voice can't support, and then manages to nail a few standard rock tracks. A very uneven listen and album overall
Works best when it explores the fray between indie arrangements and grungier instrumentation, unfortunately leans too hard into the latter on most tracks and becomes a bit homogenous and unremarkable throughout
Didn't leave much of an impression - even as an originator of the jangly but dark chorus-tinged 80s sound, the Smiths don't know when to mix it up or cut a song short. The back half here especially drags as 6-minute tracks wear out 3 minutes worth of ideas.
While I'm sure this worked as a live experience, there's not enough connective tissue to make something this proggy work on record. Without the visual experience of being there or the fidelity of a studio recording, the threads that tie this into a cohesive listening experience just aren't there.
If you're going to write an hour's worth of thrift store Metallica songs about hell, you should at least make them sound different from one another.
While the overall composition here is rock solid, these tracks just don't know when to quit. The grooves established on some are enough to power through a solid 3 minutes, but others are so limpid that even 2 minutes feels like a drag.
Superb female-fronted grunge/garage rock. Though the compositions tend to be repetitive, Love's take-no-prisoners energy makes each track its own inherent testament that needs to be heard until the end.
Blech - songwriting is at best cheesy/lazy, the tonal flow jumps all over the place, and the tracks are too long by at least 1-2 minutes each. This is the first album that's made me question the mechanism behind the list. Surely there are more seminal albums from the aughts than this one?
A fever dream of an album - more than a few listens are necessary to fully explore the nooks and crannies here
A fun and tongue-in-cheek LP that sounds surprisingly modern. Some of the slide guitar lines remind me of Ratatat for how trebly and rhythmic they are.
For being the inspiration behind the most abused guitar store riff in history, this album does tend to punch above its weight. However, it still gets mired in repetitive song structures and gratuitous noodling that tends to wear thin after a while
Solid jazz album, appreciated the inclusion of some Spanish influences here and there.
Vega's vocals (though odd) are beautiful, though the entire album is weighed down by repetition in its tendency to abuse a 4-8 bar lick/chord progression throughout.
An abject disappointment following 'Melodies' two years earlier. The lack of a strong rhythm section and any kind of melodic variation does make it feel like you're floating in space, but more in a 'god this is boring' kind of way rather than anything exciting.
Some tracks are enjoyable here and there, but overall the LP left little to no impression on me after the fact.
I'm likely biased since I learned bass on these songs, but man is this album one of balance. It knows when to go for the proggy narrative lyricism but also when to let the rippers fly, when to dial it down to acoustics but also when to crank the dynamics to 10. The fact it maintans a sense of cohesion throughout is just the cherry on top
Miles always delivers - a solid jazz album, not entirely memorable but makes for a good listen
Contains some of Brubeck's strongest tracks, but is mired slightly by the homogenous piano interludes.
Great to hear the classics in context on this one. Suffers from the usual BB drawbacks (vocals on top of each other in the mix especially) but the production and guitar here still make for an entertaining LP
This is at least reminiscent of classic country, so not nearly as grating as modern country can be. However, this thing is just way too homogenous - tracks blend into one another after a while if the slide guitar tone and arrangements remains relatively static.
Not at all what I was expecting! While there's still some cheesy arrangements here and there, this LP takes its premise to the extreme and doesn't let up. Bongos forever y'all
The energy is there, but without much representation in the mids it’s hard to distinguish one track from another in a live environment.
Weird cross between muzak-level vocal-led tracks and attempts at flashy rock that fall flat. Not a fan
Classic rock at its best - some ho-hum tracks stall a bit of the forward momentum, but the synth tracks on this LP absolutely kill.
An interesting mix of Reggae and rock influences that tries but misses the mark. Marred by overlong arrangements, dated synths, and questionable vocals.
Lacking enough cohesiveness to work as a full LP, reads more as a scattered collection of (sometimes catchy) B-sides Aside: This is my ~180th album and the first not available on Spotify
Decent Beatles-esque LP, though a bit forgettable
While the selection and quality of songs on 'Folsom' is better, the banter between Cash and the inmates here really sells the authenticity of these performances.
This still holds up as a solid overall LP, but on relistening it's clear how much this album suffers from static song structures. Most tracks tend to ride solely on a repeated 8-bar verse, and while they tend to end before things get grating a few tracks stay well past their welcome.
Baker’s vocals are outstanding, but the backing tracks fail to live up to the vox with their dated synths (the drums and sax still rip tho)
This album is crisp as hell - minimalist beats and bass lines that take no prisoners coupled with dense bars that range from abstract to narrative gems. Deserves more than a few replays for sure
Plenty of metal classics on this one - while the production is air-tight, the album does lag in its back half as the songs tend to fall into repetitive arrangements.
While these tracks meander from tropicana to rock-inspired with little cohesion between, Simon's narrative storytelling weaves a strong enough thread to make the entire LP a worthwhile listen
There are some good songs in here, but they're all buried beneath way too much gratuitous noodling to enjoy listening to.
While there are some great themes explored here, the production is way too busy and at times overwhelms the bars.
The Delta-Blues influences are front and center for most of this album, allowing Elvis to show off his guitar and vocal chops. The back half sags into kitsch balladry a bit, but the overall product still makes for a good listen.
Too much orchestration in the instrumentals or drama in Walker's vox to feel genuine. Frustrating because songs like 'Old Man' masterfully blur the line between genres while remaining catchy, yet such hits are few and far between on this LP.
Unsure what to make of this one, there are flairs of the Bowie charm here and there but the tracks feel too disparate to form any kind of cohesive LP.
This Creole jazz LP struggles to string even 30 minutes of runtime together without feeling threadbare and hollow.
I can appreciate the group leaning fully into these off-the-wall synth textures and arrangements even if things tend to get a bit repetitive here and there.
Though a tad overstuffed, this LP dodges any sort of datedness with a diverse set of influences to pull from. The scorching guitar tone still invokes the 90s, but purely in the best way possible as it floods the tire soundstage. A masterclass in production and arrangement all around
Only gets two stars because I heard several of these songs on the "80s, 90s, and today" radio station on repeat when I was a kid in the car. 'You Give Love A Bad Name' is a killer track, but the rest is bland, repetitive, overproduced fare that should have been left in the 80s.
Solid 90s grunge album with a surprising amount of variation in the guitar licks and song structures. Some tinges of 80s grandstanding and the mix bring the LP down a bit, but not enough to prevent a relisten.
While the initial lure of this LP's odd vocals and compositions is strong, it quickly dies out due to the one-trick-pony aspect. Most tracks blend into one another with little distinction and fail to provide a good hook into the album at large.
Bland, repetitive rock. There are flashes of intrigue here and there with good hooks, but they're greatly outweighed by the bland crooners and lack of genuine energy on any of the uptempo tracks.
An intriguing whisp of an album - didn't cohere fully on first listen, but this may have been a function of the organic, ethereal feel each track has, as if they're arising out of nothingness
One thing I appreciate about Harvey's artistry is how undeniably 'her' each album she makes is. This sophomore effort has all the classic PJisms - gnashing guitars, looming interludes, creeping voices in the background. Things do tend to get a bit homogeneous and too blandly 90s grunge in the middle, but some discordant interludes snap things back into focus sharply for a strong finish.
Shame that some of the more exciting instrumentals from the Stones have to be paired with their most alarmingly misogynistic lyrics
Say what you want about prog, but no other subgenre can produce sprawling yet intricate tracks like this. Squier keeps the band locked in with a boisterous yet precise bass tone, and from there the band builds into massive melodic structures that can stop and turn on a dime. Docking two stars as the middle track feels somewhat listless (and eats up nearly a third of the runtime!), but the other two tracks could stand as EPs in their own right.
Starts off strong as a passing of the torch from Oasis to Blur kind of LP, strong guitar leads with a healthy dollop of facetious wit. Wilts in the back half unfortunately, swapping sardonic rippers for Keane-esque Britpop ballads dripping in cheese.
Outside of the huge singles, this LP struggles to find an identity for itself. The leading tracks all have strong personalities with their defined guitar or synth hooks, but the meandering quality of the rest derail any kind of overall cohesion.
Hard to believe this is the same artist who put together ‘Songs.’ Arrangements are one-note, instrumentals are cheesy, and the overall product is just disappointing
Caught between the Bowie extremes of quirky, threadbare ballads and all-out pop-rock stardom. There are some excellent tracks on here ('Changes' and 'Queen Bitch' to name a few), but the entire product never really gels into a full LP.
Nagging vocals get lost in ethereal instrumentals to make this LP end up a repetitive yet forgettable mess.
Everything about this album - the strained vocals, limp instrumentals, and blandly repetitive arrangements - sucks, but that was to be expected.
While the tracks get somewhat repetitive after a while, Richard's voice and energy make the whole LP an absolute blast to listen to.
Marlie can pull off some great vocals, but the LP as a whole is overwhelmingly repetititve.
Starts off strong with some pop-rock stunners, but completely loses all momentum with some middling ballads in the back half.
A dark, brooding LP wrapped in layers of production. Probably the group's best effort alongside 'Viva La Vida'
Starts off completely uninteresting (muzak-level composition and vox) before taking a turn into the annoying with grating vocals that come across as trying too hard. There are some commendable production decisions on this LP, but everything above coupled with an overall dollop of arrogance throughout means I won't soon be returning to this one.
Great collection of some out-there remnants from the death throes of the 90s. While I wish the LP carried more of the chaotic energy of 'Dirge' and felt a bit more cohesive, I still find myself drawn by how well this encapsulates such a revolutionary and scattershot decade of music in a collection of tracks that evoke without feeling dated.
The instrumentation is there, but everything else falters big-time. The entire LP is so repetitive that once you've heard the first verse-chorus set you can skip the entire rest of the song.
I've tried to get into this album for years and it only just clicked today. One of those that must be listened to as a complete product - no single song defines this LP, nor sets the tone. It's the collective themes (coupled with great melodies and lush production) that make this album whole.
An album from the 80s that doesn’t indulge in itself for once. Though some songs tend to plod due to lack of editing, the synth melodies and catchy vox are enough to keep things moving through the slow spots.
The production on this LP is pristine - massive walls of synths cascading into quieter passages with some hard-turn samples thrown in for good measure. The bars usually rise to meet the occasion, but there are some lyrics that stick out like a sore thumb with their datedness or slightly cringe viewpoints.
I’m still stuck on whether I like this band or not - the tracks that borrow heavily from early ‘00s rock with some country influences shine on this one, and some of the slower tracks with more country elements are enjoyable as well. There are just a few songs here that completely get lost in the country veneer that sound so bad I can’t make my mind up as to whether they derail the whole thing.
Solid punk basis with pop sensibilities on top. Nothing to write home about (especially some stale non-starters in the back half), but enjoyable rock all around.
Some more imaginative and varied tracks on this one than previous Byrd outings – though the strong psychedelic streak at the start fades out in the back half, there's still enough thematic links (and a hell of a lot of flanger) to cohere the entire LP together.
Slightly on the repetitive side, but with such fun, spontaneous energy on each track that’s hardly a problem. The instrumentation could be a bit more varied on each track, but for its time this LP still shines.
Classic blues-inspired R&B. Not a lot of variation to be found, but Charles does one thing and he does it well.
A grunge manifesto in disgust for corporate and popular society at large. Cobain's seething delivery and simple yet evocative guitar lines underwrite not only an indictment of Nirvana's success post-Nevermind and Kurt's feelings of exploitation ('Rape Me', 'Radio Friendly Unit Shifter'), but a continually relevant vision of the sheer vapidity of modern society ('Very Ape', 'Dumb'). Shifting between pure discord and true beauty ('All Apologies' is and always will be a stunner of a track), this LP is not so much rage but cynicism sonified, one final wail against the cesspool of American society before finally giving in.
Starts out a typical reggae album… sidesteps into straight rock… and then proceeds to mix the two throughout? While the vocals did wear on me after a while, this LP managed to keep me on my toes for its entire runtime with an eclectic mix of genres that somehow works way better than it should.
Outside of the title track, this one fails to impress. Some of the vox here are shockingly bad, and the instrumentation presents itself in sparse and displeasing ways. Unsure why the wonderful vocal harmonies and synth lines of 'Dreams' didn't play a larger role in the album as a whole.
I know this band can bring the energy just from 'Come on Eileen' alone – this LP instead just sounds limpid and flat, even the brass/string sections sound as if they're just reading the sheet without much enthusiasm.
Another misguided 80s mishmash of genres, this time between something approximating heavy metal and of course cheesy, blaring synths. There are some salvageable tracks on here, but throwing aggravating vocals into the mix means there’s little enjoyment to get out of this LP.
An intersectional Beatles LP - snippets of the past poppy and future psychedelic/rock-ripper directions all jumbled together in one album. Not the most cohesive product, but an interesting one at the very least
Wish this one had stuck closer to the crude, punkier tracks that showed real instrumental and thematic verve. The intermingling of piano ballads and slower pieces just killed all momentum and cohesion of the LP as a whole.
I think my biggest qualm with this album is the production - Gaye’s vocals are great as always and the melodic instrumentation is layered wonderfully behind a small ocean of filters, but there’s not enough umph in the rhythm section to grab onto. I get this is an R&B album, but without any kind of strong rhythmic presence these tracks just flop around like a blob fish without much sense of direction (which doesn’t help the fact that some of the melodies sound similar to one another)
More captivating than 'Harvest' in its composition and instrumental execution, but still lacking a singular focus. Tracks drift mindlessly from one to another without any sense of cohesion, even taking into account the beach theme.
Such a frustrating LP - the base melodies and most of the vocals are stellar, but overlong runtimes and grating delivery make this an album to endure, not enjoy.
An interesting LP that starts out as Beatles-lite only to morph into more experimental and involved psych work on the back half.
An interesting LP that sounds surprisingly modern at times - the opening track especially called to mind modern electronica artists like Porter Robinson with its structure and synth tones. Does meander from where its best in some more questionable tracks, but there’s enough here to warrant another listen.
The bridge between Britpop and true shoegaze, this LP sees MBV wading into a prototype of the glide guitar style that would come to define an entire subgenre. Altered/eery melodies and song structures complement the style well, giving this album a somewhat menacingly ethereal feel. Not every track lands (the band can’t write a dynamic arrangement to save their life, meaning a few songs drag on), but the visceral creativity and knowledge of what comes next makes this LP a notable one.
Glisteningly sharp proto-punk. While one could claim the songs sound similar instrumentation-wise, each has a distinct, sharp take due to clever melodies and wry lyrics.
As always Mitchell's vox soar and swoop all over this LP, evoking a range of emotions and reeling the listener in with its tones. However, the orchestration and arrangement here are a bit too meandering to gel together as an artistic whole - this album nearly sells the essence of floating across Central Park on a lazy day, but gets caught up in one too many refrains and jazz licks to really land the concept.
Too bland to escape beyond muzak-level recognition - some interesting melodic ideas, but nothing punchy enough to draw attention.
An LP fueled by righteous anger alone. The lyrics and instrumentation are simple, but the furor with which each is delivered brings each track to a level greater than the sum of its parts. Big props to Morello for indulging in some nu-metal guitar tones in a way that feels experimental without dating the album.
A simmering proto-psychedelic LP that blends more than a few genres into a rocking, cohesive whole. Has a surprisingly modern feel to it - some tracks reminded me of bluesier QotSA songs even.
Some interesting textures and ideas here and there, but not nearly enough to unify these scattershot tracks into a cohesive whole.
An interesting mix of Arabian, French, and even English styles that makes for an overall engaging listen. The slower tracks drag a bit, but there’s enough energy and variety in the remaining tracks to keep one engaged.
I always struggle to believe that the band that can produce stunning guitar+synth-driven powerhouses like 'Age of Consent' can revert to such dull, one-note tracks. While some of the melodic lines here are catchy, there's not nearly enough variation to hold interest for the 4-5 minute runtimes most tracks occupy.
An ecstatic LP that excites on both emotional and instrumental levels. While the back half slides into forgettable classic rock territory, the front dominates with catchy melodies that don't skimp on flashy, satisfying solos.
While some of the ideas here are exciting, there is absolutely way too much going on for anything to gel into something beyond a weird primal scream. The vocal are either great or insanely irksome, the instrumentation groovy and interesting or grating, and the overall effect one of misused potential.
Blandly repetitive outside of the title track, perhaps the only song on this LP with an interesting melody behind it.
You could group all the uptempo and slow Neil Young songs together and any two tracks from either group would be indistinguishable. There’s an attempt here to jazz things up with some jazzier arrangements, but the sheer repetition and Young’s scraggly vocals just make every track an absolute drag.
A shame this LP can't live up to the wonders of uptempo tracks like 'To Be Young' - while the pace is significantly too slow across the rest of the album, Adams' lightheartedness and genuine delivery do at least make the slower tracks tolerable.
O'Connor seems to sample every hot genre of the 90s in this one, running over the bombastic pop ballad, trip-hop piece, and standard britpop rocker just to name a few. Some are executed better than others (a few even to a T!), but the lack of a consistent theme means this feels less an album and more a dartboard of musical experiments.
An excellent collaboration between three stellar hip-hop titans. A solid blend of beats, bars, and social commentary thrown in with some not-too-cringy skits make for an enjoyable LP, though I wish Hill had more airtime on this one.
A wild ride of an LP - the compositions are loud and boisterous, while Nyro’s vocals sit on top and often threaten to go off the rails (though never do). Worth another listen just to fully digest all that’s happening here.
The narratives here are engrossing enough, but lord the song structures need some sort of variation. Often the 'chorus' follows every verse, some of which are as short as a single line. This wouldn't be too much of a problem normally, but given every song overstays its welcome by a minute and one of the Louvin brothers has more twang than a detuned guitar, this does begin to grate after a while.
Some interesting production tricks and solid chorus-tinged guitar tone, but not enough variation from song to song to leave any lasting impression. Also Morrissey is a piece of shit.
Starts off strong but quickly gets mired in overlong arrangements that have no payoff. I don't mind the covers since they have some unique takes to offer on some classics, just wish the album could maintain the focus and energy found on its opening and closing tracks.
There are some genuinely interesting compositional and voicing ideas on this LP, they're just too obscured by indulgent noodling and cloying vocals to make it worth the listen.
Absolutely beautiful when it allows Nico to juxtapose her vocals against simple guitar melodies, but too often opts for crowded arrangements that squeeze her vocal range uncomfortably.
The production soars near the beginning of this album but quickly loses steam to the point where the last tracks are cloying in their use of samples. Mediocre bars throughout mean this one lands firmly in the disappointment pile.
Great prog weaves several distinct themes into a unified whole, meaning songs that last up to 20 minutes can feel distinct yet greater than the sun of their parts. This LP takes sharp turns, abandons themes left and right, stuffs incompatible ideas into overlong tracks, and has weird growling noises on it. This is not great prog.
Never have I heard an album where all the songs are stuck in first gear, right on the verge of breaking through to some big musical moment but stuck instead wearing down the same melodic line and tired lyrics. Not a great sign when the most exciting song on the LP is a Springsteen cover.
A masterclass in prog composition and execution. Each track bursts forth with memorable melodies underscored with amazing technical prowess. Even on the more subdued and less notable back half of the LP, Lee, Pert, and Lifeson still deliver outstanding performances that continue to offer hidden intricacies.
If you took every single alternative album released in the 90s and averaged them together you would get this absolute milquetoast, forgettable LP.
An LP that manages to build whole worlds out of nothing but some sparse arrangements and a healthy dollop of personality. While Bowie plays fast and loose with the actual narrative structure here, near every song thrums with a life, ego, and damnably catchy melody of its own.
Starts off as a strong alternative LP but quickly loses itself in dated synths and truly awful songwriting. I swear everyone in the 80s set their Juno-6 to the same vocal-esque patch and used that for pads.
Rating this one higher than expected for how modern it sounds and how gracefully it has aged. The band still may be riding the success of being the first outfit to use a delay pedal on every song, but the compositions, productions, and rare 80s tendency not to overindulge in dated synths makes it seem at least some of that success was warranted.
A great collection of different takes on some holiday classics, I was able to tolerate listening to this one which speaks highly to its quality. An aside on Christmas music: When will someone create a new holiday staple? The current Christmas song canon has been unmodified since Mariah Carey cursed the world back in the early 2000s. Perhaps I'm just a 20-something cynic but I'm tired of hearing the exact same recording every single year.
An interesting, angular LP that harkens the arrival of Jack White 4 years before the White Stripes would drop their S/T. Not all of the slower tracks work alongside the familiar-yet-skewed uptempo rock songs, but the overall product is one that warrants a relisten by far.
Some of the more lively tunes from CCR's discography on this one, though after 3 of these LPs everything does tend to run together.
Nothing personal against this album, acapella/choral stuff has just never been my thing. Extreme props to the performers and recording engineers on this LP - the hint of natural reverb lifts the delivery of this album beyond a recording into an almost hypnotic aural vision.
You've heard this one before - a ho-hum, Doors-esque rock LP complete with gratuitous noodling, meandering song structures, and not much of a point. A few tinges of psychedelia aren't enough to save this one from mediocrity.
The lead track isn't lying - this LP arrives with a lot of pomp and circumstance only to retread 1-2 loops for seven minutes at a time, leading to an album full of mildly peppy background music. James Murphy tries to add some flair in the vox, but lacks the delivery, creativity, and quality of not being an asshole to make things work.
Ya like jazz?
Enjoyed this one much more than I expected to. Lynn and her genuine vocals carry each arrangement on a mix of pure simplicity, true sorrow, and honest emotions.
Despite the cult of personality surrounding this album, it does deliver on its premise of a highly thematic rock album that doesn't get lost in its own narrative. Though some tracks tend to run long, the majority manage to exhibit a wealth of their own personality while still serving the overall LP as a whole, helping it to deliver a message of mortality and meaning.
There are some melodies and ideas which try to extend beyond the rock canon here, but ultimately they're crushed by the mediocrity of noodling, overlong track lengths, and harsh vocals.
A mostly forgettable rock album filled with gratuitous lead guitar and not much melodic substance.
Not as definitive or memorable as their other works, mainly lacking in verve due to a noticeably less prominent rhythm section.
A warm hug of an album that flashes in and out of existence hardly before it gets started. What makes this short, sweet LP work is the rawness of Drake's vocals and performance - the rasping of guitar strings silhouetted against his dulcet vox makes it feel as you've stumbled upon his performance umprompted.
Discogs said this was one of the 'best breakup albums of all time,' so if by breakup album you mean plodding, repetitive, mumbly moaning tracks and by best you mean worst, I agree.
Though it succumbs to the late 60s temptations of limpid ballads/Beatles-esque tunes at times, this is LP exudes a clear sense of direct purpose otherwise. The early psychedelic stylings (the constant presence of reverb, jangly interwoven guitars, hell the song titles) here hint at what was to come in the 70s and still sound fresh to this day.
Two halfway decent tracks bookend the rest of an LP filled with pure schmaltz. Disappointing to see the slight sparks of something different in the lengthy opener and shoegazey closer completely snuffed by the insipid melodies and eye-gouging repetition of lyrics such as "I know/ but I don't know" and "I love your walk/ I love your talk."
Finally, an 80s album that doesn’t overstay its welcome or choose the worst synth presets possible. Some tight, punchy compositions on this one using great interplay between guitars and synths. Sting’s almost improvisational bass and crooning vox on top yield an overall solid listening experience.
There are hints of interesting ideas on this LP, but they ultimately end up being washed out by standard 80s fare uninspired synth ballads
French House meets Stereolab in the best way possible. An expansive, encompassing LP that could come off as cheesy but reads as genuine due to its wonderful instrumentation and vocal performances.
The idea is clearer than the execution here - Simone strives to tackle some weighty issues on this one, but the arrangements are just too sparse to make things feel cohesive enough
Yes. Hell fucking yes. This wasn't my first Queens album, but it was certainly the first album to permanently drag me into the fray of fuzzed-out, lo-fi garage rock that pulled no punches and took no prisoners. The lack of polish on this LP is a feature, not a bug - the grimy guitar, punchy drums, and absolutely sinful growl of the bass unify to form some sort of primal roar, a sound dwarfing the expected output of a usual rock threesome. Already the vestiges of future QotSA albums are present in the straightforward rock charts augmented with off-kilter, skittering accents that suggest something is not quite right, that perhaps the sex, drugs, and rock n' roll this song describes belies some greater horror. An unbelievably deep first outing for a band (thanks in part to Homme's time with Kyuss) and an album I return to whenever there's the need to kick some metaphorical teeth in.
A decent hip-hop LP, some interesting bars here and there but the arrangements don't do enough to push this album into memorable territory
Interesting free form jazz LP with a heavier dose of effects (especially reverb) than one would expect. Some interesting takes hear, just wish there were stronger melodic threads or motifs in the longer tracks
I don't think I've ever heard the full-length version of the title track, so I was pleasantly surprised to find ~3 more minutes of head-banging goodness on top of what I already knew. It's that relentless energy that makes this album listenable; maybe I'm using the wrong speakers/'phones, but this thing absolutely drowns in mids that tend to wash out the bass and drums. Burton's lines deserve to be heard, damn it!
A solid proto-shoegaze LP filled with lush chord vamps and looming vocals. Spoiled this one a bit by knowing J&MC's later work - this album does feel a bit stuck in second gear when every song is centered at the ~90 bpm mark, especially when this band can really crank it out on uptempo tracks.
An album made even more outstanding when one considers its lead architect can't even read sheet music. Jeff Lynne fires on all cylinders with this LP, interlacing stacked vocal melodies on top of horns, organ, guitar, bass, and countless other multitracks to form a carefully crafted wall of sound that defies any genre label one might want to put on it.
Contains some of my favorite Stones tracks (the multi-layered 'Sympathy for the Devil' and rollicking 'Street Fighting Man'), but the good here is greatly outweighed by the gratuitous honky-tonk of the remaining tracks.
A lovely live recording bursting with energy. Cooke clearly enjoys being a conduit on center stage, leading the crowd in call-and-response refrains while providing a healthy dollop of banter on top.
Only a few tracks here (mainly the title) stand out from a background of droll, almost muted songs that lack in originality and verve.
Minimalistic production paired with easy-going bars. Nothing too memorable lyrics or backing-track wise, which is especially a disappointment for an album of this length.
It’s to this album’s credit that it manages to be so entertaining enough as to warrant nearly 2 full hours of airtime. Not every song is a hit (and some tend to stay well past their welcome), but those that are pulse with a genuine, earned passion and joy that’s hard to turn off.
Nothing extremely memorable here - several tracks felt on the verge of taking off, but stayed at frustratingly mid-tempo paces. Lots of delivery with little payoff
Wonder's vox come through much more powerfully here than on 'Key of Life,' a marked improvement given how talented he is as a singer. Though the LP feels more like a grab bag of songs rather than a cohesive album (too much tempo/styling variation), there are enough highs here to keep things enjoyable throughout the 45-minute runtime.
Might as well have come out in the 80s for how dated, excessive, and cloying it is. A lack of any melodic throughline means this is ambient music listening at best.
Some fun dance/house on this one, normally I’d be annoyed by the length and repetition but the beats are great and there’s enough tongue-in-cheek lyricism to make things work
Much less melodically driven than other AT works, dwells more in ethereal soundscapes and ideas than grounded song structures. This works intermittently throughout the album - the highs are enjoyable, but other tracks tend to fade into the background due to repetition or lack of meaningful melodic content.
Too ephemeral to leave much of an impression – tracks appear and exit before they are able to leave much of a melodic impression. I get that this is punk, just not seeing much to return to here.
A fun improv jazz album that hits harder than most on this list so far. The Spanish influences and melodic echoes throughout the track (especially the anthemic closer) bring this one to a new level and give it a bit of staying power.
Having taken one (1) astrophysics course in graduate school, I am completely qualified to make the following assessment: If we estimate a zillion as being equal to 10^33 and take our reference point to heaven as the center of the universe, it is located ~10^24 light years away from the edge of the known universe. Assuming the rate of cosmic expansion holds constant at 67.4 km/s/megaparsec and taking the edge as a static point (not an extended unit of length that will expand itself), this implies that it will make contact with heaven in (10^12 ly)*(9.46*10^12 km/ly)*(67.4 km/s)^(-1)= half a million billion years (4.45*10^14 centuries).
A hip-hop album that prefers to lay back in the groove with some more narrative bars. Wish there was a bit more variation in tempo and beats on this one, things seemed to run together after a bit.
The first quarter of this LP slays, full of crunchy krautrock riffs on top of smooth, infectious grooves. The rest is its Achilles heel, however, as things get way too experimental and out there to support interest in the rest of a 2 hour album.
A whole different album beyond the singles that have been played to death on alternative rock/mainstream radio. Pleasantly surprised by the more hard-driving uptempo tracks on this one, as they push well beyond what's expected from an RHCP song. The slower, ballad-like tracks come out of left field as well, but balance some of the more indulgent energies on the rest of the LP.
There are some powerful tracks where the lyrics shine through here, but for most of the LP it seems King's vocals are mixed directly in the instrumentals. Everything just tends to blend together as a result, obscuring the singer half of this singer-songwriter album.
Starts off strong with powerful guitar leads and riveting vocals, but quickly dates itself back to the 90s on the back half with schmaltzy arrangements and questionable vocal delivery.
Most of the absolute classics on this one. The arrangements do tend to get a bit repetitive, but even then I wish some of the tracks were longer here - Franklin knows how to write a damn catchy verse.
There are some genuinely interesting ideas and musical moments on here, they're just a bit washed out due to overlong arrangements. A bit of editing to cut the fat would've made this a 3-4 star album; as is, it's a bit of a slog to take in all at once.
Disappointed in this one - feels way too tame for a Harvey album. Missing the usual frenetic, undeniable energy of her past LPs and feels deflated and limpid as a result.
Caught between the pull of early dancehall and soulful R&B, this LP lands smack dab in the disappointingly tepid middle. There are occasional flashes of the innovative production and sound design that would later characterize 'Mezzanine,' but here the highs aren't nearly frequent enough to keep the album from feeling like a chore.
Listened to the deluxe version on Spotify which includes both the standard reggae versions + original album tracks. Refreshing to hear Marley rephrase his Jamaican reggae stylings into more modern arrangements of the time - it's a testament to his musicianship and passion that both versions both share a common thread but manage to have their own distinct sonic personality. While I'm still not the biggest fan of reggae for its inherent repetition and downtempo nature, the tracks here did grow on me as the LP progressed.
One of my favorite quotes is Angus Young saying “ I'm sick to death of people saying we've made 11 albums that sounds exactly the same, Infact, we've made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.” And hey, if your dumb horny rock n’ roll music ain’t broke, I certainly agree you shouldn’t fix it.
Disappointed with this one - a lack of variation in both the guitar tone and melodic lines means everything just blurs into one big hardcore mess that's ultimately forgettable.
Reminds me of a smaller-scale, more intimate version of FKA Twigs' LP1. Smaller-scale tracks rich in lush production are complemented well by meaningful, socially-focused interludes that give a loose sense of narrative without distracting from the album's flow.
Missing the experimentation and energy of their other LPs. Most songs tend to beat an already dated melody to death over the course of 4-5 minutes, and even those that shine pale in comparison to the tracks this band can knowingly produce.
While the middle tracks are a bit ho-hum standard Floyd rock, 'Diamond' absolutely dominates the LP with its swaggering synths and boisterous guitar. Not shying away from the true depths of prog means the final product sounds a little dated, but still maintains enough grandiosity to enthrall on each listen.
Deeper vocals and less reliance on doo-whop harmony means this one stands out from the typical Beach Boy LP output. A bit of bite from the slightly overdriven guitars gives the whole production a bit of edge as well.
An interesting blend of genres and influences that doesn't quite stick the landing - some tracks swirl with the perfect mix of Eastern/Latin/Hip-Hop rhythms, but others bite off more than they can chew and fall into a repetitive (and boring) holding pattern.
Repetitive and cloying, mainly thanks to bargain-bin beats and the most British vocals you can find. Some tracks on the back half manage to eke their way into mildly catchy territory, but after the absolute slog of the first half the LP needs a lot more than a few bangers to atone for its sins.
There are definite grooves and high points outside the frustratingly repetitive title track, but not nearly enough to elevate this album to anything memorable when it comes to rock.
Most of this LP is what one would expect from the Carpenters, but there are a few curveballs in here that eschew the long ballad structure for more exciting uptempo jaunts. A decent (if not entirely memorable) listening experience
One thing I find so frustrating about this band is that they will let a song build and build and build... before just leaving it stuck in 2nd gear on a repeated refrain? There's no payoff to any of the tension built in unique arrangements and instrumentals, just kind of a dull fizzle as if the band ran out of steam halfway through writing the song.
At first this is a somewhat fresh take for the 80s, still reveling in horribly-dated synths but keeping things scaled back production-wise as opposed to an all-out assault on the ears. Even this quirk isn’t enough to save the album from droll repetition, though, as crooning can only get you so far when all the backing tracks sound the same.
The unique, quirky ska energy manages to keep things fresh for about 3-4 songs before the bit gets stale. Little variation in rythms, instrumentation, or arrangements means everything starts to blend together into 40 or so minutes of British whining and vaguely reggae-ish beats.
An in-situ (and even meta) look at the transition between Delta blues and what would eventually become rock n' roll. Some tracks run a bit longer than they can sustain interest for, but the LP mostly delights with infectious energy, passion, and historical interest.
Kudos to this LP for wearing its aggressively horny heart on its sleeve. Michael manages to get away with this in no small part to how endearing and catchy these songs are - some stray into standard cheesy ballad territory, but most keep things lively and interesting beyond what one would expect.
Whatever catchy initial hook these songs enter with is inevitably lost under 4-5 minutes of gratuitous, unnecessary guitar soloing. This band cannot just let a track breathe (or end in a reasonable amount of time).
A good if not wholly memorable jazz LP. The performances are fluid and graceful, just not anything I think will stick in my memory.
Classic tracks aside this album earns points for how varied and experimental it's willing to be - no two songs seem to rely on the same structure or tempo, and as a result things stay relatively fresh throughout the LP. While the guitar tone could be a bit more pronounced in the mix and the tracks a tad more memorable, the project still sounds modern and engaging enough to warrant a re-listen.
Seems almost like a throwaway album the studio put out as an afterthought. Some of the melodies are catchy, but most songs just exist for two minutes and peter out into nothing almost as if Elvis gave up trying to find a suitable ending and just left the stage. Goes without saying this isn't a wholly memorable project.
A rare miss for this group - usually the beats and bars hit hard and fast on a Public Enemy album, but here they feel a bit tired and repetitive. The subject matter and flow is still at the top of its game, but there aren't as many standout tracks or even individual mic-drop lyrics I know this group is capable of.
My dad does an absolutely over-the-top, sidesplitting parody of Bob Dylan and that's all I can really think about as poor Bob slurs his way through one repetitive chorus after another on this one.
Even for a shorter runtime this LP can't hold enough interest to be more than background music. Occasionally a memorable bar or beat will slip through, but Simz' doesn't put up nearly enough on the production or lyricism front to warrant a re-listen.
Missing the energy of their later efforts - there's a latent sense of the fun lyricism and infectious beats that would later define the outfit, but the creativity here feels stifled and mute compared to what comes later in DMC's discography.
An enjoyable mix of uptempo soul and smooth R&B. Some tracks get a bit repetitive towards the end of their lengthy runtimes, but a healthy dose of slap bass sitting forward in the mix means even these moments feel infectiously groovy.
The arrangements are repetitive, the vocals are just plain bad (or irritating, take your pick), the sound is dated, and the ideas were already done better in the 80s. Nothing salvageable here at all.
Solid metal album - appreciated the variation in instrumental arrangements so it wasn’t just 40 straight minutes of chugging. Some questionable vocals near the end, but overall an enjoyable listen (which is apparently more than I can usually say for LPs in this genre)
From PSAs about your feet to ripping student riot manifestos, this LP clearly isn’t interested in any kind of coherence as a musical whole. It does read as genuine, however, mostly thanks in part to the passion and catchiness that are a part of every tune on here no matter how diverse.
Not nearly enough energy here to sustain interest for even a sub-40 minute LP. Nelson can write a great country ballad, but without any uptempo tracks in the mix to balance them out this album becomes a snoozefest real quick.
Full of surprising guitar tones and production choices, this LP caught me off guard as I haven't been a fan of Portishead's earlier works (which I found to be mired in unexceptional instrumentation and mumbled lyrics). The whole band seems sharper here, as the production brings out challenging, unresolved chord progressions that highlight the simmering emotion in Gibbons' vox.
A decent rock LP that shines when it sticks to the janglier guitar tones and livelier, catchy arrangements. Does lose itself in the middle with an ill-advised try at Delta Blues + some other genres that don't suit the band well, but the sheer number of tracks manage to produce enough winners to make for an overall pleasant listen.
Shines in its uptempo moments but not enough to break the mold of usual 70s country.
This LP has aged worse than spoiled milk - the drums sound straight out of the 90s Korg catalog, and the synths could be presets on any old synth you'd find at a garage sale. The only part that makes this semi-tolerable are the mildly unique arrangements, but even those are hard to find under Gray's melodramatic vox.
An interesting mix of singer-songwriter downtempo ballads and high-energy rock tracks. Alanis' domineering vocals and unique songwriting means the latter land in unforgettably catchy territory, though that's balanced out by the more generic, ho-hum ballads. Tried my best to give this one a fair shake, nearly 1/2 of the album was already engraved in my mind from listening to the radio in the car as a kid.
Reminds me of a punkier, more abstract Screaming Females with a layer of slick, chimey production on top as was common in early-aughts indie. It does seem to me the album loses steam halfway through, especially as Karen O's vocals tend to wear thin. However, the sound and orchestration of the tracks are killer - if the band had varied things a little throughout the album's runtime this would easily be a 4-5 star LP.
A bit downtempo and acoustic for my tastes - there are several interesting vocal touches on choruses, but not enough to keep things from getting stale across the 40-minute runtime. That being said, this hardly deserves to be one of the lowest globally rated albums in the project given some other LPs I’ve heard…
Listened to both the English and French versions and felt the latter flowed better - the rich production complemented by the lyrical flow of the less-angular vocals made the LP feel warm and syrupy. This was both a benefit and detriment, as the synths are top-notch and the production clear without being overpowering, yet there's just too much here to stomach all in one sitting as the melodies vary little from track to track (though maybe that's because I listened to the whole 2LP at once).
Caught between the push-pull of the harder industrial tones and attempts at enveloping melody, this LP ends up feeling disjointed and a bit unpolished. There could have been great synergy between these two goals, but each song tends to lean so hard one way or the other it's hard to find this a cohesive product rather than a grab bag of ideas thrown together. Throw a 14-year old's version of "edgy" lyrics on top and this one just feels misguided and half-baked.
Most tracks start out strong with great samples and defiant bars, but run into trouble when they get stuck in an infinite loop (i.e, "Hole In the Head") before hitting lazy fade-outs every single time. The LP would be so much well-composed if the tracks maintained their energy through variation and actual endings rather than disappearing like puffs of smoke once they've seemingly run out of ideas...
Lo-fi punk rock that's just interesting enough to be listenable while still serving as decent background music while I worked today. Will say the energy starts off strong on this one, but the arrangements and vocals became a bit repetitive about midway through - there are still some surprises on the back half, but nothing that blew me away.
An enjoyable standard Britpop outing, a bit more listenable than its brethren as each track displays individuality while maintaining the core sound of the band. A few songs here and there drag on, but most have catchy enough hooks to sustain interest. Excellent production as well, everything on here is clear as day.
Dated in all the best ways - heavy but not overpowering use of flanger, grungy lo-fi production that sounds like it was done on a dive bar's DI, drawn-out vocals that carry from one verse into another. The intersection of post-punk and 80s glam and it sounds damn good.
Costello's voice sounds like what would result if you asked an AI to recreate Lenny Kravitz and it produced a soulless, uncanny-valley esque replica but also it kind of sounds squeaky and clown-like? If that wasn't enough there are some boggling songwriting decisions on this one - never mind several of the tracks borrow chord progressions from each other, ending a verse on you crooning 'garbage' or 'barbershop' with way too much vibrato is just odd and a little disconcerting. Never mind the fact Elvis thinks he has an n-word pass...
A decent, if overlong, classic rock LP. Definitely wears thin by the end, but the guitar tone is so good and the solos so bread-and-butter blues rock that I was able to find myself nodding along most of the time.
An absolute classic. This album's secret weapons are both the strong, memorable basslines and presence throughout + Billy Joel's intuitive sense of melodic rhythm and harmony. Pushing and pulling against the instrumental, Armstrong's verses elevate this LP from standard punk to a deserving classic.
There’s more authenticity on this single LP than all of last year’s Top 40 releases combined. While not breaking any new ground musically, Songhoy are playing directly from the heart with all the chops needed to back it up. Exceedingly rare to hear music made simply for expressions sake, and though this may be ‘just’ a blues-inspired rock album it’s a damn good listen when all is said and done.
In which domineering pop icon Taylor Swift co-opts and bastardizes the label of 'indie' to take up shelf space and sales that should've gone to actual indie artists Musically I can't add anything new to what's already been said here. The album is inoffensive and blandish, but not altogether unlistenable. What has always repulsed me from Swift's music is the blatant inauthenticity in her image and actions. From the time when she pulled her music from Spotify because she 'wasn't making enough' (when her net worth was already in the millions) to now, where she attempts to pass as a reformed indie artist in some sort of half-assed musical rebirth, everything has been a calculated play not in the interest of making music but money. Swift is a cultural chimera, adapting her image to whatever will sell the most albums actual musical content be damned. Her true artistry ended after she abandoned thoughtful songwriting and actually decent musicianship on the first two country albums and traded them in for the big bucks making soulless pop smashes that dominated the cultural zeitgeist for years. So no, Taylor, you don't get to claim to be an indie artist after topping the Billboard time and time again, no matter how many attempted soulful piano ballads and The National collabs you stick on one LP.
A standard Dinosaur Jr. outing, save for some younger J. Mascis vocals that help the LP evoke an almost heavier Pavement-like sound. No tracks that really leap out, but this band has undeniable chops which mean the album is an enjoyable listen.
I've been trying to get into this band for what feels like forever, and I think this is the album that finally opened the door a bit. Each track is distinct 'Heads' material, but the off-kilter guitar tones now match up to Byrne's eclectic delivery and leave every song an earworm. Lots of head-turners in terms of instrumentation, rhythm, and production only complement the sense of artistic weirdness and make this a fun but easily digestible listen.
Started off at a 2-star level as I expected yet another retread of the tired Scarborough fair sound, but improved along the way. There are some fun rhythms and vocal interplay on this LP, and while not wholly memorable it does stand out just a bit more among a crowded field in this project so far.
I can't well give this a one as there's a certain point where it becomes such a parody of itself it crosses into 'so bad it's good' territory. Highlights and personal favs include - 1) The opening track maintaining a sense of seriousness for all of 30 seconds before laying on the 80s synths as thickly as possible. 2) The mildly porno slap basslines on a few songs where regular bass would've been just fine 3) How every song's chorus includes an awful two-word or so vocal tag (sHoW mE, shOw ME) 4) The point where the band's songwriting gives out and devolves into, I shit you not, "Hip hip hooray...Yippee ai yippee aiay!!" 5) A song that tries to make everyone's most-hated retail job into a convoluted metaphor about being horny 6) A reference to the 12 disciples on a track called "4 ever 2 Gether [sic]" And many more. So yes, this is a musical dumpster fire, but it's at least an entertaining one
If you asked 1000 people to name one song off this album and made a histogram of the results, 99% of the answers would involve 'Dreams,' 'Go Your Own Way,' or 'The Chain.' This isn't a knock on the LP, but it definitely depends on a few anthemic tracks that have stood the test of time for most of its impact. The other songs are pleasant, but lack the absolute verve that these 3 powerhouses incorporate (as well as feeling a little dated... Wurlitzer much?), and it's hard not to feel as if they're filler around absolute killer in an album that dominates vinyl sales even today. The additional reliance on fadeouts for the end of every track gives the album an almost unfinished feel as well.
A decent R&B/rock crossover LP. The driving track feels a bit overlong for how threadbare it is, but most of the other songs are equipped with catchy enough hooks and plenty of envelope filter to get the job done without too much fuss.
This one didn't escape background music level for me - there are some interesting melodies and Green's voice is generally pleasing in delivery, just not any solid hooks I found to grab onto here.
One of the stronger pillars of my parents’ marriage is their shared hatred for Hotel California to the point where I was not allowed to play it on Guitar Hero World Tour in their presence. I don’t share the same level of disdain, but there’s not much to like here either.
Not as immediate or charming as their other work, meaning it ends up in standard twee territory and lacks some of the eclectic energy that makes a Talking Heads LP stand out. Bonus star for the pure nostalgia of 'Take Me to The River' - my great uncle had an animatronic mounted fish that flopped around and sang this song, and I was ultimately banned from using it because I loved hearing it sing so much.
Lacks the energy of a truly great live album, and the culprit lies mainly with the vocal performance. There's a great selection of the band's hits and best B-sides at play, the instrumentals are charged and rip through the mix, but Daltrey sounds tired and is buried underneath everything else to the point where even his stage banter seems forced.
Solid in the first half, with interesting and unexpected melodies for an 80s Brit pop effort. Unfortunately gives in to its roots on the back, resorting to that intolerable sniveling vocal delivery the Brits were so fond of at the time plus overdramatic yet somehow equally bland songwriting.
A more relaxed and low-key affair from a usually eclectic band. Could use some more uptempo tracks, but what's here is enjoyable and listenable enough as is.
Contains some sparks of the well-thought-out songwriting on S/T, but lacks in the memorability department. This LP kind of washed over me - I didn't mind most of it (though some parts leaned heavily on standard 80s indulgences, mostly synths), but found nothing to latch on to here.
A left turn of a Paul Simon album that eschews his usual warm, bare-bones guitar-based style for a distinctly unique take on the 80s. A wealth of genres and styles are sampled on this LP, but none clash or overwhelm in the way that most 80s records tend to do; this is still Simon's sound and songwriting, just clad in the sounds of its time.
For Gilberto's Brazilian roots this album sounds surprisingly French, with light and airy guitar/other instrumentals floating along in time to her powerful but not overpowering vocals. Some tracks do fall flat (any song that includes a child sing-along is an instant no from me), but most of this brief LP delights.
A lesser outing as compared to the masterpiece of 'Morning Glory' that would follow in '95. That being said, this isn't a bad album by any means - one can hear the slow churn of early grunge mixing in with Britpop, even if the two disparate genres still seem a little at odds.
Starts off strong with some wonderful meta touches (the recording dialogue was amazing), but with the back half being live takes and demos the overall LP feels overstuffed and half-baked. Would be much stronger with most of the second half left on the cutting-room floor
Barely a 2 - while there are a few fun tracks here, the others test patience to the extreme by riding on one or two unimaginative progressions/riffs for much longer than they can hope to sustain. I get this LP has a heavy blues influence which entails some repetition, but there's a complete lack of improvisational energy that's necessary to make these tracks not grate after 5 minutes of the same two chords.
Live albums require a good deal of energy and focus to even hope of matching the energy of an in-person show. This outing starts strong but quickly fades in the effort as it gets lost in gratuitous soloing and fills that just don't translate from a live setting to wax.
A fun, vibrant LP - the longer track lengths and relative lack of vocals means this one falls into the background music category a bit, but not in a negative way.
What seems a standard twee pop album quickly expands to become an interesting exploration in pop arrangement and instrumentation. While 'Lovefool' steals most of the LP's spotlight, it's the at-times discordant progressions and off-kilter rhythms that make the tracks here so memorable and engaging.
This LP was a disappointment to me in 2017 and remains so to this day. I'm not going to get into an Antonoff hate rant (there's plenty of discussion on that already in these reviews), but for the follow up to "Pure Heroine"'s dark instrumentals, encompassing production, and intoxicating feel overall to be so flat and lifeless is just depressing. This album fades into the background, doesn't demand attention as its predecessor did - each song is so overengineered and wrapped in such a thick layer of production gloss that it goes down without a thought, each track another 'perfect' pop song without much personality or any distinguishing features. The continuing homogenization of music does nothing but disappoint, and this LP is unfortunately a good example as to why.
Most of the tracks here are interesting enough, just wish this LP could maintain a single plot thread – veers all over the place genre-wise, from straight 60s' rock to Beach Boys-esque ballads.
As a shoegaze fan, I found myself subconsciously avoiding this LP for some reason. Found it refreshing to dive in and find a rich, substantial album that escapes feeling dated while delivering on a wide sonic palette. The early Britpop foundations of shoegaze as a genre shine here, imbuing a strong melodic body without carrying over the awful remnants of the 80s. Not every track finds its own voice, but those that do stun with the heavy guitar lines that would become fundamental in later gazer works.
Despite some of Björk's irritating vocal tics, this is a mostly enjoyable LP. The production is lush and encompassing, and the instrumentals generally offer interesting melodic progressions intertwined with the singer's swooping delivery. Could use some editing, though, as most tracks exhaust their ideas by the halfway point.
No album in the past 30 years has come close to revolutionizing the guitar as an instrument as much as this LP did. Each track leaves no inch of production space unused as every inch of the sonic spectrum is slathered in crunchy mids, ridiculous amounts of feedback, and healthy dollops of reverb to round everything out. It took bankrupting a whole record label to find out that guitars could sound as alive and real as this, but it was worth every penny. This album is not without its flaws - mbv can't write a dynamic song structure to save their life, and I fully understand people who get bored with this LP. For me at least, however, the lack of dynamism is excused when the instrumentation and melodic structures are /this damn good/. 'To Here Knows When' may be the same sound and general 'aaaAAAaah' lyrics for 3 minutes on end, but hell if it isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever heard come out of a shitty tube amp. The inklings of early 'gaze on 'Isn't Anything' ignite into fully realized bliss here as artistry and instrument collide, the band's experimentation and creativity coming through clear on each song. A personal fav moment has to be the entirety of 'Sometimes' - the mental imagery for me has always been as if Shields covered the entire guitar line in gasoline and lit it ablaze, the longing and melancholy of the melodic line backlit by the warm flickers of fuzz. 30 years on, it's clear why this LP continues to inspire new generations of guitarists and musicians despite how abstract and uninviting it may seem on first listen. Who knew fucking around with pedals could create one of the best albums of all time?
Hated this a little less than I expected too given these tracks were plastered all over rock radio throughout my childhood. There are some genuinely good riffs and melodic ideas here, they’re just buried under either track lengths that are way too long or vocals that grate to the extreme
It's not entirely fair to judge a soundtrack without knowledge of the film and its context, but I doubt any film could give much order to the smattering of tracks here. Jabs at American big band, Spanish classical, and others are mixed in with a constant undercurrent of Bollywood that just feels a little half-baked as a whole.
Just like Prince to release an LP 17 years ahead of its eponymic title, only for it to still sound as if it came right at the turn of the century. Not every track here is perfect and a few tend to drag on a bit longer than they have the melodic power to, but most are infectiously catchy across the board and are still listenable today (something that can't be said for most 80s music).
Good production and melodies on this one, just not enough distinct material to sustain much interest.
While I think I prefer the larger production and uptempo feel of 'Figure Eight,' this LP offers a collection of beautiful, small-scale tracks that highlight Elliot's penchant for simple but poignant songwriting.
Wish this LP offered more of Chapman's vocal range - her vocals are stunning, but remain firmly in the midrange for the entirety of the record leading to a sense of monotony. Doesn't help that the instrumentals have aged poorly and read as quite dated.
Tries to hit the sweet spot between nascent '00s-indie (think Guster/Keane) and Radiohead-esque grunge roc,k but lands more in the doldrums reserved for forgettable contemporary radio you hear while waiting in the doctor's office.
While refreshing to hear Bob with a bit more instrumentation and production around him, it's quite frustrating when he does absolutely /nothing/ with it. This isn't a 1-star LP (that's reserved more for albums I feel antipathy towards), but it's close due to committing the cardinal sin of any media: being boring. None of the instrumentals on this thing go anywhere or make any statements, which leaves Dylan's cig-decimated vox to pick up the slack (spoiler: they don't). There's no narrative or melodic excitement to be found here, and closing things out with 16 minutes of monotony is the ultimate frustrating footnote.
Doesn't commit too many fouls outside of some annoying vocal rhythms, but quickly wears thin after 40+ minutes of repetitive melodic lines... when there's still half an hour left to go. Some editing of the filler tracks could've made this a tight, exuberant rock LP but as is it's just way too bloated an album.
True to its title - some broader, more experimental compositions from Wonder that stray outside his usual comfort zone. Not all land successfully, but there’s enough energy here for a solid toe-tapping listen.
A bit too much of a good thing when it comes to the song structures on this one. The grungy wall-of-sound guitar approach means there's plenty to love sonically, but things do tend to blur together with how low the vocals and other instruments sit in the mix.
Can albums are challenging in that they're usually a joy to listen to, but lack the melodic staying power necessary to be memorable in any sense. Exact case here - this was an enjoyable 40 minutes of psych-rock, but I'm pressed to remember any exact phrases that stayed with me.
The only benefit I got out of listening to this album is figuring out where that one Death Grips song title comes from
Picks up steam as it goes along but can't escape some fatal design flaws – most beats are built around either repetitive or straight-up annoying samples (or both!) that grate across the space of a 3-minute track, and the bars tend to feel somewhat monotone and uninspired. There are several high points where the production and delivery rise to the occasion, but mostly this LP just feels a bit hollow.
There are several moments on this LP where everything clicks into the place and the songs mix off-kilter production with sly vocals to great effect. For the most part, however, the production is either too obtuse or the vocals too cringe-inducing to listen to these tracks more than once.
One of Bowie's best guitar-wise – Lots of fun tones and tricks on here that pull standard guitar cliches of the time into fun, transgressive statements in the way only Bowie could. Doesn't settle wholly into a cohesive LP as some of the more experimental tracks are a bit hit-and-miss, but a fun listen per usual from Dave's discography.
This is probably the Beatles album I'm least familiar with, so I found myself pleasantly surprised by how strong the songwriting is here. Not too many fancy instrumental tricks or experimental styles, just good instrumentation and lyricism executed to a T with genuine feeling.
I remember when 'Tighten Up' swept pop radio airwaves back in middle school, and looking back the feat seems even more impressive given several pop titans such as Lorde and Adele were on the rise. It helps that the Delta Blues styled songwriting lends itself to simple, catchy melodies that can sustain 3-4 minute tracks, but Auerbach deserves credit for injecting just the slightest touch of synths and slick production to make the LP more digestible in the ultrapop age. I don't know if this album deserves more than 3 stars (the songwriting isn't super dynamic, and I don't know if we'll be talking about this album in 10 years time outside of a Stereogum anniversary post), but it deserves quite a bit of credit for clawing its way onto the charts in the first place.
While still miles better than today's country offerings, this one falls a bit flat for me just based on preference. Much more in the Johnny Cash-style uptempo lawless classic country camp, as opposed to the slower, slide-guitar and chorus-driven love ballads found here.
There's a decent metal album (one well ahead of its time) somewhere on this LP, it's just buried underneath dated gratuitous guitar solos and the repetitive vocal stylings of the 80s.
At the risk of sounding culturally inept, I didn't know that the heavy hitters that begin this LP were by Michael Jackson (though the vocals and production flair should have made this obvious in hindsight). While these early tracks wow, the energy definitely decays across the remainder of the album as things drift into Muzak territory. There aren't enough novel melodic ideas or song structures on the back half to spark interest, so the overall enjoyment droops as the LP runs.
Does better than the usual metal album at keeping things interesting and varied. The wide variety of rhythmic structures and guitar tones here keep the LP from falling into the usual metal doldrums of endless mid-heavy guitar tone and chugging riffs for 40 minutes straight.
Symphonic post-rock at its finest, an enveloping hour and ten minutes of warm, gazey guitar and ethereal vocals that consumes the entirety of the soundstage. Not easy listening by any means - this is an LP that requires full playback for the best experience, but rewards those willing to listen.
This album managed to be so stereotypically yet inoffensively 80s that it really went in one ear and out the other. Couldn’t name you a single melody beyond some vague gestures at chorus-heavy guitar if I tried.
This is my fourth TH album in the project, and I’m glad I had a chance to hit the prerequisites before arriving at this one. To the uninitiated, this album may seem obtuse, overlong, and hard to vibe with; but those who know the Heads formula, this is the epitome of their free-flowing, organic, and near-improvisational nature. I didn’t find every track on here enjoyable, but those I did fell into such a strong and memorable groove that it’s hard to remove the hooks even hours later.
Sits at the intersection of the decades gracefully, calling back to 80s guitar tones and melodies (some things on here sound verbatim Clash) while dialing up the distortion that would pervade the 90s grunge scene. Not all tracks on here are memorable or enjoyable, but the LP still deserves big props for balancing such a notable shift in popular styles as well as it does.
While there's definitely some radio filler on here, most of the LP shines with mesmerizing songwriting and decent instrumentals. I'm not big on lyrics so much as form, but Phair's vocals make it impossible to ignore the narrative structures that clearly drive each track.
This album excels in its willingness to be fun and freewheeling while still managing to smuggle in serious topics and discussion into its stream-of-consciousness delivery. The instrumentation is wild and distinct across each track, giving a cohesive feel to the LP while allowing each track (even the tiny interludes) to have distinct personalities. Overall, a fun ride with hidden undercurrents that warrants endless relistening.
This may well be Radiohead's best /rock/ album – There are only hints of the experimental band that would emerge with OK Computer a few years later, meaning Yorke and Co. were still in their nascent grungy days preceding the tentative debut of Pablo Honey. This LP certainly dips into grunge for a good chunk of its sound, but manages to escape feeling dated with an iron core of catchy melodies and restrained but beautiful instrumentation. Not every track is a winner ("High and Dry" has always bugged me for how much of a whiny, repetitive Oasis-like ballad it is), but from the spacey "Planet Telex" to the chilling "Street Spirit," Radiohead were at their prime here when it came to primarily guitar-driven tracks. "The Bends," "Just," and "My Iron Lung" are still some of my all-time favs to play on guitar – the progressions here aren't revolutionary, but they're distinctly unique enough and just plain fun, catchy, and evocative of a harder Radiohead sound I do tend to miss on the newer albums.
A fun mixture of big band and rock instrumentation that provides an instant nostalgia shot. While the more anthemic nature of the LP means I don't see myself returning to all the tracks for easy listening, the album as a whole is a toe-tapping ride from start to finish.
While I wasn't on the music scene in my toddler years, I can only imagine the jolt this sharp, directed LP delivered at the time. Clean-cut, searing guitar riffs pulling from both the blues and grunge over tight, effective drums - nothing more and nothing less. Compressing De Stijl's nascent lo-fi idealism into a guitar-driven gut punch, there's no instrumental or production ornamentation necessary here. Whether slow-burning or white-knuckling in their delivery, the Whites' were at their absolute prime and the result is one of the best rock albums of the century.
Some of my absolute favorite Beatles tracks on this one. The range of sonic and lyrical experimentation here is astounding, and demonstrates how innovative the band could be once they dropped the pop focus. The use of early distortion tones is a key feature to note - my dad told me how the blown-out intro riff on 'Revolution' floored him at the time because nothing else before it had sounded quite like that. I do think this album falls a bit short of 5 stars as there's no hope of cohesion as a full LP given how many genres and styles exist alongside one another, but the highs are plentiful and represent the most exciting and out-there tracks of the Beatles' long career.
A solid collection of well-orchestrated covers that Redding absolutely nails the delivery on. This isn't my preferred genre and the LP isn't mind-bending, but still a well-executed and enjoyable listen that I wouldn't mind revisiting.
The early notes of slacker rock take hold here, each track unhurried but delivered with clear focus and enchanting progressions. This does mean a few tracks last a bit longer than they should (a minute could easily be chopped off most of the tracks here), but the earnest and lyrical storytelling + varied instrumentation mean even the overlong tracks float by enjoyably.
A live album gives the opportunity for a band to create a larger-than-life experience, an LP that conveys the excitement of the crowd and experimentation of the band on playback. Kind of hard to excel at that when you play the tracks straight off their respective LPs with no flair and the crowd can't be bothered to clap/respond in time with the music.
The early notes of Portishead magic are here, but they're much too dated and buried underneath abstruse arrangements to make much of an impact. I'll always be a "Third" fan (likely a function of my age, but who knows), and to me that LP works because it has the perfect mix of dynamic contrast and emotion – this one doesn't hit the right balance between loud and soft, emotional and out-there to really leave a favorable impact
Not nearly as tight or exciting as their debut album, more so tainted by the general 80s tendency for repetitive vox and uninspiring, repetitive instrumentals (even by punk standards where the songs are under two minutes).
An 80s album that has surprisingly stood the test of time - whether the choice to put Bush's enamoring, demanding vocals forward in the mix or to eschew the dated synth sounds of the time, this LP still holds up today. Not every track is a winner, with the slower pieces coming closest to evoking the dreaded stereotypes of the decade, but when the tempo keeps pace the album charges forward triumphantly.
I have a soft spot for these late 50s/early 60s crooner records, mainly because they were written at a time when narrative storytelling was essentially the whole point of each song. Dusty's voice cuts clear through the mix and delivers a powerful, impactful performance (even if the subject matter is the same for every single song). The big band instrumentation, while not revolutionary in any sense, adds the necessary pomp and drama to deliver an experience.
On paper, this album should be well within my wheelhouse – fast-paced, deeply rhythmic, guitar-driven, and lo-fi as all hell. Where the LP loses me is its inability to see beyond progressions with more than the same 2-3 chords. /Everything/ seems to be centered around a C or Emaj, so the initial excitement quickly gives way to melodic blandness. Really wanted to love this mix of proto-punk with a little twang, but the substance just isn't there.
Builds up some grand, anthemic feeling across 80 minutes of runtime, but for what? The thematic impact is nil when most of the tracks are formless, amorphous blobs of dates 80s synths and none of the awesome guitar work this band displayed on ‘Dark Side.’
A decent singer-songwriter LP. Well-fleshed, catchy instrumentals and good vox, nothing too memorable but still a good listen.
I'm not sure how many packs Waits chain-smoked a day, but I know it was enough to give me secondhand smoke from listening to this.
I don't think I've heard an album unbeholden to genre since the last few Avalanches releases - manages to pay homage to several styles without becoming trapped within them. There could be a bit of a stronger melodic throughline (things do tend to become a tad too amorphous for any sense of strong cohesion), but the songs stand strong on their own and I have no doubt they'll end up in my heavy rotation.
Definitely would've enjoyed this more if I knew how to speak French. The guitar work is delectably lo-fi and loose throughout the LP, but the spoken-word focus means I found myself waiting out some sections as the narrative part of this concept album took center stage.
Absolutely stunning and timeless album for being released so early into the 80s. The miracle of this LP is how it defines some of the musical tropes of the decade (see espec. the Cure's trademark chorus-based guitar tones) without making itself a relic of the time – one or two instrumental aspects of each song will date the track to the 80s, but once the full mix prevails that quickly becomes forgotten. Couple this with stunningly dark melodic compositions and proto-gaze wall-of-sound production and you have an album that is both a product of its time and yet timeless in itself. My only complaint here would be that runtimes could be a bit tighter, as each track could cut about a minute to heighten impact, but overall this still stands miles above other LPs of its time.
Standard issue ABBA album: dated instrumentals, schmaltzy love-based lyrics, every song sounds the same-ish. The attempt at a Beach Boys track is interesting but still ends up an amorphous synthy blob like the rest of this band's tracks.
If I really wanted to hear 15 minutes of mediocre noodling over blues scales at a time, I would just go to my living room and play guitar myself.
Decent pop LP that lives mainly by its refusal to go downtempo at any point in its runtime. The songwriting isn't mindblowing, but each track comes with a guaranteed fun melody and exciting (if somewhat repetitive) vocals that get the job done. Definitely enjoyed this and could see some tracks going onto a high-energy playlist.
A mixed bag here, but most of what's in the bag is good. Some of Stewart's best guitar work and catchiest songwriting means most tracks are toe-tappers, with only 1-2 duds to slow things down. Stylistically it never coheres as a full LP for me, but still an enjoyable listen all the same.
A fun, defiant LP that pushes slightly above the crowded 2010s indie scene. There's some excellent guitar work here, and the arrangements are generally chaotic and absorbing without being too abstruse. There is a fair amount of soft-voiced downtempo generic indie filler, however, and even the most interesting tracks suffer a little from lack of editing when they introduce a fun guitar lick... only to repeat it for four minutes into an eventual fade-out. Longer tracks are fine ('Useful Chamber' is one of those sprawling indie anthems that contains worlds within itself and invites endless relistening), but only when there's a fair amount of variety to keep things from getting stale.
There are bright moments of interesting composition and guitar work on this LP (most notably the genre-androgynous title track), but most of the album just felt too pedestrian to be overly memorable
While it's not to be unexpected for this period, most of the tracks on this LP are melodic one-note love songs with maybe one catchy hook and chorus to their name. Resoundingly meh listen all said and done, found myself tuning out a good deal.
A Sinatra album with a good mix of tempos and valences? Just my thing. A Sinatra album comprising only downtempo crooners and woe-is-me love songs? Boring as hell.
Not as bad as the ratings would imply, it's just a politically-minded hardcore album and what you see is what you get. Heavier music and hardcore especially, much like coffee or beer, is an acquired taste that you have to step into – jumping into this album without much prep is like swigging a beer you stole from your dad's fridge at age 12. The production sinks this one to a two for me since the guitars are muddy as hell, but otherwise this completely tracks for a Reagan-era hardcore album.
Starts out strong with a great melodic footprint, setting down some major grooves and thematic pillars for the rest of the album. Falls apart about midway through, though, as tracks become more and more interlude-like with little driving focus.
Interesting to hear the entire parody album genre take shape in what's probably one of the earliest attempts at musical self-satire. Some interesting takes and mild chuckles here and there (and crystal-clear production on the first track and first track only?), but the ultimate impact of this LP is mired by fact it sounds (and acts) exactly like the songs it's attempting to parody.
A decent singer-songwriter LP that’s a bit thematically scattered but still mostly hits the mark. Does well when it leans into some real impressive guitar-driven tracks and stays away from the Scarborough Fair-esque stuff
The best parts of this album are the artists Kanye invites on or lifts entire melodies from, with his own contributions bordering on cringeworthy (saw the 'black balls' line coming from a mile away, and not in a good way). Even the production can't save this one, the track lengths are way too gratuitous and often wear surprisingly minimal ideas down pretty quick. Hard to believe this is the LP that preceded the similarly tongue-in-cheek but way more hard-hitting and tighter 'Yeezus' that would follow three years later.
Starts off as a typical Blur album but quickly snowballs to become a genre-bending project of its own, in a bag. Hip-hop, alt-rock, breakbeat, reggae, rap... Albarn brings together a talented consortium of artists to make an LP that exists solely within its own class while building on well-recognized tropes, in a bag. The album definitely struggles in the editing department (some of these tracks are clearly base-level melodic ideas extended to 3 or 4 minutes), but there's enough gold here to warrant relistening, in a bag.
One of the more forgettable Byrds albums, nothing much here to distinguish it from the other run-of-the-mill guitar-driven 60s albums. Some melodic flavor here and there, but again nothing to write home about.
Kudos to whatever studio forced this one out of Leonard before the poor old fart died – the cigarette on the cover is fitting, as the man sounds like he's on death's doorstep with how onerous he croaks out each verse. The range and dynamism of his earlier vox are clearly out of reach on this one, and even if the vocals were at their previous peak the dollar-bin production and instrumentation would damn this LP anyway.
This one isn't as infuriating as the last EC album I got here, but it's still got the annoying tics this artist relies on so much. There's actually decent guitar work/tones and some genuinely catchy melodies here, but the song structures are so repetitive that any melodic love a song may earn is quickly squandered by the third chorus. Each song ends with the title being repeated upwards of 10 times in Costello's best (read: most annoying) squeal, and honestly after listening to an hour of this man's vocals I've had about all I can take thanks.
A bit unfair to judge a dancefloor album off a first listen sitting here in the office, but this one still delivered for the most part. Even if there's not a lot of rhythmic variation within each track, there's enough across the whole LP to keep things moving and decently interesting. Wish there was a stronger melodic presence here, this group usually leans toward sparser DnB/breakbeat arrangements but has a great ear for catchy progressions.
A mixed-bag of an album that throws a spastic combo of Brit pop guitar, mild cheesy synths, and genre uncertainty at the wall where it doesn’t quite stick.
Solid funk album, starts to drag a bit on the back half but wraps up before the magic is gone.
The popular conception of this band over time has become more 'Freddie Mercury and the Queens' than just 'Queen.' This album is a good reminder of how integral Brian May and co. were to making the band's catchy formula work, supporting Freddie's sky-high vocal range with solid backing instrumentals that excel in their own regard. Not every track here is a winner (outside of 'We Are the Champions,' I don't think this band has done well at downtempo tracks, with most being snoozers), but those that shine do so brightly and are memorable to a fault. I will die on the hill that 'Killer Queen' is the best track this band has made, the subtle touch of phaser on the chorus vox is a sign of a band that knows exactly how to make interesting, fun music.
A decently exciting first outing from Grohl's long-running post-Nirvana outfit. While some tracks are pure 90s radio filler and it's not /as/ grungy as I would like for the time, the guitar tones and song structures here often hit heavy and hard enough to justify a solid listen.
This album thinks pretty highly of itself for how utterly mediocre its production, beats, and bars are. Bloated as well, though that's keeping within its egotism.
Overstuffed - what could’ve been snappy, tight melodic songs are extended well beyond their welcome into 4 or even 5 minute territory. Also a bit confused as to why this needed to be a double album? There’s no major tonal or symbolic shift between discs, leaving this whole thing a structurally and melodically confusing mess.
A fun, breezy indie LP that's aged quite well. The orchestral additions on top of Turner's unmistakable AM sound make for some interesting tracks that feel a bit highbrow without seeming pretentious.
There are some amazing guitar tones and riffs going in the first track, and then they completely disappear never to be heard for the rest of the album. All that's left is an hour of bland, stereotypical 90s singer-songwriter minutiae that's a shadow of what the opener promises.
Feels a bit thematically unbalanced (having 20% of the LP runtime in one track definitely doesn't help), but still hits the familiar and welcome marks of an enjoyable Iggy Pop album. This one wins bonus points for sounding like a shamble through a druggy haze, the stilted rhythms of "Nightclubbing" are just one example of how the musical uncanny valley is put to good use.
What I would consider the best Radiohead album - the perfect mix of their pioneering synths against the rock basis that brought them to prominence, a juxtaposition mirroring how major-key this album sounds while being depressing as hell lyrically. My only complaint is that the tempo is generally lower than desired, especially since high-energy favorites '15 Step' and 'Bodysnatchers' frontload the album (check out the 2006 Bonnaroo version of 'Videotape' to hear what could've been). Downtempo tracks like 'Nude,' 'Arpeggi,' and the absolutely haunting 'Reckoner' are hardly consolation prizes, however, and the overall feel of sugar-coated, media-driven breakdown is perhaps the most intoxicating thing the band has made. Also worth noting that this is the last true 'rock' album Radiohead has made - TKOL/AMSP find Yorke and co. exploring deeply rhythmic and synth-based tracks, so the prominent, driving guitar here represents some of the last we may hear from the band (unless LP10 arrives to prove me wrong).
Now That's What I Call Samba©
A lab-grown, executive-directed, soulless album with about as much cultural impact as the first Avatar movie. Adele has great vocals, but some of the vocal rhythms/song structures here are so tortured they should be protected under the Geneva convention.
There's a reason you only hear the singles from this one on 90s radio. All of the good melodic ideas and pacing are expended on these 3-4 tracks, leaving the rest of the LP a plodding mess of half-baked synth ideas. While certain songs shine and maintain a strong foothold in memory, the shambling remainder means the whole album feels wildly inconsistent.
A decent 3-star jazzish muzak album that completely abandons genre coherency at the midway point to tack on a mish-mash of 1 star bargain-bin demos it sounds like. Just utterly bizarre.
An interesting breakbeat/hip-hop LP from the beginning of the aughts. Not every track is a winner (the guest features are downright bad and some songs easily date themselves to the time period), but most present a mix of electronic production and wordplay that's engaging and enjoyable. Wish this was on US Spotify, there were a few tracks I really vibed too and would drop in my heavy rotation
Despite some of the more experimental instrumental tones on this album, it ultimately ends up a slog of standard 90s light radio fare. Whiny vocals and a general lack of melodic/thematic focus don't help either. If I never have to hear the pained violin intro to 'Bittersweet Symphony' again it'll be too soon.
A mix of decent country rock and unbearable drawling country - there are glimpses of brilliance here, but the overall product comes across as a loosely-bundled collection of guitar noodling
There's no doubt Winehouse has vocal prowess, but damn if she doesn't make it hard to appreciate it when she insists on doing vocal runs in /every/ /single/ /phrase/. I never once felt enmeshed in the tracks (which have serviceable at best instrumentals that feel a bit GarageBand-esque) because of the constant vocal acrobatics, as Amy never once allows a verse to be a verse so the listener can settle in and appreciate the track.
This is the muzak you heard when you were at the doctor's office as a kid and all the chairs/decor were weirdly stuck between 90s and 2000s trends and it overall felt like a very liminal experience that doesn't seem quite real in hindsight.
Not much to say on this one, just typical 80s schmaltz with annoying vocals.
The nice thing about slower, stripped-down samba albums like this one is they allow me to realize how much Spanish I've forgotten since high school.
Thought this would be a grueling slog after hearing the first few tracks, but surprisingly this LP manages to exceed expectations by earmarking itself as a time capsule of the late 90s. While not every song goes by without sounding dated, the majority manage to live at the weird intersection of grungy metal and trip-hop that evokes the time period without being unlistenable. The sometimes repetitive song structures and tonal whiplash between tracks are the cherries on top that solidify this LP as the 90s incarnate.
An absolutely exhausting double LP. Struggles to fill the time with interesting melodic ideas and bars for even one hour, much less two - some production ideas are interesting, but the absolutely limpid vocal delivery (save for some great guest features like Killer Mike) just makes this an absolute battle to finish.
The least memorable of the Roxy albums - oddball genre attempts and a lack of melodic/thematic consistency means this one falls in the bland, standard-issue Britpop pile.
Falls straight into the outdated 90s techno/acid house bucket. Overlong and underwhelming tracks means this LP is only good as a reminder of decades past, one that’s probably not worth too many revisits at that.
An enjoyable listen, mainly due to a strong melodic presence and powerful vocals from Sade. Some tracks (mainly those that lean heavily on the auto-wah) do feel a bit outdated, but most are still engaging and fresh enough to warrant a relisten.
A bit overlong, but still an enjoyable listen. The mixture of the outfit's usual ferocious yet tongue-in-cheek bars plus the genre experimentation between rap and punk yields a Beastie Boys product that is at once familiar yet experimental and refreshing.
A decent if somewhat overlong in parts rock LP. At its best when it keeps things simple and tight like bravado-filled opener 'Black Dog,' but tends to stumble later on with dragging one-note ideas or overstuffed tracks (yes, this includes Stairway).
Despite its flaws, I like this LP for presenting something completely different. While repetitive, the synth backing tracks are distinct for the time period, and the frenetic vocals do line up with the thrumming background energy.
A great long-form jazz album – keeps a steady, enjoyable groove while being melodically diverse enough to maintain interest. The addition of the live track is brilliant, as the impromptu energy of the performance heightens the sense of freedom and playfulness hinted at in the earlier songs.
Rarely does a debut album enter the world so fully formed and confident, much less containing a complete sonic world within itself. With only sparse drums, minimalist guitar lines, a bit of synth, and a dash of hall reverb, Ian Curtis and company construct an endless cavern of solitude and isolation, a melodic landscape built a single note at a time in the darkness. The MO is clear from the start with the fake-out cheerfulness of 'Disorder,' a 3.5-minute death spiral perked up by a singular, catchy bass line. It's all downhill from here through the various melodic fugues and monotone pleas from Curtis. Less is more as the bright, trebly guitar rebounds off seemingly infinite space, sneakily bolstering the minimal instrumentation while increasing the sense that these are the last dispatches from some place of emptiness and desolation. 'Shadowplay' manages to feel so immense only because it's the first song on the LP to let actual full chords ring out - by holding so much back, the album imbues the song's 3-note solo with more import and feeling than entire tracks on modern releases. Much like Nirvana's 'In Utero,' knowing what comes next in Joy Division's short history paints this LP as an obvious warning sign of Curtis' failing state. Even without the grim context, however, it's clear to see the album exudes darkness and singularity from the cover art to its musical core. Perfect albums are often personified as having a unifying soul at their core, but 'Unknown Pleasures' wears its dark, bleeding heart on its sleeve instead.
A great early psychedelic effort, some real fun use of tremolo, reverb, and drive to get that classic sizzling psych tone. Does lose the plot and wander off into weird genre experiments at the end, but for the most part is a laser-guided, driving LP that gets the job done.
What the 80s could and should have been: fun, synthy tracks driven by a baseline of solid guitar, drums, and relatable lyricism. Not every track here stands out memorably, but those that hit do so in a huge way - "Just What I Needed" still gets airplay today and manages to sound nostalgic yet new, a throwback that still feels fresh in the modern era.
Given my expectations from the last Leppard LP, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the band had taken the time to write actual bridges and unique verses on this album instead of beating the same chorus to death for three minutes at a time.
A pounding, frenetic garage rock LP – the instrumentals slap, the lyrics get the job done without being overly British, and the overall feel is upbeat and high energy. A bit overlong in places, but not enough to prevent a few of these tracks from ending up in my heavy rotation.
Not the absolute cheese-fest I expected it to be. Tyler is a genuinely good vocalist, and paired with some fun melodic ideas in the vox and instrumentation the band manages to make most tracks shine with a bit of tongue-in-cheek joy. Not too much soppy balladry or radio filler - the only thing dragging this LP down is that most tracks are a minute or two too long.
At best forgettable and at worst cloying and a waste of time. Not sure if this band is American/British but aping already stale Britpop themes isn't the way to go.
What could be a serviceable garage rock LP is cratered by over-the-top, cringe-inducing lyrics. Instrumentals and production generally bop, just can't stand the lead singer trying way too hard to wring comedy from what should be an easy performance to nail
While solidly downtempo from my usual taste, this LP contains an unexpected wealth of lyrical and instrumental power not belied by the first few tracks. The first half excels at less is more - powerfully raw lyrics set against minimal but appropriate melodic tracks can never go wrong. The second wows with an almost orchestral swell in the melodic and rhythmic sections, bringing the album to an emotional breaking point before drifting away into the ether.
The most challenging and abstruse Radiohead album by far - even more so than the juvenile effort of Pablo Honey and the rhythmic jungle of TKOL. Took me years to get into and appreciate this one as a whole, so I fully understand all the low ratings here. The crowd-pleasing '2+2 = 5' is a fitting opener, as while it seems to herald a return to Bends-ish territory from Kid A/Amnesiac the shifting 3-act structure belies the melodic and rhythmic menagerie that follows. From here, the complete downshift into 'Sit Down' thus begins the surprising, hills and valleys that make up this LP. I think this is far and away the least polished RH album, especially given that Thom's lyrical subtlety is about as smooth as sandpaper throughout ("Fuck Bush. Fuck you, Bush. What were you doing in Iraq, Bush?"). Themes aside, even the instrumentals and vocals sound slightly rawer than the vacuum-sealed electronic efforts that came before. That's not to say they lack interest or staying power - 'Where I End' was one of the first Radiohead tracks I listened to on repeat solely for the bass, '2+2' shreds obviously, 'Young Blood' builds to one of the most satisfying climaxes in the group's discography, and even 'Gloaming' has a bit of frenetic charm to it. In describing these tracks, though, it's clear that the melodic throughline is a bit lax. Rather, the thing that holds this burgeoning mess of tracks together is the airtight production and distinct instrumental palette throughout. It's a recalibration period for the band, a step back to OKC territory but with a bigger synth presence after the practice afforded on Kid A and its twin. At its heart, however, is Amnesiac 1.5 in disguise - listening at all to Thom's lyricism betrays the same sense of curdled hope that has passed through cynicism into bitter despair. So yeah, there's a lot going on here. Not all of it works, it's bumpy tempo transition-wise, and some of it just isn't even palatable the first time around. But despite its flaws, the LP presents such a logical step in the band's discography and overall sound that it shines in context (and honestly presents some experimental pathways I wish the band had followed). I don't fault anybody who hates this on first listen or just doesn't get it - an album that requires understanding an entire band's output to 'get' isn't perfect by a long shot. For me, though, I keep coming back to this runt of the litter LP that wears its 'Scatterbrain' on its sleeve and finding things new to love about this band.
Hot take: this would be a semi-decent metal LP (maybe mid-tier deftones level) if you cut a few tracks and the lead singer didn't sound like Ron Stoppable.
A solid, back-to-basics hip-hop album. Appreciate that this one doesn't have too large an ego about it, only a good sense of solid shittalk. A bit long in places, but solid beats and bars are hard to beat.
A wonderfully lo-fi, more coherent VU effort that expertly straddles the line between chaotic freeform and musical excellence. The more improvisational nature means some tracks do come across as rambling (and the LP nearly falls apart in the back half), but those that stick to the message while living it up a little are a joy to listen to.
Would be a great album if it focused more on the bold lead guitar parts, but falls back into the tired and trite Young-isms of way too long runtimes, repetitive verses, and bargain-bin songwriting.
What could be a surprising departure for the band ends up being an underbaked flop. There’s one solid ballad on here (“Everybody Hurts”), but the rest are woefully sluggish and sound as if they’ve been ripped off commercial radio of the time. Stripe’s voice isn’t up to the task, the band sounds a little lost and uncomfortable playing such slow tracks, and the overall thing is just blegh.
Wanted to like this one, but repetitive song structures, clunky lyrics, and an overall feeling of sameness (especially on the vocals) between the tracks made that difficult.
Lacking in direction and focus compared to 'Pornography' before it, this LP unfortunately succumbs to the ostentatious, blown-out orchestration that was common to 80s albums as the decade came to a close. At its best when it opts for the tight, chorus-drenched guitar, this album instead opts for grandiose synth numbers that feel bloated and tend to stretch track lengths well beyond their logical run times. Chop 30 minutes out and you have a solid Cure album, but in its current form 'Disintegration' is much too long and melodramatic to leave a mark.
A more electrified, unhinged Violent Femmes feel to this one. Oddly prescient of the 90s with its grungy riffs mixed on top of radio-friendly acoustic, an amalgam of all the best parts of the decade to come. My only qualm here is that a few tracks are too short to fully realize their melodic potential, but otherwise this is a great, fun listen throughout.
An interesting retroflection on Coldplay's earliest artistic focus now that they've fully jumped the musical shark for profit's sake. This LP expertly rides the line between singer-songwriter (plenty of acoustic/soft vocals throughout) and the burgeoning early-aughts indie rock of the time, given that it's not afraid to throw in a healthy dose of overdrive/reverb or even delve a little into gazier, washed-out tones. Things do get into Radiohead-lite territory on the back half and drag just a tad, but this is still a worthy artistic product in its own right and a great listen at that.
These are the albums that make this whole project worth it for me - had never heard of this band before, but love this absolutely thrashing, nasty, guitar-whirlwind of an LP. The runtime may be a bit long for how many melodic ideas it has to offer, but what it lacks in creativity this album more than makes up for in energy. While it has a solid blues-rock basis, there are a few left-turn zigzags into weird chords or rhythms that keep the listener on their toes and make this an exciting trainwreck-in-motion of a listen.
Absolutely love that this band said fuck it to intelligible lyrics and let them instead flow with the rhythmical and melodic needs of the song. As someone who pays mainly to melodies, I strongly believe that vocals tend to bring down a song rather than elevate them. It's when the voice is used as a complementary instrument (rather than a central feature) that songs reach their true potential. Coupled with the lush, encompassing synths and production on this LP, the end result is an immersive listening experience unlike anything else out there.
Caught between pleasing the questionable tastes of the 80s and the usual VH desire to shred the threads of reality through riffs, this one falls a bit flat as a whole album. It shocked me when I learned 'Jump' was a Van Halen track for how synth-reliant and cheesy it is, and you expect me to believe this can live alongside 'Hot For Teacher' and form a coherent whole? Some bright moments here but overall just a misfire of an LP in my book.
Not nearly as tight as the follow-up album (which I received way back in the project). Still packs a punch with the same tight, punkish energy (and gets deliciously heavy in parts), but most tracks run for 1-2 minutes past their welcome. A bit of editing and the dismissal of the more repetitive tracks would make this a rip-roaring, undeniable LP, but as is it's still a fun listen regardless.
From the Dylan-esque opener that falls flat with offputting vox, through some Byrds-like attempts in the middle, to some mild rock at the end, this one is hard to pin down across the board. While an idea of where the band wants to go is present, it veers a bit too much and lacks just enough direction to land.
Decent background music so long as it stays away from the skit-style vocals, but not an LP I would consider essential listening by any means.
Oasis but make it bland and without all the fun Liam Gallagher antics
An album-length equivalent of when you’re over at a friends house and he asks you to listen to a riff/lyric/synth sound he’s excited about and then you have to sit there and nod politely while waiting for the whole ordeal to end
I would’ve thought the album this guy used to catapult himself to mild fame and then be a massive creep would’ve been way better
Hard to believe the same band that wrote the absolute anthem that is ‘Age of Consent’ can churn out an album full of listless pop-rock. The instrumentals and melodies are serviceable at best, and the vocals (both songwriting and delivery) are godawful
A fun, immersive LP in the stlye of MGMT meets Soulwax meets Animal Collective. I appreciated the tasteful throwback and reimagining to 90s-era synth sounds, just not sure this one is impactful enough to warrant inclusion on the list.
There was a huge amount of discourse around this LP when it dropped, especially concerning how Musgraves was 'reimagining' country. To that end, the album does start out strong - even if the songwriting is a tad stream-of-consciousness, the melodic ideas are fresh for the genre and the production is air-tight. As the album progresses, however, this clean execution starts to sound more like the same sterile, bitter taste of any other modern pop-country artist. Somewhere around 'Space Cowboy' the melodies curdle into the same plasticine Max Martin progressions we've heard 1000 times before, and the LP gives up completely on sounding like anything other than pop-country radio filler.
A truly uncaring, rough-around-the-edges LP that keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek for the whole runtime. Not every track lands (if you don't like the vocals/hook that's all you have to run with for the 2-3 minutes each song runs), but those that do have such a fun, careless swagger about them that it's hard not to smile.
Starts off strong with its off-kilter, fourth-wall-breaking intro, but quickly becomes a bit plodding as each track stays firmly within the 60-80 bpm song about heartbreak lane
Like most Sonic Youth albums, this one never fully coalesces as a whole for me. The tracks are mostly enjoyable, containing the usual noise-rock mixture the band is famous for, but at a certain point it feels more like a semi-related playlist than a fully-realized LP.
How to turn growl knob down
Lacking originality and it shows - most tracks rep on the same bar for up to a minute at a time, giving way to guest rappers who lay down much better lyrics than Elliott is even close to coming up with herself. Throw in a few unfortunate cultural references and not much distinction in the backing tracks and this is just a forgettable mess
What a weird mess of an LP. Attempts to go the bargain-bin Elliott Smith route before dipping its hands into a wild assortment of genres on the back half and spiraling out of control. Some tracks here have great melodic ideas and explore them well, but overall this is just a fractured tangle of songs stuck together rather than a full album
No matter how acoustic his guitar is or how much reverb he puts on it, Springsteen just cannot pull off the country authenticity needed to sell this LP. Little rhythmic or lyrical variation means this is a forty-minute slog that just never hits home as a truly genuine red-dirt country album.
A high 2 that has some great tracks ("Bluebird" rocks), but is all over the map when it comes to track flow and thematic consistency. Veering from great emergent 60s' rock songs to weird country-ish ballads on to anthemic concept pieces does not a cohesive album make.
An enjoyable African-Reggae album. The tracks were forthright enough to keep me interested, but not so melodically demanding as to take my attention away from other things. Some of the instrumental choices (see: the prominent 'woo!' sounds on most of the tracks) grated on me a bit, but I can definitely see myself turning this on and vibing while getting some work done in the future.
Absolutely worth the effort to piece this one together. Underneath the surprisingly effective combination of grungy guitar and near honky-tonk rhythms is a frenetic energy that keeps one on their toes, not knowing which way the track will dodge next but fully understanding the new direction when it does. For being released pre-90s, the LP also shows a prescient vision of where guitar-led music was headed with early dips into grungier tones and abrasive vocals. Overall, this LP is an exemplar of why I put up with some of the more questionable albums on this list, as its hidden gems like this which make the experience worth it.
Wanted to give this one a shot, but 45 straight minutes of tempos in the sub-70 BPM range and not much melodic/instrumental variation made this LP a slog. Very much coffeeshop-core and not sure why it's on the list to be quite honest
Has a soft spot in my heart due to the title track being a favorite on Guitar Hero: World Tour. Though it doesn’t always pull off the grand ideas it’s trying for, sometimes sounds like an incoherent mess, and can be pretty damn annoying, this album has heart and a sense of fidelity as Paul finds his post-Beatles way around.
It takes until the final track for all the wayward ideas in this LP to coalesce into something listenable, and even then the final product leaves quite a lot to be desired. Adding a bunch of funky instruments (including some of the worst-recorded violin I've ever heard) and spoken word segments does not make your generic rock sound any better.
Boring, repetitive, and perhaps the progenitor of modern country-pop.
Indieheads loves this band but I just don’t get it. The melodic ideas are tepid at best, and without any strong rhythmic structure the whole thing is an aqueous, chorus and reverb-drenched hour without much form or flow. Stronger drum presence in the mix would elevate things slightly, but there just needs to be more compelling and grounded leads in this thing for it to be a palatable listen.
Would’ve loved to listen to a 45-minute cut of this LP. It speaks to the strength of the songwriting and performance that I enjoyed the whole hour, but this album’s downfall is its extended runtime. The opening half of the album is so strong that it doesn’t need the extra back to water down the overall impact
Even on an 80s curve this one falls flat. The orchestrations are messy, the performances are all over the map, and outside of the first few opening tracks none make a strong enough mark to ride above background noise.
Got a lot of work done today with this running in the background, managed to keep me interested with the mix of styles and upbeat rhythms. Some songs become repetitive and a tad cloying, but for the most part I was able to zone out and let the music wash over me.
Not a bad listen, but not entirely grabbing either – I question why such a run-of-the-mill jazz LP made it on the list at the expense of others. Definitely could've used some cuts to the runtime too, as it did tend to drag on and could've been much more concise.
A well-done if somewhat blandly uniform vocal-driven LP. Would’ve liked to see more variation from Fitzgerald on this one, as she mainly stays in the lower registers instead of really using her set of pipes.
A wonderfully frenetic romp of an LP. Not all melodic attempts here work with the hyper-aggressive instrumentation and delivery, but for the most part this one flies by in a usually enjoyable rush.
A somewhat decent funk LP that’s lacking in memorability. Not a lot of the key melodic rhythm and repetition from Flash’s other work that makes it so memorable
An enjoyable alt-rock LP that comes across as just a bit more radio-oriented but in the same vein as what Hum was doing around the same time. Does run a bit long for how many ideas it has to present, but a solid find from the project nonetheless.
Production and monotony kill this one for me – despite some interesting rhythms and instrumentation tricks, the constant onslaught of mid-heavy guitar and screamed vocals just makes this a sonic wash for an hour. Gets tiring quickly and doesn't innovate between tracks enough to maintain interest.
Absolute masterclass of hip-hop delivery and production. The beats are minimal yet demand toe-tapping, allowing the delivery to take center stage while propelling each track along an undeniable groove. The bars themselves are the perfect mix of tongue-in-cheek, witty, and drop-dead serious that allow the words to flow right on top of the mix while packing a serious thematical punch. Overall, this LP is a great reminder of what focused, uncluttered hip-hop can be
A more experimental LP from Mitchell which still stays true to her singer-songwriter roots. Not every instrumental sound lands well (the filtery bass sounds especially dated), but they're still a small yet welcome departure from the artist's tried-and-true formula.
Though the meat of the album is in its anthemic, multi-part bookends, the entire LP is a rightful prog classic that dips its toes into a multitude of genres and plays with the limits of instrumentation. The personal highlight here is Chris Squire's bass work - the undeniable Ric 4001 sound defines this album and serves largely as its melodic core, pushing many of the tracks along and scoring many of the notable riffs.
A serviceable rock album with a great Joplin lead. Does get a bit stale by the end due to a lack of melodic variation (and really, this LP is just an excuse for guitar noodling and theatrics), but maintains enough raw power to remain interesting.
I've never quite understood the appeal behind this band and specifically this album. Taking a standard indie rocker and adding some mildly off-kilter samples does not a coherent genre epic make.
This one has always felt a bit too loungey for me, likely due to its lack of overwhelming valence like Geogaddi's simmering menace or Campfire's slightly ominous tones. Cohesion and grip lack as a result, but that being said there are no bad Boards of Canada albums - this one is just a bit too free-flowing for my taste.
A solid early rock-n-roll LP with some characteristic flair. There are some memorable riffs throughout, just wish it had stuck more to narrative, tongue-in-cheek songs like 'No More Mr. Nice Guy' as the band has a real knack for nailing these tracks with catchy leads and lyrical zingers.
A decent Britpop/rock LP. Don’t know if any of these tracks will stick with me through the end of the week, but they were at least a joy to listen to in the moment
An interesting take on long-form jazz and balladry, but lacking in melodic material to prevent the LP from falling into repetition.
Despite my southern upbringing, I would like to think I’m not much of a prude. That being said, I find this LP hampered by a lack of maturity and especially a fixation on using bitch whenever possible (to the point where it interrupts some great flows for no reason). Other hip-hop greats like B.I.G. have shown how to do sex-obsessed tracks masterfully, so the juvenile showmanship here just seems lacking in taste.
While I enjoyed some of the individual tracks here, I never felt as though they gelled into a coherent LP. The mixture of grungy guitar and synths + abstruse songwriting is usually a winner, but a few annoying vocal choices and lack of cohesion derails this one for me.
Amazing how all 80s-era Britpop albums manage to sound exactly the same across the vox, instrumentals, and general melodic feel. This was a pleasant listen but lacks any distinguishing features to make me feel it warrants inclusion here.
It’s got all the classic Cash flair even if it’s a somewhat melancholic listen overall. I do think the covers detract from the impact of the LP (even though I enjoy Cash’s interpretations), but for a final farewell it’s still a solid product.
Though a tad dated instrumentally, this LP has enough strong songwriting and melodic variation to keep things interesting until the end. 'Cars are Cars' is an absolute bop and you cannot convince me otherwise.
You know what? Fuck you. 3 stars. After reading some of the more informative reviews here and putting this LP in context, I'm willing to give it a decent rating for being completely different than anything else I've heard on this list. While the first half is an absolute auditory mess (and I would bet more than a few of the people here don't even listen for more than 5 minutes), the back half shapes up into some pretty energetic improv work that had my toe tapping. It may not be an easy listen and it does take some understanding, but at least it's not another tepid Britpop or Bob Dylan album
Expected more from a Reed solo project given his work as part of the Underground. The narrative components are fine, but the surrounding instrumentals are just... there? The melodies aren't compelling and none of the instrumental choices grab the listener's attention, which is disappointing given the distinctly unique tracks Lou would orchestrate with VU.
Like all other Sonic Youth albums, the individual tracks are great but don’t coalesce into something greater than their parts. Things also tend to get monotonous near the end - save for occasional bursts of personality like “Kool Thing,” there’s not enough narrative or melodic power hear to keep the same guitar tone from wearing thin over the course of 40 minutes.
A strong sense of lyrical narrative (both serious and tongue-in-cheek) on top of great country songwriting is a sure fire formula for a great LP. I’m a little ashamed I hadn’t listened to any Prone before this - it’s easy to see why his passing invoked such loss as the artistry and skill here is rather clear.
It's the same Aerosmith album you've heard before, just lacking in any definite highlights such as 'Dream On' or the like. Would recommend for fans of bland guitar noodling and radio-friendly rock.
One thing I love about live albums is getting to hear the artists' commentary/feedback/jests, and that's especially true on this LP. Rolling off the distortion both shows the melodic power of Kurt's songwriting, as well as gives him a chance to step out from behind his usual tortured vocals and be a person. Deconstructs a good deal of the general Nirvana criticisms and manages to be a powerful music statement and artifact of an artist gone too soon.
I fully believe the lyrics were written by a teenager making their first attempt at erotic fan-fiction and you cannot convince me otherwise.
While I’m not sure any of these tracks will stick around with me, they were at least enjoyable in the moment. Some solid guitar lines here and there plus some interesting genre twists to boot.
An interesting early effort from the band which I had not heard before. Challenges typical R.E.M. expectations both melodically and instrumentally, especially with Stipe exploring different vocal ranges and intonations well beyond his trademark tenor.
The Beatles had to teeny-bop before they could run
There are strong examples of great songwriting and entrancing melodies on this LP (Black Hole, Spoonman, Head Down), but they're weighed down by either running for far too long or are in general drowned out by the sub-60 BPM chugfests surrounding them. I'm all for some proto-djent sludgy guitar lines, but filling over an hour of runtime with slow-burn grunge and ONLY slow-burn grunge is a recipe for boredom.
Just plain bad – not only are paper-thin melodies stretched to full-length runtimes ('The Things You Said' is literally the same riff repeated for four minutes), but some of the instrumental choices and attempts at novelty are mind-bogglingly poor (the song that's just pure grunt noises, anyone?).
This one didn’t leave much of a mark on me, but the guitar work was enjoyable in the moment.
Did not enjoy this one at all - most tracks were bogged down in misguided synth melodies and rarely offered Prince a chance to let his vox shine. Feels like a stale relic of the 80s more so than any kind of lasting classic.
Close to being a solid listen but still a misfire. Attempts to be radio-friendly Beatles on the first half while aping Cream and the like in the second, resulting in a weird mishmash of tones and tracks. As for the title track, it doesn't offer enough melodic meat to justify its length – I absolutely love long, anthemic tracks, but this one is just too much gristle to be an enjoyable listen.
A short but focused effort, and likely my favorite of all the Mitchell albums I’ve heard here so far. Each track manages to expand on its chosen narrative without going overboard, allowing the story and melody to flourish without dragging on. Also includes the most upbeat and fleshed-out instrumentals of Joni’s career, which do well to highlight her more playful lyricism this time around as opposed to her more introspective efforts
Solid, pumping background music while I cleaned the apartment today. Don't know if I would recognize any of these tracks a few months down the road, but I don't think recognizability is the goal when your music is made to play in packed clubs while up on Molly.
Hot take as a Radiohead fan but the hype around this album has well eclipsed its musical worth. That’s not to say I hate this album - it still contains several of my fav RH tracks and sees the band continuing the radical experimentation started on OKC on their way through to In Rainbows. Mostly brilliant technically, though the mix of synths and guitars is a bit lopsided and makes the album feel a little bit short of gelling as a sum of its parts. Rather, the issue is that I’m tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of the never-ending Pitchfork/Stereogum/Reddit rehash of how Kid A is such a great album when there’s never any deeper level of discourse about it. I don’t understand why the music community collectively wanks over this specific LP so hard when its predecessor was much more daring and Rainbows was a much more well-realized album as opposed to Thom Yorker’s First Go at a Synthesizer (Plus Some Guitars). This album has become such a sticking point for entry into the band as a whole as well, and it makes me a little sad I see people put off by the circlejerking over this album as it just completely crowds out any wider discourse on the actual music or band itself. Maybe I’m just a salty Amnesiac fan who gets mad that the sister LP to this release gets completely shafted when it’s the much more expressive and organized released, who knows? But in any case, can we please collectively agree to put any further discussion of this album on ice until we have some actually meaningful things to say about it?
Good mix of rock and delta blues that mostly scratches the riffing itch. The longer tracks do tend to drag on - the band is at its finest on the shorter rippers like 'Good Times Bad Times' where it can barnstorm a riff and chord change. The longer tracks become monotonous after a few reps and drag down the momentum.
Elevator muzak: the album
Usually a fan of quick and dirty, ramshackle guitar-driven LPs like this one but it's just not hitting for me. Think the mix is a bit too timid for the instrumentation and the songs a tad one-note to really stick.
A great, guitar-driven relic from the late 90s that’s aged quite well. Many have already mentioned the Blur v. Oasis debate here and even as an Oasis fan I have to side with this band - there’s a greater sense of raw feeling, performance, and overall fun to this LP that makes it glide through time a bit better than the sometimes preachy nature of the Gallaghers’ output.
A great jazz album and an excellently invigorating but calming listen while working today. I will say that I wasn't bowled over by any one element of this LP (as its reputation would suggest), but again it was a solid listen and I'll likely be returning in the future.
An enjoyable listen, just think I'm lacking some context here by going in cold without having seen the film. Sounds more like ambient covers of Air than their usual personality-filled work, but again I'm lacking the extra oomph that comes from seeing these tracked alongside the film.
Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run this mutha? Girls Who run this mutha? Girls Who run this mutha? Girls Who run this mutha? Girls Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls) is still better songwriting than most of what's on this album
There are attempts here at sonic palettes beyond the usual jangly guitar and 4x4 drums that characterize most Smiths songs, but they're hamstrung by Morrissey taking an off-day and not even trying to show up in the vocal department.
Instead of making a sex joke (which I see we’ve already beaten to death here), I just want to point out how well Marvin can sing, a fact that’s often overlooked with regards to the subject matter he’s singing about. There’s both an ease and power in the vocal delivery, and along with the near-orchestral instrumentation and layered production that means this LP stands out as a fully genuine, well-crafted artistic product. Though things do tend to get homogenous near the back end of the album, it’s still a strong testament to how powerful simple things done well can be.
A blink-and-you'll-miss-it ripper of a punk LP. Leaning towards a low 3 on this one, while fun and energetic it does feel somewhat homogenous and overlong even for its 21-minute run time.
I won't deny that Carey has an amazing vocal range and performance, but it's completely wasted on soulless commercial pop like this. Too much vocal filler and seemingly computer-generated instrumentals just leave this LP feeling lifeless and flat - RIP to the session musicians responsible for playing the blandest backgrounds possible on this one.
Some absolute classics and pure hits of nostalgia on this one - ‘Paradise City’ was the soundtrack to a racing game I played religiously on the PS3. Fond memories aside, the gems do shine bright enough here to carry (but not cover up) how repetitive the rest of the track list is. It’s hard not feel a little disappointed when the absolute fucking ripper that is ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ segues into a tepid rock-101 track, especially as the lyrics start to tend towards overly edgy.
I remember the double whammy of having this drop and then Bowie passing shortly after. With that retrospect, it’s clear this LP is both a reflection on and confrontation of mortality. Not all the new instrumental ideas work, but there is an overall feeling of completeness and tempered celebration that makes the album flow despite its rougher sections. Few of us will have the chance to eulogize our own death beforehand, but then again no one was quite like Bowie.
I’ve only heard the main Devo hits, so this LP full of wiry, energetic punk-pop was a welcome surprise. Things do get a little repetitive, and some vocal fills are a little annoying, but these pass by so quickly it hardly detracts from the fun of this 30-minute romp.
Think I did myself a disservice by listening to the band’s later work first - this one seems to lack the maturity and ideation that’s all over ‘London Calling,’ going for quick spastic bursts over the more refined idealism of the later LP. There are some fun tracks on this one, it just pales a little in comparison to what came after it.
Some interesting ideas here and there but nothing that pushes this album beyond background noise – if an album is going to floor me (and be worthy of being on this list), I would hope it at least does enough to grab my attention
An enjoyable album if somewhat crass and dated at points. An uptempo way to start a Wednesday, at least.
A tad long and bit on the nose, innit bruv.
They somehow managed to combine all the worst British vocal tics into one lead singer on this one, the continuous runs and qUirKy vocal tricks are like sandpaper to the ears. The instrumentals are somewhat salvageable but lord is this guy annoying
An excellent turning point in the dream-pop outfit's discography as they maintained the warmth of their earlier output while bringing in the live drums and exciting synths that would define their later work. While not my favorite Beach House album, Teen Dream still holds a place in my heart for being the sonic equivalent of a bear hug – Alex's guitar tone with its massive bass response + Victoria's breathy vocals means the production space feels way clamped down, almost as if you're sitting around a campfire as the band plays away. Couple this with some top-tier songwriting and simple but effective instrumentals and you have an absolute winning combination, especially in the band's masterful use of late game-changing codas to spin a song on its axis even as it ends. 'Walk in the Park,' 'Take Care,' and 'Silver Soul' have soundtracked some of the best and worst moments in my life, and in each case it was the warmth and comfort that every song on this LP exudes that I was looking for. I still stand by Bloom and 7 as my favorite Beach House albums for their gazey mix of spatial, ethereal dream-pop, but every time I need to come down back to earth it's this LP I will turn to.
The coarse, uncut energy I needed today. Though I expected a bit more diversity in the bars and would've hoped for a little less repetitiveness in the beats, the pounding flows and undeniable fury behind the performances make this a pump-up album I'll be returning to whenever I need some backing tracks for some righteous anger.
Definitely lopsided when it comes overall feel, the absolute monster of a lead track eating up over half the album's runtime and good melodic ideas. That being said, it's still a Rush album - Geddy, Pert, and Lifeson are all respective masters of their instruments and the rhythmic/melodic play here shows that. Kudos to the band for continuing to push the experimental envelope and stepping into some unfamiliar territory here ('Tears' sounds like an early Radiohead track at points).
There’s definitely a space for music that’s not afraid to get down and dirty with grungy, scuzzy instrumentation and primal vocals - this LP misses that mark by being a musical slog fest with fucking annoying mumbling on top.
Even if Costello's vocals weren't as grating as squeaky sandpaper, the banal and overlong backing tracks would still sink this album as a boring mess. Also, someone tell Elvis he still doesn't have an n-word pass, man sounds like an edgy high-schooler who just discovered racial slurs.
Coasting on some nostalgic memories of playing ‘Do It Again’ on Guitar Hero: World Tour all the way back in ‘08. Not every track stands out, but those that do have enough diversity and sheer hooks to make this one more than just a flash in the pan.
Expected more from this one – the thematic content and general social awareness of the LP is great, but repetitive sampling/lack of originality in the backing tracks and sometimes limpid bars hamper the album's flow.
Hello, my name is Lucinda Williams, welcome to Masterclass. Today I will be discussing how I write great country albums. First I add generic red-dirt instrumentals Then I add the title of the song, a four or five word phrase Then I say it again Then I say it again Then I say it again Then I say it again and we’re done! Thanks for watching
The most positive thing I can say about this LP is that it helped me fall asleep on the plane.
A decent if somewhat rambling hard rock LP. Would've liked most of the tracks to be a bit more concise in execution, but they at least have enough energy to make their minimal ideas pop.
I've never heard Bohemian within the context of this album, so I was surprised to find its orchestral trappings fall right in line with the rest of Queen's output here. It's definitely a novel place to take a rock-oriented album, and while not all of the ideas here work, most are catchy enough to make me glad that Freddy and Co. gave it a try.
One of the more varied and experimental Steely Dan efforts, with each track having its own distinct feel. There were no songs that stood out and wowed me, but taken as a whole this was a pleasant listen I could see myself returning to for some easy listening.
Reminds me of British food - bland, monotonous, and lacking in any discernible punch or taste
While Stevens plays from the heart and bares his soul across this LP, it's ultimately not striking enough to leave much of an impression. There are no melodic or lyrical hooks to turn heads and elicit a response, meaning the whole album feels somewhat anticlimactic and monotonous.
Somewhat repetitive, but has enough little details a la the synth accents in ‘Points of Authority’ to show that some artistic effort did go into this LP. It’s definitely aged much better than other products of its time and still presents a decent listen.
Hard to believe this is a debut album given how limpid and tired Fitty delivers his bottom-of-the-barrel bars. Seriously sounds like they had to slow the tempo down on the instrumentals (which are uninspired at best) so the man can eke out his kindergarten-level rhymes and strings of curses/slurs. The best part is when Eminem shows up to inject some life into this album, but then he tries to rhyme “pork” with “walk” and it’s back to having the worst bars possible. Only giving this a 2 as I was able to tolerate listening to it and didn’t feel the outright hatred which merits a 1.
Confession: I was a huge Muse fan in high school, and that obsession started with this album. Nostalgia definitely plays a role here, but listening back today I'm still floored by how well this album mixes the ostentatious, proggish rock the band was already known for with a heavy dose of electronics + a little Western pastiche to make a Space-Cowboy rock opera that somehow doesn't crumble to bits under the weight of all its ideas. Is it a little corny in parts? Yeah. Do all of Bellamy's conspiratorial, lizard government ideas make for great song material? LOL. Is 'Demonocracy' perhaps the most high-school edgelord lyric of all time? Most certainly. But despite the obligatory trappings of being a Muse album, Black Holes is so much more than the sum of its odd and contradictory parts. The instrumentals here still wow to this day and represent perhaps the most experienced and tasteful performances of the band's career – I've been trying to mimic the simple-but-speedy drum fill in 'Assassin' for years now and still need some practice. Every bass line, guitar solo, and drum fill steals the show without detracting from the holistic impact of each track, and though somewhat indulgent at times the album manages to pull off a cohesive feel without sacrificing each song's wildly individual feel. Muse hadn't jumped the shark yet, but they were definitely on the ramp at this point. Bellamy's introduction to synths on this album may have cratered the band's already divisive career from then on out, but damn if it didn't perfectly gel together into one LP that had a huge impact on high-school me. While I've grown out of my outright fandom for the band, I will never forget or forsake the album that contains all the tracks that made me pay attention to instrumentation for the first time. 'Knights of Cydonia' rocks so damn hard it made me start playing the guitar, a musical touchstone in its own right that put me on the path to being the indiehead I am today. Cheesy, stupid, and over-the-top it may be, but I'll be damned if I don't say that I love this LP.
This one is just all over the place stylistically and can't find a niche where it can thrive. Zig-zagging from 90s' grunge-adjacent alt-rock to operatic ballads to Leonard Cohen covers is guaranteed whiplash, and doesn't leave much room for Buckley to demonstrate much artistry given how many vocal personas he has to put on in the course of 50 minutes.
Another great Kuti live album - while not as raw or memorable as 'Zombie,' the album still wins out on its energetic, improvisational performances and Fela's driving energy as a frontman.
Love discovering more modern albums that flew under my radar off this list. This LP is an inviting, enclosed psych-synth adventure from start to finish and one that I found myself perfectly okay with playing again once its initial run had finished. The instrumentation maintains a cohesive feel throughout while giving each song its own distinct personality, and the song structures remain diverse enough to sustain interest (plus create a perfect loop on the final track, a touch I always find immensely satisfying). The vox stay smooth and inviting throughout without being distracting, and at times sound near sympatico with a Melody's Echo Chamber project. A bit of editing could have elevated this one a bit as things do tend to feel a bit long by the end, but for what it's worth this was a great discovery all-in-all. I get the debate here around whether this LP 'truly' deserves to be on this list, but I think it's worth considering A) the musical canon of the past 10-15 years is still an open topic of debate and B) we don't need to include every single Beatles/Stones/old white dude rock album from the 60s-80s on here at the expense of newer LPs and that it's okay to live a little with something a touch different :)
I don’t think the band committed to rhe bit on this one - some stellar and interesting tracks at play on top of a topic ripe for satire, yet the end product feels too tame to make much of a statement. The interstitial tissue just isn’t there between the commercial jests and standard Who tracks to gel this into something more than a miscellaneous collection of songs.
Stellar, expansive production and guitar on the first few tracks and then
Some great guitar work here, even if nothing breaks all the way through to the surface. There’s a bit of paucity in the melodic department to justify its runtime, but I could see this going on a top-tier focus playlist so I can enjoy the music while keeping my mind locked in.
Strong, heavy rock LP. Not as immediate or powerful as their other output but a great, chugging listen nonetheless.
A decent singer-songwriter LP – kept me interested enough to not dread listening, though some parts have already dated themselves heavily in terms of the overlong vocal runs and instrumental choices. Apple does know how to write a great song, though, and there are several standout tracks here that piqued my interest enough to appreciate this LP a bit more.
Was dreading this one a few seconds in, but came to regret that early impression pretty quickly. This LP mixes equal parts bombast and whimsy to wild success, managing somehow to take its antiquated vocals and make them sound tastefully retro atop heavy layers of sharp, angular guitar. A real out-of-left-field find that I know for a fact I’ll be returning to!
What sinks this album for me is the track length. The instrumentals and vox are well-executed and pleasant, but wear quite thin after 5-7 minutes. I'm sure being able to follow the narrative would make things a bit more interesting, but my Spanish is way too rusty to keep up here.