didn't really like some of the songs on side 2, especially the out of tune guitar song. Can't judge the lyrical content on just one listen. Pretty good overall. 3.5/5 ?
Eclectic and wonderful. Wonderful singer. Sometimes very reminiscent and familiar, other times strange. Lovely atmosphere, especially the roomy reverb vibe. At some points a little too out there, e.g. the operatic parts aren't really for me. Like a cabaret show in a holographic suite.
Oof. Sounds like a generic The Who/Led Zeppelin/David Bowie wannabe band that 20 years later grew up to become Guns & Roses. Half of the songs sound not just unpolished, but straight up unfinished. Almost juvenile. Halfway through the A-side I thought maybe the band were doing a parody, halfway through the B-side I was sure of it. But why would they parody Guns & Roses, which never even existed yet? This album's only redeeming features are the two singles, Metal Guru and Telegram Sam. The other songs range from forgettable to outright unpleasant. 2/5
This album made me realize how much I hate the big band styling of "ALRIGHT LET'S GET SOME LOUD STABS EVERYONE PLAY A DIFFERENT NOTE LET'S MAKE THE SOUND AS MUCH OF A NOISE AS POSSIBLE". It made me physically ill. I don't know if it was the mixing/recording or just something inherent to the sound of brass trumpets, but it was so bad I was dreading every time you got another one of the ELELELELE stabs. It's like they decided to turn vuvuzelas into full fledged instruments. It sucks because the percussion is great, the solo instruments are wonderful (especially the sax and trombone solos) and even the saxophones sound alright together. Fuuuuck those trumpets though. They single handedly bring this down from a solid 4/5 to a 2/5, and even that's generous. I hope I never have to hear those gross stabs again.
The good: there's something irresistable about this album. The middle of it especially is very happy, and upbeat. Paul Simon's singing and songwriting in particular shines like nothing else. The bad: The heavy reverb, super 80s drums and overall MIDI sound of the opening track had me a little disheartened and it got better as the album went on, but the last couple of songs are... ugh. I can't for the life of me get over those dumb 80s heavy reverb snare hits. Combine that with hoompah drumming and it's just very off putting. The ugly: The bass lines that sound like wet farts. Paul Simon's singing is just so damn happy, though. It just about manages to balance out those negatives. Still, not something I'd listen to again, apart from some select songs. 3/5
I really like this album. Groovy, layered rhythms (almost like Afrobeat) with unique vocals. It's well mixed, too. The vibe does kind of change towards the end though, and I miss the energy that's in most of the albums in the closers. The closing song sounds like a Joy Division thing, which isn't bad, but is out of place with the rest of the album. 4/5