Up-close vocals and laid back instrumentation make this effortlessly cool in the way Roxy Music could never pull off. The tracks that don't sound like Bowie are better than the Bowie-esque ones and the album as a whole is yet to be thoroughly mined for 21st Century Hipster Cinema soundtracks.
Music for a blue collar bar in a suburban strip mall. Hot, Blue and Righteous stands out as a sweet song to end side A on an otherwise greasy collection.
Listening to this album feels like I am consuming all of what became "alternative rock" in the decades that follow its release. I hope that if I was a teenager in 1979 I would have been cool enough to like The B-52's. The kitsch dial is turned up near maximum on this recording but the songs and performances are just too fun to ignore. If the vocal harmonies don't make your spine tingle, do you even like music?
You can't deny these riffs. The songs and sounds on this album share a lot more in common with the grunge bands I believed were far superior as a teen. As timeless as the music may be at times the lyrics get a little too "on the nose". The earnestness of grunge is its legacy rather than the fashion or even the sound. The production on the remastered version sounds great but Side B is hiding some real clunkers. For one reason or another I think I prefer Megadeth. Ye-yeah!
The songs are loud, poppy, urgent, timeless. The collection is as artistic as it is consumable making it the pinnacle of the bands career. You could even argue this was the pinnacle of punk rock. Listen to the Albini version unless you're a Radio Friendly Unit Shifter.
It's jazz, I guess? Many of the tracks are film noir sketches between lush piano, bass, and drum numbers that highlight Waits' voice which sounds great on this live recording. The lyrics are poetic and very clever. "Purina checkerboard slacks" from Nighthawk Postcards (From Easy Street) recalls the funny parts of Alice's Restaurant but in a much hipper presentation. Evocative stories taking place in the gritty parts of LA. Cars, tough personalities, drugs and booze. This should have been a hip-hop album.
Whatever this album is, it's one aspect of Cool Britannia that never made it across the Atlantic. And it's for a good reason. The duo are not The Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Orbital, or even Sneaker Pimps. I guess you had to be there.
What can be said that Yasi Salek hasn't already explored? The episode of Bandsplain about RHCP really did change my view of the Peppers but this album is a solid work from a band that has evolved so much over the decades.
Cringe-worthy pop rap. The Slim Shady persona is that disruptive kid you knew in eighth grade who tried to come off edgy by telling tall tales on the bus. He was annoying and nobody's friend but unexpectedly shined in the one class he cared about. This record might be a victim of the aggressive posture that popular performers took in the late 90s. I wonder what persona Eminem would have created had he come up in the Soundcloud/emo rap era. Maybe he could have painted with colors other than "Fred Durst backward red baseball hat" red.
Fats has a great voice and his creations provided enough material for groups to mine well into the next decade or more. The songs are not corny like Elvis and more danceable than Buddy Holly. All in all there isn't enough to grab the attention of modern listeners but it's still a cool nostalgia trip.
When this album came out, rock music was in a bad place. Groups like The Hives emerged to bring rock 'n' roll back to its roots by mining early garage rock and punk sounds while adding better songwriting and cleaner dirty production. This is a compilation album which gives me mixed feelings but if Singles Going Steady and Hatful of Hollow can get away with it, so can Your New Favourite Band.
Aggressive. Sounds like video game music. Very danceable grooves. Must have been a genre-defining album upon its release.
I have so many questions. Where does this album fit between punk and The Kinks? Is this New Wave? Are these guys working class (Oasis) or not quite (Blur)? The album exhibits top notch production; the recording sounds great and highlights how tight the band is. Set the House Ablaze is a standout track. The album verges on earning a 5-star mark but the lyrics leave me wanting just a little more.
Instrumentation and production adds a filmy 1970s residue that obscures the songs and performances a bit but not in a delicious Stevie Wonder kind of way. On subsequent listens it may fade away but hearing this recording for the first time, I can't help but get distracted by it. Fortunately that is the only criticism I have.
I LOL'd. Then I tried to give myself a chance to "get" it and never did. When Jazz Police came on, I LOL'd again. The backing tracks are certainly stylized but they are interesting in the way Ween's tracks are interesting. I don't find the lyrics particularly poetic or deep, however. I must be missing something but I won't be back to find it.
cowboy music. longing vocals. twanging guitars. I much prefer Willie Nelson.
I love The Beach Boys. At least three of the songs on this album sound like The Eagles. I hate the fuckin' Eagles, man. "Thoughts of You" kind of reminds me of Eels which was interesting at least.
When I first picked up the guitar, I didn't know anything about technique. Early on I stumbled my way into palm muting and said to myself, "that's the Metallica chug-chug thing!" The riffs on this album have a harmony and beauty that isn't found as much on The Black Album. The production hides the lyrics a little better on this release, too, which is an overall benefit. (For what it's worth, I listened to the remastered version.)
The most punk of the British Invasion bands (except for maybe The Kinks) though you can't really hear it on this album of mostly R&B inspired songs. Not the strongest collection of tunes.
This was the sound of the times in which is was released. Alarmingly quotidian lyrics delivered with a highly-stylized affect create a contrast with the futuristic electronic track reminiscent of Kraftwerk. See also/instead: Grimes, Santigold, Karen O.
Upon hearing the first song, I thought maybe this was the missing link between VU and Devo! I should love this, right? The rest of the songs kind of sound like Sparks. I like the use of synthesizer and Mellotron. There are interesting sounds and a pleasant variation of tunes but nothing here quite sticks to my palate for longer than the length of each song. On occasion it veers into Rocky Horror Picture Show territory and that's where I begin to lose my appetite.
I'm going to tell my kids this was The Police. I really wanted to give it 4 stars. The diversity of styles is simultaneously a strength and a weakness. The quality of tunes is steady across the album but the sounds are disjointed in a way that keeps me from getting fully absorbed.
Quincy Jones production. Absolutely stacked with hits. I have to give it top marks even if it is a disco record.
"Vocal" albums are at the bottom of my list of popular music interests. The production on the vocals is over the top for my taste but she sounds great. Because she is great. The tracks take old sounds and make them sound modern. I didn't care for the cover song.
This is an album for people who adopted Fight Club as their whole personality. The songs and performances give off the "international band opening for the group you actually came to see" vibe. It's not bad but nothing really sticks on a first shallow listen. I have to give it two stars because -- while I didn't hate it -- I did find myself hoping the set would end soon so they could get their crap off the stage already.
The production is pretty bad. The record-scratching noises are totally unnecessary and the album is missing the art of other heavy bands like System of a Down and Deftones. Also missing: Korn's grooves or Nine Inch Nails' lyricism. I believe these guys do have something to say and came up with a new sound. There are fragments of songs that wander -- maybe accidentally -- into interesting territory.
It's "medium loud" shoegaze. Great sixties-inspired vox, muscular bass, jangly guitar. There's a little bit of The Smiths in here and possibly some Stone Roses. Very pretty arrangements and some really catchy moments in as well. The sounds on the record are great but the cover of this album put it over the top. Incredible!
A couple of massive singles among a collection of genre-defining dance numbers.
Dreamy but not dream-pop. Orchestral but it doesn't sound like an orchestra. Ágætis Byrjun is easier to describe in terms of what it isn't than to describe what it is. I can say that it is a wonderful piece of art but as an album -- a listenable collection of tunes that you want to hear on repeat -- I'm left looking for something to grab onto. Perhaps this is better consumed as a score than a pop music album.
Funny that the album opens with some banter about Morrissey. Heartbreaker shares some jangly-Americana influences with Mozza's early solo albums. In addition, both vocalists have exhibited some behaviors that force fans to separate the tunes from the performers' personalities offstage. It's an alright album if you like Bruce Springsteen. The quiet songs are OK when they sound like Sufjan Stevens or Elliott Smith.
Remember the first Kings of Leon album? That was like a modern reboot of the original Creedence universe. This album isn't the strongest collection of songs which makes me wonder why it's included in the book. The production, however, is incredible. It really sounds great and keeps me chooglin'.
I don't know if this album defined metal but it certainly took metal to the masses. The 2012 remastered version sounds great and highlights the album's tunes and performances. I find that I have a lot of similar opinions as Robert Christgau but I don't get his distaste for Black Sabbath. Sure, some of the lyrics are a little naff, but they don't deserve the roasting he gave them.
Her voice sounds weak - almost to a point of distraction. The songs sound old fashioned and sleepy -- like the songs that we only listen to during Christmas. This music isn't really my thing.
So many great Lennon vocals on this album! I love two minute long songs as well. The 2009 remaster sounds so good.
This isn't a three star review. It's a blended four star / two star review. The two stars come from the weird sex songs. I'll admit to being slightly prudish about this kind of stuff but they stand out to me as an unpleasant listen. On the other hand I enjoyed the rockers and especially the "slice of life" numbers that sound like a barely-literate Billy Bragg or working class Kinks.
I liked it. It sounds really new.
This album still sounds cool more than a half-century after its release. Like a west coast Velvet Underground.
Practically flawless. A solid collection of songs with some real standouts.
More songs about cars and working. Overly emotive vocals usually turn me off. So do incessant honking horn sections and dorky glockenspiel parts.
Awesome performances; great production; varied songs that kept me interested throughout the whole album. But I'm left wishing for something more. "You Said Something" is my favorite track.
Beatle-based mid-70s soft rock. This album sounds like a Time Warner "AM Radio Gold" collection.
I have a theory that Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Fishbone are actually the same band but they originated in different dimensions than ours.
The lyrics are not great. The oboe is a welcome contribution on the second track and the Mellotron sounds divine. I ended up liking this more than I thought I would. Robert Christgau called it "ersatz shit" which I love but don't really agree with.
I was not familiar with this album before today though I have listened to newer Belle & Sebastian albums a lot. I don't think this is their best material but if this is the record named in the book then we'll just go with it. 5 stars for the album because it is representing an amazing band.
It's OK. The title track gives me Steely Dan vibes. I also get some McCartney-esque pastiche vibes. Nothing here is as offensive as Springsteen but I'm not really inspired by the characters Joel creates.
This album made no sense when it came out but the singles were huge hits. I listened to this when it was first released and but didn't dig much deeper than the singles. There are some good tunes here but its a little too long. Typical Billy Corgan production that seems to be improved on the 2012 remaster.
Absolute madness. Sounds like Art Rock that actually kind of rocks. "Amateur Hour" is a great tune and the whole album has aged remarkably well for something that came out in the mid 70s.
Great recording. The novelty songs are kinda weird (what the hell is "Jamaica Jerk-Off"?) and the sappy songs ("Candle in the Wind") aren't my thing at all. More mid-70s pastiche. What was happening with pop music during this time? More than a few of the filler songs on this double record sound way older than the release date suggest. Billy Joel did it. Paul McCartney did it. But why?
Fiona has a great voice that never waivers through the whole album. The backing tracks are lush with great keyboard arrangements (piano, mellotron, etc.) The production on the whole record is top-notch though I don't like whatever effect is on the vocal track for Criminal. The singles from this album are amazing. If the whole album had tunes that good, it's an easy five star record. The lower tier cuts are still solid three-star material. I was debating between a three star review and four stars. Considering this was her debut and recorded when she was a teenager, I'll give it the edge toward the higher score.
I don't like crooners. It's not that I don't like modern music that sounds like old music. I really dig lots of bands that do new tunes that sound like music from my parents and grandparents generation. But there's something about crooners that turns me off -- even if they sound a little bit like Mark Lanegan. Hotel Room stands out a decent track. Born Under a Bad Sign is a sweet tune reminiscent of Petula Clark swinging 60s pop.
Super cool hipster music with dual vocalists. I'm not a fan of Croft's stilted cursive singing style and not a single lyric stands out enough for me to know what they are singing about. The spartan, atmospheric tracks are begging for a more evocative vocal performance but we never get a chance to hear one. I'm begging to hear Kele Okereke's voice and words here. All of the songs sound the same.
WTF is this? Lush, orchestral pop songs about sexual violence? It's certainly a unique concept and the performances are solid. It's exactly what I expect to be included in a list of 1001 Albums. There are a variety of songwriters on the album and Ute's skill as an actress is put to good use. She fits her voice to styles of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and others. If this album was meant to have a single, "Split" might be it. Ute's voice sounds great and it's upbeat.
Does working class New Wave exist? If so, this might be the album that defines the genre. A temporary stop on the evolutionary timeline between The Specials and Fun Boy Three. The production isn't great. I find the lyrics hard to make out and Rowland's vocal delivery doesn't help. The record has its moments with a few good tunes that are held back by the rough sound and a dodgy singer.
Smiths records always sounded bad to me but the 2011 remaster goes a long way to improve that. In my mind The Smiths are a singles band to the detriment of their albums. The Queen is Dead is a good enough album with about half of it being singles-worthy cuts.
Combination of the Two: great groove I Need a Man to Love: blues, I guess Summertime: more blues - bad vocal Piece of My Heart: the single Turtle Blues: oof. blues. Oh, Sweet Mary: some psychedelia Ball and Chain: BLUES
Jimi Hendrix recordings have always sounded otherworldly and chaotic - much like the tunes themselves.
"It's got a good beat and you can dance to it" Do you love a massive synth bass sound? I fucking do and this album starts with one a great one. However... the rest of the album sounds like LCD Soundsystem. "i used to" has some more cool synth sounds that remind me of the artists and albums that the band seems to draw inspiration from: British character-driven-post-human rock from Bowie and Numan and German robot bands like Can and Kraftwerk. What I find missing in this album -- and other work by LCD Soundsystem -- is a compelling narrator for the trip we are taken on throughout the course of the record. Maybe I'm distracted by the music and the way all of the instrumentation is mixed so carefully to create lush tracks that demand attention. The final song is the exception to this rule and fits well as an album closer.
Still haunting after so many listens. A chilling work of art for the ages. Can I give this one six stars?
sexy vocals - genre-defining. perhaps multiple genres. talented songwriter with a unique vision and lyrics that have something to say. does something absolutely post-modern before anyone was ready.
Sounds like Sonic Youth but more pop. Another foundation of alternative rock. How many albums would not exist if these songs weren't recorded? A lot, probably.
I liked it more than I thought I would. The lyrics are pretty bad throughout and the whole production sounds like the 1970s. There are moments that make me really excited but nothing here is edited in a way that keeps the album moving forward. Seven minutes of tuneless guitar noise is perhaps excessive but I prefer it over a blues jam of the same length so there's that.
Sounds kinda old and kinda new at the same time. Kelela has a great voice which sounds mercifully natural for an album recorded in the last decade. Stylistically the album doesn't fit well in any category. You can imagine these songs getting remixed into any number of electronic genres. For my tastes I think I would like to see the material contorted even further into rougher electronic versions but I understand why the choices were made to let Kelela's songs retain their origins in R&B.
It's Buzzcocks. What else can you ask for?!