Sun Jul 10 2022
The album as a whole sounds exciting at first but starts to get repetitive by the time you reach the b-side. Listening to one of the 'best of' compilations is a much better option when it comes to Van Halen. (My favorite Van Halen songs are: Ain't Talkin' Bout Love, Jump, Panama, Hot for Teacher.)
#1 Ain't Talkin' Bout Love
It has one of the coolest guitar riffs ever and the chorus is catchy too. Also love the use of the ride cymbal during the chorus.
#2 I'm the One
I really appreciate how Eddie Van Halen always sounds very expressive despite all the pyrotechnics. It's dynamic, raw, often very impulsive but never mechanical and all in all highly individualistic.
Mon Jul 11 2022
This is not an album I've listened to often actually, and I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy (and I didn't remember any of the songs). But I ended up enjoying it quite a lot :) The first song was my favorite - it's such a perfect album opener, not to mention it sounds exactly like how you expect a band named Black Sabbath to sounds like.
Also there's a lot of mood changes that made the album engaging throughout... although some of the guitar solos could get a bit long, especially in the last song. I think I didn't get too frustrated by it, unlike with the Van Halen album, because this one feels more like jam music whereas Van Halen was basically trying to write more structured pop songs, in which case I want a bit more sense of focus and variation.
A bonus point for not sounding too sanitized and instead having a palpable sense of ambience throughout.
Tue Jul 12 2022
Hmm I did not particularly love this one on first listen, but my impression might change if I listen more since there were a number of individual moments that were promising or intriguing, like the understated interlude of The Twilight Hour.
More specifically, it has several components similar to other artists that I like (hence 'promising'): the production is often reminiscent of Prince, synth-based with a lot going on but never feeling cluttered (in relation This Is the Day is rhythmically close to When You Were Mine); the vocalist sounding like Ian Curtis of Joy Division; the intro of The Sinking Feeling could have been a Thom Yorke song (unsteady chord progression); and Giant progresses like a NIN song (starting with a drum machine loop and other elements coming in one by one).
In short, it's pretty close to what I tend to enjoy in terms of the production, but the songwriting could've been stronger. Nevertheless, it was interesting enough to make me curious about their later stuff.
Incidentally, this one is much more enjoyable with headphones (instead of speakers) because of the way instruments and other sounds are carefully spread out across the stereo fields.
Wed Jul 13 2022
There's something touching about the way each song is so carefully composed. Unlike with most 'singer-songwriter' songs in which the accompaniment (be it by a full band, guitar or a piano) tends to provide only the bare-minimum harmonic structure statically, in Elliott Smith's songs the accompaniment is melodic (rather than simply being chordal) and mobile, providing counter-melodies to the vocal melody. It owes a lot to his guitar playing style which mixes picking and strumming and thus emphasizes the bass line melody (e.g. Somebody That I Used To Know, Easy Way Out, Better Be Quiet Now).
But you can hear the same fondness for countermelodies in other parts of the songs too: the very brief backing vocal part during the first chorus of Can't Make A Sound, for instance, or the strings (or the synth or Mellotron?) that play during the chorus in the latter half of Everything Means Nothing To Me. He's like The Beatles, not just because of his knack for beautiful and memorable melody or sophisticated harmony, which this album displays in abundance, but because of his willingness / desire to infuse each song with as many musical ideas as possible.
One small caveat is the drums sound a bit too perfunctory and by the numbers compared to other elements of the songs, but it doesn't really matter when the composition is this good throughout.
Thu Jul 14 2022
Super Furry Animals
Pool party music from the 90's in the vein of Blur and Weezer. It still charms with its off-kilter vibes and hooks, but for the full experience you had to have been there. I wasn't. Some people still have a hangover from this party: see Wet Leg.
Query: What made 90's artists start singing doo doo doo and woo woo woo again?
Fri Jul 15 2022
At Fillmore East
The Allman Brothers Band
I misremembered again - I had listened to this album fully before several times *and* enjoyed the latter half (tracks 5-7). I've never cared much for the first half and its boogie rhythms, which almost always sound too static, sluggish and predictable. The latter half, on the other hand, is much more to my liking - jam rock music that's not quite jazz (at least harmonically) but not blues either (I have to be in a specific mood for endless blues rock guitar solos of the late 60's to early 70's). It's closer to some of Santana's music (which is what I like even more). Even though the songs are technically longer in the latter half, because they are much more volatile and constantly in flux, they remain engaging throughout, even transporting. It's the kind of music you can get lost in and come out at the other end feeling satisfied and smiling.
Sat Jul 16 2022
This one just left me completely cold 🤷♂️
Sun Jul 17 2022
This morning when I listened to the album, I was still feeling too sleepy to enjoy its fun but hectic mood. I do love the way everything sounds a bit messy, like the Rolling Stones in the 70's, but the first and the last songs feel too long and self-indulgent for me. I think I prefer all the songs in-between because they put the messiness within the compact structure of a pop song and thus rein it in a bit. My favorite part is the bass in You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks.
Mon Jul 18 2022
MTV Unplugged In New York
Too plugged for an album titled Unplugged. The songs are great but I've never liked how the guitars sound on this one. They're just... too crappy. Cobain's vocal at the end of Where Did You Sleep Last Night is so good though.
Tue Jul 19 2022
The Band is another really famous band that I haven't ever really connected with emotionally for some reason. Nevertheless, there were several moments that I enjoyed, like how the guitar and piano move in unison on Look Out Cleveland or the understated use of horns on The Unfaithful Servant. I also really loved Whispering Pines - such a comforting song.
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down is weird because it's lyrically fishy but formally good, with all the instruments in the right place (particularly the haunting harmonica-esque sound, drums during the chorus).
Wed Jul 20 2022
Coat Of Many Colors
Early Morning Breeze and The Way I See You are kind of nice. But where is Jolene?
Thu Jul 21 2022
The Modern Lovers
The Modern Lovers
It feels very prescient (Someone I Care About for instance sounds like a Sonic Youth song??), but this kind of minimalist rock is very hit and miss for me (minimalist as in songs with simple chord progressions and a singing style that's not too melodic and close to speaking). It sometimes sounds cool and other times boring depending on my mood.
Fri Jul 22 2022
Songs Of Leonard Cohen
One of the most impressive debut albums. Aside from the words, his melodies and guitar playing are quite nice too. Probably my favorite song here is Sisters of Mercy. The only thing I don't like is the wailing at the very end of the album.
Sat Jul 23 2022
The Joshua Tree
With or Without You is one of the most perfect songs and that's enough to give this album five stars.
Sun Jul 24 2022
The Marshall Mathers LP
Catchy, funny and irreverent as fuck, this is one of the best punk albums. It makes you laugh not just because Eminem can be hilarious but because his rhymes and deliveries are often quite ingenious and brilliant. Dre's production is great as well, his steady bass riffs contrasting with Eminem's mercurial flow and occasionally creating an almost polyrhythmic feel.
Mon Jul 25 2022
Live And Dangerous
At this point in life I don't care for hard rock except for the bands or songs I already like. As for this album, I like The Boys Are Back in Town and that's about it.
Tue Jul 26 2022
I was initially planning to listen to the first few songs and then finish the rest later, but the album was so constantly engaging that I finished the whole thing in one sitting. I think that deserves 5 stars.
I loved how Q-Tip's delivery felt precise but free, how the structure of the songs was loose and not rigidly determined, and how the songs were sequenced in such a way that there was a good mixture of continuity and contrast between songs, keeping up the album's momentum till the end.
Wed Jul 27 2022
The album has a bit of sentimental value, but it can get rather repetitive. I still like (or love, depending on my mood) American Idiot, Holiday, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and Wake Me Up When September Ends.
Thu Jul 28 2022
Alice In Chains
I really like the a-side and have listened to it occasionally, but, as with so many other rock albums, it can get rather monotonous as a whole. I do like the vocal harmonies (a bit rare for grunge songs), occasional contrasts within a song (e.g. Sickman) and the fact that there's memorable melodies (in contrast to some other grunge songs that are basically made up of screams and meandering wailing and nothing else). Them Bones and Would are probably my favorites of the bunch.
Fri Jul 29 2022
This album has several songs I really like (Long Story Short, Evermore) as well as others I can't remember. All in all it reminds me of Charlottesville.
Sat Jul 30 2022
The Lexicon Of Love
I can hear that these people are talented and willing to make the production interesting, but these songs just sound really tacky that I couldn't enjoy much.
Sun Jul 31 2022
Rum Sodomy & The Lash
It's quite enjoyable so long as your mood matches the buoyancy of this record. The trouble is it's hard to keep up if you are just listening to it alone in your room on your headphones. This record is meant for a much more social environment. The shagginess can be appealing as well as tiring.
Mon Aug 01 2022
There are some cool moments like Greensleeves and Beck's Bolero, but it remains just amiable and doesn't have any striking or memorable moment.
Tue Aug 02 2022
The Village Green Preservation Society
Such a pleasurable album. Everything feels just right. The songs are all catchy (in a way that's not corny), the arrangement is engaging, fun and organic throughout--I particularly love the spare but well-chosen use of guitars––and the lyrics are witty and biting but never too cynical either. I love it.
Wed Aug 03 2022
It starts strong and remains cozy throughout, but I wanted a bit more variation and memorable melodies.
Thu Aug 04 2022
This is really a great album and, at the same time, such an unassuming one. Except for the last song, which is concise and more straightforward (but nevertheless a gem), this album doesn't try to win you over with catchy melody, unique chord progressions or instrumental pyrotechnics. Rather, it is mood music of the best kind, creating its own sense of atmosphere, almost existing in its own world and letting you stay in it from the beginning to the end.
It's also one of the best albums to listen to while taking a bath or shower.
Fri Aug 05 2022
Emerson, Lake & Palmer