Mon Sep 05 2022
The Rolling Stones
Tue Sep 06 2022
To Pimp A Butterfly
Generally don't know anything like enough about the genre to properly appreciate the album, but not my bag. Good to listen to something different though. Stand-out tracks: King Kunta, How Much a Dollar Cost, i.
Wed Sep 07 2022
The Smashing Pumpkins
One of the soundtracks to my school years and must be one of my most-listened to albums ever. And it still sounds phenomenal. Not a single weak track. Highlights: Soma, Mayonaise, Geek USA, and every single thing that Jimmy Chamberlin does.
Thu Sep 08 2022
Hotel California is a great tune, and Wasted Time has a pretty chord progression. Victim of Love not too bad. But as whole, it's just so fucking _naff_...
Just like Queen, too often this album sounded like fodder for talent show contestants to cover, but in this case all sugary and faux-emotive. Horrid. Was a relief to get to the end.
Enjoyment: 0.5/2 for the tunes above
Quality: 0.5/2, ditto
2*, which feels generous.
Fri Sep 09 2022
Better than the 'elevator music' promised by public reviews. Jazz noodlings not my thing, but the funkier elements are pretty good.
1/2 for enjoyment, incl the title track
1/2 for quality - sounded original and well played
Mon Sep 12 2022
The Queen Is Dead
Shame about this being put forward as an 'edgy' choice for Friday.
I know it's a classic, with plenty of decent tracks. But it's hard to enjoy - especially the first half. The bass playing sounded much better than I had noticed before.
Tue Sep 13 2022
I remember buying this way back when, and was quite excited when this came up. For starters, White Winter Hymnal is a belter.
But playing it again, it all sounds so kooky and hip and folksy. You soon get this uneasy feeling that this album enabled Mumford & Sons, which makes it hard to forgive. I have no idea what Fleet Foxes are really like, but it's too easy to imagine them as a bunch of city-dwellers who put on a tweed waistcoat and then pretend they've spent the day threshing wheat. The highlights aside, the folksiness was downright tiresome.
Wed Sep 14 2022
Such a fun and brilliant album. First time I had heard any of it, but hugely enjoyable from start to finish. Not a record done by half measures - the band throw everything at every song. It occasionally sounds a bit too busy, but it's hard to begrudge them making the absolute most of every single number. And not one track without something interesting going on.
Tempted to give this a 4, what with it being new to me, but sod it.
Thu Sep 15 2022
People of a certain age might remember those keyboards that, in addition to the usual 88 keys, had a dizzying array of buttons on the giant panel above the keyboard itself. Whenever I sat down to practice, I would end up just pissing about with all the buttons, instead of actually playing the sodding thing.
Every conceivable sound was there (3 options for a timpani!), along with a range of different rhythms and beats, and a feature called 'Automatic' that just spat out something pre-recorded. And it all sounded absolutely dreadful.
Which is why I don't get how such an acclaimed record can sound, for way too much of it, like someone playing around with one of those keyboards in an effort to find the tinniest synth sound, before bashing away with reckless abandon. Even the famous tracks were quite grating in that respect.
And then, out of nowhere, some actual songs: Lady Cab Driver and International Lover are great. As for the rest of it, I'll have to take people's word for it that it's as much of an accomplishment as it's said to be.
Fri Sep 16 2022
The Soft Boys
The unfamiliar band name and mildly terrifying artwork led me to expect the worst, but this was great. Has a slightly eccentric and psychedelic bent, but never inaccessible. Feels like it spans about 20 years. Always something interesting going on.
Prime cuts: You'll Have to Go Sideways, Old Pervert, Underwater Moonlight
Mon Sep 19 2022
Tough one. I had the highest of hopes, but too often it sounded like a messy assault of noise and screaming. I'm sometimes down with that, but not this time. Whenever they hit on a melody, it sounded great, but that only came to fore towards the second half of the album. Interesting rhythmically throughout, and without sounding like 7/8 tosspots.
Suspect this one will grow on me when I give it another chance, so I'll round up from 3 and a half. Prime cuts: Head Down, Black Hole Sun, 4th of July, Let Me Drown.
Tue Sep 20 2022
The Black Keys
I remember having this in the car when it came out on CD. When It popped up today, I couldn't remember a single track, and now I know why.
Perhaps when it was first released, it offered a nice counterpoint to the talent show era: gritty, bluesy, stripped back and quite retro. Fast forward 12 years, and it just sounds a bit empty and repetitive: too many songs built around simple riffs and that aren't taken anywhere. But when they break that formula on Unknown Brother, it sounds fantastic: lots of melody and a couple of filthy chord changes. But that’s the only track I did actually remember from all those years ago.
Prime cuts: Unknown Brother, Ten Cent Pistol.
Wed Sep 21 2022
Trans Europe Express
I really wanted to like this - the idea of a group of German oddball electronica pioneers doing an album celebrating a railway service is just ace. Evidently a hugely influential album, but had no fun listening to it at all.
Prime cut: Showroom Dummies
Thu Sep 22 2022
Evidently an impressive accomplishment, but no joy in hearing it. Full of textures in search of a melody. Lots of glimpses that Twigs sings beautifully but her voice is too often lost in a mess of… I’m not sure what to call it. It just sounds so overdone. Ultimately R&B, in its modern form, just ain’t my thing.
Prime cut: Two Weeks
Fri Sep 23 2022
The first track aside, it's perfectly listenable. I just don't think I'll ever get into jazz. Prime cut: Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are.
Mon Sep 26 2022
Out Of The Blue
Electric Light Orchestra
Tue Sep 27 2022
Wed Sep 28 2022
Conflicted about this one. It sounded gorgeous at first, but very tired by the end. Soothing without sounding like certain recent purveyors of piano-led soft rock: this album is much more interesting. Another one that could span several decades. Shades of Roy Orbison (sort of) and Johnny Cash and much else that you wouldn't expect from someone active during the Britpop era. I'll play tracks from this again, but perhaps not the full album.
Prime cuts: Coles Corner, Born Under a Bad Sign
Thu Sep 29 2022
Listened to clips from most of the songs and that was enough.
I can imagine this being popular with people who enjoy tearfully masturbating to the Hostel movies.
Fri Sep 30 2022
Live At The Witch Trials
Have resigned myself to the fact that I just hate punk. And I think I hate it more having listened to this. A lot of the playing sounded pretty good, especially from the rhythm section, but I didn't come close to remotely enjoying one single track.
Mon Oct 03 2022
(What's The Story) Morning Glory
Not much to say - just full of bangers. Of its time, but what a time that was.
Prime cuts: Don't Look Back in Anger, She's Electric, Champagne Supernova.
Tue Oct 04 2022
The most underwhelming start to what proved to be a fantastic album. From Piano Joint onwards, there's barely a bad moment and lots of brilliant ones.
Won't lie, slightly struggling to describe what I enjoyed about it. Of all the albums we've had so far, this one most had me stop what I was doing to listen to what was going on.
The second listen was as rewarding as I hoped. A keeper.
Prime cuts: Piano Joint x2, Hero x2, Final Days, Light
Offcuts: You Ain't The Problem
Wed Oct 05 2022
The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
The 13th Floor Elevators
Heard this in a thoroughly shit mood but I suspect I just don't like psychedelia... the constant spacey guitar sound, the messy vocals, the superfluous noises going on in the background, the lot. If I knew more about music production I'd be able to describe it all better, but it's roughly along the lines of everyone being recorded in an echo-y room, from 20 yards away, with the drummer in the next postcode.
I had never heard this album before, but it sounded like something I had already heard a 1000 times. And not in a good way.
Mostly horrid, but quite listenable in places. Prime cut: Reverberation.
Thu Oct 06 2022
Sounded like an album that every middle class family had in their CD rack. Great voice, but the music lacks any sort of welly.
Prime cut: I Can't Stand The Rain
Fri Oct 07 2022
Close To The Edge
Still figuring out how I feel about prog. This one had a few enjoyable moments, but they're lost in all the clever noodlings and whacky time signatures (which never feel out of place with eg Tool, FWIW). And I couldn't stand the empty sounding, high-pitched vocals.
Not doubting the musicianship, but I preferred Rick Wakeman's work in the dictionary corner on Countdown.
Mon Oct 10 2022
If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears
The Mamas & The Papas
Tue Oct 11 2022
Vaguely interesting in places but for the most part horrific. Every track a slog to get through.
The concept always sounded a bit wanky. At least I now know the music itself is no better.
Prime cut: Double Bass
Wed Oct 12 2022
Everything Must Go
Manic Street Preachers
Manages to be both pedestrian and painful. Lots of chords, but almost no memorable melodies… the thin and samey vocals stand no chance against a monotonous wall of guitar. Appreciate the album was made in tragic circumstances, but independently of that, the band seem to take themselves incredibly seriously. Not very endearing nor fun to listen to.
Prime cuts: A Design for Life (anthem), No Surface All Feeling (riff)
Thu Oct 13 2022
A really fun album!
The first few tracks hint at what might be a full-on assault of 80s rock/metal. It would have tired pretty quickly were that the case, but the album takes lots of detours... the genre-shifting works a treat in that respect. Sails close to the edge in being too busy, but doesn't go over the top, and the playing is just fantastic throughout.
Sounds like a band who are bloody good at what they do and are having a blast while they do that.
Prime cut: Memories Can't Wait. Might be a cover, but so well done.
Fri Oct 14 2022
Not surprised by all the accolades and the esteem in which it is held, but not much I actually enjoyed. Can't figure out why I hated the repetitiveness on much of the album, but why on Dirt it sounds sublime.
Prime cut: Dirt. And what a cut that is too.
Mon Oct 17 2022
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon & Garfunkel
Tue Oct 18 2022
One of those albums that I had never heard but felt immediately familiar - too familiar. Massive critical acclaim, which tells me I'm missing something. No tracks I was desperate to skip; and none I wanted to play again.
Wed Oct 19 2022
Prime cuts: Good Times Bad Times, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, How Many More Times
Thu Oct 20 2022
Spy Vs. Spy: The Music Of Ornette Coleman
Fri Oct 21 2022
A strange listen and way better than expected. No love for the vocals but really liked the raw and repetitive music. Swear I can hear shades of this in certain 90s albums.
Prime cut: Requiem
Mon Oct 24 2022
Creedence Clearwater Revival
I've heard too little of this band, but will always judge them by their brilliant cover of I Put A Spell On You, which was filthy. Filthy this album sadly ain't. Lots of blues-country-rock that doesn't go as far as it might have. Come on CCR, enough with the radio hits!
Prime cut: Sinister Purpose (cos filth)
Tue Oct 25 2022
...And Justice For All
Such high hopes as well.
Every vocal track sounds identical. Some really great playing, but which sounds thin and tinny.
Prime cuts: One, To Live Is To Die
Wed Oct 26 2022
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
The Incredible String Band
There's a dog on the album cover. Why did he or she have to get dragged into this? Look at them all. You suspect that, away from the camera, they make The Wicker Man look like a fucking Richard Curtis film.
My guess is that the dog is casting a confused and frightened glance to the right following repeated - and failed - attempts to get the photographer to notice that the dog was constantly blinking twice, in a desperate attempt to be free of the clutches of these farm-dwelling lunatics and their weekly ritual sacrifices.
Anyway, on to the music. I'd have rather spent 49 minutes listening to the dog playing with a squeaky toy, or maybe munching on some kibble.
Prime cut: Nightfall. Yes, the last one. I made it through. It's the one track that suggests that the band don't usually make scarecrows out of human carcasses.
Thu Oct 27 2022
I get that it's a classic, but I didn't enjoy one single moment.
Fri Oct 28 2022
I hate the Beach Boys and I hated this.
Mon Oct 31 2022
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Not my thing and we all know about the guy himself, but as an album I didn't hate this at all.
Tue Nov 01 2022
Made In Japan
Some great playing but goes on a bit (a lot). ELP-esque keyboard/organ noodlings especially grating. Sort of like Led Zep but without the sex or groove.
Prime cut: Child in Time.
Tue Nov 22 2022
Christ does this go on a bit. Some great songs, but lots of toothless filler as well. Would have been a 3, but massively outstayed its welcome.
Wed Nov 30 2022
Modern Life Is Rubbish
Bit dated and a bit gobby, but gets better as it goes on. I didn't appreciate the context to it: despite it being their second album, Blur were far from being on the up at the time. Bit of a drag in places, but a few great tracks.
Prime cuts: Star Shaped, Chemical World
Thu Dec 01 2022
A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse
Very listenable, but also very forgettable. Really isn't bad, quite the opposite, but it just doesn't stick.
Mon Dec 05 2022
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Long ago, I knew someone who yakked on and on about his love for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. That someone was a horrible person, and I mostly found this to be a horrible album, so a few things have at least fallen into place.
This might have earned a 3 if the producer had deleted all of Cave's vocal tracks... it's no coincidence that the most listenable songs are when he's joined by female guest vocalists, who bring some much needed balance. I can just about get why Nick Cave is regarded as some sort of creative genius, but it's just no fun to listen to.
Tue Dec 06 2022
Banging album. Funky and filthy.
Prime cuts: Papa Was A Rollin' Stone, Do Your Thing
Wed Dec 07 2022
This one defied all expectations set by the opening couple of tracks (much better on second listen), and proved to be a gorgeous album. As it progressed, it opened up into something more melodic, more vibrant, more interesting. Country base, with lots of toppings, adding up to a really solid set of pop songs. Lovely.
Thu Dec 08 2022
Some timeless singles, but the album hardly feels like a classic. Gospel Medley was lovely though.