Tuesday, March 31, 2009

828. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads (1996)


















Track Listing

1. Song Of Joy
2. Stagger Lee
3. Henry Lee
4. Lovely Creature
5. Where The Wild Roses Grow
6. The Curse Of Millhaven
7. The Kindness Of Strangers
8. Crow Jane
9. O'Malley's Bar
10. Death Is Not The End

Review

Although not the best Nick Cave and Bad Seeds album, those are still to come and some are not even on the list, Murder Ballads is possibly the ideal introduction to the man. This is true for several reasons: first, the theme of murder ballads is pretty much a distillation of Cave's ambience and themes, second the quite accessible format of the songs, most being around 4 minutes long also makes for a good introductory album, thirdly the presence of collaborations with people like PJ Harvey and Kylie make this possibly his most accessible album.

Accessible in Cave's world is a pretty weird thing nonetheless. Cave revels in murderous depravity throughout the album, with such gusto that you can't help but be infected by it. There is an almost childish love for the gruesome and macabre in these songs, none more so than in the great O'Malley's Bar.

This accessibility is also expressed by the fact that it is Cave's best selling album, even if I am sure many of the people who bought it after listening to Kylie collaboration Where The Wild Roses Grow were quite surprised with the content, hopefully pleasantly surprised. As always the arrangements are quite brilliant, and as always the album is pretty terrific overall.

Track Highlights

1. O'Malley's Bar
2. Stagger Lee
3. Henry Lee
4. The Curse of Millhaven

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Murder Ballads is the band's biggest commercial success to date, most likely helped by the unexpected repeated airplay of the "Where the Wild Roses Grow" video on MTV. MTV even nominated Cave for their "best male artist" award of that year, though this nomination was later withdrawn at Cave's request

Henry Lee:




827. Everything But The Girl - Walking Wounded (1996)



















Track Listing


1. Before Today
2. Wrong
3. Single
4. Heart Remains a Child
5. Walking Wounded
6. Flipside
7. Big Deal
8. Mirrorball
9. Good Cop Bad Cop
10. Wrong [Todd Terry Remix]
11. Walking Wounded [Omni Trio Remix]

Review

Everything But The Girl come up with the brilliant idea of adding some trip-hop beats to their more-intelligent-than-average pop and hence create their most successful album to date. It is not hard to see why, it is an album perfectly in tune with the musical environment of the late 90s.

Trip-hop, drum and bass and even jungle are now in 96 starting to become a big part of the mainstream, particularly in the UK, as such EBTG's bet paid off nicely and the album is pretty good for what it is. Pop with a drum and bass/trip-hop tinge.

The flipside of the story is that this type of music has not dated particularly well, fortunately EBTG couple it with strong song-writing skills and Tracey Horne's lovely voice (shame about the face).

Track Highlights


1. Wrong [Todd Terry Remix]
2. Single
3. Walking Wounded
4. Before Today

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Walking Wounded is a 1996 album by Everything But the Girl; their ninth studio release. It is their highest charting album to date, reaching number 4 in the UK and number 37 in the U.S.

This was the first album in which EBTG adopted a more electronic and dance style after the success of the remixed version of "Missing" from their previous album.


Single. Don't laugh at the internet people! They have axes and nocturnal habits.


Monday, March 30, 2009

826. Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go (1996)


















Track Listing


1. Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
2. A Design For Life
3. Kevin Carter
4. Enola/Alone
5. Everything Must Go
6. Small Black Flowers That Grow In the Sky
7. The Girl Who Wanted To Be God
8. Removables
9. Australia
10. Interiors (Song For Willem De Kooning)
11. Further Away
12. No Surface All Feeling

Review

The Manics return with a considerably lighter album than The Holy Bible, although considerably lighter is a moot point with the Manics, it is never light. In this album, however, there is more of a pop sensibility shining through the immensely depressing songs.

This means that a lot of the songs are more memorable than in that previous album, this is not however a better album all told. In fact I preferred The Holy bible which had a much more cohesive content, and was more original than this one.

Still, in the time of so much derivative Britpop the Manics have the merit of being one of the few bands that actually puts a lot of effort in their songs, this isn't derivative, half-baked or annoying, this is an album of well thought out tracks which stand proud 13 years after the fact.

Track Highlights


1. A Design For Life
2. Kevin Carter
3. Australia
4. The Girl Who Wanted to Be God

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Everything Must Go represents a change of style for the Manics. Their previous album, The Holy Bible, had been a stark, disturbing album with a minimal amount of instrumentation whilst this album embraces synths and strings, has a more commercial feel and fits with the Britpop movement that was prevalent at the time. The lyrical focus of the album is also shifted, due in part to Edwards' departure. Instead of introspective and autobiographical tracks such as 4st 7lbs, Wire's predilection for grandiose, historical and political themes dominates. These themes would continue through their next album, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.

Subjects tackled on the album include the tragic life of the photographer Kevin Carter, on the track of the same name, Willem de Kooning, and the maltreatment of animals in captivity on "Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky". The latter track, with lyrics by Richey James Edwards, can also be interpreted as an exploration of his mental state before his disappearance; the line "Here chewing your tail is joy" for instance may be as much about Richey's self harm as it is the tormented self injury of zoo animals.

A Design For Life: 



Sunday, March 29, 2009

825. The Charlatans - Tellin' Stories (1996)















Track Listing

1. With No Shoes
2. North Country Boy
3. Tellin' Stories
4. One To Another
5. You're A Big Girl Now
6. How Can You Leave Us
7. Area 51
8. How High
9. Only Teethin'
10. Get On It
11. Rob's Theme

Review

If Oasis annoy me for being endlessly derivative fellow Britpoppers The Charlatans annoy me for being derivative of Oasis! You just need to listen to the first track to see what I mean. Fortunately they are better than Oasis, not nearly as annoying and better writers.

Another clear influence in a couple of songs is Bob Dylan. This is another deeply unoriginal Britpop album that will have the same place in hell reserved for it. Another one of those mysteries on this list, why does this belong here? It is not original, it is not that good... it isn't bad, but I could off the top of my head come up with a dozer better albums absent from the list.

But I suppose it is kind of important in the context of Oasis-like bands in England at the time. Fortunately there are better albums coming up, as the latest crop has left a lot to be desired.

Track Highlights

1. One To Another
2. North Country Boy
3. Get On It
4. Area 51

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

It was the first album released by the band following the death of founder-member and keyboard player Rob Collins. The album was their most commercially successful, having three top ten singles, which remain their careers highest charting

One To Another:


Saturday, March 28, 2009

824. Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996)















Track Listing

1. Urban Theme
2. Welcome
3. Sumthin' Sumthin'
4. Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
5. Dancewitme
6. Till The Cops Come Knockin'
7. Whenever Wherever Whatever
8. Lonely's The Only Company
9. Reunion
10. Suitelady
11. Suite Theme

Review

This album is lauded as being part of a return to the old kind of soul music of people like Marvin Gaye. In fact it is so far from the sheer quality of the albums that it references that it ends up sounding almost like a mockery. In fact some songs remind me of the Flight of the Conchords in their tackiness.

Now while the Conchords do it on purpose, Maxwell does it by accident. Songs like ...Till the Cops Come Knockin' or Sumthing Sumthing are hilarious! Unfortunately this is not on purpose.

So in the end it is a pretty tacky album. Fun for the wrong reasons, almost in the so bad it's good side of the spectrum, but it isn't bad enough for that. The production is too good for it to achieve its full potential.


Track Highlights

1. ....Till The Cops Come Knockin'
2. Sumthing Sumthing
3. Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
4. Welcome

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is the first album by Maxwell. When the album was finished in 1994, Columbia Records had doubts about the album's potential, and shelved it for two years, but finally issued it in 1996. It did not catch on until the release of its second single, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)", which became a hit. Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite sold over 500,000 copies, earning gold status, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. It was heavily inspired by the sound of classic soul music.


... Till The Cops Come Knocking:


Friday, March 27, 2009

823. Fun Lovin' Criminals - Come Find Yourself (1996)

















Track Listing

1. The fun lovin' criminal
2. Passive/aggressive
3. The grave and the constant
4. Scooby snacks
5. Smoke 'em
6. Bombin' the L
7. I can't get with that
8. King of New York
9. We have all the time in the world
10. Bear hug
11. Come find yourself
12. Crime and punishment
13. Methadonia

Review

If there is one thing to say about the Fun Lovin' Criminals it is that they can be quite fun, if there are two things, the second would be that they are also not that great. I mean I get where they are coming from, trying to be the new Beastie Boys with a more chilled mood, but they are not nearly as good.

There's a great track here, Scooby Snacks, a song which I have heard countless times and am still not tired of, a feat in itself, and it has also stood the test of time quite well.

Other than that, the lyrics are often funny, but not hilarious, the samples are occasionally interesting but never fascinating, and the album is digestible but not scrumptious.

Track Highlights

1. Scooby Snacks
2. King of New York
3. Methadonia
4. Smoke 'Em

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

In an interview on UK television, the lead singer Huey explained that 'Scooby Snacks' in this case were diazepam (Valium) tablets allowing bank robbers to be so cool.

Scooby Snacks:


Thursday, March 26, 2009

822. Barry Adamson - Oedipus Schmoedipus (1996)






















Track Listing

1. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis
2. Something Wicked This Way Comes
3. The Vibes Ain't Nothin' But The Vibes
4. It's Business As Usual
5. Miles
6. Dirty Barry
7. In A Moment Of Clarity
8. Achieved In The Valley In The Dolls (Original Version)
9. Vermillion Kisses
10. The Big Bamboozle
11. State Of Contraction
12. The Sweetest Embrace
13. Set The Controls Again

Review

Just when I thought nothing great was coming out of Manchester anymore, in comes straight out of left-field Barry Adamson's masterpiece. Barry Adamson continues making soundtracks to imaginary films in this album, much as in Moss Side Story, but the result here is much better.

Each single track of this album has something interesting to give you, either it catches you for it's musical originality, or how funny, disturbing or fascinating it is. It is not hard to see why David Lynch loved this album.

At times the album feels slightly disjointed in its variety, but as an exploration of the unconscious and its underbelly through music, you really couldn't get much better. The little stories, the contributions by Jarvis Cocker and Nick Cave, the Bondesque theme songs... I am not sure how many times I'll put it on at home, but I know this is a work of art and definitely belongs in my library.

Track Highlights

1. Vermillion Kisses
2. The Vibes Ain't Nothin' But The Vibes
3. It's Business As Usual
4. The Sweetest Embrace

Final Grade


9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

In 2002, Adamson left his long-term label, Mute Records, and started his own 'production home', Central Control International. In 2006, he released Stranger on the Sofa, first for his Central Control International imprint, to critical acclaim. Back To The Cat, his second album for the label, was released in March 2008.

In 2007 it was announced that Magazine would reform for concerts in 2008. Adamson will be part of this and the same line up that recorded Secondhand Daylight will reform, with the exception of the late John McGeoch. McGeoch will be replaced by Luxuria/Apollo 440 member Noko.

With Nick Cave, The Sweetest Embrace:


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

821. Sepultura - Roots (1996)


















Track Listing


1. Roots Bloody Roots
2. Attitude
3. Cut Throat
4. Ratamahatta
5. Breed Apart
6. Straighthate
7. Spit
8. Lookaway
9. Dusted
10. Born Stubborn
11. Jasco
12. Itsari
13. Ambush
14. Endangered Species
15. Dictatorshit
16. Canyon Jam

Review

The album starts off with one of the most poignant songs about gardening ever committed to record. You know when you are digging for a new plant spot and suddenly you realise that some bloody root from the nearby tree has gotten in the way. You might also stub your finger on it, nothing represents that anguish as well as the chorus of "Roots, Bloody Roots" that starts off this album.

After that moment of true despair you get the sound of the traditional Brazilian instrument berimbau. And you think well at least someone is trying to do something original in terms of heavy metal.

After a while you realise that this is pretty run of the mill stuff embellished by elements that most Anglo-Saxons are not particularly familiar with and might therefore confuse with uniqueness. Those elements are, however, minimal, and in the end the album feels out of place in a musical environment in 1996 which is very much moving away from this type of music. It almost sounds like an atavism. Oh well, not a big fan of metal anyway.

Track Highlights

1. Rattamahata
2. Roots Bloody Roots
3. Canyon Jam
4. Dictatoshit

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Following the experimentalism of the album Chaos A.D., Roots has more influence from Brazilian musical rhythms, including the participation of percussionist Carlinhos Brown, the vocalists Jonathan Davis and Mike Patton, along with producer Ross Robinson, known for his work with Korn.

Ratamahatta:


Monday, March 23, 2009

820. Wilco - Being There (1996)

















Track Listing

1. Misunderstood
2. Forget The Flowers
3. I Got You (At The End Of The Century)
4. Red Eyed And Blue
5. Was I In Your Dreams
6. Dreamer In My Dreams
7. Lonely One
8. Why Would You Wanna Live
9. Kingpin
10. Someone Else's Song
11. Outta Mind (Outta Sight)
12. Someday Soon
13. Sunken Treasure
14. Say You Miss Me
15. Hotel Arizona
16. What's The World Got In Store
17. Far Far Away
18. Monday

Review

This double album by Wilco is a smorgasbord of styles. It starts off with a psychedelic ballad, moves on to country rock and then to early Stones-like Blues Rock. This makes for a very long album that rarely bores, but it also makes for something not very cohesive and which often sounds very derivative.

The problem with a lot of the retro stuff which now starts to appear on the list is that it often clings so close to what it is trying to evoke that it ends up creating lesser copies of the originals. This happened with Stereolab and Can and now with Wilco and the Stones.

Fortunately Wilco are varied enough to be able to break away from that. At times their references are quite explicit such as in
Someone Else's Song, a whole track dedicated to sounding like Bob Dylan and referring in the lyrics how much that song sounds like Someone Else's Song. This knowing dig would be funnier if they didn't often commit the same sin. In the end I liked the album, all the tracks are very well crafted, but I was also constantly annoyed by parts of it, even if I like their influences I dislike when they cling to close to them.

Track Highlights

1. Misunderstood
2. Say You Miss Me
3. Kingpin
4. Someone Else's Song

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Taking its name from a 1979 movie of the same name, the self-produced effort featured more surrealistic and introspective writing than their previous album. This was due in part to several significant changes in Tweedy's life, including the birth of his first child. Musically, it juxtaposed the alternative country styles songs reminiscent of Uncle Tupelo with psychedelic, surreal songs. It was the only Wilco album with steel guitarist Bob Egan and the last with multi-instrumentalist Max Johnston.

Misunderstood:


Sunday, March 22, 2009

819. Fiona Apple - Tidal (1996)




















Track Listing

1. Sleep To Dream
2. Sullen Girl
3. Shadowboxer
4. Criminal
5. Slow Like Honey
6. The First Taste
7. Never Is A Promise
8. The Child Is Gone
9. Pale September
10. Carrion

Review

Some albums require to be listened to at the right point in your life to make sense, this was the case with me and this album. At the time I heard it I was in a relationship where I was pretty much the bitch, and Fiona's adolescent lyrics rang true. Actually the person who introduced me to Fiona ended up becoming my wife, at the time she was only a friend who I turned to in the never ending break-ups and get-back-togethers I was involved in.

Moving myself away from my adolescent self and looking at the album objectively there are things which now grate. The lyric writing is at times downright poor, but Fiona was very young at the time, and she should be forgiven. The album is now worth it, however, for its very good arrangements and Fiona's capacity to interpret her songs perfectly.

Fiona's voice and inflections are the best thing about the album, she manages to infuse some lyrics with the emotion that is lacking in the song-writing. It is in the voice that the emotion is shown, the songs themselves are pretty good musically, and the arrangements are always surprising. So a good album, and an autobiographical one.

Track Highlights

1. First Taste
2. Criminal
3. Sleep To Dream
4. Slow Like Honey

Final Grade


9/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

Tidal produced six singles: "Shadowboxer", "Slow Like Honey", "Sleep to Dream", "The First Taste", "Criminal" and "Never Is a Promise". "Criminal", the album's most popular single, won a 1998 Grammy Award for "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance" and was named the single of 1997 in a poll of Rolling Stone readers. The music video for "The First Taste" never aired in the U.S.

So never aired in the States and she needs a Samwhich, First Taste:


Monday, March 16, 2009

818. The Divine Comedy - Casanova (1996)















Track Listing


1. Something for the Weekend
2. Becoming More Like Alfie
3. Middle-Class Heroes

4. In & Out of Paris & London

5. Charge
6. Songs of Love

7. The Frog Princess

8. A Woman of the World

9. Through A Long & Sleepless Night

10. Theme From Casanova

11. The Dogs & The Horses


Review


Fun baroque pop doesn't come around that often. I have always been a lover of the style, from the Beach Boys and Scott Walker to Love and beyond. The Divine Comedy are firmly in the Scott Walker style of Baroque Pop.

The Scott Walker early albums influence is obvious thorughout, to the point the album often sounds derivative. However we need to remind ourselves that even the great Scott Walker was mainly channelling and covering Brel in those cherished albums.

So no one is innocent here.
In the end the lyrics are pretty great, with a sense of witty fun around the subject of love and sex as the title shows. Interestingly the album gains from knowledge of its influences, being aware of Scott Walker actually makes the album more fun in the way it is sometimes sounds as a mockery of his grandiose style. As a bit of fun this album is a great addition to anyone's library, only don't expect originality.

Track Highlights


1. Something for the Weekend

2. Frog Princess
3. Theme From Casanova

4. The Dogs & The Horses


Final Grade


9/10


Trivia

From Wikipedia:


"The Dogs and the Horses" is very close to the musical style of Scott Walker's first four solo albums. "Through a Long and Sleepless Night," a track off Casanova, shares the same title as a track off of Scott's first solo album.


Something For The Weekend:

Friday, March 13, 2009

817. Eels - Beautiful Freak (1996)

















Track Listing


1. Novocaine For The Soul
2. Susan's House
3. Rags To Rags
4. Beautiful Freak
5. Not Ready Yet
6. My Beloved Monster
7. Flower
8. Guest List
9. Mental
10. Spunky
11. Your Lucky Day In Hell
12. Manchild

Review

Meh. A couple of good songs here and there don't really make for a great album. This is another one of those top-heavy albums, most of the good songs are in the first 4 tracks. It then seems that it runs out of steam.

Still it doesn't really offend me. My friend Sara thinks otherwise, and she's here telling me to give it a 0. I say no! It is quite passable alternative rock. Only it is not very intereting, it's just a bit bland.

So I opt to give it a non-commital 7, I don't particularly want to listen to it again, but I don't dislike it. Just not enough to really understand why it is above average. Competent, but bland. There.

Track Highlights

1. Novocaine For The Soul
2. Susan's House
3. Beautiful Freak
4. Rags To Rags

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

It was the first album released worldwide by DreamWorks Records, and contains an interesting mix of lo-fi, rock and pop songs including the singles "Novocaine for the Soul" and "Susan's House". "My Beloved Monster" was later used in the soundtrack of Shrek, and "Beautiful Freak" was used in the soundtrack of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army and "Monster Inc. Influences include hip hop, and grunge.

Novocaine for the soul:

Sunday, March 08, 2009

816. DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...... (1996)














Track Listing

1. Best Foot Forward
2. Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt
3. The Number Song
4. Changeling
5. Transmission 1
6. What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4)
7. Untitled
8. Stem/Long Stem
9. Transmission 2
10. Mutual Slump
11. Organ Donor
12. Why Hip-Hop Sucks In '96
13. Midnight In A Perfect World
14. Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain
15. What Does Your Soul Look Like
16. Transmission 3

Review

DJ Shadow brings us a first here, the first album to be completely composed of samples, there is nary a note of original material here, but that in itself makes the album extremely original. The art of making snippets of music work together perfectly had never been achieved to a degree of anywhere near the success present when you hear this.

This is not to say that every single track is an unqualified success, but the work is well rounded enough in and of itself to make it quite astounding. For this alone the album more than deserves a place on any list of 1001 albums which are essential hearing.

Despite this not being my prefered style of music I have to tip my hat to Mr. Shadow, some of the tracks are a pure joy to listen to, particularly the ones who show particularly good musical archeology. Making your vinyl collection into a work of art is a worthy endeavour.

Track Highlights

1. Organ Donor
2. Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt
3. Transmission 1
4. Transmission 2

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Endtroducing..... is structured completely out of sampled elements, including hip hop, jazz, funk, psychedelia, old television shows, interviews and percussion tracks. The entirety of the album was composed on an MPC60, a machine which Shadow would later pass on to Chief Xcel. The album has been cited in Guinness World Records as being the first album created entirely from sampled sources.

Organ Donor, slightly different from the album version:


Saturday, March 07, 2009

815. Belle and Sebastian - Tigermilk (1996)


















Track Listing

1. State I Am In
2. Expectations
3. She's Losing It
4. You're Just A Baby
5. Electronic Renaissance
6. I Could Be Dreaming
7. We Rule The School
8. My Wandering Days Are Over
9. I Don't Love Anyone
10. Mary Jo


Review

So this album came out in 1996, but no one really heard it until 1999, as the vinyl was limited to 1000. The few that got it must have loved it, now if you want an original pressing you will have to fork out around 400 squid. Fortunately in 1999 they reissued it as a vinyl, and what a wonderful album it is.

I was never a huge fan of Belle and Sebastian, first, their fans are the kind of cultish hipsters that make me break out in hives, secondly, they have always seemed to be to be slightly boring. In this album, they are anything but, you can perfectly see that they are still trying to find their footing and to discover what their future sound will be. This actually makes for a more exciting album, the styles of the tracks are quite distinctive from each other, even having an electronic track!

The album is really lovely thorughout, however, beautiful songs and lyrics beautifully sung and expertly presented. This is an album which makes it very hard for you not to love it. The tweeness of it manages not to be irritating and the whole thing is a joy. I really loved it.

Track Highlights

1. Expectations
2. Mary Jo
3. I Could Be Dreaming
4. Electronic Renaissance

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album is named after a song that didn't end up making the cut – an instrumental that was later performed numerous times on Belle & Sebastian's early tours. All of the songs on the album were written by Stuart Murdoch between 1993 and 1996, and originally performed solo on the Glasgow open mic circuit. Though he performs on the album, trumpet player Mick Cooke was not yet an official member of the band.

Expectations:

Thursday, March 05, 2009

814. Beck - Odelay (1996)


















Track Listing

1. Devils Haircut
2. Hotwax
3. Lord Only Knows
4. The New Pollution
5. Derelict
6. Novacane
7. Jack-Ass
8. Where It's At
9. Minus
10. Sissyneck
11. Readymade
12. High 5 (Rock The Catskills)
13. Ramshackle

Review

Beck's Odelay is one of those albums that helped define the music of the second half of the 90s. It is not hard to see why, using hip-hop sample techniques in music that bares some resemblance to hip-hop but is clearly a distinct style. The sampling is used in great and innovative ways, and Beck crafts perfect songs throughout.

Beck always makes me itchy, mainly due to his deep connection to Scientology, still that really has no impact on the quality of his music, and is therefore not really relevant to how good an artist and musician he is. And at least from this album he is really great.

This is one of those albums that I listened to almost to the point of exhaustion for the first two years of University, as I broadned my musical horizons, so none of this is really new to me, but seeing it now in context it gains another relevance, and you can see just how original it is. Both retro and innovative, Odelay is a truly great album.

Track Highlights

1. Where It's At
2. The New Pollution
3. Devil's Haircut
4. Ramshackle

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The title is a phonetic English rendering of the Mexican slang greeting "orale." The phrase "odelay" is repeated in the lyrics during the outro of the song "Lord Only Knows".

The album's unusual cover photo, which has been misinterpreted as a mop head jumping over a hurdle, is actually a real photo of a Komondor, a rare Hungarian breed of dog with thick matted hair. This came after Bush released their album Sixteen Stone, which featured a similar looking dog called a Puli being thrown into the air on the inside cover.

The image was chosen at the last minute after Beck failed to decide on an album cover. The image was presented to him by his girlfriend and was chosen almost out of desperation. The typeface was chosen by a record company worker.

Where it's At:

Monday, March 02, 2009

813. Tortoise - Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996)


















Track Listing

1. Djed
2. Glass Museum
3. Survey
4. Taut And Tame
5. Dear Grandma And Grandpa
6. Along The Banks Of Rivers

Review

I know I will be blasphemous in the eyes of many when I say that this album did not impress me as much as everyone seems to claim it should have. In fact this has all pretty much been done before. Be it in bands like Can, Neu!, Faust and Tangerine Dream or on more Jazzy inflected Prog or the Pop/Ambient works of Brian Eno.

The way these elements are put together is also not particularly interesting. The idea that this album is revolutionary applies only to the sub-set of American musical production as all of these styles that they draw so heavily from (Prog, Krautrock and Ambient) are mainly European ones.

So yes the album is quite good, but frankly it is not only overrated but also slightly boring in parts, with some of the tracks making their point in the first 5 minutes but dragging it on into well over 10 and sometimes even getting to 20 minutes. The progression inside these mammoth tracks is not that interesting, at times it even seems that a completely different track has started and it was just kept there for track length's sake.

Track Highlights

1. Survey
2. Taut and Tame
3. Djed
4. Glass Museum

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album's title comes from a phrase used in the Jehovah's Witness faith, especially in the early 1900s.~

Glass Museum:

Sunday, March 01, 2009

812. Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996)

















Track Listing

1. Metronomic Underground
2. Cybele's Reverie
3. Percolator
4. Les Yper Sound
5. Spark Plug
6. OLV 26
7. Noise Of Carpet
8. Tomorrow Is Already Here
9. Emperor Tomato Ketchup
10. Monstre Sacre
11. Motoroller Scalatron
12. Slow Fast Hazel
13. Anonymous Collective

Review

When listening to this album, particularly the pretty good first track it is hard to fight the feeling that I would rather be listening to Can. From the title of that track you can see that the "inspiration" is definitely self-conscious. That makes it not so bad.

This influence of krautrock runs throughout the whole album, and it is a good thing because I like krautrock... still it is a bit lazy to be at times so close to imitation. That said the album is a generally pleasant affair, being relly good mood music.

Still, the fact that you can't help but want to listen to the original metronomic krautrockers instead points at a problem with the album, they are just not as good, interesting or original as their influences, but that standard is a bit too high for any band to achieve, really. You have to admire their guts and the tracks where they deviate slightly from krautrock re-imaginings show great promise indeed.

Track Highlights

1. Cybele's Reverie
2. Metronomic Underground
3. Les Yper Sound
4. Percolator

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Tomato Kecchappu K├┤tei (Emperor Tomato Ketchup) is a 1971 film by Japanese director Shuji Terayama.

Cybele's Reverie: