Monday, August 31, 2009

948. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me (2002)


















Track Listing

1. Don't Know Why
2. Seven Years
3. Cold Cold Heart
4. Feelin' The Same Way
5. Come Away With Me
6. Shoot The Moon
7. Turn Me On
8. Lonestar
9. I've Got To See You Again
10. Painter Song
11. One Flight Down
12. Nightingale
13. The Long Day Is Over
14. The Nearness Of You

Review

The album that launched a thousand Katie Meluas.

Considerably better than her successors it's still a bit like praising Hitler's mum.

Track Highlights

1. ARGH!

Final Grade

5/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Polyphonic HMI's "Hit Song Science" software predicted the album's success months before its release, contradicting skeptical executives.


Brough to you by the letter Y:


Sunday, August 30, 2009

947. The Bees - Sunshine Hit Me (2002)

















Track Listing


1. Punchbag
2. Angryman
3. No Trophy
4. Binnel Bay
5. Sunshine
6. A Minha Menina
7. This Town
8. Sweet Like A Champion
9. Lying In The Snow
10. Zia
11. Sky Holds The Sun


Review

So we come to the last decent album before a couple of stinkers and so I am sad to see it go, however not distraught. The album is fun sunny indie stuff, it's alright, but not much more than that.

My biggest problem and biggest joy in this album arise from the same song. A Minha Menina, a cover version of the great track from Os Mutantes is both admirable in having awoken an interest in one of the most innovative bands of the sixties and crap. Crap because it is not nearly as good as the original and the Portuguese in the chorus is horribly mangled, which, depending on my mood is either funny or rage-inducing.

The rest of the album is stuff that kind of reminds me of The Coral without ever being as interesting. Still for an album recorded by two guys in a garden shed in the Isle of Wight it is pretty good. So, fun, summery, retro, heh.

Track Highlights

1. Punchbag
2. Zia
3. Sky Holds The Sun
4. Angryman

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

At the time when the album was recorded the band only comprised Paul Butler and Aaron Fletcher, who wrote, performed and recorded the album alone using a home studio in Butler's parent's garden. Both Butler and Fletcher had been notables on the Isle of Wight local scene for a while, performing in local indie/electronic outfits Pnu Riff and, more recently, the Exploding Thumbs. Butler had also guested on several other island albums, including some by Max Brennan.

some guys made a video for Punchbag:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

946. Ms. Dynamite - A Little Deeper (2002)


















Track Listing

1. Natural High (Interlude)
2. Dy-Na-Mi-Tee
3. Anyway U Want It (feat Keon Bryce)
4. Put Him Out
5. Brother
6. It Takes More
7. Sick 'n' Tired
8. Afraid 2 Fly
9. Watch Over Them
10. Seed Will Grow (feat. Kymani Marley)
11. Krazy Krush
12. Now U Want My Love
13. Too Experienced
14. Gotta Let U Know
15. All I Ever
16. A Lil Deeper / Get Up Stand Up

Review

Here's a whole musical genre represented by one single album on the list. The genre of UK Garage was one of the most ludicrous musical happenings of the early 00's. Fortunately by 2005 it was pretty much over. Like in most genres, however, there good things to come out of them, and Ms. Dynamite was one of them.

Coming out of the incredibly bad So Solid Crew, Ms. Dynamite showed herself to be more mature and smarter by powers of 10 than her former mates. This doesn't mean this is a great album, but it is pretty good one, particularly taking into account its background.

Ms. Dynamite successfully makes a slightly Americanised R&B/UK Garage album which manages to have some pretty good tracks as well as being much more hard hitting lyrically than anything done by comparable artists across the pond. I mean Destiny's Child sound like prudish Amish stay at home wives next to her.

Track Highlights

1. It Takes More
2. Dy-Na-Mi-Tee
3. Sick 'n' Tired
4. A Lil Deeper / Get Up Stand Up

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Ms Dynamite was born and raised in Archway, a district in North London, to a Scottish mother and a Jamaican father. She grew up listening to reggae and hip hop music. Though she wanted to become a schoolteacher or social worker, her biggest aspiration was to be a musician. She is the eldest of eleven siblings, one of whom is a grime artist known as Akala, and attended Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park.


It Takes More:

Friday, August 28, 2009

945. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)


















Track Listing

1. I am trying to break your heart
2. Kamera
3. Radio cure
4. War on war
5. Jesus, etc.
6. Ashes of American Flags
7. Heavy metal drummer
8. I'm the man who loves you
9. Pot kettle black
10. Poor places
11. Reservations

Review

Never been a big fan of Wilco, they never seemed to be much more than OK. Kind of interesting indie-alt-country/folk people, something that I'm actually predisposed to like but that in the case of Wilco never rocked my boat.

This is the best album they've had here, and while it does not rock my world or shatter my preconceptions about them it is indeed a very good album. It is only let down by tracks that are overly poppy like Kamera, which really make the band sound a lot less unique that it shows itself elsewhere in the album.

Where the album pays off is in the tracks which are slightly more subdued, using a lot of background hisses and noises which give it an otherworldly quality which really enhances the album. In the end it rewards repeated listenings and is indeed a very good album, and something I'll want to listen to again.

Track Highlights

1. Jesus, etc.
2. Poor Places
3. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
4. Heavy Metal Drummer

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitar), Jay Bennett (guitar, keyboards, vocals, drums, bass), John Stirratt (bass guitar), and Ken Coomer were responsible for the conception of the album. Leroy Bach and Fred Lonberg-Holm provided additional instrumentation. Coomer is listed as a "collaborator", since his drum parts were replaced by those of Glenn Kotche. Bennett, Chris Brickley, and Jim O'Rourke provided engineering and mixing and Steve Rooke mastered the tapes. Wilco is named as the producer of the album, and Sam Jones took the photographs that were used in the insert of the album.

Jesus, etc.:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

944. Jurassic 5 - Power In Numbers (2002)


















Track Listing

1. This Is
2. Freedom
3. If You Only Knew
4. Break
5. React
6. A Day At The Races
7. Remember His Name
8. What's Golden
9. Thin Line
10. After School Special
11. High Fidelity
12. Sum Of Us
13. DDT
14. One Of Them
15. Hey
16. I Am Somebody
17. Acetate Prophets

Review

Finally! A great hip-hop album of a greatness we haven't had in this list for a long while. Jurassic five do none of the things that mainstream hip-hop was doing at the time and this is really what makes the album so good.

The album is fun and funky, intelligent, well written, extremely well sampled, the rhythms work perfectly and has an eclecticism missing from much of their contemporaries. So eclectic in fact that this album manages to guest star Nelly Furtado and do it pretty well in a great track.

Jurassic 5 are not unselfconscious as to what they are doing, in fact one track "One of Them" directly addresses the stupidity of Gangsta Rap. This actually harks back to bands like De La Soul, Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest, in its playful, smart brilliance. Highly Recommended.

Track Highlights

1. Thin Line
2. One Of Them
3. What's Golden
4. Acetate Prophets

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album features a number of differing song styles. One track, "React", composed by Jurassic 5 DJ Cut Chemist, is sample-based and contains no raps. "Acetate Prophets" has the same structure, but is much longer and also features production from Jurassic 5's other DJ, DJ Nu-Mark. Many tracks start or end with a sample of speech, usually inserted by Cut Chemist. The track "DDT" is an a cappella track rapped by renowned underground emcee Kool Keith, featuring no raps by Jurassic 5 themselves. The chorus of "What's Golden" features a sample from "Prophets of Rage" by Public Enemy.

Thin Line, best song Nelly Furtado ever featured in:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

943. Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World (2001)


















Track Listing

1. Alternate Route To Vulcan Street
2. Sidewalk Serfer Girl
3. (Drawing) Rings Around The World
4. It's Not The End Of The World?
5. Receptacle For The Respectable
6. [A] Touch Sensitive
7. Shoot Doris Day
8. Miniature
9. No Sympathy
10. Juxtapozed With U
11. Presidential Suite
12. Run! Christian, Run!
13. Fragile Happiness

Review

Another really interesting album by the Super Furry Animals. In this case it is more interesting than downright enjoyable, as was the case in Fuzzy Logic. More than ever before they let loose on experimentalism in pop-music and that makes for quite a fascinating album.

When they are not doing Death Metal voices or heavy dub it sounds like a mix of Beach Boys harmonics, Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, Suede and Blur. That in itself is quite good, but then there is a never-ending amount of weird details that they have decided to add to the music.

In the end the album is pretty good, a lot of the tracks are thoroughly enjoyable and fun, at times it might seem that they indulge a bit too much in the experimentalism side, but it does add something to the album, raising it above just good.

Track Highlights

1. Presidential Suite
2. Sidewalk Serfer Girl
3. Receptacle for the Respectable
4. Run! Christian, Run!

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Rhys has claimed that the record was originally going to be a "state of the planet concept album" before the band decided against it although he concedes that the record is still "about Earth, and the pollution of space: it's about debris".

Presidential Suite:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

942. Drive-By Truckers - Southern Rock Opera (2001)




















Track Listing


CD 1:

1. Days Of Graduation
2. Ronnie And Neil
3. 72 (This Highway's Mean)
4. Dead, Drunk And Naked
5. Guitar Man Upstairs
6. Birmingham
7. The Southern Thing
8. Three Great Alabama Icons
9. Wallace
10. Zip City
11. Moved

CD 2:

1. Let There Be Rock
2. Road Cases
3. Women Without Whiskey
4. Plastic Flowers On The Highway
5. Cassie's Brother
6. Life In The Factory
7. Shut Up And Get On The Plane
8. Greenville To Baton Rouge
9. Angels And Fuselage

Review

So a 2 CD Rock Opera about Ronnie Van Zandt and Alabama in general. That is a pretty nifty idea, the only problem is the fact that the Drive-By Truckers aren't really Lynyrd Skynyrd and the fact that they often attempt to be them comes across as a bit of a failure at times.

There is enough music here for a couple of great tracks, however, and they really shine on the more historical ones, coming across almost as a mix of The Minutemen and Lynyrd.

So that is the good thing about the album being so long. The bad thing is that the album is much too long for the hit and miss quality of it. So in concept it is pretty great, the lyrics are actually interesting as a history lesson and some of the songs work really well... but then most don't and you have to listen to 90 minutes of it.

Track Highlights

1. Three Great Alabama Icons
2. Ronnie and Neil
3. Angels and Fuselage
4. Dead, Drunk and Naked

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The record was originally self-released on Soul Dump Records. It was re-released on July 16, 2002 by Lost Highway Records. The album was financed by issuing promissory notes in exchange for loans from fans, family and friends of the band.

Ronnie and Neil:

Monday, August 24, 2009

941. Röyksopp - Melody A. M. (2001)


















Track Listing


1. So Easy
2. Eple
3. Sparks
4. In Space
5. Poor Leno
6. A Higher Place
7. Royksopp's Night Out
8. Remind Me
9. She's So
10. 40 Years Back/Come

Review

Another mildly interesting European electronic album. And this is just very mildly interesting. It is clearly not meant for dancing, but then the music is too repetitive for it to be meant for much else. So it just becomes blah.

It's kind of trying to be some kind of more sensitive IDM but it ends up being boring music. Of course you'll probably know most of the tracks from commercials or background music to some TV show or some chillout bar somewhere.

Actually, now that I think about it, this does sound like music that was made in order to be licensed, I think that is the market they are going for. They saw people like Moby and Air getting all these licensing deals and wanted to get into the bandwagon. The difference is Moby and Air did not set out to have immediately appealing music without much depth ripe for licensing... Röyksopp seems like they aimed right at it.

Track Highlights

1. Eple
2. Poor Leno
3. So Easy
4. Sparks

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Songs from this album have been used in television adverts and computer games, "Remind Me" was formally featured in an advertisement for GEICO Insurance in one of their popular 'Caveman' ads, "Eple" was licensed by Apple and used as the introduction music for the Mac OS X v10.3 Setup Assistant. A remix of "Poor Leno" was featured in the SSX 3 soundtrack.

Poor Leno:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

940. Jay-Z - The Blueprint (2001)


















Track Listing


1. The Ruler's Back
2. Takeover
3. Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
4. Girls, Girls, Girls
5. Jigga That Nigga
6. U Don't Know
7. Hola' Hovito
8. Heart Of The City (Ain't No Love)
9. Never Change
10. Song Cry
11. All I Need
12. Renegade
13. Blueprint

Review

There are some cool things about this album, some of the beats are really good, take the second track for example, this is good stuff. But then, the more you listen to it the more a lot of it actually becomes annoying.

The whole swagger, bitches, guns and champagne crap can be made well, it can be made tongue in cheek, it can be insightful... However in Jay-Z's case this is never the case. So the album is much more interesting superficially than when you start going deep into it.

Then there are elements even in the music that are just annoying. A chipmunk is never ok. Dissing Nas is also not ok, when you are a bit crap next to him, oh and your argument is the fact that you sell more! Or sentences like "I'm no ho, you gotta be lord Lotsacash to be with me", show some extremely skewed perspectives on the world. So yeah it sounds good but goes a bit shit the more you listen to it.

Track Highlights

1. Takeover
2. Jigga That Nigga
3. Heart Of The City (Ain't No Love)
4. Hola' Hovito

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

In The Blueprint, Jay-Z and his producers turn to vintage soul, fuelling almost every song with a stirring vocal sample: Al Green, Bobby "Blue" Bland, David Ruffin and the The Jackson 5. Exceptions include "Jigga That Nigga", "Hola' Hovito", and most notably "Renegade", a track produced by and featuring Eminem.

Song Cry:


Saturday, August 22, 2009

939. The Beta Band - Hot Shots II (2001)



















Track Listing

1. Squares
2. Al Sharp
3. Human Being
4. Gone
5. Dragon
6. Broke
7. Quiet
8. Alleged
9. Life
10. Eclipse

Review

Anything you might think about The Beta Band does not take away from the fact that they are true originals, this is really hard to categorise music. Some kind of psychedelic-electro-indie-rock.

There is some kind of attempt to be Syd Barret-era Pink FLoyd for the 21st century. In that sense it is actually quite successful, quirky, interesting but in the end does not blow me away... much like Syd didn't.

So it is definitely an album that I recommend listening to, as it is quite interesting. However it is not an album that I will particularly cherish. It's fun but not all that.

Track Highlights

1. Eclipse
2. Human Being
3. Al Sharp
4. Squares

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Not to be confused with Hot Shots! Part Deux.

Being Human:

Friday, August 21, 2009

938. White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001)















Track Listing

1. Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
2. Hotel Yorba
3. I'm Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman
4. Fell In Love With A Girl
5. Expecting
6. Little Room
7. The Union Forever
8. The Same Boy You've Always Known
9. We're Going To Be Friends
10. Offend In Every Way
11. I Think I Smell A Rat
12. Aluminum
13. I Can't Wait
14. Now Mary
15. I Can Learn
16. This Protector

Review

I really like the White Stripes. I kind of lost touch with their career from Get Behind Me Satan onwards, as happened with most other stuff as this list keeps me busy, but during the Elephant stage I was pretty much into them.

So it is a welcome reconnection to the Stripes with this album. This is probably the album which goes further in their ideal to be lo-fi and uncomputerized and simply using an electric guitar and some effective drumming. And they do it amazingly, some other instruments creep in, like a piano here and there but it is mostly back to basics.

This back to basics, slightly punkish attitude to the blues is what makes them so great. They approach the old genre of blues-rock informed by the mid to late 70s and they attack it with loads of verve. If I was so sad when Metal lost its blues influences in the 80s, I am glad to see a band which owes as much to Muddy Waters as to Led Zeppelin as to the Ramones.

Track Listing

1. Fell in Love With a Girl
2. Hotel Yorba
3. We're Going To Be Friends
4. Finding it Harder to be a Gentleman

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Considered the band's commercial breakthrough, White Blood Cells peaked at number 61 on the Billboard 200, going Gold and selling over 500,000 units. The album also reached number 55 in the United Kingdom, being bolstered in both territories by the "Fell in Love with a Girl" single and its Lego-animation music video. Stylus magazine rated it the fifteenth greatest album of 2000-2005 while Pitchfork Media ranked it ninth on their list of the top 100 albums from 2000-2004.

Fell in Love With a Girl:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

937. Gotan Project - La Revancha Del Tango (2001)



















Track Listing


1. Queremos Paz
2. Epoca
3. Chunga's Revenge
4. Triptico
5. Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)
6. Una Musica Brutal
7. El Capitalismo Foraneo
8. Last Tango In Paris
9. La Del Ruso
10. Vuelvo Al Sur

Review

Was there a more overplayed record during the Portuguese summers of the last 8 years? No, there wasn't. Of course that will mean nothing to most of you but it means that my review will probably not be as impartial as I'd like it to be.

I am tired of this album, I've heard it endlessly on a loop at every beach bar, night bar, restaurant or place where people congregate, for the last 8 years! Fortunately I've been able to avoid it this year due to being skint, however, if I had money to go out I'm sure I'd be bombarded with it again.


All this being said it is a great album, in fact my wife bought it when it came out and we heard it a lot before it became the soundtrack to hot days. Truth be told the remixing is quite brilliant and just as Astor Piazzolla made tango relevant again at an earlier age so did Gotan project in the 21st century. Props. But I can't listen to it again.

Track Highlights


1. Vuelvo al Sur
2. Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)
3. El Capitalismo Foraneo
4. Una Musica Brutal

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Track 3 is a cover of the title track from Frank Zappa's 1970 album Chunga's Revenge; track 8 is a cover of Gato Barbieri's theme for the 1972 film Last Tango in Paris.


Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre):


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

936. Gillian Welch - Time (The Revelator) (2001)




















Track Listing

1. Revelator
2. My First Lover
3. Dear Someone
4. Red Clay Halo
5. April The 14th Part 1
6. Elvis Presley Blues
7. Ruination Day Part 2
8. Everything Is Free
9. I Dream A Highway

Review

What a great album, like the lovechild of Bert Jansch and the Carter Family this is some pretty different folk/country music. The guitar playing is very reminiscent of the great 60s UK folk bands like Fairport Convention and Pentangle, and of course Bert Jansch and even Nick Drake, but the music and singing is very much American in the folksier sense of the term.

It is interesting that this album upset a lot of country purists because it really marks an evolution that the UK had done 35 years earlier, not much of a innovation, and it sounds pretty fantastic.

The album is dark overall, often bluesy in its darkness but it can, like the previously mentioned bands stretch out a song to 15 minutes without it seeming dull. It is always great when a great music genre learns from outside of itself and incoorporates it in a beautiful way. This album does that.

Track Highlights

1. Revelator
2. I Dream a Highway
3. April the 14th Part 1
4. My First Lover

Final Grade


9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Welch and Rawlings received a great deal of recognition for their work on Time. The album received many award nominations and was included on many "best album of the year" lists by critics. It has since been included on a number of "best of all time" list.

During a period in his life in which he was living with a friend in New York City, folkie Devendra Banhart had access to only this record, which he now proudly regards as "one of his favorites of all time."

Revelator:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

935. The Strokes - Is This It (2001)

















Track Listing

1. Is This It
2. The Modern Age
3. Soma
4. Barely Legal
5. Someday
6. Alone, Together
7. Last Nite
8. Hard To Explain
9. New York City Cops
10. Trying Your Luck
11. Take It Or Leave It

Review

There are pros and cons to this album. The cons consist of the fact that the band's sound derives too much from the Stooges and Iggy, Lou Reed, Television and The Cars. The pros consist of the fact that the music derives from the Stooges and Iggy, Lou Reed, Television and The Cars.

The Strokes repackage some great influences for the 21st century. They do in a way that ends up making their album a bunch of fun while also stripping their influences from a lot of their depth. Stripping good influences from depth is probably the defining characteristic of the whole hipster movement, which is pathetic and sad.

That being said, the album is very infectious, as a piece of pop it is better than almost anything around at the time, as danceable, singalongable music it works perfectly, and if you don't compare them to their influences it is a truly enjoyable album to listen to.

Track Highlights

1. Barely Legal
2. Last Nite
3. New York City Cops
4. Take It Or Leave It

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

According to Metacritic, which combines reviews from the nations top critics, the album has a 90% approval rating from critics, thus receiving the title of a "universally acclaimed" album.

Barely Legal:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

934. Destiny's Child - Survivor (2001)



















Track Listing

1. Independent Women Part 1
2. Survivor
3. Bootylicious
4. Nasty Girl
5. Fancy
6. Apple Pie A La Mode
7. Sexy Daddy
8. Perfect Man
9. Independent Women Part 2
10. Happy Face
11. Dance With Me
12. My Heart Still Beats
13. Emotion
14. Brown Eyes
15. Dangerously In Love
16. The Story Of Beauty
17. Gospel Medley
18. Outro (DC-3) Thank You


Review

I used to think Beyonce was quite an intelligent lady, after listening to this album I was left with strong doubts. The album is overall terrible and often quite stupid and dull.

From the hypocritical moralist Nasty Girl to the shouty title track to the maudlin spiritual crap of Gospel Medley and finishing with the circle jerk of Outro (DC-3) Thank You, the album is just painful to listen to.

In fact there are only two songs which are not terrible, Independent Women part 1 and Bootylicious and even then...

Track Highlights

1. Bootylicious
2. Independent Women Part 1

Final Grade

5/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart on May 19, 2001 with first-week sales of a staggering 663,000 units and stayed at number one for two weeks straight. It earned Destiny's Child three grammy nomnation for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album. Survivor was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA on January 7, 2002

Independent Women:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

933. Ryan Adams - Gold (2001)


















Track Listing

1. New York, New York
2. Firecracker
3. Answering Bell
4. La Cienega Just Smiled
5. The Rescue Blues
6. Somehow, Someday
7. When The Stars Go Blue
8. Nobody Girl
9. Sylvia Plath
10. Enemy Fire
11. Gonna Make You Love Me
12. Wild Flowers
13. Harder Now That It's Over
14. Touch, Feel & Lose
15. Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues
16. Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd.

Review

Another great album by the unfortunately named Ryan Adams. The early 00s are proving to be not bad at all, in fact we've been having a pretty good streak of album and in spite of some breaks it should continue to be mostly good stuff for a while.

So Ryan is in the alt-country/folk-rock tradition and his songs are great examples of those styles drawing from influences like Gram Parsons and The Band, an influence which is particularly obvious in Answering Bell, and doing an all 'round great job.

I am really a sucker for this kind of stuff and Ryan ticks a number of boxes. I probably liked Heartbreaker better as it didn't sound as polished as this, but the evolution here is natural and the album is still pretty great. Definitely recommended.

Track Highlights

1. Answering Bell
2. La Cienega Just Smiled
3. Nobody Girl
4. Tina Toledo's Street Walking Blues

Final Grade


9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Adams intended for the album to be a double album, but his record label, Lost Highway, condensed the album into a single disc to avoid paying Adams more money. According to Adams, the label "took the last five songs, made it a bonus disc and put it on the first hundred and fifty thousand copies. Fucking my fans over and making them pay extra for a record I wanted to be a double album. They counted that as one record." This bonus disc is known as Side Four; the disc's title reflects the fact that the bonus material makes up the fourth side of the double LP edition of the album.

Answering Bell:

Friday, August 14, 2009

932. Gorillaz - Gorillaz (2001)



















Track Listing


1. Re-Hash
2. 5/4
3. Tomorrow Comes Today
4. New Genius (Brother)
5. Clint Eastwood
6. Man Research (Clapper)
7. Punk
8. Sound Check (Gravity)
9. Double Bass
10. Rock The House
11. 19-2000
12. Latin Simone (Que Pasa Contigo)
13. Starshine
14. Slow Country
15. M1 A1
16. Clint Eastwood (Ed Case/Sweetie Irie Refix) (Edit)
17. 19-2000 (Soulchild Remix)

Review

There are plenty of interesting things about this album, and not just the album but the band itself. Firstly the fact that the band is all completely invented, the band itself is a work of art, an exercise in narrative and a pretty cool concept as well. This comes from the head of the brilliant Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn, a collaboration responsible for some of the greatest things in the past few years.

Then you have people like the great Tina Weymouth collaborating here. Other than this the album just goes thorugh so many styles and does them so well and so innovatively while retaining a sense of fun that it is almost impossible to dislike.

However the way in which the album keeps shifting styles can make it feel slightly disjointed at times, but there are enough common elements to keep it all cohesive. So a really good album by a band that is fascinating as living comic characters but also as a really talented collection of people moving the puppets.

Track Highlights


1. 19-2000
2. Clint Eastwood
3. Latin Simone (Que Pasa Contigo)
4. Tomorrow Comes Today

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album reached #3 in the UK, and was an unexpected hit in the U.S., hitting #14 and selling over seven million copies worldwide. Its members include 2D, Murdoc, Russel, and Noodle.

19-2000:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

931. Bjork - Vespertine (2001)

















Track Listing


1. Hidden Place
2. Cocoon
3. It's Not Up To You
4. Undo
5. Pagan Poetry
6. Frosti
7. Aurora
8. Echo A Stain
9. Sun In My Mouth
10. Heirloom
11. Harm Of Will
12. Unison

Review

With Homogenic Bjork started to move away from the world of pop and into something else. This something else was immediately patent in Vespertine, an album which really moves away from more conventional popcraft into Bjorkishness.

So Vespertine sounds different, but that does not mean that it is not an accessible album (it is not Drawing Restraint 9), in fact it consists mostly of very pretty music, constantly evoking the idea of winter and snow through it's use of loads of "twinkly" sounds, from music boxes to bells.

In fact, one of the best songs in the album, Frosti is completely instrumental, again showing her strengths as a composer, which really is her greatest strength. Lyrics are as usual not that fascinating but surreal enough to keep you interested, as a singer she's ok, but as a composer she is really great, and this is something lacking in the music scene of the early 00s. So yeah, go Bjork.

Track Highlights

1. Frosti
2. Hidden Place
3. Pagan Poetry
4. Aurora

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The lyrics of "Harm of Will" were written by Harmony Korine and are allegedly about Will Oldham.

Frosti:



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

930. Silver Jews - Bright Flight (2001)


















Track Listing

1. Slow Education
2. Room Games And Diamond Rain
3. Time Will Break The World
4. I Remember Me
5. Horseleg Swastikas
6. Transylvania Blues
7. Let's Not And Say We Did
8. Tennessee
9. Friday Night Fever
10. Death Of An Heir Of Sorrows


Review

Another album of pretty interesting alt-country/indie rock music. At times the whole alt-country scene is very crossovery with indie music, it does have some really wide appeal. In fact alt-country could often more accurately be described as country influenced indie rock.

The album is pretty great, the lyrics are smart and sometimes surreal, the music is really appealing with a great lo-fi sound. Silver Jews are frequently associated with Pavement, but there is definitely a distinct identity at work here.

Fortunately we've been going through a good patch of music lately and this album is no exception. It is full of songs that slowly creep into your mind to the point where after a few listens you really like it and anxiously expect some of your favourite lyrical moments, such as when Tennessee rhymes with Ten I See.

Track Highlights


1. Tennessee
2. Friday Night Fever
3. I Remember Me
4. Slow Education

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

"Tennessee" was chosen as the title track for an EP that also included "Long Long Gone," "I'm Gonna Love The Hell Out of You," and the brief throwaway "Turn Your Guns Around."

Tennessee:


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

929. Radiohead - Amnesiac (2001)

















Track Listing

1. Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box
2. Pyramid Song
3. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors
4. You And Whose Army?
5. I Might Be Wrong
6. Knives Out
7. Morning Bell/Amnesiac
8. Dollars & Cents
9. Hunting Bears
10. Like Spinning Plates
11. Life In A Glasshouse

Review

Annoyingly Radiohead produce yet another stupidly brilliant, innovative and interesting album. Not only is it interesting as it is peppered with moments of true beauty and genius.

Much like Kid A, this is an album which is pretty much removed from mainstream rock music, using plenty of synthesised sounds in a way that sometimes sounds more like modern erudite music rather than the band responsible for Creep.

So they fail to disappoint again. They just keep on making their music more interesting, noticing all the details in this album is an almost impossible task but you'll have great fun trying to do it.

Track Highlights

1. Life In A Glasshouse
2. Knives Out
3. Pyramid Song
4. Morning Bell/Amnesiac

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Both Amnesiac and Radiohead's album Kid A, which was released eight months earlier in 2000, were recorded in the same period. Most songs on Amnesiac were recorded during the same recording sessions that produced Kid A ("Life in a Glasshouse", however, was recorded with the band of jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton in late 2000, after the release of Kid A). This has led some to refer to Amnesiac as a "b-sides" album or as "Kid B", although the band has said the two albums should be considered separately, as "twins separated at birth." Amnesiac also includes a different version of "Morning Bell", a song from Kid A.

Life in A Glass House:

Monday, August 10, 2009

928. Outkast - Stankonia (2000)

















Track Listing

1. Intro
2. Gasoline Dreams
3. I'm Cool (Interlude)
4. So Fresh, So Clean
5. Ms. Jackson
6. Snappin' & Trappin'
7. D.F. (Interlude)
8. Spaghetti Junction
9. Kim & Cookie (Interlude)
10. I'll Call B4 I Cum
11. B.O.B.
12. Xplosion
13. Good Hair (Interlude)
14. We Luv Deez Hoez
15. Humble Mumble
16. Drinkin' Again (Interlude)
17. ?
18. Red Velvet
19. Cruisin' In The ATL (Interlude)
20. Gangsta Shit
21. Toilet Tisha
22. Slum Beautiful
23. Pre-Nump (Interlude)
24. Stankonia (Stanklove)

Review

Finally something new and innovative comes through in the world of hip-hop. After a time when most of what you had were stereotypical West and East coast caricatures Outkast comes in like a bolt out of the blue.

This is actually not their first album, but it was the one that really got them noticed. It is really easy to see why they got noticed, the songs here are pretty great and there is a load of variety, from angry Gasoline Dreams to piano driven Ms. Jackson to bombastic BOB.

So this is the birth of the mainstream relevance of Southern hip-hop, and thank fuck for that! An indispensable hip-hop album, a work of genius and something to stand next to the great 80s hip-hop albums in terms of innovation.

Track Highlights

1. Ms. Jackson
2. BOB
3. So Fresh, So Clean
4. Gasoline Dreams

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Stank, a commonly used word on the album, is derived from a southern U.S. pronunciation of stink, the original meaning of the word funk. George Clinton applied the term stank to the more carnal, hedonistic things in life, including funk music. "Stankonia" is the name of a fictional land at "the centre of the earth, seven light years below sea level", which is "the place from which all 'funky thangs' come", according to the album's opening lyrics. The lyrical content is divided between verses from Big Boi and André 3000. The artists describe themselves as "a player and a poet", respectively, and this is reflected in the lyrics; Big Boi tends to deal with standard gangsta fare (such as guns, hoes, and pimping on songs such as "Snappin & Trappin" and "We Luv Deez Hoez") while André 3000 talks about other elements of "stanking", using metaphors about elephants, ski slopes, and the four humours.

Ms. Jackson (sorry it's cut at the end):