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Old 06-04-2009, 06:21 AM   #131 (permalink)
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I was thinking the same, but compared to other prog efforts it really doesn't do very well. It just didn't hold my attention, that's all.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:14 AM   #132 (permalink)
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YELLOW
EMPEROR TOMATO KETCHUP STEREOLAB




Stereolab is just one of those bands: good luck finding all their albums, but damn if you do. Emperor Tomato Ketchup isnít a specially difficult album to find, however, and thatís a fantastic thing. Why? Itís the best in their discography thus far, and thatís due in no small part to Jim Oí Rourkeís (Wilco, Sonic Youth) and John McEntireís (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake) involvement. Varied, dense, eclectic - ETK is Stereolabís most accessible and worthwhile album.

Chemical Chords challenges my thesis. Though not their most worthwhile album, their 2008 effort is bold enough to be accessible, but ETK is still the best place to start. The album opens with 7 minute funk/krautrock/electronica epic Metronomic Underground. Though 7 minutes doesnít necessarily embody accessibility, consider the aforementioned sounds. Couple the repeating rhythms with repeating vocal phrases and youíve got a song with so much atmosphere you can almost picture the titular Metronomic Underground, wherever that is. From there, the album jumps all over the place, incorporating and coupling so many disparate genres itís almost overwhelming. Youíll go from French pop to Post-Rock, Krautrock, Punk - you name it. And itís always engrossing. Thereís definitely filler (Monstre Sacre is frustrating to listen to), but thereís too much quality throughout to miss.

Stereolab may be one of those bands, but Emperor Tomato Ketchup is definitely one of those albums: Underground enough for you to make it your own, but great enough to become a favourite. Donít miss it.

9.6
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:22 AM   #133 (permalink)
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This is one of the few Stereolab albums I've aquired, and I enjoy it thoroughly. I hold both Jim Oí Rourke's and John McEntire's projects in high regard so I can't really challenge you on the fact that they helped make ETK is a complete knockout.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:16 AM   #134 (permalink)
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GREEN
IN THE AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL




If youíre a fan of independent music youíve already heard everything you ever needed to hear about this album: that itís the most important independent album of all time, that itís a piece of ****, that itís absolutely revolutionary, unlistenable, a waste of time - a revelation. Yes, criticism of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea can go from ridiculous hate to even more ridiculous praise - a cluster**** of opinions. Forget all of that and think back to 1998 when the album was first released and you were lucky if you had ever heard of the band, or even gave a damn. Critics didnít get it, people were likewise confused, and hipsterdom was not yet an epidemic. Picture yourself in a key moment in your life when you were upset, ecstatic, depressed, confused, and came home after buying the album because the store clerk said it was a great album to listen to. You unwrap the CD, pop it in your CD player that sometimes skipped and sometimes didnít, and listen to the album from beginning to end because the first song is so catchy, the second song is so frighteningly brave, and everything after that is so unavoidably strange.

And thatís In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Like itís criticism, the music within is a cluster****. The lyrics go from making absolutely no sense, to psychedelic, to heartwrenchingly direct. Itís a web of confusion and passion that bounces the album back and forth from relateable to transcendental, or, in whatís most peopleís case, from **** to ****tier. The reason there are, Iím guessing, five detractors for every fan is because most people listen to the album after being raved at that it was all the great things a human being needs. Honestly, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is whatever you want it to be. It could be the most revolutionary album youíve ever listened to or it could be a great pile of cow dung.

So I wonít call it the greatest album of all time. I wonít even call it the worst. Iíll simply give it a perfect rating because, personally, itís one of the deepest albums Iíve listened to.

10


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Old 06-08-2009, 08:07 PM   #135 (permalink)
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wow.
this review not only says so much about the album, but it also just attempts to shine a light on everything that a modern music fan goes through today. fighting against opinions and accusations, when it's all just music.

the album is good too...
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:06 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roygbiv View Post
GREEN
IN THE AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL




If youíre a fan of independent music youíve already heard everything you ever needed to hear about this album: that itís the most important independent album of all time, that itís a piece of ****, that itís absolutely revolutionary, unlistenable, a waste of time - a revelation. Yes, criticism of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea can go from ridiculous hate to even more ridiculous praise - a cluster**** of opinions. Forget all of that and think back to 1998 when the album was first released and you were lucky if you had ever heard of the band, or even gave a damn. Critics didnít get it, people were likewise confused, and hipsterdom was not yet an epidemic. Picture yourself in a key moment in your life when you were upset, ecstatic, depressed, confused, and came home after buying the album because the store clerk said it was a great album to listen to. You unwrap the CD, pop it in your CD player that sometimes skipped and sometimes didnít, and listen to the album from beginning to end because the first song is so catchy, the second song is so frighteningly brave, and everything after that is so unavoidably strange.

And thatís In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Like itís criticism, the music within is a cluster****. The lyrics go from making absolutely no sense, to psychedelic, to heartwrenchingly direct. Itís a web of confusion and passion that bounces the album back and forth from relateable to transcendental, or, in whatís most peopleís case, from **** to ****tier. The reason there are, Iím guessing, five detractors for every fan is because most people listen to the album after being raved at that it was all the great things a human being needs. Honestly, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is whatever you want it to be. It could be the most revolutionary album youíve ever listened to or it could be a great pile of cow dung.

So I wonít call it the greatest album of all time. I wonít even call it the worst. Iíll simply give it a perfect rating because, personally, itís one of the deepest albums Iíve listened to.

10


As much as any album I've scene it's reputation influences it's place in peoples minds both good and bad.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:33 PM   #137 (permalink)
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And thatís In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Like itís criticism, the music within is a cluster****.
Nice review and I completely agree with the quote above.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:20 PM   #138 (permalink)
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9.6 for Stereolab: Maaaybe, it isn't touted as your average classic but as far as an easy going album that can still engage you when you want it to i can think of few better. Sexy as fuck too. I need to get on Chemical Chords.

10: No, though i can understand it. I can see how it is a very touching album but everyone has their special album and it's not mine. I like On Avery Island a teeny bit more anyway. Good review though!
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:03 AM   #139 (permalink)
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I loved the review of Emperor Tomato Ketchup! I realized I hadn't checked in here recently and wanted to see what you'd done lately, and happened to find your second to last review is not only one of my favorite albums, but also what I happen to be listening to right now. One of the great things about Stereolab is what you mentioned in your review; their most accessible album is easily their best. I have managed to find Abductions and Reconstructions, Dots and Loops, Fab Four Suture, and Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements, and none of these can compare with ETK. The diversity of this for an electronic album simply amazes me. Dots and Loops comes in at a close second, but does not have the same feeling of genre hopping that I get when I listen to ETK. And PMO, my personal opinion is that it does not have the same popularity as something like In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, which is, of course, widely regarded as a classic indie rock album, because the genre is just not quite as popular. I feel that they still did something very unique here.

I also liked your review of NMH. While I wouldn't give it a 10 personally, I understand what you're saying about it (and it is certainly up there in my favorites, I'm just very very strict with my ratings). The range of opinions on this album is insane (although here on mb, the concensus seems to be that it's one of the best. Keep up the good reviews! I'm really enjoying this!
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:24 AM   #140 (permalink)
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BLUE
SILENT SHOUT THE KNIFE




It’s not immediately apparent, but The Knife are a real emotional band. It’s not apparent because they’re an electronica - excuse me! IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) group, a genre that has its share of beautiful tracks (Aphex Twin’s “Fingerbib”, Boards of Canada’s “Roygbiv”), but the emotional that I’m referring to here is lyrical, so it’s only coincidental that The Knife are emotional and IDM. The Knife’s vocal delivery and lyrics can be anxious, fleeting, hopeful, definitely catchy - you can count on them to connect. It’s no surprise then that Jose Gonzales covered, and made famous, their 2003 single Hearbeats. They follow suite with Silent Shout, an a dark, dark album that’s also incredibly danceable (throw it in the mix at a club, it won’t feel out of place). Inspired by Charles Burn’s black and white graphic novel Black Hole, Silent Shout immediately smothers the listener with pulsating beats.

Don’t let the electronica/IDM tag fool you, this is an album you sit down and listen to first before moving to it. There are only two instances I can think of that a reverse order is acceptable, and that’s when We Share Our Mother’s Health and Like A Pen come on. Due to its conceptual nature, the song progression is smooth and timed for momentum. The best example of this happens between 6 minute nightmare The Captain and club friendly We Share Our Mother’s health. It’s safe to say you won’t get bored or tired of the album. All the beats and songs are varied enough for a possible entire listen-through. If you couldn’t sit through all of Music Has The Right to Children or Selected Ambient Works 85 - 92, give Silent Shout a chance.

WE SHARE OUR MOTHER'S HEALTH



9.0
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