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Old 11-28-2008, 05:38 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Can - Tago Mago
1971




CAN: communism, anarchism, nihilism.

As I put this album on to try and write about it, I feel myself slowly slipping into a trance. The feeling is familiar. How much time have I spent walking, driving, completely oblivious of my surroundings, lost in this labyrinthine music?

What is there to say about krautrock that isn't redundant? The whole scene was the focal point of so many different styles, and quickly diffracted to produce a whole lot of new ones. The synthesis of jazz, rock and minimalism was perhaps inevitable, and still repeats itself today, but very few have ever done it as well as Can. Tago Mago isn't just an intellectual exercise, it is first and foremost a devotion to music. It can be dark and apocalyptic, but it is also a doorway to another realm. It lifts the spirit from this world.

This album is a collage of studio jams, back-tracked vocals, and even music recorded between sessions, while the musicians were half-jamming unaware. The songs are improvised but tightly and meaningfully constructed; the instruments wander but coil around one another. The sound drifts in from a world that is all-encompassing and indescribable... the lyrics are foreboding yet hopeful, sung by a voice that transcends space and time. Halleluhwah is nineteen minutes long and doesn't waste a second. It's Sister Ray ascending to Heaven.

The communism/anarchism of the musical is blissfully apparent—every musician plays an essential role in the full realization of the piece. Nothing feels out of place or extraneous. Even when the album devolves into chaotic noise, it feels completely warranted. It is simply the necessary conclusion of the progression presented.

Why is it appropriate that something so universal should sound so absolutely bizarre? Maybe people are simply more comfortable with the particular, with things that fit easily into a context. This music is too different—it sits outside of time; it shrugs off interpretations. It wants you to write about it, but resists your attempts to do so. That simple realization encapsulates all my love.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:18 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Tool - Ænima
1996



(it's a hologram!)

Writing about Tool is a bitch. Tool are such a divisive band that anything I write will either be ignored or blindly applauded. I could attempt to justify my love for this album by explaining the musical complexities, or by attempting to interpret the songs. Unfortunately, people who already hate this album will simply balk and say “pretentious bollocks!” and those who already love it will probably like it slightly less, because some of the mystery will be gone.

How much of the hype for Tool is built around this controversy? I fell in love with Tool several years ago, my freshman year in High School. Yes, they are a good band for teen angst. But of all the bands I listened to then, Tool are one of the few I still listen to now. Aenima still sounds just as good to me now as it did all those years ago. Maynard's words still seem relevant to my life, though in a completely different way. Do I want to take the intimacy I have with this album and turn it into something public? Something subject to scrutiny?

Well this is supposed to be a record review, and if I don't want to talk about the music, or my personal relationship to it, what will I write about? If there is one thing I feel compelled to justify in the presence of other Tool fans, it is my preference of this album to Lateralus. Mostly this has to do with consistency. Aenima slips very comfortably into a spiraling groove; if you cut out Useful Idiot, Message to Harry Manback, Die Eier Von Satan, Cesaro Summability and Ions you have a really solid album with a really solid flow that is still more than an hour long. The filler is distracting, but you really don't have to listen to it. Lateralus, on the other hand, has less filler but starts much weaker. In my opinion, The Grudge and The Patient are pretty weak compared to Stinkfist and Eulogy. Lateralus does hit a higher peak, with the Lateralus, Disposition, Reflection trilogy, but it feels a bit forced and too self-consciously “trippy.” Aenima is more grounded, and comfortable with itself.

That's really all I have to say. Take it or leave it.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:05 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Nice reviews.

Tago Mago is one of my favourite ever albums and I like the way you looked at it from the communism/anarchism point of view. And Halleluhwah is quite simply the coolest drumline ever.

I do prefer Lateralus to Ænima though, partially because of the middle section as well as the end... Jones doesn't often solo but when he does, it's good and that's why I love Parabol/Parabola. I'm actually surprised that you regard either of them this highly.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:02 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Lateralus I feel was way more balanced -- less filler (though there's definitely still some there). I always hungered for more in Tool records because I felt they were so empty; they could easily make a kickass four-track EP but instead they defer to lengthen it. I enjoy a bit of Tool now and again, but that doesn't prevent Tool fans (in general) from being some of the most fantastic morons I've ever met.

Good pick on Tago Mago. I really enjoy your reviews; it's refreshing to find someone willing to engage in analogy and metaphor instead of a track by track breakdown. Your approach to it was unconventional but nevertheless insightful. I'm rediscovering Tago Mago as I speak, but I'm still partial to Ege Bamyasi.
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:59 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Link for tago mago pretty please
I haven't had any luck with torrents and I feel a gaping hole in my collection.
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:00 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Lots of great choices and nice interpretation of them as well. I prefer Lateralus myself, but It's not my list anyways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifer_sam View Post
Lateralus I feel was way more balanced -- less filler (though there's definitely still some there). I always hungered for more in Tool records because I felt they were so empty; they could easily make a kickass four-track EP but instead they defer to lengthen it.
I've always felt there was something missing as well. I don't mind listening to tool. I'll listen to few tracks, like four or five at the most, and stop listening for some reason. I'm not really sure why...

Can - I've always preferred Ege Bamyasi a bit more, but Tago Mago is equally good. Especially when it has Halleluhwah and Aumgn .
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:04 AM   #77 (permalink)
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From Arvo Part to Can in one easy lesson. Impressive.

I have never heard Te Deum but do have this



and Tubula Rasa. I tend to find what I have to be melodic minimalism if that makes sense.

As to Tago Mago what can I add?
"communism, anarchism, nihilism." Sums this brilliant work up really. Essential.
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:36 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardboard adolescent View Post
Tool - Ænima


(it's a hologram!)

Writing about Tool is a bitch. Tool are such a divisive band that anything I write will either be ignored or blindly applauded. I could attempt to justify my love for this album by explaining the musical complexities, or by attempting to interpret the songs. Unfortunately, people who already hate this album will simply balk and say “pretentious bollocks!” and those who already love it will probably like it slightly less, because some of the mystery will be gone.

How much of the hype for Tool is built around this controversy? I fell in love with Tool several years ago, my freshman year in High School. Yes, they are a good band for teen angst. But of all the bands I listened to then, Tool are one of the few I still listen to now. Aenima still sounds just as good to me now as it did all those years ago. Maynard's words still seem relevant to my life, though in a completely different way. Do I want to take the intimacy I have with this album and turn it into something public? Something subject to scrutiny?

Well this is supposed to be a record review, and if I don't want to talk about the music, or my personal relationship to it, what will I write about? If there is one thing I feel compelled to justify in the presence of other Tool fans, it is my preference of this album to Lateralus. Mostly this has to do with consistency. Aenima slips very comfortably into a spiraling groove; if you cut out Useful Idiot, Message to Harry Manback, Die Eier Von Satan, Cesaro Summability and Ions you have a really solid album with a really solid flow that is still more than an hour long. The filler is distracting, but you really don't have to listen to it. Lateralus, on the other hand, has less filler but starts much weaker. In my opinion, The Grudge and The Patient are pretty weak compared to Stinkfist and Eulogy. Lateralus does hit a higher peak, with the Lateralus, Disposition, Reflection trilogy, but it feels a bit forced and too self-consciously “trippy.” Aenima is more grounded, and comfortable with itself.

That's really all I have to say. Take it or leave it.
Wow I didn't know there were many other sane people on this forum who liked Tool... whenever I mention them I get shot down immediately! There is a lot of Tool-fan hate circulating.

Tool are my favourite band, and I'd have to agree that they are one of the only bands I still listen to from my "teen angst" years. Everyone says that their music is angry, but it isn't, there is a lot of light in it. Maynard's vocals still give me shivers and the musicality still amazes me. Aenima is a fantastic album.

Great review
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:29 AM   #79 (permalink)
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very good list so far.
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:11 AM   #80 (permalink)
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thread, please don't die
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