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Old 09-27-2008, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default cat op 25

or, if you prefer, the Cardboard Adolescent Top 25!

I decided to do a top 25 for several reasons:
a) urban has already done a top 100 and everybody else is doing them, so **** that
2) i don't have the attention span to write 100 album review
e) my taste changes too quickly for 100 albums to represent it correctly
5) twenty-five is 5^2!

i'll post the first review soon and try to stay steady at one every couple days. i think it would be fun if people tried to guess what albums are left, or at least if they provided some original opinion of their own regarding whichever album i might have recently been appraising andsoforth etcetera.

in conclusion, welcome to my thread!
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bring it on!
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Deerhunter - Microcastle
2008




This album is so contemporary and current I couldn't help but list it first, and put it last on the list.

This album works because it likes all the same albums I do. It appreciates Mission of Burma, Joy Division, The Byrds, Richard Thompson, Brian Eno, Slowdive, etc. It's a synthesis the likes of which I have never seen before: it goes through all your favorite records and identifies the peaks, then cuts them out and pastes them all together into a collage of everything that is the best about all the music you already love. As such, it is one of the most depressing albums I've heard in a while.

Not only does it refer back to all your favorite music, it even refers to itself. So contemporary it's contemporary of itself! Microcastle... everything has been digitized, synthesized, reduced in size, and fit into a box. After all, a castle is just a glorified box. As is a computer, or an album, or a womb...

But I digress. This album is like a river. Like the river of life. It ebbs and flows, it brings you to a new high and to a new low. But it is not this straight-forward, it must pay its tribute to irony. Irony, which is the guiding force of our new lives. Irony in that the highest points are also the lowest, such as on “Nothing Ever Happened,” which climaxes after the line “I never saw it coming, waiting for something from nothing.” A self-defeating anti-climax, in an age where we rely on technology for most of our climaxes. So what's this? Why won't Cox deliver? What is with his apathetic, disinterested vocal delivery and his depressing lyrics? Can't he go be depressed somewhere else?

That's not it at all. This album is, first and foremost, a mirror of our times. Our new synthesis is not one of making disparaging styles click together, it is one of breaking down the ideas which supported those styles and then throwing everything together until it is easily manufactured and reproduced. Music isn't marketable unless it fits a template or reduces previous music into a template. This album does that so well it's incredible, but at the same time, it does so with an air of melancholy and irony. It has to rely on the past, because what is there to rely on now? “Saved by Old Times,” expresses that sentiment perfectly. The past still provides an aura of meaning, whereas our present provides only disillusion and unreality.

This album is an experience. It divides between the really catchy song-songs, like “Agoraphobia,” “Little Kids,” “Never Stops,” “Nothing Ever Happened,” and “Saved By Old Times,” and the other songs which are more ambient mood pieces. It's tempting at first to say, oh well there's the singles and the other crap that fills it up. But the transition between them is really impeccable, and both are completely necessary to complete the “feeling” of the album. That completely enveloping mood, what I like to refer to Baudrillard for and call “melancholy and fascination,” the dominant ethos of our times. It's always a back and forth of breaking down our musical systems and then running back to them. That is essentially the loop we are trapped in. But doesn't it sound great? Or at least... fascinating?
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You've got my attention.
25 of yours > 100 of others.

Obvious players excluded.
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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5^2! is a huge number.

And that was an awesome review - I'm gonna check these guys out now. Nice thread title too.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice review
I've listened to this like only twice and i love it. First time, it just flowed through without me noticing even what happened. It's a bit poppy, but not so obvious to make it boring. The ending was just epic!
Now, some ppl would be like "It sounds like so many other Indie bands out there". I think that would be the only problem...It does have some of the modern-day derivative indie sound, but that wasn't particularly a turn-off here.
Not sure about top 25, but at least your list started out a bit different.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by right-track View Post
You've got my attention.
25 of yours > 100 of others.

Obvious players excluded.
Agreed and the reviews will be eminently readable too.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The Raincoats - The Raincoats
1979




This album is just a fairytale in the supermarket. This album must be imaginary, it's still a singularity that reality hasn't quite figured out how to deal with.

There's obviously a lot of neo-Marxist/Feminist themes running through here, which is refreshing, but it's really all about the praxis. Say what you will about how “musically skilled” these musicians are, they make some really compelling music. Really, each one of these songs is brilliant. If you dare deny that, I would say you're listening to music with all the wrong organs!

And it's so ramshackle. There's none of that bullshit equilibrium you get so much of in other music. Whereas in some songs every instrument is perfectly in time with the others, and so creates the illusion of a fixed point moving in time, the fixed point here is entirely virtual. It is a strange attractor that all the voices struggle to reach or struggle to slow down towards. As such, all the instruments are always clamoring for that supreme unity but never attaining it. No one member of the band defines it, because there is a fierce egalitarianism in operation. Now isn't that a much better metaphor for life than all the other music you've been taught to appreciate because of its simulated perfection?

Did I mention they do a cover of “Lola”? Yeah, it's great.

About the music itself, this is “post-punk.” Post-punk is just the logical progression of punk, in that it assumes the same goal of deconstructing music but takes it one step further (the step into “The Void”). This particular album sounds like a mix between The Shaggs and The Ramones, if you don't mind me referring to one artist more obscure and one more popular to provide a popular definition. You have everything you could want: brass, strings, bass, drums, guitar, and girls, girls, girls! Really, this is an album for everyone, especially people who love/hate music.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yay for albums I've never listened to before. I'll be downloading everything you post but probably won't get around to listening to any of it for a while.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swim View Post
Yay for albums I've never listened to before. I'll be downloading everything you post but probably won't get around to listening to any of it for a while.
Same here. I hope Swell Maps get in the list.
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