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Old 07-16-2010, 10:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pleasant Treats & Lost Cookies [Or, "Reviewing my library."]

For those few times when I get really bored, I'll come here and review something. I don't plan on organizing this very well. I'm only doing albums that I own, so if the choices seem flat, blame my income and the Wal-Mart/Best Buy/Half Price Books music selection. Other than that, enjoy~. ^_^

Queen - Queen

Released in 1973
Track Listing
Keep Yourself Alive
Doing All Right
Great King Rat
My Fairy King
Liar
The Night Comes Down
Modern Times Rock 'N' Roll
Son And Daughter
Jesus
Seven Seas Of Rhye...


When talking to Queen fans, you may notice that their first album is often looked over in favor of stuff like Queen II or A Night at the Opera for very unjustifiable reasons. I mean, there's nothing on Queen that isn't found on "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "The Seven Seas of Rhye"(different from this album's "Seven Seas of Rhye...") or the like. If you ask me, I'd say that all of those elements are -- in the long run -- presented better here on Queen. But I guess my opinion doesn't really matter seeing as it's on some internet music forum and not in some wildly popular music resource like Rolling Stone or Q. However, Rolling Stone and Q do in fact agree with me on Queen(or I agree with them, if you'd prefer, even though I don't read them). RS in particular, as they are long-time Queen haters but don't have many negative things to say about this album(maybe once Queen started to get bigger than them, they tried to influence the public or something by pretending to hate them >_>). The point is though, don't listen to Queen fans because they're usually idiots who laze around in bed all day, eating Cheetos and putting "Flash Gordon" on infinite repeat and rather listen to crap like News of the World instead of Nevermind the Bollocks or something. Queen is a good album.

At the time this album was being recorded, Queen were probably as self-indulgent as they could get(Queen II may have been the actual peak, but...) and were really going crazy with putting stuff in this album. They probably had enough ideas in this to constitute for several albums and not just one, with each song having a number of "movements". And all of the guitar overdubbing... damn. Each track seems to have it's own complex arrangement(I seem to remember somebody saying that it sounded "neo-classical, but I wouldn't say that exactly) and the whole thing seems to really come together nicely. And it's all very rewarding. Think of A Night at the Opera as being Queen's bastard child.

Queen aren't known for being a "heavy" band, but Queen is in fact pretty heavy for something from the early 70's and them being Queen in general. "Great King Rat" definitely has some heavy metal aspects stuck in it and "Keep Yourself Alive" harbors an almost obligatory Led Zeppelin comparison(I'm not the only one that compares bits of Queen to Led Zeppelin it seems, but others use much larger portions of this album when they do it). But while they're rocking harder than they ever could, they still make time for pop-ish bits and ballads, but even those have a tendency to lapse over into something "heavy". They're self-indulgent bastards~. Which makes me wonder if they know that this album suffers from being bombast, but being bombast is something that makes it work. If they weren't being so ostentatious, we wouldn't be getting the whole complex album that we did. Too bad they wer enever that good with lyrics ("Great King Rat died today/Born on the twenty first of May/Died syphilis forty four on his birthday/Every second word he swore/Yes he was the son of a whore/Always wanted by the law")

Queen to me comes off to me as being a generally strong release. While not being as consistent as something like Their Satanic Majesties Request, it's a whole lot more satisfying, as it's a lot more accessable and has a lot more hooks. Nothing trippy, nothing tedious... Just straight out rock. Straightforward rock. It'll definitely have you listening from beginning to end, even through dampers like "Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll". Check it out.

Other interesting cuts include: "Doing All Right", "My Fairy King", "Liar" and "Jesus"

7.5/10

Last edited by Palatable Vera; 07-19-2010 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request

Released in 1967
Track Listing
Sing This All Together
Citadel
In Another Land
2000 Man
Sing This All Together (See What Happens)
She's A Rainbow
The Lantern
Gomper
2000 Light Years From Home
On With The Show


It always funny to read arguments by hardcore Christians who call rock music satanic and cite this album as one of the main examples. Of course, every argument like that is extremely flawed(understatement) and citing this album is where the argument really starts to fall apart because honestly, there's nothing satanic at all about this album except for the title. Sure, the music video for "2000 Light Years From Home" is questionable in that sense, but I'll look over that for the sake of criticizing the hardcore Christians(>_>). The whole album's a joke anyway. This is about as satanic as, say, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn or Highway 61 Revisited.

For a joke though, Satanic Majesties is a pretty damn good album. Far from a "Grade-A" Stones album of course, but it does stands as a "Grade-A" psychedelic album, no matter how many people say they hate it. But the haters mostly come from the Stones fanbase who are used to the usually sleazed-out garage rock sound they have. Not many albums have had the same effect on the ear as this has. And I couldn't really describe how this album sounds to me in words(mostly because I'm horrible at forming thoughts into words. No lie~) but if it helps any, I'd take this over Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band any day. And that's probably another reason why people say they hate it -- they compare it to Sgt Pepper's so much. Honestly, it sounds more like Pink Floyd's debut(which was released about 4 months before Satanic Majesties in the UK and two in the US) than it does Sgt. Pepper's.

As you go through Satanic Majesties, you'll notice that the Mellotron is a very prominent instrument here(at least, I think that that's a Mellotron. It really sounds like it.) and it seems to underline the whole "psychedelic" idea. And some of the songs are slightly muddled in not quite an unpleasant way. It appears as if this album was really planned out, but I guess with close to nine months of studio time, they had time to really fix it up. Actually, if you ask me, Satanic Majesties probably had more effort put into it than other Stones albums, and it comes off as sounding polished yet still rough like the other Stones albums. But then again, the Stones can't really escape their roughness. It's been with them ever since they were formed(which was somewhere between the Big Bang and biopoesis).

Satanic Majesties opens up with a fun little sing-a-long that does a decent job of setting up the mood for the rest of the album, as it's both dark and playful. But the real fun begins with the bouncy(?) and almost alien-sounding "Citadel". Think of "Sing This All Together" to be a rabbit hole and "Citadel" to be the little locked door that leads to Wonderland. Which is a pretty apt metaphor, since the song after "Citadel" is the strange "In Another Land", a Bill Wyman highlight. And that's an appropriate name, because Satanic Majesties is really like some weird, acid-induced adventure through some alien land.

The rest of the album is pretty consistent and holds up to the standards set by the first three cuts. All except for the bore-fest "Sing This All Together (See What Happens)", anyway, but that can be easily looked over with the help of a fast-forward button. But after that, it continues on as if that piece of trash was never there. There also seems to be tastes of foreign music here-and-there(foreign to America that is) which just adds to the experience. Satanic Majesties is a masterpiece.

Other interesting cuts include: "2000 Man", "She's A Rainbow", "2000 Light Years From Home" and "On With The Show"

9/10

Last edited by Palatable Vera; 07-19-2010 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pink Floyd - The Wall

Released in 1979
Track Listing
In The Flesh?
The Thin Ice
Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 1
The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2
Mother
Goodbye Blue Sky
Empty Spaces

Young Lust
One Of My Turns
Don't Leave Me Now
Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 3
Goodbye Cruel World
Hey You
Is There Anybody Out There?
Nobody Home
Vera
Bring The Boys Back Home

Comfortably Numb
The Show Must Go On
In The Flesh
Run Like Hell
Waiting For The Worms
Stop
The Trial
Outside The Wall


The hard thing about trying to review The Wall is that there is quite a bit of fluff on it, but all of that fluff is "important" to the whole "story" of the album. However, Pink Floyd is really good with working with fluff. Take Meddle for example -- the whole damn album is fluff and it's pulled off pretty well(but I'll save that for later~). The thing about The Wall though is that its fluff can get really monotonous. In fact, the whole album is monotonous, and that's not helped by the fact that Roger Waters is taking the whole thing seriously. For reference, I bolded all of the songs that I dub "fluff". Not all songs up there are fluff in their entirety -- songs like "Comfortably Numb" start off as a normal song then slowly turn into fluff by continuously jamming to take up space before fading out. And all of those noises that make the album's songs segue are completely unnecessary and sometimes are just annoying. They break the flow, really. If The Wall was condensed down more than it originaly was, it would definately be worth the listen.

Most of the enjoyment that The Wall tries to bring you actually comes from the worthless social commentary it presents(Well, it may not be social commentary exactly, but...). It's interesting stuff(Well, that's actually kind of pushing it, but...) but the casual listener might not catch all of that, and without the worthless social commentary, all that's left to hold the album up is its music, which about 30 minutes of that is fluff. (Yeah, back on that again.) Looking past the fluff though, all the other songs are well made and are probably worth the listen. Sure, it can get long-winded, but Floyd had always had the ability to piece together great melodies that try -- and usually succeed -- in hooking you in. If you can force yourself through the entire 80 or so minutes of it, you probably won't emerge feeling rewarded or fulfilled or anything, but you might emerge knowing that you just heard some weird musical anomaly that tricks you into thinking it's good when it's actually really flawed.

And there's really not much more to say about The Wall. I'm not trying to half-ass this either. It's... an okay piece of music. Long, tedious, but really good in some parts. Nothing special, and definately not as good as other people make it out to be. It's a confused piece. A little stone recorded during the decline of a band -- something that might have been a gem if the band were in top form and not bitching at each other. Who knows what it might've turned into.

Interesting cuts include: "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2", "Mother", "Young Lust", "One Of My Turns", "In The Flesh", "Run Like Hell", "Waiting For The Worms", "The Trial"

6/10

Last edited by Palatable Vera; 07-23-2010 at 02:08 AM. Reason: Filtering crap is hard to do you know. Stuff sounds good to me at first and then it suddenly doesn't. Go figure. >__>
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palatable Vera View Post
The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request
Good review, and one of an album I've heard both good and bad things about over the years. I still haven't been on the lookout for this as long as it's been on my radar so to speak, as I'm more a fan of the Beggar's Banquet through to Goat's Head Soup run of albums than any other era of the Stones, but I'm something of a She's a Rainbow fan (back from the days when all I had was Forty Licks), so what the hell eh.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Like I said, it's different from other Stones albums, but if you like "She's A Rainbow" there's a nice chance you'll like the rest of the album.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Iron Butterfly - Ball

Released in 1969
Track Listing
In The Time Of Our Lives
Soul Experience
Lonely Boy
Real Fright
In The Crowds
It Must Be Love
Her Favorite Style
Filled With Fear
Belda-Beast


In terms of originality, Iron Butterfly never made it too far. In terms of sound, though, they were unique for their time. When they were recording Ball, it seems as if they decided to strip it down some and took out most of what made In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida enjoyable. All of the pop-ish songs on Ball seem almost generic and Doug Ingle's vocals are flat and uninspired. The drums are no longer pounding and the guitar feedback is almost eniterly gone. It may seem like I'm comparing Ball to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, and in a way I am, but even that piece of crap Heavy had everything In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida did, it just wasn't put together well. But I digress~.

Just like Heavy, Ball isn't entirely bad and has some really good bits. The album opener "In The Time Of Our Lives" is a good example of this. Out of all the songs on Ball, "In The Time Of Our Lives" is probably the most inspired. It has most of the elements that defined Iron Butterfly's weird acid/stoner sound and it may even fool you into thinking that this album might actually be good. Another highlight is "Filled With Fear" and is probably the best song on Ball. It reminds me of something, but I'm not really sure what.

For the rest of Ball though, they're trying to be "tender"? "Melodious"? Either way, you can tell that they're trying which didn't work for Heavy but it doesn't seem to make a difference on Ball. All in all, you might want to check out this album. It's nothing too special, but it can be rewarding if you're in the right mood.

Other interesting cuts include: "Real Fright" and "In The Crowds".

6/10
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers

Released in 1971
Track Listing
Brown Sugar
Sway
Wild Horses
Can't You Hear Me Knocking
You Gotta Move
Bitch
I Got The Blues
Sister Morphine
Dead Flowers
Moonlight Mile


With Sticky Fingers, the Stones started to stick with their sleazy, raunchy music that they do so well. On their previous two albums, flirtations with country took up a nice fraction of the albums, but most of that has been removed now in favor of straight out rock 'n roll/blues/scary, morbid ****. What really stands out is that in between all of that sleaze and sex and cocaine, the Stones have a soft side. And that soft side is really... soft. Oh yes. You see, included in this album is the greatest ballad ever(and it is, dammit), "Wild Horses". Now, if you compare that to other songs on the album -- like "Bitch" for example -- and then you'll see what I mean about being "soft".

However, on this album, the Stones got really... nasty. Sure, the Stones had lots of innuendoes and sexual metaphors before, but on Sticky Fingers, they didn't hold back. And I'm not just talking about the zipper cover either(where it zips down to reveal a close-up of some dude's groin. Kinda disturbing). There's songs about rape("Brown Sugar"), lust("Bitch"), dudes ****ing themselves up with drugs("Sister Morphine"), it's just... Eck. And on the subject of "Sister Morphine", if you thought that Let It Bleed was dark... No, if you thought that any song was disturbing before, you. Have. Not. Heard. Sister. Morphine. Aside from the lyrics, there's also that twangy(?) guitar, and the... Oh damn. Just listen to it. (If there are song names that have been bolded and underlined in this topic, they're links. In case you didn't know.)

Sticky Fingers, if you ask me, is probably the most accessible Stones album out there. There's no country/blues messes and there's no wild experimentation, but there is a balanced amount of almost everything the Stones have tried before. This is one of those rare albums where the band gives it their all(or rather, how much "all" alchoholics and junkies can have). All of the riffs are damn catchy, the instrumentation is damn well made and the whole album is just pieced together really, really well.

But even with the Stones "all", Sticky Fingers still comes off as a somewhat "exhausted" album. There's no real crashing rockers or bluesy stoner jams like in Let It Bleed or Beggar's Banquet. No interest in making fun music like in Satanic Majesties. It's simplistic but raw. Exhausted yet bursting with that Stones energy. It's just rock 'n roll. And maybe that's just all we need.

Other interesting cuts include: "Dead Flowers" and "Moonlight Mile"

9/10
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Dio - Dream Evil

Released in 1987
Track Listing
Night People
Dream Evil
Sunset Superman
All The Fools Sailed Away
Naked In The Rain
Overlove
I Could Have Been A Dreamer
Faces In The Window
When A Woman Cries


Up until Dream Evil, Dio's most creative aspect was their riffs. And they made great riffs. Like... really great. If you need proof, by all means, get yourself a copy of Holy Diver. But then this album came along, and ol' Ron decided that he'd put emphasis on his vocals, which really isn't a problem with a voice like that. However, because of the new emphasis, the music suffers. You really can't expect someone's voice to hold an entire album together. Not all of it suffers though. When the riffs are good, the riffs are really good. Kind of like Tony Iommi really, except he's off making **** like The Eternal Idol. I mean... some songs are weak, yes, but then you've got those pounding numbers like "Sunset Superman" and the real rockers like "I Could Have Been A Dreamer" that really showcase what Dio(the band and the guy) could do. They're the kind of stuff that helps you look over the weaker ones.

My only other complaint(besides, you know, how the riffs are lacking) is that this album is very... formulaic. Just like the other Dio albums before it, Dream Evil opens up with a thrashy, upbeat number ("Night People") [from Holy Diver, we get "Stand Up And Shout", from The Last In Line, we get "We Rock" and from Sacred Heart we get "King Of Rock And Roll"]. Then it slows down and goes to a more [insert adjective here 'cause I can't think of one. =/] sounding title track("Dream Evil")["Holy Diver", "The Last In Line", "Sacred Heart"]. Then it gets all pounding and trashy and... I guess you get the idea. It's a predictable album. It also seems like the earlier Dio albums are all carbon copies of each other, but with some variations. And I don't mind that all that much. At least it's good and that's all that matters.

Other interesting cuts include: "Faces In The Window"

7/10

Uhh... Tad short.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Uh... I just realized that my Wall review is like... really similar to George Starostin's. Except shorter and not as good. =/
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