|10-01-2015, 05:59 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2014
New Improved Top 50: First Review up!
So, done a lot of listening recently, trying to branch out and diversify, so here's a new Top 50 list, with reviews incoming daily from tomorrow. Lemme know your opinions and recommend me stuff I might enjoy! Cheers.
1. Laughing Stock - Talk Talk
2. Future Days - Can
3. In a Silent Way - Miles Davis
4. Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy - Sun Ra
5. The Dance of Death and Other Plantation Favourites - John Fahey
6. The Jewel in the Lotus - Bennie Maupin
7. Revolver - The Beatles
8. Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis
9. Faust - Faust
10. Another Green World - Brian Eno
11. The Sinking of the Titanic - Gavin Bryars
12. Spirit of Eden - Talk Talk
13. White Light/White Heat - The Velvet Underground
14. Journey in Satchidananda - Alice Coltrane
15. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) - David Bowie
16. Interstellar Space - John Coltrane
17. Tago Mago - Can
18. Rock Bottom - Robert Wyatt
19. Neighborhoods - Ernest Hood
20. The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra - Sun Ra
21. Secrets of the Beehive - David Sylvian
22. This Heat - This Heat
23. Sextant - Herbie Hancock
24. Surf's Up - The Beach Boys
25. Islands - King Crimson
26. Live-Evil - Miles Davis
27. World of Echo - Arthur Russell
28. Herd of Instinct - 'O'Rang
29. Faust IV - Fasut
30. Ready for the House - Jandek
31. Blind Joe Death - John Fahey
32. No Pussyfooting - Brian Eno & Robert Fripp
33. You Must Believe in Spring - Bill Evans
34. Music from Big Pink - The Band
35. F# A# ∞ -Godspeed You! Black Emperor
36. Lounge Lizards - The Lounge Lizards
37. Passages - Ravi Shankar & Philip Glass
38. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
39. Machine Gun - The Peter Brötzmann Octet
40. Here Come the Warm Jets - Brian Eno
41. Vespertine - Björk
42. A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
43. In the Wee Small Hours - Frank Sinatra
44. The Roar of '74 - Buddy Rich
45. Station to Station - David Bowie
46. From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots - Dälek
47. Tri Repetae - Autechre
48. Hats - The Blue Nile
49. Cosmogramma - Flying Lotus
50. The Colour of Spring - Talk Talk
Here are the musicians that appear the most often on my list:
Mark Hollis (4 times, 3 with Talk Talk, 1 as himself)
Lee Harris (4 times, 3 with Talk Talk, 1 with 'O'Rang)
Robert Fripp - (4 times, 3 with Brian Eno, 1 with King Crimson)
Brian Eno (3 times, 2 as himself, 1 with Robert Fripp)
Paul Webb - (3 times, 2 with Talk Talk, 1 with 'O'Rang)
Herbie Hancock - (3 times, 2 with Miles Davis, 1 as himself)
The Members of Talk Talk - (3 times, as themselves)
The Members of Can - (2 times, as themselves)
John Fahey - (2 times, as himself)
John Coltrane - (2 times, as himself)
Miles Davis - (2 times, as himself)
John McLaughlin - (2 times, with Miles Davis)
David Bowie - (2 times, as himself)
The Members of Faust - (2 times, as themselves)
Sun Ra - (2 times, as himself)
The Members of The Beach boys - (2 times, as themselves)
I've tried to track the musicians who appear 2 times or more, but inevitably I'm sure I've missed someone off (likely a jazz musician or two), so if anyone knows of someone I've missed, don't hesitate to point them out. Reviews incoming!
Last edited by Plainview; 12-06-2015 at 04:14 PM.
|10-01-2015, 06:51 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2014
Decided to write the review tonight. I'm going to work backwards, so here goes...
#50 – OK Computer
So, we begin with an Alt-Rock, Art-Rock classic, an album that influenced Rock music well into the noughties, one that successfully blended influences and genres in a paradoxically accessible yet challenging way. From the progressive fury of ‘Paranoid Android’, to the Bitches Brew influence of those enchanting, gliding keys on ‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’, to the Pet Sound-esque, chiming guitar riff on ‘No Suprises’, this is an album that wears its influences on its sleeve, managing to balance strong social and political themes whilst keeping things musically fresh and interesting.
The political and social context is still very much relatable and apparent to modern life, and OK Computer played into fears of the future, of capitalism and isolation, and of technological dependency, that are relevant now more than ever. It does this without being (too) overwrought, and without sullying the undeniably brilliant compositions underneath.
Highlights include the wailing, synth-fuelled climax of ‘Exit Music (For a Film)’, the hauntingly uplifting chorus of ‘Let Down’, and the final, jazz-tinged unravelling in ‘The Tourist’, as the album comes to a close with the ring of a bell.
However, it isn’t without flaws; ‘Electioneering’ is arguably out of place musically, even if it is perhaps the most overtly political song on the album, and the ‘concept’ (thought the band are keen to stress that this is not a Concept Album) isn’t thread particularly clearly or strongly through the tracks; the slightly heavy-handed, robot-voiced, spoken-word piece, ‘Fitter Happier’, attempting to rectify this, but not with complete success.
Overall though, this is a daring and well-realised slice of Art-Rock that laid the foundation for leagues of imitators, and shaped the Alternative Rock scene for a good few years (maybe not entirely for the better). It showed, for the first time in a long time, that Rock music was allowed to be clever, was allowed to take risks, and that the public were willing and able to accept interesting structures and sizeable concepts.
The collection of ideas presented in OK Computer was message to others in the Alt-Rock game that they had to step up. How would Radiohead top this? How indeed…
|10-01-2015, 07:33 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2014
|10-01-2015, 07:40 PM||#7 (permalink)|
be excellent 2 each other
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Atop of the Throne
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.
|10-01-2015, 07:50 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2014
|10-04-2015, 12:39 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2014
#49 - 808s and Heartbreak
From the time I first started formulating this list, I knew I wanted at least one Hip-Hop album in here; I felt it needed representation as a genre, a genre that I listen to a surprising amount (surprising to myself, at least). Plenty of albums crossed my mind: from Paid in Full, to Good Kid Mad City, to Bizzare Ride II the Pharcyde, to The Cold Vein.
But the truth is, I cheated, because 808s and Heartbreak isn’t really Hip-Hop at all. What it is, is an Electro-R&B odyssey into the man behind the ego.
This album was criminally underrated when it was first released, with critics finding West’s new direction unpalatable and unsatisfying. In truth, they were probably just shocked and challenged by the sparse and dark soundscapes and subject matters, the coldness and melancholy that was wrapped up so tightly and profoundly within the pop melodies. But this bold and wintry approach to pop song-writing has undeniably had a hugely resounding impact on the Hip-Hop and R&B genres, and it’s now difficult to find any pop Hip-Hop album that doesn’t draw from the production aspects laid down here.
The emotional sincerity is emphasised and complimented by the stripped back production, with the Roland TR-808 laying down heavy, laborious beats that drive down the atmosphere into a place far removed from usually highly ego driven and high-spirited tracks that colour West’s earlier work. He pairs this with the use of auto-tune, at first a practice that was a source of derision in the music press, but one that West uses here to increase the detached and chilling atmosphere, distancing himself from his humanity with an artificial, ghostly echo.
But this paradoxically makes the album more personal than ever, and as West tells us how “a Dad cracked a joke, all the kids laughed, but I couldn't hear him all the way in first class” on ‘Welcome to Heartbreak’, we really feel his pain and frustration in how he has traded emotional wealth for the material.
This is an album forged in the fires of pain and helplessness, West having endured a break-up and the death of his Mother before the album’s recording, and as he subsequently proved on Yeezus, it is in this dark place that his music really comes alive.
The critics that derided it originally probably didn’t imagine it would become the most influential album made by a Hip-Hop artist in its decade, but their opinions are irrelevant; the fact that it resonated with so many artists, so many creators of music, tells you all you need to know.
As fashionable as it is to dislike Kanye, and popular Hip-Hop music in general, there is genuine, confronting emotion here; a perfect suiting of music and theme, and for that reason, it’s on this list. Sorry, Eric B. and Rakim!