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Old 01-10-2019, 01:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default MicShazam's 1000 best songs of all time list

I have so much music to chew through that I find it hard to review albums in general. The thing is, I don't feel comfortable saying what I really think before I've heard an album at least 5 times, so a lot of what I get into these days remains in "pendning" territory as far as any final opinions go. A lot of albums I've had for years are also difficult since I feel like I need to return to them a few times before saying anything.

I'm very much the sort of person that listens to albums, not playlists, but I find that it's easier for me to have an opinion on individual songs that stand out to me, rather than whole albums.

So I thought I would find it fun and doable to assemble a Spotify playlist over time, where every entry is explained to some degree in a journal. Except I choose the thread format because journals suck too much.

I also think that this thread is going to end up showing what my tastes are really like, since it zooms in on the parts of albums that I gravitate the most towards (i.e. individual songs).

Playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1A...XT3T7OcidCoJcH

First entry shortly after this post.

Last edited by MicShazam; 01-10-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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#1
Kate Bush - Egypt
Album: Never Forever
Year: 1980

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lProYoEtHYw

One of the weirder tracks off this album, but also my undisputed favorite on the entire disc. I'm not sure where it ranks in Kate's discography overall, but it needs to be on the 1000 songs list for absolute certain!

The song starts out with what must be Kate attempting to imitate bird noises of some sort with her voice. I remember feeling a bit weird about that when I first heard the song, but it very quickly became one of my absolute favorites.

The careful ebb and flow of the vocal lines in this song are amazingly engaging and beautiful. I think Kate is in top form here. She's rarely done a better singing performance in my opinion.

I love the ominous multi layered vocal part that lumbers towards a climactic explosion of... basically prog rock? My only gripe with the instrumental playout of the song is that it isn't longer. But better to leave the listener hungry for more than outstay your welcome. That's a rule of songwriting that should be etched in stone.

Let's rewind to the first half of the track, with all of those low key vocal passages. Notice what the keyboards are doing in the background throughout. I love that sound so much! There are some keyboard sounds that were used in the 80's that really help build some atmosphere in a way that speaks to me deeply. I can't explain it. But my infatuation with keyboards and organs of some types will come up again in the future, guaranteed.

I should also make sure to mention that if you listen to this track without paying close attention to the sublime bass and drum performances, then you're doing it very, very wrong.

All in all, Kate at the top of her game!

Last edited by MicShazam; 01-12-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice thread and song review/s, looking forward to reading more.

Plus this might help me find songs to rec in your thread, if this shows more exactly what you like.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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#2
PJ Harvey - Angelene
Album: Is This Desire?
Year: 1998


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmbB5Cdjzaw

Hey, look at that. Organs in the background. I sense that a pattern might be forming from early on in this list.

I don't actually think that this album is very good. One of PJ's weaker sets of songs, really, and her most overproduced album without a doubt.
EDIT: Produced by Flood. I'm not a big fan of his approach to the craft, so...

But the opening track rises far above what is a rather disappointing album overall. It's simply a very beautiful and sensitive song. I really like the loud, soft, warm bass that envelops the rest of the instrumentation and the vocals in a blanket of melancholy. This track is really about the subtleties of the arrangements. The more I listen to it, the more it seems full of life, subtle colors and expressive details. It's a very restrained track, but it would be a mistake to assume that there's very little going on here.

One of PJ's worst albums, but one of her best songs.

Last edited by MicShazam; 01-12-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nice thread and song review/s, looking forward to reading more.

Plus this might help me find songs to rec in your thread, if this shows more exactly what you like.
Thanks. I hope it will trace a clearer picture of what I'm really into, since it's gonna be cherry picked tracks from my entire history as a music listener. Plus I'm hoping it will be a bit easier to convince people to take a listen or two, since it's only one track at a time.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lookin pretty good so far tbh.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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#3
Bryan Ferry - Love Me Madly Again
Album: In Your Mind
Year: 1977


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgJMhrhUOU0

Back in the 70's, I really feel like Roxy Music was way better than Bryan Ferry doing his solo career, but even early on, there was some real highlights none the less. Later, after Roxy Music dissolved, I actually like the best of Ferry's albums better than the best of Roxy Music's albums, but that's another story.

This album is, unlike most of his early solo albums, entirely comprised of original compositions. He used to do more covers than self-penned tracks and later albums often had their share of covers too. But this one is all new tracks written by Ferry.

The track that stands out to me in particular is Love Me Madly Again. It's got so much going for it! The amazing flow and groove of the drums, the catchy, frankly-should-be-considered-legendary main bass riff, the soulful vocal performance, the very nice use of strings that handily dodges feeling cheesy and, not least, the way the song goes from being a fun rocker to a fantastic bit of moody, grooving glam. I also dig the use of backing vocalists during the upbeat parts.

I could listen to this one all day long.

Last edited by MicShazam; 01-12-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Lookin pretty good so far tbh.
You're gonna be hard to please, but let's see how it goes!
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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#4
Vashti Bunyan - Rose Hip November
Album: Just Another Diamond Day
Year: 1970


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6en1BTlY0Kw

Not too surprising to anyone with good memory of member posting history, since I've posted this one multiple times over the years.

Moody organs? Check. Moody, sensitive vocal performance? Check. At least two things that tend to appeal to me present and accounted for.

It's a very short track, but through those 2 minutes, this song manages to tug at my heartstrings more than most albums manage during their entire run time.
Is it silly and embarrassing to say that some songs are your go-to tracks when you're feeling very down? This is one of mine. I listen to it loud and closely and it makes me tear up like a kid who dropped his ice cream on the ground.

There's so many musical details seeping into this track over time. You might miss several details if on your first listen if you're not attentive. There's - among other things - an organ, acoustic guitar, flute and a glockenspiel. Some details near the end sound like some kind of renaissance guitar and some other small details in the background I'm not sure of.

Another standout feature of this track are Vashti's vocals, which are clear and up-front in the mix, but still sound like if you were standing next to hear, they would be halfway towards a mere whisper. Her frail singing hits me right where it hurts, in a good way.

Last edited by MicShazam; 01-12-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great thread Mic. I'll be following.
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