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Old 10-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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This list needs a shot in the arm with something simple and noisy...
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:03 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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This list needs a shot in the arm with something simple and noisy...
You'll just have to wait and see I already have the entire list made out and there might be something fairly noisy but I wouldn't really call it simple.

Sorry meant to update this over the weekend but was kind of busy. Will have something tonight though.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
 
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The Blue Nile - Hats (1989)



The Blue Nile rarely release an album and when they do they don’t contain many songs. They are perfectionists of the highest order but when they do release an album it is simply magical. This, their second album, was released six years after their excellent debut A Walk Across The Rooftops, however I feel that Hats is their greatest moment and has since become one of my most cherished albums. The whole mood and feel of this album suggests night-time, perhaps walking the rainy streets late at night, surrounded by neon lights and various other sights and sounds, walking to meet a loved one, or perhaps just walking the streets at night thinking about a lost love. There is a great sense of melancholy that runs throughout the seven tracks here that is overwhelming and very moving, this is mostly due to frontman Paul Buchanan’s soulful and plaintive voice which carries every song, especially songs like ‘Let’s Go Out Tonight’ and ‘Headlights On The Parade’. The music is mostly synthesizer-based but this album has absolutely none of the coldness that is often associated with synths, the music mostly serves as a backing for Paul’s soulful and melancholic voice and when combined together create one of the warmest and most memorable albums you will hear.

Every song on this album is incredible and with only seven songs the album is filler-free, more focused and the songs are allowed to breathe and have more purpose. The album flows brilliantly from start to finish and proves that this is not about individual songs, but about the album as a whole.

Recommended Songs: ‘The Downtown Lights’, ‘Let’s Go Out Tonight’, ‘Headlights On The Parade’


Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country (2006)



Let’s Get Out Of This Country marked a significant change in Camera Obscura’s sound. Gone were the shy and awkward yet charming twee sensibilities on their previous two albums Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi and Underachievers Please Try Harder and in its place was a bigger, bolder and more confident indie pop sound heavily in debt to the thrills and melancholy of 60’s pop. The key lies in Tracyanne Campbell’s transformation into a frontwoman more confident with her voice and with her songwriting. Some songs here have a brighter-sounding and more pop feel to them, especially the excellent singles ‘Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken’ and ‘Let’s Get Out Of This Country’, both showing the band’s newfound confidence. On other songs such as ‘Tears For Affairs’ and ‘Come Back Margaret’ the band show their 60’s pop influences on their sleeves. There is however a sense of sadness and melancholy that runs throughout the album, mainly due to Tracyanne’s own personal struggles and losses. Just have a listen to ‘Dory Previn’ and ‘Country Mile’ and try not to feel the slightest bit emotional. But it is this kind of emotional expression that creates a bond with the listener and gives the listener some comfort in knowing that they’re not the only ones feeling down from time to time. The album ends with a glimmer of hope though, with the magnificently uplifting ‘Razzle Dazzle Rose’ warming your heart and giving you the encouragement you need.

The album elevated the band’s cult popularity around the world and the 2009 follow-up album My Maudlin Career would elevate their popularity further as well as evolve their sound further. But Let’s Get Out Of This Country is a great starting point to exploring the band’s wonderful music and it’s an album that greatly rewards you with repeated listens.

Recommended Songs: ‘Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken’, ‘Let’s Get Out Of This Country’, ‘Razzle Dazzle Rose’
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:27 PM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Carissa's Wierd - Songs About Leaving (2002)



I do admit that the first time I listened to this album about a year ago or so it didn’t really grab my attention, or indeed with the first few listens. But I just felt the urge to keep listening to it and eventually it clicked with me and it revealed itself to be a very sad and bleak yet warm album. There is a great sense of sadness here that is really heartbreaking to listen to; this is an album that will probably put you in a depressed mood for the rest of the day. This mood is the result of a number of factors: bleak and painful lyrics, soft, quiet yet sometimes emotionally intense vocals, mournful strings, sad and beautiful pianos, and of course some wonderfully picked guitar playing. All these seem to interweave with each other to create one sad yet beautiful force that flows throughout the whole course of the album. When this album really comes alive however is when joint-vocalist Jenn Ghetto’s voice comes to the fore on ‘So You Wanna Be a Superhero’ and ‘Sofisticated Fuck Princess Please Leave Me Alone’. Her voice sounds rich with raw emotion and uncertainty and sounds like she is teetering on the edge of breaking down, while her lyrics are bleak and very uncomfortable to listen to. Certainly not a party album, but this album does sound great in the autumn. Falling leaves, days getting darker and colder, and the oncoming approach of winter seem to go very well with the music on this album.

Songs About Leaving was a more developed and better realised effort than its predecessor You Should Be At Home Here. The vocals and lyrics have more presence and more purpose, especially when Jenn Ghetto’s vocals come to the fore. Overall a highly consistent and slow-burning album that sounds better with each listen.

Recommended Songs: ‘So You Wanna Be a Superhero’, ‘Ignorant Piece Of Shit’, ‘Sofisticated Fuck Princess Please Leave Me Alone’


The Church - Starfish (1988)



Australian band The Church originally started out as a post-punk outfit in 1980 but by the time of their successful Starfish album had grown into a more mature and ambitious outfit. A lot of you will probably recognise the song ‘Under The Milky Way’, due to its appearance on the Donnie Darko soundtrack and its distinctive e-bow guitar solo sounding like bagpipes. It may be their most popular song but it really does show what this band is capable of, it manages to sound both memorable and accessible yet have an experimental bent to it and this is the case with a lot of songs on the album. Have a listen to the excellent guitar playing on ‘North, South, East and West’ and admire its effortless combination with an unforgettable chorus. The band show they can play but never once overdo it or allow themselves to indulge on this album, always letting the songs come to the fore. Lead vocalist/bassist Steve Kilbey voice always sounds warm and inviting and his bittersweet melodies breathe plenty of life into every song. He could also be very inventive with his lyrics such as on the fabulous closing song ‘Hotel Womb’, its strange and abstract lyrics apparently being about having a nightmare about cannibalism despite the warm and bittersweet melodies of the song.

Even the weaker songs on the album stick with you and have their own distinct character but when this album gets good it takes you somewhere magical. After this album the band would start experimenting more but still record some great albums, such as 1992’s brilliant Priest = Aura. However it is on Starfish that the band sound on top of their game and is the album I turn to every time.

Recommended Songs: ‘Under The Milky Way’, ‘North, South, East and West’, ‘Hotel Womb’
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:30 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Absolutely fantastic thread thus far, really love that Blue Nile album great shout!
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:29 AM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Cheers! Yeah more people really need to listen to The Blue Nile, brilliant band.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Cheers! Yeah more people really need to listen to The Blue Nile, brilliant band.
Seconded - never got enough publicity/credit/sales for their extensive (ahem !) output...
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:31 PM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Cocteau Twins - Heaven Or Las Vegas (1990)



Heaven Or Las Vegas showcased a more pop-orientated and accessible side to the Cocteau Twins that they hinted at on previous album Blue Bell Knoll. A lot of this was down to improvements in production and songwriting. For a start the vocals and lyrics could be clearly heard, even though some of the lyrics still make no sense, but more importantly the music was brighter and more melodic than previously and this gave their overall sound a more memorable and punchier feel. As per usual with the Cocteau Twins the music is a lush ocean of sound with various delay and phasing effects creating a dreamy and otherworldly feel. Elizabeth Fraser ranks as one of my all time greatest vocalists and by listening to this album you can hear why, on songs such as ‘Iceblink Luck’, ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ and ‘Road, River and Rail’ her voice swoops and soars to high-register notes and back again and making it all sound so effortless. The ethereal qualities of her voice are a precisely perfect match for the wonderful, dreamy soundscapes that guitarist Robin Guthrie and bassist Simon Raymonde create. The end result was the album that the band had been working towards for the biggest part of their career and everything fell into place perfectly for them, presenting an incredibly influential album that has had a huge impact on dream-pop and shoegaze bands over the past 21 years as well as on other various styles of music.

Although the band were one of the flagship bearers of the 4AD label throughout the 1980’s, Heaven Or Las Vegas would be their last album for the label. The band also moved onto a clearer and more stripped-down sound on the wonderful Four-Calendar Cafe but did not quite have same the magic that was evident on its predecessor. Never the less the band left behind a perfect legacy and Heaven or Las Vegas makes the perfect starting point to start exploring their music.

Recommended Songs: ‘Iceblink Luck’, ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’, ‘Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires’


Codeine - Frigid Stars (1991)



Sooner or later in your early twenties, when you’ve left the safe haven of university or college or whatever, the real world is going to smack you in the face right between the eyes and you’re probably not going to like it. It can be a depressing and uncertain time and nothing seems to capture this mood better than Codeine’s 1991 debut album Frigid Stars. Right from the off you know that this isn’t going to be a cheery ride as the stark, minimalist guitars and funeral-pace drums on opening track ‘D’ frame vocalist/bassist Stephan Immerwahr’s world-weary voice and depressive lyrical content. The mood and tempo throughout the album doesn’t alter much, although sometimes spilling over into anger and frustration such as on ‘Cigarette Machine’. But the band use their vision to carry this mood throughout the course of this album from song to song and keep the listener’s attention from start to finish. It can be bleak and depressing to listen to at times but there are moments of melancholic beauty such as the magnificent ‘Pickup Song’ and the beautifully mellow ‘New Year’s’, the latter showing that the band were also capable of writing memorable tunes.

Codeine and Frigid Stars in particular would do a great deal in pioneering that strain of alternative rock quite humorously known as slowcore or sadcore, along with bands such as Red House Painters, Low and Galaxie 500. I could have even included their second and final album, 1994’s The White Birch, instead of this as it is just as good, but I just seem to have more of an attachment to Frigid Stars. During the band’s brief career they managed to leave a dent in the underground yet saw no mainstream success, but have since earned themselves a small legion of cult fans that keep the band’s music alive today.

Recommended Songs: ‘D’, ‘Pickup Song’, ‘New Year’s’
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:55 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Everything I have heard in this thread is great, and everything I haven't I've put on a list to download. Top thread.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:36 PM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Everything I have heard in this thread is great, and everything I haven't I've put on a list to download. Top thread.
Awesome, cheers
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