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Old 10-22-2008, 10:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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#27

of Montreal
"The Sunlandic Twins" (2005)


I will never understand why this album seems to be so criminally underappreciated. This, to me, is of Montreal's best pop album, and writing catchy pop songs is what Kevin Barnes does best.

"Requiem for OMM2" was the song that made me purchase this, and it may just be the best pop song Barnes ever wrote, and considering he's wrote such other gems as "Miniature Philosopher", "Penelope", and "Don't Ask Me to Explain", it's a remarkable feat. "I Was Never Young" is okay, but the next section of the album is brilliant. The one-two-three punch of "Wraith Pinned to the Mist" (aka the Outback Steakhouse song), "Forecast Fascist Future", and "So Begins our Alabee" knocks you on your feet before pushing you back down two tracks later with "The Party's Crashing Us". Granted nothing else on the album other than "Oslo In The Summertime" comes close to being as good as these songs, but it doesn't matter. Those six songs make this album my most listened to of Montreal album. As far as their electro-pop output, "Satanic Panic" is overhyped and too long, "Hissing Fuana" comes close but is dogged down by "Grotesque Animal", and I'm just starting to get into "Skeletal Lamping", which I wouldn't put in the same category as the three before it just because its not really a pop album at all.

And yet, this is considered their weakest of thir post-2003 output. Can someone please tell me why? I can't name another of Montreal album that has as many good songs, except maybe "The *** Parade", which hasn't held up nearly as well for me since Barnes' sound on this record is just-better. It baffles me daily, and all I really want is an explanation. If you're reading this and disagree, please tell me why it's inferior to their other albums, because I've never seen a good reason.

And while I'm at it, why did everyone all of a sudden jump on the of Montreal bandwagon when "Hissing Fuana" came out? I want to say because the second half is much more dancable, yet it was praised for it's pop songs. Don't get me wrong, it's the only album that comes close to this one, and I like it alot, I just don't understand how it appealed so much more to people than their other music. Oh well, I'm starting to ramble here, I think I'll just wrap it up.
88/100
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think your answer for why everyone jumped on the Of Montreal bandwagon is pretty much because p4k hyped it nonstop ever since it came out. Oddly enough Hissing Fauna is the only Of Montreal album I don't bother to listen to I like Suffer For Fashion but then I just get bored with it. But yeah this album is probably my third favorite of Montreal album, its followed by Skeletal Lamping and the Gay Parade.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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#30

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
"Thank God For Mental Illness" (1996)


For me, The Brian Jonestown Massacre are pretty hit or miss...

...For me, this is their only great album.

85/100
You have to listen to Strung Out In Heaven.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You have to listen to Strung Out In Heaven.
I haven't listened to alot of their later stuff, but the stuff I've heard is mostly 'eh'. Although, does it have "Not If You Were the Last Dandy on Earth"? Seeing as that's my favorite BJM song, it would be a good incentive to purchase that album.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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#26

Pavement
"Slanted & Enchanted" (1992)

"Ice baby, I saw your girlfriend and she's/eating her fingers like they're just another meal/but she waits their by the levee wash/mixing ****tail with a plastic tipped cigar" So begins, "Summer Babe (Winter Version)", a three chord anti-anthem starting off Pavement's first LP, "Slanted & Enchanted". I don't have the slightest what that entire sequence of lines means, but Stephen Malkmus' use of imagery in his lyrics always brings these songs to life. Whether its nervous women mixing drinks, metal scars, or cutting angels in two, Malkmus' cryptic lyrics add another layer of haze and confusion over the already hazy, messy, loud music of Pavement's first album.

This is one of those sort of "Diamond In The Rough" albums, in that it contains some really wonderful melodies under layers of noise. The best example of a Pavement album doing that is definately "Westing by Musket & Sextant", but this is their last LP to sound so loud and raw. "Watery Domestic" (which comes included in the reissue of this album) is the last recording of theirs to take this approach-everything afterward is pretty glossy in comparison, especially their last album, in which they're basically a pop band.

Mark E. Smith hated Pavement, saying they were a complete Fall ripoff. At the time I had owned this for a year or so, and when I picked up the Fall's greatest hits, I thought "No way, Pavements much poppier, why does Mark E. Smith have his knickers in such a bunch over them?" Then I heard the track "A New Face In Hell" which Pavement utterly and completely rips off here on "Conduit for Sale!". That being said, I really don't give a shit, Pavement put a different spin on the classic Fall sound, and I love it.

This album I actually find the weakest of their first three. A minority opinion, from what I've heard, but there really is a good handful of filler-noise tracks on this album, preventing it from being a real classic of mine. I still feel it's the best album to get first if you want to get into Pavement. With great songs like, "Summer Babe", "Trigger Cut", "In the Mouth A Desert", "Lorettas Scars", and the wonderfully meloncholy "Here", "Slanted and Enchanted" holds enough gems to leave you wanting more. And believe me, their next two albums completely deliver on the promise held in "Slanted & Enchanted"
88/100
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I haven't listened to alot of their later stuff, but the stuff I've heard is mostly 'eh'. Although, does it have "Not If You Were the Last Dandy on Earth"? Seeing as that's my favorite BJM song, it would be a good incentive to purchase that album.
Actually no. I think that song was released as a single. It does have the song Going To Hell.


YouTube - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Going To Hell
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Nice review for the Pavement album but I still just about prefer Wowee Zowee. Nice thread.
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Nice review for the Pavement album but I still just about prefer Wowee Zowee. Nice thread.
I do as well, Wowee Zowee will be coming up in this thread.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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#25

Wire
"Chairs Missing"(1978)


Thinking back, I'm fairly positive this was the first album I ever owned that was synth heavy. I milestone record in my case, as I used to be one of those douchebags that liked "Who's Next", but shunned all synthesizer use since I was mostly exposed to bad 80's synth pop. That being said, Wire's large departure here from their first album, "Pink Flag", isn't just in the use of synthesizers. It's a darker atmosphere, a more focused album, and it doesn't sound nearly as ramshackle as their debut. This could have been a completely different band, the only evidence of any "Pink Flag" sound on the noisy "Sand In My Boots".

During 2006, this was my favorite Wire album. WHile that has changed, what has not is the fact that this is a FANTASTIC album. I read an interview somewhere where one of the guys in Wire was saying how they tried to sneak something interesting into each of the songs. That's my favorite thing about it, while the songs stand up on their own, they're peppered with all sorts of experimental ideas. Take "Practice Makes Perfect", a classic post-punk song complete with angular guitars, an aesthetic that goes beyond punk, and these creepy tape loops of people laughing at the end, which make the song for me. Then there's "Outdoor Miner", the pop song of the album (Each Wire album has a great pop song-Pink Flag had 'Mannequin', 154 had 'Map Ref'...) which completely throws the listener off in the middle of a very dark, moody album.

Joy Division's, "Unknown Pleasures" seems to be agreed upon by most as the official influence on gothy post-punk, but this album came a year before it, and explores the same dark sound, albeit in a different way. "Chairs Missing" can be gloomy, yes, but the great thing about Wire is that gloom isn't the only thing you can hear on this album, theres a whole range of emotions, which is what kept "Chairs Missing" in my CD player so often. This is a classic album, and ought to be sought out by any fan of post-punk, Joy Division, Goth Rock, or any music fan in general.
89/100
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You should check out Dome , the band put together by Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis while Wire were on hiatus. A lot like Wire but more electronic.

Also Colin Newman's solo albums from around the same time are well worth getting as well.
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