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Old 08-23-2010, 04:06 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Antonio View Post
Marcy Playground - Poppies

this song's an upbeat little number with some catchy guitar lines and singing that brings you back to that nice little midway point in 90s music between grunge and bubblegum pop where bands weren't afraid to mix a bit of musicality with a pop sensibility and a positive feel. In the end, this song isn't something that you have to over-think or something that feels brainless, it's something in between that goes down smooth.
I like the sound of the "Poppies" song, too, Antonio, thanks mostly to the guitars but also to the serious subject matter, which appears to be the opium trade and the British empire's unethical behavior toward India and China. I think the song refers partly to this sad story from history:

"China had a positive balance sheet in trading with the British, which led to a decrease of the British silver stocks. Therefore, the British tried to encourage Chinese opium use to enhance their balance, and they delivered it from Indian provinces under British control. A massive confiscation of opium by the Chinese emperor, who tried to stop the opium deliveries, led to two Opium Wars in 1839 and 1858, in which Britain suppressed China and traded opium all over the country."
Opium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:32 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I like the sound of the "Poppies" song, too, Antonio, thanks mostly to the guitars but also to the serious subject matter, which appears to be the opium trade and the British empire's unethical behavior toward India and China. I think the song refers partly to this sad story from history:

"China had a positive balance sheet in trading with the British, which led to a decrease of the British silver stocks. Therefore, the British tried to encourage Chinese opium use to enhance their balance, and they delivered it from Indian provinces under British control. A massive confiscation of opium by the Chinese emperor, who tried to stop the opium deliveries, led to two Opium Wars in 1839 and 1858, in which Britain suppressed China and traded opium all over the country."
Opium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
hmmmm, well now that you mention it, it does make some sense with the lyrics, thanks for the observation.

surprisingly enough the same album has a song named Opium, so that may show where their priorities are, haha

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Originally Posted by mr dave
isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:07 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Hello there, just a little FYI. Because of my school schedule these days, the Song Of The Week will be posted on Friday instead of Tuesday/Wednesday. So yeah, just so you know. And yeah, I know that it's technically Saturday, but it took some time to get the internet on this comp.


SONGS I'M DIGGIN'
Dinosaur Jr.-Ocean In the Way


Dinosaur Jr. is one of my favorite bands these days. I love the way the vocals and fuzzy guitars cut through and this week's song is no different. This is off of their album Farm and what I love is the melancholy tone. While that may not seem like a compliment, it works for the slow, meditative pace and each note seems carefully picked for this song. I also think that the guitar is just great and the fills that J Mascis gives you can keep one hell of a foundation while still going off on its own.
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Originally Posted by mr dave
isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?

Last edited by Antonio; 06-04-2012 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:21 PM   #24 (permalink)
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ALBUM REVIEW
Kid Cudi-Man On The Moon:The End Of Day


I've had this album for a while, and it's one that I wanted to review for some time now. This was actually the first Hip Hop album that I went out and bought and I'm glad that i did.

I feel like the best way that I can describe this album perfectly is Stoner Hip-Hop. I don't say this because Kid Cudi is a well reported marijuana user, or or the references to substances in his songs. I say “stoner” for the fact that this album feels like you're taking a drug fueled trip. Throughout the cd, you're carried by Cudi's trance-like rapping/singing style, while much of the beats are layered to be trippy yet peaceful, even during some of the more turbulent parts. This is produced in part by both Common and Kanye West, and contrary to what some may say I don't feel that much of an overbearing presence from them, and this is coming from someone who owns multiple albums by both artists. This feels totally like Cudi's own thing, and in my opinion this is something that sets itself apart from a lot of current mainstream music, even though it uses similar techniques and sounds as his contemporaries.

This album is split up into different “acts”, so I'm going to review it that way.

__________________________________________________ _______________
ACT I: THE END OF DAY
The first act and the album starts interestingly enough with In My Dreams, providing a fitting intro to what you're gonna be in for. The echoing singular beat and the swelling violins in the background gives way to a narration by Common that sets up the theme and concept of the CD. Next up comes Soundtrack 2 My Life and Simple As..., which both are good songs in their own right and can be seen as potential singles while still being essential songs for the flow and story on the CD. The latter song ends with another narration that leads the main character of the story into the Rise of the Night Terrors.

ACT II: RISE OF THE NIGHT TERRORS
Things start getting interesting here. the first track, Solo Dolo, reaches into the deepest depths and comes out with a desperate and pleading cry for help. You get the feeling of despair while still having something that you can sing along to, making it one of the best tracks on here. The next song, Heart of a Lion, seems to pick itself up out of the gutter and remembers that there is something out there to fight for, but is still struggling to come out on top. The last part of the Act, My World, takes a look inward at Cudi's determination and is a really downtempo song that may seem like it drags its feet to some, but can seem really laid back to others.

ACT III: TAKING A TRIP
This Act begins with Day 'N' Nite, one of the best tracks and my favorite song on the CD. Technically this was on his previous mixtape A Kid Named Cudi, but it fits so well on this album that I would be surprised if it wasn't on here. Near the end, though, it degenerates into something that denotes there's some trouble on the horizon. The next song, Sky Might Fall, conveys this well with a feeling that you're trying to run from a great fall and it's closing in on you. Then Enter Galactic comes in and while it still carries an almost worried feel in the back of your head, this song feels like it got distracted along the way and stopped for a second to party it up a bit. Not a bad song, but it breaks the flow a bit. From here, another narration takes you into the next act of the character becoming lost in his own world.


ACT IV: STUCK
This act opens up with Alive, which features Ratatat and portrays a sense that you're probably on the verge of losing yourself the inner parts of your mind. After this comes Cudi Zone, which in a way is like you're too far gone, but you're not necessarily fighting to get back. The chorus of this will have you shouting to the heavens and is a blast to sing. After this is....w…wait a minute, stop the music

*record skips*

…Alright. Sorry for the interruption, but I just want to say right now that the next track, Make Her Say, doesn't belong on here. It's not exactly a bad song, the way they use the sample from “Poker Face” is pretty good and keeps you hooked in, but the way this song is just breaks the whole flow of the album. Really, it just sounds like something Kanye West or Common wanted to do so they could slap their names onto this record a little more. To be honest I skipped over this song when I listened to the cd for this review, and it actually sounded better as a whole.

OK then, back to the rest of the CD.

Thankfully the next track, Pursuit of Happiness, goes back to the trippiness and lays it on thick, making it one of the best songs on the album. This was the second song on here produced by Ratatat, and they really do some good here. This song is the equivalent of how you'd feel if for the last few weeks all you did was party and live it up, and now you're really paying for all of that enjoyment you had. In a way, the song sort of knows that while there should be regrets, it still says “I'll be fine, once I get it. I'll be good.”

ACT V: A NEW BEGINNING
The last two songs on the album wrap up the story for now and close out the album pretty well. The first, Hyyerr, is something that's really laid back with the samples they use and is really soothing to listen to. Finally, the Act and subsequently the album closes out with Up Up & Away, that's an uplifting piece of music that feels like you're flying through the clouds, away from all of the stuff that held you down...and then it sort of fizzles out with the final narration telling us that while the story is over, it's not the end of our character here.
__________________________________________________ _______________


So there's Man On The Moon for you, an interesting trip into Cudi's mind.

Not all is fine in Cudiland, though. This album, as much as I love it, does have it's obvious flaws. First and foremost, the lyrics can go from pretty good to alright to facepalmingly bad. I mean... he rhymes “girls” with “girls”. Normally I wouldn't be as bothered by something like this, but for a rap album that's kind of a big problem. Another thing is how it tends to fall into cliché mainstream territory at it's worst and doesn't try to stretch out in some great points to a be more unique as much as it could.

Even so, this album is definitely something all it's own. It may take a few listens to let this grow, but once it does you'll find something that may surprise you. Still, it can fall short and feel weak at parts. You get the feeling that they really tried to do something different here, but at some points things were a little misguided. I feel that with this album, Kid Cudi shows some of his talent, but hasn't reached his full potential yet. Still, if some of the music here is any indication of the future, I think that Kid Cudi might be on the verge of something amazing in due time.

Best Tracks: Soundtrack 2 My Life, Solo Dolo, Day 'N' Nite, Pursuit of Happiness, Up Up & Away
Worst Tracks: Make Her Say

So, in short, at it's worst this would be a 5-6, but at it's best, it's a 9, so I'm going to give my final rating as...

Final Verdict: 8/10

I highly recommend it, even for people who aren't fans of Hip Hop or mainstream music to take the trip down the rabbit hole, and see what awaits you.


and here's some of the album's songs to help you along the way
YouTube - Kid Cudi - Day 'N' Nite
YouTube - Kid Cudi - Pursuit Of Happiness ft. MGMT
YouTube - Kid CuDi CuDi Zone
YouTube - Kid Cudi - Up, Up & Away (The Wake & Bake Song) - 'Man on the Moon: The End of Day' 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr dave
isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?

Last edited by Antonio; 09-02-2010 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:27 PM   #25 (permalink)
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SONGS I'M DIGGIN'
Steve Miller Band-Fly Like An Eagle


Good day, or rather, good night to you all. The song this week is one from the 70's courtesy of the Steve Miller Band's album of the same name. Now, this song is probably one that you've all heard at one point, if not through rotation on classic rock stations, then at least through the hypnotic repetition of the words "Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin...". And in all honesty how can you NOT like this song? The instrumentation works together to wrap you in a spaced-out blanket and the vocals lull you into that comfort zone where you can just lay back and enjoy the sweet sounds. While it may be a bit of a shame that the rest of the CD overall can't have some of the same effect, this tune is still enough to keep you satisfied for when you feel the need to leave the normal world for a while.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr dave
isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?

Last edited by Antonio; 06-04-2012 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:00 PM   #26 (permalink)
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SONGS I'M DIGGIN'
Stereolab-The Free Design


OK, with the date, this would technically mean that I skipped the last week but i'm gonna count it anyway cause this is my thread, so there :P. But yeah, this was really the first song I heard from this group and still one of my favorites of theirs. This comes from their album Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night (try saying that three times fast) and is both a catchy and masterfully done tune. The way that a lot of the parts in the song circle around the main melody is hypnotizing and infectiously catchy, and the style of this band, with the combination of alt rock and lounge music, gives you a cool view of something different. I also love the danceability of it, where you can't help but move a bit and dance with the feel of the music. If you haven't gotten any of Stereolab's albums yet, I highly suggest them as they're just one hell of a great band.
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Quote:
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isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?

Last edited by Antonio; 04-13-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:44 AM   #27 (permalink)
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man, it has been a WHILE since I updated this thread. I guess I'll try to start off with something new for this. I don't really expect any replies as this'll probably just get viewed a few times, but no matter, long as I'm enjoying this.

but yeah, stuff coming really soon.
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isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:20 AM   #28 (permalink)
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AWESOME SOUNDTRACKS:
Bastion


I guess this is the first review I've had in a while. Since I've been playing more games recently, I want to try a new thing where I check out some great soundtracks I've come across. So without further ado I'll start with the music to a game that I just finished recently.

Bastion is the flagship release from indie company Supergiant Games, and man what a great first impression. Set in a sort of alternate world in a Western style, Bastion takes place after a worldwide disaster by the name of The Calamity literally dismantles everything, including the once great land of Caelondia. You play a character simply known as The Kid, a Caelondian who wakes up in his room to find that everyone is gone and the world has been destroyed. He knows from plans that were made long ago, that if something like this were to ever happen, any survivors should proceed to The Bastion, a safe haven meant as a last resort when there is no where else to go. There you meet Rucks, a gruffy voiced, weathered old man who serves as a guide and overall narrator to your adventure, and you seek to find various crystals scattered around the world to restore The Bastion and unlock it's true powers; powers that would be able to fix what the Calamity has done. Along the way you meet survivors and uncover many secrets about the world and parts to the story as with what was behind this Calamity in the first place. One interesting part about the game is that the entire story is laid out by the narrator as you traverse the world, and while that may sound like something you would get sick of after a while, it makes it into one of the most unique storytelling experiences you'd ever find in a game.

The music for a game of this setting is something very interesting; it's described by composer Darren Korb as "Acoustic Frontier Hip Hop". Here you'll find alot of bluesy acoustic guitar mashed up with world influences like sitar and koto, electronic beats and foreboding but powerful strings, and the main thing here is that it all actually works. I mean, it works to the point that you couldn't imagine the music of this game without all of those elements. It works to set the perfect mood for a game about picking up the pieces after a worldwide disaster. Now, according to the company Supergiant Games, they weren't going to initially release this soundtrack as an album, but after strong fan demand they decided to release a digital format available online. That's the biggest surprise really, as it feels like this was meant for an album release from the get-go.

This soundtrack starts off with the introduction Get Used to It, a word from the narrator who reminisces about life in Caelondia while you hear some gentle guitar strumming in the distance. From there, you're thrown into A Proper Story, which introduces you to alot of the musical elements that you'll see throughout this listen. After that comes my personal favorite track, In Case of Trouble, which also serves as the main theme to the game. Bynn the Breaker comes after that, a string heavy song which takes away the chill atmosphere of the last track and replaces it with tense feeling; one that tells of unknown danger that may be coming your way. The Sole Regret features a number more string instruments in a more lonely setting, and Twisted Streets throws flutes into the mix to provide more of that tense feeling from before, but this time in a more prepared way, as if you the player are actually ready to face what's coming. After this is Terminal March, a more world influenced track with some nice hip hop layers to compliment the striking mandolin line that will stick with you.

Percy's Escape then busts in, taking some grizzly strings and combining them with intense percussion to increase the sense of danger and intensity, following into Faith of Jevel, a dreamlike track which depicts more or less a drug induced haze that slows the album down(in a good way). After that, Mine, Windbag, Mine, takes more strings and a scratching mandolin to fill you with a sense of adventure and awe as you try to take in the world around you. Slinger's Song is the perfect western track, with lots of slide guitar and samples of stirrups complimenting the beats behind them to a slow and chill ride.

Being a soundtrack to a video game, you can expect there to be no vocals for the music, and for the most part you would be right, but the vocals that are there certainly leave an impression in the album as well as in-game. Build That Wall (Zia's Theme) is a soulful ballad sung by Ashley Barret who has just the perfect pang of soul and pain in her singing to her voice. While it is only acoustic guitar and vocals, it perfectly fits into the tone of the soundtrack and fits perfectly in game when it comes on. Spike In A Rail brings you back in with bluesy acoustic and electric guitar combined with an ensemble of banjo and harmonica that just rocks. What's Left Undone takes the melody of Build that Wall and has it sung by the narrator, more or less a track solely for the game. Brusher Patrol comes next with a swinging slide guitar line and a cool vocal sample that's works very subtly, as well as some strong electric guitar. The Mancer's Dilemma takes a sole harp line and uses different waves of string instruments to build off of it.

The second song to feature vocals, Mother I'm Here (Zulf's Theme) takes a page from Build That Wall and has a soulful ballad sung by Darren Korb that works off of minimalism. Once again this fits perfectly with the soundtrack as well as when you hear it in game. The Pale Watchers is next and has more of an electronic/trip-hop vibe than previous tracks, giving it a very dream inducing feel. The next song, The Bottom Feeders, picks up the pace and maintains that trip-hop vibe while at the same time bringing back the world influences. From Wharf to Wilds adds in some trumpet and heroic strings which help to push you as it is the music for the last level of the game. One of the most interesting parts about the next to last track Setting Sail, Coming Home is that it takes the two previous songs Build That Wall and Mother I'm Here and combines the vocals and music into a duet that is as beautiful and striking as it is one of the best songs to end a game by. Really, this isn't just a simple mashup of the two songs as much as it is a completed song that needed the two pieces to be combined together. Truly something I haven't really seen before, even in standalone albums.

This album does end with The Pantheon (Ain't Gonna Catch You), a traditional blues song by the guy who plays the narrator, Logan Cunningham, that tells you how "you'll be sorry for what you've done". A simple song, really. Initially I didn't like this track, but after listening to it again I found the vocals smooth and relaxing. The only complaint I'd say would be that with the lyrics it seems like an odd way to end the album.


Best Songs: In Case of Trouble, Terminal March, Mine Windbag, Mine, Build That Wall, Spike In a Rail, The Mancer's Dilemma, The Bottom Feeders, Setting Sail, Coming Home
Worst Songs: Get Used to It

In short, I give this soundtrack an enthusiastic 9 out of 10. This has got to be one of if not the best video game soundtracks that I've ever heard. You can just feel the love, care and attention that was put into not only having music that fit the feel of a game, but was also a joy to listen to on it's own. Very little filler, it was hard to find any bad or unnecessary tracks, with even the less stellar stuff still being great. The only complaint that I could honestly have is that, being a video game soundtrack, it repeats some parts of songs in order to keep the flow going in-game. So some tracks have points where they hit the halfway mark and start to essentially repeat the song all over again. Even so, this is a game soundtrack that surpasses alot of actual albums that I've heard in terms of cohesiveness and quality. Even if you don't play games at all, this deserves to stand next to albums in even the most discriminating record stores and owned by people who enjoy finely crafted and just great music. Don't believe me? listen to some tracks then
Spoiler for Bastion:







Oh yeah, and you should check out Bastion too, I can't recommend it enough. It's a great gaming experience and a landmark in game storytelling.
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Quote:
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isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?

Last edited by Antonio; 05-18-2015 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:01 AM   #29 (permalink)
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SONGS I'M DIGGIN'
Laurent Lombard-Pop of The Top


You may have seen me post this in the "What are You Listening To II" thread, but I want to highlight it here as it's probably one of my favorite songs right now. As I write this, I'm listening to it on repeat and honestly I could listen to this all day it's so good. It's infectious melodies and jazzy instrumentation combines into a great piece that I'm surprised isn't used for more television or movies (although I did find that it was used as a theme for a French program by the name of "C'est au Programme"). One part I especially like is in the middle where it breaks down to just the strings and kicks right back in. I only wish that it didn't have to end!!

I defy you to not get a smile on your face when listening to this and wanting to dance like Austin Powers or something.

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Quote:
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isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Diggin the Bastion stuff, very cool!
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