quarta-feira, fevereiro 28, 2007

621. PJ HARVEY - is this desire?

Flood produced "To Bring you my Love" and he was known at the time for producing a lot of electronic bands... that influence comes out on this CD and at the time a lot of non digital bands were using keyboards, drum machines and loops. PJ didn't go that far (though I think there is a drum machine on this album) but the record is very quiet, still, whispery filled with characters and places. It was at the time a bit of a departure for her but stepping back now you realize she doesn't really follow a format or sound from record to record. My disc also came with four bsides (which I'll review as part of the next disc).

8.1 out of 10

terça-feira, fevereiro 27, 2007

620. PJ Harvey - send his love to me

Not sure why I bought this - I must have been bored, and if I remeber correctly I paid full price. Contains the title single, plus a radio seesion version of "Long Time Coming" plus "Harder" (which was included on the "To bring you my love" bonus cd). It's packaged in a nifty cardboard sleeve with postcards - perfect if I were gay. Or a graphic designer. Phew.

6 out of 10

619. PJ Harvey - to bring you my love

This is a brilliant album, from start to finish that everyone should own or hear at least once. It evokes the true concepts behind albums (at least to me) as a collection of ideas, images, moments and feelings. I miss records and how they were divided in half and how you had to read all the liner notes, study the artwork, analyse the lyrics... it was for me at least a very personal, creative process... well this is such a record. I also bought the version that contains a bonus cd of demos from the "Rid of Me" era and "To bring you..." sessions. Again, great stuff.

10 out of 10

618. PJ Harvey - dance hall at louse point

I don't know much about John Parish outside of the fact that he has colaborated with several artists (The Eeels, Sparklehorse) and has toured, recorded and written songs with PJ. I'm not sure how the writing duties were split on this album but it definitely feels different than a PJ record... but it is a true collaboration. Polly has sang on many albums before, doing duets and tracks by herself, but they always felt like she was a guest vocalist... this record doesn't. It's part narrative, part song, part instrumental and in all very atmospheric.

7.9 out of 10

segunda-feira, fevereiro 26, 2007

617. PJ Harvey - 4-Track Demos

Rumor has it that at the end of it all PJ wasn't too happy with Albini's mix of "Rid of Me" prompting her to release this incomplete collection of demos... the results are mixed, but still interesting. I prefer the final version of "Rid of Me" but these dmos shed light on the other forms the songs may have taken without Steve Albini.

7.6 out of 10

616. PJ Harvey - 50ft queenie

At first when I picked this up I thought I was getting a PJ single just for the sake of it and that I already owned the songs on this disc. Then I realized that included was the original version of "Reeling" (not found on Rid of Me, and only the demo version was on 4-Track Demos) and that "Man-Size (Demo)" and "Hook (Demo)" were not included on 4-Track Demos... so I was pleased. All the tracks on here are worthy items for any PJ fan - you've heard the songs before but she manages to make them different.

7.6 out of 10

sábado, fevereiro 24, 2007

615 .PJ Harvey - rid of me

This was my first real introduction to PJ... before I even heard the record she had a certain something that grabbed my attention... she seemed tiny, not attractive, yet the little I had heard, came out loud and heavy. Steve Albini produced the album and you can hear the thick fuzz, but still her vocals are never lost and her matter of fact lyrics clearly heard. It's abrasive, and sounds like it was done in one take, and that's what makes it sound so good.

9 out of 10

sexta-feira, fevereiro 23, 2007

615. PJ Harvey - Dry Demos

So a very limited run of Dry cds were issued with demo versions of the same songs. I've always kept an eye out for this Holy Grail of cd's but have not had any luck. However, I did finally hear the demos this week through a website - and I can only hope that they are offically released again someday in better quality because they are absolutely fucking brilliant. Remember how I said "Dry" was a straight up rock record - how it's almost uniform in tone? Well these demos are full of dimension and depth - sounds stupid, I know, but they are really that different from the final product. Great, great stuff.

8.9 out of 10

Plants and Rags (demo)

quinta-feira, fevereiro 22, 2007

614. PJ Harvey - sheela-na-gig

The only other single released off of the Dry LP, this time backed by two more of the demos that I mentioned, "Hair" and "Joe". Again, the demos are great and well worth the price of the single (not to mention that "Sheela-na-gig" is a great song too).

8.2 out of 10

613. PJ Harvey - dress

This single is backed with two of the demos that I mentioned on the previous post. The demos are brilliant and offer a different take on the already great studio versions of "Water" and "Dry".

7.8 out of 10

612. PJ Harvey - dry

I love PJ. Love her. And as you'll see, I own pretty much everything she's done... so let's start with Dry, her first LP. The songs are straight forward rock, with songs like "Oh my lover", "Happy and Bleeding" and "Sheela-na-gig" - and the solid song structures are elevated by the blood, lip biting lyrics that fill the songs up. A very limited run of cds were issued with a set of demos off of Dry which I've been searching for forever - I finally found them, this week, but online. Hopefully they'll be officially released some day. A great start for an amazing artist.

8.8 out of 10


What the hell is Pop Rocks? Sounds like someone is trying to be clever. Well, the key word in this genre is ROCKS. These albums rock - not in an indie way - not in an experimental fashion - they aren't hopelessly romantic - or reek of pure power pop that puts you into a good mood. These records have balls and beautiful breasts, played by men and women alike. Enjoy. (I'm also going to move the Wrens cds into here instead of ROCK MUSIC).

quarta-feira, fevereiro 21, 2007

611. Ozma - spending time on the borderline

I actually caught the band live for this record - they were opening for Nada Surf. I hadn't heard the new disc yet, but once I heard "Utsukushii Shibuya" I fell in love with it. I don't have the english version on me that's on the record (can't get off my ipod actually), but below you'll find the Japanese version - still good. Overall the album finds the band expanding past the Weezer comparison, making their arrangements more complex, and songs ecclectic. I believe they broke up after this, and have recently gotten back together again - I think.

7.9 out of 10

Utsukushii Shibuya (Japanese Version)

610. Ozma - rock and roll part three

I picked this up used one day because Rivers Cuomo spoke so highly of them (he said something like "they sort of sound just like us, but with keyboards") - he even asked them to open for the band during the Green album. That pretty much sums up Ozma - really young guys (and a girl), playing songs that build upon a formula Weezer created - and doing it well. This record is one of my favourites.

8.2 out of 10

Domino Effect

sábado, fevereiro 17, 2007

609. Weezer - Album 5 demos

So here's what I know. Maladroit sold poorly (at least poorly by Rivers standards) and the band decided to post all their demos online at weezer.com for the fans to hear and make recommendations. Time went by and Rivers decided to scrap all the tracks and record a record with Rick Rubin of all new material (at least partially record it with him, let him go and finish up the rest solo). Well what we have here are 24 tracks that are first takes on songs that pull some weight and have some very solid strength but were never fully recorded. In all they are good starts and would have rathered the band have picked their 10 best from this lot and never have pursued the disaster that was "Make Believe" (an album which I wish was never true and will never acknowledge).

I am tipsy, thanks to chad.

7.3 out of 10

sexta-feira, fevereiro 16, 2007

608. Weezer - summer songs (bootleg)

When I was unemployed (well I was freelancing really, and had on and off down time) I went into a downloading frenzy. The story behind this bootleg can be found here. In sum, the quality is poor and the songs limp. I'm trashing this.

4.2 out of 10

quinta-feira, fevereiro 15, 2007

607. Weezer - maladroit

I love Maladroit. The band had all this momentuum, the green album had sold very well, everybody was happy that they were back. So Rivers, being a very prolific songwriter, was able to release Maladroit rather quickly. The band self produced the disc (I think), there was even a limited numbered series for the record (where I think the only thing limited to it was the numbering), and the disc didn't sell well enough. It was basically Pinkerton all over again. Maladroit has the pop goodness that was found on the green album, as well as some heavier, darker stuff - almost metal like in nature. In all it's a much more intimate album than the previous one.

8.8 out of 10

quarta-feira, fevereiro 14, 2007

606. Weezer - photograph

Unfortunately this cd is a waste of space, despite it's high import ticket price. Thankfully I got it for $2, or I'd be pissed. Contains the single and "Christmas Celebration", which was supposedly available on their website at one point for a free download.

2.8 out of 10

terça-feira, fevereiro 13, 2007

605. Weezer - weezer

Seems like history was repeating itself. Weezer returns with another 30+ minute self titled record filled with short powerful pop songs, again produced by The Car's Ric Ocasek - the only difference really was the new bass player, and the green background cover. Sure the songs are different from the blue album - they're tighter, less experimental, sometimes catchier but not necessarily better. Regardless it was great to finally have the band back especially behind the 'Spy Hunter' esque single "Hash Pipe", an instant classic.

8.9 out of 10

segunda-feira, fevereiro 12, 2007

604. Weezer - pinkerton

I remember going to Best Buy with Doug when this came out and him asking me to front him the money for this cd - I didn't and feel bad to this day. He eventually got it, and we heard it together later that day, but still that was sort of mean of me. Sorry Doug. Pinkerton, a short record by many standards, is a perfect exercise in pop rock smart ass angst. It's heavier than the blue album, it's lyrics have a greater bite and in all is a better record. The commercial failure of the disc postponned its follow up indefinitely, with Rivers putting the band on hold... luckily they got back together five years later.

9.4 out of 10

"Goddamn you half-japanese girls,
Do it to me every time"

domingo, fevereiro 11, 2007

603. Weezer - weezer

Easily one of the best record's from the 1990's... Cuomo sang the lyrics we wish we could write and played it better than we'd ever be able to in songs that were perfectly pop - short, catchy, bright and brilliant. Pick it up if you were born after 1994 or you just got to W in the record store.

9.1 out of 10

In the Garage

602. The Wrens - the meadowlands

"The Meadowlands" is simply brilliant. After 6 years or so these guys from New Jersey, in their forties, finally finished their follow up to the well received 1996 Secaucus... and thanks to Pitchfork, the album was heard by many and hailed by critics... and rightfully so - the album is perfect from start to finish (well actually the last track is complete trash, the only blemish on the track list).

9.8 out of 10

Everyone Chooses Sides

terça-feira, fevereiro 06, 2007

601. The Wrens - secaucus

I just picked this up last week. It took me a while because the band was caught in record label limbo with this 1995 disc stuck in a legal battle - their then label folded and Wind-Up (home to such shit as Creed) purchased the label and sat on this release for ages - making any remaing copies worth a bundle on ebay. If you went to the band's shows they had cd-r versions for sale. Well finally it was released this year. Was it worth the wait? Sure. I loved 'Meadowlands', so I was anxiously waiting to hear this and it's sort of all over the place - part punk, pop, and soul - but always filled with harmonies and melody. I've heard it about four times and obviously haven't lived with it long, so my rating may indeed change...

7.3 out of 10

domingo, fevereiro 04, 2007

600. BOB MOULD - the last dog and pony show

When you've listened to an artist long enough you start to feel as if they are a friend of yours that's in a band. A band that you're sort of tired of seeing, and hearing their new material, but you do it anyway for the moral and financial support. Well Bob Mould's solo career has had more misses than hits and I picked this up based on the sound of a track I heard called "New #1". It reminded me of the old Sugar and I felt like helping a friend out by picking up his latest cd. This release is pretty much that - an album by an old friend who sometimes hits on a certain moment that reminds you of a different time.

6.4 out of 10

599. Sugar - besides

Again, Chad, Doug and I ran out to get this... we were at the mall, Chad or Doug was trying on Airwalks when we realized the disc came with a bonus cd of an entire live performance. And it's that disc that makes this such a great package... the b-sides are much like any other band's b-sides: they're either interesting, precious, disposable and/or annoying... but if you are a Sugar fan this is worth it for the live disc. Check out the live version of "The Slim", which is goose bump inducing, and almost a complete departure from the original.

7.9 out of 10

The Slim [Live]

598. Sugar - file under easy listening

I remember rushing to the store with Chad or Doug (or both) to get this when it came out. We weren't disappointed, but the album didn't have the same impact as Copper Blue, probably because it don't break any new ground... but more of the same from Sugar was good enough news. "Gift", "Your Favorite Thing" and "Explode and Make Up" are still great.

8.2 out of 10

597. Sugar - beaster

This ep was released to hold us over until the follow up to Copper Blue came out. And it did. The ep was surprisingly heavier than Copper Blue, and except for the train wreck of "Feeling Better", it's a solid release.

7.7 out of 10

596. Sugar - copper blue

Perfect - layered, manicured, glistening pop. This album, released back in 1992, was the solo/new band project from former Husker-Du man Bob Mould. They're a power pop trio, but stack enough sounds on top of one another that they sound cult size. A truly great record, and Amazon has 94 of em' new or used starting at $1.97. This was a definite soundtrack to my last year in high school, and it helped me make some great life long friends in college (one of them, Doug, is still missing. Have you seen him?)

9.8 out of 10

sábado, fevereiro 03, 2007

595. Frank Black - teenager of the year

This album sounds very much like the debut of an established artist - it has many tracks that are all over the place... while it's clear that Frank Black is a highly prolific writer that doesn't keep his stuff from being very hit or miss. Still fans of the Pixies should at least borrow some of his stuff since there are moments of brilliance.

6.7 out of 10