sexta-feira, março 30, 2007

651. The Cardigans - gran turismo

Still spacey, and even more electronic this time... synths, drum machines, and effects help create a more melancholic setting for a band that could have been easily written off.

6.3 out of 10

650. The Cardigans - first band on the moon

I remember being in Best Buy with Chad when he picked this up, and I eventually followed suit... and how could I be faulted? Nina Persson's vocals are honey laced, floating over some sort of Scandinavian spacey pop, that at one minute sounds like Banana Republic store music fodder and at others new and refreshing. This record will always remind me of the internet boom, me trying to forge a new career... it will also remind me of my second year here at work since this was on repeat for ages.

6.4 out of 10

quinta-feira, março 29, 2007

649. Juliana Hatfield - become what you are

I first heard Juliana on the Lemonhead's "It's a shame about Ray" cd... here solo debut was probably her most successful, mainly due to the single "Sisiter", which I actually still like and works on many levels. The balance of the record is actualy decent - it swings pretty well between pop and minor fury making a sound that's eclectic yet not generic. Check out the "Sister" video in all of its 90's glory.

6.3 out of 10

quarta-feira, março 28, 2007

648. Throwing Muses - university

This is aperfectly good record. There's nothing really wrong with it. Kristin Hersh's vocals are solid, and the band plays pretty well - trying to keep the songs fresh, and interesting... but, unfortunately it's just too ordinary, too predictable and too dated. I never explored Throwing Muses past this disc and maybe I should have, but I honestly feel no desire to or even the will to revist this...

5.1 out of 10

647. Belly - feed the tree

Chad and I were in a pawn shop for some reason, and were surrounded by guns, tape decks and other certified crap... I guess I wa itching to buy something so I got this cd single. It features the single, plus a full band version of "Star" and two previously unavailable tracks. I never got into them before and still don't feel to inspired to do so - it's decent stuff though...

6.6 out of 10

terça-feira, março 27, 2007

646. The Breeders - last splash

I remember hearing "Pod", which I think came out when the Pixies were still together, and I wasn't floored... I'd be curious to hear it again since it featured Tanya Donelly, and I wonder what influence she had on the band. With Tanya out, and Deal's twin sister in, a post Pixies Breeders released their most successful album to date. Last Splash though, is a mixed bag - varying styles, sounds loosely kept together... it was a promising sophmore release, and although I never heard their third and last album, it's a shame that it was also their most successful.

7.0 out of 10

segunda-feira, março 26, 2007

645. Elastica - mad dog pt.2

Mmmm, a waste really. Two remixes of a mediocre song... chad's getting it.

2.9 out of 10

644. Elastica - six track ep

I'm not sure what path Elastica took after their debut cd but I give them credit for experimenting on this ep... the sounds seem pretty foreign for the band - male vocals, synth instrumentals, noisy demos... worthwhile if you're a big fan.

6.1 out of 10

quinta-feira, março 22, 2007

643. Elastica - elastica

Chad and Natalie are huge Elastica fans, and they, along with the "Car Song" single persuaded me to get this back in the day... I know the band had other releases, but if nI'm not mistaken, none of them matched the commercial success that this release had. The sound was a slight throwback to the brit neo punk movement in the early 80's (a bit more glam, less Sid Vicious) - in my opinion at least. While the record has it share of memorable moments of pop punk delight, it never really soars... but still it's a disc I'm glad to have.

On a side note, certain brit pop songs make me feel like I'm high school again (I did after all go to a british school). Granted the song below was released while I was in college, it still has a great nostalgic feel for me.

7.4 out of 10

Waking Up

quarta-feira, março 21, 2007

642. Heatmiser - mic city sons

I got this album because back in the day, before the internet, you didn't always discover an artist before they had a record deal... often they already had been playing for a while... so as I began to devour all that Elliot Smith was involved in after I heard "Either/Or" I worked my way back to Heatmiser his first band. This record feels like two seperate bands going at it in a duel, one band fronted by Elliot Smith and the other by Neil Gust... it was clear that Heatmiser was too small for Elliot.

8.5 out of 10

Plainclothes Man

641. Heatmiser - yellow no.5

I picked this up years after hearing (and loving) their final album. Unfortunately this EP is generic and pedestrian - not even really hinting to the genius that lied within the band.

4.3 out of 10

640. Fiona Apple - when the pawn...

The clear obvious difference between this album and her last was the addition of Jon Brion as a songwriter and producer... (I'm pretty sure he didn't direct Tidal). Brion's arrangements are cinematic to say the least - he has scored numerous films for Paul Thomas Anderson (Fiona's then boyfriend). Brion elevates her sound from a 'more charismatic Joss Stone' to a full fledged artist with a creative voice worth listening to.

7.9 out of 10

segunda-feira, março 19, 2007

639. Fiona Apple - Criminal

Another one of my 99 cent bin purchases... I had heard her full length but wasn't that impressed with it, but I did like this song and the Mark Romanek video (I think)... includes a live version of "Sleep to Dream".

5.3 out of 10

638. Jen Trynin - cockamamie

Well Jen is trying but her sound unfortunately gets old quick. It's heavy, and she did have her moment with "Better Than Nothing" (I think that was the single)... but overall she sounds like a studio made grunge pop star, which I am sure wasn't the case.

3.4 out of 10

sábado, março 17, 2007

637. Liz Phair - whitechocolatespaceegg

Poor Liz got torn apart for this release (in hindsight not as much as she did for her last two releases)... and, I understand why. The album is poppy, rather polished and her lyrics are open letters of adoration to her boyfriend. Now, there isn't anything wrong with this in my opinion, especially when some of the songs do indeed work well on their own - but if you were one of the many that identified with her because of her 'Guyville' sentiments then you will be let down by her 'I'm happy now' lyrics.

6.4 out of 10

636. Liz Phair - whip-smart

This was my first LP record, and I remember seeing the video for "Supernova", not being terribly impressed and asking someone "who's this" and the person replied "That's Liz Phair man!" (such groundbreaking writing on this blog, no?). Well even with that guy's enthusiasm I still wasn't sold... the one thing I really like about this disc is that it reminds me of college, a time when I actually watched MTV. I also remember a lot of people having a hard time with Liz actually falling for a guy and getting over her temporary frustrations... also note that it features a re recorded version of "Jealousy".

6.9 out of 10

635. Liz Phair - exile in guyville

Here's my problem with the record: as I've mentioned before I am more drawn to the music in a song than the lyrics... and while there are some great songs on this record, there are plenty of introspective, guitar only, demoish sounding songs that lack, musically at least, variation, rhythm and depth. But when she's on (as heard below), she's on. In any event this is considered to many a classic and what launched the female rock movement in the 90's - which to a degree isn't fair because that implies that every other girl who was rocking didn't contribute to the scene.

7.9 out of 10


634. Liz Phair - juvenilia

Liz is at her best when she's heard on headphones, playing to an audience of one. She herself has stated she suffers from serious stage fright, and it seems that the less 'showy' her songs are, the more interesting they are as well. This ep was released in 1995 and I'm not sure why or when I got it... but the songs here are not worth tracking down unless you are a hardcore fan of hers... with that said, I like the disc enough to keep it but not enough to recommend it. Songs like "Jealousy", "Animal Girl" and "Batmobile" are classic Phair songs in that they carry her signature candor and don't take themselves too seriously.

5.2 out of 10

sexta-feira, março 16, 2007

633. Cake Like - Bruiser Queen

Pizzcato Five has a cd with "Music is Organized by Sound" written on its cover... and my problem with this disc is that the sounds aren't organized in the best manner. Sure it may be very creative manner in terms of measures, breaks and melodies - but when lined up and layered it just doesn't hit me like it should. Chad introduced me to these NYU alumni, and he had caught them performing on The State which was a MTV or Comedy Central show... one of the singers was a cast member of that show (she's now on Reno 911), and to a small extent that didn't help me either... it's like when Eddie Murphy sang "Party all the time" with Rick James - I wanted to laugh when I heard his voice, yet he wasn't saying anything funny... yeah I'm conditioned, like a dog. Though they nobly try to invoke the greater moments of Fugazi, Shudder to Think and any other DC punk band, Cake Like just doesn't cut it.

4.5 out of 10

quinta-feira, março 15, 2007

632. Sleater-Kinney - the woods

Fuzz. This record sounds like it was filtered and recorded through fuzz - it's sounds thick, loud and live. It's has to be their grungiest album to date, and it's even on Sub-Pop! If it sounded completely like the song below it would be a masterpiece. Unfortunately for now it's going to be the closest thing to their masterpiece since they broke up last year...

8.5 out of 10


631. Sleater-Kinney - one beat

One Beat combines the pop punk melodies with the harder stuff that I mentioned earlier... it's a near perfect album. The album, as with many others that came out in 03, centers around our current administration, 9/11 and the war in Iraq... the main difference here is that SK manage to address these issues in an often clever, not so obvious way. Check out the great, great title track below, it sounds like a warm up song for a riot.

8.3 out of 10

One Beat

sexta-feira, março 09, 2007

630. Sleater-Kinney - all hands on the bad one

I didn't get into SK until 2003 or so with "One Beat", and then worked my way back to this record. It's clear that the band is setting itself onto a heavier, louder path. Still on this release one can find many "wah uh ohhh" moments, that are near perfect punk rock harmonies... it's just not my thing really. But I do dig the harder stuff and especially when the two are combined.

7.6 out of 10

quinta-feira, março 08, 2007

629. PJ Harvey - itunes originals

This is basicaly a "VH1 Storytellers" but for iTunes, and instead of all the tracks being recorded live in session only 6 out of the 10 tracks are. But the real reason why you'd buy this on iTunes for $10 is for the 10 commentary tracks that set up each song. See below for a for instance. Worthwhile if you are a fan...

8.3 out of 10

terça-feira, março 06, 2007

628. PJ Harvey - peel sessions

John Peel was a big supporter of PJ's from the start and I guess she was very moved by his sudden death. She hand picked these songs from various radio sessions ranging from 1991-2004. At first I thought a box set was being released with each session including interviews. These 12 tracks are I suppose a 'best of' to my fictional box set. The songs are all played perfectly but you can tell not effortlessly - and that's what makes them worth listening to.

7.9 out of 10

627. PJ Harvey - bsides

More underwear! This disc collects all the bsides from "uh huh her" with the exception of the "Shame" cd and 7" single (featuring the songs "97 degrees" and "dance"). The six tracks here are great and work well with the previous release, especially "The Phone Song", which sounds like a drawn out dream you had while napping as a teenager. Also included is the four track version of "Who the Fuck" which made me appreciate and finally really like the song...

7.6 out of 10

segunda-feira, março 05, 2007

627. PJ Harvey - uh huh her

When this came out it was easily one of my least fave PJ records... I was hoping for something that followed more in the foot path that "Storie from..." had started - but as you know PJ rarely repeats herself. "Uh huh her" is loud, abrasive, unpolished - the drums are floating along with the songs, never anchoring them. Her vocals are growling, high and annoyingly straight forward. The tracks feel as if they were recorded in one take - she plays everything with the exception of the drums. Even the cover photo is set up as if she took it herself. Having spent more time with the album I realize that I was too quick to judge - it's filled with great, intricate moments, and some very simple, powerful ones too... needless to say I've grown quite fond of it.

8 out of 10

domingo, março 04, 2007

626. PJ Harvey - rarities

If you keep looking, you can find anything. When this came out with a magazine (Fader) I was obsessed with finding it, but didn't have much luck. I even was often at events put on by the same marketing firm that produces the Fader and would ask for somebody to hook me up with a copy, but with no luck. Then, in a used bin my luck changed. Contains the UK only release of "This Wicked Tongue", plus KCRW and Fallout Shelter session versions of "Big Exit", "30", "66 Promises" and "This is Love". The disc also features two videos for "Good Fortune" and "A Place called Home".

7.4 out of 10

625. PJ Harvey - this is love

What did I say about the underwear? Nothing new on this cd single outside of the excellent BBC live studio session of "A place called home" recorded on the "Lamacq Live" show.

6.5 out of 10

624. PJ Harvey - A place called home

I love the cover to this (and the inside sleeve too)... PJ has a thing for posing in her underwear, and thankfully we get to see it. Includes the single plus, "As close as this" and "My own private revolution", again decent tracks that I am happy were released.

6.2 out of 10

623. PJ Harvey - good fortune

This is CD 1 of a two part set. Tracks include the single, "66 Promises" and "Memphis", which are both excellent and could have easily made onto the album.

6.8 out of 10

sexta-feira, março 02, 2007

622. PJ harvey - stories from the city, stories from the sea

This is a near perfect album. I remeber reading an interview in which she states that she wanted to make a more polished sounding record - clean and crisp... and very much did, with songs clearly talking about New York and others evoking her homebase (which is near the sea I presume). The only reason why I am docking 0.2 points is because I expected more from the marriage between Thom Yorke and PJ - the song is lethargic and I am a sucker for boy/girl dueting which they never seem to really do.

9.8 out of 10