domingo, maio 13, 2007

690. R.E.M. - Songs that Are Live

"Captured" during their tour for Monster, this four track promotional ep shows that while it may have been a stressful tour it was a good one. Features "Tongue" and "Country Feedback".

6.7 out of 10

689. R.E.M. - crush with eyeliner

Here the single is backed with some classics: "Fall on me", "Me in honey" and "Finest Worksong" - all also recorded during the Athens gig.

7.1 out of 10

688. R.E.M. - bang and blame

The lead single is backed with three live songs: "Losing my religion", "Country Feedback" and "Begin the begin", all recorded at an Athens Georgia show.

6.4 out of 10

687. R.E.M. - strange currencies

More Athens Georgia songs, an off, butchered version of "Drive", a decent "Funtime" and a solid "Radio Free Europe".

5.3 out of 10

sábado, maio 12, 2007

686. R.E.M. - monster

This was Berry's last proper album with the band ('New Adventures' was recorded on the road and therefore in my opinion less calculated) and what an odd album it turned out to be. I remember many people were excited for the release of this record, as was I, and after a couple of listens I was a bit perplexed... the band sounded heavier, louder, dirtier, more rock n' roll... I tried to really get into this album, listening to it often (it takes me back instantly) but I never felt like the sound was a good fit for REM - they didn't need to be grungy to be good...

6.8 out of 10

685. R.E.M. - man on the moon

Standard single release by the band... contains "Turn You Inside-Out" and a Robyn Hitchcock cover, "Arms of Love".

5.2 out of 10

684. R.E.M. - everybody hurts

Lead Single backed with "Mandolin Strum", an instrumental, which sounds like an outtake from "Out of Time" given all the mandolin, a live version of "Belong", a great, great live version of "Orange Crush".

5.9 out of 10

683. R.E.M. - automatic box

I actually just got this a couple years back used. Four cds are broken down into four loose categories, Disc 1 - Vocal Tracks, Disc 2 - Instrumental Tracks, Disc 3 - Cover Versions and Disc 4 - B Sides. Each cd only has 5 tracks on it, so it's really a waste of space and plastic. Having said that, some stand out tracks include "Star Me Kitten (Demo)", "Organ Song" and "Pop Song 89 (Acoustic)". This is really for the hardcore fan only.

6 out of 10

682. R.E.M. - night swimming

Before I had the internet I spent most of my time and energy (and money) on buying existing music from artists that I loved. Sure I was open to new bands but at the same time I made sure I gobbled up all I could by other artists I knew and adored. REM was one of them... this single includes three live tracks that are all acoustic; "World Leader Pretend", "Belong" and "Low". None are remarkable, but are noteworthy, especially if you're a fan.

6.4 out of 10

681. R.E.M. - automatic for the people

I love this disc. It was one of REM's most consistent sounding albums and often criticized as being too dark, when slightly melancholy is really more appropriate... "Out of Time" was a high school album for me, and "AFTP" squarely places me in my dorm. I remember it took me a few listens to get into this record, but once I was in, I was in... everything seems perfectly placed in here: the themes, strings, keys, artwork... it's near perfect.

9.5 out of 10

680. R.E.M. - near wild heaven

I got this single because it contains three live tracks, "Tom's Diner", "Low", and "Endgame". "Tom's Diner" is really just an impromptu spoof, with Michael Stipe ad libbing to Mills' beatboxing - the funniest moment has to be when someone in the band yells out 'it's unbelievable' which immediately took me back to high school when EMF, Jesus Jones, etc., reigned...
The other two tracks offer classic live takes of two classic tracks.

6.4 out of 10

679. R.E.M. - out of time

It's funny how during 'Green' I was shyly leaving metal, but by 'out of time' my metal obsession had morphed into Nirvana, Pearl Jam, RHCP, Alice in Chains, Sonic Youth, etc... this album, by sheer impact on my musical persona alone deserves a 10. It came out at a time in my life when things were just starting to get complicated, or better yet the hazy playland my life was had started to end. From beginning to end (11 tracks only) the album is solid through and through, and surprisingly varied. Also, 'Losing my Religion' is not about losing your virginity.

9.1 out of 10

678. R.E.M. - green

"Green" is a classic album. I remember visiting the US and staying up late to watch MTV (back when they had Kids in Hall and a British comedy show with a punk guy). Anyway, the video for "Stand' came on and I felt guilty for liking it and the song because it wasn't metal... so eventually when I came back to Brazil I bought the tape, and in Brazil absolutely no money is put into the design of tapes (or albums for that matter, at least back then) - all it was was the square cover album cover reduced to fit on the rectangular cover, with the unused ares flooded in orange... no lyrics, photos or anything. Regardless, this album is amazing - it's varied and still completely solid and contains many classics, "Pop song 89", "Stand", "World Leader Pretend" and "Orange Crush".

9.3 out of 10

677. R.E.M. - essentials

I got this not too long ago, used. It contains some of the bonus tracks I have on my UK version of "Life's Rich Pagent" (my fault really for buying everything). Basically this is a collection of B-sides, live tracks, demos and even a medley. What I like about it is how early 80's it sounds. It's amazing how a lot of rock from that period - whether it was a Brazilian band or U2, all manage to have the same aura... check out the song below to hear what I mean.

7.1 out of 10


676. R.E.M. - eponymous

This album sums up all that REM accomplished on the IRS label, and it's pretty amazing to hear how solid of a career they had before the moved to Warner music. The disc includes "South Central Rain", "Radio Free Europe" (heard here in its original demo version), "The One I Love", "Fall On Me", "It's The End of The World" and other alternate takes. A great place to start if you want to skip over the IRS years (though you shouldn't).

8.8 out of 10

675. R.E.M. - lifes rich pageant

Ok, so now we're entering my REM section and you'll notice that I'm missing a couple of key records which I will eventually pick up on CD... LRP was the band's fourth release and it's a pretty amazing album. Stipes vocals are stronger than they'd had ever been up until that point and the band really begins to play with a certain confidence that wasn't really heard previously - arrangements, lyrics, choice of instruments were all coming from a band who knew what they wanted, whether it would work or not. Includes the classics 'Begin the Begin', 'These Days', 'Fall On Me' and 'Superman'... this reissue also contains six bonus tracks added, 'Tired Of Singing Trouble', 'Rotary Ten', their cover of Aerosmith's 'Toys In The Attic', 'Just A Touch' (Live In The Studio), their cover of the Everly Brothers hit 'Dream (All I Have To Do Is)' and 'Swan Swan H' (Acoustic).

7.6 out of 10

674. Randy Newman - sail away

David Byrne's site has a jukebox if you will that plays a different playlist every month curated by Byrne himself. I used to listen to it a lot and one day I heard this great, lyrically rich narrative of a song called "God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)". When I found out it was Randy Newman I was shocked. It's almost like when you first found out your parents did something bad when they were young. Here's this songwriter that I only knew as film composer, mainly for kids movies, to my amazement was a very solid pop lyricist and arranger.

7.4 out of 10

quinta-feira, maio 10, 2007

673. Bryan Ferry - Taxi

God this is awful. I inherited this too, and already threw it out. I've always been curious about Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music mainly because of this album cover (for obvious reasons) and the fact that Brian Eno was in the band at some point... but this stuff on here just sucks...

2.8 out of 10

672. Sting - Fields of gold

Something happened to Sting in the 90's... he became very comfortable and commercial... but his first two releases as a solo artist aren't that bad. I inherited this disc from my buddy Jorge and I'm going to keep it because it has enough tidbits to make me hum (though Fields of Gold makes me want to throw the whole disc out).

5.2 out of 10

terça-feira, maio 08, 2007

671. Sting - Bring on the night!

I remember getting this as a double tape back in the day and asking my buddy Emil if it was any good - he said "it's a bit like the Police, but much jazzier, so be careful"... well that's what I think he said, I was like 13 at the time. Sting enlisted an all star jazz band if you will (modern jazz) to play some new tracks and old Police ones... and it sounds like a very 80's show, filled with the showmanship (is that one word?), that one would expect... all in all though, I like it.

7.3 out of 10

segunda-feira, maio 07, 2007

670. The Police - live!

This double disc features two seperate shows. Both have an ok sound quality but the band is full of energy, ripping through each set, making any question of quality obsolete. It becomes clear here too how the Police were really a reggae band at heart but being a pop band to make ends meet and the result of this inner turmoil is great. What I also like about the current reunion is that unlike many old bands, they're touring just like they used to, as a three piece.

8.1 out of 10

quinta-feira, maio 03, 2007

669. Peter Gabriel - secret world

This sounds like Peter Gabriel in Las Vegas. Older bands seem to always get so many musicians and backing vocalists for their tours that everything sounds the same - there's no synergy, personality - they do their job but they sound like hired hands...
Peter has always been a mystery to me - I've never heard his Genesis stuff and am curious too since I've always associated them with Phil Collins and more importantly, I've always wanted to pick up his albums Scratch, Melt and Car because the covers seem so cool and I like the idea of albums being part of a trilogy, even if by design only. But this live disc sucks. Brother is getting it.

4.2 out of 10