sexta-feira, outubro 31, 2008

833. Radiohead - Street Spirit (Fade Out) Single #1

This is why we buy Radiohead singles... two great tracks that only add to the greatness of the band, especially during 'the bends' sessions. Contains the title track plus 'Talk Show Host' and 'Bishop's Robes'.

7.1 out of 10

quinta-feira, outubro 30, 2008

832. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees Single#2

831. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees Single#1

Most Radiohead fans collect the band's singles since their of such high quality - even if they are farting around you want to hear that Radiohead fart. The title track here is backed with the great interesting 'India Rubber' and plain acoustic 'How Can You Be Sure?'.

6.4 out of 10

India Rubber

830. Radiohead - The Bends

What a leap forward the band took with this disc... it covers so much ground and so well, expanding the upon shallow ground of brit pop found on 'Pablo'... it also starts to show the band's personality and experimentation. There's a group of people out there who prefer this lp over 'OK Computer' - I think the bends is great but that's just crazy now...

7.4 out of 10

quarta-feira, outubro 29, 2008

829. Radiohead - Itch EP

This Japanese release bridges the gap between 'Pablo' and 'The Bends'. It includes live versions of 'Killer Cars', 'Vegetable', 'You' and 'Creep', along with alternate versions of 'Stop Whispering' and 'Thinking about you' - plus the new tracks 'Faithless, The Wonder Boy' and 'Banana Co.'. It's a nice ep to have but not worth paying above $10 - so if you get it, get it cheap.

6.4 out of 10

828. Radiohead - Pablo Honey

I've been dying to get here (on the blog that is) - Radiohead is, as with many, one of my favorite bands - for a simple reason: they compose music better than anybody else.

With this debut though they certainly didn't have that title - everything is a bit off: the art work, the songs, Thom's voice, etc.

So the positives:

"You" hints at the potential behind the band, and their disposition to odd time signatures.
"Creep" is, regardless of what anyone says, a great song. Yes it was overplayed, and pigeon holed the band, but it was still good
"Stop Whispering" starts as a standard pop track, but ends in melodic chaos - a frenzy Radiohead would later master
"Blow Out" also hints that there's more in store for Radiohead than predictable pop.

The rest of the LP is just that though: predictable, always being polite and playing it safe.

5.8 out of 10

segunda-feira, outubro 13, 2008

827. Coldplay - Live 2003

This is a 2 disc set - one DVD and a live CD. A lot of these combos come out now which seem like a good idea except that the live cd is usually too short compared to the live DVD - tracks are missing, or the other issue is that the tracks are taken from various shows and lumped onto a collage of a live album. The whole point of the original live album was to take the listener to the concert he or she missed - so the album was a double - it had intro's, intermissions, drum solos, banter, etc. This live disc is shorter than the video dvd and sounds rushed. Still it manages to capture Coldplay at a time which they may never be at again in terms of critical and commercial popularity. They also sound very 80's here reminding me of a-ha when I saw them in 87 or so (bootleg copies of coldplay shows have Martin doing a version of 'hunting high and low' - and I think I heard him pulling some simple minds into a track, maybe 'moses'. Either way it's an ok cd and dvd for the matter - you're fine without it and slightly amused with it.

7 out of 10

826. Coldplay - The Scientist

I got so into "rush of..." that I picked up this single for the b-sides (used of course!). The track is backed with "1.36", a short, guitar heavy track that's a breath of fresh coming from Coldplay and "I ran away", a loose 'ambient rock' track that Coldplay do so well.

7 out of 10

825. Coldplay - A rush of blood to the head

If there is one way to make a mass audience pop album it's this way. "A rush of..." is probably one of the best crafted commercial albums ever put out - and it does so with one easy formula: every track counts. All the songs are good - the melodies, quiet or loud(ish) have great hooks and you can't help but give in. Even Gwenyth gave in! It was also a great follow up because it surpasses "Parachutes' at every level: in scope, concept, structure and production. I never heard the follow up "X/Y" but I suspect that it never should have been released as is - there were too many weak links. There isn't a track on here that sounds like a b-side. I remember reading something where Martin was at the Capital offices and he was played "All Things Must Pass" and he insisted that Coldplay only release something that aspired to be as great and important.

8.9 out of 10

824. Coldplay - Trouble (Norwegian Live EP)

This ep contains five live tracks from their debut album - the tracks are again solid live versions but fail to build up any sort of excitement. Maybe it's the Norwegian crowd's fault.

5 out of 10

823. Coldplay - Trouble

This single is backed with "Brothers and Sisters" and a radio acoustic performance of "Shiver" on Jo Whitely. The "Brothers" track is a great example of that 80's brit sound that has been 'coldplayed'...

5 out of 10

Brothers and Sisters

822. Coldplay - yellow

The ever deteriorating 'Yellow' is backed with the acoustic, quiet "Help Is Around The Corner" and REM inspired "No More Keeping My Feet On The Ground"... not bad, but not great.

5 out of 10

821. Coldplay - Parachutes

This was a solid debut effort for a band that was instantly (and unrealistically) compared to Radiohead, in a very negative way. "Yellow" was played everywhere nonstop and the band was either going to break out on their next release or turn into another boring band. What coldplay does well is capture that 80's brit pop feel and reinterpret it into something that seems more complex.

6.9 out of 10

sexta-feira, outubro 10, 2008

820. Travis - 12 Memories

This record also reminds me of a specific moment. I had come into work and was feeling very sick - with 30 minutes I realized I had to leave or things were going to get much worse. I left, and went underground to grab a train - it was taking forever and being underground in the heat was making matters worse - so I walked home from 23rd to 78th and listened to this for the first time.

The album marks the departure of Nigel Godrich and was produced by the band. It's also political - the war in Iraq had started, and the war in Afghanistan was well underway.

I give the band credit for walking away from the safe pop of before and going somewhere a tad darker, with a less polished sound.

7 out of 10

819. Travis - Flowers in the Window (disc 2)

So I got my 'Invisible Band' cd through BMG and the initial release had bonus tracks. I thought that picking up this CD single would help complete the missing tracks. I knew that "Here comes the Sun" is a beatles track (why do bands bother?) and sadly 'a little bit of soul' was not one of them.

For the record the two other tracks were:
"Ring Out the Bell" (U.S. version hidden track)
"You Don't Know What I'm Like" (U.S. version hidden track)

2.4 out of 10

quinta-feira, outubro 09, 2008

818. Travis - The Invisible Band

This cd has specific memories for me too. When I first arrived in new york I started freelancing where I currently work - and this was one of the cds that was constantly played - sadly we don't even play cds anymore (a side effect of the ipod).

On this sophmore release the band start shedding their 'layered' sound for a more traditional pop set up. It's not a bad progression, but it is one that unfortuantely is setting them up for being heavily played on VH1.

Munhi, Laura and Jeannie this one is for you.

7 out of 10

quarta-feira, outubro 08, 2008

817. Travis - Turn

Yet another single - this one I picked up for the cover version of "baby one more time" by britney...

6 out of 10

Baby One More Time [Live]

816. Travis - Driftwood Single 2

Normally I hate it when a band covers oldies because oldies are pretty perfect as is - but they make a valid attempt at 'Be My Baby' and 'Where Is The Love'. What I really like though is the 'Writing To Reach You (Deadly Avenger's Bayou Blues Mix)' - it's not a radical reinterpretation, but different enough to appreciate.

5.4 out of 10

terça-feira, outubro 07, 2008

815. Travis - Driftwood Single 1

Something weird happened here. I bought both of these singles cheaply, and the first has a certain tracklist written on the insert and the another list on the disc itself. There are three live tracks, 'the fear', 'why does it...' and 'driftwood' - the live versions are solid but unremarkable.

3.7 out of 10

814. Travis - The Man Who

Funny how certain cd's are so particular to a certain place and time. For me 'The Man Who' reminds me of:

1. chad, me and Connors sitting down at the cd aisle at best buy discussing what we were going to get
2. my nissan altima
3. a fascination with writing reviews and making lists on Amazon

The disc has many great moments although some of them sound a bit dated - it does sound like a world getting smaller, noises becoming more familiar and themes more common - it was 2000, I was younger, things seemed more possible, but I am undoubtedly happier now.

7.6 out of 10

sexta-feira, outubro 03, 2008

813. Gomez - Shot Shot (Single 2)

Gomez was another band I was always curious about. The had a slew of great single/album covers (go here and scroll towards the bottom) and were British which also makes them a tad interesting... so I picked up this single, dirt cheap of course, and I'm glad I didn't spend more than $1. Three tracks - one that's sort of noisy/distortion filled, another pop folky and the last just pop bad.

As sammy g would say - no me gusta.

2.9 out of 10

quinta-feira, outubro 02, 2008

812. Arab Strap - Elephant Shoe

Here at least the band is playing around a bit more - drum machines, keyboards and a more electro ambient sound makes for a much more interesting release. There is a certain appeal to this guy always singing about being heartbroken, broke or drunk.

5.5 out of 10

811. Arab Strap - Mad for Sadness

I was always curious about the arab strap (partly due to the belle and sebastian album) - so I came across two of their cd's for $5 each and figured why not. This live cd captures the band at their best and unintentional worst. You see, one of the main song writing patterns behind the band is this spoken word technique coupled with a meandering jam sound to accompany the narrative - of course it all builds up and explodes. While it doesn't sound bad I just can't identify with the structure or voice that much - it's interesting to listen to, but only once. The 'Twilight Sad' seem to take this principle and blow it up in a much more engaging way.

4.3 out of 10

Girls Of Summer

quarta-feira, outubro 01, 2008

810. South - with the tides

As I mentioned in my previous post that at some point in my life I actually liked this band's previous album - so when I came across this used I immediately picked it up. It is an improvement from "here on in" - it's tighter, more focused, a bit louder, but if I lost the cd I wouldn't miss it, and that's what you want every cd in your collection to possess: the melancholy of loss.

4.9 out of 10