terça-feira, dezembro 30, 2008

882. DJ SHADOW - endtroducing...

I 'discovered' this fairly late in life - to me some of it sounds dated ever so slightly, but as a whole it's a pretty amazing album especially in the manner with which it was constructed, if I had heard it when it first came out I would definitely hold it in a much higher regard. But it is a must have or at least a must listen for any music fan.

8.2 out of 10

881. UNKLE - Psyence fiction

This side project from DJ Shadow features a ton of guests, most notably Thom Yorke. The songs are very cinematic, voice over heavy, sound effects friendly and to an extent 90's sounding... at the time it was very fresh but now feels just a bit underwhelming...

7.2 out of 10

segunda-feira, dezembro 22, 2008

880. Portishead - Roseland, NYC, Live

This must have been a pretty amazing show to have seen - all of Portishead's intricate sounds are replicated in a stark, quite venue in the city and the crowd is beyond thankful.

8.1 out of 10

quarta-feira, dezembro 17, 2008

879. Portishead - Portishead

This second release should really have been called "Dummy Part 2". It continues on what the previous LP started, at times building on it and others diluting it making yourself wonder if someone is going to yell out 'Goldfingeeer' at some point - a little less cinema is needed and a bit more soul.

7.5 out 10

terça-feira, dezembro 16, 2008

878. Portishead - Dummy

This is such an iconic release - coming out way back in 1994 it created something that everyone wanted but weren't able to at the time - the progress made in home recording equipment has given way to many imitators but every note, melody and sound effect is so carefully placed and sung that it's impossible to replicate. It's part cinema noir, part hangover, part electronic all with a deep soul.

8.2 out of 10

sexta-feira, dezembro 12, 2008

877. Massive Attack - Mezzanine

I was obsessed with getting this cd back in the day mainly because it was such a mystery to me - the cover was great, the name of the band was cool and I couldn't find any of the tracks online (back then if you weren't on Napster you couldn't find anything easily)... I was also adamant about getting it used which I eventually did in 2003.

It is a solid trip hop album that laid the foundation for many more to come - it rarely sounds dated and doesn't repeat itself too often which seems like a problem for many lps from this genre. Unfortunately a few years back Teardrop started to get heavy play on tv ads and shows which always ruins a song for me...

7.3 out of 10

sexta-feira, dezembro 05, 2008

876. Tricky - Angels With Dirty Faces

This follow up to a promising debut falls short. A few tracks are pretty good, especially the PJ track, but many songs are yawn inducing...

You can also get a used version on Amazon for $.01.

6.2 out of 10

quinta-feira, dezembro 04, 2008

875. Tricky - Maxinquaye

This was one of the first trip hop cds I got (along with Dummy) - Chad introduced this to me with the mention of the Pumpkins sample. What Tricky lacks in vocal range he makes up for in style - when signing he mainly just whispers or mumbles like a cigarette crackling. Bringing in other vocalists saves the album from being a 'good start' to 'well done'... the album manages to keep itself very interesting and to me is his best release so far.

fuck you in,
tuck you in,
suck you in.

8 out of 10

874. The Beta Band - Hot Shots 2

Hot Shots 2 is a more concentrated, focused effort from the band and starts off very promising with "Squares", but somewhere towards the middle it starts to lose steam. By the end with "Won" we are reminded why we like them so much, it's a shame we have to get somewhat bored first.

And, these guys should be here.

7.2 out of 10

873. The Beta Band - The Beta Band

This proper full length debut is quite the mother load - impossible to take in all at once unless you are in the mood for a bender. It almost suffers from too many ideas, overwhelming and popping into a mess... still it's fun though.

7.5 out of 10

872. The Beta Band - The Three E.P.'s

I'm not sure The Beta Band really belong in here, but oh well. The band creates a collage of sounds from live instrumentation, to break beats to film clips. This cd gathers three eps and you can hear where one would cut off and the other begin - overall it's a great way to get introduced to the band's music and sense of humor.

7.3 out of 10

B + A

terça-feira, dezembro 02, 2008


In the 90's electronic became the new sound - all sorts of variations came out of it, with acts reinventing themselves well (such as Everything but the Girl), heavier acts sounding sort of shy (Smashing Pumpkins) to artists really trying to expand the soundscape (like Bjork). Trip Hop which many say originated in Bristol was one of the more artistically engaging genres - it's cinematic, rough and able to mix in anything from anywhere if it fits the narrative.

871. The Doves - Some Cities

Today with the amount of mp3s floating around, itunes and blogs it's hard to focus on an album - it's easier to get instant gratification for free or 99 cents. Hell it's even hard to just concentrate - I can't read or watch tv without doing something else after 15 minutes. I started this blog because I couldn't find the time to listen to all the music I was getting, especially since my listening habit consisted of my commute to work and back home. This cd came out and I picked it up pretty quickly and heard it only once. Listening to it properly now I can tell why I put it down - it's a solid release but it doesn't progress as much as their second release did over the first. It has classic Doves moments that come across as expected rather than comforting but it also has a few moments that reminds you why like them to begin with.

7.4 out of 10

segunda-feira, dezembro 01, 2008

870. The Doves - There Goes the Fear

This a pretty great album - the band really expands the ground they claimed on 'Lost Souls' with a greater creative freedom, from the song writing to the producing, the tracks can be varied but with a purpose.
The single is backed with "Hit The Ground Running" (which is on the bonus disc of the regular lp, and sounds a lot like "werewolves of london" and two live tracks, "Here It Comes (Triple J Live At The Wireless)" and "Cedar Room (Triple J Live At The Wireless)", which are interesting at best.

5.1 out of 10

869. The Doves - The Last Broadcast

The Last Broadcast is a much more varied album than Lost Souls - the band is clearly more confident creatively and in the studio production wise. "There Goes The Fear" and "M62 Song" couldn't be more different, their only common ground being that they are back to back on the same album. One of my favourite tracks is "Pounding" which manages in the best 80's brit pop tradition to capture the end of the school year for me when I was 15 - exams were over, it was time to go to the beach, listen to records, watch movies and think about girls.

8.5 out of 10


868. The Doves - Catch the Sun

Even though my domestic release of Lost Souls had three extra tracks there are two on here that weren't on that cd, "Crunch" and "Lost In Watts" - both are instrumentals and lend themselves more to the dance sound of "Sub Sub" than the Doves - but still interesting.

6 out of 10

867. The Doves - Lost Souls

I'm glad that nowadays you don't have to blindly buy an album to only find out $15 later it sucks - music is cheaper now, and often free, so previewing is the norm, but when you did buy something based on a single video, or article or gut feeling and it turned out to be good, the feeling was pretty great. "Lost Souls" felt to me like a well kept secret - the album is grand and intimate as if made just for you. Rising from the ashes of 'Sub Sub' the Doves grabs the brilliance of brit pop and craft a melodic lush haze that hangs over, beneath and through the songs.

7.3 out of 10

Melody Calls

866. Elbow - Asleep in the Back Disc 2

Disc 2 contains more electronic tune: 'Coming Second' (Misery Lab Remix) & ' Puckfair'... both nice but not great.

5.1 out of 10