Albums of 2017

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babydoll
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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby babydoll » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:49 pm

Romain wrote:Baby alone in Babylone

I won't be lying. For a second, I thought you were having a stroke typing that out. Thank God for Google.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Romain » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:16 pm

babydoll wrote:
Romain wrote:Baby alone in Babylone

I won't be lying. For a second, I thought you were having a stroke typing that out. Thank God for Google.


Why that? :P

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby babydoll » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:36 pm

Romain wrote:
babydoll wrote:
Romain wrote:Baby alone in Babylone

I won't be lying. For a second, I thought you were having a stroke typing that out. Thank God for Google.


Why that? :P

Baby. Alone. Babylone. It seemed like the gibberish I've heard stroke patients say. Sorry.

I didn't even know Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin collaborated after their separation. Guess I now know, huh?

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby jamieW » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:04 am

Romain wrote:The Pigeon Detectives - Broken Glances 9 Alt-j, Django Django, Electric Guest (the first album), Glass Animals, Portugal The Man, Moodoïd… if you like one of these bands, you will likes these new birds! I particulary like the guitarist. (Best song: Munro)


I just listened to this and really enjoyed it - thanks for the recommendation!

Also, I agree with your assessment of The XX album. I was a big fan of the first two, but they lost me with this one.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Romain » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:59 am

jamieW wrote:
Romain wrote:The Pigeon Detectives - Broken Glances 9 Alt-j, Django Django, Electric Guest (the first album), Glass Animals, Portugal The Man, Moodoïd… if you like one of these bands, you will likes these new birds! I particulary like the guitarist. (Best song: Munro)


I just listened to this and really enjoyed it - thanks for the recommendation!

Also, I agree with your assessment of The XX album. I was a big fan of the first two, but they lost me with this one.


De nada Jamie... I just heard for the third time this morning an album that can please you, the new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah ... it's a "merveille" ! A top 10 (top 5..top 3 maybe?) on the end of the year for sure. Impressive.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nassim » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:21 pm

I have only heard 3 albums that made a lasting impression so far (considering RTJ3 is 2016 obviously) :

Sampha - Process
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
Vagabon - Infinite Worlds

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Vagabon so far, despite good reviews from AVclub, Pitchfork and others. Reminds me a bit of Hop Along's Painted Shut who also good overlooked a bit. I could say it's interesting for being an indie rock albums where a black woman plays all the instruments but honestly it's just that it's an album full of great melodies, elegant lyrics, cool riffs and songs that dare to change their course midway.
Try the first 2 tracks, one rocks out, the other is gentle and delicate ; if you don't like them there's not much use of going further, but if you love them well, the rest of the album delivers along the same lines.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nick » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:01 pm

The new Mount Eerie album, which is absolutely fantastic by the way, currently has a 96 on Metacritic from 15 critics.

Expect a new AOTY on the next MCCh.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby notbrianeno » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:34 pm

Rumor has it Fever Ray will release a new album in October!
Current AOTY 2017: St. Vincent | MASSEDUCTION
Current SOTY 2017: Björk | "Body Memory"

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby jamieW » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:00 pm

Romain wrote:
jamieW wrote:
Romain wrote:The Pigeon Detectives - Broken Glances 9 Alt-j, Django Django, Electric Guest (the first album), Glass Animals, Portugal The Man, Moodoïd… if you like one of these bands, you will likes these new birds! I particulary like the guitarist. (Best song: Munro)


I just listened to this and really enjoyed it - thanks for the recommendation!

Also, I agree with your assessment of The XX album. I was a big fan of the first two, but they lost me with this one.


De nada Jamie... I just heard for the third time this morning an album that can please you, the new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah ... it's a "merveille" ! A top 10 (top 5..top 3 maybe?) on the end of the year for sure. Impressive.


I'll check it out, Romain. (I definitely need to listen to that Serge/Jane tribute, too. That one sounds very intriguing.)

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby prosecutorgodot » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:12 pm

notbrianeno wrote:Rumor has it Fever Ray will release a new album in October!

Oooh, exciting! Where'd you hear this?

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby notbrianeno » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:07 pm

prosecutorgodot wrote:
notbrianeno wrote:Rumor has it Fever Ray will release a new album in October!

Oooh, exciting! Where'd you hear this?



According to a Knife fans Facebook page, a Russian guy on instagram who owned Fever Ray as a username was contacted by Karin herself by direct message asking for the username, said she'd give him a copy of the album when it came out in October. Screenshots are up on the Facebook page
Current AOTY 2017: St. Vincent | MASSEDUCTION
Current SOTY 2017: Björk | "Body Memory"

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby prosecutorgodot » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:05 pm

notbrianeno wrote:
prosecutorgodot wrote:
notbrianeno wrote:Rumor has it Fever Ray will release a new album in October!

Oooh, exciting! Where'd you hear this?



According to a Knife fans Facebook page, a Russian guy on instagram who owned Fever Ray as a username was contacted by Karin herself by direct message asking for the username, said she'd give him a copy of the album when it came out in October. Screenshots are up on the Facebook page


Alright, I did see this already. Hopefully it's true!

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Jirin » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:50 pm

Current leaders:

1) Ty Segall - Ty Segall
2) The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir
3) Elbow - Little Fictions
4) Dirty Projectors - Dirty Projectors
5) Avec le Soleil Sortant de sa Bouche - Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much
6) Ron Gallo - Heavy Meta
7) Sampra - Process
8) Austra - Future Politics
9) Jesca Hoop - Memories Are Now
10) Japandroids - Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

Potiential to enter top ten:
Rhiannon Giddens - Freedom Highway
Laura Marling - Super Femina
Xiu Xiu - FORGET

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby PlasticRam » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:09 am

Weird how Dylan keeps getting over 80 Metacritic while dropping cover albums. Triplicate 84/100 currently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triplicate_(Bob_Dylan_album)

http://www.metacritic.com/music/triplicate/bob-dylan

I mean I actually have the two previous cover albums both on my all-time list, so I guess I myself shouldn't be too surprised. 7 minutes in listening to the new one, it's a pleasant album. Might give it 4 stars and in that case it would make my all-time list.

Edit: It's actually just a 30-minute sampler of the album that I'm listening to, so I can't rate it definitively yet.

It is a conscious step back to cover these old songs. I do hope he returns to original material at some point cos I think Dylan can still be ecletic if he wants to.
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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nick » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:27 pm

Jens Lekman- Life Will See You Now

After a 5 year hiatus Lekman returns with a new studio album, Life Will See You Now. Lekman's voice has this slight, otherworldly quality to it that really stands out to me (and is bolstered by his Swedish accent) and gives all of the songs here a nice touch. Life Will See You Now is a pop album through and through, and it maybe gets a little too poppy for its own good, frequently detouring into dance tracks that leave the album a little disjointed. But Lekman's skill for pop playfulness has a chance to shine when he's focused more on crafting something a little more indie oriented, like on the beautiful "Hotwire the Ferris Wheel".

Verdict: Good (7/10)

Julia Holter- In the Same Room

I've been dying for some new material from Julia Holter after her amazing 2015 album Have You in My Wilderness. While this new album of hers contains no new material, it's enough to tide me over for the time being. In the Same Room is a collection of Holter's live interpretations of her past material, most of which is culled from that aforementioned studio album. The songs here are, at their core, still great. After all, it's pretty hard to mess up a song as incredible as "Feel You". And the interpretations here are sparse and atmospheric, much more so than their studio counterparts. This sparseness is an interesting experiment, though the results are mixed. Much of the instrumentation on the album has been replaced with strings, and so something like the great saxophone solo on "Sea Calls Me Home" is missing from its live version. In the Same Room is, if anything else, a testament to Holter's skill as a live artist.

Verdict: Good (7/10)

And now the year is a quarter of the way over! Time to review what's come out thus far!

Excellent (9/10):

1. Mount Eerie- A Crow Looked at Me

Great (8/10):

2. Sampha- Process
3. Thundercat- Drunk
4. Spoon- Hot Thoughts
5. The xx- I See You
6. David Bowie- No Plan (EP)

Good (7/10):

7. Sun Kil Moon- Common as Light and Love are Red Valleys of Blood
8. Priests- Nothing Feels Natural
9. Neil Cicierega- Mouth Moods
10. Dirty Projectors- Dirty Projectors
11. Foxygen- Hang
12. Jens Lekman- Life Will See You Now
13. Julia Holter- In the Same Room
14. Cloud Nothings- Life Without Sound
15. The Shins- Heartworms
16. Anohni- Paradise (EP)

Decent (6/10):

17. Visible Cloaks- Reassemblage
18. Real Estate- In Mind
19. Japandroids- Near to the Wild Heart of Life

Mediocre (5/10):

20. The Flaming Lips- Oczy Mlody

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby PlasticRam » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:08 pm

I did end up rating Triplicate by Bob Dylan 4 stars. Strangely pleasant album. Nothing new if you've listened to Shadows in the Night and/or Fallen Angels. 'Braggin' is my fav song cos it's such an upbeat song that it stands out from the rest.
I feel like that

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby JohnnyBGoode » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:57 am

Favourite albums of Q1:
1. Laura Marling - Semper Femina
2. The xx - I See You
3. Grandaddy – Lost Place
4. Sampha- Process
5. Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now
6. Jay Som - Everybody Works
7. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
8. Elbow – Little Fictions
9. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
10. Real Estate – In Mind
11. Tennis – Yours Conditionally
12. Thundercat - Drunk
13. Hurray For The Riff Raff - The Navigator
14. Julie Byrne - Not Even Happiness
15. Jessica Hoop – Memories are Now
16. Nadia Reid – Preservation
17. Loyle Carner - Yesterday's Gone
18. Spoon – Hot Thoughts
19. Ryan Adams – Prisoner
20. Allison Crutchfield - Tourist in This Town

They may all shift down a place at end of week 1 Q2.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nassim » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:20 am

I heard a few extracts from the new Ondatropica on the radio, didn't read any reviews (though I didn't see any of the previous one either I think) but given how much their first album was beloved around here, I thought it might be worth mentioning in case if flew under the radar.

The new Orchestra Baobab is also getting good reviews. World Music is not really my field, but I usually enjoy their albums so I'll probably give it a spin.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby JohnnyBGoode » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:14 am

As predicted new no.1:
1. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
2. Laura Marling - Semper Femina
3. The xx - I See You
4. Grandaddy – Lost Place
5. Sampha- Process
6. Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now
7. Jay Som - Everybody Works
8. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
9. Elbow – Little Fictions
10. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
11. Real Estate – In Mind
12. Tennis – Yours Conditionally
13. Thundercat - Drunk
14. Hurray For The Riff Raff - The Navigator
15. Julie Byrne - Not Even Happiness
16. Jessica Hoop – Memories are Now
17. Nadia Reid – Preservation
18. Loyle Carner - Yesterday's Gone
19. Spoon – Hot Thoughts
20. Ryan Adams – Prisoner
21. Future Islands – The Far Field
22. Allison Crutchfield - Tourist in This Town

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Jirin » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:11 pm

Love how Mount Eerie punches you in the gut in the first five seconds.

"Art is dumb when death is real."

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nick » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:51 am

I'm really liking the new Father John Misty album. Currently it's my number 2 album of the year, behind Mount Eerie. I'll have to write a review when I have a little more time to digest it. The new Future Islands album is also good too.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Jirin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:44 pm

New self titled Arca album is awesome, but again they have insisted on an album cover that is physically uncomfortable to look at.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby PlasticRam » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:26 pm

^^ agree on the album cover. That's the reason I haven't listened to that album or the Grimes album a couple of years ago.
I feel like that

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby notbrianeno » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:38 am

Excellent (9/10)
1. Mount Eerie | A Crow Looked at Me
2. Arca | Arca
3. Dirty Projectors | Dirty Projectors

Great (8/10)
4. Father John Misty | Pure Comedy
5. Planning for Burial | Below the House
6. Blanck Mass | World Eater
7. Japandroids | Near to the Wild Heart of Life
8. Bedwetter | Volume 1: Flick Your Tongue Against Your Teeth and Describe the Present.

Good (7/10)
9. Laura Marling | Semper femina
10. Pissed Jeans | Why Love Now
11. Xiu Xiu | FORGET
12. Gabriel Garzón-Montano | Jardín
13. Spoon | Hot Thoughts
14. Sampha | Process
15. Future | HNDRXX
16. Priests | Nothing Feels Natural
17. The XX | I See You
18. The Flaming Lips | Oczy Mlody
19. Allison Crutchfield | Tourist in This Town
20. Angles 9 | Disappeared Behind the Sun
21. Future | FUTURE
22. Information Flash | Ego Murda Sound
23. Migos | Culture
24. Julie Byrne | Not Even Happiness
25. Sun Kil Moon | Common As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood
26. Drake | More Life

Decent (6/10)
27. Timber Timbre | Sincerely, Future Pollution
28. Charli XCX | Number 1 Angel
28. Austra | Future Politics
30. Peter Silberman | Impermanence
31. Real Estate | In Mind
32. Emptyset | Border
33. Visible Cloaks | Reassemblage
34. Wiley | Godfather
35. Grandaddy | Last Place
36. Porcelain Raft | Microclimate
37. Brian Eno | Reflection
38. Sinai Vessel | Brokenlegged
39. Foxygen | Hang
40. Thundercat | Drunk
41. Dryjacket | For Posterity
42. Tangible Rays | Seance
43. Flume | Skin Companion EP II
44. Future Islands | The Far Field
45. Uniform | Wake in Fright
46. William Basinski | A Shadow in Time
47. SOHN | Rennen

Mediocre (5/10)
48. Ty Segall | Ty Segall
49. Cloud Nothings | Life Without Sound
50. Vagabon | Infinite Worlds
51. The Necks | Unfold
52. Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood | Myths 002 EP
53. ANOHNI | Paradise EP
54. Jens Lekman | Life Will See You Now
55. Ryan Adams | Prisoner
56. Bonobo | Migration

Poor (4/10)
57. Big Sean | I Decided
58. Lupe Fiasco | DROGAS Light
59. Neil Cicierega | Mouth Moods
60. Depeche Mode | Spirit
Current AOTY 2017: St. Vincent | MASSEDUCTION
Current SOTY 2017: Björk | "Body Memory"

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nick » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:09 pm

Father John Misty- Pure Comedy

"Pure Comedy is a low point for Indie music, a piece of regurgitated rubbish that conservatives would use as valid evidence of liberal pretentiousness."

- Dozens of Donuts

"Certainly one of the worst albums I've heard all year. And only half of that is due to the obvious content. The music's almost just as bad, being so one-dimensional ruins any remaining chances at this thing being enjoyable if you're trying to look past the lyrics."

- Reddit user PepeSylvia11

"I don't know how you could listen to this guy without being completely embarrassed for yourself, himself, and everyone elseself."

- RYM user borbality

At the beginning of Roger Ebert's review for the Terrence Malick movie The Tree of Life, Ebert writes...

"There were once several directors who yearned to make no less than a masterpiece, but now there are only a few."

There is no sentiment that fits the latest Father John Misty album, Pure Comedy, any better than this. For all of its missteps (of which there are some notable ones, though not as many as some would suggest), Pure Comedy is nothing short of ambitious, in that grand, all-encompassing, world defining type of ambitious that we typically only associate with large postmodern tomes like Infinite Jest or Underworld. The album attempts the tightrope act of trying to defining the age we live in without coming off as hopelessly dated in ten years' time, which it does with a fair amount of success. Most of Tillman's observations here focus on the "big picture" type issues, issues that have been prevalent for about all of humanity's time on earth, and will continue to be prevalent for the foreseeable future. Concepts like love and religion and nostalgia and partisanship don't exactly date themselves easily. One of the few times Tillman actually does make a reference to the here and now comes on the album's second track, "Total Entertainment Forever", which opens up with this now (in)famous lyric...

"Bedding Taylor Swift,
Every night inside the Oculus Rift"

...A lyric that is both a hilarious turn of phrase and a sobering look at a near future that seems all the more possible with the passing of each day. In just one lyric Tillman (again, quite humorously) makes reference to the terrifying possibilities of technology, in a world where privacy no longer exists and anyone on earth can "bed" a representation of you for a night if they so choose. The rest of the song carries on with more lyrics about the dangers of technological addiction and virtual reality substituting our own, but nowhere else on the song is that theme more apparent than in that first lyric.

Because this is a "big picture" album, some people have conflated that ambitious with pretentiousness. Where this idea came from, I have no clue, though my theory is that it's from an inability to separate Tillman's oft-times grating Father John Misty personality that he's cultivated with the music and lyrics of Pure Comedy. The reality is that there are few lyrics here where it actually feels as if Tillman is "talking down" to his audience. In fact, Tillman spends an inordinate amount of Pure Comedy skewering himself. Take for example, this lyric from "Leaving LA"...

"Mara taunts me 'neath the tree,
She's like, "Oh great, that's just what we all need,
Another white guy in 2017,
Who takes himself so goddamn seriously."

...Or if that isn't enough to convince you, listen to his song "Ballad of the Dying Man", a song that is quite literally about a dying narcissist lamenting the fact that the world won't ever get to hear his oh so insightful thoughts any longer. If this album displays any overt signs of pretentiousness or condescension, I implore someone to point me to them, as I cannot find them on my own.

Musically the album is pretty enjoyable, though it certainly isn't reinventing folk music as we know it. The album's music is directly in the vein of the 70s singer-songwriter, with nods to Elton John, Randy Newman, and Harry Nilsson, and works as a serviceable vessel for the real star of the album, Tillman's lyrics. Where the album falters though, is on two of its songs, "Birdie" and "Smoochie". The first song commits the cardinal sin of boredom, it's a five minute folk tune with little interesting in the music or lyrics and, as such, I have little else to say about it. "Smoochie", on the other hand, is an alt-country song with lyrics about his wife, who supposedly helped him out of depression. It's an endearing subject matter, though the song veers a bit too far into overt sentimentality for me (I also wonder how much of this sentimentality is mean to be taken seriously and how much is meant to come off as ironic given Tillman's personality), and the pet name "smoochie" is a bit too ridiculous for me to take the song seriously as well.

I put those negative reviews at the beginning of this review for a reason. Any work of art, be it a painting or a novel or a movie or yes, an album, that takes on this level of world defining "this is who we are" type narrative is going to be divisive. That's good. It should be divisive. The world is a complicated place, and any interpretation that satisfies everyone is probably bereft of any real insight. Pure Comedy is an album of ambition and even if everything its detractors said was true, nothing would change that. Such ambition comes around rarely in the arts. When it does, it's best to treasure it.

Verdict: Excellent (9/10)
Last edited by Nick on Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby jamieW » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:05 pm

Nick wrote:Father John Misty- Pure Comedy

"Pure Comedy is a low point for Indie music, a piece of regurgitated rubbish that conservatives would use as valid evidence of liberal pretentiousness."

- Dozens of Donuts

"Certainly one of the worst albums I've heard all year. And only half of that is due to the obvious content. The music's almost just as bad, being so one-dimensional ruins any remaining chances at this thing being enjoyable if you're trying to look past the lyrics."

- Reddit user PepeSylvia11

"I don't know how you could listen to this guy without being completely embarrassed for yourself, himself, and everyone elseself."

- RYM user borbality

At the beginning of Roger Ebert's review for the Terrence Malick movie The Tree of Life, Ebert writes...

"There were once several directors who yearned to make no less than a masterpiece, but now there are only a few."

There is no sentiment that fits the latest Father John Misty album, Pure Comedy any better than this. For all of its missteps (of which there are some notable ones, though not as many as some would suggest), Pure Comedy, is nothing short of ambitious, in that grand, all-encompassing, world defining type of ambitious that we typically only associate with large postmoderm tomes like Infinite Jest or Underworld. The album attempts the tightrope act of trying to defining the age we live in without coming off as hopelessly dated in ten years time, which it does with a fair amount of success. Most of Tillman's observations here focus on the "big picture" type issues, issues that have been prevalent for about all of humanity's time on earth, and will continue to be prevalent for the foreseeable future. Concepts like love and religion and nostalgia and partisanship don't exactly date themselves easily. One of the few times Tillman actually does make a reference to the here and now comes on the album's second rack, "Total Entertainment Forever", which opens up with this now (in)famous lyric...

"Bedding Taylor Swift,
Every night inside the Oculus Rift"

...A lyric that is both a hilarious turn of phrase and a sobering look at a near future that seems all the more possible with the passing of each day. In just one lyric Tillman (again, quite humorously) makes reference to the terrifying possibilities of technology, in a world where privacy no longer exists and anyone on earth can "bed" a representation of you for a night if they so choose. The rest of the song carries on with more lyrics about the dangers of technological addiction and virtual reality substituting our own, but nowhere else on the song is that theme more apparent than in that first lyric.

Because this is a "big picture" album, some people have conflated that ambitious with pretentiousness. Where this idea came from, I have no clue, though my theory is that it's from an inability to separate Tillman's oft-times grating Father John Misty personality that he's cultivated with the music and lyrics of Pure Comedy. The reality is that there are few lyrics here where it actually feels as if Tillman is "talking down" to his audience. In fact, Tillman spends an inordinate amount of Pure Comedy skewering himself. Take for example, this lyric from "Leaving LA"...

"Mara taunts me 'neath the tree,
She's like, "Oh great, that's just what we all need,
Another white guy in 2017,
Who takes himself so goddamn seriously."

...Or if that isn't enough to convince you, listen to his song "Ballad of the Dying Man", a song that is quite literally about a dying narcissist lamenting the fact that the world won't ever get to hear his oh so insightful thoughts any longer. If this album displays any overt signs of pretentiousness or condescension, I implore someone to point me to them, as I cannot find them on my own.

Musically the album is pretty enjoyable, though it certainly isn't reinventing folk music as we know it. The album's music is directly in the vein of the 70s singer-songwriter, with nods to Elton John, Randy Newman, and Harry Nilsson, and works as a serviceable vessel for the real star of the album, Tillman's lyrics. Where the album falters though, is on two of its songs, "Birdie" and "Smoochie". The first song commits the cardinal sin of boredom, it's a five minute folk tune with little interesting in the music or lyrics and, as such, I have little else to say about it. "Smoochie", on the other hand, is an alt-country song with lyrics about his wife, who supposedly helped him out of depression. It's an endearing subject matter, though the song veers a bit too far into overt sentimentality for me (I also wonder how much of this sentimentality is mean to be taken seriously and how much is meant to come off as ironic given Tillman's personality), and the pet name "smoochie" is a bit too ridiculous for me to take the song seriously as well.

I put those negative reviews at the beginning of this review for a reason. Any work of art, be it a painting or a novel or a movie or yes, an album, that takes on this level of world defining "this is who we are" type narrative is going to be divisive. That's good. It should be divisive. The world is a complicated place, and any interpretation that satisfies everyone is probably bereft of any real insight. Pure Comedy is an album of ambition and even if everything its detractors said was true, nothing would change that. Such ambition comes around rarely in the arts. When it does, it's best to treasure it.

Verdict: Excellent (9/10)


Well-crafted review, Nick. I was almost dreading listening to this album (count me among those who have always found Father John Misty a bit pretentious), but now I'm actually looking forward to it.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby prosecutorgodot » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:21 pm

I found Pure Comedy to be the perfect reason to hate hipsters. Not my cup of tea. But I don't begrudge other people loving it.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nick » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:38 am

Future Islands- The Far Field

The Far Field is the fifth studio album by Baltimore based band Future Islands, but it's their first since their 2014 breakthrough, Singles, an album that yielded 2014's consensus song of the year, "Seasons (Waiting On You)". Naturally, the pressure couldn't be any higher on the band, but they still pull through to release a deeply satisfying album.

The Far Field isn't all too different from that breakthrough album of theirs, but the band are able to still able to craft synthpop tunes effortlessly, with an aesthetic that doesn't so much as sound "80s" as it sounds like some strange, alternate take on what the 80s could have been. This "80s parallel universe" sound keeps the band from falling squarely into the legion of 80s revivalists that have permeated the music scene in the past couple of years (looking at you here, M83). But while the instruments are enjoyable, the album's major selling point is undoubtedly Samuel Herring's vocals. Simply put, there is nobody in the music scene singing like Herring is right now. The man's voice is distinct without being obnoxious, emotive without being sentimental, simultaneously strong and masculine and pleading and wistful. Put any other singer in here and you have a decent album. With Herring you get something great.

Verdict: Great (8/10)

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Jirin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:22 pm

I agree the 'College know it all' attitude of Father John Misty is a big turnoff but don't throw out hipster accusations. Calling people hipsters when they like something you don't implies they are only pretending to like it to be cool which is rarely the actual case.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby PlasticRam » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:27 pm

^^ yeah I kinda agree, but hipster also has a relatively positive/neutral meaning which is that they are into something before the mainstream. But maybe it's not relevant in this context cos the word was possibly used in a negative way.
I feel like that

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Jirin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:12 pm

To me hipster means a person whose tastes are motivated mostly by wanting to look cool rather than genuine personal enjoyment.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby prosecutorgodot » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:59 pm

Jirin wrote:I agree the 'College know it all' attitude of Father John Misty is a big turnoff but don't throw out hipster accusations. Calling people hipsters when they like something you don't implies they are only pretending to like it to be cool which is rarely the actual case.

I was referring to Misty as the hipster, not necessarily his fans. Though certainly some people go to his shows to be seen there, rather than go there to see.

I am extremely not wanting to write a paragraph explaining my definition of a hipster. If you really want to hear it, I'd much rather converse about it orally. Let's just say I find Pure Comedy to be completely lacking in soul.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nick » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:36 am

Stayed up late to hear the new Kendrick album. After one listen, here's my short hot take.

The album's really good but it's NOT a GKMC or TPAB level masterpiece. Right now I'm feeling it's about as good as Section.80. I've heard a lot of people say that they wanted a Kendrick album full of "bangers". Well they got their wish. Overall I'd say it's pretty great and all, but not AMAZING.

I'll write more after I've had more time to digest it.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby prosecutorgodot » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:37 am

Nick wrote:Stayed up late to hear the new Kendrick album. After one listen, here's my short hot take.

The album's really good but it's NOT a GKMC or TPAB level masterpiece. Right now I'm feeling it's about as good as Section.80. I've heard a lot of people say that they wanted a Kendrick album full of "bangers". Well they got their wish. Overall I'd say it's pretty great and all, but not AMAZING.

I'll write more after I've had more time to digest it.

Start a new thread please! :music-rockon: :happy-partydance:
I'm enjoying it too.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby StevieFan13 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:19 am

prosecutorgodot wrote:
Nick wrote:Stayed up late to hear the new Kendrick album. After one listen, here's my short hot take.

The album's really good but it's NOT a GKMC or TPAB level masterpiece. Right now I'm feeling it's about as good as Section.80. I've heard a lot of people say that they wanted a Kendrick album full of "bangers". Well they got their wish. Overall I'd say it's pretty great and all, but not AMAZING.

I'll write more after I've had more time to digest it.

Start a new thread please! :music-rockon: :happy-partydance:
I'm enjoying it too.

I'm nominating DNA in the next chart, for sure.
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand - Sir Duke (1976)

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby PlasticRam » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:21 am

There are I think at least two reversed beats (like the Beatles) on the new Kendrick album. This sounds like another classic, instantly. And this is coming from someone who thought TPAB was good, but not great.
I feel like that

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby PlasticRam » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:53 am

I'm predicting Kendrick will release another album titled NATION on April 16th. It's some Christian stuff.

Might be a completely wrong prediction though.
I feel like that

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby StevieFan13 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:05 pm

PlasticRam wrote:I'm predicting Kendrick will release another album titled NATION on April 16th. It's some Christian stuff.

Might be a completely wrong prediction though.

If anyone could make Christian rap not suck, it'd be Kendrick.
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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby PlasticRam » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:01 pm

New ratings in bold.

Kendrick Lamar - Damn 9.4
Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog 8.8
Future - HNDRXX 8.7

Ryan Adams - Prisoner 8.6
Bob Dylan - Triplicate 8.5
Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody 8.3
The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir 8.1
Louis C.K. - 2017 8.0
Drake - More Life 7.9

Foxygen - Hang 7.7
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me 7.6
Japandroids - Near To The Wild Heart Of Life 7.1
Sun Ra - Thunder of the Gods 7.0
Big Sean - I Decided 6.9
Brian Eno - Reflection 6.6
The xx - I See You 6.5
Sampha - Process 6.4
Future - FUTURE 6.2
Migos - Culture 5.9
I feel like that

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nick » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:07 am

Kendrick Lamar- Damn

Kendrick Lamar is a rapper who needs no introduction. Damn is his fourth (depending on how you're counting last years Untitled Unmastered) album.

Released in 2012, Good Kid, MAAD City was proclaimed as an instant classic by the critical community and the rap world, and Lamar had the unenviable task of trying to follow that up. But follow that up he did, and in 2015 he released To Pimp a Butterfly, an album that equaled (quite possibly even surpassed) Good Kid...'s stratospheric levels of acclaim.

Creating one instant classic is tough enough, but creating two is nigh impossible. And as rumors of a new Kendrick Lamar album abounded, many wondered "can he really pull off three?"

To some reviewers, yes he did. To this reviewer, no he didn't.

Which isn't to say that Damn is a bad album. Damn is not a bad album. Damn is a damn fine album. A great album even. But it's not the masterpiece that those two aforementioned albums are.

Damn is Kendrick at his most primal, his most raw and bloodthirsty. It's no surprise that the best songs here are the three produced by Mike Will Made It, who contributed beats to "DNA", "Humble", and "XXX". The level of fury that these songs contain, as well as the fury found within Kendrick's voice and lyrics, makes these songs the equivalent of a sonic assault on the eardrums (but in the best way possible). Damn is essentially a trap album at heart, and it's on songs like these where Kendrick is really able to show his mastery over the genre.

Speaking of "XXX", I would like to take a moment to praise this album's use of features. When I saw the Rihanna feature on "Loyalty" I cringed (as memories of Eminem's "The Monster" ran through my head). And my fear of a U2 feature on a Kendrick album (as great as the band are) was shared by many. But Kendrick uses these features in a masterful way, blending them seamlessly into their songs in a way that never once feels shoehorned. The fact that he's able to get Bono to sing over "XXX", quite possibly the most "banger" of all the songs here and make me think "oh yeah, this totally makes sense" is nothing short of amazing.

But while there are no bad songs on Damn, there are songs where my interest wanes. Consider the nearly 8 minute long "Fear" which comes towards the album's end for instance. Additionally, while I enjoy the trap aesthetic of Damn, I can't help but think that this is the first album where Kendrick really isn't challenging himself with the music. The music on Good Kid, MAAD City worked as an update on the classic G-funk sound of West Coast hip-hop, and to this day I can't say I've heard anything quite like songs such as "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" or "Money Trees". And while Kendrick was by no means the first rapper to combine hip-hop and jazz, To Pimp a Butterfly still felt like a breath of fresh air upon its release, and managed to take jazz-rap in a different direction from places where pioneers like A Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets first tread. But the music of Damn feels like it could've been made for and used by a whole host of other rappers. There's also little sonic variation in the songs on Damn, which is something of a letdown when compared to the sonic variation found on, say, To Pimp a Butterfly ("King Kunta" was funk, "How Much a Dollar Cost?" was jazz-rap, "The Blacker the Berry" was rap-rock, you get the picture).

But perhaps my biggest problem with Damn, at least when compared to his previous albums, is the album's sense of scale. Where Good Kid, MAAD City[i] was a day in the life of a young Kendrick Lamar that worked as a narrative for a whole host of young men growing up in the ghetto, and [i]To Pimp a Butterfly was a grand thesis about what it means to be black in today's America, Damn can't help but feel comparatively slight. The gunshot that opens the album's first track "Blood" and closes the album's last track "Duckworth" have left me wondering as to whether Damn is the dying thoughts of Kendrick as he looks back on his life, but there aren't an abundance of lyrics in the rest of the album to confirm this suspicion.

Some might say that it's a little unfair to compare the great heights that Damn has reached with the Mount Everest-like peaks of his past work. But such comparisons are unavoidable, and help explain just what makes Damn work and what Damn lacks. Not every album "needs" to be some grand statement about the world we live in or break new sonic ground for its artist or strive to be truly exceptional. But hey, it's nice when things work out like that, isn't it?

Verdict: Great (8/10)

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Romain » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 am

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me Difficult to judge since the lyrics seems to be the most important part of these songs. I read the lyrics on the same time I hear the song but it's not the same thing. I don't give a note.
Aimee Mann - Mental Illness 6 Nothing awfull of course, beautiful voice and sweet melodies but not the kind of music I like now (Best song: Lies of Summer)
Jamiroquai - Automaton 6,5 Not bad but a little too disco for me these times ;-) (Best song (and a really excellent one) : Cloud 9)
Depeche Mode - Spirit 8 Always been a fan of this band (and my wife is crazy about their)… once again, like the previous two albums, they make the job but it seems that they are not able anymore to make a great song, a fantastic hit. Al lis good or very good but not unforgettable. (Best song: Where's The Revolution)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Tourist 9,5 What a pleasant surprise. A "fresh" sound for this year! (Best song: Down (Is Where I Want To Be))

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Tourist 9,5
Elbow - Little Fictions 9
The Pigeon Detectives - Broken Glances 8,5
Birkin-Gainsbourg - Le Symphonique 8.5
Mr. Elevator and The Brain Hotel - When The Morning Greets You 8,5
Depeche Mode - Spirit 8
Chilly Gonzales & Jarvis Cocker - Room 29 8
Talisco - Capitol Vision 7
Mick Harvey - Intoxicated Women 7
Max Richter - Three Worlds Music From Woolf Works 7
Jamiroquai - Automaton 6,5
The Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody 6,5
Aimee Mann - Mental Illness 6
Foxygen - Hang 5,5
Electric Guest - Plural 5,5
The XX - I See You 5
Bonobo - Migration 4,5

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby spiritualized » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:39 am

Time for an update...with all this MAA listening, hardly had any time to listen to new stuff...

Laura Marling - Semper Femina (8.0)
I have mixed feelings about Laura Marling. At times very good (I Speak Because I Can / Once I was an Eagle, she failed by pushing the "cute folkly" female envelope too much on "A Creature I don't Know". 2017 is a good Marling year though, with more substance to her music, but the same ethereal voice. She obviously hardens a bit on this albume and it's a good thing.

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me (6.0)
Oh boy, I feel already bad giving a bad-ish rating to this album, but the first two singles from it are dreary affairs. The listener cannot help but feel horrible listening to the lyrics. Elverum wears his grief on his sleeve and wants to share it with the world. It's a great poetic work, but musically... far from great. Plinky plonk guitar strings with hardly any melodies and a very flat voice. However, the album is slightly better than what I expect after listening to "Real Death" & "Ravens".

Dirty Projectors - Dirty Projectors (2.0)
This is not going well. I hated Bitte Orca and their latest release, as well as their 2003 sophomore effort. I am more and more baffled about this "Art Pop" movement. Where does it come from ? Why so few melodies ? It sounds more "arty-farty" pop to me. Let's keep things simple, please.

Fischer Z - Building Bridges (7.0)
Talking about simple - here we are. Far from anything pretentious, the veteran John Watts (he founded Fischer Z in 1976...) sounds younger and energetic as ever. A breath of fresh air after Dirty Projectors and Mount Eerie :)

Hurray for the Riff Raff - The Navigator (7.0)
A band I am discovering with this album. Americana influences, with enough rock instrumentation to make it very interesting and enjoyable.



EOY 2017 (probably)
Run the Jewels - Run The Jewels 3
Ty Segall - Ty Segall
Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound
Loyle Carner - Yesterday's Gone
Radical Face - SunnMoonnEclippse
Moon Duo - Occult Architecture, Vol.1

Excellent / Very Good
WIlliam Basinski - A Shadow in Time
Elbow - Little Fictions
The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir
Laura Marling - Semper Femina

Deserves another spin
Kid Koala w/Emiliana Torrini - Music to Draw To : Satellite
Mark Eitzel - Hey Mr Ferryman
Jesca Hoop - Memories are Now
Tift Merrit - Stitch of the World
Ramin Djawadi - Gears of Wars 4
Holy Holy - Paint
Peter Silberman - Impermanence
Vibracathedral Orchestra - So-Called Texture
Rhiannon Giddens - Freedom Highway
Hurray for the Riff Raff - The Navigator
Fischer Z - Building Bridges

Meh
Arovane & Porya Hatami - Organism
The xx - I See You
Wiley - Godfather
Sampha - Process
Thinking Plague - Hoping against Hope
Thundercat - Drunk
HEALTH - DISCO3
Ryan Adams - Prisoner
Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me

Avoid at all costs
Migos - Culture
Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayers
Dirty Projectors - Dirty Projectors


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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby notbrianeno » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:03 pm

spiritualized wrote:

EOY 2017 (probably)
Run the Jewels - Run The Jewels 3
Ty Segall - Ty Segall
Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound
Loyle Carner - Yesterday's Gone
Radical Face - SunnMoonnEclippse
Moon Duo - Occult Architecture, Vol.1

Excellent / Very Good
WIlliam Basinski - A Shadow in Time
Elbow - Little Fictions
The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir
Laura Marling - Semper Femina

Deserves another spin
Kid Koala w/Emiliana Torrini - Music to Draw To : Satellite
Mark Eitzel - Hey Mr Ferryman
Jesca Hoop - Memories are Now
Tift Merrit - Stitch of the World
Ramin Djawadi - Gears of Wars 4
Holy Holy - Paint
Peter Silberman - Impermanence
Vibracathedral Orchestra - So-Called Texture
Rhiannon Giddens - Freedom Highway
Hurray for the Riff Raff - The Navigator
Fischer Z - Building Bridges

Meh
Arovane & Porya Hatami - Organism
The xx - I See You
Wiley - Godfather
Sampha - Process
Thinking Plague - Hoping against Hope
Thundercat - Drunk
HEALTH - DISCO3
Ryan Adams - Prisoner
Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me

Avoid at all costs
Migos - Culture
Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayers
Dirty Projectors - Dirty Projectors



I think our lists are literally the inverse of each other, (with a few exceptions of course) ;)
Current AOTY 2017: St. Vincent | MASSEDUCTION
Current SOTY 2017: Björk | "Body Memory"

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby spiritualized » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:32 pm

notbrianeno wrote:
spiritualized wrote:I think our lists are literally the inverse of each other, (with a few exceptions of course) ;)


That's what fantastic about these discussions. Respect of each other tastes. I may be harsh with some of my reviews, I don't tend to mince my words. But I will always appreciate that we all come from all aspects of life and culture and cannot have the same tastes. What a boring world that would be :)

Maybe we can find a middle ground in the middle of the list somewhere, notbrianeno :)

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Jirin » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:42 pm

spiritualized wrote:Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me (6.0)
Oh boy, I feel already bad giving a bad-ish rating to this album, but the first two singles from it are dreary affairs. The listener cannot help but feel horrible listening to the lyrics. Elverum wears his grief on his sleeve and wants to share it with the world. It's a great poetic work, but musically... far from great. Plinky plonk guitar strings with hardly any melodies and a very flat voice. However, the album is slightly better than what I expect after listening to "Real Death" & "Ravens".


I like depressing music every bit as much as uplifting music. If music can emotionally move me in any direction, it's done its job.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby spiritualized » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:34 pm

Jirin wrote:I like depressing music every bit as much as uplifting music. If music can emotionally move me in any direction, it's done its job.


I agree, Jirin and I have really depressing music in my top 500 ('Closer', anything by Low, Cure's Pornography or Faith) and the lyrics to 'A Crow Looked at Me" are haunting, to say the least. I challenged anyone over 35, happily married with children (my case) to not project yourself in Elverum's grief. You stop and listen. But I don't think the music here is the right medium to convey his sadness, not to me at least. I feel distracted by the lack of melody in guitar or voice and therefore the message gets lost somehow.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Nick » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:45 pm

Shamir- Hope

Shamir's last album, 2015's Rachet was a glossy pop record with loads of hooks and an energetic spirit. Sure, a couple of songs didn't work all too well, but it was still a great debut by a promising young artist. So when I heard about Hope, his followup album released just a couple of days ago, I was eager to hear it. How would this budding artist continue to develop his sound?

Apparently the answer is to make a lo-fi album recorded on a four track in his bedroom over the course of a single weekend, an album that was mastered within an hour's notice and is supposed to show Shamir's love of pop, lo-fi, and outsider music. I'm not going to tread lightly here. This album is garbage.

The album's commitment to low fidelity is absurdly grating. All of the instruments here, the drums, the guitar, the bass, all of them sound compressed to the extreme. The music here has zero depth or sense of dynamics, and Shamir's voice is frequently buried too far back into the mix, making it hard to hear what he's singing. His vocal style has also changed somewhat from his last album, and for the worse. Instead of the bouncy, fun vocals of Ratchet, he yaps and yells in a series of high pitched pleas that, again, only serve to grate on the ears.

There are moments that are somewhat endearing here, in a Daniel Johnston home recording sort of way. But those moments are eclipsed by the sheer amount of songs that make me physically cringe at their awfulness. I can only assume that Shamir has made the classic mistake of crafting a lo-fi album with the mindset that lo-fi for the sake of lo-fi is a worthwhile ideal, and that anyone who dislikes the album just feels that way because of some inherent bias against lo-fi music. That is absolutely not the case here. Pavement, one of my favorite bands of all time, made a career out of creating lo-fi rock music. But Pavement were smart enough to control their chaos. There was almost always a method to their madness, a sense that the band knew exactly what they were doing. Their albums had dynamics, they had abrasion, they had wild rock and roll abandon. And they had a plan. The difference between a band like Pavement or someone like Daniel Johnston and Hope is like the difference between a Jackson Pollock painting and your toddler throwing paint onto a wall. I understand that Shamir was in a bad place when he made this album, and that making this was an act of catharsis. I really hope he gets better. But some acts of catharsis are better left in the desk drawer or on the laptop.

Verdict: Bad (3/10)

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Toni » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:09 am

spiritualized wrote:
Jirin wrote:I like depressing music every bit as much as uplifting music. If music can emotionally move me in any direction, it's done its job.


I agree, Jirin and I have really depressing music in my top 500 ('Closer', anything by Low, Cure's Pornography or Faith) and the lyrics to 'A Crow Looked at Me" are haunting, to say the least. I challenged anyone over 35, happily married with children (my case) to not project yourself in Elverum's grief. You stop and listen. But I don't think the music here is the right medium to convey his sadness, not to me at least. I feel distracted by the lack of melody in guitar or voice and therefore the message gets lost somehow.


I've heard the album only once, and agree it is a very sincere and touching (not to say far depressing) record. Also, it will probably resonate even more among fans of The Microphones. Musically, though, it looked like I was listening to the same song all the way. Very similar melodies, chords, interpretation. Maybe it is a grower (and, since I listened to it almost a month ago, I may have forgotten all the nuances), but right now I am even surprised that people can choose some songs among all the others as being the best ones. Surely it is a great work of art, but the literary qualities by far surpass the musical ones. Deep lyrics generally lead to deep music, and vice versa, but I don't think it's happened in this case.

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Jirin » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:54 am

Current top list:

Asterisks to ones still rising.

1. Ty Segall - Ty Segall
2. Jesca Hoop - Memories Are Now
3. Ron Gallo - Heavy Meta
4. The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir
5. The Dirty Projectors - The Dirty Projects
6. Avec le Soleil Sortant de sa Bouche - Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much
7. Elbow - Little Fictions
8. Sampha - Process
9. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me*
10. Austra - Future Politics
11. Arca - Arca*
12. Blanck Mass - World Eater*
13. The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions
14. Japandroids - Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
15. Laura Marling - Semper Femina*

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Re: Albums of 2017

Postby Sweepstakes Ron » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:31 pm

Feelin' good on a Wednesday


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