Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

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Brad
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Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Brad » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:02 pm

Welcome to the Semi-Final Round of our 2017 Moderately Acclaimed Albums tournament!
The winners in this round move on the the Final Four!

Vote for your favorite album in each match-up.
Remember, anyone can vote as long as the voter has heard both albums.

Good-spirited comments are encouraged, but not absolutely necessary.
Deadline = October 17th at 10am EST.

Here's a link to the bracket for the entire tournament:
http://www.bracketmaker.com/tmenu.cfm?t ... Albums%208

Match-ups:
1. The Beatles - Help! vs. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part

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2. Saint Etienne - So Tough vs. Astor Piazzolla - Libertango

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Get up and boogie!

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Bang Jan
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Bang Jan » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:16 pm



4 | The Beatles | Help!
2 | Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | No More Shall We Part

1 | Saint Etienne | So Tough
3 | Astor Piazzolla | Libertango
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by StevieFan13 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:05 pm

The Beatles - Help!
Saint Etienne - So Tough
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand - Sir Duke (1976)

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Romain » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:58 pm

The Beatles | Help!
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | No More Shall We Part

Saint Etienne | So Tough
Astor Piazzolla | Libertango

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by EmilienDelRey » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:49 pm

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | No More Shall We Part
Astor Piazzolla | Libertango

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by jamieW » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:57 pm

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part
Astor Piazzolla - Libertango ("So Tough," indeed! I love three of these albums - and I really like The Beatles. Very strong final four.)

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by DaveC » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:22 pm

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | No More Shall We Part
Astor Piazzolla | Libertango

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Jirin » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:02 pm

Help! and So Tough

Both very close votes, all four albums left are awesome.

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by madzong » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:26 pm

The Beatles - Help!
St. Etienne - So Tough

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Henry » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:46 pm

The Beatles - Help!

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by luney6 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:02 pm

Help!
Libertango
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by BleuPanda » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:15 pm

No More Shall We Part
Libertango

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Hymie » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:37 pm

The Beatles - Help!
St. Etienne - So Tough

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Gillingham » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:21 pm

The Beatles | Help!
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | No More Shall We Part

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Brad » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:55 pm

My picks:
1. The Beatles - Help! vs. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part
2. Saint Etienne - So Tough vs. Astor Piazzolla - Libertango

Thanks!

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by andyd1010 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:05 pm

The Beatles - Help!

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by bonnielaurel » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:28 am

The Beatles - Help!
Astor Piazzolla - Libertango
They give awards for that music? I thought just ear plugs. (Woody Allen in Annie Hall)

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Rob » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:26 am

4. The Beatles - Help! vs. 2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part
1. Saint Etienne - So Tough vs. 3. Astor Piazzolla - Libertango

An honest question: can somebody explain the brilliance of Help for me? I shouldn't be confused by The Beatles doing well, but I actually am now. I mean I get the greatness of albums like Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's, Abbey Road and Rubber Soul. But Help? It has four great songs sure: the title track, Yesterday, Ticket to Ride and You Got to Hide Your Love Away. None of the other songs are bad, but does anyone really think that The Night Before, I Need You, Another Girl, It's Only Love, You Like Me Too Much and Tell Me What You See are amazing? That's six songs! In contrast, Nick Cave's album only got great songs in my opinion; every one of them feels like a new effort, a new chapter of a bigger whole.
And here we are, The Beatles defeating every strong album as if we are talking about Revolver or something and I fear No More Shall We Part is already without hope (as are the two other remaining album). Perhaps it is a strange thing to say, but to me it comes of as if The Beatles win all this by default. And so an album that is near the top 100 in our album poll is winning a game supposedly about discovery and moderate acclaim (not that I would put it anywhere near a top 100, perhaps not even a top 1000; this is really not their greatest effort if you ask me).

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Honorio » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:17 pm

Sorry Brad, I use to write long reviews on semi finals but this year I simply have no time enough. I'm preparing a conference that is occupying all my (limited) spare time, so this time only some not-too-long comments about the reason of my votes without lyrical or musical analysis at all.

[imgsize 150x150]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... x-Help.jpg[/imgsize] [imgsize 150x150]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... _cover.jpg[/imgsize]
2. The Beatles - Help! (1965) vs. 4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part (2001)

I've been thinking (and even saying) during the whole game that I wouldn't like to see The Beatles winning the Moderately Acclaimed game, it simply doesn't feel right to me. And I'm not the only one. Rob just stated the same on the previous post. Even Brad qualified the choice beforehand as "controversial." I'm aware that "Help!" belongs here because it fits with the criteria established for the game. But I can't help! but think that the only reason of the album being "moderately" acclaimed is because it compares unfavourably with the rest of the Fab Four immaculate discography. On the main AM list it's ranked third to last of the Beatles albums, only having "Beatles For Sale" and "Magical Mystery Tour" behind (and we all know why MMT is listed last, we talked about the subject many times, last time on a recent thread). "Help!" showed the band quite exhausted at the height of the frantic Beatlemania looking for a way out but still unable to find it. They were going to find it on their next three albums putting the accent on music creativity using their spirit/instinct of continous innovation that finally put them on the history as the greatest band ever, no less.
Having said that, I checked my votes on this MA8 to find that round after round I always give my vote to "Help!" (except on quarter finals when I opted for "Sound Affects," not by chance an album with many debts to the Fab Four as the bass line on "Start!" testifies). I know that "No More Shall We Part" is an excellent album, showcasing Cave's mature and sensitive side able to display that solemn beauty he previously showed on albums like "The Good Son" or "The Boatman's Call" and that culminates on his terrific last album, "Skeleton Tree." But if I ask to myself... which album I enjoy more? Which album I know by heart (I probably can say the tracklisting list by memory and hum every song)? Which album would I take to the desert island? The answer is once again the same. Help!


[imgsize 150x150]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... oTough.jpg[/imgsize] [imgsize 150x150]https://images2.imgbox.com/30/2e/eV6DXDkw_o.jpg[/imgsize]
3. Saint Etienne - So Tough (1993) vs. 1. Astor Piazzolla - Libertango (1974)

Going back to voting strategically. The answer to the question "which album I enjoy more" would be here "Libertango" (by a slight margin). But I was thinking about voting for "So Tough" because probably would be a stronger opponent to "Help!" even if I'm not too sure about it. Trying to beat The Beatles in their own game, Pop music, is so tough (pun intended). Cracknell, Stanley and Wiggs may create brilliant melodies (listen for instance to "You're in a Bad Way") but in that aspect Lennon, McCartney and Harrison really got no rivals (well, maybe Brian Wilson). So a completely different style like Nuevo Tango, mixing sophistication and roots music, can have its chances at beating the Fab Four. At least it will be my vote if we have the Help!/Libertango final. That's why I'm purposely breaking the actual tie on the second bracket in favour of Piazzolla (apart of, like I said, the enjoyment factor). Not to mention the pleasure I could get of having again a non-English album winning the whole game (after Fela Kuti and Jacques Brel).
The two albums are excellent, two kinda concept albums. Saint Etienne's album "was originally intended as a concept album which starts at Mario's Cafe in London then travels around the world, however it came to be viewed as a solely London album" (as stated in Record Collector magazine), tied together by samples from old British movies. In Piazzolla's album the concept was tying different feelings or sensations to Tango music. I know that I told before that I was not going to make lyrical analysis but let me translate the song titles for the non-Spanish speaking people, even if many of them don't really need translation. "Libertango" alludes to libertad (freedom), "Meditango" to meditación (meditation), "Undertango" to underground (probably), "Violentango" to violencia (violence), "Novitango" to novedad (novelty) and "Tristango" to tristeza (sadness). Plus two personal names: "Amelitango" refers to Amelita Baltar, his loving partner at the time so it could be translated as love + tango, even if after the couple break-up "he fiercely erased the title "Amelitango" on its original score, renaming it "Música de Buenos Aires" and he hardly ever played it in later years" (quoting María Susana Azzi and Simon Collier). And, like the icing on the cake, a new take on "Adiós Nonino," the only not new song (and not fitting with the concept) on the album but representing Piazzolla's heartfelt homage to his late father.


In the end, it was long again, isn't it?

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by jamieW » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:41 pm

I was curious about the Beatles "moderately acclaimed" situation, so I went back through the weeks and it seems that they really could've lost a few times. In fact, it looks like they were saved a couple of weeks by people who either weren't regular voters or only voted in that particular match-up. I was just a little relieved to see that their winning wasn't a foregone conclusion - they just had some luck on their side (admittedly, the last group in the world who would need it!).

Individual voters:

andyd1010 6-0
Brad 6-0
luney6 5-0
Romain 5-0
Henry 4-0
madzong 4-0
spiritualized 4-0
Hymie 2-0
John 1-0
Honorio 5-1
bonnielaurel 4-2
jamieW 4-2
StevieFan13 3-2
Jirin 3-3
Bang Jan 2-4
DaveC 2-4
BleuPanda 1-4
EmilienDelRey 1-4 (I might've missed one of Emilien's votes - it seems that he's voted every week.)
acroamar 0-1
hectorthebat 0-1
Gillingham 0-2
Kingoftonga 0-2
Rob 0-6

1st round: 12-3 over Raekwon
2nd round: 9-7 over Julia Holter (I nearly voted for Julia here, which would've forced a tie-breaker.)
3rd round: 11-8 over Joanna Newsom
4th round: 11-5 over Sinead O'Connor
5th round: 9-8 over The Jam
6th round: 10-7 (so far...)

Brad
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Brad » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:50 pm

Good stuff guys - I stated near the beginning of the tournament that Help! was my highest rated album of those that I had heard. That remains the case as we near the end. I have no other way to describe the appeal other than these songs have been part of my life since I first discovered "good" music in the early '70's. Whether "excellent" or merely "very good" from a critical perspective, I love them all (ok maybe not You Like Me Too Much, but still...).

While I agree with the sentiments posted above that perhaps the album is not right for the purposes of this exercise, it does (as noted) certainly fit within the framework of rules we currently have in place. I tried to address this up front but pulled back thinking maybe I was off-base and perhaps what I see as the purpose of Moderately Acclaimed is not necessarily equivalent to the views of the rest of you.

I'm obstinate in my decision to always choose the album I like best in any particular match-up (I've voted against my own noms several times, some even in the first round), hence my 6-0 sweep for my favorite (note I'm not stating "best") album in the tournament.

On a side note - there were three albums in the tournament this year that I wanted to call out as excellent discoveries for me personally: Comus - First Utterance, Fishmans - Long Season, and Barbara - Barbara chante Barbara. Thanks to Bang Jan, EmilienDelRey and Dan for these nominations! I will be seeking them out for purchase.

...and about 21 hours left to vote for the Finalists!

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Kingoftonga » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:06 pm

1. The Beatles - Help! vs. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part
2. Saint Etienne - So Tough vs. Astor Piazzolla - Libertango

I would have voted for the Jam last week, which would have forced a tie, but I messed up and missed the deadline. :angry-banghead:

My favorite discoveries of the tournament this year:
Sinead O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra
Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
John Fahey - America
Wishbone Ash - Argus
Dead Can Dance - Spleen and Ideal
Fishmans - Long Season

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Brad » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:06 pm

19 voters this week:
andy1010
Bang Jan
BleuPanda
bonnielaurel
Brad
DaveC
EmilienDelRey
Gillingham
Henry
Honorio
Hymie
jamieW
Jirin
Kingoftonga
luney6
madzong
Rob
Romain
StevieFan13

Winners (To The Finals!):
1. The Beatles - Help! over Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part 11-8
2. Saint Etienne - So Tough vs. Astor Piazzolla - Libertango ***TIE!!! 8-8!!! Oh No! We need one more vote here to move on - first vote from someone who hasn't already voted in the matchup will win it!!!

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by spiritualized » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:42 pm

Saint etienne

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by spiritualized » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:43 pm

Shame it had to go to tie really....

Brad
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Brad » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:20 pm

Thank you spiritualized. Finals will be posted shortly.

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 8 - Semi-Finals!

Post by Dan » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:07 pm

Brad wrote:On a side note - there were three albums in the tournament this year that I wanted to call out as excellent discoveries for me personally: Comus - First Utterance, Fishmans - Long Season, and Barbara - Barbara chante Barbara. Thanks to Bang Jan, EmilienDelRey and Dan for these nominations!
:greetings-waveyellow: She is most definitely a strong contender for my favourite French artist. There’s an element of yearning in her voice that affects me like no other singer’s. I suppose some people might dismiss her music for being too nostalgic or even for sounding too lazy, but I don’t agree with that. I wasn’t surprised when I read that she had a tough childhood (and adulthood, for that matter). There’s a lot of resolve and strength in her sound, despite it being so mournful.

On a separate note: sorry that I did the annoying thing of nominating but not participating in this game. :angry-tappingfoot:
...will keep us together.

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