Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Brad
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Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Brad » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:55 pm

Welcome to the round 1.15 of Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018!

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 = July 3rd at 10am EST.

Here's a link to the bracket for the entire tournament:
http://www.bracketmaker.com/tlist.cfm?tid=469154">Moderately%20Acclaimed%20Albums%209%20(2018)

Match-ups:
1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm vs. Billy Joel - The Stranger
2. Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground vs. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3. Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk vs. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene vs. The Durutti Column - LC


Jackson 5 join along with me say "doo doo wop!"

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Bang Jan
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Bang Jan » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:56 pm



4 | Erykah Badu | Baduizm
7 | Billy Joel | The Stranger

8 | Bright Eyes | Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
1 | Ennio Morricone | The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

2 | Jeff Buckley | Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk
6 | Paavoharju | Laulu Laakson Kukista

3 | Dolly Parton | Jolene
5 | The Durutti Column | LC

Favourite song of the week: Ennio Morricone | The Ecstasy of Gold
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby StevieFan13 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:58 pm

1. Billy Joel - The Stranger (my nomination, I think, and it is probably toast)
2. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby DaveC » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:32 pm

1. Billy Joel - The Stranger
2. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. The Durutti Column - LC

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Honorio
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Honorio » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:30 pm



1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm (1997) vs. 5. Billy Joel - The Stranger (1977)
2. Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002) vs. 3. Ennio Morricone - Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (1966)
6. Jeff Buckley - Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk (1998) vs. 8. Paavoharju - Laulu laakson kukista (2008)
7. Dolly Parton - Jolene (1974) vs. 4. The Durutti Column - LC (1981)

Favourite song from every album:
On & On | Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) | Bowl of Oranges | Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo | Everybody Here Wants You | Tyttö tanssii | Jolene | Never Know

Favourite song of the week: On & On

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Romain
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Romain » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:41 am

1. Pass
2. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (futur winner?)
3. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. The Durutti Column - LC

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby hectorthebat » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:00 am

1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm vs. Billy Joel - The Stranger
2. Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground vs. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3. Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk vs. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene vs. The Durutti Column - LC

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Jirin » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:41 pm

Baduizm 87 - The Stranger 74
Lifted 80 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly 75
Laulu Laakson Kukista 88 - Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk 78
Jolene 87 - LC 78

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby jamieW » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:54 pm

Very Good:
The Durutti Column - LC
Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista

Good:
Dolly Parton - Jolene
Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk
Billy Joel - The Stranger

Okay:
Erykah Badu - Baduizm
Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby FrankLotion » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:52 am

1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm
2. Ennio Morricone - The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
3. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene

Brad
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Brad » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:16 pm

My Picks:
1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm vs. Billy Joel - The Stranger
2. Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground vs. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3. Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk vs. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene vs. The Durutti Column - LC

Thanks!

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Listyguy » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:35 pm

1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm vs. Billy Joel - The Stranger
2. Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground vs. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3. Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk vs. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby PlasticRam » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:31 pm

1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm vs. Billy Joel - The Stranger
I feel like that

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Rob
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Rob » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:45 pm

8. Jeff Buckley – Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk
Hard to rate as 1, this a long album and 2, it is obvious that Jeff Buckley never wanted to release it this way. I mean, some songs appear twice. Buckley himself wasn’t satisfied with the initial results, which make up the first half of the album, and started a new, unfinished session that makes up the second disc. You hear the discrepancy between the halves and perhaps they should have been released separately. I think there are too many highlights here to ignore this project, but as a whole it felt like an overly long experience, even more so than some longer albums that have appeared in this game.

7. Bright Eyes – Lifted, or the Story Is in the Soil
Let’s get that opening track, The Big Picture out of the way. It’s a bold choice to open with an 8 minute song with hardly anything resembling a tune or even music that consist of a guy ranting heavily against… Well, I’m not sure what it was about, as something about the form made it impossible for me to concentrate on the words, just like it is hard for me to get the point of drunken people raving on the street. This form and song do not appeal to me, but I have to give Conor Oberst points for bravery.
The rest of the album is a lot better, but it needs complete attention to sink in. This album is as much about the words as about the music, maybe even more so. These are sober tales of relationships (not just romantic ones) and feeling of belonging. Maybe, this burning hot, extremely busy week was not the best moment for me to discover this album, but at least the three-punch consisting of Lover I Don’t Have to Love, Bowl of Oranges and Don’t Know When But a Day Is Gonna Come are very good. I’ll have to return to this one later to see if there is more for me there, but for now I can’t feel too bad as it didn’t stand a chance against a personal all-time favourite album.

6. Billy Joel – The Stranger
This one deserves a longer review. You see, this used to be a favourite of mine. 10 years ago I might have said it was the album I loved most. I also may not have heard it in 7 or 8 years. What happened?

Recently, when visiting Henrik in Stockholm we spoke about artists that are looked down upon by critics, but that you love. Billy Joel is one of the most beloved punching bags of critics and even more so for “serious” music listeners. When I was younger and more innocent I loved Billy Joel and when I found out this love wasn’t shared by music lovers all over I was deeply surprised. How could you not love the guy who wrote masterpieces like Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, New York State of Mind, She’s Always A Woman, Goodnight Saigon and We Didn’t Start the Fire? Only Piano Man (my favourite) and perhaps Just the Way You Are (which I never particularly cared for) seemed to have some standing.

I found out the reasons of the vitriol: Joel might be a great pianist, but a lyricist who unwittingly writes nasty lyrics, has facile composing skills and sounds full of self-importance. He is the guy who claims to be a rocker, but doesn’t really rock. That wasn’t my opinion at all and I fought against this vicious attack on my hero (this fight only happened in my head I admit, but it had to be fought somewhere).

After a while I started to listen to a lot of different music and let Joel alone for a while. After some years I returned to some of my favourite songs of his and discovered in horror that these songs actually weren’t all that great. I didn’t suddenly hate them or anything, but they definitely seemed lesser. Having heard more music now I noticed how underdeveloped the sound sometimes is and that Joel’s voice can be a much. Even the mean-spiritedness can be detected some of the time (although it is not a rampant as detractors claim). Joel is certainly not the worst artists of all time, but he can be a bit glib and facile at times.

Some songs, especially Piano Man, still stand, but how about that great album of his: The Stranger. It seems like a mixed bag to me now. My old favourite, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, remains undiminished. Movin’ Out is still a ton of fun and although Only the Good Die Young seems very silly to me now, it is so in a goofy appealing kind of way. These three songs are the keepers.

Title track The Stranger though, which used to be my number 2 cut, is one of those songs that really feels musically weaker than I remembered it, despite its great intro. Get It Right the First Time is solid, but not the type of song that makes you want to put on the album. I feel the same about Just the Way You Are as I did before: the lyrics have their appeal, but the whole just feels to schmaltzy. And regarding, She’s Always a Woman, well, I have a hard time seeing the misogynist piece in it that the haters see, but it is also not the peak of sincerity that it once seemed to me. These four songs are okay now, but nothing more.

There are also Vienna and Everybody Has a Dream. I had completely forgotten that these songs existed. Now they seem inoffensive, but terribly bland. The biggest surprise is that Vienna is actually the album’s song with the second most streams on Spotify, only after She’s Always a Woman! This seems like a miscalculation, but then again, people are really weird sometimes.

So yeah, I still get some enjoyment out of this album and I don’t dislike anything here, but it is mostly a nostalgia piece by now. And I’ve noticed that nostalgia is hardly a factor that on its own sustains an album through many listens.

5. Erykah Badu – Baduizm
I hardly heard anything by Erykah Badu before, but somehow I always guessed I would like her. Why I don’t know, because I’m hardly the biggest R&B fan in the world. Turns out that at least on this record she is a lot more jazz than I expected, like a more modern Billie Holiday. There is a slow-burning seductive appeal to this album, which gets upset by some heartbreak. Like many good jazz singers Badu is particularly good in changing vocal inflections at the skip of a beat to find hidden emotions. The only downside to this record is that it runs a little long and might get a little repetitive after a while. Nonetheless, this a pretty great debut.

4. The Durutti Column – LC
This is from 1981? It sounds at least 10 years younger than that, maybe even 20. I didn’t know they were making this type of music back then. Anyway, this real atmospheric music that’s soothing to the soul. It sounds easy, while still being layered. This is a week were quite a few albums ruin a little bit of their greatness by going on too long and this is no exception, but at least it doesn’t matter as much here as it basically extends a mood that I’m happy to be in.

3. Dolly Parton – Jolene
Here is the one album of the week that won’t likely be criticized for a bloated running time (unless you really hate Dolly Parton), because with 23 minutes this seems more like an EP. This was one of my nominations and perhaps an unexpected one. I heard this album once at my dad’s (which was a surprise on itself) and was very sceptical. I liked the title track sure, but otherwise I only new Parton for the schmaltzy nonsense she became known for later on. But this is all more in the style of Jolene, which happened to be Parton’s style for a long period of her career. Here we have a woman singing in a soft and very personal way. There is something about the vulnerable innocence in her voice that makes her sadness so heart-breaking and her happiness so addictive. The keyword here is “sincerity”. Later Parton would become something of a parody of herself, but this captures her when she just seemed herself. And yes, I know the criticism of AllMusic that this is an album in which a woman basically sings a couple of songs in which she expresses her dependence on men which doesn’t give it any feminist cred, but if songs are sung with such vivid emotions and such skill in melody that becomes only a minor point to me.

2. Paavoharju – Laulu Laakson Kukista
I still haven’t memorized this album’s title, or the band name for that matter, but I should remember it, because this is the good stuff. I was surprised to learn that this is basically meant as an expression of Christian faith. Sure, I experienced this music as spiritual, but it sounds far removed from any Christian music they played at my church. This is more ethereal, but at the same time grounded. The comparison with Sigur Ros is an easy one, if Sigur Ros had any grain in it’s bones. It is beautiful, strange and uplifting music. That a couple of the shorter tracks fall a bit to the wayside is a minor point.

1. Ennio Morricone – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Morricone again and just like last year’s entry Once Upon a Time in the West this is not my nomination, though it could have been (I did enter The Mission three years ago, though it lost in the first round). To me this is another masterpiece of movie music. Less operatic than West, but more playful and sometimes even funny. All the versions on Spotify are longer than the original album release and perhaps it is a bit much for the newcomer – especially if you haven’t seen the film -, but to me as a fan it is heaven. Every sound here is filled with adventure, tension or even well-earned pathos. Sometimes a little of all three. This is one of the most copied soundtracks of all time, by which I mean that many filmmakers and composers have tried to steal it’s effect. I like a lot of these attempts, but listening to the original makes clear they don’t stand a chance. I mean, put this next to Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi’s otherwise enjoyable Rome (also in this game) and notice the comparison. There is no contest there.


My votes in a simple overview:
1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm vs. Billy Joel - The Stranger
2. Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground vs. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3. Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk vs. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene vs. The Durutti Column - LC

Brad
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Brad » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:12 pm

About 15 hours left to vote!

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Sweepstakes Ron » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:21 am

1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm vs. Billy Joel - The Stranger
2. Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground vs. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3. Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk vs. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene vs. The Durutti Column - LC
Feelin' good on a Wednesday

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Kingoftonga » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:39 pm

Winners in red:

1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm vs. Billy Joel - The Stranger
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene vs. The Durutti Column - LC

Brad
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2018 - Round 1.15

Postby Brad » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:18 pm

15 voters this week:
Bang Jan
Brad
DaveC
FrankLotion
hectorthebat
Honorio
jamieW
Jirin
Kingoftonga
Listyguy
PlasticRam
Rob
Romain
StevieFan13
Sweepstakes Ron

Winners:
1. Erykah Badu - Baduizm over Billy Joel - The Stranger 9-5
2. Ennio Morricone - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly over Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground 9-4
3. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista over Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk 7-6
4. Dolly Parton - Jolene over The Durutti Column - LC 8-5

Round 1.16 up soon!


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