Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (Complete!)

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Rob
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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:52 am

Henrik wrote:
Rob wrote:By the way, does anybody keep track of albums being removed from Spotify? My last update I noticed I was missing three songs all of a sudden, but the fault wasn't in that update (and I always check if the count is still correct after each update). I can't figure out a quick way to decide which album has gone missing, so perhaps someone knows before I have to through the whole list to find the missing songs.
Go to settings and tick off hide unplayable tracks. I don’t know how many people I have told this over years - why isn’t this setting standard?
Thanks, but this is not what I mean. Whether or not the tracks are visible has no bearing on the song count you can see displayed at the top of the page. What happened was that suddenly the song amount went down with three, which gives me the impression that three songs previously on Spotify have been completely removed (or maybe replaced, which happens sometimes).

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:43 pm

Today I updated from #1262 (EPMD's Strictly Business) to #1298 (Kate Bush' The Dreaming).

Note: I rant a lot here about albums that appear in strange or bad ways on Spotify, but today I have the album that takes the cake. I'm talking, of course, about Escalator Over the Hill, by Carla Bley and Paul Haines, two people rumored to be evil demons out to destroy the internet. You see, this album hasn't adapted to the digital age. It's not on Spotify, but if you think there is only one track of the album on YouTube or Vimeo, well think again. Still, I want three tracks present on my playlist to represent this so-called album and because I don't buy "Experimental big band" albums blindly, I had to make do with some unplayable live tracks of songs off the album, mostly by others than Bley and Haines. I don't like it this way, but there simply are nasty people out there who hate this project.

Alright, back to strictly business, with EPMD:
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Question: If these guys are strictly business, are these business suits?

One of those acts I never heard of, or at least I think. Acronym names in general tend to be easily forgotten and this is no exception. EPMD stands for Erick and Parrish Making Dollars. Deep. This is another old school hip hop record, like my last entry. It is very likeable on a first listen, with the goofy The Steve Martin and the appealing You Gots to Chill.

Because we are on a new page I post the playlist again, to have it on the top of each page:


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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:20 pm

Today I went from #1299 (Devendra Banhart's Rejoicing in the Hands) to #1334 (Derrick May's Innovator).

A simple update. No news (or irritations).

Perhaps everything went so smooth because I had the calm Devendra Banhart's Rejoicing in the Hands on:
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Devendra Banhart, rejoicing in his hand.

So, I had heard of Devendra Banhart before, but knew nothing about him. To my ears Devendra is a woman's name (not that I know any actually named that), so I was surprised that suddenly I heard a man singing. His voice is actually a blessing and a curse. Sometimes he knew to draw my attention away from this project and onto his lyrics, no small feat. At other times he sings with certain affectation I also find in the singer of Alt-J, where they phrase in a way as if they wanted to be thought of as supercute or something. This tends to annoy me. The playing and the lyrics as far as I got them were good though.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:37 pm

Today I updated from #1335 (Mitski's puberty 2) to #1356 (Mary J. Blige's My Life).

A short update yes, but Puberty 2 is a short album. The next one will be quite long though.

Well, here it is Puberty 2 by Mitski:
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Mitski's pink guitar music doesn't sound as cute and sweet as it looks.

One of my favorite albums of recent years and finally once again one I'm quite familiar with. As said, it is a short album and the songs themselves are very short too, as is always the case with Mitski. She has mastered the art of saying a lot in very little time. Despite their sometimes ridiculously short length these songs never feel tossed-of. Mitski's songs feel like personal and frequently intense burst of emotion. I love her the most when her guitar rages along (something which is dropped on Be the Cowboy), even if her powerful, deep voice (which somewhat belies her looks) is her real weapon. By the way, the three albums she released before this one are great too and are in the same mold. Hopefully the success of this album and the one after it will bring people back to these early releases.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:32 pm

Today I updated from #1357 (Cesária Évora's Miss Perfumado) to #1400 (The Decemberist's The Crane Wife).

So recently I noted that some songs had gone missing from the count. Now far more had vanished, it startled me a bit. I did a quick scroll through the list and noted that quite a few albums as well as some songs have been removed from Spotify, including Tubular Bells, The Köln Concert by Keith Jarrett again (although the last tracks is still there) and others. Broken Social Scene basically has some songs taken out (did someone from that supergroup not want the songs written by him or her on Spotify anymore?) which looks odd. Coltrane's Ascension has been removed, but also re-added in a different way.
I don't have the time today to look all changes up and fix it (I only fixed Coltrane, in fact), but I will probably in the weekend. It puts a downer on this project, noticing once again how much depends on the whimsical nature of the music industry.

For now, let's think back about listening to Cesária Évira's Miss Perfumado:
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Cesária "Miss Perfumado" Évira, because you're worth it!

I hadn't heard of Évira before she was tauted by some in our current nineties poll. She is from Cape Verde and sings in a genre specific for that country, Morna, of which I also never heard before. It basically an album of soulful, quiet ballads in Portuguese. It is very pleasant to listen to and Évira has an appealing voice, which can evoke a lot of emotion while seeming to do very little (though I think this is hard work to sing). As frequently with this type of music in a for me unfamiliar language I feel that I miss something because I don't get the lyrics, but the music is universal. I can certainly see why this is acclaimed.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by bootsy » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:14 am

Good stuff Rob.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:50 pm

Today I updated from #1401 (Nick Cave & the Bad Seed's Your Funeral... My Trial) to #1432 (John Lee Hooker's The Healer).

It's been a slow week for updating, thanks to work. It'll remain this way until mid-November, when I hope to pick up te pace again. Tomorrow there should be another update, though.

Today I listened to Your Funeral... My Trial, but Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds:
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They took him to court, but apparently let him go. Understandable; who doesn't trust this guy?

The second Nick Cave album to appear in this series (though I added many more to the playlist and there are still several to come). The title of this one is almost a joke, as it would fit half of his albums and songs. I hadn't heard this one before and neither one of the songs on it. I'm quite familiar with anything he put out from The Good Son on, but hardly know anything from before that (in more clear words: only The Mercy Seat). Despite this I knew that a lot of his earlier work was harsher in sound and if this album is anything to go by that seems right. It doesn't necessarily rock harder or anything, but it has a very ramshackle feel about it. If Nick Cave told us he and the band were destroying stuff while recording I would believe them. And there is the way Cave phrases his lyrics: very much in character and very threatening. I should pay attention to this part of his output more often.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:41 pm

Today I updates from #1433 (Terence Trent d'Arby's Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby) to #1461 (Serge Gainsbourg's L'homme à tête de chou).

Slow update. Lot of albums with some difficulties attached to it. Too stumped to talk about it.

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Terence Trent d'Arby. I don't have anything else to say about it.

This album surprised me in a positive way. For some reason I suspected one of those pop albums with the hits and a lot of filler, but this is one is pretty consistent. The hits have somewhat faded from radio I think, so I hadn't heard them in some time, but they have retained their original appeal. Other tracks are varied and catchy enough to make an impression. Perhaps one of the better popular albums of those days.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:24 pm

Today I updated from #1462 (Santogold's Santogold) to #1496 (Average White Band's AWB).

Some bumps along the road, but not enough to come close to a big landmark: the halfway point! Next time we'll get there!

And the journey is a pleasant one when you get to listen to Santogold's Santogold (due to legal disputes currently known as Santigold's Santigold):
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This golden woman buys your gold, but still goes shopping in your ordinary supermarket so it seems.

Hell yeah! This album was one of my submissions in the Moderately Acclaimed Albums poll last year and once I get around making an actual album top 100 this will surely be in the top 25. Simply put, this is one of my favorite feelgood album. A real pop record, but also a very weird one. Santigold has a curious voice that I adore and she takes it all over the place here. The songs are full of off-beat hooks that always threaten to become annoying, but instead are sheer joy! Sadly, none of her subsequent albums did anything for me, but at least we have this one, that pleased me for yet another listen!

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:29 pm

Today, I updated from #1497 (Jackson Browne's Jackson Browne (Saturate Before Using)) to #1527 (Booker T. & The MG's Green Onions).

Milestone: HALFWAY POINT!!! :music-guitarred: :happy-partydance: :music-guitarred:
It took me about 3 months to get here. I want to finish this before the year ends, which seems a bit unlikely. I'm not gonna rush things, but whereas the last few weeks have slowed this process down due to limited free time, I actually expect to have more space for this in the second half of November and December. We'll see.

Now back to guy I listened to, Jackson Browne, with his Jackson Browne (Saturated Before Using):
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Looking very saturated there, Mr. Browne.

Jackson Browne is one of those artists I've listened to in the past, but not too much. I've noticed that he is one of those guys who needs a couple of listens to let songs land. At first he seems like your ordinary singer-songwriter, but after a while the feeling behind the lyrics and singing sinks in. That's why it is hard to trust my first reaction to this album: it feels rather standard when listening to it as a sort of background music. But there might be more there.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:37 pm

Today I updated from #1528 (Mink DeVille's Cabretta) to #1553 (Ice Cube's Death Certificate).

Painful milestone: Big Joe Turner's album The Boss of the Blues is easily the least listened to album on Spotify up to now. Not that I kept score or something, but this album has only one track with over a 1000 streams, while even the less popular albums had only a few of those. Is this a classic that will drop off over the years? Will Big Joe Turner be one of the first old rock & roll stars to be forgotten by time? Who can tell, although looking at his Spotify profile to his most popular songs things don't look good for him. It's a terrible showing all around.

Speaking of forgettable artists, how about the one I listened to today, Mink DeVille with his Cabretta:
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Despite what mister DeVille wants you to believe, cabretta leather, used mostly for shoes and gloves, are not actually made of mink.

Yes, I just said above that Mink DeVille is somewhat forgettable. Of course his hit Spanish Stroll, included in this album stays in the mind, but even that one doesn't feel all that special. This album is filled with songs that aren't so much bad as well as just kind of unremarkable and maybe a bit facile. I guess he was popular for a while and maybe he still is with some people, but there are few albums here I really can't guess the reason for why it is included here. And that is even including albums I don't like.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:22 pm

By the way, because of work I have to take a little break here. I won't be updating until Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:58 pm

Today I updated from #1554 (Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue) to #1579 (Count Basie's April in Paris).

Back on track! Which basically means something like: a slow update thanks to some annoying albums that refuse to be on Spotify in a normal way. It's only been a week and a half but I missed this frustrating nonsense.

So today I listened to Pacific Ocean Blue by Dennis Wilson:
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It seems Dennis Wilson was right: the Pacific Ocean is indeed blue. If anybody can pinpoint the exact coordinates where this photo was taken, with proof, I buy him or her a copy of Pacific Ocean Blue on vinyl.

What do you do when you take some time off of a band named The Beach Boys, a surf group? You make an album named after and ocean with several water themes of course. If Dennis Wilson doesn't challenge himself thematically on first sight he does so musically. There are still some harmony based songs and catchy pop tunes here, but there is also space for some roughness and harder rock sound that you won't find easily in a Beach Boys record. Indeed, if this was a record of the band it might have ranked higher, as one of the top albums of the group. Now it remains slightly overlooked, yet it is worth a visit, thanks mostly to the title track, opener Riversong and the great Farewell My Friend.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:35 pm

Today I updated from #1580 (Holly Herndon's Platform) to #1617 (Common's Like Water for Chocolate).

Another one of those days I wish they would just give me the job of checking how albums appear on Spotify. Come on, how can you switch the order of the A side and the B side of Sun Ra's Jazz in Silhouette. And what is the deal with Billie Holiday's Lady Sings the Blues? I think the way it appears on Spotify needs a multiple-page long explanation essay (as well as a guide book to actually find the damn album there). Sigh.

Let me turn to an album that at least means to be a glitch in the system, Platform by Holly Herndon:
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This is actually a good visualization of most of the sounds on this album.

I heard Chorus first I think about a year ago in some game on this forum and since I have become a little obsessed with it and to an extend the album it appears on. To me it feels like one of the most forward-thinking albums of the last few years, even if I can't claim that I expect its sounds will become some sort of standard. I'm not even sure if I think the whole thing is a complete success, but it is very interesting and frequently really captivating. And at least Chorus is one of the masterpieces of the decade. To fully explain why I think this album is so great would take me more space and time I can afford here, but maybe I'll get around it one day. It's not just it's inspired use of glitches, but how they mix with human elements, creating some sort of new genre that might be called cyborg pop (you heard it here first!). Also, the making off of the album is fascinating stuff too.
Last but not least, if someone would ever write a book about Platform, Lonely At the Top - which is barely a song in a strict sense - deserves a chapter on itself. I don't know if I love it or hate it (it's unironically meant to be soothing, yet it freaks me out), but putting it on an album like this is really an out-there choice.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:47 pm

Today I updated from #1618 (The Go-Betweens' Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express) to #1648 (Frank Sinatra's Come Fly With Me).

Much better than the madness that was yesterday's update. One funny fact though: Spotify calls Terry Riley's album In C a single. Well, I guess it is only one song.

So, I listened to The Go-Betweens Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express:
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Sadly, the Liberty Belle (a boat; also the name of several super-heroines) and The Black Diamond Express (the train above) never seem to have featured in one and the same film, so we make due with one on a poster twice.

Not gonna lie, this album didn't really capture my attention much during compiling, except for a catchy moment here or there, but not catchy enough to be able to tell you afterwards which tracks did the trick. Considering this was a rather simple update it is all the more strange that the album just wouldn't get to me. Perhaps I should give it another spin in the future, but as for now I don't have more to say about than that it exists.
Last edited by Rob on Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:45 pm

Today I updated from #1649 (Jawbox' For Your Own Special Sweetheart) to #1683 (Donny Hathaway's Live).

Two particularly difficult albums to add today. First Anthony Braxton's For Alto, which I think is trying to convince the world it never existed (but I found proof it did anyway). Second is Tropicalia: ou Panis et Circensis, by that notorious group called Various Artists, which isn't on Spotify as an album, but whose tracks are scattered all over the streaming service. I hope I picked the right versions with that one.

Anyway, back to My Own Special Sweetheart, for whom Jawbox made an album. Thanks guys!
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I guess this is a jawbox. You have to name your band after something...

I never heard of this group or this album before. It's a hard rock album from 1994 that isn't grunge, riot grrrl, an early example of britpop or a late entry of hair metal. What is it then? Something out of time altogether. On this website it is classified in two genres: the forever unhelpful 'Alternative rock' and the obtuse 'Post-Hardcore'. Sure. To me it sounds like a strange child between a metal and punk album, two styles that don't mix easily. In fact, they rarely mix here. They show up on different tracks. It's quite an interesting experience, very rough around the edges in a way I find appealing. Whether it is truly great I find a little hard to judge from one listen.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:19 pm

Today I updated from #1684 (The Birthday Party's Junkyard) to #1716 (Morphine's Cure for Pain).

Not much to say about this update so let's go to yet the third Nick Cave album I listened to through this project, although this time not a solo album.

Yes, I am speaking of Junkyard by The Birthday Party:
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Well yeah, I would look like that too if I held my birthday parties at a junkyard.

So this is very early Nick Cave. He didn't even write all the songs himself and this band doesn't exactly feel like The Bad Seeds. In fact, this feels like a poorly produced early effort. The sound is very muffled. At the same time, there is a lot of appeal here. Cave is already the lead singer, but this hardly feels like his dark poetry that would soon arise. Note though, that during this process I can't focus too much on lyrics, but still this felt like excuses to scream in several ways. The darkness is there, already though, but this is still a youthful celebration of darkness, whereas things later would turn truly nasty. I kind of like this album, for very different reasons than later Cave records. It has spirit.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:07 pm

Today I updated from #1717 (Magic Sam's West Side Soul) to #1750 (Destoyer's Poison Season).

Not much to say, expect that Phallus Dei by Amon Düül II is another case were on Spotify the A- and B-side are switched :angry-nono:

So today I listened to West Side Soul by Magic Sam:
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Magic Sam about to work his magic.

The title makes you think you are going to listen to soul, but this a real blues album. The first track still contains a singing style close to soul, but Sam quickly change vocal style and goes full blues. It's a pretty typical electric blues album, but very well-performed. At the start I didn't get what made this one standout to all other genre efforts that are not on this AM (and let's face it, this genre isn't that big on the album list), especially since this is filled with covers of songs that should be familiar to anyone who once gave the blues at least a passing glance. But I got into it's groove after a while and I suspect that what separates Sam is pure skill, both in vocals and guitar. There is a special spirit here.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:45 pm

Today I updated from #1751 (Kings of Leon's Aha Shake Heartbreak) to #1777 (The Corals' The Coral).

It seems every Van Morrison album is now on Spotify except Tupelo Honey. Apparently is one Van himself doesn't like, but whether that is the reason isn't there I don't know. Odd anyway.

Luckily, I didn't have to listen to Tupelo Honey today, but instead to Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon:
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Despite all the success, the band members have remained quite normal. They even do the laundry just like you.

This band has a strange status. They became hugely popular because of the one-two punch Sex on Fire and Use Somebody. Apparently their success was bigger than these two songs, but I can't remember hearing anything else by them on the radio much, certainly not before it. Still, this is the internet age so if songs like these two become popular all that is left hatred by default by the music community. I never got it, Sex on Fire is one of the really cool rock songs of last decade, but don't tell that to someone who posts on RateYourMusic.
This surge in popularity from 2008 on has somewhat overshadowed the works that came before, even though these albums became hits retroactively. They even have critical acclaim on here, but are there still critics going to bat for them in the year 2018? It already feels like this group has lost all credibility anywhere. And listening to Aha Shake Heartbreak for the first time I think that is a real shame. This album is tons of fun and very different to what came after. It's mostly a laid-back take on rock, with playful vocals that seem to belong to another vocalist than the later albums, though it isn't. Good stuff, that reignites some interest in this group for me.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:21 pm

Today I updated from #1778 (Coil's Horse Rotorvator) to #1812 (Miranda Lambert's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend).

Faust has become part of my list of enemies. The messy way they are on Spotify is a nightmare and slows this progress to a halt. And I had to deal with TWO albums of them today. To make things worse, their name isn't even from the old Faust legend which I always assumed, but just the German word for fist. I have a fist that likes to meet them.

Anyway, back to reason. Or at least to Coil, with their Horse Rotorvator:
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'Rotorvator' is a word I wasn't familiar with, but Googling it up only brought me to the Coil album. Apparently this is a made-up word. Luckily there is an actual race horse named Coil, who is now retired, but was apparently very good. Here he is with his rider Martin Garcia. Learning these facts is more fun than trying to find a Faust album.

I didn't know Coil at all and the start was kind of a shock. The first track, actually named The Anal Staircase, is a big mess of industrial noise. Didn't make me look forward to hearing more. But from the second song out I was hooked. This is difficult, uneasy music full of bad emotions, but beautiful in it's twisted way. There is hardly a minute that didn't captivate. Certainly one of the more interesting discoveries I made through this process and perhaps one of the best.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by DaveC » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:55 am

A rotavator is "a machine with rotating blades for breaking up or tilling the soil." If you had asked me to spell it, I would probably have gone with Coil's spelling. I found one picture of a horse drawn rotavator online, but it looks to be copyright protected. There are tractor drawn versions and motorised versions that you can push like a big lawnmower. There is even a high tech remote controlled version - an acquaintance imported the first one into New Zealand a few years ago - this has the advantage that it can dig slopes that would be too dangerous to dig using other models.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:02 am

DaveC wrote:A rotavator is "a machine with rotating blades for breaking up or tilling the soil." If you had asked me to spell it, I would probably have gone with Coil's spelling. I found one picture of a horse drawn rotavator online, but it looks to be copyright protected. There are tractor drawn versions and motorised versions that you can push like a big lawnmower. There is even a high tech remote controlled version - an acquaintance imported the first one into New Zealand a few years ago - this has the advantage that it can dig slopes that would be too dangerous to dig using other models.
Thanks, this helps for the agriculture theme I'm trying to build here. We also learned that Coil can't spell.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:50 pm

Today I updated from #1813 (Donny Hathaway's Extension of a Man) to #1846 (Miles Davis' Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet).

Is there a way to notify Spotify about mixed artists? Today I came across The Tony Williams Lifetime, whose album Emergency! is on AM, but not on Spotify. The weird thing is that there are three Tony Williams profiles on Spotify, mixing the jazz artist I was looking for, a white guy and a rapper. All three are different people, but show up in each others profiles.

Also, you may notice that I have three tracks from The Flaming Lips EP Race of the Prize in the playlist, despite this EP not being part of the AM list. This is because Zaireeka, which is ranked, is not on Spotify, but three tracks from it are, through the EP.

While updating I listened to Donny Hathaway's Extension of a Man:
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A very pensive mister Hathaway, who he delivers a very soulful album.

Another artist I wasn't familiar with, but it seems he was quite successful in the US, especially thanks to some duets with Roberta Flack. She doesn't appear on this album though. What we have here is something that sounds like a middle ground between something Stevie Wonder would put out and What's Going On. The latter is mostly present sound-wise, not in political content. This feels like a spiritual album, with more than one reference to religion. It opens with a five minute instrumental that is almost classical in nature, named I Love the Lord; He Heard My Cry. It's a beautiful composition, which sets the tone well. Nonetheless there is stylistic diversity here. Most is classic soul, but with nods to jazz, funk and even some more classical. It stays fresh during the whole album. This is the kind of thing I expect critics to fawn over so it is an actual surprise that something like this is so relatively little known. Perhaps it's just that this wasn't a particular hit for Hathaway and he was more famous for other works?

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:44 pm

Today I updated from #1847 (Dr. John's Dr. John's Gumbo) to #1882 (Ty Segall's Manipulator).

Does anybody get what's up with the Orchestra Baobab album that is on AM as Vol. 1: Senegambie/Vol. 2: Ngalam/Ken Dou Werente/Pirates Choice? Likely this one has been discussed once, but this confused me nonetheless and it seems like a huge stretch to call this one album. I mean, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are clearly two separate album. Ken Dou Werente is a compilation that takes some songs from both volumes, but who calls it an actual album? And then there is Pirates Choice from 2014 (thirty years after the other albums!), which compiles all songs from Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Now there is only one list that ranked this "album" after Pirates Choice came out, so that one seems to have little (if any) influence, but still seems like compilation albums where used here to make this one count. I haven't come across another album here that seems to made it here in such a chaotic way. Can anyone explain?
By the way, I used Pirates Choice for the playlist as it is the only one on Spotify.

In the meantime, take some of Dr. John's Gumbo (which is an album, I don't know if Dr. John cooks the stuff):
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So this is gumbo, a very New Orleans meal. I had it when visiting the city, but it is not my thing. The album however...

This is really likable. These songs may all be familiar to anyone with some knowledge of New Orleans blues as this is Dr. John's tribute to the musical legacy of his city. He keeps things light and turns the affair in something of a boogie party. If you are susceptible to such a style - and I am - this is a lot of fun. Dr. John's voice sounds like he has lived the hard life for decades, even though he was only 31 at the time, which gives the whole thing even more of a natural feel.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:56 pm

Today I updated from #1883 (UB40's Signing Off) to #1926 (The Impressions' People Get Ready).

A remarkably simple update, although I was surprised to find a full-fledged compilation album here: A Date With Elvis. Also, a lot of the albums I came across today were really, really long.

Also long is the 66 minute Signing Off by UB40:
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This is how I felt while listening to Signing Off. So, if you don't want to read me being negative about UB40 you should probably skip the next part.

Only yesterday I praised the relaxed party album Dr. John's Gumbo. Today I was confronted with an album that is so completely relaxed that it sounded like all life had left it. I "knew" UB40 already of course, because for a long while in my life Red Red Wine was always on the radio (and I was born 4 years after its release!). But I don't put 'knew' in quotation marks for nothing, for how can you know a band that tries very hard to hide its presence. This is lounge music that makes you go to the owner of the lounge to ask why he doesn't have any music on. I vaguely know Food For Thought and I'm baffled by how such a thing could actually could become a hit. That wouldn't all be so bad if... Well, actually it is that bad, but lets add to all this that we are talking about an album that goes on for 66 minutes without the faintest variation. The muffled, quiet voice by Campbell is enough to lull an insomniac to sleep, but his vocal performance is downright virtuoso compared to whatever Brian Travers thinks he is doing on saxophone. That guy has only one idea that gets repeated without end for the whole duration of the album. Than suddenly a 12 minute song appears for no reason at all, as it sounds exactly the same as every second that came before. Really, few bands have come so far with doing so little. And it is all so incredibly sleep inducing. It's an album without life and energy.

And when you think things couldn't get worse these people have the gall to cover Strange Fruit, of all songs. You know, the song that broke Billie Holiday and perhaps the most harrowing account of slavery in music history: covered by UB F***ING 40, masters of laziness. I think no cover could be made of that song that is more offensive. All horror, immediacy, emotion and sense of purpose is removed and what we get is a relaxed beach song. Yes, there exists A RELAXED BEACH VERSION OF STRANGE FRUIT.
And yes, I know they recorded more protest songs for this album, that they wrote themselves. That the point doesn't come across musically is an understatement.

F*** this band. One of the most awful albums I have ever listened to and easily the worst of the top 3000 of Acclaimed Music.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:39 pm

Today I updated from #1927 (Ornette Coleman's This Is Our Music) to #1959 (The Saints' Eternally Yours).

An uneventful update, so I might use this space for some other ramblings. Some of you might notice that the amount of albums done in one update is getting slightly lesser. This has to do with the method used, which goes quicker if albums have three songs ranked on AM, but these become rarer and rarer.
I'm no longer optimistic that I will finish this in December. In fact, despite having a good week for this last week, this week looks dour as far as free time goes, so perhaps I will only update one more time before next Monday (or Tuesday!). We'll see.

While updating I listened to Ornette Coleman's This Is Our Music:
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No, this is not the Ornette Coleman Quartet, but if somebody says 'This Is Our Music' this is the image I get in mind. Did you know there isn't much schlager music on Acclaimed Music?

Ah yes, jazz, always difficult to talk about, especially when you literally treat it as background music. This is a mix between wild, free jazz and a couple of more relaxing tracks. Like the last time I came across jazz here I don't feel qualified to say more about it, all the more because this might be the first time I heard anything of Coleman. Beauty is a Rare Thing is a pretty great track though.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:33 pm

Today I updated from #1960 (Okkervil River's The Stage Names) to #1991 (Little Feat's Feat Don't Fail Me Now).

Not much to say, update-wise.

So, I listened to The Stage Names by Okkervil River while updating:
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The real Okkervil River in Russia. Not the hometown (homeriver?) of the band.

There are only two Okkervil River albums in this list, but fate has served me both during this project. For Black Sheep Boy we have to move almost 900 spaces back in the list. Anyway, what I wrote then goes now too: musically it is very well done and captivating, but I feel I miss a lot if I don't focus on the lyrics here. Still, there are some surprises here, as the final song changing into Sloop John B. halfway. Okkervil River still got some attention for The Silver Gymnasium in 2013, but I have a feeling that the two subsequent albums, including this year's In the Rainbow Rain, have gone by without drawing much attention and they might be one of those half-forgotten bands that I find a lot in these regions of the list. Perhaps undeserved, as far as Black Sheep Boy and The Stage Names are concerned.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:46 pm

Sorry for the second delay in a short time, but to continue:

Today I updated from #1992 (Megadeth's Peace Sells... But Who 's Buying?) to #2018 (Dr. Feelgood's Stupidity).

Milestone: Yes, that's right, I passed the #2000 today! Two thirds on the way, baby! I might finish this before the next update!

And I listened to a happy metal album today too, Megadeth's Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?:
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Won't you buy some peace from this guy?

That is a funny album title, but did anybody ever notice that these guys answered their own question? The single was simply Peace Sells and it was a hit. So to answer the question: fans of Megadeth. Who knows, maybe some day metalheads will save us all and bring peace back to this earth.
The album itself is not quite a hippie record. In fact, it isn't one at all. It's an aggressive piece of trash metal and if I'm correct very influential in it's genre. I tried this one before, probably some two years ago, but it didn't click with me then. Now I actually found it quite amusing, with it's wacky lyrics combined with incessant drumming and riffing. It doesn't let up. It's a bit much after a while, even for it's short running time, but I can't deny these guys had spirit.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:50 pm

Today I updated from #2019 (Joe Satriani's Surfing With the Alien) to #2052 (Michael Kiwanuka's Love & Hate).

Not much news on this front.

So, while updating I listened to Surfing With the Alien by Joe Satriani:
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For decades this album had the Silver Surfer on the cover but this year it was decided that the rights to this Marvel property weren't duly paid, so now it comes with a new cover. Nonetheless, I give you a picture of the Silver Surfer that comments on Marvel's stance.

Joe Satriani, it's been too long! You see, a good friend of mine some ten years ago went through a big Joe Satriani phase and his favorite album was, yes, Surfing With the Alien. I remember how he introduced me to the title track and I thought it was pretty cool, if for no other reason that it reminded me of the soundtrack for the F-Zero games (perhaps it's no coincidence that the origin of that series comes quickly after Joe Satriani's breakout). Then the album continued and it lost its appeal to me. Still, I heard it quite a few times in those days, though really with diminishing returns and I was glad when my friends obsession with Satriani eventually passed. Coming back to him now I have the same problem as then (although some nostalgia creeped in): Satriani is a guitar virtuoso who is clearly not a songwriter or composer. This album can only be described as 'guitar skill', but can we call these songs? I love guitar instrumental albums. I'm always in for guitar jazz or American primitivism, but this is just a guy showing off. There is no sense of build, of tension, of emotion, nor atmosphere. Even back then I thought Satriani was in need of a band who can help him give purpose to his relentless soloing. Now it just too cold and soulless. Cool in a way, but without depth or reason to return after you heard the trick once.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:02 pm

Today I updated from #2053 (Miguel's Wildheart) to #2085 (Meat Puppet's Up on the Sun).

Time to complain: I came across The Original London Concept Recording of Jesus Christ Superstar today. Of course, that has no business on this list, but that is not my complaint. No, the problem is that this album becomes harder to find because the artist on every damn recording of this musical accordin to Spotify is Diverse Artiesten ('Various artists' in English, you might have heard of them). This makes it harder to find on it own, but changing the original cover art doesn't help either. I think I have the right version now, but it's hard to be sure. Why do so many people record this thing anyway?

Today I listened to an album with less Christian leanings, namely Wildheart by Miguel:
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Shh, Miguel already knows what you want and he is going to give it to you.

Something else than I expected. I was all prepared for auto-tuned neo-soul, but no, Miguel trusts his own voice and uses more classic arrangements, although he still sounds very modern despite all this. It's very enjoyable to listen to and very consistent too. Nonetheless Miguel might actually be at an advantage here, because as I stated many times before I can't really focus on lyrics much while compiling this playlist. Still, I noticed some rather explicit, hell pornographic, lyrics here. I'm not sure if they take up the most space on this album, but subtle it ain't. Will this stuff grow old for me soon, is it actually off-putting or sexy as hell. Too soon to tell, but at least based on sound Miguel has earned the benefit of the doubt.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:41 pm

Today I updated from #2086 (Madonna's Music) to #2115 (The Original Soundtrack of West Side Story).

Spotify complaint: The German group Trio are lumped together as one artist with several other, unrelated acts also called Trio, including some who aren't actually called Trio, but are a jazz trio. Get your act together Spotify! You are slowing down this progress!

Today I listened to Music by Madonna:
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Music of Music by Madonna.

It's a given that an album contains music, so actually calling your album Music feels like a statement of some sorts. Now statements aren't actually Madonna's strong suit, so we just get music. I'm not big on Madonna and this album isn't for me. I hoped it would be more like Ray of Light, which is the closest I can bring myself to loving Madonna, but this is less dreamy like that album. The singles are solid here, but overall, this just isn't for me.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:47 pm

Today I updated from #2116 (Whitney's Light Upon the Lake) to #2189 (Robbie Robertson's Robbie Robertson).

Complaint: In heaven's name, who gave João Gilberto permission to release so many albums with just (part of) his name as a title? And who agreed that he could record the same songs over and over? You know how hard it becomes to find an acclaimed album just called João Gilberto? Especially after many tries you find out that this specific album is not on Spotify! João Gilberto now joins my ever-growing list of personal enemies.

Let's just enjoy Light Upon the Lake by Whitney:
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Christmas lights upon the lake. Less subtle than the Whitney album.

When I see an artist name like Whitney I immediately expect a female artist, probably solo. Using just her first name, like Adele. But no, we get two guys. What is most embarrassing is that I just found out I already listened to this album, but had completely forgotten about it. Even worse, I already wrote about them. In my 10.000 Songs series I came across the song Weekend by Smith Westerns and Whitney was founded when that group broke up, but two of it's members wanted to stay together. When I wrote about Weekend Light Upon the Lake was released only a week before. I didn't exactly guess then that it would become Year-end material. I wrote:
"Whitney released Light Upon the Lake, just a week ago. It has a more sparse approach than Smith Westerns and is also worth a listen. Again, there is nothing miraculous about any of this, but it’s two more albums [this and Smith Westerns' Dye It Blonde, sic.] you could add to the sound of the summer of 2016 without regret.
I hardly feel different about it, as this music is quite well done and pleasant, but it feels forgettable and apparently it is.

But wait a minute... Light Upon the Lake is only 30 minutes long and I added a record of 73 albums to the playlist! Did I just get inhumanly fast? Sadly not, I just decided to listen to another album and continue updating. So I also listened to Where You Go I Go Too by Lindstrøm (which you'll find at #2144 on the list):
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More lights! So, if Lindstrøm makes space disco and he goes where you go too, does that mean you are in space?

Well, I'll be... Another artist I wrote about in my 10.000 songs series, through his song I Feel Space. Luckily, I did remember that one and I am also sure I never listened to this particular album. It is something of a revelation. I wasn't that enamored with I Feel Space, but I am with this album, which is full of striking compositions. It's 55 minutes long, with only three tracks, but it keeps varying. And is it me or is the final part of the last track famous? I feel it was used somewhere, in a movie, commercial or as a sample.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Today I updated from #2190 (Parliament's The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein) to #2222 (Jay-Z's 4:44).

Note: Jazz, jazz, jazz albums everywhere! How many can you fit in a space of 32 albums. A lot!

But I didn't listen to a jazz album while updating, I listened to, well, this:
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Usually I don't post an album cover here, but no image I could have chosen would tell you more (and less at the same time) as this. Are you sad this isn't from an actual movie? No, I'm not sure either.

The music on the album isn't as out there as the cover, but not for a lacking of trying. This is my favorite funk band and this is just another great collection of songs. Sometimes wacky, sometimes surprisingly sincere, but always ready to party. This is probably what you are coming for and it is what you get. What sets this apart from other P-Funk albums isn't so much the surprise as well the consistency.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by bootsy » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:56 am

Rob wrote:Today I updated from #2190 (Parliament's The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein) to #2222 (Jay-Z's 4:44).

Note: Jazz, jazz, jazz albums everywhere! How many can you fit in a space of 32 albums. A lot!

But I didn't listen to a jazz album while updating, I listened to, well, this:
Image
Usually I don't post an album cover here, but no image I could have chosen would tell you more (and less at the same time) as this. Are you sad this isn't from an actual movie? No, I'm not sure either.

The music on the album isn't as out there as the cover, but not for a lacking of trying. This is my favorite funk band and this is just another great collection of songs. Sometimes wacky, sometimes surprisingly sincere, but always ready to party. This is probably what you are coming for and it is what you get. What sets this apart from other P-Funk albums isn't so much the surprise as well the consistency.
When I was a kid, my dad had The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein album and it always use to scare me as a little kid. They looked so weird and creepy on that cover but I never listened to the album. Now it's one of my favorite P-Funk/Funkadelic albums.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:55 pm

Today I updated from #2223 (The Art Ensemble of Chicago's People in Sorrow) until #2253 (Jack White's Lazaretto).

Milestone: We passed #2250 meaning we only have one quarter left! :happy-partydance:
Also: Jazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Seriously, it feels like every second jazz album ever created is dumped in this region of the list.

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The Art Ensemble of Chicago, not looking particularly sorrowful.

Art ensemble indeed. I knew this jazz group from Thème de Yoyo, which was a surprise entry in the seventies poll a couple of year ago. That was quite a captivating listen, but I never went beyond that. So I wasn't at all prepared for what I got here. This is very experimental stuff. Now, I like me some experimental work, but this is a step too far for me. It consists out of two tracks and the first one hardly contains a trace of melody; not even a deconstructed melody. Somebody plucks his bass every now and then. A bell rings briefly. It all feels very random and not particularly musical to my ears. And that goes on for 17 minutes, after which the second track starts and at the very least more instruments allow themselves to be heard. Now we get deconstructed melodies. A lot of dissonance and atonal play. It did pretty much nothing for me, except annoy me from time to time. Maybe it works better if you fully focus on it, but at the moment I think this isn't for me.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:03 pm

Today I updated from #2254 (Herbert's Around the House) to #2320 (Small Faces' Small Faces).

A huge update as you can see, thanks to the album I've been listening to, which is rather long:

Herbert's Around the House:
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Herbert's house. Okay, not really (as far as I know), but it is almost Christmas and it fits te title, even though the album probably refers as much to house music as to a physical place (although we hear some domestic sound effects).

This is an album that pushed it's luck too much for me. I liked it a lot for a long time. This is rather mellow house - I guess that is what 'microhouse' means - and I have a hard time imagining dancing to this, but it is very good to work with, but also detailed enough I suspect for a close listening. The few tracks with female vocals are standouts. But then, near the end we get two ten plus songs and for some reason these are extremely repetitive. The album begun to annoy me, especially since some of the domestic sounds (doors opening, glasses being put on the table; that sort of stuff) where mixed much louder than the actual music and were very jarring. And these songs take up over 20 minutes of this 73 minute album and the final 5 minute track doesn't save it. I'll take the first half of this one gladly, but I'm not sure if I can work up the patience for the second part again.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:40 pm

Today I updated from #2321 (The White Stripes' De Stijl) to #2352 (The Cramps' Psychedelic Jungle).

No news.

So I listened to De Stijl, by The White Stripes:
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We don't get much Dutch titled albums here, even if this one is named after an art movement. The most famous example of De Stijl is probably Mondriaan, of which you see a Composition above.

The album is less arty than it's title suggest. Just some straightforward blues rock, with a couple of more folky ballads in between. It's just that Jack White does this stuff very well. The albums of The White Stripes are all very consistent and this is no exception.

I won't be updating the next two days because of Christmas. Happy Christmas to you all!

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:47 pm

Today I updated from #2353 (Labelle's Nightbirds) to #2380 (Motorpsycho's Timothy's Monster).

Note: After three of the albums of Ray Charles have been on Spotify in stupid ways I have added him to my list of enemies. No matter that he is dead and died before Spotify messed up his legacy. This won't do and he slows this process down considerably.

Luckily I listened to the far more agreeable Labelle today, through their Nightbirds:
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A nightbird. Not part of Labelle.

This album is simply based on Patti Labelle's powerful voice, which could shout down a mountain. Perhaps this is unfair to Nona Hendryx, also a singer in the group who wrote many of the songs, but what you remember is Patti Labelle herself. Luckily, her vocals aren't treated a like a simple gimmick, but get some good tunes. Lady Marmalade is a deserved classic and Nightbird has a great melody, that I suspect was used in Jokerman by Bob Dylan.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:40 pm

Today I updated from #2381 (The Shins' Whincing the Night Away) to #2418 (The Red Krayola's The Parable of Arable Land).

Milestone: We reached 2400, which means only one fifth of the list is left to do.
Also, it was a pleasantly swift update.

And during this update I listened to Whincing the Night Away from The Shins:
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The Shins, about to take a swim, but not looking to confident about it.

I hadn't heard this album before, but I listened to Phantom Limb when it was part of our 2000's Song poll last year. I remember saying than that it didn't really connect with me and that was no lie. I couldn't remember how it went and when it came on here I didn't immediately recognize it. Still, it was more melodious than I recollected and the whole album has a pleasant tunefulness about it. It could be a pretty throwaway that's nice while it is playing or it could have hidden depths. Closer and repeated listening will have to prove one over the other. For now, it is mostly a nice reminder that The Shins deserve more of a chance with me.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:18 pm

Today I updated from #2419 (Nico's Desertshore) to #2445 (Grinderman's Grinderman).

A small update, but Desertshore is only 29 minutes long.
Little note: I did the last albums of Bon Dylan and David Bowie. Now I didn't keep you all up to date about which artist's works I have completely added to the playlist, there are many already, but these two have so many albums in the list that it feels like a milestone.

Today I listened to another artist that is now completely done in this playlist: Nico with her Desertshore:
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Nico, looking deserted. Doesn't she always?

I knew a little of this album. At least I heard opening song Janitor of Lunacy a few times before, so I didn't come in unprepared. Still, it was the first time hearing this in full and it is definitely a discovery. This album has great atmosphere. From the first minute you land in some sort of other world, something already suggested by the cover art. Although admittedly, this album reminds me more of medieval times than of deserts. Visions of old Europe are hard to shake off, but it also feels stranger than that, because of some of the more modern instruments used. Is it a futuristic vision of the old past? Whatever it is, it is bewitching. Like Björk, Nico's heavily accented voice can be a mixed blessing for me, but it works well for this unique trip.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:12 pm

Today I updated from #2446 (Mudhoney's Superfuzz Bigmuff EP) to #2515 (John Fahey's The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death).

Yes, a double update. Superfuzz Bigmuff EP by Mudhoney is so short that I thought I could go further after listening to that one and I continued with Demanufacture by Fear Factory:
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Mudhoney, trying to live up to their name.

This band I only knew by name, but this is the most grunge album ever made and they did it before Nirvana even released their first album. I thought Nevermind captured most what that genre was about, but this sounds like the original prototype, the album every other grunge group tried to make. Pretty cool stuff, even in it's original 6 song format.

And then came Fear Factory's Demanufacture:
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You should fear factories, because they are scary.

I wasn't in the mood for this. Raging metal can be fun, but only when I'm specifically set for it. And I've never taken to these grunting vocals, which I can't help but find comical. They also get annoying after a while. I think metalheads think these grunts are cool, but to me it is the opposite. The edge lord lyrics don't help much. Too bad, I like the playing in general, but as a whole I doubt this album is for me.
Last edited by Rob on Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:28 pm

Today I updated from #2516 (Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil) to #2543 (The Walkmen's Lisbon).

No news.

While updating I listened to Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil:
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I hoped this poster was for the tour supporting the album. A live show that required Lee Marvin with a mustache, Roger Moore, Ian Holm as an Arab, the totality of the African continent (minus the black people, as according to the IMDb credits this "greatest African adventure ever filmed" does hardly contain any actors of color) and two years of preparation time. I mean, it would fit this band's gonzo character. Sadly, it is just a film.

Mötley Crüe belongs to that specific group of eighties metal acts that also includes the likes of Def Leppard and Poison, which seem to be very popular, but I somehow never really listened to. This is far removed from the metal of Fear Factory which I talked about only one post before. This is cartoonish nonsense, in line with what Alice Cooper made in the seventies, but without the same glee. I can enjoy this kind of thing when it is playing, but will probably never return to it. There is too little to it for that.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:21 pm

Today I updated from #2544 (American Music Club's Everclear) to #2572 (The Cure's Faith).

Not much to say, except that I'm sometimes curious as to why certain albums appear on Spotify, while others don't. Take The Smashing Pumpkins for example: almost completely there, except the album Adore.

Anyway, today I listened to Everclear by American Music Club:
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American Music Club: a group of people getting together in intimate settings to listen to music. A bit like the offline Acclaimed Music.

Another unknown quantity for me, although was familiar with Mark Eitzel's last solo release. Never knew he was around for so long already. This is album mixes singer-songwriter and folk qualities with a production that sometimes reminds me of sophisti-pop from the late '80's, early '90's. It's a curious mix, but it stands out and although it shows it's age, it is still worth a listen.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:57 pm

Today I updated from #2573 (CHVRCHES' Every Eye Open) to #2608 (Yo La Tengo's I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass).

No time for notes, because today's album inspired me. The album was Every Eye Open by CHVRCHES and this is the image I use:
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This, dear people, is what we call the letter V. I would like to tell you here how it is pronounced, but the only way to do this is to say it sounds like a V. Following this, you might think that the letter V is usually used to make clear that a particular letter in a word is pronounced like a V. You would be right. There are odd exceptions, like how in Spain they tend to pronounce V as a B, just to be different. Still, we communicate here in English and there is an unspoken understanding here that a V is indeed a V.

What a V definitely is not is a U. They look similar, sure, but they have different pronunciations. To make this clear they made a simple, but very noticeable design choice: the V is a sharp downward point, whereas the U has a rounded downside.

Of course, things were made more difficult with the W. It is called a double-u in English, even do it clearly looks like a double v (notice the two sharp points downward in V). This is a mistake that should be corrected as soon as possible and I think we should e grateful only the English language went wrong here. Still, despite it's complex name, everybody seems to understand the basic function of the W rather well. I won't blame any mistakes regarding the V and U on the W.

Now, there is this Scottish band called CHVRCHES. Now I won't hold it against it that Scottish people feel the need to compensate for something and write their band names in capitals. We all make childish mistakes like that, because we think they are cool, even though everyone around us knows better. No, the capitals are not the problem here. The problem is that Scottish, although a dialect, is an English language and they use the English pronunciation of the V. They don't pronounce it as U. And yet, here we are, with a band named CHVRCHES. We are meant to say Churches (yes, we don't need to actually yell it either).

But I can't!

I can't mentally say a U when I see a V. My mind is not trained to do this. If my mind could do it, it would not be able to read. Chaos would ensue, because each letter would get a new meaning. To me, this band is called chvrches, and that is not pretty to say (and rather pretentious for a band who make simple pop songs). Churches are holy buildings; chvrches are not a thing and neither should they be.

Of course this wasn't without precedent. Remember when movies use to do this frequently? You got stupid titles like Se7en (Sesevenen) and L4yer Cake (Lfouryer Cake) (by the way, the 7 doesn't look all that much like a V, even less so than the U). Prince liked this kind of thing to, but at least song titles I Would Die 4 U and Nothing Compares 2 U; it's still stupid as hell, but you mentally say the right thing. Unless he wanted us to pronounce it like I Would Die for V and Nothing Compares Two V, than he's to blame for this whole article.

Let's get serious, people. Now is to time to appreciate what language gave us. They gave us to V and the U to better communicate through the written word. Imagine if you had to swap these to in this whole text; it would become unreadable. Let's make this world a better place for V's, U's, W's and all other written symbols, so we can better understand each other and finally achieve peace.

Also, CHVRCHES made an album named Every Eye Open. Pop music as bland as it get to me. I refuse to give them one more letter.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:10 pm

Today I updated from #2609 (Amon Tobin's Supermodified) to #2661 (The Everly Brothers' It's Everly Time).

I noticed quite a few jazz albums again today. They sometimes seem to come in bundles. Is it that they all appear on similar lists that they tend to be so close together most of the time?

Anyway, today I didn't listen to jazz, but electronic music while updating. Amon Tobin's Supermodified was today's album:
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Amon Tobin, not looking Supermodified so much as super tired.

As I said, this isn't jazz, but at times it seems an electronic variation on it. I wouldn't necessarily call this experimental in an avant-garde kind of way, but I think it is in an artistic way, as Tobin here seems to try out a lot of stuff. Every new song has a different sound. From expansive and melodious to extremely repetitive and just plain wacky (Precursor is out there). I didn't like everything at first listen, but there was certainly enjoyable stuff here.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:26 pm

Today I updated from #2662 (The Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup) to #2700 (Emerals' Does It Look Like I'm Here).

Milestone: I reached exactly #2700 today! That doesn't look like a noteworthy number on it's own, but look at it another way and you might notice that there are only 300 album left. That's 10%. The final tenth have begun!

To celebrate, I asked a Vietnamese restaurant to cook something for me, based on the title of the album I listened to (which is, yes Goats Head Soup by The Rolling Stones):
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Tasty stuff. I guess there should be a warning before you view this image? To be fair, the actual album cover scares me more.

So, Goats Head Soup by The Rolling Stones. I always feel like that one is usually seen as a weaker effort and it seems more referred to as one of their worst from the period. But if you look at this Album Top 3000 closer you notice that particularly popular acts tend to get a lesser rated album in quite easily, as long as it belongs to their peak years (so no latter-day works). Goats Head Soup is probably the one for The Stones. Still, this is the one with Angie and I love that song. A pretty unique ballad for them. The other songs that stand out are very much The Rolling Stones doing The Rolling Stones, but with tracks like Star, Star or Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo that is no problem, but a lot feels a little too perfunctory here. Not bad, but mostly only for the fans who don't have enough with just their real classics.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:13 pm

Today I updated from #2701 (The Divine Comedy's Liberation) to #2745 (Swans' My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky).

No news.

Today I listened to Liberation from The Divine Comedy:
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This liberation according to The Divine Comedy. I am not talking of the band, but of the poem written by Dante Alighieri, quite a few years ago. Contrary to the modern definition of 'comedy' this is not a funny work, but an uplifting one. Here you see Dante's vision of Paradise, the place were you get after true liberation.

Today's album is less ambitious than Dante's epic, religious and philosophical poem. Shall I hold it against them? That would perhaps be unfair, but nonetheless I can't easily listen to this music. I know that the lyrics are known for their sophisticated humor, but there is something about the way Neil Hannon sings that puts me off. The too-knowing cheekiness of his crooning somehow annoys me and fails to draw me into the lyrics. Maybe I'll get it one day, but that is not this day.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:44 pm

Today I updated from #2746 (Squarepusher's Feed Me Weird Things) to #2802 (The Gun Club's The Las Vegas Story).

I'm always ready to use this space too point out curiosities of Spotify that become very noticeable when you do this kind of project. Today something fell in line with the album I had to listen too. In a way, it took me until #2746 to get an album to listen to that isn't on Spotify. Feed Me Weird Things is a very typical album to not be on the streaming service, because '90 dance albums are almost never there. Or they are there in a completely new remix, with a lot of hot new guests, but I don't count these as the entries for Acclaimed Music. Most of these album artists still have music on Spotify, but only recent output. It is almost as if dance artists are ashamed of ever having made music that was once cool, but isn't hip and happening anymore. I can't read these people's minds, but it can't be a coincidence that this once highly popular tastemakers on the dance floor have steadily worked to keep their music off streaming services. They don't want to new party goers to know that they once made this old-fashioned music?

So I had to listen to Squarepushers album on YouTube:
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Yes you youngsters, this is how we partied in the nineties to Squarepusher songs!

So yeah, ye olden time party music was quite something. In all seriousness, Squarepusher has hold up pretty well and the album is a nice mix between almost ambient tracks, some catchy melodious stuff and real bangers. I'm not a the biggest dancer in the world, but I quite liked this.

If you like Squarepusher, I also recommend this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P60cMyXxlDE

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:48 pm

Today I updated from #2803 (Max Romeo & The Upsetters War Ina Babylon) to #2834 (Otis Redding & Carla Thomas' King & Queen).

No news here.

While updating I listened to Max Romeo & The Upsetters' War Ina Babylon:
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The Fall of Babylon, a Biblical event of destruction that should be a warning to us all. In an indirect way, Max Romeo refers to this.

Odd coincidence: with Squarepusher I had to listen to an album that isn't on Spotify for the first time during this whole process and it is immediately followed by this one, which bar a few tracks is also not on Spotify. Although in this case I suspect it is a regional thing.
Whatever, I expected this album to be higher on AM, because I always thought this one of the most iconic reggae albums. It is also one of the best as far I can tell. I only knew the title track and I Chase the Devil; both of which I think are the genre at it's best. And it turns out that the whole album is as strong. Max Romeo has an appealing voice and a good sense of rhythm that puts him clearly at the top of reggae, at least if you ask me. His lyrics tend to be memorable too; not so much as pieces of poetry as well as for their righteous stance. Good stuff.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Post by Rob » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:12 pm

Today I updated from #2835 (LL Cool J's BAD: Bigger and Deffer) to #2873 (Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley's Nancy Wilson/ Cannonball Adderley).

Nothing worth mentioning here.

So, today I listened to BAD: Bigger and Deffer, by LL Cool J:
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LL Cool J stands for Ladies Love Cool James. BAD stands for Bigger and Deffer. So all the ladies love him, he is cool, he is bad, he is big and he is def (the last thing means excellent, apparently). Few would deserve this gif, but he clearly does.

One year before Michael Jackson claimed he was Bad, LL Cool J already did it. And let's face it, when Michael Jackson sings "I'm bad!" he sounds like a little kid trying to convince his parents to stay up after 7PM. When LL Cool J raps "I'm BAD!" he sounds like he is going to crush a Michael Jackson with one finger. I've become quite fond of LL Cool J. He has style and swagger, has this hard sound that I enjoy and at times he had something to say. This is another cool album of his.

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