Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

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Brad
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Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Brad »

Welcome to Round 1.10 of Moderately Acclaimed Albums!
Starting to heat up!

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 = May 11th at 10am EST.

Here's a link to the bracket for the entire tournament:
http://www.bracketmaker.com/tmenu.cfm?tid=474290

Match-ups:
1. Fever Ray - Plunge vs. Faust - Faust
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit vs. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull
3. tricot - T H E vs. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines
4. Air Supply - Lost in Love vs. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary


Drink up, happy hour is now enforced by law!
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Listyguy »

1. Fever Ray - Plunge vs. Faust - Faust
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit vs. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull
3. tricot - T H E vs. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines
4. Air Supply - Lost in Love vs. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary
Last edited by Listyguy on Tue May 04, 2021 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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acroamor
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by acroamor »

1. Faust - Faust
2. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull
3. tricot - T H E
4. Air Supply - Lost in Love
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Schüttelbirne »

Fever Ray | Plunge (2017)

I remember that cover because it belongs among those album covers that one doesn‘t simply forget, but I never listened to the album before and it really doesn‘t sound like I expected it to. I remember „If I Had a Heart“ as the Vikings theme song (that show is boring as Hel), and that sounds nothing like this album at all, so I had to double-check that it‘s actually the same artist, and indeed it is.
Anyways, instead of Darkwave-leaning Art Pop I got Electropop with some industrial influces, and since I have general problems with Electropop that‘s not really a good thing. (We did have Jenny Wilson‘s EXORCISM here in the first week and I liked that album, but that is a different case).
I have to say that I found this far more interesting than likable, because the production does some really nice things. I realized that my problem with this album is mostly Dreijer‘s vocals, and not just what she sings, but also the way she sings it which sounds a bit like someone making a bad Lorde parody (I know Dreijer‘s older than her and has been making music far longer).
Skimming through some of the reviews I noticed something a lot of them mentioned: The lyrics apparently are supposed to be rather graphic and I don‘t really see that. I actually had to glance at some of the lyrics after listening to the album because I thought I missed something major. There‘s like two songs, „This Country“ and „To the Moon and Back“ that feature material that could perhaps be described as graphic, if you‘re eleven years old. I mean, I get where she‘s going with this and that it‘s supposed to be some kind of empowerment, but I‘m not really into empowering stuff. My favorite track is the one without the vocals, so I kind of wish the entire album would just leave them out.
Highlights: „Mustn‘t Hurry“, „Plunge“


Faust | Faust (1971)

Starting their debut album with samples from The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, Faust make clear that their roots lie in rock music, but everything they do in the subsequent half-hour is surpassing anything those bands ever did. It‘s an unique explosion of creativity where so many different musical elements are brought together that it just shouldn‘t work, but for some weird reason it does. The stuff that goes on in this album is something that has to be experienced.
I have to say that it may take a few listens to acclimate oneself to the sound of them because they really didn‘t care about convention at this point and just threw everything together. But when the result is as great as this, I can‘t complain.
Best track: I love all three of them, but the best may be „Meadow Meal“


Fela Ransome Kuti & Africa 70 | Expensive Shit (1975)

I like to imagine a double album collecting the tracks from Zombie, Sorrow Tears and Blood and this one, because that would probably make my AT Top 20. As it is, all three of these are great (though he does have other great albums too), but they are very short which is a bit unfortunate, but can‘t be changed. The two songs on this album, „Expensive Shit“ and „Water No Get Enemy“ are very saxophone-heavy and have a wonderful flow to them, making them feel less than ten minutes each. Ultimately, I think I prefer the title track.


Joni Mitchell | Song to a Seagull (1968)

The instrumentation here is rather sparse, so Mitchell‘s voice has to carry the songs mostly by itself and it definitely achieves that. Mitchell is a really great vocalist with a unique voice that is able to give each song a certain feeling. The writing here is good for the most part, even if it isn‘t up in the heights she would reach in the ‚70s (most notably with Blue and Hejira). There‘s a few production tricks that don‘t fit into the sound, but that‘s not enough to derail it. A very enjoyable album that is sadly up against an even better one.


tricot | T H E (2013)

I don‘t understand Math Rock as a genre. I‘ve read several explanations, but it still doesn‘t click with me what is special about it, why it is called Math Rock and what makes it stand out from other Rock subgenres. Genres are overrated, anyways.
There‘s a real closeness to pop melodies and a lot of melodic sensibility at play here. The band manages to make their songs both accessible and fun (which is due especially to the vocals), but also layered enough to warrant repeat listenings.
Highlights: „POOL“, „artsick“, „99.974°C“, „おやすみ”


The Colour Field | Virgins and Philistines (1985)

This didn‘t resonate with me at all. It felt like overly sweet pop music, but incredibly boring so it felt like a chore to sit through.


Air Supply | Lost in Love (1980)

By far the biggest surprise of this tournament so far! Last year‘s The World Is… was indescribably bad and I didn‘t expect any better from this. I can‘t say I loved it or even liked it, but it wasn‘t bad which was more than I expected. The songs in themselves were all rather decent, nothing I would listen to on a regular basis, but they didn‘t bore me nor did they bother me. And „All Out of Love“ is one of these ultimate guilty pleasure songs. I have heard much worse.
Highlight: „All Out of Love“


Wax Tailor | By Any Beats Necessary (2016)

A very sample-heavy album that occassionally excels (as in the highlights), but doesn‘t thrill me otherwise. In one of the songs a voice is telling the listener „until next time“, but I‘d rather not.
Highlights: „My Burn“, „Bleed Away“


5 | Fever Ray | Plunge vs. 1 | Faust | Faust
2 | Fela Kuti & Africa 70 | Expensive Shit vs. 3 | Joni Mitchell | Song to a Seagull
4 | tricot | T H E vs. 8 | The Colour Field | Virgins and Philistines
6 | Air Supply | Lost in Love vs. 7 | Wax Tailor | By Any Beats Necessary
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by DaveC »

1. Fever Ray - Plunge vs. Faust - Faust
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit vs. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull
3. tricot - T H E vs. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines
4. Air Supply - Lost in Love vs. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Rdwdbob »

1. Fever Ray - Plunge
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit
3. The Colourfield - Virgins And Philistines
4. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Nassim »

Schüttelbirne wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:02 pm Fever Ray | Plunge (2017)
Anyways, instead of Darkwave-leaning Art Pop I got Electropop with some industrial influces, and since I have general problems with Electropop that‘s not really a good thing.
Her first album would fit the "darkwave-leaning art pop" better, "If I had a heart" is in it and it sets the tone for the album.
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by spiritualized »

1. Fever Ray - Plunge (7/10) vs. Faust - Faust (5) - Pleasantly surprised by Fever Ray, as I'm not a fan of The Knife. Far more electro than pop, and that's good to me
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit (9) vs. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull (6) - Never liked Joni's voice. Fela Kuti's album is a classic though.
3. tricot - T H E (7) vs. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines (5) - Nice math rock with the added feature of Japanese squeaky vocals. PS math rock is very noticeable by its time signature regular changes. I could hear some At The Drive In in T H E. Good stuff. The Colourfield, albeit an offshoot of the Specials' singer, didn't grab me - sounds a lot like Aztec Camera, with not much added.
4. Air Supply - Lost in Love (2) vs. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary (5) - Yuck Yuck Yuck. I wasn't grabbed by Wax Tailor, but it was going to beat Air Supply hands down. I mean, how paradoxical can a genre be when it's called "SOFT" rock ?
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Jirin »

Expensive Shit 83 - Song To A Seagull 83 (Tie, will only vote if there is a tiebreaker)
Virgins and Philistines 88 - T H E 87
By Any Means Necessary 62 - Lost In Love 58

Need to find Faust.

I wish I could rearrange matchups for this week as they’re all so close for me and one has two of my least favorite from the entire game. Air Supply is like schmaltz: The band.

Plunge is my nomination and in my top ten of the decade. I love the sort of stressed emotion of the vocal delivery and the electronic textures. But it also has a few of the most bizarre songs I’ve ever heard. This Country, and then the love song that abruptly turns vulgar.
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Rob »

Jirin wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 6:57 pm Need to find Faust.
If you're averse to using unofficial YouTube versions I think Bandcamp is the only online space you can still find it: https://faust.bandcamp.com/album/s-t
Does that work for you?
But it also has a few of the most bizarre songs I’ve ever heard.
Just a warning, almost every minute of Faust is more bizarre than Plunge at it's craziest. It's a real treat for me being allowed to listen to their album and Trout Mask Replica multiple times in one week.
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Jirin »

I’m only averse to using them while at work but do most of my listening there.
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Listyguy »

Question for next week: Strapping Young Lad's SYL is their 2003 self titled right?
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Jirin »

Plunge 94 - Faust 71

I would actually argue Plunge is weirder than Faust. Lots of albums have unusual structures. Not a lot say "This country makes it hard to f***". Or cap a seemingly normal song of desire with "I want to fun my fingers up your p****".
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Rob »

Jirin wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 3:29 am Plunge 94 - Faust 71

I would actually argue Plunge is weirder than Faust. Lots of albums have unusual structures. Not a lot say "This country makes it hard to f***". Or cap a seemingly normal song of desire with "I want to fun my fingers up your p****".
Maybe I've become desensitized to dirty talk, but they don't strike me as groundbreaking. It's basically sexual shock poetry that has been around since at least Allen Ginsberg. Then again, I didn't get what was so shocking about WAP last year either, but I guess it is just something that is unexpected in the mainstream. In alternative art this is old hat and with that I don't even refer to obscure underground stuff.

Faust lyrics on the other hand:

Slow goes the goose
You see me shoes in your mirror mind
Quick goes the trick
I ask your sick sailing sailors blind
I travel into the tongue
Ready to drop ding dong is handsome top

Okay, weird psychedelic lyrics aren't that unusual too.

I didn't even find Plunge that of an unusual album in general. A good one, yes, but not too strange. But I can make neither heads or tails of Faust, despite that album being 50 years old now.
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by jamieW »

Fever Ray - Plunge 6 vs. Faust - Faust 7
Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit 7.5 vs. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull 6
tricot - T H E 6 vs. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines 5.5
Air Supply - Lost in Love 5.5 vs. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary 6
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by mileswide »

2. Fever Ray - Plunge v. 1. Faust - Faust
3. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit v. 8. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Siren
4. tricot - T H E v. 5. The Colour Field - Virgins and Philistines
7. Air Supply - Lost in Love v. 6. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary

Standouts: Falling | Miss Fortune | Expensive Shit | Night in the City | 99.974°C | Sorry | Old Habits Die Hard | Back on Wax
But I believe in this and it's been tested by research...
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Jirin »

Rob wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 10:59 am
Jirin wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 3:29 am Plunge 94 - Faust 71

I would actually argue Plunge is weirder than Faust. Lots of albums have unusual structures. Not a lot say "This country makes it hard to f***". Or cap a seemingly normal song of desire with "I want to fun my fingers up your p****".
Maybe I've become desensitized to dirty talk, but they don't strike me as groundbreaking. It's basically sexual shock poetry that has been around since at least Allen Ginsberg. Then again, I didn't get what was so shocking about WAP last year either, but I guess it is just something that is unexpected in the mainstream. In alternative art this is old hat and with that I don't even refer to obscure underground stuff.

Faust lyrics on the other hand:

Slow goes the goose
You see me shoes in your mirror mind
Quick goes the trick
I ask your sick sailing sailors blind
I travel into the tongue
Ready to drop ding dong is handsome top

Okay, weird psychedelic lyrics aren't that unusual too.

I didn't even find Plunge that of an unusual album in general. A good one, yes, but not too strange. But I can make neither heads or tails of Faust, despite that album being 50 years old now.
I don't see the intent there as shock so much as she normalizes sexual openness. But take away the dirty words, her voice and melodies are just damned unusual. Things that could easily sound shrill sound beautiful and weird.

Faust lyrics, first off are too muddled to make out easily. Same reason I had no idea what My Back Pages was about until I heard the original Dylan version. But reading it, just picking random words with no relationship to each other feels more like 'Weird for weird sake' which is not at all unusual in the genre.
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Honorio »



Alone again (naturally) but I love the first album by The Colourfield, the third project of Terry Hall, with chamber folk and easy-listening sounds out-of-step with (most of) his contemporaries, serving a gourmet menu filled by tasty and sweet delicacies with careful attention to detail. Also noteworthy were a fine album from the golden period of Fela Kuti, the spare but brilliant debut of Joni Mitchell and the tight and outstanding musicianship tied with sense of melody of tricot, the surprise of the week for me.

5. Fever Ray - Plunge (2017) vs. 6. Faust - Faust (1971)
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit (1975) vs. 3. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull (1968)
4. tricot - T H E (2013) vs. 1. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines (1985)
8. Air Supply - Lost in Love (1980) vs. 7. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary (2016)

Favourite song from every album:
Red Trails | Miss Fortune | Expensive Shit | Michael from Mountains | artsick | Castles in the Air | Just Another Woman | Worldwide
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Bang Jan »

4 | Fever Ray | Plunge
1 | Faust | Faust

2 | Fela Kuti | Expensive Shit
3 | Joni Mitchell | Song to a Seagull

5 | tricot | T H E
7 | The Colourfield | Virgins and Philistines

8 | Air Supply | Lost in Love
6 | Wax Tailor | By Any Beats Necessary

Favourite song of the week: Faust | Miss Fortune
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by rumpdoll »

1. Fever Ray - Plunge vs. Faust - Faust
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit vs. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull
3. tricot - T H E vs. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines
4. Air Supply - Lost in Love vs. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Brad »

Less than 24 hours left to vote!
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Nassim »

1. Fever Ray - Plunge
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Brad »

My picks:
1. Fever Ray - Plunge vs. Faust - Faust
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit vs. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull
3. tricot - T H E vs. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines
4. Air Supply - Lost in Love vs. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary
Dave Marsh on Air Supply: "The most calculated and soulless pseudo-group of its kind, which is saying something"

Thanks!
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Rob »

3. Fever Ray - Plunge vs. 2. Faust - Faust
1. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit vs. 5. Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull
6. tricot - T H E vs. 4. The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines
The Japanese rock that has appeared here over the years I generally liked a lot. The eighties new wave stuff I usually don't care too much about. Things got reversed this time around though. I didn't think that T H E is really special, but Virgins and Philistines somehow seemed better than most similar albums. I enjoyed that one kind a bit.

7. Air Supply - Lost in Love vs. 8. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary
Well, I didn't expect to vote for Air Supply, but I just could not stand By Any Beats Necessary. Despite some high profile collaborator it felt like a very poorly produced mash-up album, almost unfinished. I struggled to make it to the end of it. Lost in Love was not great either as Air Supply might indeed be the most schmaltzy band either and I hardly ever like schmaltz. Except All Out of Love. For some reason that song works for me, even if my instincts say it is horrible. Perhaps it is a good melody? Am I getting soft?
Anyway, with apologies to the nominators, this last match-up has to be one of the most poor in the history of Moderately Acclaimed.
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 12 - Round 1.10

Post by Brad »

15 total voters this week (dwindling!):
acroamor
Bang Jan
Brad
DaveC
Honorio
jaimeW
Jirin
Listyguy
mileswide
Nassim
Rdwdbob
Rob
rumpdoll
Schüttelbirne
spiritualized

Winners:
1. Faust - Faust over Fever Ray - Plunge 8-7
2. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit over Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull 11-2
3. tricot - T H E over The Colourfield - Virgins and Philistines 10-4
4. Wax Tailor - By Any Beats Necessary over Air Supply - Lost in Love 11-3

Round 1.11 up soon!
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