Friday, July 31, 2009

918. Common - Like Water for Chocolate (2000)



















Track Listing

1. Time Traveling (A Tribute To Fela)
2. Heat
3. Cold Blooded
4. Dooinit
5. The Light
6. Funky For You
7. The Questions
8. Time Travelin Reprise
9. The 6Th Sense
10. A Film Called Pimp
11. Nag Champa (Afrodisiac For The World)
12. Thelonius
13. Payback Is A Grandmother
14. Geto Heaven Remix T.S.O.I.
15. A Song For Assata
16. Pops Rap III....All My Children

Review

We get to a hip-hop album which is kind of different. This makes it more interesting in a purely cerebral way, the musical references are good, from Fela Kuti to A Tribe Called Quest.

This fact does not prevent me from thinking that these references could have been used much better and that in the end the album is not as fascinating as it might look from a description.

I would really like a hip-hop album that would truly embrace Afro-beat, for example, and while this nods in that direction it doesn't make much use of it. Still, it is a pretty good, above average hip-hop album.

Track Highlights

1. The Questions
2. Song For Assata
3. Pops Rap III....All My Children
4. Heat

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Like Water for Chocolate is notable for its afrocentric themes. It borrows from the Afrobeat genre on the track "Time Travelin' (A Tribute To Fela)", the Tony Allen-sampling "Heat" and the Slum Village-assisted "Nag Champa (Afrodisiac For The World)". MC Lyte and Mos Def join Common for the amusing "A Film Called (Pimp)" and "The Questions," respectively. In the former, Common sends up his own "conscious" image with a skit depicting him as a hypocritical woman-beater.

Like Common's previous two albums, Like Water for Chocolate closes with spoken word recited by Common's father Lonnie "Pops" Lynn. A slightly altered version of the album was released after its success on the charts, with the Macy Gray-assisted "Geto Heaven Remix T.S.O.I. (The Sound of Illadelph)" replacing the original.

All their videos on youtube have the sound turned off.... oh well, no video today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

917. Coldplay - Parachutes (2000)

















Track Listing

1. Don't Panic
2. Shiver
3. Spies
4. Sparks
5. Yellow
6. Trouble
7. Parachutes
8. High Speed
9. We Never Change
10. Everything's Not Lost (Includes Hidden Track 'Life Is For Living')

Review

Coldplay are fucking annoying, pretentious twats. They have only gotten worse with time having by now become a parody of their own selves. Unfortunately, in spite of how much I hate them, this album is pretty good.

The fact that I objectively recognise the album's quality does not mean that it doesn't irk me, and the more popular the track the more it annoys me, Yellow being the most annoying of all.

However, I can't stop but sing that some of the tracks here are pretty much perfect pop-rock with loads of hooks that pull you right in, beginning with the first track. There is a satisfying sense of lack of pretentiousness... well at least comparatively with their later work.

Track Highlights

1. Don't Panic
2. We Never Change
3. Spies
4. Sparks

Final Grade


8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album was placed at number 14 in Channel 4's 100 greatest albums of all time, and in 2006 at number 33 in NME's 100 greatest British albums. Despite the album's critical and commercial success, Chris Martin said that Coldplay looks beyond Parachutes: "We know that's terrible music and we always try to think about what we can do next".

What a twat.

Don't Panic:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

916. Erykah Badu - Mama's Gun (2000)

















Track Listing

1. Penitentiary Philosophy
2. Didn't Cha Know
3. My Life
4. ... & On
5. Cleva
6. Hey Sugah
7. Booty
8. Kiss Me On My Neck (Hesi)
9. A.D. 2000
10. Orange Moon
11. I'm In Love With You
12. Bag Lady
13. Time's A Wastin'
14. Green Eyes

Review

If you mix Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder (in his good phase), Hip-Hop and modern R&B you will get something like this. Fortunately Erykah manages to do it very well indeed. This is a very fun album.

It does take a little bit to sink in but when it does it really rocks your boat. It starts off quite strong with the first track but the rest of the album does not disappoint in the least.

Erykah changes shifts midway through the album when she changes slower more emotional songs, this keeps your interest and they are so well done that it really doesn't make you sad that the first part is over, she manages to be equally proficient with both registers. A great album to end a very good streak... although my opinions on Coldplay might surprise you.

Track Highlights

1. Green Eyes
2. Penitentiary Philosophy
3. Bag Lady
4. Orange Moon

Final Gade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:


Noted music critic, Robert Christgau (of the Village Voice), gave the album a rating of "A" and commented that "maybe her sources are autobiographical, but she’s here to inspire all black-identified women and the men who admire them." Noting the relatively lukewarm reception of the album when compared with Baduizm, Bill Meyer wrote for Ink Blot magazine that "it's everything we say we want in music: gutsy, introspective, innovative, bold, real in a way that few other albums even try to be--and yet nobody was talking about this record at the end of the year." Meyer was particularly vocal in his praise of Badu's artistry, boldly lauding Mama's Gun as an album that is "as good and important as all those soul and rock albums my friends say aren't made anymore: Talking Book, Court and Spark, Curtis, Darkness on the Edge of Town, What's Goin' On, Maggot Brain, all them." In closing he called Badu "the most important American musician working today".

Bag Lady:

Monday, July 27, 2009

915. PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000)


















Track Listing


1. Big Exit
2. Good Fortune
3. A Placed Called Home
4. One Line
5. Beautiful Feeling
6. The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore
7. This Mess We're In
8. You Said Something
9. Kamikaze
10. This Is Love
11. Horses In My Dreams
12. We Float
13. This Wicked Tongue

Review

Another pretty good album by PJ Harvey, we are having a good run lately, good for us... it won't last that long, don't worry. Meanwhile we can appreciate albums by people with real talent like PJ.

My main problem with this album is that I preferred her older albums as they had a less polished production which really fit her vocals and lyrics. Her vocals and lyrics are still great, don't get me wrong, but the sound is a bit too shiny.

The album is full of great tracks, however, and even a collaboration with Thom Yorke of Radiohead. And really when you are as good as PJ my problems with production quality are really a bit of nitpicking. So it's a great album and you should listen to it.

Track Highlights

1. The Mess We're In
2. The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore
3. A Place Called Home
4. This Is Love

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Reviews [...] were exceptionally strong, with Rolling Stone praising it as “the best album of her career” and NME hailing it "a magnificent, life-affirming opus" in their 9/10-rated review. Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea won the 2001 Mercury Prize, and also brought Harvey BRIT Award nominations as Best British Female Artist for two years running, as well as two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Female Rock Performance for the single "This Is Love".

The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore:


Sunday, July 26, 2009

914. Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of Bewilderbeast (2000)




















Track Listing

1. The Shining
2. Everybody's Stalking
3. Bewilderbeast 1
4. Fall In A River
5. Camping Next To Water
6. Stone On The Water
7. Another Pearl
8. Body Rap
9. Once Around The Block
10. This Song
11. Bewilderbeast 2
12. Magic In The Air
13. Cause A Rockslide
14. Pissing In The Wind
15. Blistered Heart
16. Disillusion
17. Say It Again
18. Epitaph

Review

Another great album on the list, on a little good streak we are going through. Badly Drawn Boy creates a great folk-rock but not only album that is sprawling in a good way. The music is endlessly varied and always of a great standard.

Through 18 songs Damon Gough goes through plenty of styles from folk to disco while not losing a unifying thread. Lyrically the stuff is pretty nifty and musically it is very impressive, not less because he plays the majority of instruments in it.

The whole thing is lovely and quite refreshing, he is tongue in cheek and dry in his humour which pervades the album and also has spread into his videos. Good to see some great music coming out of Manchester again.

Track Highlights


1. Pissing In The Wind
2. Once Around the Block
3. Disillusion
4. The Shinning

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The cover art, produced by Andy Votel, is loosely based on Leonardo Da Vinci's drawing "Vitruvian Man". The original art also featured Woody Allen, however his picture had to be removed due to copyright issues.

Other modifications to the album include the removal of a selection of lyrics from track 12; Magic In the Air. The lyrics were replaced by an instrumental after hip hop artist Taja Sevelle claimed they were too similar to those in her first single.

Pissing In The Wind:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

913. Elliott Smith - Figure 8 (2000)
















Track Listing

1. Son Of Sam
2. Somebody That I Used To Know
3. Junk Bond Trader
4. Everything Reminds Me Of Her
5. Everything Means Nothing To Me
6. L.A.
7. In The Lost And Found (Honky Bach)/The Roost
8. Stupidity Tries
9. Easy Way Out
10. Wouldn't Mama Be Proud
11. Colorbars
12. Happiness/The Gondola Man
13. Pretty Mary Kay
14. Better Be Quiet Now
15. Can't Make A Sound
16. Bye

Review

Elliott Smith becomes sunnier and less lo-fi with this album. This is, however, compensated by just brilliant song writing. The move to a larger label made him different but by no means worse.

This is one of those albums which take a while to sink in but when it does it becomes very hard to let go. All the tracks have little hooks that just make you cherish the music.

These hooks are readily apparent in songs like Pretty Mary Kay and Everything Means Nothing To Me, one with a strange modulation in the chorus and the other kicking in after a long repetition of the title. These little things make you listen to the album in joyous expectation of certain moments which always pay back. Great stuff.


Track Highlights

1. Everything Means Nothing To Me
2. Pretty Mary Kay
3. Son of Sam
4. Wouldn't Mama Be Proud

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The wall Smith stands in front of in Autumn de Wilde's photograph on the cover of the album exists in Los Angeles, and since his death it has become a memorial to him. It is covered with graffiti and written messages containing lyrics and personal messages to Smith. It is located at 4334 W. Sunset Boulevard, which is a store by the name of: "Solutions" Audio-Video Repair, just south of the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue.

In 2007, the painting was returned to its original state after being vandalized.

Son Of Sam:

Friday, July 24, 2009

912. Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory (2000)
















Track Listing

1. Papercut
2. One Step Closer
3. With You
4. Points Of Authority
5. Crawling
6. Runaway
7. By Myself
8. In the End
9. A Place for My Head
10. Forgotten
11. Cure for the Itch
12. Pushing Me Away

Review

Is there anything worse than Limp Bizkit?

Yes!

How can something so shit take itself so seriously?

All songs sound the same.

Track Highlights

1. Crawling
2. One Step Closer

Final Grade

3/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Four singles were released from the album: "One Step Closer", "Papercut", "In the End", and the Grammy Award-winning "Crawling", which along with "In the End" was responsible for launching Linkin Park into mainstream popularity. At the 2002 Grammy Awards, Hybrid Theory was nominated for Best Rock Album.

Crawling:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

911. U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)


















Track Listing


1. Beautiful Day
2. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
3. Elevation
4. Walk On
5. Kite
6. In A Little While
7. Wild Honey
8. Peace On Earth
9. When I Look At The World
10. New York
11. Grace
12. The Ground Beneath Her Feet

Review

You have to admire their production values. Brian Eno does wonders with effects. You also have to admire that it is almost all really successful singles, there is little filler here.

That being said, they are still following a formula which is anything but original. It is the same old U2 crap. Able to appeal to the biggest number of people while still making them retain some kind of feeling of musical superiority... a bit like Coldplay, really.

So yeah, the album is not terrible as you can sing along to more than half of it, but it is still pretty blah. Unexciting music from an unexciting band.

Track Highlights

1. The Ground Beneath Her Feet
2. Walk On
3. Beautiful Day
4. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album is banned in Burma by SPDC because "Walk On" is a song dedicated to Burmese human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ground Beneath Her Feet:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

910. Radiohead - Kid A (2000)


















Track Listing


1. Everything In Its Right Place
2. Kid A
3. National Anthem
4. How To Disappear Completely
5. Treefingers
6. Optimistic
7. In Limbo
8. Idioteque
9. Morning Bell
10. Motion Picture Soundtrack


Review

Let's not be under any illusions... Radiohead are kind of pretentious. This does not mean that they are not as well brilliant, genius and pretentiousism are not mutually exclusive. Here they give us a piece of rock music unlike anything tried since Brian Eno's Another Green World, a mix of experimental ambient and pop-rock sensibilities.

At times the album might be slightly too introspective for its own good, but as you listen to it repeatedly the strange sounds get more and more familiar and after a while you are actually looking forward to listening to it again.

At least Radiohead are exercising their creative muscles here, in a time where the vast majority of music is recycled and safe in order to appeal to the maximum number of consumers Kid A is the example of what lack of compromise can do. Radiohead were not afraid to alienate their fan-base by going in such a radically different direction, good for them! And you simply have to admire and support a band which is not afraid to test musical boundaries. That and the album is pretty amazing.

Track Highlights

1. The Morning Bell
2. National Anthem
3. How To Disappear Completely
4. Idioteque

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Kid A was recorded in Paris, Copenhagen, Gloucestershire and Oxford with producer Nigel Godrich. The album's songwriting and recording were experimental for Radiohead, as the band replaced their earlier "anthemic" rock style with a more electronic sound. Influenced by Krautrock, jazz, and 20th century classical music, Radiohead abandoned their three-guitar lineup for a wider range of instruments on Kid A, using keyboards, the Ondes martenot, and, on certain compositions, strings and brass. Kid A also contains more minimal and abstract lyrics than the band's previous work. Singer Thom Yorke has said the album was not intended as "art", but reflects the music they listened to at the time. Original artwork by Stanley Donwood and Yorke, and a series of short animated films called "blips", accompanied the album.


Morning Bell:


Monday, July 20, 2009

909. Limp Bizkit - Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water (2000)

















Track Listing


1. Intro
2. Hot Dog
3. My Generation
4. Full Nelson
5. My Way
6. Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)
7. Livin' It Up
8. The One
9. Getcha Groove On
10. Take A Look Around
11. It'll Be OK
12. Boiler
13. Hold On
14. Rollin' (Urban Assault Vehicle)
15. Outro

Review

Limp Bizkit... need I say more?

Final Grade

4/10

Trivia

The album features several high-profile guests, including Xzibit on "Getcha Groove On", Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland on "Hold On", and Redman, DMX and Method Man, including production by Swizz Beats on "Rollin' (Urban Assault Vehicle)", which is a remix of "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)". Actor Ben Stiller appears in the hidden track of "Outro".

Why?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

908. Emmylou Harris - Red Dirt Girl (2000)

















Track Listing

1. Pearl
2. Michelangelo
3. I Don't Wanna Talk About It Now
4. Tragedy
5. Red Dirt Girl
6. My Baby Needs a Shepherd
7. Bang the Drum Slowly
8. J'Ai Fait Tout
9. One Big Love
10. Hour of Gold
11. My Antonia
12. Boy From Tupelo

Review


I've been missing some good country on this list lately, and fortunately, in a short space I've had Ryan Adams and Emmylou Harris. The styles are very different but they can both be put under the category of alt-country.

Emmylou is a much older artist with a great career behind her but all of that doesn't make this the album of a has been, in any way. Her voice is clearly more mature, but it is still pretty great. The music has been updated for the 2000's and the whole thing is quite timeless.

The lyrics here are pretty great, interestingly most songs are actually written by Emmylou and this makes her more emotionally engaging in singing her own songs. So another pretty great country album on the list, updated but not forgetting the music's origins, we are fortunately past the stupid innovation of the 80s and 90s, no synths here.

Track Highlights


1. Red Dirt Girl
2. Bang The Drum Slowly
3. I Don;t Want To talk About It Now
4. J'ai Fait Tout

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album was a significant departure for Harris, as eleven of the twelve tracks were written or co-written by her. She was best known for covering other songwriters' work. Prior to this album, only two of Harris' LPs had more than two of her own compositions (Gliding Bird in 1970, and The Ballad of Sally Rose in 1985). Her next album, Stumble into Grace, was also written by Harris.

Red Dirt Girl:

Friday, July 17, 2009

907. M.J. Cole - Sincere (2000)
















Track Listing

1. Introduction
2. Tired Games
3. Attitude
4. Bandelero Desperado
5. MJ FM Interlude
6. Crazy Love
7. You're Mine
8. Sanctuary
9. I See
10. Sincere (Re-Cue'D)
11. Strung Out
12. Rough Out Here
13. Slum King
14. Radio Interlude
15. Hold On To Me (Re-Rub)
16. Free My Mind

Review

First you had Drum 'n' Bass, and somethings in that genre were kind of interesting (i.e. Goldie). Then, as always, you had to have the more sedate populist version of it, and in the UK this was manifested in UK Garage.

Thankfully this was a short phenomenon, still, while people got hip to the fact that it was shit, albums like this were produced. If we lived in a fair world this would mean that they would by now be completely forgotten.

Unfortunately for me, I had to listen to this crap. Hopefully I can spare some of you by saying: Don't listen to it. You'll never get your time back. A couple of not terrible songs are not enough to endure it.

Track Highlights

1. Crazy Love
2. Introduction
3. Sincere
4. Tired Games

Final Grade

5/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

In his youth, Cole learned to play the oboe and piano, and attended the Royal College of Music. He also played piano on the BBC Television's Young Musician Of The Year programme.

Crazy Love:

906. Bebel Gilberto - Tanto Tempo (2000)

















Track Listing

1. Samba Da Bencao
2. August Day Song
3. Tanto Tempo
4. Sem Contencao
5. Mais Feliz
6. Alguem
7. So Nice (Summer Samba)
8. Lonely
9. Bananeira
10. Samba E Amor
11. Close Your Eyes
12. No Return

Review

Again whoever made this list seems to equate good Brazilian music with lounge music... something nice to have on a beach-side café. So you join Joao Gilberto's daughter and Suba, the Yugoslavian chill-outter (who, in an event of great poetic justice died in a fire, not so chilly now).

After you make this satanic ritual of adding chill-out to Bossa Nova, which was chilled out from the beginning back in the middle of the 20th century, you end up with soporific... great!

So yes, the album is boring. Not that Bebel hasn't got a great voice, which she does, and a couple of the songs are not horrible. However this is comparable to another terribly impersonal Brasilian album which has been on the list, Astrud Gilberto's Beach Samba, and you should look back at that review for more pointers on this one... It's all a bit elevatory without being uplifting, like a lift going down really.

Track Highlights

1. Samba da Bencao
2. Mais Feliz
3. Sem Contencao
4. I really can't find another tolerable one.

Final Grade


5/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

On Suba:

On November 2, 1999, he was working on the postproduction of the album of his newfound diva, Bebel Gilberto, when his studio caught fire. Overcome by smoke, he died trying to rescue the newly recorded material with her.

That was worth it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

905. Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker (2000)



















Track Listing


1. (Argument with David Rawlings concerning Morrissey)
2. To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)
3. My Winding Wheel
4. AMY
5. Oh My Sweet Carolina
6. Bartering Lines
7. Call Me On Your Way Back Home
8. Damn, Sam (I love a woman that rains)
9. Come Pick Me Up
10. To Be The One
11. Why Do They Leave?
12. Shakedown on 9th Street
13. Don't Ask For The Water
14. In My Time Of Need
15. Sweet Lil Gal (23rd/1st)

Review

A great album of alt-country. That's what this is, Ryan Adams goes all the way back to Dylan and The Byrds for inspiration and this is a very good thing. The album is traditional in a way, but it is lyrically adventurous and musically interesting.

Ryan's voice is pretty great with a folksy timbre, his lyrics are also of very high quality. The songs arrangements are very effective in updating the music to a contemporary audience and it is not hard to see why this broke the barrier into a more indie audience.

Ryan Adams also has one of the most unfortunate names in good music... why keep that name? Adding a B to it would make it most unfortunate. Fortunately there is nothing in common between Bryan and Ryan. Great album.

Track Highlights

1. Come Pick Me Up
2. Oh My Sweet Carolina
3. My Winding Wheel
4. Shakedown on 9th Street

Final Grade


9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

According to Adams, the album's title originates from a poster of Mariah Carey: "My manager called and said, 'You have 15 seconds to name this record,' "My eyes focused on this poster of Mariah wearing a T-shirt that said HEARTBREAKER. I just shouted, 'Heartbreaker!'"

Come Pick Me Up:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

904. Air - The Virgin Suicides (2000)


















Track Listing

1. Playground Love (With Gordon Tracks)
2. Clouds Up
3. Bathroom Girl
4. Cemetary Party
5. Dark Messages
6. The Word Hurricane
7. Dirty Trip
8. Highschool Lover
9. Afternoon Sister
10. Ghost Song
11. Empty House
12. Dead Bodies
13. Suicide Underground

Review

There are four Lisbon girls in the room next to mine, but fortunately none of them has or plans on committing suicide... however, if they were to listen to this album on repeat they might consider it.

This is definitely not to say that it is a bad album, in fact it is a pretty fantastic album... only it is appropriate to the film where it featured. There is a constant strain of melancholy and distress running through it.

This contrasts interestingly with the much more up-beat Moon Safari. The album is beautiful and distressing, at times it is not pleasant to listen to but it never stops being beautiful, keeping the very Air interest in Retro sound and feel. A great album perfectly suited to its purpose but not constrained to it, a pleasure to listen to.

Track Highlights


1. Playground Love
2. Highschool Lover
3. Suicide Undeground
4. Bathroom Girl

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Although credited in the album liner as Gordon Tracks, vocals on "Playground Love" are provided by Phoenix singer Thomas Mars.

Playground Love:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

903. The Doves - Lost Souls (2000)

















Track Listing

1. Firesuite
2. Here It Comes
3. Break Me Gently
4. Sea Song
5. Rise
6. Lost Souls
7. Melody Calls
8. Catch The Sun
9. Man Who Told Everything
10. Cedar Room
11. Reprise
12. House

Review

It is good to see an album coming out of Manchester that has kind of broken free of the whole Brit-Pop thing. Fortunately by now the whole phenomenon was moribund and while some good stuff came out of it (Pulp and Blur) a lot of crap also spawned from it.

The Doves move in a more retroy way. There is a more rockish feel but also a more psychedelic one, this is overall positive. However the album just isn't that amazing. It is perfectly all right but frankly it leaves me a tad cold.

At least they are not Oasis, although there is a clear influence as well as from Suede and even the Manic Street Preachers and the Foo Fighters. In the end it is a competent album that does its job but fails to wow.

Track Highlights


1. The Sea Song
2. Firesuite
3. Catch The Sun
4. The Man Who Told Anything

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2000, but lost out to Badly Drawn Boy's The Hour of Bewilderbeast. The band had previously played as Badly Drawn Boy's backing band, having played on the Badly Drawn Boy songs "Pissing in the Wind" and "Disillusion," as well as Badly Drawn Boy's 1999 non-album single "Road Movie.

The Sea Song:

Monday, July 13, 2009

902. Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun (1999)




















Track Listing


1. Svefn - G - Englar (Intro)
2. Svefn - G - Englar
3. Staralfur
4. Flugufrelsarinn
5. Ny Batteri
6. Hjartao Hamast
7. Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa
8. Olsen Olsen
9. Agaetis Byrjun
10. Avalon

Review

We end the nineties with another great album. Sigur Ros make some amazing soundscapes while still being surprisingly catchy for such complex music. There is a care put into each track that goes beyond regular mainstream music making, this is more akin to proper musical composition in parts.

It is at least weird that such a tiny country as Iceland manages to produce such a huge amount of great music, but that they do. It must be the long winter nights with not much else to do.

The successful brand of soundscapy rock of Sigur Ros which some call post-rock, although existing previous to this album gained huge popularity after this, and with good reason. This is however one of the best albums in the genre and something you really shouldn't miss.

Track Highlight
s

1. Staralfur
2. Svefn - G - Englar
3. Ny Batteri
4. Agaetis Byrjun

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album's title came from a friend hearing the first song they had written for the album; what would become the title track. After hearing the song, he said it was "a good beginning"; the name stuck. The name has also been translated as "An alright start."

Staralfur:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

901. Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication (1999)
















Track Listing

1. Around The World
2. Parallel Universe
3. Scar Tissue
4. Otherside
5. Get On Top
6. Californication
7. Easily
8. Porcelain
9. Emitremmus
10. I Like Dirt
11. This Velvet Glove
12. Savior
13. Purple Stain
14. Right On Time
15. Road Trippin

Review

So the Red Hot Chilli Peppers chill our musically in this album... still it is not much more than slightly adolescent songs with somewhat funny lyrics. Musically it is unremarkable, and so it is in terms of lyrics.

This is not to say that the album is not enjoyable at a very basic level. The sheer amount of popular singles that came out of this make the album fun to listen to in a pure nostalgia level.

So I would probably not change station if this came on the radio, but I would also not purposefully put it on for enjoyment. It's ok music. Just that and no more than that.

Track Highlights

1. Californication
2. Around The World
3. Scar Tissue
4. Otherside

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Californication produced several hits for the band, including "Otherside", "Californication" and the Grammy Award–winning "Scar Tissue". Californication peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200. It is the Chili Peppers' most commercially successful album to date, selling more than fifteen million copies worldwide; a revitalization in comparison to their previous album, One Hot Minute. The record marked a change in style for the band; Rolling Stone's Greg Tate noted that "while all previous Chili Peppers projects have been highly spirited, Californication dares to be spiritual and epiphanic."

Californication:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

900. Basement Jaxx - Remedy (1999)



















Track Listing


1. Rendez-vu
2. Yo Yo
3. Jump N' Shout
4. U Can't Stop Me
5. Jaxxalude
6. Red Alert
7. Jazzalude
8. Always Be There
9. Sneakalude
10. Same Old Show
11. Bingo Bango
12. Gemilude
13. Stop 4 Love
14. Don't Give Up
15. Being With U

Review

The end of 1999 is shaping up quite well fortunately. I am now into the 900 mark and with only 101 albums to go I am looking forward to the end of this even if I know I will miss it.

Basement Jaxx brings us what is one of the most interesting, varied and entertaining electronica albums of the late 90s. All the songs here are so recognisably different from each other, with different styles and influences that it almost sounds like a very good radio rather than an album.

Fortunately this variety is consistent and Basement Jaxx's imprint is still recognisable throughout. They jump from Latin influence to break-beats to more Daft Punkish electronica without ever being less than great at it. This makes the album never boring and always dancy. Good Stuff.

Track Highlights


1. Red Alert
2. Yo-Yo
3. Same Old Show
4. Jump 'n' Shout

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

"Red Alert" was the first Basement Jaxx single to reach #1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. "Rendez-Vu" would also reach #1 later in the year, and "Bingo Bango" became their third #1 single the following year.

Red Alert Live:

Monday, July 06, 2009

899. Shack - H.M.S. Fable (1999)


















Track Listing

1. Natalie's Party
2. Comedy
3. Pull Together
4. Beautiful
5. Lend's Some Dough
6. Captain's Table
7. Streets Of Kenny
8. Reinstated
9. I Want You
10. Cornish Town
11. Since I Met You
12. Daniella

Review

So, another not bad album towards the end of the 90s. Unfortunately not bad is pretty much all that it is, it isn't amazing or great, just good. The second half of it is much superior to the first.

Shack clearly have a number of interesting influences particularly from psych rock in the style of Love. This is manifested particularly towards the end of the album. The first half is perfectly acceptable pop-rock, but quite run of the mill.

From Streets of Kenny onwards it feels like a different and much more interesting album. The Oasis influence fades away into more retro stuff making it sound more original for the time it was written... even if none of it is really new.

Track Highlights

1. Since I Met You
2. Daniella
3. Streets of Kenny
4. Lend Us Some Dough

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The band are currently signed to Noel Gallagher's 'Sour Mash' record label. May 2006 saw the release of the album ...The Corner of Miles and Gil named after two of the Head brothers' heroes, Miles Davis and Gil Evans.

Streets of Kenny:


Sunday, July 05, 2009

898. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - I See a Darkness (1999)

















Track Listing

1. Minor Place
2. Nomadic Revelry (All Around)
3. I See A Darkness
4. Another Day Full Of Dread
5. Death To Everyone
6. Knockturne
7. Madeline Mary
8. Song For The New Breed
9. Today I Was The Evil One
10. Black
11. Raining In Darling

Review

Finally, after the creative desert of the last three albums, we return to albums which reflect the vision of an author. Truly a rare thing in these past few "list-years".

Bonnie "Prince" Billy's album is a work of bleak folk which manages through all that bleakness to be a really beautiful work. It might be the case that it sounds better in contrast to the albums that surround it on the list, but that not the sole explanation.

This is an album which reflects a definite voice, a sense of purpose and a message to transmit. We need more of this, and together with Le Tigre it also takes a big cake for the overall dismal year of 1999.

Track Highlights

1. Nomadic Revelry (All Around)
2. I See A Darkness
3. Minor Place
4. Death To Everyone

Final Grade


10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Johnny Cash would later record the title track on his album American III: Solitary Man (2000). Oldham provided background vocals for Cash's version. Steve Adey also covered the title track on his 2006 LP All Things Real.

Nomadic Revery: