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  • Best of 1996 (so far)

    Ago 27 2012, 3h34

  • Albums of 2012

    Ago 2 2012, 18h58

  • Best of 1994 (so far)

    Jul 2 2012, 1h23

    Best year of the decade.

    1. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
    Pavement may still be messy, but it's a meaningful, musical messiness from the performance to the production: listen to how "Silence Kit" begins by falling into place with its layers of fuzz guitars, wah wahs, cowbells, thumping bass, and drum fills, how what initially seems random gives way into a lush Californian pop song. That's Crooked Rain a nutshell -- what initially seems chaotic has purpose, leading listeners into the bittersweet heart and impish humor at the core of the album. Many bands attempted to replicate the sound or the vibe of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, but they never came close to the quicksilver shifts in music and emotion that give this album such lasting appeal. Here, Pavement follow the heartbroken ballad "Stop Breathin'" with the wry, hooky alt-rock hit "Cut Your Hair" without missing a beat. They throw out a jazzy Dave Brubeck tribute in "5-4=Unity" as easily as they mimic the Fall and mock the Happy Mondays on "Hit the Plane Down." By drawing on so many different influences, Pavement discovered its own distinctive voice as a band on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, creating a vibrant, dynamic, emotionally resonant album that stands as a touchstone of underground rock in the '90s and one of the great albums of its decade.

    2. Ween - Chocolate & Cheese

    What Smeargle is to Pokémon, Ween are to contemporary rock music. They Sketch everything. The problem is they're weird, which means that it's pretty easy to ignore them, or to not listen to them properly.
    That being said, one listen to Chocolate and Cheese should convince anyone who has reservations, that these guys have the goods. One amazing song after another, each completely self-contained and unique, make this is a kaleidoscopically rich and rewarding experience. "Spinal Meningitis" may be the creepiest song ever commited to tape, "A Tear for Eddie" is unexpectedly sublime, "Baby Bitch" sounds like a polished psychedelic nugget from 1967, "Voodoo Lady" is pure 70's funk astonishing in its mastery of style, and "Buenas Tardes Amigo" is a rolling outlaw ballad, complete with tex-mex accents and an outstadingly engrossing story of revenge and guilt, with a twist ending. Every single fucking song on this damn album is in its own way a wonderful, hilarious homage to a style of music. That they do it while retaining a sense of humour and satire (which can somewhat be seen as something rude or insulting) is the cherry on the top.

    3. The Divine Comedy - Promenade


    4. Pulp - His 'N' Hers


    5. Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quintet


    6. Blumfeld - L'Etat Et Moi


    7. Blur - Parklife


    8. Nas - Illmatic


    9. Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album)


    10. Portishead - Dummy


    11. Beck - Mellow Gold


    12. Oasis - Definitely Maybe


    13. Sonic Youth - Experimental Jet Set, Trash & No Star


    14. Jeff Buckley - Grace


    15. Massive Attack - Protection


    16. Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand
  • Best of 1992 (so far)

    Abr 8 2012, 18h51

  • Favourite albums of all time

    Abr 1 2012, 0h49

    I swear I could stare at the album arts for hours.

    1. The Clash - London Calling


    Combat Rock. The Clash are undeniably Britain's greatest and most important punk band, and the main reason for this is because they were willing to test boundaries. The other band who come close, the Sex Pistols, were equally if not more believing in the punk ethos, of arrogance, of volume, of political disaffection, of attitude. The Sex Pistols had all of that, but they weren't smart. The Clash did MORE - they retained the furious energy of punk, but to it they added style and emotion and imagination. London Calling is the sound of a jailbreak, of a band realising that they could be a punk band but still make MUSIC. tbc

    2.Television - Marquee Moon


    Television had been a regular at the famous CBGB's club in New York from 1974, and Marquee Moon is the culmination of 4 years of meticulous practice in front of unforgiving punk crowds. It finds exactly the balance between rehearsed and improvised, between
    3. Slint - Spiderland

    Spiderland is simply one of the most pioneering and amazing albums of all time. A tour de force from beginning to end, it signals a new way to make music, playing a huge role in the creation of "post-rock", and capturing the new musical emphasis on slow and piercing guitars, not loud voices; on expression, not aggression. The hushed whispers of Brian McMahan feel at the same time full of emotion and alienating, intriguing yet repelling. But perhaps the most accomplished playing comes from the drummer Britt Walford, who controls the intensity of the song with virtuoso playing, most pronounced in the two epics "Washer" and "Good Morning Captain". In "Good Morning Captain", McMahon repeats "I miss you" again and again, changing from tranquility to intense in mere seconds, relating the shame of the captain as he doesn't go down with his ship. The seemingly arbitrary stories, like the rollercoaster ride of "Breadcrumb Trail" to the love story of "Washer", are parables of the modern age, of finding one's inner child, of love and longing, of suicide ("Embracing thoughts of tonight's dreamless sleep"). It's an incredibly harrowing listen, and certainly not worth listening to too often, but when the time is right, there's simply no album better. 10 fucking stars.
    4. Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town

    5. Pixies - Doolittle

    6. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

    7.Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

    8.The Wrens - The Meadowlands

    9.Kraftwerk - Trans Europa Express

    10.David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars

    11.Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West

    12.Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation

    13.Lou Reed - Berlin

    14.Kanye West - The College Dropout
    15.The United States of America - The United States of America

    16.The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet

    17.Neil Young - After the Gold Rush

    18.Love - Forever Changes

    19. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King

    20. Joanna Newsom - Ys
  • Best of 1991 (so far)

    Mar 6 2012, 23h31

    1) Slint - Spiderland

    Spiderland is simply one of the most pioneering and amazing albums of all time. A tour de force from beginning to end, it signals a new way to make music, playing a huge role in the creation of "post-rock", and capturing the new musical emphasis on slow and piercing guitars, not loud voices; on expression, not aggression. The hushed whispers of Brian McMahan feel at the same time full of emotion and alienating, intriguing yet repelling. But perhaps the most accomplished playing comes from the drummer Britt Walford, who controls the intensity of the song with virtuoso playing, most pronounced in the two epics "Washer" and "Good Morning Captain". In "Good Morning Captain", McMahon repeats "I miss you" again and again, changing from tranquility to intense in mere seconds, relating the shame of the captain as he doesn't go down with his ship. The seemingly arbitrary stories, like the rollercoaster ride of "Breadcrumb Trail" to the love story of "Washer", are parables of the modern age, of finding one's inner child, of love and longing, of suicide ("Embracing thoughts of tonight's dreamless sleep"). It's an incredibly harrowing listen, and certainly not worth listening to too often, but when the time is right, there's simply no album better. 10 fucking stars.

    2) My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

    The early 90s saw not only a revolution in electronic/dance music, but concurrently a return to the days of good old indie rock. The 80s had become too bloated, full of hair metal and posturing lead guitarists, with a focus on attitude rather than expression. My Bloody Valentine is the weird result you get when you mix the anti-guitar-heroism of the Smiths with the FUCKINGNOISYGUITARS of bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth and the Velvet Underground before them all. MBV were a revolution in what noise sounds like - the pioneers of the "shoegaze" genre, they'd stare at their shoes and fiddle with their amps - musicians, not performers. It comes across in the music too - like the album cover, MBV are full of fuzz, creating a simultaneously warm and foreign sound, which can be seen in songs like "When You Sleep", "Only Shallow", the sobering "Sometimes" and the masterpiece of a closer "Soon".

    3) Primal Scream - Screamadelica

    The power of Screamadelica can be seen in four songs - the magnificently sunny and upbeat "Movin' On Up", the song immortalised by a certain Carphone Warehouse advert "Come Together", its second half "Loaded" and the incredibly sobering "Damaged". Was the album intended to convey the feeling of shooting up, with the initial high, the continued buzz and then the comedown? Perhaps. It's incredibly difficult to ignore this album, not only because of its intricate detail but also because of its importance - it rivals "Nevermind" as being THE revolutionary album of a revolutionary year. It brought acid house, techno and dub all together and packaged it for the British mainstream in one huge dose, showing huge guts and innovation, transcending the sounds of the 90s to remain a tour de force in unconventional rock music.

    4) Nirvana - Nevermind

    Nirvana's Nevermind was the soundtrack to generation X. They weren't much pioneers - the sound of angry guitars can be seen in the eighties with Minor Threat and Fugazi and the hard/soft contrast was made most famous by Pixies, but no one captured the teenage angst-charged angrily-shouted lyrics like they did. It was loud punky guitars, but filled with undeniable hooks which pushed the previously underground scene of the eighties right up to the MTV generation and mainstream celebrity. The director of this was of course Kurt Cobain, a charming, charismatic frontman, the last great superstar of rock, his growl developed with whiskey, drugs, and incredibly intense band sessions - His voice could give out within two minutes of him starting. The album contains absolutely huge songs, from "Lithium", to "Come as you Are", from the epic closer of "Something in the Way", to the song that started it all in "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

    5) Mercury Rev - Yerself Is Steam


    6) U2 - Achtung Baby

    7) Metallica - Metallica

    8) Massive Attack - Blue Lines

    9) R.E.M. - Out of Time

    10) Pixies - Trompe le Monde
  • Favourite albums of 2011

    Fev 15 2012, 2h26

    15. The Antlers - Burst Apart
    14. The Black Keys - El Camino
    13. Wild Beasts - Smother
    12. Braids - Native Speaker
    11. Radiohead - The King Of Limbs

    10. Fucked Up - David Comes To Life

    80 minutes of the most visceral hardcore punk, Fucked Up slap you on the face 17 times and then KO you with Lights Go Up, a simply amazing ending to an amazing album.

    9. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

    A collection of 12 fine songs. From beginning to last it demands your attention, thanks in part to a huge change in production and a more risky vocal performance by PJ.

    8. Bill Callahan - Apocalypse

    Bill Callahan's niche lies in making the most poetic lyrics sound ploddy - Baby's Breath for example contains amazing lyrics and a magical staircase-like acoustic guitar line, but Callahan keeps it firmly rooted in the normal and banal with his vocals. This is not a bad thing though - his delivery is often humorous, but can also capture aggression or anger without raising his voice. In actual fact it can often make things sound even more ethereal - take the closer One Fine Morning for example - his beautifully simple voice fits the beautifully simple guitars perfectly, allowing one to rise to bliss in a way that feels totally and utterly natural.

    7. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

    "I heard you on the radio; I couldn't help but smile". Fleet Foxes are a band who capture modern life so well - simple in appearance, yet so complex in themes and feel. Robin Pecknold has one of the most compelling voices in music today, able to make the most average of songs appear simply magical.

    6. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy


    Bjork lite? Maybe, but it's mesmerising to hear. Whereas indie rock often takes a step too close to the boring, St. Vincent is rarely nothing but fascinating, with instrumental frills and touches to make even the most devoted listener hear things anew on listen 10. It's a shame it comes to such a curious end - the comedown after the scintillating first 7-8 songs is just too short in my opinion, leaving it feeling out of breath.

    5. Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams


    Dum Dum Girls take a turn to the more serious when compared to I Will Be, with Dee Dee's voice being the main beneficiary - whereas before it was sexy and sassy, young and full of attitude, now it develops a real warmth, which really works with this batch of songs. Thematically it also takes a huge step forward - while I Will Be can be seen as the seduction, Only In Dreams is the difficult, the breaking-up, the loss of self, and the often slow drums and hazy guitars can even go so far as to give a shoegazy feel, as in the epic Coming Down.

    4. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde


    Beginning with the hugest earworm of the year in Weekend, Dye It Blonde is simply a supercharged set of anthemic songs. Do not be fooled into thinking they're cheap empty hits though - as can be seen with the (brilliant) last three songs, they're a band who can create atmosphere and emotion, and are something to look forward to in the future.

    3. Destroyer - Kaputt


    A sound which merges Brian Ferry with old greats like Dylan and Bowie, the jangly glitz of the world which Dan Bejar creates in 9 tracks is simply mesmerising, with hits of soft disco, jazz and the easy listening of 80s new wave. I find it difficult to even imagine such a mix in my head, but it really does work - with a little help from some magnificent drumming and a mysterious female voice, he pulls it off handsomely.

    2. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost


    Girls take a huge step from their last offering with Father, Son, Holy Ghost, with songs verging on 10 minutes, and a style which leaves all the songs feeling confused and half finished, yet utterly self-contained. The backbone of the album is of course in the middle, with the quartet from "My Ma" all the way to "Forgiveness" really stretching the listener with epics which sound like nothing the band's done before.

    1. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo


    Deeply personal, Kurt Vile develops a level of heart which is rarely seen anywhere. That he manages to make 5+ minute songs without the listener ever developing boredom is testament to his ability to really create feeling in his songs, despite its strange and reluctant sounds. From the slightly abrasive start with "Baby's Arms" to the wonderfully catchy "Jesus Fever", from the despair of "Peeping Tomboy" to the doozy confusion of "Ghost Town", Smoke Ring For My Halo is wonderfully sequenced with a level of consistency throughout its ten tracks that put it right up there with the best.
  • Best of 1990 (so far)

    Fev 4 2012, 1h01

    1) Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual

    "Ritual de lo Habitual served as Jane's Addiction's breakthrough to the mainstream in 1990 (going gold and reaching the Top 20), and remains one of rock's all-time sprawling masterpieces. While its predecessor, 1988's Nothing's Shocking, served as a fine introduction to the group, Ritual de lo Habitual proved to be even more daring; few (if any) alt-rock bands have composed a pair of epics that totaled nearly 20 minutes, let alone put them back to back for full dramatic effect. While the cheerful ditty "Been Caught Stealing" is the album's best-known track, the opening "Stop!" is one of the band's best hard rock numbers, propelled by guitarist Dave Navarro's repetitive, trashy funk riff, while "Ain't No Right" remains explosive in its defiant and vicious nature. Jane's Addiction always had a knack for penning beautiful ballads with a ghostly edge, again proven by the album closer, "Classic Girl." But it's the aforementioned epics that are the album's cornerstone: "Three Days" and "Then She Did...." Although Perry Farrell has never truly admitted what the two songs are about lyrically, they appear to be about an autobiographical romantic tryst between three lovers, as each composition twists and turns musically through every imaginable mood. And while the tracks "No One's Leaving," "Obvious," and "Of Course" may not be as renowned as other selections, they prove integral in the makeup of the album. Surprisingly, the band decided to call it a day just as Ritual de lo Habitual hit big, headlining the inaugural Lollapalooza tour (the brainchild of Farrell) in the summer of 1991 as their final road jaunt. Years later, it remains one of alt-rock's finest moments." Greg Prato, Allmusic

    2) Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas

    The sheer power of this album stems from its complicated arrangements, its fuzzy sound, and the magnificently doozy sound of Elizabeth Fraser's voice. In almost every dream pop/shoegaze band, especially My Bloody Valentine, the influence of the Twins can be heard. Even male artists try to sound like Liz Fraser (think Sigur Ros). And alongside the influence is great songs - from the opener "Cherry-Coloured Funk" all the way to the glorious "Frou-Frou Foxes In Midsummer Fires", the Twins captivate you, and it's difficult to peel away.

    3) Depeche Mode - Violator

    Synths are probably an acquired taste - there are few synth albums(excepting Kraftwerk) which I find easy to listen to. Conventional wisdom says that synths are cold, inhuman - but Violator smashes that idea up and leaves it in the corner. From the very first song to the last, the album demands your attention and you can't help but give it. Goodies are abound - from Sweetest Perfection which hauntingly tells the tale of a drug addiction, to Enjoy The Silence to the most well known "Personal Jesus", which is as perfect as perfect gets.

    4) Codeine - Frigid Stars

    A pioneering album in the sadcore genre, it sounds like 1990's version of Slint's masterpiece Spiderland. Perhaps more sad, less enthralling, but it still has a great sound. Take for example "Cigarette Machine" - the crunch of the guitars clash duel beautifully with the heavy drums, with the cold vocals of Stephen Immerwahr providing a chilling, haunting layer on top. "Not even star-crossed, just unlucky".

    5) Ride - Nowhere


    6) Madredeus - Existir

    It provided a revelatory first listen, with Teresa Salgueiro's vocals being utterly enchanting, taking you into another world that every other album in this list simply can't. It's the simplicity of the music that makes it beautiful - often it's just an accordion and her voice. I have no idea what she says but man, it makes me feel like few others.

    7) The Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker

    With touches of Led Zeppelin and most of all Exile-era Stones, this is an album of pure American rock 'n' roll. With muscular guitars propped up by smart songwriting and hooky choruses, it's difficult to not find the songs catchy. It goes further though, and it really rewards repeated listening.

    8) Sonic Youth - Goo

    The album doesn't quite keep up with its cover art, but that's pretty difficult. It's odd to think that this spawned SY's biggest hit with "Kool Thing", with Kim Gordon's hardly radio friendly vocals - "I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls from male white corporate oppression?", she says, while Chuck D of Public Enemy fame provides some awesome backup. It's the longer songs that contain the SY magic though, especially Tunic (Song For Karen) - a song written in response to the death of Karen Carpenter.

    9) Yo La Tengo - Fakebook


    10) Megadeth - Rust In Peace


    11) Fugazi - Repeater


    12) Pet Shop Boys - Behaviour


    13) Pixies - Bossanova

    An average Pixies album, but a good album nonetheless. From the intro of the first two songs to the delightful love song of Velouria all the way to the peak of the album with The Happening, Pixies stick with tradition and take you on a careering journey. Again the understated part of the Pixies are their lyrics - take The Happening for example. That said, for me it's just too Frank Blacky, and it doesn't seem like a Pixies album to me. What I loved about Doolittle is the input of Santiago, Lovering and Deal - with Bossanova, it's just too Black-centric, and it suffers. It's less fun, less powerful and less emotive.

    14) Deee-Lite - World Clique

    Off the power of Groove is in the Heart, the album would be considered amazing. As a single, it's a revelatory listen, providing so many funk/house/modern dance chippets that groove really does enter your heart. It's difficult for the rest of the album to keep up with such a high, and it suffers as a result. It's simply not compelling enough, despite Lady Miss Kier's brilliant vocals.
  • Best of - years

    Jan 28 2012, 3h21

    1965 - Bob Dylan, Highway 61 revisited
    1966 - Bob Dylan, Blonde On Blonde
    1967 - Love, Forever Changes
    1968 - The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet
    1969 - King Crimson, In The Court Of The Crimson King
    1970 - Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cosmo's Factory
    1971 - Neil Young, After The Gold Rush
    1972 - David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
    1973 - Lou Reed, Berlin
    1974 - Big Star, Radio City
    1975 - Patti Smith, Horses
    1976 - David Bowie, Station To Station
    1977 - Television, Marquee Moon
    1978 - Bruce Springsteen, Darkness On The Edge Of Town
    1979 - The Clash, London Calling
    1980 - Talking Heads, Remain In Light
    1981 - Kraftwerk, Komputerwelt
    1982 - Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska
    1983 - R.E.M., Murmur
    1984 - Prince, Purple Rain
    1985 - The Jesus and Mary Chain, Psychocandy
    1986 - The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead
    1987 - Prince, Sign 'O' The Times
    1988 - Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation
    1989 - Pixies, Doolittle
    1990 - Depeche Mode, Violator
    1991 - Slint, Spiderland
    1992 - R.E.M., Automatic For The People
    1993 -
    1994 - Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
    1995 - Pavement, Wowee Zowee
    1996 - Belle & Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister
    1997 - Modest Mouse, The Lonesome Crowded West
    1998 - Mercury Rev, Deserter's Songs
    1999 - Sigur Ros, Agaetis Byrjun
    2000 - OutKast, Stankonia
    2001 - Radiohead, Amnesiac
    2002 - Interpol, Turn On The Bright Lights
    2003 - The Wrens, The Meadowlands
    2004 - Kanye West, The College Dropout
    2005 - Kanye West, Late Registration
    2006 - Joanna Newsom, Ys
    2007 - M.I.A., Kala
    2008 - Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
    2009 - Fever Ray, Fever Ray
    2010 - Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    2011 - Kurt Vile, Smoke Ring For My Halo