Music and Stuff

Hello, and welcome to this blog , the perfect place to find reviews of all types of music; rock, electronic, hip hop, and others, reviewed by a teenager completely immersed in all music. Here I will review classic albums, both famous and obscure. So, enjoy my opinions.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Skylarking: XTC, 1986

After their Dukes of Stratosphear albums, the members of XTC were ready for a fresh new start. Previous XTC albums were marred by the inescapable truth that no matter how hard they tried, it was extremely hard for them to write a really serious song. After the Dukes albums, they realized that they could write silly songs AND make them good. They also did discover how to write serious songs, but their majestic fantasy world is what really made this album great. Opening with the bookend effect that comes from "Summers Cauldron" to "Grass", many songs would have recurring themes and transitions. No songs go to waste; only one or two of the sixteen or so songs far short of excellent. Going from pop to new wave to jazz and back, they kept every song alive and kicking with a highly original riff or melody, and Todd Rundgren's psychedelic production makes this XTC album the closest one to perfect.
Five stars.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where to start...

I have been asked a question: Where should I start with Ian Dury albums? Well, it depends. If you lean towards a more punkish/ pub rock sound, Dury's first album, "New Boots and Panties!", is the way to go. It's closest in comparison to the first album by The Stranglers (They were close friends with Dury; somewhere on youtube is a bootleg of Dury singing the Stranglers song "Peaches" with the band in honor of leader Hugh Cornwell. I think it was his birthday). On the other hand, if you prefer a more commerical sound, go with his second album, "Do It Yourself". It is more of a pub rock/ disco/ pop fusion, although the music is merely the background for Dury's lyrics, which are always the main focus.
Hope that answers your question Randy.

Sea Change: Beck, 2002

This is often called Beck's heartbreak album, and for good reason. Much like other "heartbreak" albums, basically every song is a sad lament. Which is slightly true. Only a few aren't in sad minor keys, but those that are mnake sure to let you know that Beck Hansen was pretty dying of sadness when he wrote them. To give you an idea about what the album is through use of the songs: Beck may be in "The Golden Age", but he's become a "Lost Cause" standing on the "Side of the Road" "Round the Bend" in the "Sunday Sun" at the "End of the Day" making a "Paper Tiger" because he can't cry "Lonesome Tears" anymore. When the "Little One" asks him, he just says "Guess I'm Doing Fine", because he tells himself "It's All In Your Mind" because his heart is "Already Dead".
There. That was every song title. It may not make much sense, but that's what he gave me to use.
All in all, this album really shows that despite all the weird but great indie-rap fusion of his other albums, Beck becomes a serious musician when sad. My point: This really has to be in anyone's CD collection. Just try not to cry.
Five stars.

...Nothing Like the Sun: Sting, 1987

On this album, Sting finally showed the true potential of his solo career. The previous one, "The Dream of the Blue Turtles", had been good, but was very disappointing when compared to the last Police album, "Synchronicity". Although there had been many successful jazz-rock songs (Sting's new musical direction) on "The Dream of the Blue Turtles", not many worked well enough, and the album came out pretty patchy. There are less jazzy songs on this album, with a larger focus on world music; luckily he was able the style his own twist, and avoided sounding too much like Peter Gabriel (Gabriel had been doing similar music since at least 1980, and had released the enourmously successful "So" the year before, which had a large amount of world music in its style). Although the jazzy influence of the previous album stayed, the jazzier songs (Englishman In New York, for example) were more comfortable and relaxed, and the others (The Lazarus Heart, Be Still My Beating Heart, Straight To My Heart [Yes, he has a thing for songs about hearts], and They Dance Alone, with the last featuring guitar god Mark Knopfler) were just as succesful, and the album comes to a close with a spacey cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic "Little Wing" and the closing, almost the title track, "Sister Moon"(Which includes guitar god number two for this album, Eric Clapton). Despite those great ones, there are some strange funk songs (We'll Be Together, Rock Steady), which have lesser impacts simply because they don't fit in. But even with those weak spots, the others make up for it. This is definitely the best Sting album, and certainly the best of 1987.
Five stars (I'm kinda biased: I love this album)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Poll problems

I'm not quite sure if you can see what the question is or what the answers are for my poll at the bottom of the page, so if it isn't showing up (It hasn't been for me), here it is.
Question: Who was the best Genesis frontman?
Answers: (Top) Peter Gabriel
(Middle) Phil Collins
(Bottom) Ray Wilson
The polls close on 11:59 on Halloween (Oooh! Scary!), so get vote. Unless you don't know or care. If you don't know or care, vote for Peter Gabriel. He was the best. I violently oppose you if you disagree. So vote.

Some new info

First of all, I just want to remind the people who read this blog to request for reviews (Especially follower maxgmooney). I'm willing to do stuff.
Also I'd like to welcome my newest follower. That's 2! Yes!