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Full Albums:

  • Alicia Keys, As I Am1
  • Ghostface Killah, Supreme Clientele
  • Gym Class Heroes, The Quilt2
  • Massive Attack, Mezzanine3
  • Robyn, Body Talk, Pt. 2
  • Royskopp, Junior
  • Talking Heads, Popular Favorites 1976-1992: Sand In The Vaseline4
  • The-Dream, Love King (Deluxe Edition)
  • Thin Lizzy, Dedication (The Very Best of Thin Lizzy)5
  • Wale, Attention Deficit
  • Warpaint, Exquisite Corpse6

Random Excellence:

  • The Knux, “F!re (Put it in the Air)”
  • Porcupine Tree, “What Happens Now”
  • Nine Inch Nails, “HYPERPOWER!”
  • Lykke Li, “Complaint Department”
  • David Bowie, “Modern Love”

Songs of the Week:

  • Gym Class Heroes, “Cookie Jar”
  • LCD Soundsystem, “Dance Yrself Clean”

Reviews:

1. First and foremost, I bought this album for my mom for Christmas off the strength of “No One.” My mom loves female vocalists where the focus is completely on the vocals: Babs, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, Celine Dion, etc. What I didn’t realize at the time (because I hadn’t listened to more than just “No One”) was that Alicia can fucking sing but she can also tickle the fucking ivories. The problem here is that she plays a mean piano as well as sings the pants off of songs–the music is too much a part of the singing for my mom. Uh, plus it’s not really white-people music; which is to say, I love it because it’s R&B, well sung, well played, well collaborated, and just plain old well executed. So for me, it’s amazing even thought it’s kind of foreign for my mom. To get to the point, I listen to this album and read the reviews thinking, “Really? Four stars out of five? This can only be because we all hold Alicia to a greater standard. This album compared to most music is a six, but compared to Alicia its about a 4.5. It’s debating good versus great for an entire album.”

2. Major themes seem to be that Travie wants to be monogamous but just keeps hitting on chicks. Which is great, but The-Dream is far more decisive about that and thus the only two songs I like on this album are “Cookie Jar” and “Catch Me if you Can.” Oddly, “Kissing Ears” also features The-Dream (yes, I know “Catch Me if you Can” doesn’t) but is kind of a let-down. That song has the same problem that most of the album does: what the fuck is this hook and why is it happening so much? Really? You’re into kissing ears? I’m all about the lips.A I’ve been known to kiss ears on occasion, but in my opinion nothing has ever truly shown your appreciation of your significant other like a kiss on the lips.

3. If I was into drugs, I would be a huge fan of this album. Since I am not, I like “Angel” and “Black Milk.”

4. I talked with my dad about this. I told him, “I think they win. They win at music.” We had a chat about how they’re one of those bands that has made some songs that everyone loves. In my opinion they (art school graduates) have crafted songs that are true art because they reveal something that not only resonates with people but also reveals something new with each visit. For example, in our chat, my dad quoted “Psycho Killer” to one of his colleagues: “I hate it when people are not polite.” As recently as three days ago, this was a lyric that I had not yet listened to enough for it to register personally. But when dad mentioned it in his story about his friend, it came up in my next listen: BOOM. Classic: simple yet refined; elegant, terse, eloquent.

This is about to be the first multiple-paragraph twim review; it makes sense because these guys might have invented music after the eighties.

I started listening to them again because I was at a friend’s birthday party and he put “This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)” on the jukebox and something snapped in the back of my mind: “My God. I’ve loved these guys since I was a kid. Playing Stop Making Sense in dad’s Peugot when I was, what, ten? I could never figure out the lyrics but I loved the melodies from the moment I heard them.” So I started listening again. And they win.

5. Hits and misses. I know they’re great but their Greatest Hits album isn’t entirely great: the great songs are great and some other stuff is good. I get that they were one of the originators of the twin-guitar attack matched with poetic lyrics yet the songs that hit and hit hardest are the songs that just repeat awesome choruses. I’m aware of the irony considering my here-enclosed Gym Class Heroes review, but you do realize they’re Thin Lizzy and the other dudes are Gym Class Heroes, right? Thin motherfucking Lizzy versus Gym Class Heroes. It goes back to that Alicia Keys argument: it’s arguing greatness versus generally okay.

6. The kids are alright, but I imagine if I’d been the producer I probably would have said, after every song, “This is great…but can we tighten it up? It’s a 30-minute EP with only five songs.  You’re very, very talented but I want an album that isn’t averaging 6 minutes per song: you can’t sell that shit. America wants 3 minute songs. America has the attention span of a four-year old. Get to the point. Make it rock? Yes. Experiment? Yes. Guitars? Yes. Cool lyrics? Yes. Seven-minute songs? No.”

Comment:

More sorry than usual that this was very late. It’s the season where everyone around me is suddenly sick so I freaked out and bought Vitamin C, Zyrtec, 12-hour Sudafed, Chloraseptic, Benadryl and Zicam. As a result, I have no idea if I’m actually sick, but I sometimes sleep poorly and spend my day exhausted. It doesn’t help that the only place paying me is retail, a wondrous place where all of a sudden I’m back on the scheduleB–a place where 95% of my job is lifting things and the rest is placating managers or answering stupid questions from customers. So if I wasn’t sick, my back would hurt anyway. And so I lost track of my heart, my blog–I forgot what was important to me.

Damn you, Fall. You ain’t got shit on Winter.

A. BOOM! DOUBLE ENTENDRE.

B. Because I’m good at stuff. Seriously, ask me to do something I’ve never done before, give me about an hour and there’s a 95% chancei I’ll be better at it than you. However, give me something to do that I’ve been doing for over 2 years with nary a challenge? I will be underwhelmed, unimpressed, vacant and probably hateful. I regret that. I love challenges but I hate monotony. Grammar? Perpetual challenge and ever-developing debate. Beauty products? Same place, different day, different dumbasses.

i. Turns out 95% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Post Script: The wait was worth it, amirite? There is neither joke nor addendum here. I salute you for checking in and waiting.

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