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The Album of Your Week

Review of an album that has made your week

11/23/07 07:32 am - not_ian - Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

The music of Joy Division is often lost with the death of Ian Curtis - the whole oh the doom and the gloom he must have really meant it and all that.Joy Division where a punk band
that couldnt play and used that to their advantage it's amazing how simple the songs actually are yet so effective.London records have re-masterd Unknown Pleasure's,Closer
and still on 180g vinyl and repackaged on cd with extra live disc on cd.Unknown Pleasure's is my album of the week - my album for my life - the album is different everytime you play
it when drunk its a great rock album that you can jump up and down to - the brilliant opener track "Disorder" - you could just finish the album after that it anounce's here are Joy Division with the spirit and the feeling - Martin Hannett's adding hand claps ,lifts opening and closing and Peter Hooks mashing things in the studio just adds to the atmosphere of the album.It must be noted just how heavy some of this album is on songs such as "Day of the Lords", "New Dawn Fades", "Shadowplay" have an almost Black Sabbath feel.This is one of the very few genre breaking album's of all time you can't stick this one in its own little box.


8/6/06 02:55 pm - cruxcharisma - The Undoing of David Wright - We Dig With Fingers Crossed

I wrote this for a 'zine so it doesn't stick around the "Album of your week" theme, but the profile doesn't say that is imperative. Hopefulyl this is okay.

Title: The Undoing of David Wright - We Dig With Fingers Crossed
Category: Album Review
Published: Among Us Zine (publish date pending)
Date Written: July 29, 2006

If you were to pummel an ipod loaded with Birthday Party and Thrill Kill Kult tracks through a sonic supercollider the result would come close to The Undoing of David Wright. These Denton death rock darlings infuse a diverse array of influences - post-punk, no-wave, new wave, punk, hardcore, glam, electroclash, industrial, garage rock, and more - leaving baffled reviewers stumped for a way to pigeonhole them. Their innovative aesthetics, creative story telling, pounding rhythms, and raucous live show, however, never fail to pack performances with the gyrating bodies of smiling fans.

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4/10/06 01:00 am - djmasque - New community

It started with Music for Airports.
djmasque put this album (one of his favourites) on one night as he was settling down for bed.
48:32 minutes later, he got up to put another CD on.

So much for listening to something atmospheric as he drifted off to sleep.
The album was far too interesting and demanded his full attention.
There were questions to be answered.

"Dear Eno" was born.


3/31/06 04:23 pm - pygmalion78 - Takk... versus ( )

A comparative review of two albums, hope that’s okay…

I know I’m not establishing my indie credentials well by writing my first review on Sigur Ros—-especially on their latest, and some would argue most commercial, album. But since I received this album in December I’ve been listening to it more and more as the months draw on. I wanted to write a little essay/review and this seemed like a good forum. Plenty of people disparage Sigur Ros but I will unabashedly stand by them. In fact, I’ve listened to many “post-rock” bands (GSYBE, Do Make Say Think, Explosions in the sky, Mogwai, etc.) since it’s a genre that always seems good in theory but unfortunately not often in practice, and SR is the only one in my opinion worth any serious attention.

In the years after its release I wanted to claim that ( ) was SR’s masterpiece, and I built up arguments to that effect. The first four tracks were the SR we’d come to expect from Agaetis Byrjun and then Track 8 brought the album to the most thrilling, screeching climax I’d heard in a long time. Tracks 5-7 were problematic, as they were all rather similar in tone, tempo, mood, etc. On a practical level, the album really drags at this point, but I reasoned that Track 8 would not be nearly so powerful a conclusion had we not been lulled to sleep for so long by the previous three songs. So even though the material was somewhat weaker, it was necessary for the overall whole. SR was creating a desire construct—-making the listener long for the music to go somewhere, for something to happen. And it doesn’t. Our desire is suspended... and... suspended... until the very end, making the conclusion all the more fulfilling.

So on first hearing Takk… I found myself initially suspicious of it. While ( ) had taken half its length to arrive at one earth-shattering climax, Takk… shoots off similar climaxes in virtually every song. Whether it feels like a cathartic climax (cc) or a tender loving lament climax (tllc), or a celebration-of-all-the-joys-and-sorrows-of-the-world climax (coatjasotwc), SR had them in abundance. But after ( ) I had to wonder if these were truly earned. They worked like hell to get to that final climax in ( ), if they can throw them in all over the place in Takk… are they as meaningful as SR wants you to believe? I had the image of the Icelanders sitting in the studio saying, “Okay, throw in a tllc here, and how about a coatjasotwc over there... hey, toss me a fuckin beer man, I’m not payin you to sit on your ass.”

But in the end, it’s partly just how composers work. All compositions are contrived to some degree and it made me look back at ( ) with a more critical eye. I realize that I’m not filled with desire during Tracks 5-7. Perhaps I am during track 5 and half of track 6. But by track 7, I’m daydreaming, quite frankly. I’ve slipped from active to passive listening, not even aware there is music on. In the end, I probably convinced myself that I should like the album and that the album is a masterpiece when in fact I was overlooking what is, to me, a very problematic section.

To some degree I regard ( ) as a failure—though that is not necessarily an awful thing. When you have very interesting artists (and I consider SR to be high caliber artists in the popular music world), their failures can sometimes be even more interesting than their successes (i.e. no one is going to fail at something safe or easy, unless it’s Ashlee Simpson with the act of singing). I think on the second half of that album Sigur Ros wanted to create a barren, lifeless nearly uninhabitable musical space. In a way, they succeeded too well—-at which point the practical musical results don’t work.

After multiple listenings of Takk… I began to make peace with it and it soon began to ascend in my mind to the position of SR’s best album thus far. I was afraid at first of being lured in by all the emotional explosions in it, because they seemed like they might be false or contrived. But I finally surrendered myself to the experience of it, and allowed it to work its magic on me. It has convinced me that it’s not false, and even if it’s contrived, what does it matter? It’s sonic and emotional pleasure, pure and simple.

Sigur Ros: Takk...

Sigur Ros: ( )

3/28/06 11:33 pm - djmasque - Album of my week: The Soft Boys - Underwater Moonlight

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The Soft Boys twist the madness of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and 60s Garage-Rock with a '77 Brit-punk into a fresh, jangly 80s sound. Underwater Moonlight is the distillation of this idea. It's easy to spot the White Album-meets-Piper at the Gates of Dawn fusion within the album, but the Soft Boys do it with their own cocky creativity.

With song names like "Where are the Prawns?" and lyrics like "Said the dentures to the peach...", you pretty much never know what to expect from vocalist and songwriter Robyn Hitchcock. Underwater Moonlight's lyrics are brightly contrasted by the edgy, jangled guitars in the key of Television, and plump McCartney basslines.

Underwater Moonlight displays the same twisted creativity of Piper at the Gates of Dawn by having songs trail off on tangents, eventually meeting back in the final for the final showdown.

Key tracks include the harmonic punk of "I Wanna Destroy You", the straight-outta-'68 "The Queen of Eyes". In addition to obviously showing their influence, a number of songs foreshadow the Soft Boys' future legacy in alternative rock- "I Got The Hots" is pure Jarvis Cocker from before he even joined a band. "Tonight" gives you the impression that Billy Corgan had this track in his subconscious on the day he wrote "Tonight, Tonight".

One of the most noticeable things about Underwater Moonlight is the fact that the songs stay in your head for days. The catchy melodies, unforgettable lyrics and great music blend together to create an album that you just can't stop singing along to. Even if you don't have the album playing at the time.....

Underwater Moonlight isn't really my album of the week, but I've been listening to so much Robyn Hitchcock and related material, that I felt it sums up my listening experience for the week. I do heartily recommend it for those who enjoy any of the band that I've compared it to, or even those who are just looking for something really good to listen to. Even though most of the albums on this community seem to be getting five stars, I can't help but give it the same. I guess it's because of the nature of this community, people are choosing the best album they've been listening to. It can't be helped. But, of course, it's a good way to find some great new musics!

3/25/06 01:05 am - soundescape

I was going to review an album today, one that I had been listening to constantly, but not anymore.
I can't though.

Have you ever had an album that felt so personal that you didn't want to share it with anyone?

That is what this album is to me. It is my everything.

And because of that, I can't tell you what it is.

I'm sorry, but it is definately my album of the week.


3/19/06 04:18 pm - lora_logik

i'm not going to write a long review of this album, probably because i'm not as procient at reviewing as the rest of you, and i don't listen to a great deal of other bands in the genre....but i'm hoping to. I hadn't listened to a lot of 80's rock n roll before The Cult, and i think that's why it took me a couple of listens to begin to appreciate it.  I've had this album (on tape!) for a couple of years and would listen to it driving home when i lived in the country....an hour away from uni.

Last night was the first night that Sonic Temple had again ventured out of my glove box, courtesy of mikkael who almost wet his pants with excitement.
And when i put it in the deck i realised that this was most definately one of my favourite albums, and it is again the album of my week.

I love the huge guitar solos (definately lacking in today's rock n roll), i love Ian Astbury's voice, i love the awesome power of this album and the way it makes me want to rip holes in the knees of my jeans and tear the sleeves off my shirt, and i love how listening to it is the musical equivalent of eating a huge dinner.

If you haven't heard anything off this album, or anything by The Cult, i would recommend listening to "Sweet Soul Sister" or "Edie".  You'll probably recognise these songs!

Okay, i don't know how everyone else put the stars in, but i give it........!!! 4 1/2 STARS!!!.......woo!

And if there are any other Cult fans on here, i would love to hear what other music in the genre is worth a listen...fanx!

3/15/06 02:26 am - bttrversionofme - If you don't have a song to sing - you're okay.

You know how to get along humming...

Album of my week: Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine

There's such a wind of change about the place at the moment that it's only fitting that I should post about one of my favourite albums - Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine.

This album is the sound of letting go, of moving on and of finding new things within yourself. It is an album of reflection and looking with the cool eyes of hindsight. It is at times a purging of anger, others an exhausted resignation to the way things are, and mostly a deep breath before trying something new.

This is one of those albums that makes you walk that little bit taller on a good day, or disappear onto cloud reminisce on others. It will help you see where you've come from, where you're at and leave you to decide where you're heading.

I'll admit, I was one of the people who downloaded the 'leaked' version before the actual release of the album (which my lovely man bought for me as soon as he could), and I'll have to say that I'm torn between the two. The pre-release has more of an acoustic and raw feel to it which leaves the spotlight clearly on the vocals, while the actual album has a more produced sound - and that's not a bad thing either. I'm about 50/50 on which tracks I prefer from each version. But the actual tracks change as much as my mood.

Listen to: Better Version of Me - if you're feeling optimistic (or are starting anything new).

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3/15/06 01:34 am - soundescape - "First the mic, then a half cigarette...

Album of my Week: Elliott Smith - XO

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Actually, album of my fucking year. Remember when you heard the news that Elliott Smith was dead? Remember when you found out it was suicide? Were you suprised? Of course you weren't. Why? Because you have heard this album...

Right? Well, if not, and if you are least bit curious now... listen to this album. Seriously.

And I guess you're probably wondering how he killed himself... a couple of self-inflicted knife wounds to the chest good enough for you?

Of course you could be one of those people who actually wants to know what the music sounds like... Think, Nick Drake, James Taylor, American Music Club, Red House Painters... hell, even Neil Young or The Beach Boys.

Well, 'til I Die' or 'A Day in the Life of a Tree' era Beach Boys, at least. Y'know, when all Brian Wilson wanted to do was stay in bed and snort cocaine.

This is sad music, made by a sad person, for sad people. And don't you dare even say the word 'Emo'. This is not only above that, but beyond it as well. If 'Emo' is for the sad kids whose girlfriends just left them, then 'XO' is for the sad people who are just... sad.

Listen to: 'Sweet Adeline', Waltz #2 (XO) or 'Bled White' if you need proof...

Enough said? Of course it is.

3/14/06 01:06 am - djmasque - Album of my week: Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat

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Vocalist for indie-country band Rilo Kiley teams up with blue-eyed soul twins sisters, The Watson Twins for this incredibly evoking and listenable album. Fans of Neko Case, Cat Power and similar folk-based singer-songwriter music will adore this record. A classic set of twelve intimately recorded, closely-miked tracks are defined by Jenny Lewis' traditional acoustic-'n'-harmonies style with a modern twist. Reminiscent of Country siren Loretta Lynn, Lewis' warm, fragile vocals are neatly supported by the Watson Twins traditional 'ooh-ahh' harmonies. Although clearly Country influence, due to its catchy melodies and singalong tracks, Rabbit Fur Coat can be enjoyed by those unfamiliar or impartial to Country music.

Tracks like the stompy opener 'The Big Guns' and the brilliant cover of The Travelling Wilburys' 'Handle With Care' (featuring Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard) are nestled between gentler, introspective songs like 'Melt Your Heart'. Other standout tracks include the pedal-steel laced, boppy 'The Charging Sky' and the simple and quirky 'Happy'.

Whilst it's easy to pick favourite tracks from Rabbit Fur Coat, it's really an album to be listened to closely, on headphones or in the bedroom. It even serves well as background music and is a very good conversation stimulator.

Whether you're a fan of Rilo Kiley, Neko Case, Cat Power, Dusty Springfield, Loretta Lynn or even The White Stripes, Rabbit Fur Coat will be a winner. If not, still give it a listen.

This is the album of my week, purely for the fact that I can't stop listening to it! This is rare for me, because usually I find something better by the time I've listened to something once or twice. It is, without doubt, my favourite album of 2006.
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