Find Me On:
It took about 5 seconds for this to be the best thing I’ve heard this year so far. Just brilliant
Truth. Not to be too nerdy about this, but I also listen to One Foot in the Grave (partly for comedy value) much more than Guero or Midnite V. I loved the shit out of Modern Guilt, too.
And so is Out of Tune, and so is Puzzles Like You… Totally crazy just to dismiss the band as bland Americana, they were far more sophisticated than that and put out some perfect tunes. I doubt anyone would care about a Slowdive reunion if MBV hadn’t come back last year
Two of the Cave recordings I listen to most are The Secret Life of the Love Song, a vivid insight into his life & writing process, along with stripped-down versions of classics like Sad Waters; and B-Sides and Rarities which is spilling over with brilliant little nuggets that didn’t make the albums (a cover of the Pogues’ Rainy Night in Soho, Come into My Sleep)
Good Son: higher
Grinderman/Lazarus period: overrated, lower
Nocturama: higher (yes! it has tunes.)
But hey, thank you for this. The most consistently inspirational figure in music history?
“What begins as an unguarded train of thought slowly can become
An addiction to the slumber of disconnection and the resonance
Of memory that no longer has a shape but keeps you numb
Through the hours till gone is another day” (Half Asleep)
These are amazing lyrics to put in a pop song. Over the last 10 years no one else I know wrote like this, and no other band made such consistently excellent albums to such little acclaim. Whether or not Benjamin Curtis felt pained by the indie press’s indifference to School of Seven Bells, I don’t know– was it because they were too pretty, too derivative, too precious, too “unexceptional”?– but I hope he found an immense personal reward from his art, and realised how much his true fans loved his music. Disconnect… in particular is quite stunning. It’s such a sad, sad loss.
That’s just splitting Hairs.
Oracular Spectacular might have a lot of variety, but it’s no Thriller, and not even a Jagged Little Pill. That comparison in the review is just nuts. Low’s an interesting analogy. Personally I feel it doesn’t have the emotional depth or musical originality for the whole album to be held up in that company 20 years from now– time will tell. Oracular to me sounds like classic psychedelia being funnelled through an ironic, self-consciously wacky Day-glo filter; Congratulations is just pure fun without the detachment.
Black Paint / Bad Vibrations.
Agree almost totally with Ryan’s placings and the well-considered words. It doesn’t make sense to me that Mylo Xyloto and Viva La Vida can *both* be produced (or co-produced) by Brian Eno– MX is underwritten & overcooked, splashy & gaudy stadium pop with few lasting hooks (just as well Rihanna stepped in). VLV is their Abbey Road, a textbook example of how to experiment with taste and restraint– a brilliant record that still sounds fresh now, and to me clearly their best song-for-song.
I’d second those who call for the inclusion of Neil’s live albums– on that basis Massey Hall ’71 would be not only in my top 3 Neil albums but among the best live albums of all time. I haven’t listened to any other live album so much and prefer it to Rust Never Sleeps (whoa, heresy).
Looking through some of this artwork, there’s an alternative list here that I’d call “Neil Young album covers from borderline passable to truly abominable”, a list topped by Zuma, Landing on Water and the debut LP, closely followed by Reactor and Everybody’s Rocking.
(apols that’s in response to btrtbflo)
I’ve heard them all and you’re dead right– 23 is their 2nd best, and whoever wrote this (a) has highly questionable reasons for making it 2nd worst (wtf!) and (b) loves Sonic Youth/ hates perfect pop.
Rollin’ & Stretchin’
Loving the number 1 choice. If any newbie asked me to recommend a BH song, it would have to be Silver Soul. And then Myth, and the equally flawless Used to Be which I’m amazed you left out. Unique, brilliant band.
Also, props to the writer for only using the word “glacial” once, and completely avoiding “iceberg”.
Totally agree. It’s classical music played with contemporary instruments.
“Hot Love” was number 1 on the day I was born, so it should automatically be No. 1 here too.
Snarky comments aside.. it’s a freaking great singalong, a kind of hypersexed “Hey Jude”, and a million times superior to “Raw Ramp” and cookie-cutter glam of that ilk. I’ve always had a penchant for “New York City” too, a surreal little gem, and “Teenage Dream” which was on the Scott Pilgrim OST a few years back.
This isn’t to diss Austra at all– a band I really like despite (or perhaps because of) its mannered melodrama– but I still think the best thing Katie Stelmanis put her vocals on to date is the Death in Vegas track, Your Loft My Acid. It’s the best possible vehicle for her operatics and the song carries for her voice, rather than the opposite, which is probably why Austra hasn’t made its masterpiece yet– she’s so dominant in the mix, you sort of forget the band or the tunes.
Beautifully written piece.
Hey You, The Great Gig in the Sky, On the Turning Away, Us and Them and One of These Days. Incredible stuff.
Surprised that Christmas hasn’t been mentioned– it might not be a full-length album, but it’s not an EP either. It’s probably the Low record I’ve listened to most over the years apart from Things We Lost…, Secret Name and A Lifetime of Temporary Relief. Take the Long Way Around the Sea kills me, as does If You Were Born Today.
I’d agree Trust deserves to be higher, it’s at least half a great album. Drums & Guns always left me really cold though, and the Invisible Way might have its moments, but I’d struggle to make the case that it’s better overall than C’mon.
Your wish has already been granted:
2013′s been weird. A lot of the albums I’ve heard have been really surprising– favourite artists like Low, Nick Cave, Strokes, YYYs, MBV, Atoms for Peace have all turned in solid-but-not-stellar records, while others I wasn’t expecting to be so great, actually have been.
Youth Lagoon– Wondrous Bughouse
The Veils– Time Stays, We Go
The National– Trouble
Jon Hopkins– Immunity
Tricky– False Idols
Vampire Weekend– Modern Vamps
QotSA– Like Clockwork