Amph What was the last album you purchased/heard?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Darth Morella, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    The B-52's (1979) - The B-52's

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    Some say she’s from Mars
    Or one of the seven stars
    That shine after 3:30 in the morning
    Well, she isn’t

    The B-52s certainly carved their niche early and when I say carved a niche, I mean it literally. They didn’t occupy a space that was already there. They created a space for themselves. Certainly, there was nothing quite like them before or since. A real amalgam of retro fashions, toy instruments, ludicrous hairstyles and even more ludicrous vocal stylings made sure that the presentation was unique. So too was the music itself.

    This is clear from their opening salvo, Planet Claire, which begins with about two minutes of what seems to be Peter Gunn meets Star Trek, complete with wordless vocals from Cindy and Kate. By the time Schneider actually comes in on the first verse, you know this isn’t typical music by a stretch. And it isn’t.

    Listening to this music is like listening to several different albums thrown through a blender; there are moments of surf rock, of spy music, sci-fi music and occasionally, as on the ending to the epic Rock Lobster, something you’d call an aria if you didn’t think people would laugh at you. And it works. Consistently minor keyed but with hilariously off the wall lyrics and titles (There’s a Moon in the Sky Called the Moon, for instance), the music strikes a consistent attitude of paradox.

    But the energy is what really counts and what keeps this from tipping into pure camp. 52 Girls is straight ahead rock and roll and both Dance This Mess Around and Rock Lobster are pure adrenaline to the brain. The moment where the singer belts out “Hippy-hippy-hippy-hippy-hippy-hippy-shake” is a moment of pure joy for sure. And the final moments of Rock Lobster, as Schneider goes through a litany of sea creatures, complete with wacky sound effects from the back up singers (culminating in an absolutely ear splitting scream), while the band swaggers through the pounding riff that is surely one of the catchiest riffs ever . . . well, this is, finally and really, music that you can honestly say you have never heard before.
    Occasionally, you might be able to get something from the lyrics as on the dark Hero Worship or the humorous 6060-842, which reimagines the essential tragedy of life in the simple struggle of getting through to a number scrawled on a bathroom wall. But this isn’t music with a lot of hidden meaning. It’s just strange, compelling, immediately gripping music that works on its own terms.

    That’s about as apt as it gets, I think; the fusion of styles, the bizarre sing/shout vocals, the almost unrecognizable cover of Downtown, the toy organ mingling with the high vocals of the female singers . . . this is crazy stuff, but it’s crazy stuff that is both incredibly enjoyable and incredibly energizing. I’ve long argued that self-conscious art is often flawed. And it is, most of the time, but this is one example of when it isn’t. The B-52s are consciously working at creating bizarre, iconoclastic music and it works with pure charm, wit and energy. Without those things, all the experimentation in the world would be just that: clinical and dry experimentation. But the energy and the passion are there, justifying the experimentation every step of the way.

    Mind-blowing, genre bending, music stretching to the breaking point, pushed over bizarre into ‘totally crazy.’ Funny, funky and fun; essential.

    5 out of 5 stars.
  2. King_of_Red_Lions Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2003
    star 3
    I bought the newest release from Train, David Gray, The Shins and Matchbox Twenty
  3. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Cabaret (1972) - Various Artists

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    Start by admitting, from cradle to grave
    It isn’t that long a stay.
    Life is a cabaret, old chum,
    And I love a cabaret.

    Fosse might have had a background in musical theater but that didn’t make him adapt the stage musical Cabaret to the screen with any more latitude than most other directors. Cutting the song score down by around two-thirds, by deleting every number that didn’t take place inside the Kit Kat Klub, except for Tomorrow Belongs to Me (yeah, great choice there, Bob), Fosse then opened the door for new music to showcase his stars, Minnelli and Grey.

    The reason this album works, and it does work, has a lot to do with its incredible veracity. There’s very little pointless winking at the audience; for the most part, this sounds very authentic, by which I mean, it’s exactly the kind of music you might actually have heard in a cabaret in the first half of the century.

    There’s a real energy here and though you wouldn’t think Grey’s snarky delivery would work particularly, it does, to great effect. Wilkommen is pure genius and his duet with Minelli, Money, is pure high energy. And he manages the almost unthinkable with If You Could See Her: he actually delivers the emotion, a poignant melancholy that he really sells.

    And Minelli, still in her thirty second credible period, delivers the goods too. Mein Herr is just a show stopper (a show stopper two tracks into an album?) and her work on the title track is her best work by about a thousand miles.

    There are missteps here, sure. Tomorrow Belongs To Me doesn’t have much punch out of context and it sounds out of place next to the hot jazz of the tracks that surround it. And Tiller Girls and Finale both also lose face taken out of context. But then, what soundtrack album doesn’t have at least a couple of tracks that seem weak taken out of context?

    Worth mentioning as indicative of the genius here are Sitting Pretty, a hopping jazz instrumental that has the orchestra (a beautiful orchestra, just like Grey says) working like pros, and Heiraten, probably the most authentic piece on the album, a gorgeous piece of music, sung in German. If you’ve heard recordings from this period from Europe (oddly, I have . . . how’d that happen?), you can’t help but be impressed by the exactness of this. All it needs is vinyl scratches and it would be perfect.

    High energy, occasionally poignant, loads of fun. This isn’t really authentic; it is a pastiche. But as a pastiche it reaches about as high as any pastiche ever can; namely, we occasionally forget that isn’t the real stuff.

    4 out of 5 stars.
  4. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I think the last time I actually bought an album it was before 1994. Thank you, Youtube!
  5. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
    That would certainly explain why you publicly admit to listening to bands like Van Halen. :p
  6. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I have literally never owned a Van Halen album.

    I think I might have bought a Metallica album in the early 90's and a Motley Crue one too. Beyond that I was always a radio/mtv fan and once the world wide web grabbed hold I never needed to purchase an album to listen to any given band.

    Most recently was Born Villain, Manson, great music, I never paid a dime.
  7. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    No shame! That first album was great.
  8. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Da Capo (1967) - Love

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    Orange skies
    Cotton candy,
    Carnivals
    And you

    The second album from the Los Angeles based Love, this one shuffled the band around a bit, with great effect, with the best bit coming when the brilliant percussionist Michael Stuart joins in on drums. Like a lot of sophomore albums, this one is . . . odd.

    It opens with the absolutely terrible Stephanie, Knows Who, with the band churning out one of the most obnoxious riffs of all time while the lead singer basically shouts in a very off key voice about, well, Stephanie, I guess, who I honestly can’t tell if he loves or hates, given this arrangement.

    From there, the album has nowhere to go but up and luckily it does. The second song is the absolutely gorgeous Orange Skies, a truly dreamy piece of musing about all the things we find to love; lyrics that border on poetry and a fantastic arrangement sell this one. The album has nothing if it doesn’t have sprawl; to believe that the beautiful Orange Skies is on the same album with the pure thrashing drive of 7 and 7 Is or the up tempo pop of She Comes in Colors . . . well, that’s a stretch, but there they are, sharing space.

    The album is pretty strong all the way through, at least after Stephanie gets out of the way. But the final twenty-five minutes are non-stop brilliance. First, there’s The Castle, a song with an endearing start and stop format that weaves acoustic guitar, harpsichord, bass, drums and voice into a tapestry where they all seem to have their moment alone and all seem to share the stage at various times. The way the instruments come in, drop out, come in, drop out make this one a real keeper and a masterpiece of arrangement if nothing else. After this is She Comes in Colors, one of the most beautiful songs the band ever did and maybe, in the final analysis, their absolute best moment. I’m not a fan of Alone Again Or, I should note.

    Then, there’s the final track, the nineteen minute Revelation. This track has been the most controversial of this album’s tracks and opinion seems pretty generally arrayed against it. Well, once again, I’m right and everyone else is wrong. Revelation is excellent. One rather wishes the vocalist would shut the heck up, but luckily he only sings for about five minutes all together. While it’s true that most tracks over fifteen minutes are, frankly, not worth listening to, this one definitely is. It begins with a trilling harpsichord and instantly morphs into a straight up blues rock that goes for about twelve minutes. At that point, in one of the great moments of recorded music, the saxophone comes in and the band just suddenly morphs into a hopping pop rock. Certainly one of the great transitions of music history. Ignore the singer gulping and wailing occasionally; music this good, I can tolerate the dimwit with the microphone.

    So, while I hate the opening track, I’m forced to admit that the point of this album seems to be squeezing as many disparate songs on one album as possible. That in mind, there is sure to be at least one that you hate. You can’t sprawl that far without hitting at least one sour note. But the body of the album is brilliant, sprawling, amazing. And the final track is one of the finest long rock tracks I’ve ever heard.

    4 ½ out of 5 stars.
  9. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
  10. Jedi Daniel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2000
    star 5
    King Animal by Soundgarden
  11. WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2010
    star 4
    6 CDs of 100 film scores.
  12. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Even in the Quietest Moments - Supertramp

    The thing just works. I think between "From Now On", "Lover Boy" and "Downstream" Davies actually "wins" this album. "Fool's Overture" loses its sheen after a while, "Give a Little Bit" and "Babaji" are absolutely hit out of the park and the title track pales next to "Downstream". It's a testament to the way it's put together though, that I had only intended to listen to the first two tracks this morning and wound up going through the whole thing. Only behind Crime of the Century and Breakfast in America in Supertramp's discography, I'd say.

    ...yes, I listen to Supertramp. Shut up, that's why.
  13. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    shut up is an awful justification.

    last album i purchased was spiritual healing by death (3CD deluxe reissue). last new album to actually land in my hands was the larks' tongues in aspic reissue box set by king crimson. last album i listened to was koi no yokan by deftones.
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Eagles (1972) - Eagles

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    Well, I’m a-runnin’ down the road, tryin’ to loosen my load
    Got seven women on my mind
    Four that want to own me, two that want to stone me
    One said she’s a friend of mine.

    It’s really astonishing how self-assured this debut sounds. Hotel California is a case where the conventional wisdom is dead on target; it’s both the Eagles’ best song and best album. But this debut is a close second in the latter territory (or third, if you count their best-selling Greatest Hits). The album begins with the energetic lope of Take It Easy and moves directly on to the Southwest thriller, Witchy Woman. It’s rare enough to be worth commenting on, the fact that the first two songs on the debut album by a group remain two of their best and most loved songs. Before the album wraps, they hit Peaceful, Easy Feeling, another in their long string of iconic hits.

    All three of these songs have the trademarks of the Eagles, a sort of ambling folk rock sound coming out of the heat of the southwestern states, instead of the cool mountains of the east. But the album is actually neatly divided between the two styles of the Eagles. There are these acoustic folk numbers, joined by the surprisingly effective Take the Devil and the Jackson Browne penned Nightingale. And then there are the harder, rawer electric rock numbers.

    On this album, that side of the group is represented by the dire Chug All Night and the epic closer Tryin’. Like Hotel California, this album presents both sides of the band and does a pretty good job at presenting both. The rockers suffer a bit here; none of the harder songs here are among their best. Take It Easy can stand up next to Lyin’ Eyes and Wasted Time pretty easy, but Chug All Night ain’t a patch on Life in the Fast Lane, if you follow all that.

    Earlybird is a straight up country raver of the type they wouldn’t ever quite do again, complete with some of the most horrendously annoying/amazingly hilarious (depending entirely on your mood) whistling you’ve ever heard. But other than that, the album is mostly the Eagles being the Eagles. They debut here without a doubt, it seems, of where they’re headed. The quality of these songs and these performances backs up the confidence. They already know they’re going to be the biggest band in the world soon. That’s why they can take it easy, I guess. It looks like a debut album; but slip it in the player and you’ll see that these cats are already gone.

    4 ½ out of 5 stars.

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