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MORE CRITICISMS
getting stuff for free is one of the perks for writing for a student newspaper. but in order to justify getting free shit, i have to write reviews for the cadre. here are some cd's i got for free.
The Dandy Warhols
Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
Capitol Records
60's counterculture is explored and embraced on the latest release from the Warhols. Psychedelia, drugs, existentialism, and a sampling of all the musical trends from that decade blend seamlessly in this constantly enjoyable album. On Thirteen Tales, The Warhols showcase haunting harmonies, hypnotic melodies, and a willingness to experiment. The result is a record that sounds as innovative as the underground art rock albums of the 60's that influenced the Warhols.
AFI
The Art of Drowning
Nitro Records
What is the difference between Def Leopard and hardcore band, AFI? Def Leopardís drummer can play a beat with one fucking hand! This type of CD is best suited for pubescent jr high boys having an awkward time dealing with the increase in levels of their testosterone, or guys that still listen to Def Leopard, but canít find any new CDs by their favourite band. Not that AFI have any songs that are as catchy as ďPour Some Sugar On Me,Ē or the slick production of Mutt Lang, but they have a few, nice power rock harmonies. Other than that, The Art of Drowning is full of unintelligible yelling, distorted powerchords, and sloppy, two-handed drumming.
Elliot Smith
Figure Eight
Dreamworks
Figure Eight has everything necessary for a perfect pop album: beautiful harmonies, lyrics that stick in your head, piano and strings spilling in and out of songs, terrific guitar playing, fantastic drumming, and it was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
Iron Maiden
Brave New World
EMI
Yes, they can still rock, and yes they still sing about Satan, paranoia, mythic creatures, and nomads. Itís so refreshing to finally hear a metal band that adds a bit of mystery and fantasy to their music when most hard rock acts today just sing about ďnookyĒ and their inflated egos. Most of the songs on BNW are epics with classically influenced guitar solos, complicated drumming, dramatic build ups, and the wailing vocals of Bruce Dickinson, one of the greatest singers in the history of heavy metal. Letís hope more artists follow Maidenís lead and make intelligent, tolerable metal records.
Amon Tobin
Supermodified
Ninja Tune
Not only does Amon Tobinís ability to make impossible beats sound real make Supermodified an album that has to be heard, but the quality of the music will make listeners want to hear it again and again. The stuff on this album is mindblowing. Tobin fuses bits of breakbeats, swing, funk, jazz, soul, and bizzare percussive effects into a cohesive sound unique to him. Supermodified has the ambience of a 1930's film spliced with spaghetti westerns and early 90's ganster movies. You must hear it to believe it.
Air
The Virgin Suicides
Virgin
French electronica duo, Air, provide atmospheric instrumentals to set the tone to Sophia Coppolaís debut film. The music sounds like a perfect combination of Angelo Badalementiís warm Twin Peaks soundtrack and the icy analogue synthetic score from A Clockwork Orange. Itís dark, trippy and an all around enjoyable listen.
Eels
Daisies of the Galaxy
Dreamworks
There are three types of songs on Daisies of the Galaxy: uplifting songs, depressing songs, and songs that blend all emotions. The powerful feelings this album dredges up in its listeners is due to the sincerity of Mark Everett (also known as A Man Called E)ís vocals. The artwork on the cover, and the bandís use of toy instruments give this album a childlike atmosphere, but the Eelsí seemingly simplistic approach to music is deceiving. There are a lot of original ideas behind the music that make multiple listens rewarding.
Supergrass
Supergrass
EMI
Songs that stick in your head usually end up sounding irritating after a while, but Iíve never experienced an entire album that I canít stop thinking about. Songs by Supergrass are too good to be irritating. I doubt there will be a better album released this year. Supergrass combine the best elements of the Rolling Stones and Brian Wilson. They offer hope for fans of guitar rock by putting effort in crafting memorable songs that stand out from the dull Replacements rip-offs polluting top 40 radio. This album should be pumping on your stereo.
Femi Kuti
Shoki Shoki
Universal
If you thought Paul Simon was doing interesting things with Graceland, wait until you hear innovative African music straight from the source. Funky, ass-shaking arrangements topped off with soulful singing are mixed with slick production value in this album. There are strong political messages about Africa in the songs, but the positive vibe of the album shines through in its optimistic music.
Buck 65
Vertex
Four Ways To Rock
After dozens of listens, I think I figured out what this unorthodox hip hop mix is all about. The whole world seems to be against Buck in songs about the perverseness of our celebrity culture, finding unfamiliar beats when other rappers are trying to rip each other off, or having a crush on a waitress that he canít express his love to. Throughout his battles in life he manages to keep his cool and remain an individual as is expressed in his trilogy of songs about a baseball game. As the story of the game develops his determination help him win, and the album ends on a positive note with a song where he is ready to take on all challengers in rapping ďSunrise to dawn, From dawn to sunrise, For you to try battling me would be unwise.Ē
Vertex is the most intelligent hip hop album ever made. Itís more than an album, itís a work of art. Buck 65 avoids cliches and his approach to hip hop is original, yet true to the spirit of rap that seems to be dying as of late. His lyrics are unforgettable and his samples creep with atmosphere like a David Lynch film. Find Vertex, buy it, and listen to it with the lights out.
Various Artists
Splendor
Astralwerks
Fatboy Slim delivers "humping and bumping and thumping and bumping" on "Sho' Nuff," the opening track to this soundtrack. The rest of the album is an interesting compilation of remixes from electronica hipsters like Everything But the Girl, Air and Moby. It's worth a listen because it offers new versions of cool songs.
Les Rythmes Digitales
Darkdancer
Astralwerks
LRD put a unique twist on electronic music; their style is heavily influenced by cheesy, eighties synth- pop. At first listen, I kept asking myself, "Is this guy serious?" because of the excessive use of retro keyboards and dumb-ass samples like "I've got Lucifer eyes in my head" But Darkdancer is not done tounge-in-cheek at all. Most of the arrangements are entertaining, but some of them are annoying.
Air
Premiere Symptomes
Virgin
Weird Al and Air both started out as architects, but Air uses their architecture background to build their compositions. Premiere Symptomes is impressive in its layering of retro sounds, but some tracks sound a bit sparse in comparison to their last album, Moon Safari.