Roxy Music-For Your Pleasure (1973)

My Rating: 81% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 81% (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Do The Strand
  2. Beauty Queen
  3. Strictly Confidential
  4. Editions Of You
  5. In Every Dream Home A Heartache
  6. The Bogus Man
  7. Grey Lagoons
  8. For Your Pleasure

Label:

Island, Polydor, Warner Bros., Atco, Reprise

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Want a fun album while winding down for the night.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Trippy, I like it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure!

Final Thoughts:

I know next to nothing about Roxy Music, I only discovered them on my quest to broaden my musical taste by listening through the 1001 albums to listen to before you die. For Your Pleasure was surprisingly fun, if not a little misguided at times, for instance the song Do The Strand got old fast. But when Roxy Music is on their game, which is most of For Your Pleasure, it’s really diverse and consistently engaging. Their song Grey Lagoons would more than likely make it on my list for best songs from the 70’s (not that I’m too well versed in that decade), it sounds like a mix between Supertamp and The Seatbelts, I’m excited to keep explore other albums by these guys.

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The Shins-Heartworms (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 80% (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Name for You
  2. Painting A Hole
  3. Cherry Hearts
  4. Fantasy Island
  5. Mildenhall
  6. Rubber Ballz
  7. Half a Million
  8. Dead Alive
  9. Heartworms
  10. So Now What
  11. The Fear

Label:

Columbia

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling like a mix of Arcade Fire and Empire of the Sun.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Anything acid art is pretty much a win, so this one really works for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Just bought it! So stoked on it.

Final Thoughts:

I hate when a band I’ve loved for a long time releases an album that trumps all their previous work, why? It always makes me sound like an amateur fan and I lose 100 pretentious points. Heartworms is The Shins best album yet, it’s a good mix of awesome instrumentals and really unique vocal performances. The album reinvents the band in a good way, they rolled the dice on this release and won big. It’s like we got a little bit of both worlds between The Shins and Breaking Bells on Heartworms. Controversial claim or otherwise, The Shins have never been this good, Heartworms is a huge accomplishment from this instantly lovable band.

Blackalicious-The Craft (2005)

My Rating: 89% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 81% (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. World Of Vibrations Feat. Ledisi
  2. Supreme People
  3. Rhythm Sticks
  4. Powers
  5. Your Move Feat. Lifesavas
  6. Lotus Flower Feat. George Clinton
  7. My Pen & Pad
  8. Side To Side Feat. Lateef & Pigeon John
  9. Automatique Feat. Floetry
  10. The Fall & Rise Of Elliot Brown
  11. Black Diamonds & Pearls Feat. Larry Saunders & Ledisi
  12. Give It To You Feat. Kween & Lyrics Born
  13. Egosonic War Drums Feat. Peace
  14. The Craft

Label:

Anti-

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some funky hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super original and artsy, I love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So bad.

Final Thoughts:

Blackalicious blew me away with Blazing Arrow, I honestly listened to that album so many times during high school. There was something different, I guess it was the pure musicality of it mixed with Gab’s uplifting and deep lyrics. The Craft added to the allure, with songs like The Craft teaching me more about myself and the intelligence of some of the emcees that were in the game at the time, songs like Side to Side helped me party and not take life too seriously and Egosonic War Drums showed me how incredibly talent Gab is. The Craft needs to be in every hip hop heads discography.

Queens of the Stone Age-…Like Clockwork (2013)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 73%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 82%

Average Rating: 81% (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
  2. I Sat By the Ocean
  3. The Vampyre of Time and Memory
  4. If I Had a Tail
  5. My God Is the Sun
  6. Kalopsia
  7. Fairweather Friends
  8. Smooth Sailing
  9. I Appear Missing
  10. …Like Clockwork

Label:

Matador

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready to rock out, but you’re kind of tired too.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s awesome!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes, it’d be awesome to own.

Final Thoughts:

Queens of the Stone Age have never been a huge band for me, I honestly don’t know their catalog too well, but I really love 3’s and 7’s, it was one of my favourite songs to play on Guitar Hero. …Like Clockwork never hits 3’s and 7’s level, but it’s a really solid album, one to put on and zone out to. It doesn’t make me want to rock out as, say, Thee Oh Sees, but it is consistently enjoyable and is made me played on vinyl again and again. I think they probably have better albums out there, but …Like Clockwork is definitely not a bad start to get to know them.

Visionaries-Sophomore Jinx (1999)

My Rating: 82 (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 82 (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Never The Same
  2. Top Choice
  3. Making Things Right (Love Rules All)
  4. Quattroduction
  5. Stand Still
  6. Reach
  7. DJ’s MC’s
  8. Somersault Suicide
  9. La Fresh
  10. Tipping The Scales
  11. Peace Mic
  12. Self Sufficient
  13. Come One Come All
  14. Spiritual Warfare
  15. Everybody’s Lying
  16. Thicken Up
  17. Who?
  18. Honorable Mention
  19. Together or Separate

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting some pure hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super 90’s it’s hilarious.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

Visionaries are yet another underground hip hop super group, as with most supergroups of the time, most, if not all, of the emcees involved went on to become successful with their solo careers as well. Visionaries gave us LMNO and 2Mex, 2Mex being the standout emcee of the crew. Sophomore Jinx is pure hip hop, simple beats, lots of samples and scratches, with an emcee spitting vivid imagery over the whole thing. If you’re a fan of the art in itself then Sophomore Jinx is an album to dig into, if you are more into current hip hop this might be a bit out of your comfort zone.

Iron & Wine-Beast Epic (2017)

My Rating: 97% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 75%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 81% (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Claim Your Ghost
  2. Hearts Walk Everywhere
  3. Kicking the Old Rain
  4. Thomas County Law
  5. About a Bruise (Demo)
  6. Bitter Truth
  7. Claim Your Ghost (Demo)
  8. Song in Stone
  9. Summer Clouds
  10. Summer Clouds
  11. Call It Dreaming
  12. About a Bruise
  13. Last Night
  14. Right for Sky
  15. The Truest Stars We Know
  16. Our Light Miles

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Tired but happy.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

One of my favourites of theirs so far.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

The thing that is most impressive about Iron & Wine is how long he’s been making music and how consistently good his releases are. Beast Epic is nothing new, but I don’t want anything new from this artist, he’s perfected his sound and he’s glad to stay in his lane. Few artists get so much leeway when it comes to catching criticism as not growing (Jack Johnson is typically hated because his songs all sound the same) as Iron & Wine does. The main difference here is that all of Iron & Wine’s albums sound roughly the same, but their individual songs all have a life of their own, and it never seems to get old. Beast Epic is welcome material for Iron & Wine fans, but more cannon fodder for those who want to say that he’s a stagnant artist.

Fuzz-Fuzz (2013)

My Rating: 94% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 73%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Earthen Gate
  2. Sleigh Ride
  3. What’s in My Head?
  4. HazeMaze
  5. Loose Sutures
  6. Preacher
  7. Raise
  8. One

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a contemporary band that sounds very much like they are from the 80’s.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Fits the album very well.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

I kept being told by like minded people that since I’m a big fan of Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall that I had to check out Segall’s project Fuzz. I decided to finally check em out, having normal expectations, knowing I was more than likely going to like it, but not to the amount that I found myself actually loving this album. Fuzz is both epic and intimate, it’s a garage rock fans fantasy, lots of distortion, with not a huge tracklist (no watering down the album here). What surprised me most was how little singing is actually on the album, usually that makes me check out fast, but somehow Fuzz kept me interested through the entire play. Fuzz is unique from Ty Segall’s stuff, maybe because it sounds a little fuller and isn’t as worried about just jamming out when it feels right.

The Pogues-Hell’s Ditch (1990)

My Rating: 81% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 81%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Sunnyside Of The Street
  2. Sayonara
  3. The Ghost Of A Smile
  4. Hell’s Ditch
  5. Lorca’s Novena
  6. Summer In Siam
  7. Rain Street
  8. Rainbow Man
  9. The Wake Of The Medusa
  10. House Of The Gods
  11. 5 Green Queens And Jean
  12. Maidrin Rua
  13. Six To Go

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

About to go drinking on St. Patrick’s day, or just feel like an Irish badass.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

That is one butt ugly album cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah I’d own it, but I’d hope to find it for cheap.

Final Thoughts:

The Pogues are a staple in any Irish music fans discography. I have yet to really dig into their work but with this first review I am intrigued to keep going. Hell’s Ditch is a lot more slow paced than I imagined it would be, it sounds a lot like music played before the action scene hits on a movie, but not one that is played during the action scene itself. They prove their musicianship through Hell’s Ditch, but it makes you want a little more bite to it, it felt like the tracks were leading up to a climax that never happened. Great music if not a little underwhelming.

Tame Impala-Currents (2015)

My Rating: 81 (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 93%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 84%

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Let It Happen
  2. Nangs
  3. The Moment
  4. Yes I’m Changing
  5. Eventually
  6. Gossip
  7. The Less I Know The Better
  8. Past Life
  9. Disciples
  10. ‘Cause I’m A Man
  11. Reality In Motion
  12. Love Paranoia
  13. New Person, Same Old Mistakes

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood for a mix between psychedelic electronic and pop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s awesome, I really like how you can picture what kind of album you’re getting into with the cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah if it was a good price.

Final Thoughts:

Tame Impala is a group that a lot of my friend circle absolutely love, but I never really checked them out, except for the occasional song I’d hear at breweries or other hipster-esque places I frequent. Currents is a really solid album, it’s unique but not in a way that really pulls me away from the chill vibes they’re aiming for. Pop, psychedelic, and electronic fans will all be represented on Currents, and that’s probably the strong part of the album, it caters to a wide audience without pinpointing their sound to one genre. I’m not officially a Tame Impala advocate, Currents is really solid but the likeliness of me going out of my way for a show is still fairly low. The next album I check out should tip the scales to either be a casual listener, or an official fan.

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