The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velvet Underground (1967)

My Rating: 68% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 68% (C+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Sunday Morning
  2. I’m Waiting for the Man
  3. Femme Fatale
  4. Venus In Furs
  5. Run Run Run
  6. All Tomorrow’s Parties
  7. Heroin
  8. There She Goes Again
  9. I’ll Be Your Mirror
  10. The Black Angel’s Death Song
  11. European Son

Label:

MGM

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Nostalgic.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It doesn’t get much more iconic than this cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

I’m gonna catch heat for this review, but hear me out here, I’m not arguing against it’s influence or musicality, I’m listening for how listenable this album is as a whole, and honestly it wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever come across. It’s one of those hard questions of is something automatically untouchable because of it being a classic (I remember getting in an argument over saying Mrs. Doubtfire was overrated) and when it comes to The Velvet Underground I couldn’t help but wonder what the fuss was about. Times have changed, and I’m sure this was groundbreaking at the time, but it just doesn’t hold my attention, I wanted it to be better, I kept expecting more from it, especially with Nico tied to it because her Chelsea Girl kept me entertained the entire play. Call me a musical nimrod, call me an ignorant slut, but Velvet Underground just didn’t strike the right chord for me.

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Eels-Shootenanny! (2003)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 28%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 67% (C+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. All In A Day’s Work
  2. Saturday Morning
  3. The Good Old Days
  4. Love Of The Loveless
  5. Dirty Girl
  6. Agony
  7. Rock Hard Times
  8. Restraining Order Blues
  9. Lone Wolf
  10. Wrong About Bobby
  11. Numbered Days
  12. Fashion Awards
  13. Somebody Loves You

Record Label:

Dreamworks

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Not really sure on what genre you’re currently in the mood for.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Reminds me of early Blues covers, nothing special, but kind of cool.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

I went to college in Saskatchewan, a province that gets so cold that doors are frozen in the morning, and it was there that I discovered Eels. Maybe it was something about the dark utterly miserable conditions where I lived, or maybe it was being in a transitory part of my life, but Eels made a lot of sense to me. I loved the vulnerability in the lyrics, the openness to be sad and not try to cover up, but then following up with songs about how excited he is for Saturday is a really odd mix, but one that I really like. Shootenanny! flows from genre to genre, and to some these may work against Eels, but for me it kept the experience entertaining, if not a little jumbled.

T-Bone-Bone-A-Fide (2005)

My Rating: 67% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 67% (C+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Rally
  2. 12 Years Ago
  3. Hard Streets
  4. Let That Thang Go
  5. Can I Live
  6. I Been Looking Around
  7. Follow T
  8. Hasta La Victoria Siempre
  9. A Few Good Men
  10. Shake Ya Body
  11. The Sanction
  12. You Can’t Win
  13. It’s Okay
  14. Bounce
  15. Victory! Victory! Victory!

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting ghetto Christian hip hop, because it exists.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Well I have mixed feelings, but I loved it growing up.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah I doubt it exists though.

Final Thoughts:

This may show how young I actually am but Bone-A-Fide was one of the first albums I ever bought. I remember picking it up in Ontario at a record store and then leaving it by my bed unlistened for more than a year. One day I was cleaning my room and threw it on and was shocked how much I liked it. Obviously things change over time but T-Bone was my favourite emcee/artist growing up, his music was actually really well produced, especially on Bone-A-Fide, his flow was really fast and thoughtful, and he had amazing featuring artists (From KRS-One to Mack 10). Do I love this album as much as I did growing up? No, but it has a special spot for nostalgic purposes for me.

Common-Electric Circus (2002)

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 65%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 69%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Ferris Wheel (Feat. Vinia Mojica & Marie Daulne)
  2. Soul Power
  3. Aquarius (Feat. Bilal & Erykah Badu)
  4. Electric Wire Hustler Flower (Feat. Sonny Sandoval)
  5. The Hustle (Feat. Omar & Dart Chillz)
  6. Come Close (Feat. Mary J. Blige)
  7. New Wave (Feat. Laetitia Sadier)
  8. Star 69 (P.S. With Love) (Feat. Bilal & Prince)
  9. I Got A Right Ta (Feat. Pharrell)
  10. Between Me, You And Liberation
  11. I Am Music (Feat. Jill Scott)
  12. Jimi Was A Rock Star (Feat. Erykah Badu)
  13. Heaven Somewhere (Feat. Omar, Cee-Lo Green, Bilal, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu & Pops)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Just taking it easy on a rainy lazy day.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s kind of ugly.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

Common makes great tunes, but not always great albums, which is exactly the case with Electric Circus, a fairly uneven record with some catchy tracks dispersed throughout. Hip-Hop is a hard genre to make a completely even album, what with the tendency to over-use interludes and the constant guest appearances, but that doesn’t excuse the case here. Sometimes I wonder if emcees are actually putting together a planned album, or if they are just putting a seemingly random set of tracks that they had stored for a rainy day, regardless Electric Circus is certainly not a bad album, it’s just uneven and a little sloppy at times.

Future Islands-Wave Like Home (2008)

My Rating: 67% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 67% (C+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Pangea
  2. Old Friend
  3. Flicker and Flutter
  4. Escape Artist
  5. Seize A Shark
  6. Heart Grows Old
  7. Beach Foam
  8. Wave Like Home
  9. Little Dreamer

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Diggin’ deep for Future Islands tunes to listen to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s real weird, reminds me of something from the movie House. I like it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

Future Islands first album isn’t amazing, but it’s not something that they should be embarrassed about either. The album has a couple really catchy songs and you can totally see how their later sound evolved, but even for a first album, it’s pretty original and experimental. I guess Harris learns how to use his voice in a more diverse way in the later albums, and some of the bands instrumentals just get much more crisper as they aged. Wave Like Home isn’t even close to my favourite albums from Future Islands, but it’s their first, and it’s a really solid effort. I won’t be buying it on vinyl anytime soon, nor will I sit through the whole thing either, but it had a couple solid tracks and is impressive for a first album.

Tyler, The Creator-Wolf (2013)

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 78%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 70%

Average Rating: 69%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wolf
  2. Jamba ft Hodgy Beats
  3. Cowboy
  4. Awkward
  5. Domo23
  6. Answer
  7. Slater ft Frank Ocean
  8. 48
  9. Colossus
  10. PartyIsntOver/ Campfire/ Bimmer ft Laetitia Sadier & Frank Ocean
  11. IFHY ft Pharrell
  12. Pigs
  13. Parking Lot ft Casey Veggies & Mike G
  14. Rusty ft Domo Genesis & Earl Sweatshirt
  15. Trashwang ft Na’kel, Jasper, Lucas, L-Boy, Taco, Left Brain & Lee Spielman
  16. Treehome95 ft Coco O. & Erykah Badu
  17. Tamale
  18. Lone

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for absolutely ridiculous, angry, original hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious, I love it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No too uneven.

Final Thoughts:

Making any album to have more tracks than 12 songs is ambitious, but can really backfire on you. On Wolf I feel like too much was packed into one sitting. Tyler, The Creator is incredible, don’t get me wrong, but there are two albums here forced to be on one making the whole thing seemed a little mish-mashed and unfocused. When he hits the pocket though it’s so much fun to listen to; Tamale, Parking Lot, and Answer being great examples of his diversity. Tyler is angry, and he’s going to piss people off, that’s kinda his gimmick (niche), if you are easily offended by language or political incorrectness this is not your album. If you take lyrics with a grain of salt and are into crazy flows/beats you’ll feel at home.

Damaged Bug-Hubba Bubba (2014)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: 68%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 63%

Average Rating: 67%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Gloves For Garbage
  2. Rope Burn
  3. Eggs At Night
  4. SS Cassidinea
  5. Catastrophopbia
  6. Hubba Bubba
  7. Sic Bay Surprise
  8. Photograph
  9. Hot Swells
  10. 1-2 An Airplane
  11. Metal Hand
  12. Wasteland

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood to take a psychedelic ride through space.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s really solid, lots to stare at and it’s psychedelic looking like the music.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yep anything from this label I almost am always gonna want on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Jon Dwyer is slowly becoming one of my favourite contemporary artists, with his projects Thee Oh Sees, Coach Whips, and Damaged Bug, there is so much to sink your teeth into. Damaged Bug goes heavier on the lo-fi electronic sound. Giving you muffled vocals and 80’s sound effects that can be both danceable and mellow. Hubba Bubba offers a wide scope of sound that’s sure to keep psychedelic fiends entertained, but is not all too accessible to others not familiar to the genre.

Metronomy-Love Letters (2014)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 52%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 68.8%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Upsetter
  2. I’m Aquarius
  3. Monstrous
  4. Love Letters
  5. Month of Sundays
  6. Boy Racers
  7. Call Me
  8. The Most Immaculate Haircut
  9. Reservoir
  10. Never Wanted

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing an electronic album that can be both uplifting and sad at different times.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I really love it, can’t wait to own it on vinyl, it’ll look beautiful in my collection.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Metronomy showcases their skill on Love Letters, in a song like Love Letters they can show their poppy radio friendly side, and in I’m Aquarius their sad/dark side. It’s a really awesome album that can appeal to a wide array of music fans. I’m not sure I’d consider it my favourite work of theirs (probably The English Riviera) but I’m stoked to have it on my mp3 player and will be searching out the vinyl version next time I have the money, time, and recall.

The Raincoats-The Raincoats (1979)

My Rating: 68% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 68%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Fairytale in the Supermarket
  2. No Side to Fall In
  3. Adventures Close to Home
  4. Off Duty Trip
  5. Black and White
  6. Lola
  7. The Void
  8. Life on the Line
  9. You’re a Million
  10. In Love
  11. No Looking

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood for a somewhat punk sounding album that you can turn your brain off to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Absolutely love this cover, it’s one of the reasons I gave the album a shot.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, it’s not like it’s an amazing album as a whole, but an easy one to put on and forget about.

Final Thoughts:

The Raincoats were introduced to me by Elijah Wood (not personally) I loved the album cover so I gave them a shot. Punk, noise rock, women lead vocals, these all describe The Raincoats perfectly. It’s a fun easy album to listen to. Not a whole lot new to the genre, nor is it hit after hit. But it’s a fun album that you can easily tune in and out of without finding yourself annoyed or overly impressed by.

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