Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly & James McAlister-Planetarium (2017)

My Rating: 50% (D)

Pitchfork Rating: 60%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 72%

Average Rating: 61%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Neptune
  2. Jupiter
  3. Halley’s Comet
  4. Venus
  5. Uranus
  6. Mars
  7. Black Energy
  8. Sun
  9. Tides
  10. Moon
  11. Pluto
  12. Kuiper Belt
  13. Black Hole
  14. Saturn
  15. In The Beginning
  16. Earth
  17. Mercury

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to brush up on the solar system, I guess.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Reminds me of something from the 80’s, it’s neat.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not in the least.

Final Thoughts:

Sufjan Stevens Planetarium is a swing and a miss. He continues to try to flirt with electronic music, and it is not so great this time. The concept album is all too familiar without being very memorable, seriously there have been too many albums that explore space like this. The few songs that do stick out are good, but they’re not even close to comparable to B-Sides from Sufjan’s better albums. This album seems like it was a lot of fun to make, but it’s really not that fun to listen to. It’s just a big yawn, when it should be a lot of fun. Overused concept. Mediocre songs. Skip this Sufjan.

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Blind Pilot-We Are The Tide (2011)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 100%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Half Moon
  2. Always
  3. Keep You Right
  4. We Are The Tide
  5. The Colored Night
  6. I Know
  7. White Apple
  8. Just One
  9. Get It Out
  10. New York

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing to feel happy instantly.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really beautiful.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Ugh yeeeeeeeeessss.

Final Thoughts:

Blind Pilot is really close to my heart, there music is so happy and fun to me. We Are The Tide is a great place to start to hear what they’re all about. Their music can be perfect at the beach, winding down, or driving on the highway. There is something about their music that I find really human and healing. It’s very easy to introduce people to and it’s really feel good. Every damn song on this album is a hit to me. So picking a favourite song is never really accurate, just my favourite at the time of listening to it. Put them in your library and become a mega fan like me.

Elliott Smith-Either/Or (1997)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 100%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 100%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Speed Trials
  2. Alameda
  3. Ballad Of Big Nothing
  4. Between The Bars
  5. Pictures Of Me
  6. No Name No. 5
  7. Rose Parade
  8. Punch And Judy
  9. Angeles
  10. Cupid’s Trick
  11. 2:45 am
  12. Say Yes

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sad.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s a classic looking album cover, nothing wrong, nothing great.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yesssssssss.

Final Thoughts:

Elliott Smith is THE sad artist, everything else pales in comparison. Not only is his music extremely sensitive, emotional, and brilliant, the ending of his life was both poetic and tragic. Named as one of the 1001 albums to listen to before you die Either/Or shows off his incredible talent when it comes to songwriting. Honestly, every song is so different while still giving the listener a general feeling of loss and despair. Connor Oberst is the next step from Elliott Smith, but he wouldn’t even dare call himself as on the same level. Elliott Smith will always be the best sad artist, and if you disagree then you’re wrong, and if that makes you sad, well listen to Either/Or.

Sufjan Stevens-Carrie & Lowell (2015)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 93%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 90%

Average Rating: 90.8%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Death With Dignity
  2. Should Have Known Better
  3. All of Me Wants All of You
  4. Drawn to the Blood
  5. Eugene
  6. Fourth of July
  7. The Only Thing
  8. Carrie & Lowell
  9. John My Beloved
  10. No Shade in The Shadow of the Cross
  11. Blue Bucket of Gold

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Really sad, or about to fall asleep and won’t be super depressed by the gloominess of this album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really eerie, just like the entire album, it’s a good fit and I’m a fan.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh yeah!

Final Thoughts:

This is Sufjan Stevens at his darkest and most vulnerable, I’ve never heard the artist talk about some of the subjects that he does on Carrie & Lowell it’s a beautiful, sad, incredible album that every music fans collection should include.

Bon Iver-For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 81%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 88%

Average Rating: 82.2%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Flume
  2. Lump Sum
  3. Skinny Love
  4. The Wolves (Act I and II)
  5. Blindsided
  6. Creature Fear
  7. Team
  8. For Emma
  9. Re: Stacks
  10. Wisconsin

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sad, so very sad.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It brings home the fact that most of this was written in the wilderness, it’s not a bad cover, but it’s not an amazing one either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Already own it, and it sounds haunting.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of my all-time favourite albums, Bon Iver’s best work here, I’d be shocked if I found another album of theirs to surpass it. It’s so beautiful and has helped me through a lot of rough nights.

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