MF Doom-Operation Doomsday (2001)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: 89%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 80%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Time We Faced Doom (Skit)
  2. Doomsday
  3. Rhymes Like Dimes
  4. The Finest
  5. Back in the Days (Skit)
  6. Go With the Flow
  7. Tick, Tick…
  8. Red and Gold
  9. The Hands of Doom (Skit)
  10. Who You Think I Am?
  11. Doom, Are You Awake? (Skit)
  12. Hey!
  13. Operation: Greenbacks
  14. The Mic
  15. The Mystery of Doom (Skit)
  16. Dead Bent
  17. Cas Drawls
  18. ?
  19. I Hear Voices Pt. 1

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting some abstract/psychadellic/nostalgic hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s interesting to see where he went with the theme.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hell yes.

Final Thoughts:

This album only got such a low rating because of the amount of skits dispensed throughout the whole thing, although I like the vibe it gives, sometimes it’s hard to get into the album because of it. MF Doom will always, always, always be one of my favourite emcees. His beats are so jazzy, his vocals are odd, lyrics make no damn sense, hook-less tracks, it doesn’t make sense because it should be a train-wreck, but it’s not at all. It’s like a beautiful risky disaster that somehow comes together to make something abstract enough that you want to listen to it more than once. I especially like the cleverness of the beat on Hey! where one can hear Scooby Doo sound-effects in the background, if that sounds like an intriguing concept to you, then give Operation Doomsday a listen!

Muse-Black Holes and Revelations (2006)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 42%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 72%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Take a Bow
  2. Starlight
  3. Supermassive Black Hole
  4. Map of the Problematique
  5. Soldier’s Poem
  6. Invincible
  7. Assassin
  8. Exo-Politics
  9. City of Delusion
  10. Hoodoo
  11. Knights of Cydonia

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready for a space odyssey.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Awesome, fits the songs super well.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I can’t believe I don’t yet.

Final Thoughts:

Black Holes and Revelations is an album that is very dear to me. It’s one of the first albums I purchased that was not “Christian”. I was blown away, Muse absolutely melted my face and added sugar to my earholes. I blasted this thing almost daily from my absolute shit speaker on my flip phone and thought I was the coolest kid in town (luckily, I was). It’s really big sounding, as if you’re taking part in an epic of the cosmos variety. The songs are diverse, ambitious, and take you to planets far far away. I love how instantly classic the album sounded, right away I knew that this album would truly stand the test of time. 11 years have passed and I’m still melting over this album, and I can’t wait to force my nephews and nieces to listen to it (they’d better like it). Shocked by the critical reception but C’Est la Vie.

Maxïmo Park-Quicken The Heart (2009)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 55%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 61%

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wraithlike
  2. The Penultimate Clinch
  3. The Kids Are Sick Again
  4. A Cloud Of Mystery
  5. Calm
  6. In Another World (You Would’ve Found Yourself By Now)
  7. Let’s Get Clinical
  8. Roller Disco Dreams
  9. Tanned
  10. Questing, Not Coasting
  11. Overland, West Of Suez
  12. I Haven’t Seen Her In Ages

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting an album to tune out to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty not great.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah even though that cover will look stupid.

Final Thoughts:

Maxïmo Park is one of those bands who have found their sound and are content to make albums that kinda all sound the same, for them it works because I like their style and I don’t find it too boring, but I could see why some would be sick of the formula. It sounds like an early 80’s band this time, something like The Smiths or even The Clash at times. Is it groundbreaking? Hell no, it’s really simple, but it’s in its simplicity that it shines. 12 tracks, nothing overly experimental that could rub fans the wrong way, just an album played to plan that I find super easy to mellow out to.

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.

Moon Duo-Shadow of the Sun (2015)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 66%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 77%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wilding
  2. Night Beat
  3. Free the Skull
  4. Zero
  5. In a Cloud
  6. Thieves
  7. Slow Down Low
  8. Ice
  9. Animal
  10. Cross the Way

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the hunt for some music that would be on a Nicolas Winding Refn film.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Trippy. I lovez it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yup!

Final Thoughts:

Moon Duo was a pleasant surprise for me. I never really know what I’m getting into when I allow someone on What’s In My Bag to tell me what to listen to, but this was a winner. Really fun/dark sounding music. It’d be a perfect album to walk downtown at night to. Very cinematic sounding at times, but just overall a really great album that’s worth your attention.

Mega Bog-Happy Together (2017)

My Rating: 73% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 73.5%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Diznee
  2. She’s History
  3. Marianne
  4. T.V. M.A.C.
  5. 192014
  6. London
  7. Modern Companion
  8. Worst Way
  9. Blackout
  10. Black Rose
  11. Fwee

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Missing Cowboy Bebop/wanting something more jazzy/instrumental than lyrical.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It does close to nothing for me. Just kinda boring/kinda whatever. Nothing much going on with this one.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really, no.

Final Thoughts:

Mega Bog instantly reminded me of The Seatbelts the fantastic band behind the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack. But upon further inspection their songs were a lot less diverse. They’re a catchy band, no doubt. But their range is small and gets really pegged to one hole. Good music that needs a little more flow to it to really grab attention, but never annoying or over pronounced.

Morrissey-Viva Hate (1988)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 73%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 80.3%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Alsatian Cousin
  2. Little Man, What Now?
  3. Everyday Is like Sunday
  4. Bengali in Platforms
  5. Angel, Angel, down We Go Together
  6. Late Night, Maudlin Street
  7. Suedehead
  8. Break up the Family
  9. Hairdresser on Fire
  10. The Ordinary Boys
  11. I Don’t Mind If You Forget Me
  12. Dial-A-Cliché
  13. Margaret on the Guillotine

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the hunt for some older music that you can cry to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah, it’s alright, honestly doesn’t really do much for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure!

Final Thoughts:

Morrissey makes beautiful music for sensitive people. His sound was/is super influential, but not only that, his albums actually stand the test of time. From the instantly singable Everyday Is Like Sunday to the poppy but somehow incredibly depressing I Don’t Mind If You Forget Me, there’s something on Viva Hate for all of us (it’s just waaaaay better if you’re a sensitive punk like me).

Mac DeMarco-This Old Dog (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 79%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 79.5%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. My Old Man
  2. This Old Dog
  3. Baby You’re Out
  4. For The First Time
  5. One Another
  6. Still Beating
  7. Sister 
  8. Dreams From Yesterday
  9. A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes
  10. One More Love Song
  11. On The Level
  12. Moonlight On The River
  13. Watching Him Fade Away

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Going through a bad breakup.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love it, Demarco always has great album covers, but this would be my favorite thus far.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, for sure, I already own Another One and it’s incredible on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Mac Demarco is one of my favourite artists still making music. I can totally hear his influences in his tunes (Harry Nilsson for sure). His music is chill, unique, and just so so lovely. I loved the theme of this album, mostly feeling like a really sad breakup album. I can’t wait to really dig into this album and fall in love with each and every song on it.

M83-Junk (2016)

My Rating: 57% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: 68%

Rolling Stone Rating: 40%

Metacritic Rating: 66%

Average Rating: 57.8%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Do It, Try It
  2. Go!
  3. Walkway Blues
  4. Bibi The Dog Feat. Mai Lan
  5. Moon Crystal
  6. For The Kids Feat. Susanne Sundfør
  7. Solitude
  8. The Wizard
  9. Laser Gun
  10. Road Blaster
  11. Tension
  12. Atlantique Sud
  13. Time Wind
  14. Ludivine
  15. Sunday Night 1987

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

When you want an uneven synthpop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love it! It’s a great cover that’s just as weird as this band.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nah.

Final Thoughts:

Here’s the thing with Junk when the tracks hit, they hit hard. There are some truly amazing songs on this album. But as with most electronic albums I’ve come across there is a lot of filler short tracks that weigh it down. Ugh if only they’d cut this album in half and add more like the good songs on the album then we’d have something to talk about.

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