Broken Social Scene-You Forgot It In People (2002)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 62% (C-)

Pitchfork Rating: 92%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 86%

Average Rating: 80%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Capture The Flag
  2. KC Accidental
  3. Stars And Sons
  4. Almost Crimes
  5. Looks Just Like The Sun
  6. Pacific Theme
  7. Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl
  8. Cause = Time
  9. Late Night Bedroom Rock For The Missionaries
  10. Shampoo Suicide
  11. Lover’s Spit
  12. I’m Still Your Fag
  13. Pitter Patter Goes My Heart

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Tired and kinda sad.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Meh, doesn’t do a whole lot of anything for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

Broken Social Scene is one of those bands that has a huge following, and they consist of dedicated fans who would take a face full of Lovers Spit in defense of them. The problem is they should be better. I mean you have Stars, Metric, and Feist in one band, of course my expectations are going to be high, but it doesn’t quite sound experimental enough, nor does it truly find its voice. The album was altogether a let down for me, there a few really solid tracks, but it doesn’t make up for the pure amount of filler or the fact that it just seems totally misguided. I’m not saying I dislike this band, I’m saying I expected more.

Arcade Fire-Funeral (2004)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 97%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 90%

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
  2. Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)
  3. Une Année Sans Lumiere
  4. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
  5. Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
  6. Crown Of Love
  7. Wake Up
  8. Haiti
  9. Rebellion (Lies)
  10. In The Backseat

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for something epic.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s an okay cover, not my favourite of theirs but it’s not bad or anything.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hellllllllllllllllll yeah!

Final Thoughts:

Arcade Fire is, in short, incredible. Their music has been used in so many ways and they are one of the few household name groups that truly deserve their acclaim. I mean damn, this is their first album, and they are already this accomplished? It’s mystifying, considering other artists I love take an album or two to find themselves. Funeral is epic and simple, high energy and mellow. It’s an album that demands to be listened to multiple times. It’s an album many other artists have been trying to replicate for years but can’t get the mix right. It’s painful how good it is for a first release and it makes me mad that they can be this talented…bastards.

Beck-Sea Change (2002)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 69%

Rolling Stone Rating: 100%

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 87%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Golden Age
  2. Paper Tiger
  3. Guess I’m Doing Fine
  4. Lonesome Tears
  5. Lost Cause
  6. End Of The Day
  7. It’s All In Your Mind
  8. Round The Bend
  9. Already Dead
  10. Sunday Sun
  11. Little One
  12. Side Of The Road

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Going through a breakup.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a beautiful cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Richard does and it sounds great, but I want my own.

Final Thoughts:

I’m really selective when it comes to Beck, I’ve had stuff like Loser, E-Pro, and Where It’s At in my library for years now, but that’s about it. When Richard challenged me to sit down and listen to a whole album of his, I was skeptical, seeing as I only had a select few songs by him I thought he’d have lots of dead space on his albums, not the case with Sea Change. The most pleasing part of the experience was hearing Lost Cause and recognizing the tune without knowing where I heard it, turns out Ellen Page sings it on the game Between Two Souls (what a time we live in). The album flows well from track to track while keeping it engaging, sad, and diverse. I can’t see another one of his albums topping this but I’m excited to challenge that. Also WTF is up with the critics disagreement on this album?

Beach House-Teen Dream (2010)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 90%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 82%

Average Rating: 91%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Zebra
  2. Silver Soul
  3. Norway
  4. Walk In The Park
  5. Used to Be
  6. Love Of Mine
  7. Better Times
  8. 10 Mile Stereo
  9. Real Love
  10. Take Care

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Half asleep under the shade of a palm tree.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s neat, but probably my least favourite thing about this album.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh hell friggin’ yes.

Final Thoughts:

Damn you Richard Sandlin and your undeniable eclectic consistently good music taste. This album blew my mind, I can’t believe it took me this long to get into these guys. I’m absolutely stoked to have the sleepy beachy pop on my shuffle and can’t wait to delve further into their music. I couldn’t imagine how much more rad I would have been if I was listening to this album back when it actually came out (my grad year), but I guess I’ve got plenty of time to catch up to the bandwagon and be somewhat rad again. It’s a beautiful album that’s perfect for summer. Listen to it now you dinguses!

Blonde Redhead-23 (2007)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100%

Pitchfork Rating: 70%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 83%

Average Rating: 84%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. 23
  2. Dr. Strangeluv
  3. The Dress
  4. SW
  5. Spring and by Summer Fall
  6. Silently
  7. Publisher
  8. Heroine
  9. Top Ranking
  10. My Impure Hair
  11. Signs Along the Path
  12. (We are a Real Team) Harry and I

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a happy poppy dream like album to fade out to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really awesome, I’m a big fan.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Well my roommate already does but if/when he moves out I’ll want it.

Final Thoughts:

I can imagine that this was a highly influential band for some of my favourite pop bands (The Drums and Bombay Bicycle Club to name a couple). It’s a really chill album with a lot of cool soundscapes to keep everyone entertained. I like to think that this is what Bon Iver would sound like if they went pop, but maybe my brain’s way off the mark on that one, I don’t know that’s where it wandered to, sue me. Blonde Redhead’s 23 offers a lot of fun tracks, and a lot for newbies (like me) to sink their teeth into.

Smashing Pumpkins-Siamese Dream (1993)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 96%

Average Rating: 86%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Quiet
  2. Today
  3. Hummer
  4. Rocket
  5. Disarm
  6. Soma
  7. Geek U.S.A.
  8. Mayonnaise
  9. Spaceboy
  10. Silverfuck
  11. Sweet Sweet
  12. Luna

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a mellow grunge album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty meh to me, cool colours but nothing special.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

Siamese Dream is one of those albums I’ve had in my library for years but never really gotten around to listening to, thanks to Richard Sandlin I was forced to. I really enjoyed it, I can see bands like Thee Oh Sees and Autolux being heavily influenced by this album. It’s a good mix of hard hitting rock and ballad sounding tracks. Today, Soma, and Space Boy have got to be my favourite tracks. Smashing Pumpkins have flown under the radar for me for too long, I’m excited to dig into their discography.

OutKast-Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 91%

Average Rating: 75%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. Ghetto Musick
  3. Unhappy
  4. Bowtie Feat. Sleepy Brown And Jazze Pha
  5. The Way You Move Feat. Sleepy Brown
  6. The Rooster
  7. Bust Feat. Killer Mike
  8. War
  9. Church
  10. Bamboo (Interlude)
  11. Tomb of the Boom Feat. Ludacris, Konkrete, And Big Gipp
  12. E-Mac (Interlude)
  13. Knowing
  14. Flip Flop Rock Feat. Jay-Z And Killer Mike
  15. Interlude
  16. Reset Feat. Cee-Lo And Khujo Goodie
  17. D-Boi (Interlude)
  18. Last Call Feat. Slimm Calhoun, Mello, Lil Jon, Eastside Boyz
  19. Bowtie (Postlude)
  20. Hey Ya
  21. The Love Below (Intro)
  22. Love Hater
  23. Happy Valentine’s Day
  24. Spread

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the hunt for a funky fun hip-hop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s terrible, I hate it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Ugh yes, but I hat the cover so much.

Final Thoughts:

OutKast’s Hey Ya gets every white person dancing immediately, and it doesn’t surprise me at all, it’s really catchy and funky, just like most of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. I love how this album really formed bridges for people who may have not checked out Hip-Hop otherwise, it’s one of those albums that’s usually highly regarded by all kinds of music reviewers. The problem lies in the pure amount of tracks on the damn thing, it’s usually a warning to me whenever an album passes 16 tracks, it’s often filled with filler/unnecessary interludes. Really this album could’ve stayed at 16 songs and been absolutely incredible, but we’re treated to a kid talking (which is on every damn rap album apparently), and random friends talking about weird things. Stick to the formula, no need for these useless minute long breaks that hurt the overall flow of the album. Overall though there are some incredibly influential tracks on here that are still great, just wish that they focused on making a great album instead of adding in random nonsense.

The Roots-Phrenology (2002)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 81%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 87%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Phrentrow
  2. Rock You
  3. Thirsty
  4. !!!!!!!
  5. Sacrifice
  6. Rolling With Heat
  7. WAOK (AY) Rollcall
  8. Though @ Work
  9. The Seed 2.0
  10. Break You Off
  11. Water
  12. Quills
  13. Complexity
  14. Something in the Way of Things (In Town)
  15. Rhymes And Ammo
  16. Thirsty

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a mix of old school hip-hop and incredible jazz beats.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a really solid cover, big fan of it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

The Roots have always been a band I’ve really respected more than have listened to. The Seed 2.0 is the song of theirs I listen to the most, but past that I’m just not too familiar with their work. Sitting through this album was  a little tedious, amazing flows and beats were to be found, but somewhat buried in a mix of ambient tunes. The album as a whole is just incredibly uneven, I couldn’t sink my teeth into it and let it wash, it was more frustrating wishing that they would rap more and screw around a little less.

Sonic Youth-Sister (1987)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 73% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 73%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Schizophrenia
  2. (I Got A) Catholic Block
  3. Beauty Lies in the Eye
  4. Stereo Sanctity
  5. Pipeline / Kill Time
  6. Tuff Gnarl
  7. Pacific Coast Highway
  8. Hot Wire My Heart
  9. Cotton Crown
  10. White Cross
  11. Master-Dik

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a noise rock band that can also be very melodic and also includes two great vocalists at the top of their game.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It fits their genre well, but I’m not writing home about it or anything.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah it’d be great on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Sister is one of those albums that suffers based on its number of tracks that are preludes to really great tracks, for example Pacific Coast Highway is not a bad song, but would be nothing if not followed up by Hot Wire My Heart. It’s a great noise album, one that I’m sure has influenced a lot of my favourite artists. But it’s just that: noise. It doesn’t always make for the best experience. A great album to have spinning on the record player, not an amazing one for driving to work.

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