The Civil Wars-Barton Hollow (2011)

Record Review Requested By: Trevor Loken

My Rating: 89% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 71%

Average Rating: 80%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. 20 Years
  2. I’ve Got This Friend
  3. C’est la mort
  4. To Whom It May Concern
  5. Poison & Wine
  6. My Father’s Father
  7. Barton Hollow
  8. The Violet Hour
  9. Girl With the Red Balloon
  10. Falling
  11. Forget Me Not
  12. Birds of a Feather
  13. I Want You Back
  14. Dance Me to the End of Love

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a male female duo to make your heart melt.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I don’t know if I totally know what’s going on on it but I think it looks pretty elegant and fits their style.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah it’s be lovely on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

The Civil Wars were yet another mental block group for me, people really loved them, but I kind of just wanted to find my own thing. They’re one of the few popular duo’s that really work well together and make music for people from varying music tastes. It’s one of those sounds that most of us can agree on. The tracks are really mellow and catchy on Barton Hollow, I’ve been listening to I’ve Got This Friend for years and their version of I Want You Back is extremely sad and beautiful. A popular group that lives up to their reputation, at least on this album they most certainly do.

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Damien Rice-My Favourite Faded Fantasy (2014)

Record Review Requested By: Trevor Loken

My Rating: 94% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 76%

Average Rating: 85%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. My Favourite Faded Fantasy
  2. It Takes a Lot to Know a Man
  3. The Greatest Bastard
  4. I Don’t Want to Change You
  5. Colour Me In
  6. The Box
  7. Trusty and True
  8. Long Long Way

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Angry/sad and need to get it out of your system.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super cool, I wish I could draw as well as the person who did the cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Damien Rice’s My Favourite Faded Fantasy sounds like an epic. As if a man who has been in a marriage for years has lost everything and is putting it into his music. Huge sounding. Really beautiful, but incredibly sad and angry. It’s great for any angsty teen/adult/baby that may be out there. I can see myself singing some of these lyrics loudly in the middle of the night. Honestly if you haven’t gotten into Damien Rice yet, it’s about damn time. This is a great starting point, but honestly all of his albums are.

Leonard Cohen-Popular Problems (2014)

Record Review Recommended By: Trevor Loken

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 86%

Average Rating: 87.3%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Slow
  2. Almost Like The Blues
  3. Samson in New Orleans
  4. A Street
  5. Did I Ever Love You
  6. My Oh My
  7. Nevermind
  8. Born In Chains
  9. You Got Me Singing

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Drinking a whiskey and thinking about life.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Not that great, kinda outdated in my opinion.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh, hell yes.

Final Thoughts:

I’m not one to automatically sing praises to albums/artists just because they are influential or critically acclaimed. I expected this album to be so-so, but I ended up loving every friggin’ song on this album. Cohen’s gravely voice is just so perfect throughout this entire album, I’m blown away.

The Decemberists-What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (2014)

Record Review Requested By: Trevor Loken

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 56%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 77%

Average Rating: 73.8%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Singer Addresses His Audience
  2. Cavalry Captain
  3. Philomena
  4. Make You Better
  5. Lake Song
  6. Till the Water Is All Long Gone
  7. The Wrong Year
  8. Carolina Low
  9. Better Not Wake the Baby
  10. Anti-Summersong
  11. Easy Come, Easy Go
  12. Mistral
  13. 12-17-12
  14. A Beginning Song

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:
Wanting a more folky version of Death Cab For Cutie.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a great cover but I wonder if it really fits the vibe that they’re going for, it kinda looks my

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really an album that I want in my collection.

Final Thoughts:

I’m not the biggest fan of this band, I think that this is a solid album, but I wonder if I’m missing a bit of the pull from them that other people seem to have. It has some really great tracks though (Make You Better being one of the better offerings), and I’m intrigued to hear some more of their stuff.

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