What I Like, What I Don't II


18. Feb. 2007, 3:40

Guys. I have 36 albums tagged "to review." How ridiculous is that??

So here's some new stuff I've picked up and listened to enough so as to not feel bad about passing judgment on it. Also, some of these I've had for a while but I've just now gotten around to listening to them. Lala has made my listening habits INSANE.

Oh, Inverted World
Despite loving "New Slang," I just couldn't get into this album. Too dreamy? Too repetitive? I don't know why it didn't appeal to me, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
Favorite Track: New Slang

The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
First I would like to say that this is not only a classic album, it has one of the best classic album names ever. I really love the Kinks' style and wish they weren't so damn underrated. The album really flows; it's great to listen to all the way through. Several times.
Favorite Track: Picture Book

Lucid Dream
Carey Ott is a talented guy. I'm proud to have him here in Nashville. That said, this album is not his strongest stuff. I saw him live at the CD release party, and he actually played at least an EP's worth of new material that's better than anything on here. HOWEVER, I am not dissing this album. It's great poppy stuff. I am just really looking forward to his next release.
Favorite Track: undecided

Supergrass Is 10: Best of 94-04
Supergrass is a great band. They're not like some other Britpop bands I could name in that they're difficult to categorize into one sound--every song is new and different. I would say this is essential listening for any Britpop fan, especially Americans who probably haven't heard Supergrass before.
Favorite Track: Grace

Greg Laswell - Through Toledo
Would someone explain to me why Through Toledo isn't in Last.fm's database yet? Anyway, this is a REALLY GOOD album. I bought it on the strength of a couple of songs I heard on World Cafe (you should listen to NPR too! Go on, maybe you'll learn something!). Laswell is an exemplary singer-songwriter--this album is about his ex-fiancee and their (apparently really terrible) breakup, but it never devolves into whining or bitterness. It's just pure melodic enjoyment.
Favorite Track: Worthwhile

Blind Faith
Another fantastic classic album. Putting Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood together just equals insane awesomeness. I just don't know whatelse to say; if you like either of these guitar gods and haven't heard Blind Faith, you really ought to pick this up.
Favorite Track: Presence Of The Lord

Wilco, with poppy hooks! Wow. I couldn't believe it when I heard "Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway (Again)" and there were...handclaps! I like Wilco this way, but I don't think this is quite as strong as YHF, maybe even AGIB. But maybe it's just in a different...league? I don't know. But of course, even Wilco's weakest tracks are better than most other bands' strongest.
Favorite Track: A Shot In The Arm

The Fratellis EP
So yeah, I admit it, I bought this because of the iPod commercial. But "Flathead" is NOT the best song on this EP (although it's quite good). The best would be "Stacie Anne." You must hear it. I've heard they're the new Arctic Monkeys. I think they're better.
Favorite Track: Stacie Anne

Well that'll do for a second installment. I'll try to be a little less lazy listening to my new stuff so that I can include a few more next time. Also, feel free to recommend stuff. My lala queue is rather stalled right now and I'm always looking to add to it!

Oh, P.S.~ if you've never heard of lala...damn. Damn it's addictively awesome.


The Shins
The Kinks
Carey Ott
Steve Winwood
Eric Clapton
Blind Faith
The Fratellis


  • Aqueronte

    I agree, The Kinks' style is magnificient, beautiful and very authentic, The Kinks are The Village... is my favourite album, it's a true classic and one of rock's greatest masterpieces. They're just marvelous. I also agree that the Kinks are underrated, but only partly. With time, reading and investigating I found out that they're not criminally underrated like some other bands such as: Manfred Mann, The Pretty Things, The Zombies and especially The Hollies. At least The Kinks are given part (just part) of the credit they deserve, lots of critics have the Kinks in high regards and albums such as Face To Face, TKATVGPS, Arthur, Lola and Muswell Hillbillies and The Kink Kontroversy are considered fantastic works of art. However most of his 70's and 80's stuff gets bashed, a lot, when they actually they did some pretty fucking good stuff in those days: Soap Opera, Sleepwalker, Misfits, Word Of Mouth to give some exemples. That and the fact that Ray Davies' songwriting skills are taken for granted, they said yeah he's terrific but there's no real discussion on how beautiful is the way he expresses his ideas, nor the fact that even in the 80's and 90's he wrote masterpieces (Fuck! Scattered from their last album Phobia, has his best lyrics only next to Waterloo Sunset)Those are two things that I do consider to be underrated in the band. Still they are among the 100 greatest artists in Rock music according to Rolling Stone magazine, and that's not bad. I think it's stupid that they're behind The Byrds (my fourth favourite band) and The Band in that list, but hey! at least is something that they're in. Rock on.

    19. Feb. 2007, 0:00
  • Slighthammer

    [quote]The Kinks - The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. First I would like to say that this is not only a classic album, it has one of the best classic album names ever.[/quote] I love the cover. It's just a stock publicity photo on a suggestively psychedelic backdrop that's reminiscent of Warner Brothers' cartoons, but I think it's one of the most interesting of its era. It's oddly compelling. Perhaps it's Dave's curious expression or Ray's custard-coloured boxy jacket. As for being underrated, they always had the respect of their peers and the press in Britain, even though the band's dogged pursuit of convoluted concept albums and elaborate theatricality on-stage limited their commercial appeal as the 'seventies wore on. Pete Townshend, looking for inspiration, would beg people around the Kinks to get acetates for him so he could hear what they were doing. Dave Davies claims that Townshend pestered him almost constantly while they were making The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society and he was struggling to get Tommy going. One gets the sense that Ray Davies rather enjoyed his band being the unstable outsider and unhappy orphan of the British Invasion and the image was encouraged by his running around London and America in the mid-sixties hitting managers and promoters, whilst his brother Dave and drummer Mick Avory made a pastime of annoying each other to the point of actual bloody violence. Their volatile behaviour got them excluded from the USA at a crucial point in the band's career. Rather than resent it, Ray Davies turned his confinement to Britain into a virtue. As a result The Kinks became a sort of English heritage installation, a part of the national topography in a way that those other bands that Aqueronte notes above didn't manage. (Though all of them had their moments, they just weren't as good, either.) Well, there goes yet another rumination wholly on The Kinks, and I didn't manage to say a nice thing about Wilco and Supergrass as I'd intended. Perhaps I'll have a go later.

    19. Feb. 2007, 19:19
  • laura_mac

    I should say, perhaps, that it's a shame they're so damn underrated by the general public over here in the US. I never hear them on 60's rock radio, for example. There's always plenty to say on The Kinks. :)

    19. Feb. 2007, 21:00
  • Aqueronte

    Just wanted to clear out something. When I named those bands, I wasn't comparing them in terms of quality to the Kinks, at all because it's true they're not that good. As much as I love them they don't come close to my favourite band. I was just mentioning that among peers, critics and a group of people (because the Kinks have acquired a cult status) the Kinks are, indeed highly respected, loved and their music is rated and listened the way it should be. But like you said to the general public they're HIGHLY underrated. Barely taking in consideration. But let's not put down the others I mentioned, sure they weren't as good as the Kinks but they created great stuff and don't get nearly any recognition at all. Which is why I said they were more underrated, not because I was saying they were better. That would be a joke.

    23. Feb. 2007, 1:12
  • Slighthammer

    [quote]But let's not put down the others I mentioned, sure they weren't as good as the Kinks but they created great stuff and don't get nearly any recognition at all. Which is why I said they were more underrated, not because I was saying they were better. That would be a joke.[/quote] I don't want to put down the others at all either, Aqueronte. I especially love The Pretty Things, for instance. They managed better than any of their contemporaries to maintain a consistent level of quality through to their end. It's just that while their median was high, their superlatives were not as outstanding as The Kinks, as you've written yourself. Having said that, Cross Talk, their last studio album before they split for a second time, is remarkable. It stands apart from anything their 'sixties contemporaries were trying in 1980 by sounding just like a new wave album. In fact it is a better new wave record than the new wave acts were making, which is breathtaking given that it was their ninth album and that they were relics of the Richmond r&b scene that also spawned The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds. Similarly, I think that The Five Faces of Manfred Mann is only bettered as a debut in its era by The Rolling Stones. Much as I love Kinks, it doesn't get as good as the Manfreds' first effort. However, they didn't have a writer like Dave, let alone Ray, and when they lost Paul Jones's bluesy edge, they reverted to following their instinct for cabaret from whence they had come pre-1964. So we agree, I think, Aqueronte. Going back to your original journal, Laura, I've always thought of Wilco as a poppy band, probably because the first songs I heard by them were Hoodoo Voodoo and I Can't Stand It. I went straight back to Uncle Tupelo to find out more, so I wasn't ignorant of Jeff Tweedy's alt-country origins and I listened mostly to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot for months when it came out, but those two jaunty introductions were so impressive, I always think of Wilco with a grin. I think you're absolutely right to commend Supergrass for their restless versatility, Laura. The Britpop phenomenon became derided so comprehensively and so quickly that they would easily have fallen by the wayside if they hadn't pushed themselves from album to album, especially so given that their breakthrough single, Alright, was marketed like a novelty record. Supergrass is one of those bands that changed the way I heard music and here thanks to YouTube is the precise moment that it happened: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXp5H8sCNx0[/youtube] This flew out of the screen in a show that was headlined by Paul Weller, backed by Ocean Colour Scene, promoting Stanley Road, which was all very worthy but pretty predictable. Supergrass woke me up and made me go out and find new music, and I did that relentlessly until I got an iPod last summer and went back to the beginnings of my shelves to rediscover the once-loved, long-neglected things that are now on my lists at this website.

    24. Feb. 2007, 1:56
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