rufous + albums   53

The Quietus | Reviews | Durutti Column / Crispy Ambulance
The link between Factory Records, Manchester and Brussels was forged by Joy Division's legendary performances at Plan K, in October 1979 and January 1980. Those fully accustomed to the Joy Division tale – please, we do not need to retread such choppy waters here – will be fully aware of the significance of the performances.

In short, a powerful link was established between Factory and two lovely fledgling labels, Les Disque Crepuscule and Benelux. Both were products of the journalistic endeavours of the legendary Annik Honore – still very much an eager attendee of the city's lively gig circuit – and Michel Duval. Much has been made of the fact that Plan K was situated on Rue de Manchester, although might cast that aside as coincidence. More important was the similarities in the mindset of the gig goers, bands and scenesters of the two cities. Something clicked.
albums  durutti_column  manchester  factory_records  tony_wilson 
july 2016 by rufous
R U Still Down? (Remember Me) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The first release on Amaru Records, R U Still Down? (Remember Me) was overseen by 2Pac's mother, Afeni Shakur. This album airs his views on life from a time before he became involved in the controversial east coast/west coast rivalry. His lyrics foreshadow his death in songs like "Open Fire" and "Thug Style."
2pac  albums  posthumous 
july 2016 by rufous
Springsteen’s Most Anxious Album - The New Yorker
The world is not lacking monuments to Bruce Springsteen. His work has been exhaustively parsed, reissued, celebrated, annotated, and admired. At present, it is wildly difficult to find a reasonable person willing to decry his oeuvre as insignificant or inadequate.
albums  bruce_springsteen 
june 2016 by rufous
Tubular Bells - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It was the first album released by Virgin Records and an early cornerstone of the company's success. Vivian Stanshall provided the voice of the "Master of Ceremonies" who reads off the list of instruments at the end of the first movement. The opening piano solo was used briefly in the soundtrack to the William Friedkin film The Exorcist (released the same year), and the album gained considerable airplay because of the film's success.
albums 
june 2016 by rufous
Roman Candle (album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
According to Benjamin Nugent, the response to Roman Candle was mixed, with some passing it off as being derivative of Simon & Garfunkel,[1] though Roman Candle has since been well-received by critics. Rolling Stone magazine described Smith as "ferociously talented", and the music as "some of the loveliest songs about the dissolution of a soul ever written [...] hypnotic and terribly, unrelentingly sad".[12]
elliott_smith  albums 
june 2016 by rufous
The River (Bruce Springsteen album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Originally, Springsteen intended The River to be a single set entitled The Ties That Bind and released in late 1979 with 10 tracks.[11] Springsteen added darker material after he'd written the title track. Indeed, The River became noted for its mix of the frivolous next to the solemn. This was intentional, and in contrast to Darkness, for as Springsteen said during an interview, "Rock and roll has always been this joy, this certain happiness that is in its way the most beautiful thing in life. But rock is also about hardness and coldness and being alone ... I finally got to the place where I realized life had paradoxes, a lot of them, and you've got to live with them."[12]
bruce_springsteen  albums 
may 2016 by rufous
A Moon Shaped Pool · Radiohead · Music Review Radiohead burns itself clean with a tense and pained new album · Music Review · The A.V. Club
Similarly, as a lyricist, Thom Yorke has returned to many of the same issues and obsessions time and again, even as his utterances became more elliptical and abstract, especially following the release of OK Computer. His concern with the environment, politics, and emotional weaknesses and fears run through all the band’s work, along with a knotty fascination with science, sci-fi, and end-times paranoia. A Moon Shaped Pool, the band’s difficult and downbeat new album, isn’t a profound reinvention or bold statement of purpose (à la Kid A or In Rainbows, respectively) so much as a discovery of how to integrate the varying elements of the band’s sound. The King Of Limbs felt half-finished, as though the group could see where it wanted to go, but wasn’t quite certain how to get there. Now those musical ingredients have come together, but the result is a more challenging listen. There’s no “Lotus Flower” here; instead, there’s an assemblage of nervy soundscapes, riven through with rhythms both languid and icily pulsing, that evoke a melancholic sensibility.
radiohead  albums 
may 2016 by rufous
Trouble Man, Marvin Gaye’s 1972 Moog Canvas
The way the story most often gets told, Marvin Gaye with What’s Going On (1971) liberated himself from Motown’s formulaic method of music-making and achieved total artistic independence, whereupon the music—if not, to be sure, the man himself—went on to live happily ever after. But the story gets told incompletely, because What’s Going On was only the start of it—it was how Gaye leveraged the potential for his independence, but it wasn’t how he ventured out and completely seized that independence. To tell that story, you have to tell about Trouble Man.

It’s a story that can now be told more elaborately, with a wonderful fortieth anniversary reissue of the original album, complete with some newly released material and a supplementary booklet. Trouble Man is absolutely sui generis within the Marvin Gaye canon for being not only a blaxploitation film soundtrack—the only film score he would ever do—but for being jazz-based and largely instrumental. The booklet does a commendable job articulating Trouble Man’s importance, while the artifact itself sings, as always, with perfect eloquence to the same thing. Except that now it sings even better.

Ross, as it happens, was herself in the midst of a musical film project, the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues (1972), in which she played lead. Comparing her project with Gaye’s tells us everything we need to know about the difference in their respective sensibilities. Both movies paid tribute to jazz traditions of the recent past, but there is where the similarities squarely ended. Where Ross settled for merely exhuming jazz, Gaye took the altogether more difficult and dangerous leap of actually rejuvenating it, by proving that jazz's arrangements could thrive within the context of funk's emphatic rhythms and instrumentation.
marvin_gaye  albums  motown  diana_ross  jazz  music  blaxploitation  soundtracks 
may 2016 by rufous
Trouble Man (album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Following the success of What's Going On, Marvin Gaye had not only won creative control, but a renewed $1 million contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla had made the musician the most profitable R&B artist of all time.

Signing the contract in early 1972, Gaye sought to take advantage of his opportunities. Bolstered by the successes of film soundtracks such as Shaft and Superfly, Motown offered the musician a chance to compose his own film soundtrack after winning rights to produce the crime thriller, Trouble Man.

Unlike Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield, who mixed social commentary with sexual songs in their respective soundtracks, Gaye chose to focus primarily on the film's character, "Mister T", producing and composing both the film's score while entirely producing the film's soundtrack, which was recorded at Motown Studios (or "Hitsville West") in Hollywood.

Following the closing of Detroit's Hitsville USA studios in 1972, Motown had primarily moved its location to Los Angeles, where Gaye also relocated where he recorded the Trouble Man album. Gaye invited several musicians, including some from the Funk Brothers and musicians from Hamilton Bohannon's band.
marvin_gaye  albums 
may 2016 by rufous
R U Still Down? (Remember Me) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
R U Still Down? (Remember Me) is the sixth album by 2Pac, released in 1997, and the first to be finished without his creative input. Her son having left a large body of work behind, this was the first release from his mother's imprint Amaru Entertainment, set up to control 2Pac's posthumous releases.

Shortly after 2Pac died, there were rumors that hundreds of unreleased songs remained in the vaults; a mere two months after his death, the first posthumous record, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, appeared. Death Row released the record, and shortly afterward, 2Pac's mother, Afeni Shakur, gained the rights to all of his unreleased recordings from both the Interscope and Death Row labels. She founded the Amaru label and released the double-disc R U Still Down? (Remember Me) in late 1997.

The first release on Amaru Records, R U Still Down? (Remember Me) was overseen by 2Pac's mother, Afeni Shakur. This album airs his views on life from a time before he became involved in the controversial east coast/west coast rivalry. His lyrics foreshadow his death in songs like "Open Fire" and "Thug Style."
2pac  posthumous  albums 
april 2016 by rufous
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (commonly shortened to The 7 Day Theory or Don Killuminati and sometimes called Makaveli) is the fifth studio album by Tupac Shakur. Released under his new stage name Makaveli, it was his first studio album to be posthumously released.[9] The album was completely finished in a total of seven days during the first week of August 1996.[10] The lyrics were written and recorded in only three days and mixing took an additional four days. These are the last songs Shakur recorded before his fatal shooting on September 7, 1996. The album was originally scheduled for release in March 1997, but as a result of his death, Suge Knight released it four months earlier.
2pac  albums 
april 2016 by rufous
All Eyez on Me - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
All Eyez on Me is the fourth studio album by American rapper 2Pac, released on February 13, 1996 under Death Row Records and distributed by Interscope Records.

The album is frequently recognized as one of the crowning achievements of 1990s rap music.[8] The album featured the Billboard Hot 100 number one singles "How Do U Want It" and "California Love". It featured five singles in all, the most of any of Shakur's albums. Moreover, All Eyez On Me (which was the only Death Row release to be distributed through PolyGram by way of Island Records) made history as the first double-full-length hip-hop solo studio album released for mass consumption. It was issued on two compact discs and four LPs.

In October 1995, Suge Knight and Jimmy Iovine paid the $1.4 million bail necessary to get Shakur released from jail on charges of sexual abuse. At the time, Shakur was broke and thus unable to make bail himself. All Eyez On Me was released following an agreement between Knight and Shakur which stated Shakur would make three albums under Death Row Records in return for them paying his bail. Fulfilling part of Shakur's brand new contract, this double-album served as the first two albums of his three album contract.[citation needed]
2pac  albums  jimmy_iovine 
april 2016 by rufous
20 years later, Tupac’s All Eyez On Me is still as Raw as an exposed nerve · Permanent Records · The A.V. Club
Permanent Records is an ongoing closer look at the records that matter most. On Thursday, October 12, 1995, Tupac Shakur was in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. By the evening of Friday the 13th, he was recording in Can-Am Studios in Los Angeles.
2pac  albums  feuds  hip-hop 
february 2016 by rufous
On The Man Who Sold The World, David Bowie found his career blueprint · Permanent Records · The A.V. Club
“But when he played some of the songs he’d written and recorded and demoed, you went, ‘Oh, this guy can write.’ You didn’t like everything he’d done, but you could hear the potential. You could hear when he was really on the ball. As a frontman, even sitting in his lounge when he was playing the songs to you, you went, ‘This guy’s confident. He knows what he’s doing. He knows how to put a song across,’ and you get it.”

From a practical standpoint, having a stable band also ensured The Man Who Sold The World would be finished: Bowie had recently married first wife Angie, and was occasionally absent from the studio. “He was still kind of lovey dovey, and he wasn’t around a lot, so he would just give us the chords and say, ‘Well, this is kind of how it goes, and I haven’t got the lyrics finished on this yet, so just put it together,’” Woodmansey recalls. “So we would just go in the studio and really just jam until we played the chords and throw in ideas. Everybody’s influences helped create the whole thing.” Visconti adds that this scarcity didn’t mean that Bowie didn’t pull his own weight, however. “When he did come into the studio, he had the goods,” the producer says. “He delivered. It was just a bit disarming, sometimes, to know, like, ‘Where’s our lead singer?’ And we couldn’t even find him in the building. But all in all, we were totally satisfied with the results.”
david_bowie  music  albums  av_club  ziggy_stardust  70s  songs 
january 2016 by rufous
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham made a fine pop record pre-Fleetwood Mac · Permanent Records · The A.V. Club
This was a Polydor release, so the attractive, bare-chested, ultra-1970s pair on the front probably received a decent amount of money to sign their contract and cut the record. And while it’s hard to tell from their look what the group’s sound is (singer-songwriter folk? shaggy glam? Hall & Oates-style blue-eyed soul?), they’re certainly both pretty enough to be marketable. Nevertheless, Buckingham Nicks sold poorly, generated no hit singles, and was quickly dumped into the remainder racks, forcing the duo to take day jobs while they contemplated whether they should continue to pursue careers in the music business. In the original edition of The Rolling Stone Record Guide, critic John Milward gives the album two stars out of five, and dismisses it as, “pleasant, albeit middleweight Los Angeles folk-rock.”

Milward was being ungenerous—but he’s not entirely wrong. Buckingham Nicks is only 35 minutes long, and about a third of its tracks feel like filler. The second song, “Stephanie,” is a pretty-but-slight acoustic guitar exercise, as is the one-minute “Django” on side two. “Lola (My Love)” is a dreary, unconvincing stab at swampy blues-rock; and while the uptempo guitar-pop ditty “Without A Leg To Stand On” is one of the LP’s best tracks, it’s over and done in just two minutes. On a longer album, all of these songs might fit into a bigger picture. But there’s no grand design to Buckingham Nicks. It does build to an impressive, semi-epic closer, “Frozen Love,” but for the most part this record is a showcase for four potential chart-toppers: “Crying In The Night,” “Don’t Let Me Down Again,” “Long Distance Winner,” and “Crystal.”
fleetwood_mac  lindsey_buckingham  stevie_nicks  albums  songs 
september 2015 by rufous
Band on the Run - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Band on the Run is the third studio album by Paul McCartney and Wings, released in December 1973. It marked the fifth album by Paul McCartney since his departure from the Beatles in April 1970. Although sales were modest initially, its commercial performance was aided by two hit singles – “Jet” and “Band on the Run” – such that it became the top-selling studio album of 1974 in the United Kingdom and Australia, in addition to revitalising McCartney's critical standing. It remains McCartney's most successful album and the most celebrated of his post-Beatles works.

The majority of Band on the Run was recorded at EMI's studio in Lagos, Nigeria, as McCartney wanted to make an album in an exotic locale. Shortly before departing for Lagos, however, drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Henry McCullough left the group; with no time to recruit replacements, McCartney went into the studio with just his wife Linda and Denny Laine, doubling on drums, percussion and most of the lead guitar parts himself as well as bass.[1] On arriving, it was discovered that the studio was below standard, and conditions in Nigeria were tense and difficult; the McCartneys were robbed at knife-point, during which a bag containing unfinished song lyrics and demo tapes was taken.[2] After the band's return to England, final overdubs and further recording were carried out at AIR Studios in London.
albums  paul_mccartney 
august 2015 by rufous
Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes | Album Reviews | Pitchfork
Fleet Foxes may have a firm grasp on rock and folk history, but they never play to their record collection. Rather than revive a particular scene or re-create a lost sound, the Seattle quintet cherrypick their ideas from a broad spectrum of styles, pulling in Appalachian folk, classic rock, AM country, and SoCal pop to create a personal synthesis of the music of their peers, their parents, and even their grandparents.
fleet_foxes  albums  pitchfork 
may 2015 by rufous
Review: Mumford & Sons abandon banjos and plug in, pointlessly · Music Review · The A.V. Club
By trying to clobber the audience with huge sounds and relentless rhythm, the foursome hasn’t taken the time to put together the crafty hooks and licks that gave their prior two albums some undeniably catchy moments. Adding absolutely nothing to the vast canon of generic modern arena rock, this rebranding is pointless. With Wilder Mind, Mumford & Sons have morphed from a band that’s easy to either love or hate into a band that’s hard to care much about at all.
bands  albums  av_club 
may 2015 by rufous
Daft Punk: The Birth of The Robots | Thump
I’d been fortunate enough to be sent to LA by The Face Magazine to write the first piece on Discovery and Daft Punk’s comeback. Their 1997 debut Homework had profoundly influenced pop music, and the world was eagerly awaiting its successor. In those days, before the internet’s mindless voracity, bands could hide away with ease. The robots would be unveiled in a Face cover story several pages long, photographed doing typical human things such as drinking cocktails, visiting a guitar shop and hanging out at a swingers’ party. Luis Sanchis was the photographer. In one recording studio he shot the robots seated at a piano, and this photo graced the inner sleeve of Discovery. The strap-line on the The Face’s cover was the very good “Encore Une Fois” – Daft Punk had just scored their first No.1 with 'One More Time'.

The idea for the feature was that Sanchis would stage a photo with the robots that would represent each of Discovery’s fourteen tracks. For 'Aerodynamic' they’d be in a guitar shop, for example, and for 'Short Circuit' they’d be collapsed, drunk, in an alleyway. I’m not sure if we managed to do all fourteen as each one took a lot of time to organise. Like expensive jewellery, these helmets were precious items, and tricky to put on correctly. We’d travel from location to location in one of those colossal mobile homes. There was a plan to release all fourteen tracks as individual singles, one after the other following the album’s sequence. They managed five or six.

I was given a CD copy of Discovery in LA and listened to it whenever I could to prepare for the interview, which actually turned out to be more like a collaboration between Daft Punk and The Face – the first part of Discovery’s perfectly executed media campaign. Then, as now, Daft Punk liked to control as much as they possibly could. After the blistering house and funk of Homework, the warmth and scope of Discovery sounded like the work of a different act, in much the same way that Random Access Memories, arriving after the rather one-dimensional Human After All and Tron: Legacy, has impressed with the scale of its ambition. I still love Discovery, particularly the Moroder-ish trio of 'Voyager', 'Veridis Quo' and 'Short Circuit'.
daft_punk  vice  albums 
march 2015 by rufous
When great records breed bad followers: The ups and downs of Van Halen · Permanent Records · The A.V. Club
Halen’s 1978 self-titled debut is widely regarded as one of the best rock records of all time. With its mix of catchy harmonies, guitar bombast, and not-so-subtle humor, it has the ability to inspire dancing, gasps, and laughter. As good as it is, though, it also carries an odd mixed legacy, having inspired some of the worst tendencies of the many 1980s rock and metal acts that followed in its wake.

Great records are hardly ever judged on the music alone. There are other elements we naturally consider, such as general aesthetic, backstory, and the larger zeitgeist. An important—and perhaps unfair—lens through which many records and artists are also judged is their detectable impact. It’s one of the many reasons that, though they weren’t commercially successful at the time, The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, and Nick Drake are so celebrated today. Their impact is considered largely positive. So beyond even their own sonic merits, Raw Power, White Light/White Heat, and Pink Moon are all considered classics. Van Halen has had a tougher row to hoe in that respect, at least partly because of the groups and records that were influenced by it.

Right or wrong, many of the worst tropes and clichés of rock and metal in the 1980s were crystallized on Van Halen. The self-indulgent musicianship, the overtly misogynistic sexual innuendo of its humor, and the impossibly tight spandex pants are all in some way rooted in this release. Notable examples of the decade at its most decadent that can in some way be traced back to Van Halen include Cinderella, Poison, Ratt, Dokken, Warrant, and W.A.S.P.
av_club  van_halen  david_lee_roth  rock  music  albums  80s  guitar_solos  guitar  guitarists 
january 2015 by rufous
Worst To Best: Spice Girls' Solo Careers | Celebrity News | Hollywood.com
Like Mel B, the most high-profile Spice Girl initially started off well. Jumping aboard the two-step garage bandwagon of the early '00s, her inspired hook-up with Truesteppers may have lost one of the biggest chart battles of all time to Spiller's "Groovejet" but it still sold half a million copies. However, 2001's self-titled debut album, a lacklustre affair filled with anodyne R&B and drippy ballads, badly underperformed. And although the tongue-in-cheek disco-pop of swansong "Let Your Head Go" restored a bit of dignity, most agree that she makes a much better fashion icon than pop diva.
spice_girls  albums  victoria_beckham 
december 2014 by rufous
Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell is a lesson in the unfortunate power of nostalgia · We're No. 1 · The A.V. Club
By all accounts, when Waters parted ways with the band in 1985, he gave up the rights to use the Pink Floyd name. Signed to CBS Records at the time, Gilmour and Waters couldn’t find similar success as solo artists, their respective tours failing to come close to the ticket sales they had enjoyed while touring as Pink Floyd. Thus, CBS Records was eager to release another Pink Floyd album; Waters wasn’t interested. As he recounts in Uncut magazine in 2004, he then had little choice but to formally leave the band, risking lawsuit if he didn’t. As he states,

“They threatened me with the fact that we had a contract with CBS Records and that part of the contract could be construed to mean that we had a product commitment with CBS and if we didn’t go on producing product, they could a) sue us and b) withhold royalties if we didn’t make any more records. So they said, ‘That’s what the record company are going to do and the rest of the band are going to sue you for all their legal expenses and any loss of earnings because you’re the one that’s preventing the band from making any more records.’”

Waters leaving the band set the stage for the 1987 release of A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, and its success (it went double-platinum the same year) suggested that even without one of the band’s primary songwriters and vocalists, there was significant demand for more Pink Floyd.
pink_floyd  bands  albums  roger_waters  nostalgia  av_club  dave_gilmour 
december 2014 by rufous
A Better Tomorrow (album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
On June 29, 2011, Raekwon announced that the group were working on a new studio album, still in its early stages, saying: “It's kind of early to announce a new album right now. ”We've been working on some things, though. As far as Wu-Tang goes, it's something that we really got to get together first for.“[1] In July 2011, Ghostface Killah said that the album should be released in May 2012.[2] In April 2012, GZA hinted that a new album was unlikely, saying: ”We haven't been on the same page in years. It is what it is. Sometimes that match burns out… I don't feel bad about it. It's good. I'm grateful for everything we have done throughout our careers and if there's nothing else to put out, then there's nothing to put out.“[3] In October 2012, RZA said a new Wu-Tang Clan album might happen after all, on the occasion of the group's 20th anniversary, saying: ”Well, what I can say about that Sway is next year, November 2013 – I’m going back from 1993 to 2013, that’s our 20-year anniversary. So I told the brothers we should definitely come together and maybe do something to close the book. So we’ve been building about it. If life permits and the energy is proper maybe next year on the same date or the same time we put out 36 Chambers we’ll put out a final chapter of recorded music.“[4]
albums  bands  wu-tang_clan  rza 
december 2014 by rufous
Before they were robots, Daft Punk were failed rockers with electronic dreams · Permanent Records · The A.V. Club
For many in the U.S., the show served as the first glimpse of Daft Punk. Clips for the group’s No. 1 Billboard dance singles “Da Funk” and “Around The World”—which are both found on their 1997 full-length debut, Homework—aired several times each. In fact, “Da Funk” made enough of a dent on Amp and 120 Minutes that it was actually nominated for “Breakthrough Video” at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. (In an über-’90s twist of fate, they lost to Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity.”) It’s no accident that Daft Punk was embraced by traditionally rock ’n’ roll-oriented outlets: For all the hype about the ’90s electronica boom and how it would revolutionize music, many aspects of the movement weren’t that far removed from more traditional guitar-based compositions. Prodigy’s hit “Firestarter” sampled The Breeders’ “Cannonball”; Chemical Brothers enlisted Noel Gallagher for several massive singles; and even David Bowie got into the drum ’n’ bass groove on 1997’s Earthling. The grinding, staticky instrumental “Da Funk” and its distorted, smudged synths sounded like something to which Beavis And Butt-Head might have beatboxed, much like Beavis did with MC 900 Ft. Jesus’ “If I Only Had A Brain.”
daft_punk  bands  albums  music  av_club 
october 2014 by rufous
Farewell My Summer Love - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Farewell My Summer Love (originally titled Farewell My Summer Love 1984 and later re-issued as Here I Am (Come and Take Me) in Germany) is a compilation of archived Michael Jackson recordings in January and September 1973. The album was released by Motown Records in the U.S. on May 15, 1984.[2]

The nine songs featured on the album were originally recorded in January and September 1973 but had not been previously released. Motown says that these tracks were "lost" and were re-found in 1984.[3] To give the album a more 1980s sound, Motown remixed the songs and added all new musical overdubs. The task of playing the updated sound was given to musicians Tony Peluso, Michael Lovesmith and Steve Barri. Together with drummer Mike Baird, they recorded new guitar, keyboard, percussion drum parts for the songs. The album reached #46 on Billboard's pop album chart and #9 on the UK albums chart and sold over three million copies worldwide.[4] On July 9, 1984, the album was certified Gold by the BPI for selling at least 100.000 copies in the United Kingdom.
michael_jackson  albums  motown 
october 2014 by rufous
U2’s Forgettable Fire - The New Yorker
Sasha Frere-Jones’s track-by-track review of U2’s Songs of Innocence:

“California (Blah Blah Blah)”: The track sounds like seventeen different bands averaged out in Yelp and turned into an Active Rock Smoothie. Nowhere near as good as “Drunk In Love.”

 ★
via:daringfireball  u2  albums 
september 2014 by rufous
Stadium Arcadium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stadium Arcadium is the ninth studio album by American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. The album was released on May 9, 2006, on Warner Bros. Records. The album produced five singles: “Dani California”, “Tell Me Baby”, “Snow (Hey Oh)”, “Desecration Smile”, and “Hump de Bump” along with the first ever fan made music video for the song, “Charlie”. In the U.S., Stadium Arcadium became the band's first ever number one selling album of their entire career. According to the band's vocalist Anthony Kiedis, Stadium Arcadium was originally scheduled to be a trilogy of albums each released six months apart, but was eventually condensed into a double album.[1] The album is also the group's last to feature guitarist John Frusciante, who confirmed his departure from the band in 2009.

The album was critically praised for integrating musical styles from several aspects of the band's career.[2][3] The album gained the band seven Grammy Award nominations in 2007 including an award for Best Rock Album and one for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. Winning 5 out of 7 Grammy Awards, it was the most nominations that the band had garnered in their 28-year career. Kiedis attributed the album's success to less abrasive dynamics within the band, saying that the band's “chemistry, when it comes to writing, is better than ever. There was always a struggle to dominate lyrically. But we are now confident enough in who we are, so everybody feels more comfortable contributing more and more valuable, quality stuff”

The formation and recording of Stadium Arcadium took place at “The Mansion” where the Chili Peppers had recorded their 1991 breakthrough Blood Sugar Sex Magik.[8] Given the house's reputation for being “haunted,” guitarist John Frusciante recalled that he felt “there were beings of higher intelligence controlling what I was doing, and I didn’t know how to talk about it or explain it…it was very clear to me that the music was coming from somewhere other than me.”[9] However, Kiedis noted that during the recording process of the album “everybody was in a good mood. There was very little tension, very little anxiety, very little weirdness going on and every day we showed up to this funky room in the Valley, and everyone felt more comfortable than ever bringing in their ideas.”
red_hot_chili_peppers  albums  bands  collaboration 
july 2014 by rufous
With Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, Outkast heralded the decline of gangster rap · We're No. 1 · The A.V. Club
In reality, Speakerboxxx and The Love Below were separate solo albums, and each represented a turn for rap, a parting of the ways for at least two strains of hip-hop that would reverberate for the next decade. Speakerboxxx, Big Boi’s contribution, was, for the most part, a traditional Outkast album, though without Andre 3000, it strayed closer to a single musical influence than the group’s records had in the past, crafting ultra-lyrical tracks on the back of P-Funk sampling beats. The Love Below, on the other hand, was hardly recognizable as a rap record—it was an emotional, often campy, concept album about the search for love, delivered by Andre, who at this point in his career was dressing like a mid-century British dandy and whose music had started to sound like the diametric opposite of traditional rap: vulnerable, expressive, and willing to explore new things.

Big Boi and Andre 3000 had long been iconoclasts, sometimes skeptical, sometimes outright contemptuous of the gangster posturing of their peers. Though casual gun talk on their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, made them difficult to separate from other criminally inclined rappers, they soon abandoned that narrative. On the title track of their 1996 album, Atliens, Andre explicitly rejected the signifiers of a crooked lifestyle:

The impact of the more obscure sections of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was amplified by the success of “Hey Ya!,” and “The Way You Move.” Even in the midst of gangster rap’s heyday, there had been all-ages friendly rap singles: Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” and Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” come to mind. But the underground cred Outkast had built over the course of a decade combined with the enormous popular appeal of the two songs made them irresistible to both hardcore rap fans and average radio listeners alike—the duo managed to become both cool and safe, a rare combination. That dual appeal propelled the record toward the 2004 Grammy for album of the year; along with Hill’s The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (another safe/cool combination), it remains one of only two hip-hop albums ever to win the award.
outkast  hip-hop  rap  music  albums  av_club  genres  innovation  gangster_rap 
july 2014 by rufous
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Area 52 | Album Reviews | Consequence of Sound
When Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero, a.k.a. Rodrigo y Gabriela, first burst into America’s consciousness back in 2006, they were received with a romanticized infatuation. It wasn’t the virtuosic fretboard acrobatics, which were remarkable and mesmerizing, nor was it the impressive and novel songwriting, a Frankensteinian mélange of flamenco guitar, Mexican and Irish folk music, rock, jazz, and thrash metal.

There was just something so idealistic about their story: two Mexican metalheads go to Ireland to busk on the streets and end up as international superstars. There was also just something so unbelievable about so much noise coming from two acoustic guitars. Rod y Gab made listening to “Stairway to Heaven” cool again. Their covers of Metallica’s “One” and “Orion” went viral in the early days of YouTube sharing.
rodrigo_y_gabriela  albums 
april 2014 by rufous
The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The album received mixed reviews. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that the music is "a step in the right direction – it's more ambitious, dramatic, and aggressive, built on pummeling verses and stop-start choruses." However, he felt that the band was being "held back" by Durst, who he called "the most singularly unpleasant, absurd frontman in rock."[1] In his book The Essential Rock Discography, Martin Charles Strong gave the album 5 out of 10 stars.[7]

IGN writer Spence D. wrote, "Given the components of the band—live Limp Bizkit is one tight, intense sonic unit that delivers bristling renditions of their catalog—one would hope that they had chosen to go off the musical deep end and deliver an album that dares to explore rather than rehash. Sadly, only a few brief moments of The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) exhibit this kind of much needed direction. Here's to hoping that Part 2 expands on the potential hinted at here."[5]
albums 
april 2014 by rufous
Drukqs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Various titles are in Cornish, a Celtic language related to Welsh and Breton spoken in Cornwall, James's home. James said he “went back to his roots” in Cornwall,[citation needed] or Kernow as it is known in Cornish. Translations include Jynweythek [Ylow] for “Electronic Machine [Music]”, Vordhosbn for “Sailboat”, and Cymru for “Wales”. Comically, hy a Scullyas lyf a dhagrow would roughly translate as “She wasted my pint” (colloquially, “She spilled my pint”) or “She shed a flood of tears”.[citation needed]) Various numbers found in words may actually represent archaic letters.
aphex_twin  albums 
april 2014 by rufous
Spice Girls: Forever (2000) - Top ten biggest album flops - Pictures - Music - Virgin Media
With Ginger gone and Girl Power feeling rather stale, this largely forgettable third album from the Spice Girls sounded the death knell for the band. Their debut, Spice, sold 3 million copies in the UK. Forever struggled to sell over 300,000.
spice_girls  albums 
march 2014 by rufous
Britney Spears hands the reins to Will.i.am for her “most personal album ever” · The A.V. Club
But far too much of Britney Jean defaults to EDM-by-numbers and the numbing lyrical repetitiveness that appears to be Will.i.am’s calling card. Spears’ strength—like most of those who assume the mantle of “performer” rather than “artist”—has always been her plasticity, the way she can bend and mold to fit the vision of the songwriters and producers who have driven her career. But with Will.i.am, she’s put herself in the hands of a graceless, unimaginative puppetmaster who would rather string her through the same routine over and over than seek out her more nuanced charms.
britney_spears  music  albums  av_club 
december 2013 by rufous
Arcade Fire : Reflektor | Music | MusicalWork Review | The A.V. Club
The very things that keep Arcade Fire’s fourth album, Reflektor, from unmitigated success are the things that eventually make it compelling: What’s a band to do when its ambitious cracks and deliberate detours both drag it down and push it forward? Apparently the answer is to grab every idea and follow the muse wherever it goes—Haiti and beyond—and let past triumphs remain in the past. That tactic makes the first spins of Reflektor potentially deadly for the impatient: At first only its faults—and more importantly, its departures—stand out: It feels dull, overlong, indulgent, and detached.
Not all of those impressions go away after quality reflection time. At 86 minutes spread over 14 songs (counting the hidden pre-album bonus track), Reflektor is undoubtedly overlong. But it comes as no surprise that a band as obsessed with its own presentation—visual, lyrical, packaging, video, even clothing—would take a concept to its logical extreme. A full 16 minutes of the album’stime is spent insisting on its theme: The hidden track—which, granted, must be sought out—and the lengthy coda on album-closer “Supersymmetry” reflect the tone of the Reflektor’s songs, offering backward snippets buffeted by ambient weirdness.
arcade_fire  bands  albums  review  av_club 
october 2013 by rufous
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues | Album Reviews | Pitchfork
Fleet Foxes' unpretentious, crowd-pleasing directness was the key to their rapid rise. Their Sun Giant EP and self-titled debut LP, both released in 2008, brimmed with inviting melodies, evocative lyrics, and open-armed harmonizing that seemed designed to reach a wide variety of listeners. Their bright folk-rock sound wasn't exactly "cool," but that was sort of the point-- it's familiar in the most pleasing way, lacking conceit or affectation. Their expression of their love for music (and making music) was refreshing three years ago, and that sort of thing never gets old.
But clouds inevitably roll in. On the band's follow-up, Helplessness Blues, the mood is darker and more uncertain, adding shade to their gold-hued sound. The change in tone reflects the tumultuous road Fleet Foxes traveled during the album's creation. In late 2009, Fleet Foxes had an album's worth of songs ready, but the tracks were mostly scrapped before mixing. The arduous creative process took a toll on the group members, particularly singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold, who told Pitchfork at the time, "The last year has been a really trying creative process where I've not been knowing what to write or how to write."
fleet_foxes  albums  pitchfork 
july 2013 by rufous
CD REVIEW: Jim Guthrie, Now, More Than Ever - Blogcritics Music
"Problems With Solutions" is the pensive opener. A playful cello is underneath the plucked acoustic guitar, and hand claps help keep the beat. "When I'm drinking and had a few/Lord only knows what I said to you/In a smoky bar downtown/People swirling all around." He's firmly in the standard singer-songwriter mold here, playing at people watching and somehow trying to make a larger socioeconomic point. "The longer the hesitation/The smaller the celebration/A guide to our salvation/A problem with solutions." The cello here is jumping around a major chord, making the guitar somehow sad, despite the theoretically peppy sound. Suddenly, an entire string section cuts in, going dischordant and minor, souring the entire feel of the song. With a start, everything reverts back to the sound of the first verse, with bongos rising in the mix.
jim_guthrie  music  albums  review 
july 2012 by rufous
Radiohead: In Rainbows | Album Reviews | Pitchfork
With its fingerpicked acoustic guitars and syrupy strings, "Faust Arp" begs comparisons to some of the Beatles' sweetest two-minute interludes, while the stunning "Reckoner" takes care of any lingering doubt about Radiohead's softer frame of mind: Once a violent rocker worthy of its title, this version finds Yorke's slinky, elongated falsetto backed by frosty, clanging percussion and a meandering guitar line, onto which the band pile a chorus of backing harmonies, pianos, and-- again-- swooping strings. It may not be the most immediate track on the album, but over the course of several listens, it reveals itself to be among the most woozily beautiful things the band has ever recorded.
pitchfork  radiohead  albums  review 
april 2012 by rufous
Flavorwire » Madonna’s ‘MDNA’: Where Are All the Elderstateswomen of Pop?
Madonna should have made a breakup album. Not some dreamy, melodramatic teen-pop breakup album, but a record by a middle-aged mother about the failure of her marriage. You can tell that she wanted to. Every once in a while on MDNA, a very specific lyric about opening a joint account or not signing a prenup cuts through the big, cheesy beats and reminds us that there is a real human being behind these songs. But it doesn’t happen enough, because Madonna is afraid to make a record for adults. If she did, she’d have to admit to being one.

It isn’t just that most of the songs on MDNA are vapid, Madonna-on-autopilot stuff. Sure, there’s plenty to complain about there: the Catholic confession (“I want so badly to be good”) that opens the album, the conflation of fame and money and love, the same equation of dancing and freedom that she’s been selling us for almost 30 years. “I’m Addicted” likens a lover to ecstasy, as though there’s something revolutionary about comparing a romance to a drug problem.


What’s frustrating is that Madonna doesn’t seem to know what to do with these grown-up feelings she’s having. Instead of discovering a new sound that fits this new phase in her life, she’s constructed MDNA according to the formula she pioneered in the ’80s: a whole lot of floor-pounding dance songs, with a few syrupy ballads drizzled in for variety. Subject matter doesn’t even seem to dictate whether she’s going for a banger or a sobber. “I Don’t Give A” (which features an invigorating Nicki Minaj verse that makes it the best track on the album) is a sort of electronic-percussive “We Didn’t Start the Fire” that includes the lyrics, “You were so mad at me, who’s got custody?”

Moments like these raise the question of who, exactly, Madonna is trying to reach these days. I can’t see an album of club music with Ke$ha-lite/’80s-Madonna-redux lyrics and songs with titles like “Gang Bang” testing particularly well among her peers. At the same time, do 18-year-old kids want to swap sweat on the dance floor to songs about divorce settlements?
madonna  albums  music  celebrity  aging 
april 2012 by rufous
Missing out on Nirvana's Nevermind for 20 years was no great loss | Music | The Guardian
I'd read and enjoyed half a dozen articles on the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind before I realised I'd never actually heard the album. That triggered a mixture of remorse – since I definitely did remember offering strong opinions on it – and a kind of strange relief. It felt good to be reminded that no matter how much I'd heard, there were still generally beloved records I'd never played.

There are records you come to late – very late, in this case – but also records you miss out on through no fault of your own: you weren't born, you weren't old enough. There's a mystique to these: you hear about them through storytelling, and you get to use the album to magic up a time you could never have seen. These imagined contexts can be stronger, stranger and richer than anything in the grooves. At 13, I was enthralled by a coffee table book called Top 100 Albums of All Time – not because I cared about the placings, but because the terse descriptions and glossy sleeve photos conjured a world of far-off adult experience. John Fogarty leaning on his guitar as if it really were an axe, dappled by sunlight on the cover of Green River – I love Creedence Clearwater Revival now, but that picture and the words "swamp rock" made me imagine something far deeper, muddier and more elemental than the actual records.
nirvana  music  albums  guardian  nostalgia 
march 2012 by rufous
The Shins: Port of Morrow | Music | Music Review | The A.V. Club
Mercer has made what amounts to a solo record and needlessly attached it to a band identity that he’s outgrown. He clearly wants to push his music in different directions—and he succeeds at times on Morrow—and yet he’s hamstrung by a name that represents a younger, scrappier, and less mature period in his career. On one level, The Shins is just the moniker Mercer has been making music under, and it’s ultimately up to him to decide what is and isn’t The Shins. But names—and the conscious shifts in aesthetic they signify—matter to Mercer, regardless of whether he admits it. The Shins were deliberately set apart from Flake Music, and Broken Bells from The Shins, even if they all generally sound like the same guy making catchy pop tunes.
Mercer admitted in the wake of Broken Bells that he felt confined by The Shins, and was subsequently liberated working under a new guise free of his audience’s expectations. So it’s odd that he would now return to The Shins, in spite of his apparent lack of interest in revisiting the sound of The Shins. Actually, Morrow does have one song that recalls Mercer’s Oh, Inverted World days: “September” is the sort of charming, softly strummed love song that made The Shins famous, right down to the shimmering guitar line and the spine-tingling backing vocals approximating that late-afternoon-in-the-summertime feeling.
shins  music  albums  review  av_club 
march 2012 by rufous
Susan Boyle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Boyle's debut album, I Dreamed a Dream (2009) remains as the UK best-selling debut album of all time, beating previous record holder, Spirit by Leona Lewis.[10]I Dreamed a Dream is ranked fourth in its first week sales according to the Official Chart Company in the United Kingdom.[10] In her first year of fame, Boyle made a fortune of £5 million with the release of I Dreamed a Dream and its lead off singles, "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Wild Horses".[11] The success was continued with her second album, The Gift (2010), and was followed by Boyle's third album, Someone to Watch Over Me, released on 31 October 2011.[12]
music  albums 
november 2011 by rufous
The King of Limbs Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic
This album can be summarised very simply: Thom Yorke decides he's Kieran Hebden, turns the cutoff up to full on every instrument so that its impossible to hear anything except a vague harmony, and spits angry, half-baked lyrics into the left channel of your earphones. I can barely even hear where the rest of the band come in; this seems essentially to be The Eraser part 2, so if you enjoyed that, then maybe you'll be delighted with this. Bloom is a good song, as is Give Up the Ghost, but unfortunately the texture of the album as a whole is repetitive and suffocating, and one gets the impression that it has not been as carefully produced as their other albums. Considering meticulous production and careful texturing has always been a key strength to the radiohead sound, this is a problem. This sounds almost like a bootleg of a radiohead album stolen from the studio months before the actual release date. If only that were the case.
radiohead  review  albums 
february 2011 by rufous
Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Radiohead: Pablo Honey: Collector's Edition / The Bends: Collector's Edition / OK Computer: Collector's Edition
This is the final word on these records, if for no other reason that the Beatles' September 9 remaster campaign is, arguably, the end of the CD era. That all of those discs are coming out at the same time, rather than being slowly and ceremoniously rolled out as they were 20-odd years ago, is a tacit acknowledgment by the music industry that they best sell non-vinyl physical products now, immediately, before the prospect of doing so is gone. With that in mind, I find it wise that many bands are wisely re-organizing their pasts, or having it done for them by their label.
radiohead  albums  music  cd  pitchfork 
august 2009 by rufous
Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Radiohead: Kid A: Special Collectors Edition
We used to listen to music in an entirely different way. There was once a time when music was organized into 45- to 75-minute chunks-- often a few standout tracks padded with a lot of mediocre filler, but occasionally designed so that the parts built up a larger structure. Used to be, people would sit down and listen to that lengthy piece of music from front to back in one sitting, resisting the urge to jump to their favorite parts or skip over the instrumental interlude that served as grout between two fuller compositions. These antiques were called CDs. Here's a story about the last of its kind.
cd  radiohead  music  pitchfork  reviews  identity  albums 
august 2009 by rufous

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