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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motrhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 11:45
In My Humble Opinion...it's just an opinion. I don't think you can establish either is better. It's too subjective. Okay, if you really want  to dissect things...I don't have a great voice myself, but I do have so-called "perfect pitch" which is why an evil freaking music teacher made me play trombone in schoolAngry... LOL. I tend to hear every freaking little inaccuracy in what others hear as a flawless performance and it drives friends nuts. (Which is why I have to be careful how much to say when I'm in my brother's studio - I'm too much of a perfectionist and have to learn when to call something good enough).
 I hear a few more inaccuracies in Jeff's phrasing that I generally do in Matt's. So what?Freddy Mercury was often guilty of worse, and Robert Plant was horrendous on that front. I was referring to the quality of Jeff's voice, not the notes he can hit. Yes Jeff sings more comlicated phrases. I don't happen to like that. It's just personal preference.Smile I"m sorry, but it all boils down to personal opinion. 
 You misunderstand about the waving flag thing. 
 Between Muse and Jeff Buckley, I prefer Muse. I thought you were saying you preferred Buckley to Muse. That's all. I wasn't commenting on whether or not you are a Muse fan.
 This is quite ridiculous. Let's drop it, and I'll get back to the review I'm working on. 
 Have a great day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motrhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 11:51
 BTW, the trombone thing in school traumatised me for life. I generally do not like horns any more, unless it's something  really special (like Miles Davis).  All I wanted then was to be a drummer. Now I have a Strat, so I guess it  worked out for the best Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 11:55
Originally posted by motrhead motrhead wrote:

It's just personal preference.Smile I"m sorry, but it all boils down to personal opinion.


I stand by what I said about that and your post proves it. You are referring to what you like to hear in your singing, not the skill of the singer.  Obviously, Jeff's phrasing would at places be more inaccurate because they are often far more complicated. 

 
Quote You misunderstand about the waving flag thing. 
 Between Muse and Jeff Buckley, I prefer Muse. I thought you were saying you preferred Buckley to Muse.


Ok, misunderstood this, sorry. Embarrassed


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motrhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 12:13
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

 
I stand by what I said about that and your post proves it. You are referring to what you like to hear in your singing, not the skill of the singer.  Obviously, Jeff's phrasing would at places be more inaccurate because they are often far more complicated.  


 Okay, I can accept that.. but...look at the simplicity of Paul Rogers phrasing-yet he is often called the best voice in rock. For me complicated doen't necessarily mean better. But again, it's only my opinion.Smile




Edited by motrhead - May 20 2010 at 12:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WalterDigsTunes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 12:14
Originally posted by motrhead motrhead wrote:

Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

 
I stand by what I said about that and your post proves it. You are referring to what you like to hear in your singing, not the skill of the singer.  Obviously, Jeff's phrasing would at places be more inaccurate because they are often far more complicated.  


 Okay, I can accept that.. but...look at the simplicity of Paul Rogers phrasing-yet he is often called the best voice in rock. For me complicated doen't necessarily mean better. But again, it's only my opinion.Smile




Really? I thought the Voice of Rock was Glenn Hughes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motrhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 12:22
 I'm not touching that...LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motrhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 17:39
Matthew Good Band-Underdogs



Underdogs 1997

Matthew Good (vocals, guitar)
Dave Genn (lead guitar/keyboard)
Ian Browne (drums)
Geoff Lloyd (bass) 

Tracklist:
1.Deep Six
2.Everything is Automatic
3.Apparitions
4.My Out of Style is Coming Back
5.Strangest One of All
6.Middle Class Gangsters
7.Rico
8.Prime Time Deliverance
9.The Inescapable Us
10.Indestructible
11.Invasion
12.Look Happy, Its The End of the World
13.Change of Seasons

 The Matthew Good Band was an alternative rock band from Coquitlam,BC,Canada. Formed in 1993, they released their first album in 1995 and eventually released four albums and two EPs before breaking up in 2002. Following their breakup, Matt went solo and has released five albums since then.

 Underdogs is the second album from the MGB, released in1997, and produced three hits; one of which, Apparitions, became the band's biggest hit. Matt is known for writing intelligent and often dark lyrics, usually involving some sort of social commentary beyond the usual teenaged angst lyrics common to the genre, and this album was no exception. Recurring themes are homelessness, the sorry state of Western society, and the evils of corporate greed. Matt is never afraid to tell it like it is, and is currently known as a political activist and blogger as well as a solo artist.
 Musically, MGB are hard alternative rock but aren't afraid to turn it down for a soulful vocal performance, and Matt can sing with the best of them. At times his vocals are reminiscent of Richard Ashcroft or maybe even Jeff Buckley, but easily switch to the hard edged sneer you would expect from a punk band-from snarling to soaring in a word. With the crunchy and melodic guitar playing of Dave Genn (now with 54-40), and the energetic and accurate drumming of Ian Browne, the music stretches beyond the boundaries of hard alternative rock -offering occasional glimpses of quiet yet forceful folk rock on Change of Season,and at other times delivering a louder, punk rock energy (Deep Six, and Look Happy,It's the End Of the World).
 Dave plays grunge guitar on Strangest One of All, and acoustic on Change of Season and The Inescapable Us; while a  slow soulful organ underpins Prime Time Deliverance.
 My personal favourites are: the hit Apparitions; Prime Time Deliverance,The Inescapable Us, Indestructible, and the slower Change of Season...but you won't find a weak track on this album.

RATING:
 I don't feel right giving many albums (other than Wish You Were Here) a 5 rating -to me this one probably deserves it, but I will try to be objective and will settle for 4-3/4 stars out of 5,only because the next MGB album "Beautiful Midnight" may have actually been better!

PROG APPEAL:
 Probably not a whole lot. It's pretty much rock and roll, but the vocals may appeal to those that can  appreciate a vocalist that isn't afraid to sing emotionally (Jeff Buckley fans may approve). These are catchy tunes, and are worth checking out.  











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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote clarke2001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 17:54
This is a great idea! Perhaps we will have less ridiculous prog-related suggestions, and be able to enjoy music because it's, well, good music.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 19:42
Originally posted by motrhead motrhead wrote:

Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

 
I stand by what I said about that and your post proves it. You are referring to what you like to hear in your singing, not the skill of the singer.  Obviously, Jeff's phrasing would at places be more inaccurate because they are often far more complicated.  


 Okay, I can accept that.. but...look at the simplicity of Paul Rogers phrasing-yet he is often called the best voice in rock. For me complicated doen't necessarily mean better. But again, it's only my opinion.Smile




I haven't ever heard Paul Rodgers but as such I don't even want to get into this best voice of rock business. It's very biased and favours only popular - and, usually, American - singers. Daniel Gildenlow never comes up for mention in these circles because he's singing and playing prog metal and is from Sweden. Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motrhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2010 at 23:33
 I'm not quick to pick favourites either, but I do defend the ones I like when someone criticizes them.I can't help myself, it's a psychological flaw, probably related to always cheering for underdogs.Embarrassed
I'm glad to see rogerthat standing up for Buckley. It was just such a discussion a while back that made me go listen to him, and I heard Hallelujah.

 Paul Rogers was the vocalist for Free, Bad Company, and lately Queen, and it was rock writers and magazine fans that picked him as the best voice in rock, not me (and he is English, now residing part time here in Canada). 
 I don't know if I really have a favourite vocalist. I'm more of a fan of really good songwriting plus good emotional vocals-in fact I'll take emotion over a perfect voice most of the time. My favourite vocalists tend to be women -Sinaed O'Connor, Bjork, Johnette Napolitano, KD Lang, Fiona Apple, Feist, Sade, Courtney Love...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2010 at 00:07
Actually I wasn't really trying to defend Jeff, I am just baffled when I hear people saying he's overrated.  Cmon, a few internet idiots overrating Hallelujah doesn't make Jeff the singer overrated, the appreciation he's received so far is grossly disproportionate to his talent.  And I have also not heard who are these people who mourn his death incessantly, maybe I could relate to the Cobain parallel better then because my admiration for Jeff has absolutely nothing to do with his untimely death.

I know all about Rodgers and that he sang for Queen, just never got around to listening to him.  By the way, Jeff was American. LOL I was in fact referring to those rock critics and fans with what I said, not you.  They just browse through the popular bands and pick the best singers from them.  Which is fine, but when somebody suggests an underrated name, they go, "Yeah, right, whatever, LOLZ".  It's that arrogant attitude of the mainstream press and circles that I hate.

I am not as a rule blown away by female singers but Annie Haslam, Karen Carpenter and Minnie Riperton are high up in my favourites.  Among the dudes, Stevie, Jeff, Ronnie James Dio who has recently left our world Cry and Daniel Gildenlow.

By the way, what you said about not finding lot of complicated phrasing to your taste was a good insight. Not that I am of a similar view, but maybe I understood better today why Jeff is underrated.  I am Indian and in our classical music, the singer reigns supreme and becomes a compositional tool rather than just an emotional vehicle to recite the verses so I was completely blown away to see a Western singer try to approach singing in a similar way .  But I guess that's not how Westerners like it. Confused




Edited by rogerthat - May 21 2010 at 00:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motrhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2010 at 01:34
 Yes, there are a lot of unknown and under-rated gems out there. 
 Now that's two votes for Daniel Gildenlow. I have to check him out.
 I may not be typical of Westerners, I don't know. For me, music is a completely emotional experience, not a skills competition, but like you say, there are cultural differences and there is even a difference between North America and Europe. The emotion is why I can enjoy Neil Young's barely capable guitar playing, yet Malmsteen and Vai usually  bore me (and there's another can of worms opened, LOL), and after being bored by Satriani, he really surprised me playing very well with Chickenfoot (and I have to admit that for some reason I like Michael Schenker, despite his often less than emotional playing, but there's just enough). Even with prog, I want emotion with my technically interesting music, which Is why I am such a huge fan of Peter Gabriel. High-speed scales just don't do it for me.
 Speaking of cultural differences, when Rammstein released "Amerika" in the US, they changed the keyboard solo in the middle to a guitar solo so that it would be more palatable for North Americans, since many here dislike the prominent keyboard sound. (Luckily that's not a problem for prog fans, and Muse is changing the minds of young music fans in general over here.) 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2010 at 07:10
Emotions are very very important for me in singing and music as such too (and I love Gabs!).  If you noticed, I used the words "compositional device", not "demonstration of technical skills".  There is a difference between hitting notes simply because you can hit them even when they don't befit the song (*cough* Mariah Carey *cough*) and carefully developing the music through the voice (instead of instruments).  It is a pervasive aspect of Indian classical music and not to be confused with technical w**k, because Indian classical music combines virtuosity with emotion, aesthetic beauty and spirituality (and no, I am not being partisan here! LOL).  Barring Jeff and Annie Haslam (more in live performances), I haven't heard any other Western singer consistently incorporate this in their singing (who am I missing!), so as I realized today, maybe my origins made it much easier for me to perceive the worth of Jeff's singing and what makes it so unique, which may have been alien and possibly cold for Westerners...I don't know, it's all conjecture.    Anyway, my point is yes, I can enjoy a singer who keeps it simple (relatively!) and soulful in the same way I would enjoy blues guitar but if everybody had to sing or play only like that, Holdsworth or McLaughlin could never have moved forward. Virtuosity AND emotion is the ultimate and it should not be as elusive as it is in rock guitar because perfection is supposed to be beautiful and awesome, not cold and self indulgent.

Edited by rogerthat - May 21 2010 at 07:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motrhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2010 at 00:47
NAZARETH-The Fool Circle


-released 1981

Tracks:
1. Dressed To Kill  
2. Another Year  
3. Moonlight Eyes  
4. Pop The Silo  
5. Let Me Be Your Leader  
6. We Are The People  
7. Every Young Man’s Dream  
8. Little Part Of You  
9. Cocaine  
10.Victoria
 bonus cd tracks: 
11.Every Young Man's Dream 
12.Big Boy    
13.Juicy Lucy  
14.Morning Dew


Band Members:
Dan McCafferty - vocals
Manny Charlton - guitars
Pete Agnew - bass guitar, vocals
Darrell Sweet - drums

Additional Musicians:
Jeff Baxter – synthesizer, vocoder
Zal Cleminson – 12 string acoustic guitar on Cocaine
John Locke – keyboards

 Nazareth are a well known hard rock band from Scotland that have been playing together since 1969. They release their first album in 1971, and have released twenty four studio albums to date; plus a bunch more compilations, greatest hits, and live albums. They are easily recognized by the gravely-voiced vocals of Dan McCafferty, and are probably most famous for their song Hair Of the Dog.


 Fool Circle was Nazareth's thirteen release (including 1975's Greatest Hits),and after completely confusing their fans with their previous pop tinged album, Malice in Wonderland,  they further alienated the faithful by producing this intelligent and sophisticated record - the first half of which has the earmarks of a concept album -with intelligible lyrics,melodic keyboard and acoustic guitars  throughout -unlike anything they had ever released before.
 Some of the song lyrics deal with themes of Cold War tensions,fat cats and family values, accidental nuclear war,and the power and evils of the media -with a couple of syrupy love songs tossed into the mix to really confuse things. Moonlight Eyes is a heartfelt love song that deserves to be played at weddings,but who would ever think to look for a love song on a Nazareth album? The capper is an excellent cover version of J.J. Cale's Cocaine, and that would be the only track to get any airplay -being included on many compilation albums to follow.
 If you are familiar with other Nazareth albums like the classic Razamanaz, forget everything you know except for the sound of McCafferty's voice. This one is different,and to my ear, better. I was going to list the standout songs, but it's easier to list the ones that aren't. After looking over the list, I have to say every one of the original LP tracks is very good. The last four tracks are bonus tracks added to the CD, and they shouldn't have been in my opinion. Having owned the original album since shortly after it came out, I find the bonus tracks just don't fit. 
 Sadly, the Nazareth fans didn't really get this album, and everyone else thought it was just another Nazareth album. Thankfully, it was eventually released on CD, and we all have an oportunity to enjoy this rarity.

RATING: I would rate it at least 4-1/2 stars, but I am biased after almost thirty years of frequent listening. This is one of my top twenty or thirty albums.
PROG APPEAL: That's a tough call. I would guess that a couple of the tracks could interest the prog crowd, especially Let Me Be Your Leader. It is a very interesting and intelligent album, and I think it's worth a listen. For a 1980 album from a grungy, knuckle-dragging bunch like Nazareth, it's a real surprise.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 30 2010 at 04:57
About to do something odd here- that is, to review an album that was never actually released in this form. I've created my own version for review. Read on to the review itself for an explanation :)
 
 
The Alchemy Index
by Thrice
16 tracks, 63 mins
 
PROG INTEREST ALERT
 
In 2007 and 2008, alternative rock band Thrice released a series of four EPs, each one containing four songs that, lyrically and sonically, explored each of the four elements. There were flashes of brilliance but attempting to combine all four into one mega-album, I found the weaker songs continually irritating and that the 94 minute length was just too much. More than half the time Thrice were hitting it out of the box, but the times they weren't were enough to drag it down.
So I kicked out the two weakest songs for each element and made my own The Alchemy Index album, with sixteen of the original twenty-four tracks. I think it works really well and is a great listen and really feels like a complete album. If you're already into Thrice, let me know what you think of my playlist, or even get a few tracks off Itunes and see how you feel.
 
Tracklist
 
Fire
1 Firebreather
2 Backdraft
3 Burn The Fleet
4 The Flame Deluge
 
Water
5 Digital Sea
6 Open Water
7 Lost Continent
8 The Whaler
 
Air
9 Broken Lungs
10 The Sky Is Falling
11 Daedalus
12 Silver Wings
 
Earth
13 The Earth Isn't Humming
14 The Lion And The Wolf
15 Come All You Weary
16 Child Of Dust
 
(Note: Each of the final songs in each element is a sonnet set to music from the element's own perspective. The same tune is used for each, but the production/delivery is entirely different. The exception is water- water's sonnet, Kings Upon The Main, plods on and on and I had to cut it for the stronger water songs.)
 
And now, finally, the review!
 
Fire
As you might expect, the fire songs are the most volatile and rocking of the bunch, closest to Thrice's hardcore roots before they began to head in more progressive directions.
Firebreather begins with fire sirens before chunky guitars kick in and Dustin Kensrue's smouldering vocals fill out the sound. The lyric is a little hard to catch, but I believe it is about cremation, a great but unexpected angle to take in a song about fire. Firebreather is perhaps a bit musically simple but it is good fistpumping stuff and the bit where the choiral vocals kick in near the end is fantastic.
Backdraft, one of the more sinister songs Thrice have released, is a literal reference to the movie/phenomenon of Backdraft, where a seemingly out fire is reignited when you open a door and the oxygen comes in. Cleverly, the song makes this a metaphor for a dysfunctional relationship that keeps dying and flaring up destructively. Musically, the quiet, creepy verses (which demonstrate how much Kensrue sounds like Thom Yorke when he sings quietly, despite his loud voice sounding nothing like Yorke at all) explode terrifically into a chorus that feels a bit emotionally unhinged. Much like backdraft itself where the danger seems to have passed and then BOOM!
Burn The Fleet is next, the lyric a speech from a commander telling his soldiers to destroy the ships that took them to the foreign land they intend to conquer- retreat will be impossible so they will fight that much harder. This has happened several times, but apparently Kensrue was thinking specifically of Tariq Ibn Zayid. One of my favourite lyrics on a pretty lyrically impressive album and it is cheesy in just the right way to give it that epic, heroic flavour.
The fire section closes with the first sonnet, The Flame Deluge. WOW. The incredible RAGE and FURY the band unleashes here. It's almost unlistenable in its intensity and I'm sure that's quite intentional, though it does destroy the lyric, though it's fire talking about how ashamed it is of the way humans keep using it for destruction. This is about the closest I can imagine to what it would sound like if a volcano made a rock album.
 
Water
Ghosts of Radiohead again, as Digital Sea begins like it's going to turn into Everything In Its Right Place. However it turns out to be a lot more straightforward than that, a nice, cool piece of chilled electronic pop, which sets the tone for the sound of the water section. Digital Sea uses drowning as a metaphor for how we find ourselves being surrounded in technology which takes our lives over. "I am tangled in nets" etc.
Open Water mines similar territory sonically, though perhaps the tone is a bit more menacing. However, this time we get a big pop payoff in a lush, rich and catchy chorus that rises up like a wave. Lyrically, I think Kensrue is comparing the ocean, mysterious, cruel but the source of life, to god, bringing new meaning to "between the devil and the deep blue sea".
Next is Lost Continent, one of my favourites, corny though the sound and concept may seem to some. A very timely lyric, an obvious Atlantis reference, works as a comment on today's world. Like the Atlanteans, we are blind to the warnings as the water rises, soon to obliterate us all, until today's civilisation is just a legendary myth of a super-society that the descendants of the survivors doubt ever existed at all. I'm not saying I or Kensrue actually believe that will happen, but it's a very rich thought for poetry.
The last water song included is The Whaler, oceans as a metaphor for the divisons between people, the whaler out at sea and seperated from his family for years. An old timey feel is blended with a modern drumbeat for an interesting sound and the vocal parts are quite haunting.
 
Air
The air section is different from all the others in that it doesn't have a set sound. Whereas fire rocked, water was electronic/sleepy and earth will be rootsy and folksy, air (whether a creative accident or to deliberately suggest its capricious nature) is varied. Proceedings begin with Broken Lungs, Thrice's 9/11 song. Some will take exception to the lyric which indicates an American government conspiracy, but then Matt Bellamy's overt statement of the same belief doesn't seem to have hurt Muse's career much. The music for Broken Lungs goes from a quiet, pretty verse to an amped up chorus before a raging conclusion. "We want justice, we want the truth!"
The Sky Is Falling is a more conventional rocker, one of the pacier songs on offer, but the tense production and airy chorus keep it away from the mainstream. Lyrically, I think it's about the Israel/Palestine conflict- Kensrue doesn't take sides, but speaks about how the constant fear that death may fall on you from above eats away at your life.
Daedalus is of course about the legendary inventor and architect and is a retelling of the Icarus myth from his perspective. It is also a highlight of the entire album. Kensrue nails the lyric while guitarist Teppei Teranishi gets it just right, using his instrument to evoke the isolation Daedalus feels at the start, their ascent into the air and Icarus' fatal fall. The part where Daedalus cries "Oh gods why is this happening to me?" often brings a lump to my throat.
Silver Wings feels musically similar to some of the water music with its electronic vibe, but the breezy, whispery production really suits the element, and it is one of the prettier things on offer. Lyrically air wonders that it keeps everyone alive but is so abused by mankind's pollution in return.
 
Earth
To get a more earthy feel, the final segment finds Thrice putting the amplifiers and digital manipulators around, resulting in a more folksy sound. The Earth Isn't Humming is not actually an original, but a cover of a Frodus song. I must confess I have not heard the original and could not find it but I understand Frodus were a punk band so I imagine this is quite different. The bass is very insistent and gives the feel of things inevitably ticking along towards doom- tying into the lyric's concern that the earth is out of balance and the piper will have to payed.
The Lion And The Wolf I don't really get lyrically but I do like the creepy atmosphere the song creates. Nothing else on The Alchemy Index sounds quite like this. Whatever it's about, it's not particularly happy. I think perhaps it is about earthly concerns and animal instincts getting the better of us and leading to personal destruction.
Come All You Weary may appear depressing- it is a message to all the unwanted and downtrodden that when they die, the earth will receive them- but it is done in a very rootsy, raw way so that rather than being gloomy, it is oddly uplifting, a reminder that no matter how bad things are, when you've done all you can, eternal rest awaits you.
The closer, the final sonnet, Child Of Dust, is devestating as the earth, seeming to represent god, speaks of how it gave Eden but it was not enough for man's greedy grasp, who has proceeded to wreck everything around him. "And though I only ever give you love, like every child you've chosen to rebel..." But in the end, in death, man will return to Earth and perhaps his soul to god. At the song's conclusion, the sound goes funny because the microphone was actually placed in a coffin, sealed up and buried while it continued to record.
That was a cool idea, but I wish they'd done the same for all four sections, having a mic consumed in fire while recording remotely, sunk into the ocean in a bubble and perhaps let free into the air on a helium balloon to end each of the other sections.
 
Anyway, what we end up with is a very diverse and lyrically strong set of music that stimulates the brain, provides a bit of rock and pop and really pulls you in which is about the complete package. Yes, I did condense 4 EPs and prune eight songs (some are not so bad, such as the post-rock instrumental Night Diving- only water had an instrumental, perhaps they should've done one for each element- but some are definitely not worthwhile such as the interminably boring A Song For Milly Michaelson) so this is not what Thrice intended to present to its audience, but you know what they say about most double albums making one good album. While this makes one excellent album and I hope you check out the tunes that intrigue you.
Please let me know if anyone gives my imaginary album tracklist a go in its entirety ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 30 2010 at 16:08
Funny how you listen to an album for two years and suddenly get a different interpretation of a song. I just wrote how I think The Sky Is Falling is about Israel/Palestine but I was just listening to the album again and I all of a sudden realised it's actually about Hurricane Katrina, or at least the lyrics make a lot more sense with that interpretation. Ties into the air theme a lot better too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Niv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 12 2010 at 12:26
The Antlers



Hospice is The Antlers' third album, released in 2009. It's a concept album, and the story is about a man who falls in love with a depressed and abusive cancer patient at the hospital he works in. The patient ends up dying beside him, and he is stricken with grief and regret.

The music itself is a beautiful melancholy, packed with raw emotion and sorrow. The main features are the powerful use of piano, Peter Silberman's beautiful echoing voice and the band's soft instrumentation and use of distortion. Hospice is the most emotional album I've ever listened to, and is quickly becoming one of my all time favourites.

1. Prologue - It starts with a haunting piano, and horror movie-ish background noise. Ghostlike whistling leads into the next track.

2. Kettering - (Named after the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre) The background noise is gone, and there is only piano, such solemn, heartwrenching piano, and a soft high voice. All the emotion is spilled out in a depressing minimalistic style. The drums and guitar come in, but the piano is still at the forefront, preaching the sad message. And the song finishes with a lone whispering voice, howling silently into the night.

3. Sylvia - Starting with distorted bleeping background noise, the vocals are as emotional as the previous track, until the introduction of guitar. Everything bursts into life, it briefly turns into a rock song with melody for the chorus then back again to a slowly building verse, before another chorus. It finishes with soft acoustic guitar and an even softer voice.

4. Atrophy - More piano/vocal introduces this song, and slowly, gradually builds up, with a few lightly tapped cymbals adding to the tension. Helicopter blades and bells are introduced before ending with an acoustic/vocal verse.

5. Bear - Piano/vocal theme again, it's incredible how such a simple method can produce such an effect, it's just one of the wonders of good music. The acoustic guitars come in briefly and the vocals pick up, constantly changing the song's tempo and structure, swinging back and forth from minimal emotion and melodic rock, similar to Sylvia.

6. Thirteen - Merging seamlessly from the end of Bear, Thirteen starts with an echoing, ambient sound and moves into an undescribable and grand piece of music.It ends with a high, long drawn voice and slow paced piano

7. Two - Starts with an acoustic/vocal arrangement again, but a more delicate sound, that is until the electric instruments come in. The voice picks up too, with a hint of anger and a few cusses accentuating that. And so it continues through the rest of the song, making this one of the more upbeat songs on the album.

8. Shiva - Shiva starts with piano, but quickly moves to acoustics and has a warmer feel than the previous songs. A glimmer of hope, even. There's some brass in the background, and it finishes as it started with piano and acoustic guitar.

9. Wake - Distortion and a solemn howling set the tone back for the penultimate track, and the first few verses are sad ones. The soft thud of a bass drum starts a slow buildup, the howling all the while casting a bleak yet beautiful portrait. An intermission of piano leads into another verse, and the music builds up, and builds up, and builds up into a chorus of anguish, raw emotion and power. The sound is absolutely massive in scale, and it is a grand force of a song, before it slowly fades into silence.

10. Epilogue - An acoustic/vocal only reprise of Kettering with different lyrics, which ends in a simply haunting distorted piano riff. What better way to finish, then with a chilling rendition of the best song on the album.

Rating: 5 stars. This piece of music impacted me emotionally more than any other music has done, and for the sheer effect, I personally feel it's earned full marks.

Prog Appeal: Although it's a concept album, musically it's not very progressive. Although I don't know much about time signatures, it's got a pretty slow paced tempo. The most noticable feature would be the use of various bells, effects and distortion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2010 at 11:32
This could be a good idea, but scrolling down the post is not easy and there's no possibility to search for a specific artist or album. On the other side, this is PA, so there's no sense in discussing about Bob Marley or Patti Smith here. Should anybody create www.rockarchives.com I'll be happy to join. 
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
My poor home recorded stuff at https://yellingxoanon.bandcamp.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alitare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2010 at 22:21
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Tom Waits

Bone Machine (1992)

An album made by the spirits of everything dead or dying.

Album Rating: 9

Overall Rating: 13

Best Song: It's a complete journey, but for personal reasons, I DON'T WANNA GROW UP.

Tom has channeled most every dark emotion a body can experience, at this point. He's usually tackled tons of varying emotions all in one package, oft times with a bare-bones central theme, such as in Closing Time, or tied together by a coherent atmosphere, like with Small Change, but never before has he so thoroughly, so hauntingly, so f**king sincerely channeled the aura of death and dying than on Bone Machine. Where his singing is normally dirty as hell, and rough like drinking hot ash, here it's almost as if he's taken it to a new level, with a sort of despairing gospel howl. Atmospherically, it's like walking across a desert wasteland, littered with animal bones and decaying husks, all littered about, just barely visible with your eyes.


It's not that he just shoves DEATH in your face as if you have to accept it all, whether you want to, or not. No, he puts the big D right under your nose, so you get the actual urge to look for it, thinking it might be some hidden desert treasure, but when you uncover it, i's just more DEATH, same as everywhere else. Upon uncovering said bone gems, you might let out a frenzied shriek similar to how Tom belts out the chrus to the opening track. It's almost this dreary spoken word piece about all manner of bleak imagery, then from out the bowels of hell he roars with pure anguish. It's creepy, 'cause you can sing along with it.


As usual, he packs the album with loads of shorter songs (barely over two or three minutes, on average), so there are plenty of ideas present. All of 'em got the cold rub of the grave over them, but there's diversity here, dammit. You'll get a few tracks that could have fit snugly on Small Change, such as Who Are You, with the somber and melancholy piano lines bleeding under his weepy moan. The greatest positive element of having all these songs at such short running times is, as usual, to keep the listener from getting bored, because in all honestly, the songs here aren't too complex or varied, but good god, what an atmosphere!


As with most later Tom Waits records, you'll get the melancholy ballad pieces, the pseudo-spoken word poetry beat sessions, the jazzy, gruff rockers, and the big fusion of differing rootsy styles, all drenched in the disturbing percussion that, fitting well with the album's title, sounds exactly like a bone machine. You'll get your religious rebukes, odes to murder, and ghstly images of rot and ruin. Amidst this is a song that instantly hits my heart, and takes me to my emotional knees. I Don't Wanna Grow Up hs to be the most upbeat song here, but for some reason it feels like the most bleak and depressing to me. It feels like the most sincere rejection of the horrors of adulthood, from the eyes of either some poor kid who doesn't want to grow up, or, more even more frighteningly, someone who has already grown up, and reaches into his deepest soul to try and fight back the pain, knowing that it's futile in the end.


The melodies are all haunting. Some are low key, ohers are right visible, but most folks will still have to dig pretty deep to see the beauty of this record, and believe me, it's truly beautiful when you look at the topic like he does. For those of you who think this is all just a little too much darkness, the guy has the decency to include one of his notable "uplifting" tracks, as the finale, which acts as a sort of internal coping method for all the oppressive musical hollows. I happen to think it fits everything, masterfully, and only a guy like Tom could pull it off so convincingly. If this collection lacks anything, it's real rich diversity, and a couple of the linking tracks start too feel a little too much like filler. Still, I've yet to find such a grim depiction of death and decay in music.


*****

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote The Truth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2010 at 22:29
Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited
 
 
A real treasure, this one.  Bob put his valuable (to everyone but himself) folkie reputation on the line by releasing an almost entirely rock album (Desolation Row is obviously still folk).  But wow he created something great and really influenced modern music with it.  Thanks to this lovely album we learned that rock songs could have inquisitive lyrics and that was a major step closer to prog.  But the songs themself all sound raw (a lot of the instruments not properly tuned) and wonderful at the same time.  Bob's nasally voice that others have a hard time agreeing with I immeadiately fell in love with and that was in large part why he is one of my favorite artists ever.
 
Not a good review really but still...
 
5 golden stars StarStarStarStarStar
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