December 8th, 2008

sideview, obamame_sideview

Great Albums Project

A while back I posted about my long-standing preference for and faith in albums. I got a bunch of "Hear! Hear!" type responses on that, plus satyrblade has recently been posting re albums, so now I'm going to embark on a little mini-review project - all the great albums in my collection! Just little reviews saying why I like them, why they are great -albums-, etc.

To start with, I've grabbed 10 cassettes, just to get those over with, and because there are some albums I only have in cassette format. After this, I'll start going through my CDs...

10 Great Albums

The Who

Who's Next

Aside from the fact of being a bona-fide classic album on a whole lot of top album lists, this is an album that I really like and which to me hasn't aged. I mean, it IS older than I am, but it still sounds pretty darn fresh. Includes both quieter songs ("Behind Blue Eyes") and rock-out numbers ("My Wife") but it all holds together. My fav track is probably "Baba O'Riley," which even if you don't know, you've heard b/c it's been hella over-sampled.


Viva Hate
Your Arsenal
Kill Uncle

I'm not going to review EACH of these because they are all quite similar, early-to-mid-90s Moz albums. Some people can't stand Moz albums and will only listen to the Smiths, but I love the solo albums and have, I believe, all of them, including these three, all of which are great fun. Idiosyncratic of course, a bit whiny, some nasty messages, but gorgeous and creative all the same. A favorite track off each one: 1) Viva Hate: "Everyday Is Like Sunday" (duhhhhhhhhhh!), 2) Your Arsenal: "Seasick, Yet Still Docked", and 3) Kill Uncle: "Sing Your Life."

Nine Inch Nails

Pretty Hate Machine

So seriously, what disaffected youth (or wanna-be such) of the early 90s didn't have a copy of this? OK, true, -I- didn't, but at the time I was obsessed with 60s music mostly. But when I found it a few years later, it struck chords all over the place, like 12-string-guitar-style. Interestingly, NIN's latest album (Year Zero) reminds me a lot of this much earlier one. Take the anthem "Head Like a Hole" and update it and you get the recent "My Violent Heart."



Indeed I am a suck for early U2 albums and this is like their 1st or 2nd. Bono looks like 14 on the cover! Includes stunners like "Gloria" (gotta love power rock w/Latin) and "With a Shout" (which sounds like War).

Echo and the Bunnymen


This is such a good album I almost thought it was a best of, but no, it's just that good. Classic early 80s angsty gothy sort of New Wave grimness. And no Doors covers, thank God, just original awesomeness. Can't decide which track I like best, but favorites are "The Cutter," "Back of Love," "Heads Will Roll," and "Higher Hell." And probably my fav lines (from "The Cutter"): "Will I still recoil | When the skin is lost? | Am I the worthy cross? | Will I still be soiled | When the dirt is off?" Very evocative lyrics.



This obscure but uber-cool fringe concept album is something I came across while interning at Entertainment Weekly the summer of '96. Somehow the label thought it'd get reviewed. As if! The whole thing sounds like 50s/60s lounge music on acid, mixed in with bad B-movie "jungle" movies. It also came with a Sukia comic book, which doesn't seem related. Caleb has that, and the original CD, since the whole album reminded me of him. I have a tape copy.

Men's Recovery Project (Tit Wrench)

Men's Recovery Project

Men's Recovery Project was something cooked up by members of Tit Wrench (my absolute fav band in college / among all time) to be even weirder than the average TW album. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it, despite the fact I put it on to listen just before I started this post. There are songs, some of them using a really bad kiddie synthesizer, there are sound samples, there are tracks done by computer voices or distorted voices, there are running gags, there are some tracks which have multiple versions, and I have no clue what it's about. But it's fantastic! My favorite thing is probably all the supposed answering machine messages made by people wanting somebody to return something. They start out innocuously, like people calling for borrowed tools, but then turn absurb: "If you've borrowed my artificial leg, please return it NOW" and "Just wondering if you've borrowed my lovely inflatable men...?"

Rene Aubry


Beautiful instrumental album copied onto cassette for me by my friend Susy. Rene Aubry is a French composer who, I suspect, has done some film soundtracks. Very cool sound.