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41. Oceans Apart
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42. The Best Little Secrets Are Kept
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43. This Type Of Thinking Could Do
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44. Our Little Corner of the World:
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45. Odelay
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46. Smile
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47. The Smashing Pumpkins - Greatest
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48. Separation Sunday
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49. Awake Is the New Sleep
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50. The Creek Drank the Cradle
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51. The Band - Greatest Hits
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52. Love in the Time of Science
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53. Futureheads
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54. Woman King
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55. Set Yourself on Fire
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56. Oscillons from the Anti-Sun
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57. Fisherman's Woman
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58. I am a Bird Now
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59. Turn On the Bright Lights
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60. Digital Ash in a Digital Urn

41. Oceans Apart
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Asin: B0007XBMC0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 792
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"Why do people who read Dostoyevsky look like Dostoyevsky?" The Go-Betweens return in good form on Oceans Apart, their third post-reunion disc. Relatively modest next to towering achievements such as Tallulah and 16 Lovers Lane, the disc is a grower, impressive and moving in its glimpses of truly human moments. The sturdy, rootsy backing here allows wry Robert Forster and unaffected Grant McLennan to range across familiar territory while finding new, small delights there. A handful of songs rise to the top, sure to make their places on fans' mix tapes; among them are McLennan's "Boundary Rider" and Forster's "Born to a Family" and "Here Comes a City." Early copies of Oceans Apart contain a bonus disc with live versions of a half dozen Go-Betweens classics. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Go-Betweens strongest post-reunion album yet.
The Go-Betweens were a critics' darling in the 80's, and broke up in 1988, only to get together with all but the original drummer in 2000.Their first two releases since they got together have been solidly above average, but lacking the flair of their previous work.Oceans Apart regains that flair.They just play...amazingly well together as a group, creating a sort of very immersive new-wavey atmosphere that signifies the possibility of getting another Go-Betweens album as good as their last pre-breakup album, '16 Lovers Lane' (Which I highly recommend, by the way).The only problem is...the songwriting sounds very forced at times.The vocals for any given song rarely cover more than half an octave, and they're all grouped together in the same trite, predictable pattern.Luckily, the instrumentation is so immersive that you enjoy the badly written songs regardless.Oceans Apart is among the stronger albums of the year, particularly if you like new-wavey pop/rock.If you liked the other post-reunion albums, Friends of Rachel Worth, and Bright Yellow Bright Orange, you'll probably like this one more.

4-0 out of 5 stars IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
If you're looking for the type of popular music that the citizens of Brisbane, Australia are able to conjur, this is it. Without doubt the Go-Betweens are the sunblessed city's most original and prodigious songwriting exports, and though one might look to Seattle, New York, London or California for the songs that define musical preference, the Go-Betweens take their place among the finest in their field.

When Forster and McLennan made the decision in 1977 to form a rock band, few who knew them then could have imagined their artistic odyssey would still be rattling along so swimmingly 28 years later. Through sheer weight of committment to a collective dream, their journey took them from three song gigs at dance halls in their city of origin to the famous CBGB's in New York, to support engagements with REM then cult appeal in England, Europe and the US. A swag of critically acclaimed albums in the eighties delivered the Go-Betweens a place in the pantheon, but for all the effort they were denied acclaim where it might have mattered most - on the charts. So too was the Beach Boys classic "Pet Sounds" at the time of its release. Get the picture?

It's a situation that's always failed to distract the pair from their vision and we, the fans are more fortunate for it.
They stepped back for a time, delivering a handful of solo albums during the nineties, but they've returned in a big way here, acknowledging the sum of the parts is a more fulfilling route to take.

"Oceans Apart" is the second album produced by the quirky and imaginative creative talents of Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, since they re-united in 2001 for their (in my opinion) best album to date "The Friends of Rachel Worth", and it continues their career-long quest to achieve widespread appeal.

Reviewers agree, with superlatives like "masterpiece" and "triumph" flooding the critical landscape. Again the pair have written five songs apiece with "Here Comes the City" among Forster's best, a tune that rings with the universality of the Go-Betweens best known song "Streets of Our Town".

You buy this album because McLennan and Forster are poets and musicians of unique talent and drive, who create music wholly unaffected by the cult of celebrity, that has seen the contempory landscape littered with talentless and pretty (but rich) stooges. They're still "hungry" and it shows. With "Oceans Apart" they are poised to move beyond the respect and admiration of the peers.Play it once it's good but like any great album, play it a second and third time it might even reduce you to tears. Castles in the South of France beckon, at last.

4-0 out of 5 stars Here Comes a Classic (Sort Of)
The arrival of a new Go-Betweens album is always a hugely exciting event.For what its worth, I agree that this album fits best in the catalog of the Go-Betweens the first time around, more so than the latest two efforts.I'm one of a few, though, who regards Friends of Rachel Worth as one the better albums of the past few year, by anybody.As usual its best to first parse the record into Robert Forster's and Grant McLennan's numbers.RF contributes tracks # 1, 3, 6, 7 and 10.GM chimes in with # 2, 4, 5, 8 and 9.The balance between Forster's edgy and challenging songs and the jangling soft melodies of McLennan are still evident and it works well.RF's eclecticism is evident by a recent interview in which he named Pride and Prejudice, On the Road and Confederacy of Dunces as among his favorite books.Few albums have ever started off with the excitement of the first notes of Here ComesA City, and it manages to extend the headlong rush most of its 3:25.It deserves to become a major single and live show favorite, and has already been heard here in the US on satellite radio channels.It sounds like a train rushing headlong in the night through the outskirts of a city, which is what it purports to describe, prettied up with a killer, unforgettable guitar riff.The only downers in the song are that it could be longer and that it fades out with a whimper rather than a bang.I hope at some point we see an extended version of what is an instant classic and right up there with the best GB songs of all time.Another RF beauty is Darlinghurst Nights, which evokes all the pain and joy of the memory of leaving home and going to a strange new town."And always the traffic, always the lights, climbing that hill star studded nights" evoke dead on memories of Sydney Eastern suburb nights.The Mountains Near Delray is a dirge and is my least favorite while Born to a Family evokes too many memories of other similar Forster melodies.But Lavender is another strong combo of melody and lyric, showing off Robert's great sense of humor.Grants songs are a mixed bag but Boundary Rider (the only song recorded in Brisbane, not London) is great (also too bloody short!) and could also be a great single.This Night's For You - while not exactly as kick ass as Neil Young's This Notes For You - is riveting when played loud.So this album was well worth the wait and like greeting an old friend, even if it hasn't pushed the boundaries too much.The huge and deserved buzz for Here Comes a City should guarantee some airplay for the album in Oz and abroad.The extra disc with six live songs is a nice but not essential bonus from a band who doesn't have much published live material (prior to the re-release of the older albums anyway ....).

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh . . . My . . . God!
I have been a huge fan of the Go-Betweens' '80s stuff since, well, the late '80s. But I drifted away from Forster and McLennan during the '90s, not paying too much attention to their uneven solo careers, and when the first reunion album came along, I didn't even check it out, though I did go see them live.

But I recently picked up the second reunion album, since I'd heard so many raves about it. It was good, but still not up there with their very best. And so now this new album. I must admit, the hype (MOJO rated it a "MOJO Instant Classic") lured me in, and I made sure I got a copy the day it came out. Listened to it three times in a row, and boy am I hooked. Forster is in rare form, and while the jury is still sort of out on McLennan (where is that melodic genius that displayed in the '80s and lost in the '90s?), as a whole the album is up there with their best. I need to give it a bit more time so that the McLennan songs sink in better, but I'm thrilled to have a record this challenging and engaging at this point in their career.

And I haven't even gotten to the bonus live disc yet! ... Read more

42. The Best Little Secrets Are Kept
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Asin: B0007QS4TQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1251
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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For a hip, modern boy, Louis XIV's Jason Hill has plenty of old school rock star attitude. On his San Diego trio's debut album he declares himself a "weapon of mass destruction" and then backs it up with salacious come-ons meant to offend as they intrigue ("I know you want a strangle / Or a mouthful of gasoline / Or to be tied up and stoned"). Lyrical allusions to T. Rex and the Kinks tell only part of Louis XIV's actual musical journey. Hill may fancy Marc Bolan and Ray Davies as elegant dandies, and occasionally borrow their lightweight shuffles to great effect. However, his own proper terrain is the thorny inquisition of the Fall's Mark E. Smith. Here, his band throttles in kind, motoring a cantankerous rhythm section that's every bit as vicious as fellow modern day malcontents the Libertines or White Stripes.--Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kick ass record.
Everyone by now has heard "True Love is Blind."I saw the xxx video for Paper Doll with models from Suicide Girls and I was immediately hooked.You can find it on the net if you haven't seen it.

This is the best beginning to end album I've heard for a while.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a Great Modern Rock Band
Good rock bands today are few and far between.A genre which used to be filled to the brim with excellent bands during the 60's and 70's has since fallen in the hands whiney, boring, and untalented bands such as Good Charolette and Blink 182, and has for the most part driven me to listen to underground and obscure bands just in order to listen to something I find good.But a select few bands, Jet, The Darkness, Velvet Revolver, and my new favorite band (and the band in question here), Louis XIV are coming out now and delivering rock and roll the way it was meant to be to the masses.

Louis XIV do one major thing that I think is so wrong with the music industry today - they have fun.So many bands today are Kurt Cobain-worshiping, depressed, carbon copies of each other who have no personality or desire to have fun, its all seriousness for them.However, you can tell that Louis XIV truly are having a good time making their music.They're lyrics are about what actually good rock lyrics are about - girls, girls, girls.Not death or depression, but girls.What a concept, huh Slipknot?

The other thing that I think is missing in today's music is solos.And if you want to listen to those, I think that you would be better off listening to Velvet Revolver, or especially the Darkness.But Louis XIV have got their fair share of them, even if they aren't as long or as intricate as I would like them to be.

The bottom line is, if you like actually good, fun music and not the dark, depressed music that there's so much abundance in today, definitely pick this one up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rock LIVES ON!
I saw a video for "Finding Out True Love Is Blind", and
was HOOKED immediately. I bought the disc THAT DAY!
I don't do that often. Louis XIV takes me back to the GREAT DAYS of ROCK whenRock music was ROUGH, and very RAW. Back before Disney created bands, and RoCK became COMMERCIAL.
I'm a White Stripes fan too, but this is the first disc I've bought in awhile where EVERY song sounded GREAT. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars The lost White Stripes debut album?????
Well Im gonna share this little secret:BUY THIS ALBUM!!!!!You won't be disappointed.You want hooks?"Finding Out...", "Letter...", "Pledge Of Allegiance"You want sarcastic so-great-thought-it-was-White-Stripes sound? "Paper Dolls", "God Save Queen", "Illegal Tender"And for that must haveballad?The melancholy "Little Pieces" sounds like it was written by Robert Plant in a foggy daze in the 60's. Don't keep this a secret!!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Makes Mommy Wanna Rock
Okay, so I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 3 years, and have been guilty of not keeping up too much on the current music scene. I mean, I USED to rock hard, but not lately. This band makes me turn it up loud, even with the baby in the backseat.Sexed-up, funny, rockin', decadent...Bowie, T. Rex, the Sweet, etc. etc.Those are the obvious influences, but boy, does it sound fresh to these ears, bored to livin' death with all the stupid, whiny stuff on the air these days.

And, for the record, I happened to love the silly mock-Brit accents. "Sing me a song, and bang me like the girls in Hong Kong."Oh yeah, baby. ... Read more

43. This Type Of Thinking Could Do Us In
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Asin: B0002X8J3A
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 272
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars after one month
I feel you cant really judge an album to you have listened to it for at least a month so that is why im writing the review for this album over again. Some songs which i thought were just ok i think are great now and others still seem a little on the weak side. I have listed the songs again with a new rating for each one after a month of listening.<br /> 1.the clincher:9.5/10<br /> 2.get some:10/10<br /> 3.vitamin R:10/10<br /> 4.still running:9/10<br /> 5.breach birth:8.5/10<br /> 6.panic prone:8/10<br /> 7.another know it all:8.5/10<br /> 8.tug-o-war:7.5/10<br /> return:7/10<br /> 10.emotional drought:7/10<br /> 11.bend the bracket:5/10<br /> In my opinion the cd does real well during the first 1-7 songs but after that on 8-11 it just didn't seem to have as much energy and creativeness to it. I often find my self turning off the cd player at track #7 in fear of losing my taste of the cd. But i will say even thought the last tracks are downhill i still feel the first ones are so good that if you dont get this cd you are not a true rocker. <br />

4-0 out of 5 stars good but not great
Well Chevelle is back for another one after Point#1 and Wonder whats next. The previous 2 albums had more solid based songs with catchy choruses, this one is based more on the music than on how the lyrics fit in the songs. Even though lyrics are creative they never really fit into the songs that well. The guiter riffs are awsome once again but the only problem is that the words in the lyrics are repeated too many times and many of them feel too stretched and in the wrong place as if they were a filler. Never the less Chevelle brings another amazing cd to the selves possibly even heavier then Wonder whats next. The songs keep you on the edge of your seat even if they tend to drag on for a while. I have rated the songs to show what i think of them 1.The Clincher:9/10:gives you a sense of the Family System,it starts a little slow but brings a nice finish by the end and displays a new touch of rock from them 2.Get Some:9/10:creepy but cool starting, reminds me of Dont Fake This which is a great song, has interesting break in the middle that has just enough flow to keep it apart of the song 3.Vitamin R:10/10:what can i say this song blew me away, it's a perfect example of a song well done and thought out, i think the rhythm fits it so well it makes it Chevelle's best song 4.Still Running:8/10:didnt need the starting message it just draws away from the song, the song is pretty good overall but seems just like another B class song 5.Breach Birth:9/10:nice beginning gives you momentum to keep interested in whats up next, catchy chorus but is repeated a little to much as if they ran out of lyrics to say 6.Panic Prone:8/10:smells like a follow up to Send The Pain Below except it never really goes anywhere making it half slow and half tempting song trying to amount to something that it cant 7.Another Know It All:8/10:has a nice rock beat to head bang to even though it seems a little dull at times it still has some rage in it 8.Tug-O-War:9/10:the first intro is a little weak but the rest of the song displays a good range of music swings that make you want to listen on 9.To Return:9/10:just listening to the beginning gives you a sense of something good is coming, this is another good example of a song that has a good sense of lyrics that fit well in the song, even though the intermission in the middle of the song is a little off the song is still a fine example of Chevelle 10.Emotional Drought:8/10:once again a nice chorus, if only the song could stay in tacked instead of wondering too far off from it self, besides getting to detoured at the end its perfect and it should do well on the cd 11.Bend The Bracket:2/10:i have no idea what happened here i guess they ran out of fillers and just put an extra track from the messing around files in here, this song sounds like a follow up to One Loney Vister but it has no real structure and and the music rhythm doesnt even go with the lyrics Even though this album slightly disappointed me i highly suggest you buy it, it has plenty of rock on it to keep you listening for hours. ... Read more

44. Our Little Corner of the World: Music From Gilmore Girls
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Asin: B00006JIBS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 765
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Television Soundtrack..
Out of all the other television soundtracks that I have and that I've listened to, I think this one is one of the best ones. In a few other soundtracks, I maybe listen to about 5 songs and that's it. "Our little corner of the World" music from Gilmore Girls, has great songs. It has punk, it has a bit of rock and a bit of everything, especially the theme song sung by Carole King and her daughter Louise Goffin. Excellent!! I recommend every music lover buying this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome To The Gilmore's World
The Gilmore Girls is a great television program on the WB about a mother, Lorelei, who is from a well-to-do family, got pregnant at sixteen, left home to raise her daughter Rory alone. Now Rory is sixteen and Lorelei and her are best friends. They live in the quirky Connecticut town of Stars Hollow that is full of strange, but lovable townsfolk. The show is full of witty dialogue and has a hip sense of music. The soundtrack to the program shows off its eclectic musical tastes. Carole King originally recorded "Where You Lead" on her Tapestry album and the show uses an updated version she recorded with her daughter Louise Goffin as its theme song. Grant Lee Phillips plays a troubadour on the show who plays musical interludes throughout episodes and he contributes the strong "Smile". Sam Phillips does not appear on the show, but her music is a strong part of each episode and the little snippets of her simple la-la-la cues are sprinkled throughout the album. Another strong aspect of the album is that while it has many well-known artists like John Lennon, XTC, Big Star and Joey Ramone, it doesn't pick obvious songs from their catalogues, but lesser known gems. Mr. Lennon's "Oh My Love" is a beautiful and tender song, XTC's "I'm The Man Who Murdered Love" perfectly encapsulates Lorelei's love life. Big Star's "Thirteen" is a sweet acoustic number and Joey Ramone rips through a thrashing version of the standard "What A Wonderful World". The Free Design's "I Found Love" is a quirky pop tune from the early 70's and The Shin's "Know Your Onion" is a quirky pop tune from 2001. Other standout tracks include Ash's rocking "Girl From Mars", PJ Harvey's "One Line" and Yo Lo Tengo's "My Little Corner Of The World".

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Music for this "Corner"
I admit to being a male Gilmore Girls fan. I cannot get enough of it. When I noticed this soundtrack I bought it immediately. The songs are great; they are from various eras in time and various styles of music are featured. My fave songs are What A Wonderful World, Oh My Love, Where You Lead and Girl From Mars. If you're a fan, this is a MUST!!

5-0 out of 5 stars i found love!
i've always loved gilmore girls, as a teenaged bookworm, quirk appreciator, & music obsessee, it couldn't have been more right up my alley. it's one of the funniest, smartest, strangest, pop-culture packed sitcoms around. amy sherman and daniel palladino really do love music, and it shows. this soundtrack hosts a great array of interesting songs! there is no absolutely no filler on this cd. it all meshes well together to make a strange, indiepop day in the sun. le sigh! buy the cd, spread the love.

5-0 out of 5 stars Permanently in my stereo
This CD is hands down the best CD ever. I am a huge music fan, being a singer and I think that Amy Sherman - Palladino and Sam Phillips did a great job on this compilation based on Gilmore Girls (my favorite show). Even if you don't like the show, it's a great CD to buy to explore music you don't hear on Top 40. It turned me unto so many great artists and bands like Sam Phillips and Grant Lee Buffalo. Buy it! ... Read more

45. Odelay
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Asin: B000003TBP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4333
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Beck brags here that he's "got two turntables and a microphone." He also has a sweeping aesthetic that sees no reason why musical allusions to hip-hop, the Beatles, James Brown, punk, Gram Parsons, cool jazz, and Dylan can't coexist in the same song. Throughout, he rap-sings with sincere irony--I bet he laughs at the sight of a jump-suited Elvis, then cries when the King starts to sing--and Odelay's rich collage of sound may very well prove a prediction of the future. If he ever finds the courage to can the loopy metaphors and just tell a story, he could take over the world. --David Cantwell ... Read more

Reviews (144)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the jewels of '96!
1996 was one of the best years in popular music ever. The Smashing Pumpkins' absolute MASTERPIECE "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" was reaching it's peak. Everclear's "Sparkle and Fade" amazed everybody (even though it's follow-up was even BETTER). Of Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Hot" was realeased, a breath of fresh air in a world of synth-techno crap and cheesy Bush and Nirvana rip-offs. Then, of course, there was Beck's "Odelay". I didn't think it could get any better (or funnier) than "Mellow Gold", but it did! This is about 50 years worth of popular (and unpopular) music and street culture crammed onto one disc. Distorted, noise-drenched punk-rock guitars, funky breakbeats and dusty turntable scratching, steel guitars, banjos, ray-gun synthesizers, jazzy bass, assorted percussion, vintage 60s pump organs, pounding drums, nonsensical, often funny lyrics ("you can't lose in your razor blade shoes"), and the strangest samples you've ever heard (who's sampled Mr. Cool and Haydn all in the same song?) are all on this CD, just to name a few. You can breakdance, mosh, swing, or even just relax with this album. It's the ultimate party record.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bizarre and magnificent
When most people write about Beck they usually know exactly where to start - his diversity. Generally regarded as Beck's best experimental album before his latest, more serious record Sea Change, as well as a general classic of the 90's. And I don't mean experimental in an inaccessible way. Everything here is accessible to the average listener and gloriously bizarre and interesting. Odelay stands as a melting pot of different genres. From the edgy opening track Devil's Haircut to the soul of Hot Wax to country on Sissyneck and rap on Where It's At, Beck defies all attempts to pigeonhole him as anything but different.

Although the album is highly consistent, there are several stand-out tracks, though these will probably depend on your faovured genres of music. The New Pollution is too eclectic to be put into words, the gentle Jackass is brilliant - ending in a donkey's bray - and of course Devil's Haircut and Hot Wax are true classics. Sampling other songs Beck eschews a variety of pop culture references so that Odelay often seems like he's taking you on a journey of pop culture of the last few decades musically. The real credit though is that all of the songs here merge so well and Beck never comes across as being pretentious or arty. What he's produced here is amazingly original and something that no artist, not even him, has really been able to rival. It showcases Beck's diversity better than the previous Mellow Gold or the later Mutations and occassionally misguided but still fantastic Midnite Vultures. With Beck set to take a more serious note - his lyrics here are often indecipherable or just plain silly - given his last album Sea Change, it's well worth taking a chance to listen to his other masterpiece. Indeed, when seen alongside the intelligent lyrics and mastery shown on Sea Change, Beck's diversity on Odelay seems even more impressive. This is an artist that feels free to flow free with his musical moods, sometimes even within the same songs, and Odelay is Beck at his pinnacle.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Came Here to Tell You About the Rhythms of the Universe...
...and tell us, Beck does, in this sublime mix of hip hop, alternative, country, jazz, rock and pop, with even a Beatle-ish Sgt. Pepper homage tacked to the very end.

Critics of Odelay accuse Beck of being overly indulgent and WAY-overly derivative, but isn't that the whole point of the CD? Beck has stolen the key to Fun Factory and is determined to play with every toy in the building before security throws him out.

Over 13 tracks, Beck (with a big assist from the Dust Brothers) treats us to a music mixer's wet dream, from the chronically hook-y ("Devils Haircut," "The New Pollution," "Where It's At") to the startlingly touching ("Jack-Ass," "Ramshackle") to the just plain silly ("Sissyneck").

Odelay holds its place as one of the essential CD's of the 90's. Years later it still continues to entertain and excite. This is a joyous celebration of music, period . . . and Beck's best album by far.

2-0 out of 5 stars blech
This album is overrated. I put it on, and the first impression I got was that Beck really wanted to make a "cool" album.. and he and his producer thought that in order to do this, the songs shouldn't make any sense, there should be few melodies, and the production should be wacky and aloof. It sounds like it's trying way too hard, and I couldn't enjoy any of it.

3-0 out of 5 stars So Much Was Made of So Little
Is this album, called groundbreaking and classic when it was released, going to matter to anyone in 10 years? Of course not.

ODELAY was embraced at a time when American culture was drenched in irony and pop-culture regurgitation. Not surprisingly, the ironic-nostalgia fad ran SO deep that no one stopped to think about how the music would age once the retro-waves it was riding crashed on the sand...hence the blind worship of this record.

Beck also benefited from the bizarre notion that "blending styles" was an inherently noble act. Didn't matter if the styles were blended clumsily. It was all about the musical blender, man. Basically, it was multi-culturalism dogma creeping into the music scene, and the results weren't pretty.

Once rocks fans clear their heads of all the bad irony and musical crossbreeding forced on them in the past ten years, ODELAY's status is going to take a serious tumble.

That said, the record isn't all bad. "Jack-Ass" is a timeless tune, "Derelict" is damn catchy, and "Novocane" is a nice jolt of adrenaline. Otherwise though, there are a lot of forgettable moments on ODELAY, which precludes it from being deemed a masterpiece. ... Read more

46. Smile
list price: $19.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0002LI11M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 38
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The Greatest Album That Never Was finally is. The Beach Boys' uncompleted 1967 album Smile has remained the elusive touchstone of Brian Wilson's brilliant, star-crossed career for decades. Artistic Holy Grail and troubling professional Waterloo for Wilson, a tantalizing prism of unfulfilled promise to his loyal cadre of fans, its story has become pop music's Rashomon. Finally completed via spring 2004 recordings with his stellar, longtime touring band (none of the original '60s sessions were used, though they've been recreated here with often stunning authenticity), it's arguably as alien to contemporary pop as it might have seemed in its intended '67 context--even to ears freshly primed by the glories of Pet Sounds.

Collaborator Van Dyke Parks's impressionistic, often mischievous lyrics conjure a collage of arcane 19th century Americana that's equal parts artful ellipse and aloof nostalgia. But wed to Wilson's innovative composition and recording techniques (echoing beat author William Burroughs's fabled cut 'n' paste methodology and exemplified by the modular "Good Vibrations"), the resulting semisuite confections challenge the boundaries of both song and album form, but with an insouciant charm that's as different from Pet Sounds as that landmark was from "I Get Around." Turns out those hypothetical comparisons to Sgt. Pepper's weren't so far off the mark. --Jerry McCulley

Smiling with Brian Music Editor Peter Hilgendorf called Brian Wilson to congratulate him on the release of Smile, and to talk about the recording and some of the history behind this highly anticipated release. Listen now.

Catch Up with Brian Wilson and the Legend of Smile:
Here are a few lists to help unravel the stories and sounds of Smile.

  • Essential Brian Wilson CDs
  • Essential Brian Wilson DVDs
  • Essential Brian Wilson books
... Read more

47. The Smashing Pumpkins - Greatest Hits
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B00005RGFU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 993
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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The Smashing Pumpkins' greatest-hits album, Rotten Apples, tracesthe band's evolution (or devolution, depending on your feelings about the band'sradical sonic shift in the mid-'90s) from its early days to its status among thekings of alt rock. For fans of the Pumpkins' beginnings as a tripped-outindie/art rock act, Apples opens with some of the band's strongestmaterial. "Siva" and "Rhinoceros" (from Gish, the Pumpkin's first--andarguably best--album) seamlessly mixed dream pop with noisy goth-rock as primeexamples of the Pumpkins' early '90s sound. Apples also showcases threestellar tracks ("Cherub Rock," "Today," and "Disarm") from Siamese Dream, the Pumpkins'breakout album. This disc makes the band's mid-'90s directional swing obvious,though, starting with "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," the aggressive alt rock/altmetal concoction released on Mellon Collie and the InfiniteSadness. Fans of songs like "Zero," "Tonight, Tonight," and "TheEverlasting Gaze" will be happy to know that pretty much every cage-rattling hitmade it to this disc, along with the previously unreleased dream pop track "RealLove" and an untitled new track (that sounds a lot like the SiameseDream-era Pumpkins) to round out the mix.--Jennifer Maerz ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Smashing CD
I was more than happy when the Smashing Pumpkins came out with a greatest hits record. The CD "Rotten Apples" comes complete with all of the classic Pumpkins songs from over the years.

From their first CD "Gish", you have the songs Siva and Rhinoceros.
From "Siamese Dream", you've got Cherub Rock, Today, and Disarm.
From the disc of B-Sides, "Pisces Iscariot", there is the cover of the Fleetwood Mac song, Landslide.
From "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness", there is Bullet with Butterfly Wings, Tonight Tonight, 1979, and Zero.
From "Adore", you have Ava Adore and Perfect.
From "Machina/The Machines of God", there is The Everlasting Gaze and Stand Inside your Love
And two songs not released on Pumpkins CD's in the past but put on other soundtrack albums are Drown and Eye.

Some other bright spots are the two previously unreleased tracks that close the album, Real Love and Untitled. Real Love sounds much like the version put on the Machina II album, and internet release that many fans never got to hear. Untitled is a very strong track and a good closing track that has the radio-friendly sound the band masters at.

If you were lucky to get the Bonus CD of rarities and b-sides also known as Judas-O with your Rotten Apples disc, you will most definately enjoy the over 15 previously unreleased songs, that is just as good as the greatest hits disc and is sure to be a hit itself.

The Smashing Pumpkins have come a long way since their first album, and you can listen to the growth and change in sound over the years throughout this disc. It is well worth the money and even if you're not a Pumpkins fan yet or are thinking of giving them a listen, go with this CD, it is sure to be a favorite in your collection for years to come.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection but not their best album.
This is great if you want Disarm and Bullet With Butterfly Wings on one cd but I think Mellon Collie is still the best album to buy as your first Pumpkins album.Mellon Collie is a little pricey but worth it cause there are 2 cds.

4-0 out of 5 stars Still A Great Collection, But An Incomplete Collection.
First of all, I've got to tell you that I am a huge Pumpkins fan. I think The Smashing Pumpkins have been one of the greatest influences on rock 'n' roll. If you want to get to know who The Smashing Pumpkins are and the beautiful music they created together, then this is a great album for you. My only complaint is that, as a Pumpkins fan, I believe that this is a bit incomplete. This is my revised track list:

Disc 1:1991 - 1996
1.) I am one (from the album Gish)

2.) Siva (from the album Gish)

3.) Rhinocerous(from the album Gish)

4.) Drown (from the soundtrack album Singles)

5.) Cherub Rock (from the album Siamese Dream)

6.) Disarm (from the album Siamese Dream)

7.) Today (from the album Siamese Dream)

8.) Rocket (from the album Siamese Dream)

9.) Lanslide (from the b-side complication album Pisces Iscrairiot. Fleetwood Mac cover)

10.) Bullet With Butterfly Wings(from the album MCIS)

11.) 1979 (from the album MCIS)

12.) Zero (from the album MCIS)

13.) Tonight, Tonight (from the album MCIS)

14.) Tonight(reprise.acoustic.From the box set The Aeroplane Flies High))

15.) Thirty - Three(from the album MCIS)

16.) Here Is No Why(from the album MCIS)

17.) Cupid De Locke(from the album MCIS)

18.) Galapogos(from the album MCIS)

Disc 2:1997 - 2000
1.) You're All I've Got Tonight(A Cars cover.From the box set The Aeroplane Flies High)

2.) Clones(we're all. Alice Cooper cover.From the box set The Aeroplane Flies High)

3.) The End Is The Beggining, Is The End(from the soundtrack album Batman and Robin)

4.) The Beggining Is The End, Is The Beggining(from the soundtrack album Batman and Robin)

5.) To Sheila(from the album Adore)

6.) Ava Adore(from the album Adore)

7.) Perfect(from the album Adore)

8.) Eye(from a soundtrack album.Sorry, don't know title of album)

9.) The Everlasting Gaze(from the album MACHINA/the Machines of God)

10.) Raindrops + Sunshowers(from the album MACHINA/the Machines of God)

11.) Stand Inside Your Love(from the album MACHINA/the machines of God)

12.) Try, Try, Try(from the album MACHINA/the machines of God)

13.) Real Love(previously unreleased)

14.) Untitled(previously unreleased)

That is, as a fan, I think the track list should be. Some fans may diagree. I recommend this album for any Pumpkin fan. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars No Mayonnaise, Rockets and Thirty-Three
Great CD for SP hardcore fans. Little disappoint that there's no song like Mayonnaise, Rockets, and thirty-three

5-0 out of 5 stars All the Pumpkins best songs can be found here...
This is a great collection of the Smashing Pumpkins work. It has some great early songs such as "Siva" and "Rhinoceros" (both off their debut CD Gish) and a few off their best CD Siamese Dream. "Cherub Rock" and "Disarm" are my favorites off that one. "Landslide" is a neat cover of an old Fleetwood Mac tune and that originally appeared on their B-sides collection. You also get 4 songs off their double album Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness, "Tonight Tonight" is my favorite from that bunch. Their later stuff is pretty good too. Definately worth checking out... ... Read more

48. Separation Sunday
list price: $13.99
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Asin: B0008KLW2C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 831
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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It's only natural that the Hold Steady singer Craig Finn receives all the attention. After all, he's the one with the big mouth. And while his odd and humorous rants are essentially compelling, they wouldn't be half as engrossing if his backing group, especially fellow ex-Minnesotan and Lifter Puller guitarist Tad Kubler, didn't smack up such a glorious din, scabrous punk rock swagger dolled up with classic hard rock power chords. "Separation Sunday" is the NYC-based group's second album and it's every bit as sassy and city wise as their 2004 debut "Almost Killed Me." Finn doesn't know the meaning of the phrase 'hold your tongue' and rudely shouts down the opposition on a number of romantic and religious matters, underscoring his contempt with touching moments of true pathos. Finn's surrounded by self-mutilators, abused lovers and deluded characters desperately chasing faith. It's a good thing he has such a crack band to keep them all in check. -- Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Poppers, Pills and Pepsi
There is a danger in retracing the same themes over and over again.From those who don't "get it", you'll hear that many of the songs sound somewhat the same (is there any reason why 10 songs by the same band on the same CD SHOULDN'T sound the same???).And this is true: even the same characters appear on both "Almost Killed Me" and "Separation Sunday".But that is the crux of the allure that makes up The Hold Steady.Craig Finn inhabits---in his head or in real life, I can't say---a world of snotty rave kids, easy drugs, hard love and crushing disappointment.But for those of grinding out a boring 9 to 5 existence, a glipse into Finn's street life is an escape.In it you'll find the mysterious Charlemegne hiding something in her sweatpants and you'll hear how Ybor City really knows how to party.To really get the full effect though, you need to see this band live.I caught them in April 2004 opening up for Greg Dulli's newest outfit, The Twilight Singers.Two friends and I strolled into a Brooklyn Polish club and were stunned and slackjawed watching Craig Finn sneer and spit his way through "Certain Songs", "The Swish" and "Knuckles".We weren't quite sure what the heck he was doing up there, but it was fun, entertaining and absolutely engrossing.Buy the CD---find out for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars At the risk of sound cliche-ish...'s what you'll find on this record...crunchy, buzzing guitars...thrilling keyboard fills...taut, precise drumming...melodies you'll be humming for days...words, words, and more words...all tucked into a tidy 42 minutes and change.

All this and Craig Finn too.


Still not sure?

Okay, it's 1978 and Bob Geldof has written a rock opera, sets it aside and forgets about it.

It's 2005 and he's rediscovered it and recorded it with The Boomtown Rats.

And it's called SEPARATION SUNDAY.

Forgive me Hold Steady, but that's the way I hear this and that's a VERY good thing.

You guys rock. Don't stop.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't judge after one listen...................
Having not heard their first release, I was a little put off at first with the narritive, boozy, lyrics.But as I got into the meat of the album they began to wear on me and now after a couple of full listens, they are infectious.It reminds me of what Thin Lizzy would sound like if they were fronted by Bruce Springsteen after having downed a six pack.The guitar hooks and hammond organ licks fill in perfectly behind the narritive lyrics.Don't expect any choruses here, and that's specifically part of the charm. ... Read more

49. Awake Is the New Sleep
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B00078GIAQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 702
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Ben Lee has been a mainstay on alternative rock airwaves; it’s hard to believe the Australian singer/songwriter is still only 26. For album number six he comes full circle on a decade of recordings, working with producer Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins) who spearheaded the sound of Lee’s debut record Grandpaw Would in 1995. Awake… follows a comparable blueprint of 2002’s Hey You Yes You: uncomplicated, unassuming, no-gloss pop songs. But there is evidence of a newfangled wisdom in Lee and his sketches of songwriting dexterity, which include the distinctive pop-rocker ("Catch My Disease"), the persuasive ballad ("Get Gotten"), the adoring folk number ("The Debt Collectors") and an indulgently experimental nine-and-a-half minute opus ("Light"). Code one could be the riff-fully sanguine opener ("Whatever It Is") in which the author proposes we chase our instincts, then verifies on the ensuing 13 songs that he does just that. "They might tell you that you shouldn’t," sings Lee, "But do it. Whatever it is." --Scott Holter ... Read more

Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars In response to Human "Master Critic"
After reading your review of Ben Lee's `Awake is the New Sleep', I was so taken aback by its stupidity and short-sightedness that I had to write a response.
I don't think it is valid to criticize music purely on the grounds that it doesn't conform to "certain rules of songwriting and music in general that must be obeyed".Should we be calling the police?
For your information HMC, good music ignores what it popular, what it expected and what is safe.Luminaries from Mozart to The Beatles to Eminem defied expectations on what music should be and as a result, changed the face of music for the better.
If we don't have artists who break these "rules", either by trying to fit five words where only four will fit or using non-scale notes and chords or fusing discordant styles of music, nothing changes and as a result music becomes stale.
Don't criticize an artist for trying something different, for trying to be individual.
And what's all this about non-western scales sounding strange to our ears?How is this relevant?
"Hmm, I was thinking of buying the new Ben Lee CD but after reading all this about non-tonal pentacostic scales, I think I'll buy something by an accomplished artist".Please.This seems to me as someone may have taken a music course at community college and wants to show off.
Awake is the New Sleep is a solid pop-rock album that is evidence of a songwriter not scared to wear his heart on his sleeve.It is sure to please Lee's solid fanbase.For new listeners, it won't change your life but it does have its moments.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Surprise
I hadn't heard of Ben Lee until I saw a review for Awake Is the New Sleep in a magazine, and I gave it a listen on my Napster to Go account. It's a catchy, captivating album with some great songs (Whatever It Is, We're All In This Together, Begin, Catch My Disease).

I'm a big David Gray fan, and this reminds me a little of his style. Not his sound, but his style.

I'll have to hear some of his other stuff before I determine whether this measures up to it or if he's "trying too hard" as others have said, but I do know this is a well-produced album that I keep listening to again and again.

1-0 out of 5 stars He more to find out why
Ben Lee sucks.When you listen to his songs, you can tell that he takes his "craft" much too seriously.I've pinned down the primary reason why his songs are so bad.Here it is.His lyrics aren't actual lyrics, they're more like bad poetry forced to fit in a song.Let me explain.It seems like Lee sits down and writes a poem, or some lyrics (if you can call them that) and then tries to force the lyrics to fit a certain tune that was also written separately.So his songs don't sound like actual songs, but rather just words sung to some music.Lee's songs lack cohesion.Many of the words don't rhyme or fit the structure or precedent set by the words which came before.I'm an accomplished musician, and there are certain rules of songwriting and music in general that must be obeyed, or else the result sounds strange to ears that are used to the norm.Yes, originality is good, but it must exist within the confines of the rules, or else the result suffers.Have you ever wondered why traditional music from other parts of the world sounds just a little but off to our Western ears(think music from India, the Middle East)?It's because those cultures use a different tonal scale in their music.Instead of having the familiar "do ray me" scale based on octaves, they have a pentatonic scale or something even more radical.That's why their music often sounds a little strange to our ears.Lee does use the octave scale, but it's his lyrical flow that's off.The words and the music don't get along very well together.He simply says what he wants and forces it to fit the music.Lee truly sucks.I hope he rots in hell for innumerable centuries.

3-0 out of 5 stars Trying Too Hard
I saw Ben Lee last night at the Independent in SF. While I enjoyed his show, the songs he played which were all off of this CD were not as great as anything he's done previously starting with Noise Addict (Meet the Real Me, Young and Jaded) through his first 2 solo efforts (Grandpaw Would, Something to Remember Me By). As he said of his first solo album " i didnt try very hard to make good records in those days, and thats why they are so good i guess. pop pop pop. songs about girls. sunshine. sadness."
-Ben Lee
I think on this album he IS trying too hard. Maybe that's why it's not his best effort. I still think lyrically he is a great songwriter...i.e. very personal, witty and heartfelt... musically this album repeats itself a bit much for my taste. Having seen him 4 times now, even while I was watching him I kept thinking this song sounds too much like the last song. I would not recommend this album except for diehard fans that must have all of his stuff. I am however still a fan of Ben Lee!! No mistake about it.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Surrender" to Ben's Disease
ben lee is just amazingly talented and I was just gobsmacked when i first heard this album (and haven't been able to stop listening)
I would list my favorite tracks, but there really isn't any that I don't love.
Ben Lee is all about surrendering.Surrendering to love, surrendering to faith.His music is about opening your heart and "awakening" yourself to truly live life.There are risks, you will get burned, he sings, but the joy and peace that comes from surrender is worth everything. ... Read more

50. The Creek Drank the Cradle
list price: $13.98
our price: $12.99
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Asin: B00006J402
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 817
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Iron & Wine is Sam Beam, a back-porch Florida singer-songwriter whose sad little songs pack a helluva wallop. Beam's immediately likable tunes paint such clear pictures that songs like "Southern Anthem" and "Muddy Hymnal" are more akin to short stories by Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Connor than to your average pop ditty. Recorded in his living room on a vintage four-track, The Creek Drank the Cradle co-stars cassette hiss, ambient room sound, and Beam himself. A stripped-down, one-man band, Beam contributes delicious Delta-flavored slide guitar, passable banjo, and deliriously beautiful harmonizing. Beam isn't just a songwriter the equal of Will Oldham and Leonard Cohen (really--and it'll be a surprise if folks don't immediately start covering him), the boy can sing. His melt-in-your-head-but-not-in-your-ears voice is instantly recognizable and will certainly please fans of Nick Drake, Lou Barlow, and Elliott Smith.--Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (49)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing
Let me be the first to offer some remarks on this remarkable disc. Working alone in a home studio, Sam Beam has put together a low budget wonder, a collection of songs written, performed and sung by Beam alone, overdubbing himself to create the illusion of a full band. Sub-Pop is to be congratulated for recognizing this low-fidelity, home-spun masterpiece and making available to a wide audience.
The music is stark, simple and emotional. Beam's voice is soft, almost breathy, as he sings with tentative passion about love, life & loss. While this might be enough for some to classify him as one of the all-too-common breed of folksy modern singer/songwriters, Beam transends his ostensible genre in both material and performance. Singing his strange, sad ballads with the intensity of Nick Drake, Beam occasionally adds a layer of slide-guitar blues that makes some songs sound as if Drake had sat down to play with with Son House. Melodic lines overlap and separate with subtle skill and beauty, making the fact that the disc was a one-man-show all the more amazing. The best cut, to my mind, is 'Weary Memory', a sweet and haunting ode to what is past and lost to all but remembrance.
'The Creek Drank the Cradle' is a low-budget recording, and the songs are of uneven quality, but it is the sort of extraordinary musical achievement that may eventually lend itself to a good deal of hype. Do yourself a favor, if anything I've said here reaches you, check it out before Beam gets manhandled by the media. This music is pure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Junkmedia Review - Best new artist of 2002
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the Best New Artist of 2002: Sam Beam, the one-man band who makes up Iron & Wine. I know, I know, the whole "Best New Artist" thing doesn't hold much weight these days. After all, if you know your pop music history, most performers who are crowned with such a superlative usually fall short before long. But Iron & Wine's debut album, The Creek Drank The Cradle, is worthy of any superlative you can throw its way.

Beam's music was brought to Sub Pop's attention by the Ugly Casanova himself, Modest Mouse frontman and lately Sub Pop's A&R guy Isaac Brock, whose taste is turning out to be the most trustworthy in indie rock. The last band he suggested the label sign was a little Albuquerque, New Mexico, band called the Shins, who, as you may recall, released Junkmedia's favorite album of 2001. So when Isaac recommends something, we all ought to lend him our collective ear.

Now, have you ever seen a big, full Pink Moon (a la Nick Drake) rising over the Mississippi Delta? Try to picture it. That's what Iron & Wine is the sonic equivalent of. With its whispered vocals, bluesy slide guitar work and beautiful vocal harmonies, The Creek Drank The Cradle sees Beam creating a minor masterpiece with extremely limited resources.

The entire record was recorded on 4-track in Beam's home in Miami, Florida, meaning that tape hiss and room noise are a constant presence throughout. But the sound is remarkably intimate and warm, like a distant radio station you have to hold your ear up to the speaker to hear. Beam's day job is teaching film to college students, and it's evident in his song arrangements: he uses sounds like a film editor uses images. A banjo here, a menacing slide guitar figure there, it all conjures up a striking mood of melancholy and reflection.

The centerpiece of the album is "Upward Over The Mountain," a long, meditative number that is at once impossibly sad and still somehow hopeful. "Mother, don't worry, I've got a coat and some friends on the corner," Beam sings in his most fragile voice. "So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten / Sons are like birds flying always over the mountain." Unlike most self-obsessed bedroom pop auteurs, Beam's vision manages to be both private and expansive at the same time. Listen to the celestial vocals on "Southern Anthem," another standout cut: Iron & Wine's predominant mood may be one shrouded in darkness, but some sunshine does break through the clouds.

So even if the promise shown by this debut is proved false by future releases, it doesn't matter. The Creek Drank The Cradle is a gem of an album all on its own. And Iron & Wine will still be the best new artist of 2002.

Tyler Wilcox
Junkmedia Review

3-0 out of 5 stars consistent, to a fault
I like this album, there really isn't a bad song on it. Unfortunately, there really isn't any song that jumps out to the forefront either. Its mellow, folky, introspective, bittersweet- all those adjectives used in previous reviews. But its hard to tell when one song ends and the next begins. But its really nice to turn the lights down and nurse a couple Guiness.

3-0 out of 5 stars mixed feelings
this might be rant-y or ignorant. feel free to ignore it. I think Iron & Wine is some decent music but for some reason i have major problems with it. for one it is boring. all the songs are languid, bittersweet, same instruments, same energy level in vocals and instrumentation. taken on an individual basis the songs are good, some original lyrics, very lulling. I actually like his cover of the Postal Service's "such great heights" more than any of these album tracks. it is great stuff to fall asleep to.

that said I find his 'image' to be sort of fake and annoying. Sam Beam is portrayed as a 'back-porch', folksy person, a relic of the past, both by the media and by himself through music and lyrics. However he is a graduate of FSU's film school. it seems like he is playing the aforementioned aspect of his personality up a lot, he couldn't possibly have remained that removed after 4-8 years at a huge university.

I also saw him opening for Ugly Casanova before I had heard any Iron & Wine records. He seemed very conceited, he kept on asking the audience to 'quiet down', a somewhat selfish and ridiculous request in a club setting (not to mention that the only noise was conversation-level talking).

Despite all this I still enjoy his music sometimes, but it's not pure genius and it doesn't explore a wide range of feelings or musical ideas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, flawless.
I find it hard to understand how the (very few) detractors of this album don't see/hear the simple beauty behind this album. No, none of the songs demonstrate any kind of show-offy virtuosic skills (*I* can play many of the songs, which says alot) ... but technical complexity is not the same thing as beauty. The Postal Service and the Shins are the only two recent bands who have had the same effect (not that they sound anything like Iron & Wine). The comparisons to Elliott Smith and Nick Drake aren't about a musical similarity. Indeed, if Iron & Wine were simply Nick Drake all over again, I wouldn't love this album as much - not because Nick Drake isn't one of my favorite musicians, but because it wouldn't be as origina). Iron & Wine is breathtakingly beautiful in a similar way as those artists - as shockingly original as them, but still wholly original. ... Read more

51. The Band - Greatest Hits
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00004YL5D
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1498
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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It seems odd that the Band emerged in 1968, defying the counterculture's extravagant rejections of U.S. culture with literary, often Southern-tinged musical and lyrical vehicles. Hearing this 18-song anthology, with its heavy weighting toward the quintet's first three albums--Music from Big Pink (four tunes), The Band (five tunes), and Stage Fright (three tunes)--what still stands out is the Band's command of yearning vocal harmonies, their sense of plainly laid melodies that reveal acoustic depth, and a nostalgia for an imagined American culture. With all their quirkiness and the advance of Robbie Robertson as their centerpiece, the Band lost their celebrated place in the rock pantheon within a decade. This set, which opens so magnificently with "The Weight," "Tears of Rage" (cowritten with Dylan), and the big organ-vamping "Chest Fever," declines rather steeply on the final tracks, "Acadian Driftwood" and "The Saga of Pepote Rouge." Up till then, however, this set is fantastic. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Band "Greatest Hits" 2000
I can be pretty lazy, and I have been lazy with only owning this compilation CD from the Band. In my opinion, they are one of the greatest bands of all-time. A great album if you aren't familiar with the group, but more than likely you have heard classics like, "The Weight" and "Up On Cripple Creek." So don't be like me, go get as much of the Band's music you can right now

"The Weight"
"Up On Cripple Creek"
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"

5-0 out of 5 stars Where's the tracklisting???
I bought this CD from a local CD shop. I had to actually go to the store to figure out the tracklisting of this CD because for some reason, AMAZON doesn't list it.

Anyhoes, excellent compilation, although it does lean heavy on the Band's first 2 albums, Music From The Big Pink and The Band.

But all The Band essentials are here: The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Shape I'm In, It Makes No Difference, etc.

And the best part - Its digitally remastered!!!

A++ on the compilation!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Greatest Hits-compilation that does justice to its subject
Opening with one of The Band's very best songs, the superb acoustic folk-rock narrative "The Weight", this collection does an excellent job of collecting most of the seminal, idiosyncratic Canadian-American ensemble's best songs.

Originally known as Bob Dylan's backing group, The Band, once they finally debuted on record in the summer of '68, played an instantly recognizable and utterly unique blend of rock, R&B, country and various folk music styles, creating a dense, muscular sound dominated by Robbie Robertson's weaving guitar, Garth Hudson's icy, majestic Lowrey organ, and Levon Helm's supple drumming. With Robertson as the main composer, Helm shared lead vocals with pianist Richard Manuel and bass player Rick Danko (as is evident on songs like "The Weight and the epic "Acadian Driftwood", where the role of lead vocalist passes between two or three musicians).

This compilation also includes the AOR-standart "Up On Cripple Creek", the grand ballad "Tears Of Rage", the up-tempo rocker "Rag, Mama, Rag", Richard Manuel's inimitable falsetto rendition of "I Shall Be Released", the swinging "Saga Of Pepote Route", and Robbie Robertson's classic "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", a song which is in every respect so much like an immortal folk-evergreen that it is hard to believe it has been around for only 35 years.

There are some wonderful lesser-known songs here as well, like the tough rocker "Time To Kill", the New Orleans-styled R&B of "Ophelia", and a wonderfully melodic, superbly arranged take on Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece".
The Band's three first albums, and 1975's "Northern Lights, Southern Cross", are all classics among modern popular music, and all of them deserve a listen. But this is a fine sampler, and a terrific place to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Justice to the Year 2000 Remastered Series
The Band's "Greatest Hits" is one of the very few compilation albums that those interested in the group would be fortunate to buy before actually buying the original albums themselves. The reason for that is solely because this Greatest Hits package is from the Band Remaster series of 2000; each track here represents the amazingly sharp and high quality job the sound engineers did in restoring The Band's original catalog of work. Each track here will prove to new fans that, if they're interested in dipping into the career of this remarkable group, they should definitely choose the CD's from the 2000 editions. This is most notable on the tracks from "Stage Fright"--'The Shape I'm In' and that album's title track far outweigh the relatively flat sound heard on earlier remastering attempts. To be specific, Garth Hudson's wildly immaculate keyboards, the effects on Rick Danko's vocals, and Robbie Robertson's unusual guitar work are finally heard the way they were meant to be.
But other than that, it has to be said that the track selection is classic--but predictable. The sequencing is a bit uneven as other words, Richard Manuel's glorious, hymn-like vocal and piano on 'I Shall Be Released' somehow doesn't fit placed between the wonderfully bizarre 'Chest Fever' and the "drunkard's dream" 'Up On Cripple Creek' (which was ironically The Band's only Top 30 hit in the US). Also, the relatively mediocre 'Time To Kill' was obviously only included because it was a minor hit for "Stage Fright." Perhaps it could have been better replaced by 'The Rumor.' The classic duet between Manuel and Van Morrison on '4% Pantomime' (from "Cahoots") is missing, and the albums "Moondog Matinee" and even the swan song "Islands" could have been represented much better.
But in the end, despite the standard compilation album bringdowns, "Greatest Hits" serves best as a clue to new fans that the 2000 Remastered Editions are the best way to go.

3-0 out of 5 stars Buy the early albums instead.
The Band is by all accounts seminal, legendary, and awe-inspiring. What else would you expect from a group that could get away with naming itself "The Band"? For some reason, however, the great songs just haven't yet been sequenced in a coherent "hits" package. Maybe it's just not possible.

To those unfamiliar with The Band, the individual songs on this CD will probably not seem drastically different in approach and style. To those people, I'm sure, it all sounds vaguely like what is categorized these days as "Americana". For those who have had a chance to wade deep into the aural landscapes of the albums, this effort at plucking songs for a retrospective probably isn't any more satisfying than previous compilations.

If you really want the most accurate retrospective, I'd suggest "The Last Waltz", which is the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's film documenting a final concert at which the Band invited old friends and mid-70's highlighters to join them in one last shebang. Mavis Staples singing in "The Weight" on that album is an astonishing vocal performance.

Don't get me wrong; these selections are all worthy, and those who put them together did an admirable job in trying to incorporate the popular hits with those that struck a chord primarily in Band junkies. But if you're a close listener, I just don't think this selection, or any sampler of this band's oevre, can ever be as satisfying as listening to "Music from Big Pink", or "The Band", without adornment.

I will say, though, that those who bought earlier "greatest hits" compilations should be happy to know that "Acadian Driftwood" is included on this CD. That song shone like a jewel in the otherwise leaden "Northern Lights - Southern Cross".

For those not familiar with the Band but have been hooked by hearing "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down" or "Up on Cripple Creek" on the radio, buying this CD should not be a disappointment. The men who comprised this group are each among the finest, most creative, most emotive artists that have ever played rock music. But there's a case to be made that this group's great albums, like the aforementioned "Music from Big Pink" and "The Band", are so cohesive and powerful standing alone, that a greatest hits effort can only seem haphazard and spotty in comparison. ... Read more

52. Love in the Time of Science
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00002DESF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3049
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Whirlwind of Talent
Emiliana Torrini's album, "Love in the Time of Science", essentially gives us what the titles beckons. Ms. Torrini certainly follows in Bjork's footsteps, blending in a haunting voice of echoes and a compilation of electonica beats and orchestral compositions. Though, Torrini does not possess the wide style range of Bjork, her voice seems more trained, focused and confident - proof that Torrini is good at what she does, singing about simple interactions with the world around her.

"Dead Things" is a brilliant song, the one I flaunt everytime I visit friends who have not experienced the album. The song has a smokey jazz club feel, despite the electronic sounds, as Emiliana drones on about a desperate relationship. One seems almost spell bound by the gentle mysterious music until a wild instrumental is unleashed in the middle, then abruptly haulting back into the soothing tones.
The rest of the album keeps a good mixture of both extremes. Emiliana delivers a wonderfully charged serenade in "Unemployed in Summertime" - the sound is upbeat and playful, reminding us all of that last summer between childhood and adulthood.

The album plays itself off quite well - Emiliana loves to bring out music the hippi's can swing and sway to, with a background of chimes and buzzers. If anything, "Love in a Time of Science" is perfect background music for small intimate gatherings or to hold a seance. Which ever you prefer.

A must have album for those who appreciate Bjork or ethereal songstresses.

4-0 out of 5 stars downtempo triphop pop with no comparison to bjork
What can I say about Emiliana Torrini? She's so dreamy that I need to replace my gus gus 'polydistortion' disc because I don't remember her singing on two of the tracks. Emiliana is an incredible singer albeit slightly commercial in places. Her tracks range from incredible triphop moments to saccharine pop, which isn't a bad thing. overall it pleasantly comes together as a whole creating a lovely collection of what I would call downtempo triphop pop. The only similarities between Emiliana and bjork are they're both from Iceland. There are times when her vocal stylings or pronunciations sound similar to bjork and on 'telepathy' and especially 'sea people' it sounds like bjork growling in your ear, but make no mistake it's emiliana you're listening to and that's where the comparisons should end.

my top three favorite tracks are: 'umemployed in the summertime' because it's such a lovely, upbeat optimistic pop song; 'telepathy' because it is one of those beautiful bjork-like moments with slow beats, rising strings and an aggressive bassline and 'tuna fish' because it's just a cool triphop track. I get goosebumps when she sings: "Do you know that tuna fish float up to the surface, bellies to the moonlight just to cool their hearts down." She's really amazing.

If you're looking for something refreshing then buy 'love in the time of science' but don't buy it if you're expecting a bjork sound-alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous delight
Though her voice may be similar to Björk's, her musical approach is of a different nature, and just as spellbindingly virtuosic.
There isn't a dull song on the entire album, and her whimsical outlook on serious events, or mundane ones, fill the listener with a twinkly, yet realistic sense of wonderment.
From the driving tale of isolation that is "To Be Free", to the carefree amusement of "Unemployed In Summertime", to the giddy introspection of "Tuna Fish", this album is a stellar collection of immaculately crafted tunes, lyrics and trip-hoppish arangements.
One my personal favourite albums I have ever purchased. And to think I bought it with only knowledge of two songs :)

You'll love this one. Trust me.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty, interesting music
Others have offered fine descriptions of Torrini's voice and music. Let me just add that this record was produced by Tears For Fears' Roland Orzabal, who also co-wrote "Wednesday's Child." The production is smart, streamlined, and at times quite innovative, and I think the album would appeal to people who like TFF's "melodic but edgy" sensibility.

5-0 out of 5 stars absolutamente deliciosa
este album de emiliana torrini, es una joya, es su primer gran album en solitario y combina, con belleza y sencilles la electronica, el jazz y un pop muy suave y sofisticado.

es cierto, suena algo simil a bjork, pero es muy diferente a ella, emiliana suena mas serena, y como lo afirme antes mas sofisticada.

respecto a cada cancion, ninguna es simil a la otra, son diferentes, melodiosas y ese extraña pronunciacion de emiliana hace de oirla una experiencia relajante. ... Read more

53. Futureheads
list price: $13.98
our price: $11.99
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Asin: B00049QKDI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 348
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Like compatriots Franz Ferdinand , the Futureheads play a dazzling power pop that’s impossible to sit still to. This British quartet’s rambunctious long-playing debut showcases choice art school tastes ca. 2004: Their sound’s strongly influenced by the herky-jerky pop of early XTC, the album was produced by the Gang of Four’s Andy Gill, one of the songs is called "Man Ray" (dada and surrealism are perennial hits with undergrads), while one of the best tunes is a well-placed cover of Kate Bush’s "Hounds of Love." These retro ingredients would result in trendy mush in most hands, but the ’heads’ songs are strange, melodic and almost as original as the artists they brazenly borrow from. With intricately woven vocal harmonies that almost recall jubilee-era gospel (really), excellently sparse production, and a sproing-oing guitar sound that’s to die for, the Futureheads’ snappy songs are not likely to go stale as quickly as your electroclash favorites did.--Mike McGonigal ... Read more

54. Woman King
list price: $8.98
our price: $8.98
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Asin: B00070DLAO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 618
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Can prolific, heartfelt singer-songwriter Sam Beam do any wrong? The title track to this six song EP continues much in the same vein as 2004’s exceptionalOur Endless Numbered Days. Recorded with Red Red Meat alum Brian Deck, Woman King subtly opens the sonic palette up to include more percussion, piano, and wait is that an electric guitar? "Grey Stables" and "Evening on the Ground," have gorgeous fiddle playing, while the pacing and multi-limbed percussion of those songs and "Freedom Hangs Like Heaven" are very Allman Brothers (that’s a good thing.) It’s not all slowly stewing nouveau Southern rock, however.The sweet, vocal-fueled "Jezebel" would easily have fit on the first album, while the lovely ballad "In My Lady’s House" demonstrates further why siblings should sing together, as Sam and sister Sarah hit ideal harmonies. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars immediately warm and recognizable, like a long lost memory
It's really difficult for a musician to develop a distinct sound, and then to progress from record to record in such a way, that your 'sound' continues to grow and change without losing the elements that made it so unique and personal in the first place. Sometimes, if you like a band enough, you don't mind if every record sounds the same, ten more songs that sound like the last ten songs you absolutely loved can only be more of a good thing, right?

But it's the folks who do manage that delicate balancing act of moving forward but remaining true to their original vision that continue to truly inspire and blow me away. Iron & Wine happen to be one of those bands. After two full lengths and one ep in about two years, this newest ep takes Iron & Wine's hushed melancholia, with its gently strummed guitars, Sam Beam's whispered/sung breathless vocals, sweetly miserable arrangements, and brings the songs' emotional urgency to the fore, where before it was only hinted at lyrically and alluded to in minor key melodies and bleak lyrical imagery.

This new batch of songs is much more aggressive in tone, reflected by more percussion, more propulsive tempos and a bigger reliance on different instrumentation (violin, piano, etc.) adding a sonic veil of death and despondency to this already mournful / melancholy song cycle. But even without these changes, there seems to be no end to Sam Beam's songwriting genius. Every song is a new dreamlike world, populated by pain and sorrow, hope and happiness, love and loss, immediately warm and recognizable, like a long lost memory from your childhood, or a song you already love and cherish, but at the same time each song is a wholly unique new musical discovery full of unlikely melodies and gorgeous musical landscapes that stick with you, as if the song is an experience you lived through and remember, catchy, timeless and totally unforgettable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just trying to weigh in
I'm not in the mood to write tonight, but this EP is solid.It's too bad that Iron & Wine don't get more attention.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of Woman King at
The written word succeeds best when it is not approached as a narrative, but when it is approached as a mosaic of images and actions which when put together, form a complete idea, emotion, story. Poetry is essentially brief glimpses of a scene or emotion, painted or sculpted in words with a pleasing rhythm, pleasing brushstrokes. Novels can do the same thing but on a much larger scale, and usually employing more of a focus on a resulting narrative.

And because he approaches composing songs from a somewhat different angle than perhaps most singer/songwriters do, Sam Beam (aka Iron and Wine) is one of today's most talented lyricists - not because he writes stories in his songs, but because his songs paint pictures with brief images that serve as intimations to some grander, ambiguous idea behind what he is showing you.

Iron and Wine's most recent release is the six-song EP, Woman King. The songs on the record deal with some of Beams favorite images - the shapes of sleeping women, the wings of birds, a delicate noise of countryside.

Miami-based Beam taught cinematography and screenwriting at the college level for some time, and there is no hiding his photographic sensibilities in the structures of his songs. Polaroids of his imagination would be velvet and watercolored.

At once brilliantly intimate in his acoustic guitar and soft voice, Beam invites the listener to enter a surreal world on his new EP - more successfully on Woman King than on any of his previous records. Having already recorded the delicious Our Endless Numbered Days in the studio setting two years ago, Beam shows a new comfort in the ways of a studio as opposed to tracking over instruments himself - as he did on his first two releases.

The new record begins with the title track. Beam sings a call-and-response between images of an old, glorified South - "Blackbird claw, raven wing/ Under the red sunlight/ long clothesline, two shirt sleeves/ waving as we go by" - and a chorus which proposes the idea of a woman taking on the role of a king - "Hundred years, hundred more/ Someday we may see a/ Woman king, sword in hand/ Swing at some evil and bleed."

The record moves on to "Jezebel," a sweetly sinister ballad about the Biblical Queen of Israel who tried in the most evil of ways to impose her heathen beliefs on those she ruled. In Beam's world, however, Jezebel is shown as a helpless and lost individual being chased by a pack of dogs, metaphors for perhaps gods or perhaps her people. Beam asks, "And who's seen Jezebel?/ She went walking where the cedars line the road/ Her blouse on the ground/ Where the dogs were hungry, moaning."

Read the rest of the review:

5-0 out of 5 stars more to love from sam beam
My only complaint about this EP is that it is not a full-length cd.I could definitely stand to hear more new music from Iron and Wine.This EP is decidedly different from his previous releases, mainly because the recording itself sounds neater and cleaner than the old-record quality of Creek Drank the Cradle.In "Woman King," we witness a very striking beat in the background, created not by drums but what sounds like sticks beating on a wooden table.Then there is the sweet-sounding "Jezebel," which is reminiscent of earlier works, except for the subtle background vocals.On the whole, Beam uses a lot more instruments in this recording than in previous ones.In addition to the stock acoustic guitar and banjo, this recording uses drums, hand drums, tambourine, maracas,cowbell, the lovely backing vocals of Sarah Beam, piano, keyboard, and yes, even electric guitar.The songs themselves range from toe-tapping country blues, to the gentle folk ballads that are characteristic of all Iron and Wine albums.While fans are sure to be shocked by the blatant burst of distorted guitar in "Evening on the Ground," it does not detract from the song.Though Beam may be making a break from his more traditional roots, the aura of Southern-tinged folk is still very present, and the banjo is still there.The EP is a refreshing change of pace for those who are familiar with his prior releases.Beam's music continues to forge a fresh path in the underground, creating albums that seem to transcend the flow of American music and bring us back to its roots.

5-0 out of 5 stars By Imaginary Correspondent Joe
The written word succeeds best when it is not approached as a narrative, but when it is approached as a mosaic of images and actions which when put together, form a complete idea, emotion, story. Poetry is essentially brief glimpses of a scene or emotion, painted or sculpted in words with a pleasing rhythm, pleasing brushstrokes. Novels can do the same thing but on a much larger scale, and usually employing more of a focus on a resulting narrative.

And because he approaches composing songs from a somewhat different angle than perhaps most singer/songwriters do, Sam Beam (aka Iron and Wine) is one of today's most talented lyricists - not because he writes stories in his songs, but because his songs paint pictures with brief images that serve as intimations to some grander, ambiguous idea behind what he is showing you.

Iron and Wine's most recent release is the six-song EP, Woman King. The songs on the record deal with some of Beams favorite images - the shapes of sleeping women, the wings of birds, a delicate noise of countryside.

Miami-based Beam taught cinematography and screenwriting at the college level for some time, and there is no hiding his photographic sensibilities in the structures of his songs. Polaroids of his imagination would be velvet and watercolored.

At once brilliantly intimate in his acoustic guitar and soft voice, Beam invites the listener to enter a surreal world on his new EP - more successfully on Woman King than on any of his previous records. Having already recorded the delicious Our Endless Numbered Days in the studio setting two years ago, Beam shows a new comfort in the ways of a studio as opposed to tracking over instruments himself - as he did on his first two releases.

The new record begins with the title track. Beam sings a call-and-response between images of an old, glorified South - "Blackbird claw, raven wing/ Under the red sunlight/ long clothesline, two shirt sleeves/ waving as we go by" - and a chorus which proposes the idea of a woman taking on the role of a king - "Hundred years, hundred more/ Someday we may see a/ Woman king, sword in hand/ Swing at some evil and bleed."

The record moves on to "Jezebel," a sweetly sinister ballad about the Biblical Queen of Israel who tried in the most evil of ways to impose her heathen beliefs on those she ruled. In Beam's world, however, Jezebel is shown as a helpless and lost individual being chased by a pack of dogs, metaphors for perhaps gods or perhaps her people. Beam asks, "And who's seen Jezebel?/ She went walking where the cedars line the road/ Her blouse on the ground/ Where the dogs were hungry, moaning."

Next is "Gray Stables," a song which recalls misty images of Ophelia and medieval forests in its harsh tribute to a "brave lady" - "Brave lady, I could see you through the mosses/ laid, shameless in the sun...gray stables and the horses of the/ righteous/ pray daily for the brave."

Then there is "Freedom Hangs Like Heaven," an epic track which takes Beam into the rock-and-rollingest territory he's ever been, all the while talking to the Virgin Mary, "carrying her babe" whilst the oil lamps sing to her, "freedom hangs like heaven over everyone."

The best song, however, the song which let me feel the blood in my veins, is "My Lady's House." It's a short and simple, acoustic guitar love ballad, akin to the tear-conjuring "Naked As We Came" from his last album. Halfway through the ideal finger-plucks on his guitar, a piano enters and takes the song into an entirely new aesthetic. The sweeping gorgeousness of the written words are complemented by the rhythm and timbre of the voice and instrumentation to make the verse when Beam sings, "It is good in my lady's house/ every shape that her body makes/ love is a fragile word/ in the air, on the length we lay."

For those fans already familiar with Iron and Wine, the six songs on Woman King will be the logical next step in an already impressive catalogue. For those who know Iron and Wine only for his cover of the Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" on the Garden State soundtrack, then the intimacy found in the soft recording for Zach Braff and Natalie Portman will only be multiplied in this brilliant EP. ... Read more

55. Set Yourself on Fire
list price: $22.49
our price: $22.49
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Asin: B00061F8M8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11004
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Album Description

Approaching the follow-up to an album you adored is a tricky thing -- there are all those expectations to wade through. Luckily, Montreal/Toronto soft-focus popsters Stars more than live up to last year's endlessly charming Heart with their latest, Set Yourself on Fire. Universal. 2004. ... Read more

56. Oscillons from the Anti-Sun
list price: $24.98
our price: $22.99
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Asin: B0007YMRWS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2664
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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When you're a prolific band that also happens to be mighty friendly to your obsessive compulsive collector fan base, you wind up releasing a lot of singles and EPs with material that's otherwise unavailable on your albums. And here, for the price of a Japanese pressing of the Fluorescences EP on an auction site alone, you get Stereolab's eight Elektra EPs, from 1993's Jenny Ondioline to 2001's Captain Easychord. The "groop"'s collaborative EPs ( Crumb Duck, Uilab) are not included, but there is a DVD with rarely-seen videos and television performances. This box set serves far more than a plug-the-gaps exercise for trainspotters; as with the singles collections Switched-On volumes one, two and three (did we not mention this band is prolific?), it's an intriguing retrospective of the band in their mature years. And unlike those comps, this set often highlights the band's more lengthy, experimental songs. "Les Yper Yper Sound," for instance, John McEntire's distorted, delightfully repetitious reworking of "Yper Sound" from Emperor Tomato Ketchup, is spine-tinglingly awesome.--Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Stereolab-'Oscillons From The Anti-Sun'(Too Pure)3-CD/1 DVD
'Oscillons...' gives fans a real treat,a three audio disc and one DVD box set.Total of 35 songs,of which 28 will be new to most Stereolab followers EXCEPT for those die-hards who put out big $$ to purchase past import releases.Despite it's cheap-o packaging,this box set is very nice to have.Most of the tracks are lesser known singles and B-sides.The DVD is great,with it's live performances,video clips and other visual surprises.Should appeal to fans of Air,Yo La Tengo,Spacemen 3,Mouse On Mars and Tortoise.

5-0 out of 5 stars God Bless Stereolab!
This box set is a welcome addition for the die-hards AND casuals, and it's nice having all of these EP's and singles in one place. I have no idea why others are having such a hard time opening their boxes however; it's really not that hard! And aside from one tiny little split in the corner, my box seems really sturdy and finely made.

The sticker set is a wonderful addition to this box collection, so make sure and get your box set now before it goes into a second pressing and they disappear! The set includes eight (8) 4x4 inch stickers with great art work. Suitable for framing! At just around twenty bucks for 35 tracks and a DVD, you just can't go wrong with this. Even if you've not heard one single lick of a stereolab song and if you're a semi-casual fan of electronic music, try them out!

4-0 out of 5 stars Damn That Packaging
I really do like this latest compilation from Stereolab but I do have to knock a point off for the packaging that the band insists on providing.I thought the last two Switched On compilations were annoying with their flimsy cardboard but this one beats them both (although my copy of S.O. 3 did fall apart about a minute after I got it so I couldn't put the disc in with out it falling out).With "Oscillons...", Stereolab gives us an incredibly difficult to open as well as bulky box with cheap sleeves inside to hold the discs, including the DVD.C'mon, are you so against simple plastic jewel cases?Well, other than the box it comes in, I do indeed recommend this latest compilation from Stereolab even like many other fans, all of the trouble we went through to get those import EPs and singles seem to have lost its shine now that a proper domestic collection is out but at least you had them before a lot of others and thus got the pleasure of hearing some of the band's finer material years before a lot of people did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ketchup in a box!
Ok, I kid - it's actually "catch up" for all those of us who discovered Stereolab later rather than sooner.I'm sure I'm not alone - my first Stereolab CD was 2004's sublime Margarine Eclipse, which prompted me to search for the earlier CDs and EPs.My advice to fellow latecomers: dive into this box set!As other reviewers noted, this is a great collection.

A few thoughts about the DVD included in this set: one of the first things I heard about Stereolab was that they were exceptional in concert, and I was disappointed that I could not find any DVDs of their shows.The DVD in this collection has eight "promos" followed by three live performances from UK television.With the exception of Jenny Ondioline, the promos are not typical music videos.They are more like surrealistic dreamscapes (think Dali, backed by synthesizers, broadcast on early PCs - a hoot) set to music.Next, the first live video is a superb, driving rendition of French Disko, gone a bit trippy with TV special effects (think Austin Powers).And then come two gems from the Later...with Jools Holland show (ca. 1996).For all those of us who were late to the party, here's proof that Stereolab -- in addition to being electronic, cerebral, political, carefully crafted, etc., etc. -- are terrific live.These performances of Cybele's Reverie and Les Yper Sound are a great glimpse of what we missed, including the late, lamented Mary Hansen.We can only hope that there are more live performances in the vault and destined for future DVDs, and look forward to the band's future tours.In the meantime, I highly recommend the videos and three CDs in this box set.

A final note for the old-time Stereolab fans who already own the EPs collected here, but not the Jenny Ondioline promo: there's a moment in that video, when the always serious Laetitia Sadier starts to smile and turns away from the camera and toward Mary, who's smiling about a perfect moment. As a previous reviewer said, Mary, rest in peace.And long live Stereolab!

5-0 out of 5 stars have to agree with the first 2 reviewers..
...but elaborate a little bit on both. The music on this is beyond cool, I can't say enough about it, so I'll leave it at that.

But... the packaging is *extremely* tough to open - mine's already pocked with fingernail marks from trying to pry it open, and the cardboard box seems to be splitting at some of the outside joints. And I've had it for all of 18 hours. It's not enough really to knock a star off of my review, but it's more than a little irritating.

And yes, like reviewer #2 said, it is a bit frustrating now for me to look over the hundreds of dollars worth of import cd's that have now been rendered obsolete by about $23. Have I had $100's worth of enjoyment over the years that I would have otherwise spent without this music? Well, that's debatable, but I'll say "yes, I have."

The stickers of all the various single covers are very cool - I'm tempted to plaster my guitar case with them, but then they'd get messed up. What's an OC (obsessive completist) to do??? ... Read more

57. Fisherman's Woman
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007YMUHK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1128
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

"Home alone and happy / Nothing brings me down" So opens Emiliana Torrini’s second album, a soft-yet-searing collection of twelve intimate and atmospheric songs that will whisper their way into your bloodstream. Back in 1999, when the singer released the critically acclaimed Love In The Time Of Science, Emiliana came out with a gorgeous, electronic trippoppin’ vision of endless summer and moonlit nights out. Following her departure from One Little Indian, there’s a new introspection, closer to Nick Drake or Jolie Holland than Portishead or Goldfrapp. The 27-year-old singer and writer has nonetheless been busy since Love In The Time Of Science. She moved to Brighton, joined the cast of Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers to perform the enchanting ‘Gollum Song’ wrote and toured with Thievery Corporation, and wrote a Number One Hit for Kylie Minogue in the shape of huge-selling pop smash "Slow." ... Read more

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful voice but disappointed.
When I purchased this album I expected something much more similar to "Love in the Time of Science" her 1st album.This is too mellow even for my wife.It reminds me of when Natalie Merchant left the 10,000 Maniacs.She had a cool voice too but it needed some good musical accompaniment.I realize recording artists have to change their sound here and there but this was too much.

4-0 out of 5 stars *sigh*
acoustic, intimate and breathily soft, a non-jazzy-blues-ish version of norah jones. quite different from her previous album, which triphoppily falls under the electronica genre. i first heard her in "crazy/beautiful" (song entitled "to be free"), remembered her name, found this album last week at a nearby music cafe, bought it, and have been listening to it eversince. icelandic like bjork, and reviewed as a bjorkish artist (it's funny though--i can't stand bjork's music. i appreciate her lyrics, though).

5-0 out of 5 stars From Scientist to a "Fisherman's Woman"
Making her American debut in 1999 with the flawless and intense "Love in the Time of Science", Emiliana Torrini established herself as one of trip-hop's finest and a muscician to watch for years to come.After a six year hiatus, along with a song on the "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" soundtrack ("Gollum's Song"), collaborations with Thievery Corporation, and writing a #1 dance hit for Kylie Minogue ("Slow"), she is back--and with a new sound strumming from her fingers."Fisherman's Woman" is a complete revolution from "Love in the Time oc Science", drenched in melancholy folk music.Ms. Torrini has incorporated so much nature into this album, focusing on hurt and recuperation, that it sometimes sound as if her and her production team fled into the remote forests and lakes of Iceland, recorded music and came back to see what had come into the mix.Some beatiful things include the creaking of a boat, the lovely way in which Torrini strums her guitar and, of course, that voice.She cooes and swoons her way through her music, allowing listeners to feel her pain and happiness, then relies on her guitar to do the rest, which does quite well.What is amazing about this album is how she has gone from hard-core trip-hop ("Love....") to folky acoustic music.In all, it is an amazing sophmore album and a great step in her creativity.Fitted for a lazy afternoon or an hour of creativity, "Fisherman's Woman" is bound to make you want to be that very fisherman of which she speaks.

4-0 out of 5 stars Emiliana Torrini's Most Accomplished Yet (4.5)
Emiliana Torrini emerged around 1999, at least in the US and most of Europe, heralded as a voice belonging to Bjork's coven, a comparison I always found more related to their common homeland, Iceland, than a deeply strong sisterhood of sound.
Although 'Love In The Time Of Science" did bring to mind some of Bjork's occasional lullaby-like phrasings, and the album's arrangements did rely on subtle and timely Electronica, Torrini was already promising to be her own person, someone with something genuine and personal to say.
The thought that came to mind -please allow an unexpected metaphor here- is that the songs follow each other like geese migrating toward warmth, each of them distinct yet flying at the same altitude and with a common destination.
"Fisherman's Woman," her new album, is that promise fulfilled. Her voice, in this new album, is more confident, more decisive while never raising beyond a tender hush, a perfect tone to deliver lyrics that are at once revelatory, thoughtful and yet innocent and uncomplicated.
But don't let the sweetness of these tunes confuse you about the strength of their confessional power. Whether it is the short title song, the painful and beautiful "Today Has Been OK," or the gorgeous melody of the album's first single, "Sunnyroad," Emiliana weaves images into stories that you may feel she's only singing to you.
Equally worthy of recognition are the melodies and the band, particularly Dan Carey -who plays some unassumingly beautiful and intelligent guitar, as well as bass and pedal steel- and the subtle piano of Julian Joseph. This and the intimacy that Emiliana's voice is capable of, also shows decisively in "Snow," and "Lifesaver" with its bewitching cadence and the brilliant sample of the creaking wood of a boat swaying.
If you come to Torrini for the first time, I can't imagine you not finding enough to remain near, for repeated listenings. And if you were already touched by Emiliana's earlier releases, I predict that you will be elated with this album. She has become her own self yet more deeply, an old skin has shed and made space for a new one.
This is a brilliant album, confirming a voice and a sound that has much more offer to new singers than it owes to the ones that precede her.

5-0 out of 5 stars different performance, same sublime beauty
*This is the same review I posted for the import version of this album.The two versions contain the exact same content, so I thought my review might also be useful here*

Torrini's sophmore album bares little resemblance to her first masterpiece, "Love in the Time of Science." "Fisherman's Woman" is strictly a light, acoustical production with none of the deep bass lines or trip-hop flare of her previous work. What Torrini preserves, however, is her wonderful gift of poetic songwriting.

As one can infer by the album's title, "Fisherman's Woman" evokes feelings of a simplier life and times. Arrangements are beautifully minimalistic, assembled with great care to accentuate Torrini's breezy voice and laymen's lyrics. In "Love in the Science of Space," her voice often seemed to play second fiddle to the wondrously rich music. In "Fisherman's Woman," however, Torrini's voice clearly takes center stage, with sparse stringed and percussive instruments serving as accompaniment.

Like her previous album, I don't believe there are any particular standouts simply because I find every song wonderfully engaging (I suppose if I had to pick, track #6, "The day has been okay," is very endearing). Torrini's two albums serve as a strong testament to her consistent skills as a lyricist and songwriter. For whatever reason, many musical artists disappear after their second showing. I pray Torrini does not join their ranks. It would be an utter shame to lose a bonafide creative talent in today's sea of mediocre performers pretending to be true artists. ... Read more

58. I am a Bird Now
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B000777J2S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1907
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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It’s not often that an album released in January gets called one of the best of the year in near-unison, but the second full length by Antony and the Johnsons is so startlingly beautiful that it simply has to be. Like his friend and compatriot Devendra Banhart, Antony is a super-talented singer-songwriter with a flair for dramatic artsong. But the cherubic Antony is so original he must get mistaken for an alien quite often; he sings like a bluesy opera singer and switches timbre from masculine to feminine in the space of a breath. The only vocal comparison that comes close is Nina Simone. Antony’s honest lyrics deal with deep wounds and troubled desires with matter of fact poetry and subtle humor, as in a short story by JT LeRoy. Aided and abetted by a versatile band that’s often closer to chamber orchestra than rock act, Antony delivers a visionary album with I Am A Bird Now. Oh yeah: Rufus Wainwright, Devendra, Lou Reed andBoy Georgeall appear on here, too. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars wow
This cd is unlike any I've ever heard. I would recommend you buy it based on that alone. The songs are so touching and genuine that you can't help but feel moved. You must hear it. If nothing else listen to the sound bites.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the mostbeautifull albums i've heard
Antony is with no doubt one of the most dramatic, soulfull, beautifull voices that i have ever heard in my life!
Poetic and dramatic can consider this a dark album, but still full of love and happiness..with simple piano melodies, it will get stuck inside your head and soul for a long long time..!
I am a Bird Now opens with a suberb song..although this is that kind of album that you can't decide what's your favourite song on it..every song is deadly beautifull!!
With guest vocalists like Devenra Banhart, Boy George(i got surprised by this guest i may say..what a beautifull voice Boy still has), Lou Reed, Rufus Wainright and Julia Yasuda, who added their talent too...this album is alredy a masterpiece for me!!!
For lovers of Nina Simone, Nick Drake, Nick Cave(boatman's call era), you all gotta hear this and trust'll be overwhelmed!!!

2-0 out of 5 stars Nothing special
This guy's got a great voice, but the album is definitely missing something.I bought it from the reviews alone (and the appearance of Rufus on one of the tracks), but I was pretty disappointed all in all.

However, the album has its good moments.A few well put-together chords and vocals.One or two powerful crescendos.But just not enough of them.Not an exceptional songwriter.

The feeling I walk away with is, "a very low-key pity party."Though I still do listen to a few tracks when I'm in the right mood.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Beautiful
What a magical discovery this album was. The person that recommended this to me is definitely on my Christmas Card List for life.

I Am A Bird now is a sweepingly beautiful affair, from start to end. From the delicate bluesey opening of Hope Theres Someone, Antony stamps his unique style down from the outset.

Even though we have several cameos throughout the album, Antony's style is always there, these powerful performers seem to blend in perfectly, rather than swamp the delicate nature of the music. Boy George's voice on You Are My Sister is divine (even though, had I known it had Boy George on it, my instant snobbery may have turned me away - thank god it didn't), and Rufus Wainwright's rendition of What Can I Do? is heart-breakingly beautiful - even if it is just over a minute in length; it demands several listens, over and over again, just so you can cry out "Mama! Help me liiiiive!" along with him. And of course there's Lou Reed's [spoken] opening to Fistful of Love, a cracking lead in to the album's best track (in my opinion); a kind of Elvis-style croon-a-thon, slow to start but building up throughout.

I defy anyone to not put this album on repeat; it just begs to be left on. Sublime.

3-0 out of 5 stars Well....
Um, can anyone say Vibrato, just a joke. But seriously he does kinda have his style down, although it trembles like the knees of a frightened child. Some songs are startlingly beautiful, and I would argue that in some instances it's his voice that makes it so. Although there is some very good songwriting here. Anyone who likes moody, haunting balads with somewhat intresting content, although not for everyone, enjoy. ... Read more

59. Turn On the Bright Lights
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00006BTCA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 670
Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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Interpol create literate, atmospheric, moody, trashy post-punk music that recalls '80s faves the Psychedelic Furs. And this is definitely a good thing. While most young bands are content to rhyme "make it" with "fake it," Interpol pens melodramatic tales of tortured and tortuous urban relationships that are truly refreshing. Like their peers the Strokes, they're bright, sophisticated, and meticulous enough to build stirring soundscapes. Turn On the Bright Lights is a must for anyone who missed Echo & the Bunnymen, the Furs, and Joy Division the first time around.--Dominic Wills ... Read more

Reviews (377)

5-0 out of 5 stars Avant-Garde Teen Reviews a Classic
Shall we say a more happier well lets not say that a more mellon-collie Joy Division.Yes, while the New York Based Art rock band Interpol Borrows sounds from Post-Punk Pioneers Joy Division,The Fall,The Smiths and The Chameoleons somehow they have managed to develope there own sound,create there own Identity in the anals of rock history.While Interpol is busy building there own Sonic Cathedral in Hell alongside Goth rock pioneers Joy Division lets take a look similarities of the two.The Voice of Paul Banks the lead vocalist for Interpol Manages to conjure up the Ghost of late Joy Division Singer Ian Curtis(God Rest His Soul).Well lets just say this if Ian Curtis had been a happier man he would have sounded like Paul Banks.Yes,Artistic/Gothic People Interpol have manage to revive a once dead scene.Well this Album in my opinion is a true classic i didn't think that when i first bought it,I Remember hearing about Interpol Back in August from the Internet i did'nt think to much about them until I saw the Video for PDA,I was amased at how it looked and sounded so I went Out and bought the album.When I first Heard I thought it was okay but after listening to it for a while I got up and Said this was a Masterpiece,a true artistic gem.and since then It has been one of my favorite albums(and I own alot of Albums too).The Best songs on here in my opinion are "PDA" "Say hello to the angles" "Hands Away" "Obstacle2""Stella was diver and she's always Down" and basically all of them are good.Yes,In Time my Generaration which is Generation Y will look at Interpol the same way Generation X looks at Joy Division and The Smiths.The Album "Turn on the bright lights" will Someday years from now will be viewed as a Classic and Possibly Ground-Breaking like the Joy Division's "Unkown Pleasures",and "Closer" maybe even the smiths "Meat Is Murder" or shall we even say The 1967 ahead of its Time Masterpiece"The Velvet Undergroun&Nico",Hell this album's already a classic.Well In Conclusion This DARK AVANT-GARDE TEENAGER from Oklahoma gives this an A+, A MELLON-COLLIE JOY DIVISION IN MY OPINION BUT MAN IT SURE SOUNDS GREAT!

2-0 out of 5 stars this is a weird album...
i definitely think that interpol are one of the most over-hyped (and least deserving of said hype) of any new york city band today. i'm also really getting sick of hearing them compared to joy division. they sound practically nothing like joy division. who could really? the singer's voice is way closer to ian mcculloch's and they probably sound a lot more like echo and the bunnymen appropriately enough. for what it is it's not bad- the first half of the album is really pretty good (except the shameless smiths rip-off 'say hello to the angels'), but if you want something 'dark' that has swelling music building up to 'tragic choruses' (or whatever else journalists have been saying about interpol) listen to calla. they're way better and more innovative than interpol could ever be. i think in a perfect world people would go as nuts for calla as they have about interpol, but then this really isn't a perfect world. i don't know- if this is good enough for you then buy it, but don't go praising it to the stars because it's just not anywhere near as good as people have been saying. if the hype has piqued your curiosity you'd probably be better off just staying away from this album.

3-0 out of 5 stars A solid album, but not perfect.
I'm a bit of a dilettante when it comes to Interpol. I've had this album for ages, but the production and overly long song lengths have always kept me from really getting into it. The first four songs are obviously fantastic, but by then my tolerance has usually worn out and I'm unable to appreciate those which follow. Like so many of my fickle, reactionary peers, I too was forced to reassess the band in light of the recent leak of "Antics", their forthcoming second album. Fortunately, those problems I have with "Bright Lights" have been addressed on "Antics", and my enthusiasm for that album is such that I think I'm finally able to see some of the better aspects of this one. Surely, you don't need me to enumerate everything that the fans and critics have repeated at length for the last several years. Most of it is needless hyperbole anyway, but simply know that beneath the reverb is music of often remarkable beauty and passionate expression.

5-0 out of 5 stars Debut Masterpiece
On Interpol's debut attempt "Turn On the Bright Lights" you hear wonders. The first song, which is untitled, is a beautiful dreamy melody with a flowing bassline and and entrancing guitars and drums, and dreamy vocals. Almost makes you fall in love. Then it really takes off with good creative post-punk/rock music and ends beautifully. Meloncholic music has never been so damn catchy. The next album is coming out soon, and hopefully, it won't be a bomb. This band deserves more airplay on the snobby independent radio stations that play overrated (but worth mentioning) bands like the Strokes or Franz Ferdinand. This album is a masterpiece from start to finish. 5 stars without hesitation. I was stunned.

4-0 out of 5 stars Promising debut
This is a promising debut, more so than albums like "Pablo Honey" or "Boys Don't Cry" were.

The coolest things about Interpol's songs is that they tend to develop and progress into nice endings. Obstacle 1, 2 and PDA are good examples of this.

I can sort of understand the Joy Division comparisons since these songs have atmosphere, but I don't think there is the same level of innovation and synergy among the members of Interpol. This album is solid but not an "Unknown Pleasures," which definitely doesn't mean it isn't good. Fans of "Turn on the Bright Lights" should definitely check out that album.

Hopefully these guys will stay together, continue to experiment and expand their ideas and instrumentation, and try out some interesting producers to work with on their next albums.

I thought "Leif Erikson" was impressive and "Stella" very atmospheric and nice. ... Read more

60. Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00070FWUG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1225
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Having established himself as a folk singer-songwriter of considerable weight with 2002's--take a deep breath--Lifted, or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, Conor Oberst takes the opportunity to experiment here. Released simultaneously with the more conventional follow-up disc, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn sees the Omaha-based leader of Bright Eyes teaming up with a diverse set of musicians that includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner for a collection of songs that aim to recreate the alien landscapes of Radiohead but more often come off sounding like midperiod Depeche Mode. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (67)

1-0 out of 5 stars Oh for the love of all that is good in music
Rejoice peeps! Conor Oberst, currently in the running for most overrated artist to ever be allowed to record music, has finally discovered Depeche Mode! What will the kids think: the supposed(but can never touch)second coming of Dylan has thrown them all a curve ball, as they say, with some electronic twinged material. And guess what? It's garbage.
Bright Eyes is not capable of writting music that is interesting to anyone over the age of fourteen, and "Digital Ash in a Digital Urn"(an accuratly pretensious title for a pretensious record) is further proof that the little bubble world that this dude finds himself living in grows smaller and smaller so that only he and whatever Hollywood girlfriend he currently has can live in it. There is no proof that this guy resides in the world that you and I live in. The land of reality.
So what do you get from "Digital Whatever"? You get the same emo-lite "honest" songwritting that makes up the bulk of the rest of this gentlemans catalog, but this time its electronic. Whoop de doo. The use of said elements sound forced and boring, not actually there to compliment the songs, but to make people think "hey, he's using keyboards. He must be an artist". This sounds like a remix record of Bright Eyes all ready oversaturated catalog, and that's as needed as a Bush remix record(wait a minute...)
What this record is really made for is so high school art students will have something to play while they create they're self-conscious "art", and on that front it achieves in spades. But for the rest of us who have long since left teen angst nonesense in the past(and I'm only twenty-two for the love of Jeebus) there is little to nothing here to tolerate.
Please, please don't support this hack, because that's all he is. Just another bad record in a growing in size if not quality catalog.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD If Given a Few Listens
I have just discovered Bright Eyes, having first been introduced through the simultaneously released "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning". This work is entirely different, and equally excellent. I admit I had to give it more listens before the songs really grew on me (except for "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)"--this one was love at first listen!). It's a mix of rock and synth-rock, somewhat dark, with many instrumental layers. After a few listens, the melodies are stuck in my head, especially after going to see Bright Eyes live, promoting this CD. It's refreshing to hear intelligent, poetic and symbolic lyrics after a few decades' drought. Then it was all clear--Conor Oberst is a genius, musically and lyrically.The CD is somewhat of an experiment, but not too far away from some of his older work, and it works very well if you listen a few times.

2-0 out of 5 stars Unlucky Friend, Lucky Me
My roommate and I are Bright Eyes fans, not diehard, but quite fond of earlier CD's which we found to be lyrically great (Lifted of the story.., fevers and mirrors)...So when Bright Eyes was going to release 2 CDs at once, we were pretty enthralled. But being college students (and therefore slightly short of cash) I decided that I would buy "I'm wide awake" and he would buy "Digital Ash"...Then we could listen to both.
Well I am glad that luck was in my favor, because "Digital ash" is unlike bright eyes I have known. THey go for the Postal Service electronica style, but whereas "Give Up" is a pleasant if unexciting CD, it is more than listenable. To be harsh this CD is almost egregious to the point that it gets little to no playing time in our doorm.
If you want to get into Bright Eyes though, get some of the earlier CDs. I loved "Lifted" and "fevers", and to a lesser extent "Im wide awake". Not digital ash.

1-0 out of 5 stars Hate to admit I own it.
After enjoying "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" I decided to purchase "Digital Ash".All I can say is what a waste.The other revewer who described the album as amaturish hit the nail on the head.Banal would be a generous description of this album.The only positive point I could make about the CD is that at least the artist didn't attempt to rap.This one's so bad I'll be throwing it away ... I'd be too embarrassed to give it away.

4-0 out of 5 stars The first great CD of 2005
First off, I have never listedned to a Bright Eyes cd before this one, so i don't know what he's "supposed" to sound like.But for my money this a phenomenal cd.I first got into Bright Eyes when amazon posted the free mp3s on the website. And I liked Take It Easy(Love Nothing) and Gold Mine Glutted are much better songs than the way too morose Lua.Overall every song is good in it's own way.The only complaint I have is that the first 2 minutes of Time Code is pretty much silence, which I have to skip through every time I listen to it.And on Ship In A Bottle, the part of the song where it breaks down into a baby crying annoys me.But other than that I have no complaints. ... Read more

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