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61. Transistor Radio
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62. Knuckle Down
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63. White Blood Cells
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64. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
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65. In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
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66. Weezer (Green Album)
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67. Greetings From Michigan: The Great
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68. In Love & Death
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69. Riot on an Empty Street
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70. The Secret Migration
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71. Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: Retrospective
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72. Either/Or
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73. The Milk of Human Kindness
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74. In the Clear
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75. Want Two (CD/DVD combo)
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76. In Case We Die
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77. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless
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78. Mmhmm
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79. Around the Sun
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80. Prisoners of Love: A Smattering

61. Transistor Radio
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007KIFIM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1725
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Transistor Radio may be bookmarked by instrumentals, but M. Ward’s cracked, jazzy croon is the true star of all his work. The sixteen tunes here all sound like sketches that became songs on the spot, and we all know the well-crafted illusion of spontaneity is a very difficult thing to pull off repeatedly. His most consistently enjoyable album to date, Transistor offers breezy, smart, poppy music very much in the American folk tradition, from country blues to bleary-eyed bedroom strums. This is the soundtrack to a lazy Sunday when you sleep in, read the Times in bed, cuddle with a friend, then finally leave the house for cheese grits. "I’ll Be Yr Bird" sounds like the Fruit Bats collaborating with Vic Chesnutt, while Ward recalls Stew on "Hi Fi," the deadpan lyrics over lazy, lovely sounds: "Why burn your bridges when you can blow your bridges up?" The laudanum-like charms of Ward’s music are tough to resist. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Keep your overhyped, manufactured dreck. . .
M. . . Matthew. . . has soul.My wife and I saw him a few weeks ago in a venue that you can only describe as a tool shed in a parking lot, really. (Kilby Court, SLC)He was absolutely stunning.

I could not disagree more with the "Pseudo Dave Matthews vibe"comment made by wm "wordmule"Uh. . . Pseudo means fake.I can only assume that the comment was an attempted complement, as you gave him 5 stars, BUT. . . As Dave Matthews is the music industry sell-out poster child, and has not even been interesting for a decade, his "vibe" does not approach m.ward's purity.End of Amnesia is also a VERY good album.And, if you can get your hands on his cover of Daniel Johnston's Story of an Artist- you will be amazed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Review From The Synthesis
M. Ward's latest offering to the world of music, and his latest LP, Transistor Radio, pays tribute to independent radio and those who still appreciate it. While this album probably won't get much play outside of the dying open format realm, it is, without a doubt, worth your attention. If you've heard Matthew Ward before let me just say this is his best work yet. If you haven't, then imagine Neil Young about to sing himself to sleep with a lullaby composed of the softest melodies and most poetic lyrics imaginable. These songs have the unique quality of catering to your current state. If you're sad they feel sad, and if you're happy they somehow change tone to fit your mood. There is truly nothing bad about this album.

- Chris Acosta
Synthesis.net

5-0 out of 5 stars Warm, earthy, haunting and sooo dang gorgeous!
Wow, so well worth the wait! This highly anticipated M. Ward album has finally surfaced, and it's f'ing fantastic!! Oooh sorry, shhh, maybe that was much too loud and boisterous an exclamation for such a beautiful work, but hopefully that gives you an ample impression of my enthusiasm for this release!

It was recorded at a number of different studios around the country with a number of different awesome performin' and producin' participants (such as Howe Gelb, Vic Chesnutt, John Parish, Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and The Old Joe Clarks), and it traverses as much of the mood and folk music spectrums as those of the geographic and personnel.
The first impression that struck me was that Transistor Radio sounds as though Mr. Ward has brought his songbook a lot closer to that of Ms Jolie Holland (or vice versa... expect much more cross-pollination between the fan camps of both artists). The recordings have that brittle old tyme-y feel but the vocal performances are overflowing with heartfelt gusto.

The addition of Ms Lewis' vocals on songs such as "Big Boat") do much to reinforce this sonic kinship. Also materializing in a few of the songs is a fevered twang akin to Howe Gelb, Giant Sand or Calexico which makes sense when you find out that some of these songs were recorded at Wavelab Studios in Arizona (where those artists all record).

Warm, earthy, haunting and sooo dang gorgeous! Definitely an album for sharing! Very very recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Disc of the Year
No matter what else gets released, I already know that this is hands down my favorite disc of the year.Heart-stoppingly good, it's perfect regardless of your mood or musical tastes, so buy it and become enthralled; your life will be that much the better for it!

5-0 out of 5 stars M WARD RULES AND THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO IT
M. Ward rules and that's all there is to it.This boy is going places!If you buy only one record this year, this is the one.
I suppose nothing is "authentic" nowadays, but Matt Ward comes awfully close.5 STARS!! ... Read more


62. Knuckle Down
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0006SSQGG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1336
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Even after 15 years of releasing albums on her own Righteous Babe imprint, it's hard to know what to make of Ani DiFranco. Some see her as a folkie-punk-bisexual-feminist-radical-crap-kicker, while others reckon she's merely Alanis Morissette with better lyrics. On her 15th studio album the truth just might be somewhere in between. She does dysfunctional family portraits ("Studying Stones") and broken affairs ("Lag Time") just fine, but she also manages to leave room for rambling, autobiographical beat poetry ("Parameters"). And then there is the music. Matching acoustic guitars with earthy funk rhythms and soft moonlight moods with out-of-leftfield song arrangements, it reconfirms the one label everyone can agree upon: fiercely original. --Aidin Vaziri

Recommended Ani DiFranco Discography


Out of Range

Not a Pretty Girl

So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter

Little Plastic Castle

Revelling/Reckoning

Living in Clip

... Read more

Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ani's still great, and that Kevin guy who gave her 1 star?
This isn't my favorite Ani album, but, like all of her albums, each song has it's moment and application to my own life.I shaved my head once (although, sadly, it I don't have the head for it), found myself wanting to angrily lash out at unrequited love (which is why I absolutely love Dilate), and am now growing a bit older and wiser, which I see happening in her work.And I love the fact that she's still giving the man the finger; it reminds me that I need to give up a bit of comfort for honesty, too.

And, as for Kevin, the fellow who gave the album 1 star.Well, I'm sure he didn't even listen to it as, if you check out his record of reviews, all he does is write reviews with one star.This indicates to me that he is either a bitter, lonely man sitting in his basement blindly raging against some unknown enemy (could it be his own stunning inadequacy?) or he's just a hack who thinks he's being witty by trashing other people.Either way, I do feel sorry for him and hope that he finds some joy in life, before he bites the big one and the only thing proving his pitiful existence will be some pithy amazon.com reviews.So, Kevin, if you're reading this, take a shower, get dressed, and go meet some people.Or take up a hobby.Do something.You need to find some joy in life.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Fine Ani As Always
Over the last fifteen years, the politically outspoken Ani DiFranco has made a name for herself as a fiercely independant artist.She's created a large cult audience that have followed her every move.Through everything, she's received rave reviews for her music including a Grammy award (2003's "Evolve").Her poetry and her melodies have always stood beyond the test of time despite little radio airplay.This folk-rock artist has often experimented with other genres with her signature sound: punk, funk, jazz, blues, and others.She's never recorded anything below her top potential.Therefore, she's maintained the respect as an artist and as a person.This has influenced many artists who have come after her (Pink, Dar Williams).

In 2005, she changed some traditions with her album "Knuckles Down".Surprisingly, she hired a producer, Joe Henry, to assist in her music.This collaboration resulted in a more folk-pop sound with quality that continues her run as a phenomenal artist.This album shows a more mellow side of Ani.Yet, she never loses her signature musical edge.The melodies and the rhythms flow greatly through the instruments, namely her guitar.The various instrumental line-up keeps this album interesting; yet, the album flows smoothly.Her poetry continues expressing her deep thoughts.This album expresses more of her recent personal turbulances in a less outspoken fashion.Despite, her artistic stance never loses itself.Such quality shows great artistic evolution that makes this album shine.

This allows her performances to remain expressive.As always, her musical talents give her music the heart and soul it deserves.Her performances show her poetic side greatly.Her expressed sadness never loses its emotion.This album shows a more mature side that has never been heard previously.Her passion leaves listeners in a trance.In every song, she slides her listeners to a deeper sense of her theme.Her indistinguishable performances leave a longlasting impact on everybody.All her songs stand out in the modern folk industry.

Through the dying mainstream music, Ani DiFranco always prevails.Her music defines true music."Knuckle Down" is no exception.This album is a great escape from the often-selling-out mainstream music heard too often on the radio.She has never sold out.She remains true to herself and everyone else.Therefore, this album is sure to please new and old fans.

***Expect Ani DiFranco to receive at least two 2005 Grammy nominations: Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Recording Package.

5-0 out of 5 stars Knuckle Down is a must-have..
'Knuckle Down' was my first foray into the musical world of Ani DiFranco, and has quickly become one of my favourite albums of all-time.If you're tired of the generic, manufactured music so common to modern network air waves, this disc is for you.The songwriting is developed and well-thought out, and the tonality of the album is warm and inviting.Do yourself a favour, buy this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Back To the Fold
I've read several of the reviews below, and some are very good.My review of this album won't be quite as technical and thorough as those I've read, but I'll give you my honest opinion.This is a great cd.I've been listening to Ani for about 11 years now....I came in around the "Out of Range" and "Not a Pretty Girl" days.I was a very "devoted" fan (read crazed) for much of my late teens and into my early twenties...sometimes driving as long as 10 hours for a concert.I've loved several of her cd's along the way....Dilate, Little Plastic Castle, To the Teeth, Revelling/Reckoning, Evolve.But as life kept on going, and I got older, I became less and less crazed.Not because of her music, but because I had more going on.....more important things to worry about.I didn't even buy Educated Guess (I didn't even *gasp* realize that she had released it!)But after seeing her perform "Studying Stones" on, of all places, the CBS Saturday Early Show, I was intrigued about "Knuckle Down."So I got the cd, and expected to go through my usual Ani routine.Listen to it, think "hmmmm this isn't anything like Little Plastic Castle or To the Teeth or Evolve....I'm not sure I like it," and then a few weeks or months later listen to it and think "OH!I get it, this is awesome!"But I haven't been able to stop listening to it since it arrived in the mail.This cd has snapped me back to that old place.I'm not sure how, and I'm not sure why....but that's what's happened.I absolutely love this disc.It's really hard pick a favorite song (okay, maybe I like "Studying Stones", "Paradigm", and "Sunday Morning" a little more than the rest.)I'm not saying everyone will love this as much as I do.But if you've kept listening to Ani through the years, through all the different bands and styles and personal experiences, I think you'll dig this cd.

1-0 out of 5 stars not good
This effort, I have to say, is simply not good. I used to like Difranco's stuff quite a bit, but something's missing here, and it's a substantial enough problem that it compromises the entire work.

On a side note, I must defend porterhouse from lucibuis' attack. First, it's not like porterhouse is off the mark. The comments about the music notwithstanding (with which I happen to agree, at least concerning this album, but that's beside the point), all porterhouse did was call it like he or she saw it. Honestly, any objective observer couldn't really disagree. But what is truly absurd is Lucibuis' hypocrisy. Lucibuis purports to give us all a lesson about what makes a great American citizen and why Difranco is just that, right after calling for Amazon to censor porterhouse. Nice. I guess it's good old fashioned stuff like liberty and free speech, but only for those with whom you agree, right Lucibuis? Twisted. ... Read more


63. White Blood Cells
list price: $18.98
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B00005YTFQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 979
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Rock & roll is constantly splintering into multiple personalities. Big radioplayers layer thick slabs of studio shine on their albums, while back-to-the-basicsrockers keep the sound so raw it rubs calluses on your ears. The White Stripes fallin the latter category. The duo strips down to the fundamentals of Meg White's simpledrumbeat and Jack White's garagy guitar and pleading vocals. While the elements aresparse, the Detroit act create a noisy, hip-grinding batch of punk R&B, displayed againon White Blood Cells, the Stripes' third full-length. While it's hard to pickfavorites from such talent, this band only gets better with time. White's vocals weresounding like a young Robert Plant on De Stijl--definitely not a bad thing--buton Cells, he's developed his own persona. He throws musical fits on "Fell in Lovewith a Girl," gets almost loungy on the piano number "This Protector," and keeps the bluesvibe running on "Now Mary." The album is so rich with basic variations on a simple themeit's hard to believe such soulful energy comes from just two people. White Blood Cellsis an amazing piece of work, a benchmark that ought to inspire new legions of garage rockersfor years to come. --Jennifer Maerz ... Read more

Reviews (345)

4-0 out of 5 stars Maybe more like 3 1/2 stars... but it's still cool.
1. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground- A slow, brooding rock song with good lyrics and a cool video.
2. Hotel Yorba- A silly little country-influenced jam with an adorable video. You'll be singing the chorus forever.
3. I'm Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman- One of my favorite songs on the album. Nice piano, a good tune, and great lyrics about misplaced attempts at chivalry.
4. Fell In Love With A Girl- The big hit of the album. Fun and fast and wears surprisingly well.
5. Expecting- Not my favorite, but good. Slow bluesy rock stuff. Jack delivers the lyrics well.
6. Little Room- Almost too short and sparse to be a song, but still a lot of fun. Composed of drums and vocals that descend rapidly into old jazz-style scatting.
7. The Union Forever- A little overdramatic and wearing at times, but still a cool and passionate song. Awesome lyrics taken from "Citizen Kane."
8. The Same Boy You've Always Known- Winsome and sweet and melancholy. I like it a lot. :)
9. We're Going To Be Friends- An soft, melodic song through a child's eyes, done in a perfect and non-cloying way.
10. Offend In Every Way- Pretty good music, cool lyrics about self-doubt and relationships with others.
11. I Think I Smell A Rat- Kind of amusing, but gets old fast.
12. Aluminum- A weird aural experiment that is pretty cool. I don't skip it when listening to the CD, but I don't get cravings for it, either, which is less than I can see for most of the songs on the album (the other major exception being Track 11).
13. I Can't Wait- A solid song that seems unremarkable at first, but grows on you rapidly.
14. Now Mary- Slightly blues influenced, mostly lighter slow-rock. Enjoyable.
15. I Can Learn- The delicate words seem kind of out of place with the labored melody, but a cool song that's been stuck in my head lately.
16. This Protector- Weird, but really great. Becoming one of my favorites.

In conclusion: This is an excellent album, as is every album I've heard from the Stripes, but I prefer Elephant and De Stijl. Some fabulous songs, some good but not quite awesome ones, and just two that I don't like much. Not as great as other White Stripes works, but still somewhat addictive and recommended by me (though the other two I mentioned are recommended a bit more highly).

5-0 out of 5 stars No Blues, No Problem!
Although there's no blues on this album, like most White Stripes fans expect, this album is still great. Unlike the other White Stripes albums, White Blood Cells has nothing but original songs written by Jack White himself. The songs aren't dragged out, they're fairly short & sweet. White Blood Cells shows how The White Stripes have a variety of styles that they play their music. It goes from the alternative hit "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" to the quiet smooth song titled "This Protector."
It's one of those albums like Def Leppard's Hysteria, the whole album is good & you never get tired of listening to it. There's not too many albums that are that good, so buy this one. But, it's a shame that a lot of people thought that White Blood Cells was The White Stripes debut album, that's not true, White Blood Cells is The White Stripes third album. Their previous two albums, "The White Stripes, & De Stijl," are also great albums. But, White Blood Cells sticks out in most peoples mind.

BUY THIS ALBUM, IT'S AWESOME.

Every single song is worth listening to. With 16 tracks you don't get ripped off, you get a full album, instead of 11 or 12 like most bands do. The White Stripes really know how to put together a classic album.

5-0 out of 5 stars The White Stripes' Masterpiece
A lot of people prefer the sound of Elephant to this album, and while I loved Elephant I still say this is their legacy. It is one of the rarities you find that you can listen to without skipping a single track. I originally bought this album because I liked Fell in Love With a Girl, but I never expected it to be one of the best albums I have ever heard. It is just that in my mind, from the opening track Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground to the end track This Protector. It is so eclectic in sound ranging from the blues sound found in their earlier work to some more accoustic ballads, and even a touch of country(of which I am not a fan, but Jack White does it right). It is simply amazing that two people are behind music this big, and while they keep it simplistic and minimalistic they are the best in making full use of what they have. Fell in Love With a Girl is a great song and we have all heard that one by now. But if you were ever pondering buying this cd and haven't then go buy it quickly. Hotel Yorba is one of the songs with a country feel to it and I think it is great. All in all every songs flows into the next one really well and the diversity in style makes this a truly great piece of music. If you are still unsure, download some tracks like I'm Finding It Harder..., The Union Forever, I Think I Smell a Rat, Now Mary and Fell in Love With A Girl. Once you hear these you should have a great idea of the sound the Stripes present in White Blood Cells and you will either love it or hate it. It is destined to become a classic and rightfully so. Regardless, check this out if you yearn for meaningful music you surely wont see on MTV. You will probably be glad you did. And one more thing, check out another great one by the White Stripes, Elephant.

3-0 out of 5 stars Kind of upsetting but still good
OK..I first bought the Elephant istead of byuing White Blood Cells Thank GOD! The Elephent is much fresheer and just better! The White Blood cells was good in the begining (especially Fell In love with a Girl) but towards the middle and the end it sucked ass! It was horrible towards the end... I would sugest you byuing the Elephent first..and if you really like it then you should go out and buy White Blood Cells. Since its too blueyuse and even country!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of the 4
The White Stripes did get some attention for this album, but not nearly as much as their 4th album, Elephant did. Elephant is a great album, but I think White Blood Cells surpasses it. It is most definitely my favorite White Stripes album. It's one of those albums that I eventually always go back to. From start to finish it's raw, it's rock n' roll the way it should be. It makes me really happy to see artist like The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Libertines, etc out today. It's still amazing to me that the stripes have managed to become mildly popular among the sh*tty musical culture we have now. ... Read more


64. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0000019PA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 785
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 1998

Just from the opening seconds of Neutral Milk Hotel's second album, you know it's going to be special: the acoustic guitar strum is catchy beyond belief, and Jeff Magnum's intonation lends credibility even to a line like "When you were young, you were the King of Carrot Flowers." Listening to In the Aeroplane is like stepping through Alice's looking glass; you enter a fantastic new universe that, while it doesn't always make sense logically, feels like the home you never had. --Randy Silver ... Read more

Reviews (272)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Holy (...)!"
That's what you can hear someone in the studio shouting as Jeff Mangum finishes the centerpiece of this album, 'Oh Comely'. That pretty much sums up what I feel too. This is one of those albums that hits you like a ton of bricks. If you're here you probably already have a good idea of what NMH sounds like (Elephant 6 and all that) but what you might not know if you haven't heard the album is that Magnum is -much- better than his E6 counterparts.

While some of his friends in bands like Apples (In Stereo) or Olivia Tremor Control dabbled in pretensious sound collages or 60's throwback songs, Magnum released one of the classic albums of the '90s. It's a collection of arresting solo accoustic songs and horn-filled "fuzz folk" tunes. Sounds wierd I know. But the strange thing is how well the diverse sounds of this album flow together. A quiet accoustic number like "2-Headed Boy" flows into a beautiful horn instrumental which morphs into the up-tempo lo-fi masterpiece "Holland, 1945."

The lyrics hold everything together. Mangum has created something resembling a theme album revolving around World War II, Anne Frank and his own childhood. You get the feeling that this guy has a tenous grasp of reality, since the two subjects seem to blend together in his mind. The songs, taken as a whole, evoke a feel of dreamlike sadness. And if you're reading this thinking, "Ugh, a concept album about Anne Frank, how pretensious" it really isn't. Jeff is so heartfelt and honest, but not in an 'emo' way -- no weepy self-pity here. It's hard to believe an album of such maturity and honesty came from a man in his mid 20s.

I know I'm rambling here but there's a lot I have to say about this album. It's not all good. People tend to overreact about "Aeroplane", I think because they feel such a strong emotional connection to Jeff's lyrics. Even though the things he sings about are very cryptic and surreal, you feel empathy and unity with the guy. But this often makes exaggerate how good it is. "Aeroplane" is not the best album of the 90's, Jeff Mangum is not the best musician today. That said, it's still an almost unbelievably emotionally arresting and intimate collection of songs that retain an E6 style accessability and catchiness. Be prepared for this album to effect your mood and also your musical taste. When I first bought it it was the only thing I listened to for at least a week. I'm stunned that this album just came out of the wood-work. While it might not be the best album of the '90's, its definitely one of the most interesting. Everyone who likes music should own it.

5-0 out of 5 stars amazingly haunting, hauntingly amazing
i can't say enough good things about this album. the main thing i can say is that if you don't own it, buy it. this is an album that will change your life. i'm blown away by the fact that people still listen to fake music like britney spears, or meaningless punk like sum41, when this kind of music is being produced. this is, simply, magic.

tracks:

the king of carrot flowers pt 1- the song that got me hooked on NMH. the song reminds me of a fantasy land; it 's about an escape from reality, something we all need. the lyrics are heartbreaking and beautiful, as is the guitar.

the king of carrot flowers pts 2 and 3- starts about with jeff crooning about jesus, and you can't be sure if he's serious or not... then the song breaks into hard, beautiful rock and fuzz guitar. uplifting, breaktaking, moving.

the aeroplane over the sea- a song about a wonderful relationship. the lyrics are true and don't try to gloss over the harder aspects of life. great acoustic guitar.

two headed boy- this song is, in a word, amazing. jeff magnum's voice soaring over the beautiful lyrics just takes me away to another place. this is how life is. this song is incredible. worth the entire price of the album alone.

the fool- perfect followup to two headed boy. instrumental, wonderful horns and drums.

holland 1945- i love this song! the lyrics are beautiful, telling a story of a girl in the holocaust. they are accented with heavy fuzz guitar and drums. this song is so upbeat, guarranteed to lift your mood. heartbreaking lyrics, but disguised by the music.

communist daughter- simply breaks my heart.

oh comely- seems to tell the heartbreaking story of a relationship in the holocaust. some of the most beautiful lyrics i've ever heard. in this song, sex is the most wonderful act on earth ("soft silly music is meaningful magical/the movements were beautiful/all in your ovaries)>. this song ends with the most moving line i've ever heard.

ghost- like holland 1945, very uplifting, with fuzz guitar, horns, drums, and guitar. wonderful singalong. makes me happy!

untitled (#10)- if you like bagpipes, this is for you. an automatic mood lifter.

two headed boy pt 2- this song has some of the most beautiful lyrics i've ever heard. they hit home, hard. beautiful, haunting, moving... breaks my heart.

get. this. album. change your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impossible to describe
This is a cd that no one should live without...no matter what music you listen to you will MOST LIKELY love it. i am a hardcore punk, deathmetal and ska fan yet this cd is my love..
TWO HEADED BOY is a greeaaaaaat song rules all..thank you and goodnight

5-0 out of 5 stars Statement of.........
Perhaps best likened to a marching band on an acid trip, Neutral Milk Hotel's second album is another quixotic sonic parade; lo-fi yet lush, impenetrable yet wholly accessible, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is either the work of a genius or an utter crackpot, with the truth probably falling somewhere in between. Again teaming with producer Robert Schneider, Jeff Mangum invests the material here with new maturity and clarity; while the songs run continuously together, as they did on the previous On Avery Island, there is a much clearer sense of shifting dynamics from track to track, with a greater emphasis on structure and texture. Mangum's vocals are far more emotive as well; whether caught in the rush of spiritual epiphany ("The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two and Three") or in the grip of sexual anxiety ("Two-Headed Boy"), he sings with a new fervor, composed in equal measure of ecstasy and anguish. However, as his musical concepts continue to come into sharper focus, one hopes his stream-of-consciousness lyrical ideas soon begin to do the same; while Mangum spins his words with the rapid-fire intensity of a young Dylan, the songs are far too cryptic and abstract to fully sink in - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is undoubtedly a major statement, but just what it's saying is anyone's guess.

5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest Album Ever
This is my favorite album of all time. Better that Chiastic Slide, better than the Mollusk. This is it. I bought it on a whim having only heard the Amazon clips. I was hooked. This is the album that I put on less then an hour after my first and only girlfriend broke up with me less then two hours ago in my apartment. This is one of the few things in life that actually makes it worth living. Thank you Jeff. ... Read more


65. In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000CC6QF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 364
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

How do you condense 15 years of music down to 76 minutes? In the case of this survey of the second phase of R.E.M.'s career, the answer is: Exceptionally well. The dangling carrot for diehards is two new songs; the rapid fire "Bad Day" hurtles along like the kissing cousin of "It's the End of the World as We Know It," while "Animal" is anchored by a majestic drone reminiscent of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." In a surprising, but gratifying move, the rest of the program shortchanges the band's breakthrough, Out of Time (no "Shiny Happy People"), to better accommodate movie soundtrack contributions, and spotlight gems from the less commercial, post-Bill Berry albums Reveal and Up; with its baroque piano and multi-tracked vocal harmonies, the Beach Boys homage "At My Most Beautiful" is particularly gorgeous, while the burbling keyboards and slightly dazed singing of "All the Way to Reno" will appeal to Flaming Lips fans. --Kurt B. Reighley ... Read more

Reviews (122)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a true "Greatest Hits" package...
I will still say this collection is indeed a great collection, but I feel it falls short of what a true "greatest" collection consists of...which is usually all their hits. Perhaps they didn't have 18 hits...so they added a few unreleased tracks and few soundtrack songs instead. I know this is a collection taken from a certain period of time...I still would have rather had seen a complete "greatest hits" collection. If I had done it, it would look something like this...
1. Pop Song '89
2. Crush With Eyeliner
3. Radio Free Europe
4. Bang and Blame
5. So. Central Rain
6. Stand
7. Everybody Hurts
8. Man on the Moon
9. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight
10. The One I love
11. Nightswimming
12. Orange Crush
13. Its the End of the World as We Know It.
14. Shiny Happy People
15. Drive
16. Radio Song
17. Whats The Frequency, Kenneth?
18. Losing My Religion
In my opinion my playlist is more accurate as a "greatest" collection...but again..this collection is still damn good.

4-0 out of 5 stars If R.E.M Can Lighten Up, So Can You...
Unless you're talking about a band that's clearly singles-based rather than album-oriented, almost any best-of album is bound to disappoint someone. When it's for a band like R.E.M., who have released seven albums and numerous non-album songs in 15 year period covered, it's almost inevitable that some fans would be disappointed. For my own part, I'm surprised at some of what's here and what's not. I wonder why "Automatic For the People" is represented by four songs, when "Out of Time" and "Monster" are limited to one each.

That said, a review should turn on what's there more so than what's not, and what's here is really quite good. Kicking off with their twin Andy Kaufman tributes ("Man on the Moon" and "Great Beyond"), "In Time" maintains a high-level of quality all the way through, making a strong case for R.E.M.'s already secured place in the rock pantheon.

Is it a perfect collection? This reviewer would say, no. This is not just because of missing personal favorites ("Half a World Away" and "World Leader Pretend") but also for the aforementioned lack of balance between how albums are represented here. It's hard to argue that "Up" or even "Automatic for the People" are really that much better than "Monster" or "Out of Time."

Then again, any compilation reflects the bias of its makers, just as a listener's reaction to it reflects theirs. By any objective standard, though, "In Time" is a good attempt to give a feel of what post-IRS Records R.E.M. is about. Plus, it sounds really good with the volume up.

2-0 out of 5 stars REM's unimaginative best
REM is one of the greatest bands ever, OK? I will never deny that. I have all of their albums and have seen them many times in concert. However, there are two kinds of REM fans. There are the ones that have been with them all along and still like listening to "Murmur" and "Lifes Rich Pagent." Then there are those fans that love "Out of Time" and "Automatic For the People." Now, i will give you that Austomatic was a great album, Out of Time was not. However, the differences between the two groups are demonstrated by a love of the early, non-commercial stuff and the mid '90s commercial stuff. The compilation is all about the mindless singles that gave REM mainstream success. Excluding "Electrolite," none of these songs really needed to be included for a "best of" album. It was an attempt by REM to pick up a paycheck because their most recent albums were not selling well. Sad but true.

3-0 out of 5 stars Yawn
I like R.E.M. I liked them in the late 80's and in the 90's. This is a good collection of hits. No more exciting than that.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a really excellent collection!
I've been an off and on fan of R.E.M. for a very long time but was really interested in this CD after it came out and I have to say that it does not dissapoint and really compiles a lot of the best stuff of their's from 1988 through 2003 from their "Green" album to two subpar tracks that were solely for this CD. All of my favorite songs are from this time period with songs like "Everybody Hurts", "Orange Crush", "Losing My Religion" and even "What's the Frequency Kenneth". This CD would've been a little better if it included "It's The End of the World As We Know it And I Feel Fine" but that track came out in 1987 and thus isn't included on here. Oh Well. For what it is though "In Time" is a wonderful collection and is certainly a CD worth buying. ... Read more


66. Weezer (Green Album)
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Asin: B00005ICAW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2335
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Weezer, those geek rockers who topped mid-'90s charts with those oh-so-precious pop fables "Undone (The Sweater Song)" and "Buddy Holly," were almost undone by 1997's bombastic Pinkerton. Their sophomore release turned its back on the band's clean-cut debut, with a thrash approach more influenced by Sabbath and Kiss than the Beach Boys. On their third album (self-titled, like their first, but referred to as the "Green Album"), the band makes a concentrated effort to return to anthemic '60s punky pop, demonstrating that, for Weezer at least, it's rather easy being green. In fact, one could say they're almost as green as Green Day, especially on "Knockdown Dragout." At their best, Weezer show such boundless energy and gleeful aplomb that you'd swear you were listening to a lost Badfinger album. Conversely, Rivers Cuomo's twisted genius makes its way onto the anxious and paranoid "Hash Pipe" and the jittery "Glorious Days," making the "Green Album" the most absorbing and rounded vision from these pop masters yet. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (687)

3-0 out of 5 stars Weezer treading water on their comeback
Question time. When is a return to form by one of rock's smartest bands not necessarily a good thing? The answer is when it's Weezer's new Weezer. By no means is the album bad, just a bit of a letdown following the genius of Pinkerton. An argument could be made that this is the record that Weezer wanted to make following their debut, but Rivers Cuomo's personal demons wouldn't let them. It's a return to the poppy, new wave sound that fans initially fell in love with following the less well-received, raw emotion that was Pinkerton. If you loved their debut, chances are you'll love this as well since it's ultimately the same album. If you loved Pinkerton, you'll probably see this record as a step down. Again, while it's a bit of disappointment, there are highlights. "Island In the Sun" may be one of the best songs the band has ever put to tape. It is a perfect (underline perfect) single and has a brilliant 80's vibe to it. While "Island in the Sun" sounds like the best song Weezer has ever recorded, "Photograph" sounds like the best song the Cars never recorded with its new wave hand claps and singalong chorus. "Don't Let Go" and "O Girlfriend" would have been at home on the self-titled debut, but they somehow feel like rehashes. "Smile" and "Hash Pipe" sound like an attempt to match the excellence of Pinkerton, yet they're are unable to recreate the sheer emotion of that album. Weezer's comeback with this album was welcomed with open arms (as it should have been) but let's hope that we see them take a step forward with their next album, instead of merely treading water.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sounds like Weezer
Weezer return after five years. I disagree with the band claiming the record is somewhere "between Pinkterton and the blue album", though I wish it were true. Production-wise, it's extremely sharp, very similar to the blue album. Musically, the songs on the green album are half as complex (as Pinkterton, at least). The solos (almost all of them) are simply the vocal melody churned out on guitar. Rivers can shred on guitar, but he totally opted not to on this album. Lyrically, it seems practically without meaning. Considering it's Weezer, and their prior song topics and lyrics, this album is weak by comparison. Not that they are BAD lyrics, they are simply pop lyrics. (Rivers himself is quoted saying that "the lyrics suck"...) HOWEVER... despite all of this, you're still left with an amazingly infectious power pop rock album that I don't think should disappoint many people. It's not groundbreaking, but it's just good rockin music that few bands create like this.

3-0 out of 5 stars tony moore is a dooshbag
This record isnt pinkerton or the blue record but I'd rather listen to this record than any of the fake,emotionless crap that dominates the commercial music world at this point...(staind,limpbizkit,lincoln park,creed,nicklebackt,ect or whatever...Hey tony lets hear one that u wrote,cause u sound like a musician without the chops who cant make it...

5-0 out of 5 stars Un gran album - A great album
El primer disco de Weezer, me parece bueno. Realmente. Punto. No me parece un GRAN ALBUM. El 2do.....en fin....flojito...pero el 3ro....!! Qué gran álbum el Album Verde. Corto, efectivo, apasionante, delicioso...No da respiro, pega y pega, un gran tema al lado del otro. Genial.

The First Weezer record is a fine one.Really is. Period. Not a GREAT ONE. The 2nd, well.....not too good...but the 3rd one....What a grat album is the Green Album! A short one, passionate, delightful...Breathless, hit and hit, one great song after another great song. A work of genius.

2-0 out of 5 stars Hash Pipe, More like ReHash
So Weezer for several years sat around in each of their own computer rooms writing love letters via instant messenger to japnese women in of all places Japan, whom they would most likely never meet. Now Rivers being the smart guy he is, mentioned that he was from the band Weezer in order to score a date with one of them. The problem was, none of the Japanese girls remembered Weezer, so he had a dilemma. Should he not make another album that would sound stale and contrived compared to all his other material or make another album so he could, maybe, pick up chicks. Rivers hadn't had a date for like five years so he decided to make another album. Now Rivers couldn't get his original bassist to come along, Matt Sharp, who was off making better music with The Rentals. So Rivers replaced him with another nerd so no one would notice. They sat down and were wondering what course they would take with the new album, but Rivers, being the God he is among his fans, interrupted and said they should make a word for word ripoff of their fan favorite original album, lots of people would buy it and it would rock the house.

Rivers was partly right, it did sell lots and lots of copies that were soon sold to used record stores across the country, for good reason too. There are two good songs on here, Oh Girlfriend! and Island In The Sun, but neither come close to comparing with anything off the blue album or Pinkerton for that matter. The album sounds all pleasant too, which sounds all fake and stuff because you know Weezer can't be happy because their nerds and there is no way. They're supposed to be all gloomy and doomy. Then they have all these lame RAWK songs like Hash Pipe which again aren't Weezer's forte. Yeah, Weezer from here on out suck. ... Read more


67. Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lakes State
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Asin: B00009V7TZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 755
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars ~
I don't hand out five stars on a whim. I tend to feel a bit guilty when I do because 99.9% of the albums out there aren't worth five stars. This one is different.

I tend to be fairly critical of indie hype. Usually when I follow up on it the results are disapointing. For instance The Postal Servise, GY!BE, Sigur Ros, and so forth. All albums that recieve critical acclaim and have indie kids pooping thier pants. All really bad albums.

So I did not expect much when I finally decided to give this album a chance. Lo and behold, it blew me away.

Lyrically it revolves around the state of Michigan, which should doom "Greetings From..." to a life as a novelty item. Unexpectly, however, the quality of songwriting and execution makes this a must-have cd.

Stevens can craft moments in music. Moments that live and breathe within the listener. Every note is meticulously places within the whole without sounding forced or trite. He knows how long is long enough and how long is too much.

The album is helped out with the borrowed background singers from The Danielson Famile, who create lovely harmony. Stevens plays just about every instrument under the sun, and mixes it perfectly.

5-0 out of 5 stars The musical genious of our time?
First off, I would like to list some reasons why people would not listen to this album. 1) They never heard of it. Well, blame the pop industry for giving the public crap. 2) It sounds like it's going to be a "folky" album. True, Stevens uses the banjo a good deal (though not half as much as his new album, "Seven Swans"), but when you get to the bottom of the album and finally "understand" it, you come to the realization that it has no true genre. Maybe that's what good music is - music that transcends all genres of its time. 3) It's much too soft and downbeat for my taste. Some people just can't take such mellow music, I understand, but this album is, if anything, uplifting and energizing. Despite a lack of percussion in many of the songs, Stevens manages to fill the silence with a myriad of instruments and beautiful, melodious backup vocals. Surprisingly, most of your attention will probably fall on the lyrics. Intertwined with masterful imagery is a theme of a past life in Michigan. Stevens weaves in fantastic memories that are so personal, they could almost be from your own past. All in all, this album is as close to perfection as I've seen in the 2003 releases, and it will inevitably go down as one of Indie rock's greatest achievements - if "Seven Swans" doesn't top it, which is a true possibility.

4-0 out of 5 stars Musically Great, Lyrically OK
Sufjan Stevens is certainly the most musically inventive songwriter to come around in a while, and the production and arrangments here are breathtaking. He appears to be heavily influenced by the Drag City sound (Smog, Jim O'Rourke, David Grubbs etc.) but not encumbered by his debt to those artists.
Stevens' childish voice gets a bit cloying on some songs though, and the lyrics are just fair. The ones about God are pretty annoying actually, not because they are about God, but because they sound naive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give it six stars
I've never written a review for Amazon.com before, and I am proud to make Sufjan Steven's "Greetings.." my first review.

Truly a gifted songwriter who has crafted a beautiful masterpiece about life in not just Michigan, but combining the depression of our failures, with the joy of the belief in God.

Sufjan never apoligizes for his Christianity stance, it's a part of who he is, I admire him for that, and I consider him to be one of the best songwriters today. I enjoyed "Seven Swans" his recent 2004 recent as well, but it is not comparable to this masterpiece.

Few cds I would give a 10 out of 10,
the only four I would would be

Flaming Lips - Soft Bulletin
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Neutral Milk Hotel - Aeroplane Over the Sea
Pixies - Doolittle

I am thinking this cd might be near perfect, and time will evaluate it. For now i'll just go to bed listening to his soothing humble voice

5-0 out of 5 stars amazing
I know this isn't all that helpful, but I am rendered entirely speechless by this album. It's subtle, thoughtful, and sentimental (but not overly so). all I can say is, incredible, remarkable, fantastic, buy it. ... Read more


68. In Love & Death
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Asin: B0002XEDMG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 420
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Album Description

First album? Gold. CD+DVD? Gold. Since the release of its critically acclaimed self-titled debut in mid-2002, The Used has quickly become a musical powerhouse. Now, with In Love And Death, the band's second album, The Used has truly found its voice - honest, uncompromising, loud and strong. ... Read more


69. Riot on an Empty Street
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Asin: B00026W82U
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 601
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Riot on an Empty Street
Okay, let us get real people, the only similiarities between Simon and Garfunkle and the Kings of Convenience are that they both use acoustic guitars and sing in triads. Honestly, that's about it. Moving on to the album...it's good, quite good in fact. That's all I have to say, and it should be enough considering the fact that this comment came from me, a rather fickle pickle.

4-0 out of 5 stars Music for a lazy afternoon
It must be tough to follow up a success such as "Quiet is the New Loud", and many people feared that Kings of Convenience would be a one-off as the band members each got stuck into other projects - Erlend Øye went solo with an ambient project, and Eirik Glambæk Bøe concentrated on his studies (in psychology, I think). But here it is: The long awaited follow up. And it's a very pleasant listen.

This sort of subtle, acoustic music never really goes out of style. You could just as easily give this album to your mother or even grandmother and they'd probably enjoy it just as much as you do (yikes!). That doesn't much sound like a good recommendation for a pop record ... but it is. The crisp clean production and first-rate musicianship makes this a treat to listen to, even though the harmonies are the oldest in the book, but also probably the most immediately pleasing for exactly that reason. This time the duo invite a French female guest writer and vocalist Feist for some variation - which works really well.

Take Simon and Garfunkel - add a bit of jazzy stuff here and there and a bit more melancholy in some places, and you have a pretty good general idea of what this record has to offer. I don't understand, though, why some reviewers find this only mopey - but then again I am familiar with Erlend and Eiriks home town where the weather is always rainy. We do nothing but stare out of rainsplashed windows all year (well, almost). And I know that this is when you want something as soothing as this on your stereo: While you make a cup of hot tea and read the paper, or invite some close friends around for a quiet, home-cooked meal. But it's equally good to rest your sleepy head to on a sunny, lazy summer afternoon: "Gold in the air of summer", indeed.

I'm also already waiting in anticipation for the Röyksopp dance remix of "I'd rather dance" - probably the catchiest uptempo tune on this record. (Röyksopp, can you hear me??)

4-0 out of 5 stars soulful, sensitive, Scandinavian
The Kings Of Convenience: soulful, sensitive, Scandinavian (tick all that apply).

Norwegian duo Erlend Øye (the earnest, bespectacled one) and Eirik Glambek Bøe (the enigmatic, hunky one) channel Simon and Garfunkel in Riot On An Empty Street, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut Quiet Is The New Loud.

In fact, Homesick and Gold In The Air Of Summer capture the melodic spirit of the folk duo so uncannily and so beautifully, that for a moment I thought I was listening to the wrong CD. Either that, or to a Simon and Garfunkel covers band.

The gentle strumming of the acoustic, nylon and steel string guitars set the offbeat, folksy mood as the duo sing together, one 'high voice', the other 'low voice', of the usual melancholy and suffering for love and art, with cut-out-and-stick-on-your-fridge axioms like "a song for someone who needs somewhere to long for" (Homesick), "love is no big truth, driven by our genes, we are selfish human beings" (Love Is No Big Truth), and the "summer child that sits by the water, weaving sunlight threads in his hands" (Live Long).

Interspersed between the occasionally austere folk songs are fleet-footed melodies and whimsical words, but the messages remain consistent: gentle advice ("A friend is not a means you utilize to get somewhere", Misread) and sepia-tinted, idealised memories ("These canals, it seems, they all go in circles, places look the same, and we're the only difference", Cayman Islands). A guest appearance by the current-toast-of-Paris/Jane Birkin-look-a-like Feist on Know-How only cements the album's chic-ness.

The Kings Of Convenience have an undeniable appeal to those who adore fruit-infused tea, minimalist furniture and staring out through blurred windowpanes on dreary rainy days. ... Read more


70. The Secret Migration
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Asin: B0007MEYJ4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1407
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Mercury Rev’s sixth album Secret Migration is a high flying psychedelic concept record filled with paeans to Mother Nature. Singer Jonathan Donahue has never been so in touch with his inner hobbit as he is here. Dave Fridmann remains the band’s producer, which is excellent as he’s the most interesting part of the band, and a great deal of the reason that the band’s best album, ‘98’s Deserter’s Songs, is as good as it is. M. Rev has never been a wildly original band--they’ve been aesthetically joined-at-the-hip with the Flaming Lips for much of their career, and "Diamonds" almost sounds like a parody of Wayne Coyne and crew. But there’s something beguiling about the band, a childlike simplicity that runs through their modern-day prog anthems. On "My Love," Donahue sings "Ain’t it amazing when the seasons begin to change/Someone behind the scenes just seems pull some strings," and as daft as that sounds, well, he’s right! As ecological stoner anthems go, these are righteous.--Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Evolution
Six albums into their career and Buffalo, NY's Mercury Rev sound exactly like a perfect symphonic art rock band should.

The Secret Migration starts out perfectly with "Secret For A Song" -Dreamy Vocals, haunting piano, spacey guitar and great bass playing make this the standout cut on the record.It doesn't take long though before another great track appears #2 "Across Yer Ocean" is pushed by another great bass line and a very confident vocal.And while the lyrics can be quite "dreamy & fantasy-like" the vocal delivery makes it real easy to buy into them.

Other stand-out cuts include "Black Forest", "Vermillion", "Arise" & "In A Funny Way" the lead track which is bound to end up on a television commercial in the very near future, if it hasn't already.

Over the past several years Mercury Rev have been lumped into the Dave Fridmann world of alternative dream pop along with The Flaming Lips & Sparklehorse, all great bands.IMO, "The Secret Migration" is now the standard for all those other bands.

Lush, dreamy, epic, grandoise and at times veering towards prog, this isn't your older brother's Mercury Rev.And while I've liked just about all of Mercury Rev's works, this new sound- more fleshed out and slightly more progressive is their best yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Summer Night's Masterpiece
For reasons unclear to me, Mercury Rev have always been far bigger in the UK than here. Their new one is a lush, richly produced slow-burner that reminds me of the Flaming Lips with better singing and less conceptual lyrics. The songs, nearly all of which are exquisite, sound like they originated on a vintage piano with the echo pedal held down. The other analog and digital instruments augment the spacey, dreamy, overall effect. In sum, the Secret Migration is just too good to remain a secret.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unpredictable approach to latent beauty
I have to start by saying that any comparison between The Secret Migration and Mercury Rev's two previous albums is useless: While the fantastic tone of the lyrics and the beauty of the musical composition remains, this album corresponds to a different stage in a developing process that Jonathan has built over the years. If we see him as the narrator of a fable, we would agree that he portrays the joy for the mere existence of a journey that might lead him to the happy ending. The claustrophobic sense of despair and loss from "Deserter's songs" and "All is dream" has given place to a brighter mood surrounded with allusions of apologetical fantasy (Vermillion) and even optimism (Moving on) and hope (Arise). It does take, however, some time to get used to this little masterpiece presented as it is: a conjunction of sparks of light and dots of shadows, but in the end shinning with a subtle warmth through melancholy pianos and alien guitar riffs. It is more than we can ask for a secret migration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Different kind of album, but still as excellent as always
I have been seriously listening to Mercury Rev since "Yerself Is Steam", and I enjoy the direction this band has taken.They started to gel with "Deserter's Songs", a highly evocative album of soundscapes, often bleak yet still hopeful."All Is Dream" brought a more lush sound, characterized by the earlier open spaces in the music becoming filled in somewhat, and "The Secret Migration" continues in this direction.I like the quirkiness of their earlier material, but this band is good even when they aren't as quirky.

"The Secret Migration" doesn't sound as psychedelic to my ears as Mercury Rev's earlier albums.While there are certainly some trippy passages in which a listener can find themselves dreaming, these songs should be accessible to a fairly wide range of tastes.Jonathan Donahue's vocals are delicate, sweet and heartfelt, and the production and arrangements are exquisite.Some of the songs, particularly "My Love", and "Moving On" have a timeless quality.

This is music that should be taken on its own merits and not compared with previous Mercury Rev albums.If one can get past the differences between this effort and earlier efforts by Mercury Rev, the high quality of this musical experience will transport the listener to a place of optimism, magic and light.For me, this album evokes more emotions than most other CDs I own.It is a mature, fully realized work.

I highly recommend this one, whether or not you are a Mercury Rev fan.In times like these, I think we all need good doses of magic, nature and sunshine.

3-0 out of 5 stars Passable and secret
It takes awhile to figure out just what is wrong with "Secret Migration," the latest by lush-prog rock band Mercury Rev. But eventually it becomes obvious what the problem is: It's not grounded enough. Their sleepy, lush latest album is truly lovely, in the vein of their previous "All Is Dream," but their songwriting goes off into fantasyland too often.

The past releases by Mercury Rev have been on par with stuff like the Flaming Lips and Sparklehorse -- brilliant, otherworldly and deeply yearning. Here, the fairy-tale motif takes over, with that edge of orchestral pop and psychedelic rock. I suppose you could call it Ye Olde Renaissance Rock'n'Rolle, with all those mentions of "morning stars," white horses, sinister forests, silver oceans and fairy rides.

Musically, the band is still in solid form -- lots of epic soundscapes and rich instrumentation. Sure, they have wandered all over the musical palette, but they never fail to sound lush and interesting, with plenty of deep synth washed over slow, gritty melodies. The one flaw is that they lost that folksy edge -- especially the bowed saws -- that characterized their sound in "Deserter's Songs."

It starts off with a series of very grand, rich songs, which are sent up in the air by piano and organ, and only rooted by some very solid basslines. But with "Vermillion," the soft piano revs up into a faster tempo that carries over until the final round of songs, which are airy but surprisingly powerful. Synths and soft bass are what carry the songs into that pretty, if less intense, sound. Musically, it's lovely -- some excellent work here.

The songwriting is the weakest point. A few like "In The Wilderness" have the spare, grounded sound, but often the lyrics are dressed up in Ye Olde Rock'n'Rolle descriptions: "See how the rain, captured by the leaves,/Shimmers and falls, and lives on in diamond balls,/Like a necklace hung, over limb and branch,/For me to show to you, like gifts." It's extremely pretty, but it doesn't have that fearful, yearning note that their earlier albums had.

Mercury Rev still sounds excellent in "Secret Migration," but it's just a little too fairy-tale-ish for its own good. Were they to ride dragonflies less often, they would sound close to perfect. ... Read more


71. Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: Retrospective
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Asin: B00065U036
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3144
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72. Either/Or
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Asin: B00000373U
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 879
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Music Reviews

Blessed with the voice of a wispy angel, Elliott Smith creates sad little pop songs, which, like the work of Nick Drake (to whom he's been compared) threaten to disappear into the night air. Several of the tracks here were featured in Gus Van Zant's movie Good Will Hunting, and they're among the album's best (though "Miss Misery," nominated for an Academy Award is only available on the soundtrack album). "Angeles" and "Say Yes" are bittersweet laments that feature Smith's idiosyncratic guitar picking, which is well served by the album's decidedly low-fi production. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (96)

5-0 out of 5 stars Where Have I Been?
I have to thank Spin magazine for my purchase of Elliot Smith's Either/Or. I saw the album located as one of the best albums of the 90s and decided to go purchase the album. SPIN WAS COMPLETELY WRONG. This album should have been way farther up than the rating it got. Where have I been? How come I had never heard of Elliot Smith before this? I love every song on this album. Beautiful melodies and flowing intelligent lyrics - Either/Or is one of the most haunting and elegant albums I have ever heard. Speed Trials is glorious and so is Alameda. Ballad of Big Nothing is without a doubt the highlight of the album. Between the Bars, Pictures of Me, No Name No.5, Rose Parade, Punch and Judy, Cupid's Trick, 2:45 AM - all GREAT songs. Say Yes and Angeles are other highlights. Elliot Smith has a ethereal voice and combined with his guitar- creates an experience that can only be heard. I haven't heard XO or his self-titled. But from some people I've talked to - they say XO or the self-titled is better. How can you top this? I can't wait to find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars elliott smith's best album!
i didn't know a whole lot of background information about elliott smith when i first heard his music, and i still haven't seen good will hunting, but after a friend introduced me to his incredible music he has become my favorite musician! his voice is just plain beautiful! i can't describe it any other way.

either/or was the first cd i heard by elliott smith, and is probably my favorite out of all the elliott smith albums. every song is pretty emotional and full of feeling. the tone is really mellow, and not abrasive like most of the music of today. i personally love "depressing" emotional music, and it makes me feel good. either/or is perfectly blended between sad and beautiful music. this is one of the few albums that i can listen to the whole cd straight through. my personal favorite tracks are: "between the bars", "angeles", "2:45", "speed trials", no name no. 5", etc. i love every track!

this is somewhat sad music, but it doesn't really make you sad. i am really amazed that this truly gifted artist exists! really, this is beautiful music that everyone can appreciate!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Beautiful
Elliott Smith's music is so sincere and brutally honest that just him and his acoustic beat all those mainstream fishooks out there today. The acoustic fingerstyle does conjure up the ghost of Nick Drake. The album has great dual layered vocals on songs like Angeles and Between the Bars which are reminiscent of the best harmonies from Simon and Garfunkel. This truely is the work of a fine musician and will make a nice addition to your collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars love, love, love this record.
i highly recommend this album if you like the honesty and passion of artists like john lennon, kurt cobain, or leonard cohen. you know what i'm talking about. elliot smith is one of the few that can touch me on such a deep level. this record has a sound of its own and it's truly haunting - even more so now that elliot is gone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Own this now
I love this cd and have listened to it at least once every day since I bought it. One of those great albums you never forget. Everyone needs to own a copy of this. I dont think I oculd find one person who can honestly say they dont like it (people that do are just lying). ... Read more


73. The Milk of Human Kindness
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Asin: B0007ZSH4O
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1363
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Dan Snaith's Manitoba project is back with a new name but his hypnotic music hasn't changed. Caribou, like Manitoba, is still heavy on electronic jam sessions, with peculiar swirls of sound and stoned instrumental wanderings leading you who-knows-where. The Milk of Human Kindness also has that faint whisp of ‘60s bubblegum pop (see "Bees") and Stereolab-like drone present on Manitoba records like Up In Flames. Such reference points provide welcome toeholds in the midst of all the laptop anarchy, preventing the whole thing from drifting off into the ether. Snaith puts a few other twists on Milk, with mixed success. On the plus side, the sharp opener "Yeti" is a quick burst of fun, while "Lord Leopard" knocks up the beat a notch toward hip-hop territory. The lamentable "A Final Warning," however, falls off the deep end into an almost comedic dead-end. Still, Snaith continues to show off boundless creativity, and when he conjures the right mix of chaos and cohesion like he does on "Brahminy Kite," the result is a glorious noise all his own. –Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars This disc rocks.
The smooth lounge-like electronics of Manitoba's first album, "Start Breaking My Heart" gave way to beats with a harder edge and more potential dance-floor use on the accompanying EP, "Give'r".The shift was an exciting one, but didn't foreshadow the complete revision in sound that the next album "Up in Flames" was.While the influence of psychedelic rock was heavy, it was laced with the laborious attention of the laptop artist/producer, producing a beautiful piece of ear-candy.(I initially gave "Up in Flames" a tepid review that I now regret posting, FYI.)

With this new album, Snaith has closed the circle, bringing back the hip-hop and dance aspects of "Give'r" while reinvigorating the folk-rock with clearer vocals and more live instrumentation.One of the things that I was disappointed with in the previous record was the lack of variation throughout the album, but here that problem has disappeared.The presence of some pretty damn funky interludes helps to split apart the spaced-out folk tunes into more discreet chunks.While there is still plenty of sprawling wall-of-sound rock, the mix is tighter and the song structures more focused.I've compared this band to the Beta Band and Beck before, but now it is clear that the torch that those two have dropped has been picked up by Caribou.This is his best album, yet, in my opinion.

By the way, the live show that this band puts on is blistering.I mean BLISTERING, they rock out and have great animations.That's why I listen to this record very loudly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I am truly amazed at what Dan Snaith has put down. He is one brilliant man. Up In Flames may have been a rock meets electronica affair but Milk of Human Kindness is electronica that's got a bit of funk, folk and FM.

This album starts off with a fast moving romp that will probably be the closest thing Dan will actually get to recording a dance track. If Madonna had done some experimental drugs when she was recording Ray of Light, it might have sounded like this. It then takes some bends and turns touching on 50's and 60's doo-wop, 70's funk, 80's hip-hop.... It's really a journey through a lot of musical styles. It puts a really interesting spin on the music as does his hypnotic Beck-like vocals.

This is definitely one of the best this year. All the songs are great but the standout tracks are YETI, LORD LEOPARD, BEES, DRUMHELLER (a small town in the heart of the Alberta badlands where the dinosaurs roamed - very cool landscape up there) and PELICAN NARROWS.
... Read more


74. In the Clear
list price: $12.98
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Asin: B0007GAEIU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 638
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The growing, if belated, popularity of Ivy is a happy event. Over the course of a half-dozen releases, the band has married slightly trippy atmospherics to immaculate popcraft and the melancholy vocals of Paris-born Dominique Durand. In the Clear, their fifth album, finds the guitars occasionally louder (they roil and distort on the kiss-off "Clear My Head") but the mood essentially the same. It’s a romantic, cautiously hopeful one, exemplified by the disc’s closing "Feel So Free."Special and secretive--"Tess Don’t Tell" repeatedly insists "It’s just for you, it’s not for anybody else"--In the Clear thrives on trademark Ivy contradictions and, now and then, an unexpected noise in the corners of the sound.--Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Album
With their latest album, Ivy manages to do what so many bands find so very difficult -- make music that sounds fresh and different than previous efforts, while still retaining that which musically makes them who they are.Ivy has done exactly that in the present case.'In The Clear' is great because it will appeal to all, wooing those not familiar to Ivy's music and delighting those who have been waiting 4 years for the new album.Not a single throwaway track -- this is a great CD by a great band.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some things don't change...And that's a good thing!
This is Ivy at their best. I've been a fan of Ivy's for a while now and up until this point my favorite album was probably "Realistic." But Ivy stretches their sound on this album; up-tempo songs like "Thinking About You" really aren't typical Ivy, but they really make it work. Songs like "Four in the Morning" and "Feel So Free" could easily be off any Ivy album. These clean, melodic, yet slightly somber songs are Ivy's home turf.

So far, my favorite songs on this album are "Thinking About You" (they owe a lot to New Order's sound on "Republic" for this song) and "Ocean City Girl." I haven't heard anything this catchy since Phoenix's "United" (I listened to "If I Ever Feel Better" for a year straight and never tired of it).

"In The Clear" is a great album. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Flawless
Ivy have always been one of those cool New York bands that have been around a while. Ivy have joined Luna and Blonde Redhead as the elder statesmen in the New York Pantheon. They combine French cool with lush vocals and memorable songs. I have heard many of their songs in commercials. Much of their music was used in the film Shallow Hal, and TV programs like Roswell and Kingdom Hospital. It's because the music of Ivy has that otherworldly feeling of some of the shoegazer bands that inspired them at first. Now they have been on the own for ten years or more, and have hooked up with producer Steve Osborne. The results are terrific. Whether it's the longing of "Thinking About You" or the quiet mood of "Four In The Morning." Even fellow NYC scenesters James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) and Scott McLoud (Girls Against Boys) show up on this CD. The song "Feel So Free" gives us the powerful music that this band has been doing for so long. They are great indeed. Fashion comes and goes. Ivy is a band that will be remembered.

5-0 out of 5 stars Freshly-cut music.
You know the feeling - It's the first day of spring, birds are singing, flowers are blooming, it's about 75 degrees out, and the smell of freshly-cut grass is in the air.It's been so long since the weather was this nice (at least in the Midwest) - that's what I like to compare this album to.It's fresh, it's got personality, and it's really easy to listen to.
I admit, this is my first Ivy purchase, though I've heard all their albums at one time or another.This is my favorite, and the most accessible, for those who are looking to start listening to Ivy.
One of my personal favorites is "Thinking About You", with its blissful, so-happy-you-want-to-slap-someone vocals and driving rhythm.It's almost TOO cutesy, but it'll perk you up.
"Keep Moving" is another favorite, with it's disco-esque beat, funky guitars in the back, and bumping bassline, I think this song would be really complete with one of those fruity disco flutes tooting away in the back somewhere. Dominique skips across the beat flawlessly on this one, and even when the lyrics aren't quite so happy ("All I can do / in a world without you / is keep moving"), she sounds like she's still bouncing around.
"Tess Don't Tell" is similar to "Thinking About You" in format, fast beat, husky vocals, guitars, but for some reason, it's completely different.Fresh - just like this album, when you compare it to the excess fluff in the pop scene these days.Free your mind - this is what good music sounds like.And sure, if you're my age, you might get all sorts of homosexuality-themed remarks thrown your way in traffic when you turn this up in your car, but that's all the more incentive to turn it up more and drown out whatever their bandwagon's playing at the moment.

5-0 out of 5 stars back at the top of their game
if you were a little disappointed with the excessively mellow electronic noodling on Long Distance, Ivy's latest release will set your mind at ease.this album sounds a lot more like their earlier stuff-- it's all catchy guitar hooks and great melodies to complement the breathy splendor of Dominique Durand's vocals.highlights include "tess don't tell" and "corners of your mind."this album is a real treat and it's great to see Ivy return to what they do best. ... Read more


75. Want Two (CD/DVD combo)
list price: $21.95
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Asin: B000654ZDC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 164
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76. In Case We Die
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Asin: B0007LPM78
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1205
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This free-ranging octet from Australia has brought forth their second album and it's a veritable funhouse adventure. Experimental, but gently so, their diverse instrumentation and varied approaches to vocal presentations (theatrical character voices, choirs, rock band exuberance) make for a listening experience akin to someone's perfectly cerebral mix tape. The opening song alone sets the stage for all that follows, constructed like an overture, one theme and setting gives way to another. Much like the parable of three blind men trying to describe an elephant, if three different listeners heard three different songs from this wonderful album, there still would be no complete description possible. --David Greenberger ... Read more


77. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
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Asin: B0001IXU1W
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 645
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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With his soundtrack for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jon Brion has carefully crafted music every bit as quirky (and fascinating) as the movie itself. As he did with Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love, Brion has made a varied score filled with odd instrumentation, infectious melodies, and at least one or two near-perfect pop songs. Best of all, these offbeat tracks compliment the movie incredibly well, and stand on their own as great listening. Mood-wise, this soundtrack is all over the map: "Row" is a simple, haunting piano solo; the movie's opening theme sounds like the austere and melancholic notes of an antique music box; while the strings on "Drive In" are playful and inquisitive. Even the non-instrumental tracks are gems: Beck's "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" and Brion's "Strings That Tie You" rank among these artists' best songs. A handful of well-chosen tracks from E.L.O., the Polyphonic Spree, and the Willowz rounds out this thought provoking disc. A gem. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars A "Shining" Review
some of the songs aren't perfect, but wow, the ones that are, they hit their mark perfectly.

First off, I must refute the review that said the soundtrack's only hinderance is the willowz songs. I disagree. I think that they reflect the sort of indie punk vibe given off from the film. Not only that, but eh song "Something" is truly great. Its catchy and upbeat.

Not only that, but Beck's cover of "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" by Krogis is beautiful. In the film it comes in at great, meaningful moments, and hearing it on the soundtrack recalls the film well. All in all its a great song.

Finally, the pieces from the film's composer, Jon Brion. Wow, some of them are truly brilliant. "Theme" is the first song and a great use of the minimalist style. "Phone Call", represents a sweet tender, and impossibly unexplainable moment of love from the film. But the song that struck the greatest chord with me (no pun intended), was the song "Peer Pressure". It happens during the scene in the film during which Carrey is wearing a cape, and it completely encapsulates one of the film's messages. The perfection of the love, the trueness of it, is reflected in the simple and moving piano notes, complemented by the building chords (violin?) in the background. Yet, as it peaks, just after its climax, its disolves and distorts into into a mess of noise quite quickly and then cuts out. To me, this symbolizes how the perfection of anything and everything will not last. That eventually that moment of perfection is over-- it has to end.

And what an end it is.

Great Album, better movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars A ray of Eternal Sunshine in my dark, dreary CD collection
If you left the theater feeling as liberated and hopeful as Joel and Clem at the end of the film, you'll want to recapture those glorious emotions. Fortunately, you can... musically.

The disc opens with the title theme -- a lazy piano-driven number -- and segues into the deliriously happy "Mr Blue Sky," a tune that will leave you overcome by an impulse to skip down the street, smiling at every stranger you pass. This is the heart of the soundtrack -- a fantastic feel-good song that reminds you, as the movie did, that life is worth living in its entirety, despite any hardships you may encounter. "Light & Day" is a similarly warm, joyful tune that is equally upbeat. Polyphonic Spree's second contribution, "It's the Sun," slows things down a bit, but you'll keep on smilin'. It isn't till you near the close of the disc that the pace starts to drop. However, for once you won't be disappointed. You'll find that the conclusion is as natural as the final yawns that send you to bed at the end of a hectic day.

All in all, one of my favourite buys of 2004 -- vivid, emotional and, above all, real. This could easily be the soundtrack to anyone's life. I highly recommend this selection, as well as the film it accompanied. Five stars and then some.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love it
Jon Brion makes me re-think everything that went on in the beautiful movie. Especially "Theme", and Row." They remind me of the movie, and since the movie is so great, this soundtrack makes me feel good.

4-0 out of 5 stars Significant due to Jon Brion's compositions
Jon Brion's compositions on this CD are phenomenally delicate. They possess a kind of ethereal beauty that I have trouble explaining, particularly "Phone Call," "Spotless Mind," "Collecting Things," and "Bookstore." I liken the feeling I get from listening to watching the sun rise, or looking up at rays of light from underwater. While I'm not a fan of some of the other songs on here -- those by The Polyphonic Spree and Willowz especially -- there are a few other gems, like Beck's "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes," and Electric Light Orchestra's more upbeat "Mr. Blue Sky." As some others have said, I think Jon Brion's music could stand alone. Perhaps it would have been a better move to make a score rather than a soundtrack. However, it doesn't dampen the effects of his music -- it's worth the buy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This music may have been very effective in the movie but it doesn't translate at all well to CD. I like Jon Brion and enjoyed his score for Punch Drunk Love but ultimately I found this soundtrack very dull. It's disappointing since the music was one of the things that really stood out for me in the movie. The main problem is that most of the pieces are too short, a few don't go for more than about ten seconds. This is annoying and doesn't allow you really get a feel for the material. Even the lengthier parts are generally cut off just as they are beginning to get interesting, the best example being track 3 (the name escapes me). The only redeeming features of this soundtrack are the first track, "theme", which is an absolutely lovely piano-based piece (I just wish this would have been repeated in different variations, as is the case with a lot of other soundtracks) and the contribution from Beck. I am a big fan of Beck and it's a really good song, though not as good as anything on his Sea Change Album. Some of the other songs just don't fit in with the mood of the score and it all just adds up to a very uneven listening experience. Make sure you give it a listen before you buy as I'm not sure that it would have much replay value for a lot of listeners. ... Read more


78. Mmhmm
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Asin: B000641ZOK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 201
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79. Around the Sun
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Asin: B0002W4UVG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 96
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Having delivered their last great album with 1992's haunting Automatic For the People, R.E.M. spent more than decade attempting all kinds of reinvention, from the pointlessly noisy Monsterto the painfully dull Up. But with Around the Sun it feels like the band is getting its bearings back. Not only is it the Georgia trio's most consistent album since the 1997 departure of drummer Bill Berry, but it also sees the return of the lush imagery and intricate playing of the band's vintage years. There are trains, mandolins, Man Ray skies. More importantly, it seems heartfelt. Witness the gorgeous disquietingly dark opener "Leaving New York," the rapturous folk of "I Wanted to Be Wrong" and the solidly intense "Boy In the Well." At 13 generous tracks, it's far from perfect but--just when everyone thought R.E.M. was down for the count--Around the Sun is an unexpected bruiser of a comeback. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more


80. Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating [3 disc]
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Asin: B0007MANWG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1404
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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What's the meaning of this double-disc anthology? Literalists will note that it's called Prisoners of Love, and while songs like "Our Way to Fall" and "The Summer" are pretty enough little ditties, neither "Drug Test" nor their cover of Sun Ra's "Nuclear War" are liable to be featured in a Meg Ryan romance anytime soon. Those handy with a calendar will note that the album was released to coincide with the band's twentieth anniversary, and while it's not explicitly stated anywhere on the cover, this is most likely the reason for this lovely little mix tape of the best band to ever spring forth from the Garden State. They may have the snobbiest record collections around, but Yo La Tengo's dreamy drones, garage funk, country pop and wailing jams somehow comprise the most utterly compelling and literate pop music of the past two decades. Don't believe me? Dude, just press play. This version includes a separate bonus disc with unreleased demo and acoustic versions of songs as well as limited-edition 7" and EP tracks, including Kevin Shields' brillian remix of "Autumn Sweater."--Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great overview of a brilliant and dynamic band
Yo La Tengo is my favorite band. I own their first LP, Ride the Tiger, on vinyl (the rest of my collection is on CD). I've also seen them live about six times, and each show is different from the other (one show, in fact, was of them playing improvisational background music for a psychedelic light show). In fact, with Yo La Tengo, while some things - like the overall quality of their music, well demonstrated on Prisoners of Love, stays constant, other things - particularly their pioneering and experimentation-prone spirit - show constant growth and dynamism. Great musicians - be they the Who, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Miles Davis, the Kinks, and Elvis Costello - all showed this dualistic quality. Just like Yo La Tengo.

What to say about this compilation? Essentially, it represents all the different phases of the band's career, from their start in the mid 80s as a slightly folky, sort of bouncy and quirky post new-wave rock act, to the bliss of their early 80s shoegazer phase (somewhat reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine and others), to various later melodic/sound experiments. What's also cool is that the songs are in no particular stylistic or chronological order. They're just there, and if the listener doesn't necessarily like the order, s/he can rearrange it (for me, though, it works just fine). Anyway, listening to these tracks, one hears various songs (Sugarcube, Big Day Coming, Lewis) in which the band rocks out. Others (Did I Tell You, our Way to Fall, Autumn Sweater, etc.) are softer and quieter, and nicely balance things out.

As far as the Title - Prisoners of Love - I've thought about what it means, and I think that it is quite apt. It shows the kind of quirky, ironic humor the band is known for (their very name - associated with the haplessness and miscommunication of the 1962 NY Mets - is another example of this). However, there is also something more serious. Yo La Tengo is very much about love - for one another, for music, and for life. They must then see themselves as "prisoners" to this love, i.e., simply accepting it, warts and all, and going with it, allowing themselves to see where it takes them.

One last comment; The outtakes and rarities disk is really worth having. Much of it is of alternate takes on various songs they've recorded and released elsewhere, and in listening to these, one gets an even further sense of the pioneering and experimental spirit of a truly dynamic band. It also shows their willingness to cover everything from well known rock icons (like Stevie Nicks) to bands much more obscure than themselves (the Dead C anyone?) and to give their coverage that unique Yo La Tengo touch.

May they keep leading a path for indie rock for 20 more years!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Band / Better Liner Notes Would Help
For a newbie to YLT (myself included), this Collection is a great sampler (at a Great Price!) of the Band's Indie-Rock genius. However, given Ira's well documented Music Critic/Record Geek credentials, how come there's no notes in the accompanying booklet as to which tracks belong to which Lp's? Surely the folks at MATADOR could've kidnapped some slovenly Intern from Sub-Pop or Drag City to help out with some more Fleshed-Out Background Info for us, the uninitiated.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the bonus disk alone!
Worth it for the bonus disk alone!The third disk of rarities plays as good as any of Yo La Tengo's best albums (do we still call them albums anymore?).It flows from one song to the next, each song a standout on their own, the sum of it's parts (tunes, instrumentation, slow songs, fast songs, and a large dose of guitar blasts) works so well.My only complaint is the cardboard slipcase enclosing the three disks is so tight I could barely get the CD cases out, even more difficult to get the CD's back in the darned thing!The two CD best of plays just as well - this could be as much a contender for Desert Island Disk as Hear The Sound of Two Hearts Beating.

5-0 out of 5 stars great compilation from NJ's greatest band
I bought this collection mainly for the disc of outtakes and rarities, being a long time fan of the band.That disc alone made it worth the price for me. For me it's great to hear alternate version of songs that I already know and love ("Big Day Coming", "Decora"), as well as outtakes and covers I hadn't heard.

What is great about the 2 disc retrospective is that songs from the begining of their career ("Lewis", "Barnaby Hardly Working", "Drug Test") sit along side songs that were released in the past few years with out sounding dated or out of place.That to me is the mark of a great band.

This is a great introduction to the band, and while there are a few songs I would have liked to have seen included, this is a great place to start if you're interested in yo la tengo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yo La Tengo are the best band in the world
Listening to this collection it's amazing to hear tracks from 1985 sitting comfortably beside tracks from 2002.Every song projects the warmth and orginality that is so prevelant in everything they've done.They just might be the quintessential indie rock band.Pick it up and see why they've been able to hold such a devoted fan base for 20 years.This is music that will be loved for years to come, if you've been missing out on Yo La Tengo it's time to do yourself a favor and check them out. ... Read more


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