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101. Moon Safari [US/UK]
$7.99 $6.70 list($11.98)
102. Loveless
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103. Her Majesty the Decemberists
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104. Seven Swans
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105. Blood Sugar Sex Magik
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106. Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits
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107. Brothers & Sisters
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108. Lifted or The Story Is in the
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109. Want One
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110. Angelfish
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111. Black Sheep Boy
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112. The Sunlandic Twins [Bonus EP]
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113. Disintegration
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114. No Wow
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115. You're Living All Over Me [Bonus
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116. Country Falls (With Bonus DVD)
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117. Burn the Maps
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118. Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
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119. The Alternative to Love
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120. Summer in Abaddon

101. Moon Safari [US/UK]
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000003S5H
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1386
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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French duo Air's debut album is a superlatively happy collection of experimental disco-mood sound nestled between ambient soundscape and breathy pop. It's jazzy and melodic, and mostly laid-back, but not excessively so. There are a few shake-it, shake-it numbers, too, like the absurdly daft hit "Sexy Boy." It's snap your fingers and hang out (while reading) music or dance around sexy-slow with your mate music. It's also the perfect music to do your ironing or some other chore to; it's hypnotizing wallpaper music. It slips in and out of your consciousness, forcing you to move around with a relaxed smile before you even realize it. Oh, and contrary to sampler fashion, Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit Dunckel played the instruments themselves. Bravo. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (254)

4-0 out of 5 stars Prog rock? Frog rock? Yep! Well, sort of.
I'll grant everyone who's slobbered all over this thing that its a cool listen, but probably owing to the fact that they recorded this album using instruments they bought at Giorgio Moroder's garage sale, it doesn't sound all that fresh.

Indeed, when I listen to this there's a definite synth feel that recalls Midnight Express, maybe a hint of Tangerine Dream, and the occasional nose-blowing horn that hearkens back to Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western scores. Air covers a lot of ground, but none of it seems like new ground, which is why they get docked a star. And if these guys start to try to pass themselves off as self-styled "geniuses" (and I get the feeling that this is already starting to happen), drop another star.

It kinda sounds like I didn't care for this CD, which is false. I actually like it a lot. "La Femme D'Argent", which is the best track for my money, is a smooth, chill-out 7-minute groove that I absolutely love, but I was a little disappointed that there weren't any other funky space-lounge explorations quite like it on the rest of the CD.

All in all, with Moon Safari, Air has placed themselves at the vanguard of pop music...circa 1980. Hey, boys, as long as you're there, wake up Gary Numan, would you? And get yourself a subscription to Omni magazine. You'll dig it, I promise.

2-0 out of 5 stars More Dance songs please
This is probably the french duo's best album to date, however i don't really know where they stand cause the variation of the songs is huge. Some are catchy dance-pop" Kelli watch the stars" some others almsot sound like Jazz "Talisman" who would have thought Air made them both?. "You make it easy" is almost a ballad, quite boring if yoy go all the way to the store to get a dance album, and when you get back 50% of the songs are something else."Ce Matin La" is a nice one, slow and romantic with someone playing the trumpet, no dance once again. "All i need" is allright, but more like pop, with a female singer making the lyrics. i like "Remember" "Kelly Watch the stars" and "Sexy Boy" which are all pure dance, could they make some more of that kind i would judge this cd alot better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Moon Safari is simply amazing! I bought this CD about one year ago, and it is still one of my favorites. It's the type of album you can put on repeat, and never get tired of it. Air's "Moon Safari" offers an eclectic mix of songs that are completely different from one another, but flow well nicely from track to track. Listen to it just for the sake of listening to it, play it at a party - this is versatile. My friends gave it a listen, and they (all with many different musical tastes, might I add) all loved it. "Moon Safari" remains classic and modern at the same time. Completely mellow, with substance.

5-0 out of 5 stars ISO more like this!
This is my first ambient/techno music cd. I'd heard 'All I Need' on satellite several years ago and was hooked right away, but never bothered to look up the cd until now. I love the instrumental - especially the first track. Wish I could find more of the same - I'm not into the trip-hop side of this genre I'm finding so any recommendations greatly appreciated.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best of 1998
I remember this was like the album of the year in 1998. Everyone was playing it nonstop. I was at a new year's eve party at the end of 1998 and someone put this album on and it was great. I was on some E and hanging out in Brooklyn. I went into the city and hung out at a few parties. I will always remember that night. The music of Air plays a big part in this. ... Read more

102. Loveless
list price: $11.98
our price: $7.99
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Asin: B000002LRJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1425
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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My Bloody Valentine's entire career has been aiming toward the perfect guitar noise that Kevin Shields has in his head: a pure, warm, androgynous but deeply sexual rush of sound. Loveless is overwhelming, with Shields and Bilinda Butcher's guitars and voices blending into each other until they become a distant orchestra, the rhythm section striding in majestic lockstep, and occasional bursts of dance rhythms (as on the single "Soon") buoying the live instruments' warp and drift. Furiously loud but seductive rather than aggressive, the album flows like a lava stream from one track into another, subsuming everything in the mix into its blissful roar, and pulsing like a lover's body. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

Reviews (299)

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful, ethereal, fuzzed-out bliss-one of my fave cds!!
i have actually owned this cd since it first appeared on the music scene ages ago, and to this day, i love it more each time i listen to it. mere words can't even describe the profound and lasting effect it has had on me; as an artist, it has provided for me a swirling, heady landscape from which i have always pulled forth inspiration. kevin shields is a true genius-i have yet to hear anyone that has been able to rival the unique sounds he has been able to twist and distort into truly beautiful, angelic noise. belinda's voice flits in and out of the thundering guitars on some tunes like a feather falling to the ground...during the midst of an earthquake. it sounds like an odd combination, but for anyone who's heard it and loved it as much as i do, it all seems to gel and compliment one another perfectly. so, what can i say that hasn't already been said by every other reviewer here? at the expense of sounding like a broken record, this gorgeous album is not to be missed, and has rightfully earned the title of a "masterpiece". even if we do ever hear from mbv again, it will be interesting to see how they top this excellent album. if you've yet to hear it, i strongly suggest that you purchase it. if you're anything like me, you will return to it again and again for sheer indulgent listening pleasure...provided that you're ever able to take it out for your cd player at all!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Loveless thunders elephantine!
If music is the external record of the evolution of the human consciousness to a point in time where all sound, even the white noise that is the universal frequency of interstellar energies, is heard with wonder and as manifesting beauty because it is one with our experiential perception of god, then My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" is nothing less than a landmark record in that evolution.

Language is usually a poor tool to communicate the experience of sound, and it is rendered useless when presented with a document like this. If I were to try I might suggest words like "beautiful", "oceanic", "sensuous", "sensual", "ecstatic", "dreamlike", "orgasmic", "breathtaking", "emotive", "transcendent", "psychedelic", "mesmerizing", "elephantine", "lullaby", "ethereal", "soothing", "mellifluous" and "euphoric", but I would simply sound like an Amazon reviewer whose specialty is hyperbole as opposed to subjective critique. Make no mistake, however...this album is nothing short of extraordinary in every way. The fact that so little has come close to its power and grace since its release in 1991 is either testament to the vision of its creators, or proof that human beings are able to successfully channel the mysteries into an audio recording.

I feel this album is also an excellent example of the kind of textural tone colors that can be realized through the creative use of a guitar and digital sampler. The stereo mix might be described as "distorted", "out of tune", or "unbalanced" to the casual listener, and indeed, the recording is ripe with the sounds of machines being used in ways for which they were not designed. By the same measure, Les Paul was criticized for electrifying the guitar. "Loveless" is a wonderful album for the musician, as it will challenge, confound, and leap over your preconceptions of what music and sound should be.

It has been said that an essential quality of good art is its ability to leave each who witnesses it changed, and the fact that everyone who hears this album either swoons or recoils is proof that this is art with a capital "A".

I give "Loveless" my absolute and highest recommendation. No degree or amount of accolades do it justice, and my life is richer for having heard it. What more can I say?

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the greatest albums of the 1990's...
in 1991 came the already classic "Loveless". the rockers "My Bloody Valentine" made their rare debut with "This is Your Bloody Valentine" in 1984. then, four years later they released "Isn't Anything", but the album they made them special... the album that made them famous in the rock genre... was "Loveless". which is easily one of the greatest albums out there. what a incredible 48 minutes it is, with amazing tracks like "Only Shallow", "When You Sleep", "Sometimes", and their amazing ending to the album... "Soon. but theres absoulutely not one bad track... those are just the stand-outs. Only Shallow has some of the greatest streaming guitars ever. theres always those complaints with the band with the vocals they can't hear and not nearly enough bass. but if you listen to the record a couple more times... you realize that doesn't matter.

When i first purchased "Loveless" and listened to it, i was a bit disappointed. It got so much acclaim as "one of the greatest albums ever!" so i kept trying, then one day I was listening to it... and... it just... CLICKED! it just clicked to me how beautiful this album really is. its just so many different things! want me to tell you how different? i've wrote over 50 reviews on CD albums here at Amazon, and when I i clicked the "recommended" button on Loveless, it had more than half of the CDs i reviewed. Spiritualized, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Neutral Milk Hotel, and much much more. this part of this review may seem useless to you, but i'm just saying... if you buy any album from the '90s... make it this one.

2-0 out of 5 stars I've tried. Really.
I really have tried with all my might to like and appreciate this record, simply because of all the wonderful things I have heard about it. In the end, I just can't do it.

The first thing that kind of puts me off is the complete lack of dynamics anywhere on the disc. There are two: on and off. And I can't help but feel that for each song Shields just picked a key and kind of fuzzed around until it sounded right. I'll give you that some of this noise actually sounds pretty cool when the layering is done correctly -- I do like the intro to "I Only Said".

I read some reviews that compared "Loveless" to Philip Glass and Debussy. I just can't hear it. I can't get past the part of me that thinks that most of the record sounds like whale song played through a slew of pedals and other toys. The fact that the band nearly bankrupted a whole record albel recording this beast is beyond me. Where did the money go? (and yes, I have listened to it on the Sennheisers) I don't find the production value to be all that spectacular.

For my money, this is not one of the best records of the 90s, as has been stated. This sounds like what would happen if Sonic Youth covered Radiohead's "Kid A", and its not all that fabulous. I think I will stick to Hum's "Downward is Heavenward" for my expansive, spacey, fuzzy, and celestial rock songs.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very jumbled over-layered fuz.
So amny people love this album but I think it's one of the most over rated albums ever.
Take a guitar, turn the reverb and volume all the way up and let it go over the vocals and you have this album.
Can't understand a single thing that is "sung" and the music sounds like it was recorded on a tape recorder that the batteries were about dead in.
Almost ever song sounds alike.
Sorry, but I think this album stinks. ... Read more

103. Her Majesty the Decemberists
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0000BWVMJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2338
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Failing students have had such an influential role in shaping rock & roll that it's easy to give the bookworm segment short shrift. Witness the vital contributions from the likes of Ray Davies, the Zombies, and Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Magnum--the kind of smartypants songwriters with whom the Decemberists' Colin Meloy is often compared. The second full-length CD from Portland, Oregon's Decemberists certainly posits Meloy near the top of the current crop of literate indie rockers. Meloy is the brother of author Maile Meloy and a fellow whom one concludes has his own well-worn library card. Eschewing conventional pop-song subject matter, he delves deep into the past for his narratives and even his lexicon, witness "Shanty for the Arethusa," the high-seas opener, and "The Chimbley Sweep," which recalls the Zombies' similarly dark-hued "Butcher's Tale." Though the subject matter is frequently dire and the approach is lyrically erudite, one shouldn't conclude that listening to Her Majesty is the aural equivalent of wading through some dusty tome. Bright pop melodies, smart arrangements, and Meloy's commanding vocals adorn songs that are as inviting as they are astute and evocative. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars Decemberists Down Under
Firstly, I thought I'd take this opportunity to clear a couple of things up about the Decemberists!

I noticed that he has been critised a number of times in these reviews for his vocal style. Some claiming that it is too close to Neutral Milk Hotel, and some even claiming he is attempting to put on an English accent.

The reason for his apparently unusual style is, he's Australian!
(As am I!)

Hopefully if people read this, it will help dispell some of negative opinions and remarks that have seemingly tainted the music this band makes. Although they record and tour in the US, they are actually an Australian band, hence the slightly unorthodox (to the American ear) voice!

There is little to say that hasn't already been said..

This album is full of haunting melodies, grand 3/4 jaunts, clear and nostalgic imagery, subtle yet complex instrumentation, and clever lyrics.

If you enjoy any of the bands mentioned in previous reviews you will more than likely enjoy this release. Although straight out folkish pop songs on the outside, these tracks reward repeat listens, allowing the dense arrangements to fully take hold.

Back on the Australian note, if you like this, you most certainly enjoy one of australia's finest bands, Augie March. I cannot speak highly enough...

anyway, this album is more than worthwhile, 4 stars

5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Folk Epic
Building upon their momentum from their first release, "Castaways & Cutouts", The Decemberists create a masterpiece with "Her Majesty The Decembrists" (There's a spelling mistake in the title - it's not a typo on my part). The album starts off with "Shanty for the Arethusa", a song that's epic in nature and graceful in its performance. Other songs that stand out on the CD are "Los Angeles I'm Yours", "I Was Meant for the Stage", "The Bachelor and the Bride", and "The Chimbley Sweep". Colin Meloy delivers intersting song reminiscent of, but in no way related to, Jeff Magnum's work with Neutral Milk Hotel. All in all, Meloy's vocals are more interesting and more epic in nature than Magnum's and I must say that I prefer the Decemberists over Neutral Milk Hotel. Additionally, many people believe The Decemberists are trying to create a type of poppy folk music. The band definitely appears to be leaning in that direction, but unlike most other pop music, the Decemberists create smart and powerful songs instead of catchy and superficial beats.
If you're looking for music to groove to, you've come to the wrong place; but if you're looking for well written and performed song with complex lyrics and dazzling melodies, then Her Majesty The Decembrists is the CD for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars bold and ambitious
The songs on this album are very well written, crafted I suppose, and the lyrics are interesting and obscure enough to peak my curiosity. I won't bother comparing this to Band X or Album Y, it is a very solid album from start to finish. I don't know if I'd call it experimental, but for those with more vanilla tastes, I'd suggest trying something else.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very, Ambitious, Very Good
The Decemberists sophomore album is a more ambitious outing than their previous "Castaways and Cutouts," but it definitely has its highs and lows. But when it hits its stride, it's on.

It opens with its most ambitious track, "Shanty for the Arethusa," (3/5) which is quite a whale of a song. It's a little lengthy and drags on, leaving the listener to wonder if the rest of the album will sound like this. It's not at all a bad song, but it's, dare I say, too much. It gets to be overwhelming. It's chorus gets you thinking it's about to pick up into something new but this song just, sort of, goes on... over my head. Definitely an interesting track and not one to skip, but it's just a little too ambitious and overwhelming. Next you hear the shout of "Billy Liar" (4/5) having his hands in his pockets staring over at the neighbors' knickers down. This is a much peppier song than the previous and changes the direction of the album for the better, it's not their best song, but "Billy Liar" is much friendlier to the listener and is much more enjoyable.
"Los Angeles, I'm Yours" (5/5)is one of the better songs on the album. Composed with the guitar, backed up by the Decemberists' string quartet and including a harmonica solo, this brilliantly written song that takes shots at my home town is one that will leave you asking for more.
"The Gymnast, High Above the Ground" (4/5) is another more ambitious song. Unlike "Shanty," "The Gymnast" builds up rather than go backwards. This is one of the more beautiful songs with a little bit more piano. The simple repetition of this song is infectious and it was very well done and thought out, but still not their best.
"The Bachelor and the Bride" (4/5) is another more listener friendly song that seems a little bit simpler; not their best, but is still very good. This song marks the star of where this album really hits its stride.
"Song for Myla Goldberg" (5/5) is another really good one. It's very unique and again, more listener friendly. Sounds good in all the right places. Very interesting lyrics.
"The Soldiering Life" (4/5) is, again, a very, very good song. Very well written and well done.
"Red Right Ankle" (5/5) is an absolutely amazing song. I'm still not sure what it is about but this simple acoustic-driven ballad(?) is one of the best songs on this album, absolutely incredible.
"The Chimbley Sweep" (4/5) is again, a very ambitious song. This song has an interesting sound and truly is unique. Messes with the stride built by the last 4 songs a little, but worth it.
"I was Meant for the Stage" (5/5), although a little long is incredible. Possibly the best of the bunch. Awesome.
"As I Rise" (5/5) is the perfect end for this album. Extremely good. Whimsical sounding, good fun.

This album may not be better than "Castaways and Cutouts," but it is very good. The Decemberists are one of the most original and ambitious bands to come out of Portland, or anywhere for that matter, in a long, long time. Not a single bad track. Can get a little trippy and overwhelming, but this album is very good and won't disappoint you. As much as comparisons to Bell and Sebastian and Neutral Milk Hotel are flattering, they forget how unique the Decemberists are. Listen to the album and you'll understand.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of those guys on the cover looks like George Orwell!
All I have to say is, this is the first pop group that has forced me to consult a dictionary since I started listening to Dylan back in highschool - Conlin Meloy is full of fun, clever, exotic lyrics and strong melodies - and the band sounds great. Piano, organs, guitars, drums, accordian, stand-up bass - all tight and well executed. "Billy Liar" alone is worth the price of addmission. Enjoy! ... Read more

104. Seven Swans
list price: $15.98
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Asin: B0001F7U9S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1219
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Anti-Christ of Christian Pop
While it be too early to call Sufjan Stevens 'the next Nick Drake', 'Seven Swans', his stripped down follow-up to 2003's excellent 'Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lake State', makes such a declaration awfully tempting. Of course, there are significant differences between the two. Whereas it's difficult to separate Drake's music from the thought of his eventual suicide, Sufjan Stevens balances his whispered nostalgia with an underlying hopefulness. Billed largely as a collection of b-sides from the Michigan sessions, 'Seven Swans' arrived without much fanfare, aiming to serve as a musical appetitizer to Stevens' next entry into his ambitious '50 States' project. Yet, despite the humility with which it arrived, 'Seven Swans' finds Stevens surpassing his prior work with stronger songwriting and a more intimate, banjo-driven approach. For much of the album, Sufjan Stevens reflects on spirituality and his faith, exploring Christianity with honesty and love. Whereas most Christian pop condescends to its listeners with melodramatic 'shalls' and 'thous', Stevens sings about his faith without preaching. While the 'switch baby with Jesus' strategy of Christian pop is at work here at times, Sufjan pulls this off in a good way, capturing the intimacy of a great love song to integrate into his pious musings. In a sense, it's the Anti-Christ of Christian pop: a thoughtful, delicate album that evokes the quiet joy of the faithful. On 'In The Devil's Territory', Sufjan softly sings 'I'm not afraid to die, to see you... at last' as if he were singing to a lover, leaving out the self-righteousness that characterizes the megalomaniacal zealots of most Christian music. The best tracks, however, are saved for last. 'Seven Swans' is a haunting, metaphorical depiction of the coming of the apocalypse, in which Sufjan gives his only warning to the unfaithful, crying out: 'He will take you. If you run, he will chase you. Because he is the Lord.' The last track, 'The Transfiguration', is probably his best song to date. The perfect fusion of folk, faith, and pop, it brings a flawless conclusion to a truly blessed work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another great album from Sufjan!
Wow - I was really happy upon listening to this album - I of course had high expectations after "Michigan" - and though I would not say this album surpasses that one, it is certainly quite good - very good indeed. The instrumentation is lovely - acoustic almost exclusively with banjo and guitar - the songs are great and Sufjan's singing is very hushed and sweet - like he's whispering us secrets - reminding sometimes of Iron and Wine...highlights include "the dress looks nice on you", "to be alone with you" - which a had hoped would be a Dylan cover, but it wasn't - but it was a very well, maybe superior song with the same title...also, "he woke me up again" is excellent. Highly recomended - as well as "Michigan". "A sun came" is good too, but Sufjan has certainly honed his skills and become more consistently good since that debut...sorry for rambling, enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully fragile
The strong presence of Christian imagery on this album shouldn't really surprise anyone familiar with 'Michigan' (close attention to the lyrics of 'Vito's Ordination Song', in particular, reveals an allegorical undercurrent). Stevens' lyrics are more overtly Biblical on this record, but no less affecting, because he never grandstands or resorts to proselytizing. These are simply snapshots of a personal faith. His delivery of lines such as 'Take instead the ram/Until Jesus comes' is wisely low-key where lesser singers would try to imbue them with stilted drama.

Appropriately, since the scale of the subject matter has moved further inward from the Everyman scope of 'Michigan', the music itself has become more sparse and minimal, in terms of both instrumentation and songwriting. The backing vocals on the first track, All The Trees Of The Field Will Clap Their Hands, repeat the same wordless melody ad nauseum in a way that is reminiscent of Philip Glass. (Incidentally, the title of the song is a reference from Isaiah 55:12 that may be lost on some: 'For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.') The banjo and guitar on 'In The Devil's Territory' repeat polyphonic fragments of melody, slowly shifting and letting the song breathe. In fact, the entire affair has a cool, airy feeling to it, like Stevens is playing in a field on a mild afternoon. He coaxes some gorgeous sounds out of fairly standard folk instruments.

The only flaw this album has is its slightly below-par middle third: it's still gorgeous music, but the material preceding it is so good that the slightly more rote folk songs pale in comparison. This is a minor quibble, though; think of that 5-star rating as a 4 1/2, rounded up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking
I too had high expectations of this anticipated follow-up to "Greetings From Michigan." Seven Swans is softer. It also deals more heavily with Biblical references (ex. Abraham, Transfiguration) but isn't overbearing or preachy. Seven Swans is filled with lush soundscapes and thoughtful lyrics. This one's not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kickass
At one of our power meetings at Free Williamsburg at the beginning of this year we were throwing around names of people who might be good people to interview or review. Sufjan Stevens came up. I had never heard of him let alone spell his name. It is detailed folk music. He is famous for the banjo work. Songs like "In The Devil's Territory" evokes the past and looks to the future. Sufjan worked with Daniel Smith of Danielson Famile to get this multi-layered sound. It's good that someone is obsessed with beauty in music. This record is strong and complex. It is not easy reading. The religious themes are an interesting shade. It is a vision of death and despair. It comes off sounding like something Badly Drawn Boy or Elliot Smith cooked up. Stevens may be the heir to Elliot Smith's legacy. ... Read more

105. Blood Sugar Sex Magik
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002LQR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2319
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

With valuable assistance from producer Rick Rubin, the Peppers find just the right blend of punk, funk, and hip-hop. Even with a running time of 74 minutes, this 1991 breakthrough has continuity and cohesion both within and across the 17 cuts. Riding Flea's surging bass, Anthony Kiedis delivers his explicit lyrics with a rapper's flair, extolling the virtues (and outlining the dangers) of sex and drugs. Plaintive ballads such as "Breaking the Girl," "I Could Have Lied," and the hit "Under the Bridge" give the album depth and provide contrast to the raw energy of "Mellowship Slinky in B Major," "Funky Monks," and "Give It Away." Rubin masterfully fuses John Frusciante's raunchy guitar with the irresistible grooves. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (262)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Epitomy of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's Career
This is definately one of the best records of all time. Flea's one of the most innovative and funky bassists of the last 10 years, and John Frusciante's solos are sure to blow your mind. Flea and CHad Smith make up what is possibly the best rythym section ever. And Anthony Kiedis's lyrics are random yet beautiful and humorous. But despite all the bands individual talent (which is elite), what shines here is the band's incredible chemistry. The whole album is recorded live, with hardly any dubs. They blend together so amazingly into 17 rocking songs. THere's raw funky songs like Apache Rose Peacock, Sir Psycho Sexy, If you Have to Ask, Mellowship Slinky in B Major and The RIghteous and the Wicked. All driven by infectious funky grooves, supplied by FLea's bass. To hard agressive rocking songs like Power of Equality, The Greeting Song, and Funky Monks. Many people think of Under the Bridge when they hear Blood Sugar Sex Magik, but I Could Have Lied may well be one of the saddest songs you'll hear. Driven by intense passion and somewhat dark lyrics, the guitar is just beautiful. So if you haven't a clue what Red Hot Chili Pepper's albums to get, screw By the Way or Californication, go for the classic Blood Sugar Sex Magik.

4-0 out of 5 stars A funky classic, though not quite perfect.
Although Mother's Milk and the later Californication were both good albums, Blood Sugar Sex Magik is the album that revealed the full extent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' talent. It's their longest album (18 songs) and by far their most diverse.

With heartfelt acoustic ballads (Breaking The Girl, Under The Bridge, I Could Have Lied), raunchy funk scorchers (Funky Monks, Suck My Kiss, Fellowship Slinky In B-Major), political commentary (The Power Of Equality, The Righteous And The Wicked), hard rock (the title track) and even some rapping (If You Have To Ask, Give It Away) this album has a bit of everything. And most of it is classic.

Anthony Kledis is a great vocalist with outstanding range--he handles raunchy funk, adrenaline-fueled raps, and soulful crooning with equal ablomb. Flea is one of the best bass players ever, ranking right up there with Roger Waters and John Entswistle (though with an entirely different style)--his funky playing is given free reign in this album. Guitarist John Fruciante is somewhat Hendrix-esque in his style, and Chad Smith's drumming is excellent, especially in the steel drum solo of Breaking The Girl.

Now for the reason I give it four instead of five: The first 11 songs are A-list material without question. However, like most Red Hot Chili Peppers albums, Blood Sugar Sex Magik starts to unravel toward the end. Naked In The Rain and Apache Rose Peacock suffer from poor lyrics. Sir Psycho Sexy ends in one of the most glorious jams ever, but the horrible lyrics in the first 3 minutes ruin the song. And the closer They're Red Hot is incredibly annoying. Fortunately it's short, just over a minute long.

Despite these gaffes, Blood Sugar Sex Magik easily ranked as one of the best albums of '91. And deservedly so. If you want a funky, energetic, and sometimes deeply moving album (Under The Bridge is dedicated to their former guitarist, a victim of heroin overdose) run out and get this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Album of All Time, PERIOD
I have to say, I have a collection of over 600 CD's - and this would be in my top 3 of the all time greatest albums ive ever had the pleasure of listening to. Hardly ever do I "wear out" a CD - this one would have to be an exception. It was pure genious when it came out, and still is today. I think I can honestly say the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have to be one of the greatest collections of the most talented musicians to ever come together. Many people focus on Flea's outrageous and funked up bass playing, but the fact is Chad Smith is an amazing drummer, and John Fruisciante - is near godlike to anyone who knows anything about playing Guitar. If you are younger and want to know what the REAL chilli peppers are like - get this album!!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the top 20 albums of all time
Play through every song on this'll find nothing wrong with it whatsoever. Youll love every track almost the same. A few stand even better than the rest. Highlights on this album incl. If You Have To Ask, Breaking The Girl, Suck My Kiss, I Could Have Lied, Slinky In B Major, Give It Away, Under The Bridge, Apache Rose Peacock, My Lovely Man, and Sir Psycho Sexy. That's just about everyone on there lol. Buy it..youll enjoy it, and treasure it for years. (...)

5-0 out of 5 stars Spicey.
Easily the best Chile Peppers Album. Which is saying a lot, since everything they do is gold. The Best-of album is close, but 2/3 of it were from this. Every song is full of soul, passion, and skill. My least favorite song on the album is "suck my kiss" and I still don't skip it. Even the worst songs on this CD, and worth listening to repeatedly. Rock on Chile Peppers. ... Read more

106. Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001
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Asin: B00005R1Q8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 482
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Electrifying performers and pure-pop songwriters of the highest order, Toronto's Barenaked Ladies have emerged over a decade as that strangest of beasts. They'll never land a dishy cover story in Mojo Magazine, but as they reflect on those ribald years between 1991 and 2001, the five can allow themselves wry smiles, knowing that sometimes, just sometimes, the cream rises to the top. In addition to familiar radio staples such as "Pinch Me," "The Old Apartment," "Jane," "Alternative Girlfriend," and the ubiquitous "One Week," there's a trump card on All Their Greatest Hits that will prove irresistible to completists: the Ladies' buttery, acoustic version of Bruce Cockburn's "Lovers in a Dangerous Time." Recorded eons ago for a Cockburn tribute disc that almost immediately went out of print, the song has until now been a rare and highly coveted collector's item. Two news songs--"Thanks That Was Fun" and "It's Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland)"--were recorded specifically for this collection, while two others ("Brian Wilson" and "What a Good Boy") are captured live. But what really brings this album home is, ironically, "If I Had $1,000,000." One of their very first hits cut as the Ladies were learning to dovetail their so-called "acoustic hip-hop" into slicker pop sensibilities, "$1,000,000"--a simple knock-kneed love song with harmonies so tight they're practically braided--is a snapshot of a band with all the pieces in place just as the planets were about to align. --Kim Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (74)

5-0 out of 5 stars BNL comes full circle...
...from fringe-dwellers mocking 'Greatest Hits' collections on their first album ('Disc One, it's where we've begun/It's all our greatest hits/And if you are a fan then you know that you've already got 'em' from 'Box Set') to Big Stars putting out a collection of their own. As the title indicates, they're well aware of the irony; what this traditional-style CD really celebrates is success for a band that has never sold out.
The lush (19-song!) selection is excellent, covering the obvious highlights ('Brian Wilson', 'If I Had $1 000 000', and, yep, 'One Week' - be prepared to be driven crazy all over again) as well as less successful or harder-to-find treats ('Call and Answer', 'Shoe Box', 'Lovers in a Dangerous Time'). The only track I'd disagree with is a live version of 'What a Good Boy', an essentially intimate ballad that isn't at it's best with several thousand people singing along.
The two new tracks are a toss-up; 'It's Only Me' is frenetic New Wave stuff, funny but maybe a bit too busy, and 'Thanks That Was Fun' is the gentle, nicely rueful story of a break-up that (in patented BNL fashion) isn't proving nearly as satisfying as the narrator had hoped.
The liner notes include two admiring (but thankfully not gushy) 'how-they-dunnit' essays and track-by-track annotations from Steven Page. In other words, everything you wanted to know and some stuff you maybe could have lived without but will enjoy anyway.
All told, a hugely satisfying Barenaked Ladies experience. (Although they'll hopefully drop the 'Box Set' references while they're ahead. Otherwise...'Disc Three/Well this is really me/In a grade school play' and 'Disc Six/A dance remix/to catch the latest trend...')

5-0 out of 5 stars Disc's where we've begun...
I am probably one of the biggest BNL fans out there. I've seen them live too many times to count and I have all of their earlier CDs, yet I still had to have this Greatest Hits compilation. For older fans, it's totally worth it for the amazing version of the previously rare cover of Lovers. *This* is the song that should have Steve Page writing Jim is a bass god on random walls. Wizard (or It's Only Me) is an excellent upbeat, fun song, particularly once you realize what it's all about. Great fun to sing along to. Thanks That Was Fun is quite possibly the greatest Ed song ever. This song owns me. The bridge is fantastic, and his voice on this song gives me chills every single time. I can't get enough. And if that's not enough to sell an older fan of the band, it's worth it just to have Steve's commentary in the liner notes.

For the rest of you, this is an excellent introduction to the wonder that is Barenaked Ladies. Be warned, however, because once you hear the gems What a Good Boy, Brian Wilson, and Too Little, Too Late, just to name a few, you will be hooked.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction/Compilation To A Great Group
When I heard this for the first time, I noticed there's something both modern and Beatlesque about the music. For me, it's refreshing to buy something I can listen to all the way through and enjoy every song. It's now one of a handful of albums I play regularly.

To all BNL fans who haven't bought this yet: You already know great these songs are. It's worth buying because Lovers In A Dangerous Time, It's Only Me, and Thanks That Was Fun don't appear on any of the other albums. This Old Apartment and Shoe Box sound remarkably better than the versions on Born On A Pirate Ship.

To everyone who doesn't listen to top40 radio: If there's one modern group to buy music from, it's BNL. Start with this album and then check out their studio albums. You will discover, as I did, that this album is a brilliant introduction and will have you wanting more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Barenaked Ladies for newcomers
If you do not own a Barenaked Ladies CD this is a good selection for you. I suspect those new to the Ladies will find tracks on thsi CD they are familiar with but did not know the artist.

My favorites on this disc include, "Jane", "Lovers in a dangerous Time", and a very nice live recording of "What a good boy".

5-0 out of 5 stars vintage Barenaked Ladies
This is easy-listening rock that does not suck. Barenaked Ladies basically sound like the Beach Boys but better, more depth and talent. This is a great collection of their best songs, new and old. they also have the best name of any band

David Rehak
author of "A Young Girl's Crimes" ... Read more

107. Brothers & Sisters
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Sales Rank: 8546
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful treat for Coldplay fans......
.....who are waiting for their 3rd album. I stumbled across this last night at the store, and it has Coldplay's early work. The first track, 'Brothers and Sisters,' is wonderful, and so is 'Only Superstition,' but I loved 'Easy to Please.' It's a dreamy Parachutes-like song. The piano is such a beautiful addition to the song. It makes you leave whatever troubles you and go into Coldplay's world, led by Chris' soft trance-like voice. The song, and the other two songs, are gems. A must for any true Coldplay fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Coldplay's First Release Ever
In 1998, Coldplay was toiling away in London pubs when they got noticed by someone from Fierce Panda Records, which offered the band a one single release contract. In March 1999 the label released this 3 track single, which immediately attracked great buzz, leading to a bidding war among bigger labels and some months later the band signed a "major label" deal with Capitol.

"Brothers & Sisters" (3 tracks; 11 min.) is a fascinating look into early-Coldplay. The title track is quite good, and the band later re-recorded the track as a B side for the "Trouble" single in 2000. "Easy to Please" is a dreamy track, with Chris Martin crooning away over sparse instruments. "Only Superstition" finds the band rocking harder, a nice track.

In all, a very welcome re-release of Coldplay's earliest recording. Definitely highly recommended for those of you who (like me) are charmed by the "Parachutes" sound. ... Read more

108. Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
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Asin: B00006FRN7
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1060
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Nebraskan wunderkind Conor Oberst writes songs so naked and heartfelt theymake you feel like a voyeur just listening to them. This precocioussinger-songwriter croons with the astonished intensity of a homeless Robert Smith singing for his supper. And his band's fourth album is every bit aslyrical, sprawling, and pretentious as its title. The production is notablybrighter and crisper than previous efforts, with some songs, notably"Nothing Gets Crossed Out," lushly swathed in sweet-sounding strings. WhenLifted is great, as on the slow-churning anthem "From a BalanceBeam," it's superb, visionary pop music, on par with Jeff Mangum, Phil Elvrum, and Daniel Johnston--and onoccasion, Dylan.Unfortunately, half the songs sprawl on too long or revisit thesame themes too frequently. Still, anyone who can operate a fast-forward button will find much to enjoy on this vital, messy masterpiece. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (156)

3-0 out of 5 stars A sloppy work of art
Bright Eyes sunk into my head due to Conor Oberst' ability as a song writer, seriously this guy must've aced english and literature because he has a way with words. With lyrical content that is subjective and to the point while at the same hand poetic and evened out with some occassional dipping of prose.

I really love how well in harmony a song like "Bowl of Oranges" is in, and to tell you the truth I would've been happier had their been more songs like that on the album. Another favorite of mine is "False Advertising", a sweeping symphony plays in the background while Conor speaks on behalf of the music industry and I'm guessing Clear Channel in general. And then there is "Lover I don't have to Love", an upbeat fix with a handy chorus and eerie keyboards in the back, while the ending of the song allures my attention to compare Conor with a younger Robert Smith.

But before anyone thinks I am totally praising this album, you're wrong. It is flawed, actually though lyrically it's well executed, the structure of the songs tend to repeat as do the themes. Take for instance the last track which I shall spare myself for even naming--over 10 minutes of excessive whining is uncalled for and I got bored towards the end. Also, Conor seems to teter on a strange level of faith, he speaks of God in "From a Balance Beam" and then doubts God's existence in "Don't Know When But a Day is Gonna Come". Speaking of which I really thought the outlook on the song was artistic in the beginning but as soon as Conor mentions a girl dying of vanity I thought to myself, for once a little bit of a different subject here; his walk in faith but then it turns out to be nothing more than another translucent 'boy-upset-about-girl-song'.

So why don't I mention anyone else in the band, well that's simple Conor Oberst is pretty much the only member of the group that is a constant, everyone else who contributed are pretty much freelance musicians I take it. There even are some guest appearences by other Saddle Creek bands like Azure Ray. All in all this album has some really bright moments, no pun intended...sadly it's overshadowed by some songs that are too extended and the vocals can become almost nauseating after repeated listens.

5-0 out of 5 stars conor for president
i picked this up a few weeks ago, and im already addicted. every song is so full of raw emotion, so completely sad and hopeful at the same time. i would suggest this album for someone whos a new fan of bright eyes, most of these songs are very catchy and a little more accessible than some of his earlier stuff. my favorite song on here is 'Lover I Don't Have to Love'. it starts out sounding like an upbeat love song, but if you listen to the lyrics, it is a very dirty song. and so beautiful. with a drum machine and a synthesizer, conor's whiny emotive voice compliments, or perhaps balances, every beautiful song on this album. this cd gives me chills.

and to all the reviewers who gave this a low rating and much undeserved critisism, listen to the man's lyrics! track 13 says: "I do not read the reviews. No, I am not singing for you." Conor Oberst has got his head on straight, and talent that will prove how awesome he is again and again and again. buy this, listen with an open mind, and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love it.
I've been in love with Bright Eyes for quite some time now. I love Conor Oberst and his poetry. He's amazing at what he does and this CD is amazing. It's somewhat different than their other stuff, but amazing. Anyone who gives Bright Eyes bad reviews after just hearing this one CD seriously needs to listen to their other stuff.. that's all. :)

1-0 out of 5 stars When I think of Bright Eyes, I want to gargle acid
Like many people I bought this cd because I read all the great reviews that said Conor Oberst was a brilliant lyricist and the musicianship was excellent. Much to my surprise, when I played this cd I was greeted with the whiniest, worst sounding, pretentious garbage I have heard in my life. I mean wow. I can listen to "bowl of oranges"...but it's still a little tough. Whoever compared him to Springsteen or Dylan really should just quit their job and go live in the woods because you're a moron.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mmmm more Bright Eyes
I am only writing this review because this is bothering me about the other reviews. His name is CONOR OBERST. Not "Connor", and definitely not "Collin"! Ahhhhhh! Okay, now I can go back to listening to my music, thank you for your time.

By the way, good album. It is different than the others I have heard. Someone else mentioned the other instruments involved. I prefer Conor with his acoustic guitar, but he does pull this off as well. Again, you can feel the emotion in his voice, which is why I love his music so much. Some people can't stand the way his voice sounds, but, honestly, I think sometimes you have to listen beyond the actual sound. If you're listening for feeling and emotion, Conor is your man. ... Read more

109. Want One
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Sales Rank: 1001
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (142)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Poet for the Twenty-first Century
Rufus Wainwright's music is NOT accessible. I say this first because if you want pop candy to listen to mindlessly while you're working out, check out Mandy Moore or Britney Spears. Wainwright's music is like a fine old brandy--some people may not enjoy it, but true connisseurs know its worth.

This album is the composer's most brilliant of his three. Of his albums, Poses is the easiest to like. This one is the hardest, but most worth the effort. His lyrics are pure poetry, simply because of their simplicity and, for cynics, their triteness. His lush orchestration is genius--but better than that are his words. For example, some reviewers dislike "Vibrate" but its understated beauty and simple lyrics are what make it so gorgeous. Wainwright communicates hopeless longing and unrequited love without ever saying the words! Its Carmen-like pizzicato and lulling melody add to the meaning of the words. Oy vey. This song in itself is worth buying the cd.

That said, every song on this record is a gem worth unearthing. Track 1 is optimistic, show-tuney wonder. It's musical prozac. Track 5 should be played along with track 7--"Pretty things--so what if I like pretty things?" Simple, almost trite lyrics, but when you listen to them, they touch a chord in you that you weren't sure even existed. Track 9 is a love song to the mysterious Natasha, but even it is not cliched. "Do you know how scary this is for you and is for me?"

Buy this cd. Listen to it more than once. It may take awhile, but if you can be touched by music, this cd will move you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Music From A Maestro
I discovered Rufus upon the release of his self titled debut album, and ever since then, it's been love at first listen with each cd he releases. With "Want One", he proves that he is at the top of his form; this album is in turns uplifting, beautiful, sad, meditative, alive with the pure joy of making music for music's sake. I can't really pinpoint a favorite song in particular to choose from, as they are all tremendous in their own right-however, stand outs are "Oh What A World", "I Don't Know What It Is", "Beautiful Child", "Vibrate", "14th Street", and "Pretty Things" actually makes me want to cry (not that that's a bad thing). Rufus proves that he is more than multi-talented on many levels, with lush orchestrations, vocals, and lyrics that make you think and touch your heart...he truly pours himself completely into his craft, and the results are never short of gorgeous. "Want One" shall also grace my top picks in music for 2003, although I am not surprised that it should do so; I would expect nothing but the best by a true maestro of the genre. With his flair for the theatrical, dramatic, and melancholy, Rufus Wainwright stands alone...and for those of you who are about to discover his musical genius, that really IS a wonderful thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular
I absolutely adore this album!!! It's so dramatic and theaterical that you just find yourself wrapped up in this intriguing world Wainwright creates... and you never want to leave. All the tracks have their own flavor- especially refreshing in a world of Dashboard Confessions where all the cuts have the same sound. I wouldn't say it's better necessarily than "Poses"- it has a completely different vibe to it. In any case, love it and I've been cemented in as a permenant Rufus Wainwright fan. My favortie tracks are "O What a World" and "14th Street".

5-0 out of 5 stars burned
I first recieved this from a friend who burned a copy for me. from the first note I was hooked. I immediately went to the store the next day and bought a copy. and then a few days later I bought a few more. this record is incredible. it has many happy sounds of memory for me, personally. The best of Elton John circa 1972 Tumbleweed perhaps? and don't get me wrong, i'm not trying to pigeonhole Rufus. he pulls it off while surpassing his influences considerably. It certainly doesn't sound retro, what with the great production, the guitars, everything! I LOVE IT!!!! gush gush... BRAVO!

5-0 out of 5 stars Top of the List
This is part of a planned pair-Want Two is due next year--so it's possible that in a few months I'll have some second thoughts about Wainwright's decision to cleave his bombastic efforts in two. On the other hand, W2 is supposedly the darker and more experimental half of the material from the sessions, so the division may have been an apt one.

Either way, Want One earns its five stars for several qualities. It's consistently good-there are songs that are better than the rest, but none that beg to be skipped. The slowest songs are the shortest, maintaining a flow that carries the album along. The best song of all, "Go or Go Ahead," is the longest, over six minutes of outburst that weaves myth and madness into a stunning package of sonic bliss. A microcosm for the album as a whole, the song builds for more than two minutes before erupting.

Lyrically dense, the album starts out in near nonsense territory with the repetitions of "Oh What a World" and builds to the poignant "Dinner at Eight," an almost tear-inducing finale that acknowledges Rufus's mixed feelings about his abandonment by his famous father. "I Don't Know What It Is" and "Movies of Myself" belong on Top 40 radio, where they could oust less intelligent pop; "11:11" sounds silly at first but makes profound the words " I was alive." Born of personal experience and genetically inherited musical genius, Wainwright's latest may be the finest album of 2003. ... Read more

110. Angelfish
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Asin: B000003BR1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9664
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Shirley Manson (now of Garbage) could be the perkier kid sister of Siouxsie Sioux on, "Suffocate Me," then masquerade as vintage Deborah Harry on, "King of the World."Producers (and Talking Heads alumni) Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth are along for extra period authenticity.--Jeff Bateman ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars Shirley was just as good before Garbage!
I love Garbage and now I love Angelfish though they only have one album out and have broken up. I first found about Angelfish on this cool site about Shirley Manson (go to and in the search space type "Shirley Manson" the site will be called Greenday vs. Shirley Manson). I must admire Shirley's talent to sound like Deborah Harry of Blondie on "King of the World". And she just sounds plain cool on "Suffocate Me". Her ability to sound different shows on this album. If you like Garbage just one bit, you should get this album Note: I don't think the album's sold in any music stores any more. It's best to get it over the I-net if your interested.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's Shirley Manson Like you've never heard her before...
This is a good, solid pop album. It lacks the super sheen of Garbage which in some ways is a relief, I would have been dissapointed if this had been a carbon copy of manson's present band. All the songs on Angelfish are easy to listen to and lack the supersonic punches of Garbage, which is pretty good and makes for happy listening. Standout tracks are 'Dogs in a Cage' 'mummy can't drive' and 'The sun won't shine'. A very pleasing album, kinda like a chocolate liquor- very sweet but you know it's got to be bad for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great album
Angelfish sounds alot like Garbage (actually, Garbage sounds like Angelfish, right?), however is doesn't have a massive production upon it. This is exactly what makes it great. The songs are simple and very melodious. Besides the obvious hit "Suffocate Me", the best songs in my opinion are "Sun Won't Shine" and "Sleep With Me" -- beautiful and subtle. Since I'm a huge Garbage fan, I recommend this CD for everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful album & band before Shirley took out the Garbage
When one singer leaves their original band to join another & wind up having much larger success than before, it can leave that previous group in the dust to be forgotten for all time. But in the case of Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson, her old band Angelfish had just as much potential and talent to make it on their own before Garbage's future members saw the band's video on MTV, and at last found their frontwoman. As Shirley went on to multiplatinum glories with Garbage, Angelfish's self-titled 1993 debut (and only album) still stands alone as its own singularly fine work.

Stylistically, ANGELFISH leans more towards Garbage's 1995 self-titled debut with its more guitar-based rock textures than the highly-polished techno flourishes of 1998's VERSION 2.0 & 2001's BEAUTIFULGARBAGE. This is mostly thanks to the producership of husband-and-wife duo Chris Frantz & Tina Weymouth (both formerly of Talking Heads). In fact, ANGELFISH could be in the vein of the Heads' first album from before Brian Eno was brought into commercialize them. In any event, ANGELFISH is a rocking good time displaying all the qualities that would help make Shirley's work with Garbage such a rousing success.

Charging out of the gates at the beginning is the sexy, glam-rock come-on of "Dogs In A Cage". David Bowie would have given his eyeteeth for a song like this in his DIAMOND DOGS days, but Shirley is just as alluring in her come-on. Who knew that such a dark, yet strangely inviting Scottish lass like Shirley could be so seductive?

The rock continues on a cover of Holly & The Italians' "You Can Love Her" (love that drum intro), "King Of The World" (who said a female singer has to use "queen" in the title), and "Mummy Can't Drive" (this is a woman you may not want to bring home to the parents). While Shirley may have been the obvious breakout star of the group, Angelfish the band are given ample opportunities to shine on these revved-up ditties. Frantz & Weymouth must have told the group to just play live & not let overdubs get in the way, hence the raw, ballsy performance they give to these tunes.

However, ANGELFISH is mostly an album somber in mood & slinky in its instrumentation. "Suffocate Me" is another song that is so flat-out sexy, it's a wonder that it can come off that way in the cool & detached (but no so much to forsake all emotion) voice of Shirley. "Heartbreak To Hate", "Tomorrow Forever" & "The End" have her & Angelfish turning out goodbye ballads that even at their most Bic-lighter-waving moments have enough volume to place them above sappiness. On the other hand, my favorite song off the album "Sleep With Me" follows that method of slow-and-steady-wins-the-race, but with a much happier outcome in the end. Deep down inside, Shirley just might look an ice queen on the outside, but it doesn't take much to melt her facade to get to the heart of gold.

ANGELFISH may not have set the charts on fire with its release, but it apparently did well enough for a video to reach MTV & catch the eyes of the members of Garbage, in need of an eyecatching frontperson to take them to the top. Better yet, while most famous musicians' pre-fame groups may worth mentioning for curiosity issues, Shirley Manson & Angelfish happily turned out an album that had all the potential to being a breakout success in itself.

Hopefully, those music fans who have been won over by Garbage's body of work will seek out Angelfish's lone album to see that Shirley Manson not only had talent to spare beforehand, but with a group that could best be described as Garbage with an extra dose of testosterone (apologies to Shirley). A liberal amount of production gloss may have boosted Garbage into the stratosphere, but Angelfish shows it could have succeeded on its raw talent alone had the public had wider-open ears.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Garbage....
Like many who have already reviewed this album, I too was interested in this album due to Shirley Manson's part in it.

At first, I must say, I wasn't much into the music of Angelfish; but after a few listens I definately started to latch onto it. I'd actually have to say, that some of these songs remind me of Blondie.

The lyrics are morbidly up-beat, and the music itself is quite catchy. I'd give this album a try... ... Read more

111. Black Sheep Boy
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Asin: B0007UDCBC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5526
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The band's name comes from an obscure Russian story and the album title comes from a song by fallen '60s folk hero Tim Hardin, but the haunting music here is purely the Austin collective's own. Like tour partners the Decemberists and soul mate Alasdair Roberts, Okkervil River deals primarily in dark string instruments and even darker poetry. "Some nights I thirst for real blood/ For real knives/ For real cries," singer Will Sheff sings on opening track, "For Real," signaling that his appetite for southern gothic muder ballads remains as strong as ever on the group's fourth album. The sinister "So Come Back, I Am Waiting" and "Black" confirm this suspicion. Less country, more Arcade Fire--whatever that means--Black Sheep Boy paradoxically also finds the band at its most commercially ambitious. Here, the slow death rattle of previous releases slowly gives way to explosive choruses and actual gore. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars i love will sheff.
Clever lyrics, addictive melodies.I love songs off of past albums, but as a whole, this album is Okkervil River's most cohesive and polished yet.I purchased it a couple weeks ago and I'm completely obsessed with it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Why oh Why? Is it pitchfork?
I do hate to be the one person who gives a bad review for an album that everyone seems to enjoy. Granted I'm giving it three stars because I haven't actually heard the whole album, I've just heard one song that I suppose they're releasing as a single (where the whole band hits a collective chord as mr. eyes closed and serious yells along with them on the emphasis) as well as seeing their set before the Decemberists show.

I hadn't ever heard of Okkervil River, even being a pretty avid local Austin person...maybe that ignorance just proves that I'm not that avid, who knows? Anyway, I thought they were terrible. They had great instrumentation, but just absolutely failed to use it in any kind of interesting way. And I realize that this is not fair to rate them live after not really hearing them thoroughly...again that's why I've given them the benefit of the doubt with three stars.

...but then I listened to that single off pitchfork recently, a song they played live, and it was actually worse from the studio. And I am taking into account that I might really not like them at all because of Pitchfork, who compared the singer to Jeff Mangum, AND Colin Meloy. I hadn't even heard the Decemberists until that day, and I was absolutely sold with their show...but then again I'm horribly attracted to Petra Haden, so maybe that's it. But comparing OR's singer to either Mangum or Meloy is a horrible overstatement. Both of their writing summons up such a unique experience in itself...and compared it to him?!? Yes, I'm a godspeed/mt. zion/montreal person in general, or at least tend more to strings, and don't take kindly to lyrics (for the most part) and I still like Neutral Milk Hotel and the Decemberists...and pitchfork compares OR to them? Ah! OR is the exact kind of band that they over rate and show a clear favor to: Arcade Fire, Fiery Furnaces, Super Furry Animals or whatever they are. The foremost is probably the best, but they were in front of animal collective for albums of the year? AHH!

Look how many rhetorical questions OR and pitchfork have spawned right now! I'll give them three stars because this might be biased because of Pitchforks doing, but I do feel that I abhor them. I'm also not one for singer who close their eyes while talking to crowd and do the equivalent of cursing during a toast. At least the Decemberists came on afterwards. I really feel like they deserve much less that three stars, I'd like to get into fractions. But to be (slightly) fair, I'll leave it at three since 25% of my opinion is based on impression alone.

3-0 out of 5 stars More subtle than 'Golden Dreams,' a little boring
I was surprised, after purchasing the album, at all of the raving reviews. I listened to the album several times and decided it was a flop compared to previous efforts. I was wrong; the more I listened, the more sense it made, but I still don't agree that it's their best yet. Golden Dreams was less personal, less melodramatic and a far more thrilling ride. Scheff's vocals are at their peak when he's loud, either outright yelling or belting out souring climactic melodies. His voice crackles and wavers seemingly off-key on four-fifths of this album through the quiet sections. The loud songs remind me uncomfortably of the Counting Crows. The album as a whole seems rather bland to me and the only high point is the second-to-last track. It's a good album, but it's not the big break-through album I was expecting from them.

I was just as excited to see them open for the Decemberists (in Seattle) as I was to see the headlining band. The concensus among my friends: the Decemberists blew them off the stage. I was disappointed. I think Okkervil River had an off-night.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fairly stunning
I recently read an article suggesting that music is increasingly valued for its association with other media, and less for its stand-alone merits. It's not enjoyed for itself, but consumed in relation to other things.

Part of this is fallout from vertical integration; pop is hawked through big films, videos, or ads. Like it or not, the experience of The Shins becomes emotionally rooted in our experience of "Garden State." Meanwhile, club electronica and "dance rock" are no good by themselves--they require "being there" amidst a grinding mass of sweating people to produce a visceral effect.

Consequently, it's getting tougher to find music that produces its own discrete sensations and entertainments, removed from other (visual) sensory input.

Yet this is exactly what Okkervil River does, and what they've gotten better at doing with each subsequent album. Though the narrative efforts are a bit more obtuse on this record than on previous releases, each track still carries a stunning ability to reach into your chest and shake hands with your guts. Moreover, they're evocative of internal visual experience on par with a great work of fiction. In sum, these guys should have a neurotransmitter named after them.

As others have mentioned, "Black" is a particular standout with its screaming catharsis. The other songs, however, never lag far behind. Throughout, Sheff's wedding of sharp poetics and soaring harmonies pack a rattling wallop totally intrinsic to the music, and the music alone.

In an era of frenzied convergence in the realm of entertainment, it's good to know that music as a project still has the capacity to shake our cores both intellectually and physically.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bring back the mandolin!!!!
I too was at the Okkervil River/Decemberists show in Houston, and it's true Okkervil River put on a better show (and that's coming from a huge Decemberists fan). That night openned my eyes to Okkervil River. Previously, I had known them, and liked them somewhat. I liked "Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See", and loved a few tracks from there. While I liked the album, I feel it was a little poorly executed. In some parts instruments were out of tune together, and often Will Sheff's vocals were off key. But it was still a pretty good release.

That's basically the awareness of Okkervil River I went into that show with. After the show I bought their first album.

Fast forward ahead 2 weeks, I pick up "Black Sheep Boy" and subsequently wonder how the **** I didn't pick this up that night instead. This album is really damn good! It's a bit less folk/alt-country then their previous releases, which is actually the only part that bothers me. There is no mandolin! I think some of Okkervil River's best songs feature the mandolin. "West Falls" (my favorite Okkervil song), "Dead Dog Days", "Okkervil River Song", "Seas Too Far To Reach" & "Yellow" all feature the mandolin and are great. That negative aside; One giant emphasis that people should be aware with this album lies with Will Sheff's absolutely brilliant lyrics. If people thought Colin Meloy's storytelling was a high enough precedent for this year, I feel he's now been surpassed...

The best of show is definitely "For Real". Everything about this song is great: the lyrics, the music, the structure and so on. The latter part of the song builds to climatic peak that is just amazing. Seriously, you must hear this song. I love Will Sheff's stories of criminals. They're novel and never really out of line. And on this song he is basically living with homicidal thoughts in his mind. "So Come Back, I Am Waiting" is an 8 minute song about someone who eventually escapes capture from some serial killer. This is another truely amazing song and it highlights another great aspect to this album: how melodic the singing of Will Sheff has become. On this album, he creates some wonderful melodies with his vocals, more often than not over powering the instruments, which is a brilliant task. "Song Of Our So-Called Friend" is a song about rejection. It's another great song with great lyrics but I really feel this song could have been even better with a damn mandolin! "Get Big", "A Stone", "A Glow" and "A King And A Queen" are more examples of Sheff's vocals creating better melodies then the band's instruments, which are putting a really great show themselves. "The Latest Thoughs" & "Black" are the more upbeat, louder tracks of the album. And finally: "In A Radio Song" is a slower paced, melodic song filled with various experimental noises throughout.

Overall, this is perfect, and by far Okkervil River's best release. It is one of the best releases, period, this year. I hope with this release they get the giant recognition they now deserve. And I hope something incites them to bring back the mandolin! I won't be too surprised if this grows to become my favorite release of the year. ... Read more

112. The Sunlandic Twins [Bonus EP]
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Asin: B0007X9TUW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3301
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Hailing from Athens, Of Montreal have carved their own niche in the indie-pop world, establishing themselves as a uniquely twisted band that thrills fans with compelling live performances, delights critics with their constant innovations and refinements, and continually showcases their musical evolution that culls together influences as varied as Brian Eno, Television, Prince, and The Shins. "The Sunlandic Twins" is their most cohesive and adventurous record to date. It plays out like an electro pop opera. Beginning buoyant and opalescent, traversing a labyrinthine Neptune, and climaxing in blackout darkness one only discovers in warm solitude. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent, but has some rough
Ok, I admit.there are a few good points on the album, but as a whole, I find it difficult to really groove along with it.the previous one was utterly fantastic, but something seems to have changed between then and now (only a year mind you).To be honest, nothing in the song has any particular hook except, maybe, So Begins Our Alabee in which the entire sung part is the hook.Beyond this and The Party's Crashing Us, nothing caught my ear.Oh and why 3 instrumentals?I have no problem with them if they grab onto you like "Coquelicot, Claude and Lecithin Dance Aboard The Yacht" or the tail end of "The Hopeless Opus", both found on "Coquelicot Asleep In The Poppies", but none of those found on this record is really that memorable.All in all, ok as background music, but not so great to focus your attention on.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Real Thinker, Not A Stinker
Well, well, well. A bit of a turn-up for the books here, folks.A change in style for the band most likely. This album is a more instrumental effort from Kevin Ba(r)nes, who appears to have taken over the whole band. Anyways, it's good. Not as many riffs and hooks as their previous efforts, but overall it's a helluva lot smoother on the nerves than Coquelicot and, to a lesser extent, S.P.I.T.A. Perhaps one for the novices, eh? I'm intrigued, I must say. Requires a few more listens, methinks!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Pleased - Cannot Wait To See Them Live
I am a two year old fan and what strikes me right of the bat is Kevin Barnes' voice reminds me of Brendan Benson (by the way, I cannot stand his new album).Benson and Barnes both have a fascination with 60's sounds, but Of Montreal really has the creativity to make each song very entertaining; each instrument playing off odd cues and such.I would consider it a poppy record like The High Llamas on speed.My favorite songs are definitely I Was Never Young and The Party's Crashing Us.There is not one bad song to me.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fun album full of good melodies, but weak everything else.
There are plenty of obvious virtues to this album.The guitar rings of 60's pop, and every song has a fun, well formed melody which can't help but remind me of Piper At The Gates of Dawn era Floyd.On the whole, The Sunlandic Twins sounds like a more upbeat dance-pop take on psychadelia.It has a few huge drawbacks, though.Beyond a nice melody and a general fun sound, there isn't much depth to the album, and the songs are very homogeneous.With the exception of the last track, which has a lo-fi sound and is carried by it's bassline, there's little or no variation in this album's sound.Some people will like this album a lot, and others will be immediately underwhelmed.If the idea of retro-pop with a slightly higher tempo and lots of synthesizers intrigues you, maybe you should consider buying this album.Otherwise, skip it.

(My actual rating:5.5/10)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Listenable Of Montreal Album Yet.
I'm a hardcore Of montreal fan and have been for some time.I originally fell in love with them after hearing the whimsical tunes on "Gay Parade."Since then, Of Montreal's sound has changed a little, first heard in "Satanic Panic in the Attic."This album continues that trend.

For fans like me that loved the old whimsical "circus music" of "Gay Parade" and "Coquelicot...", there may be a little disappointment before all the nostalgia is knocked out of you by the sheer joy that this album will bring to you.The electronic side of Of Montreal that appeared on their last album is even more prevalent on "The Sunlandic Twins" as heard in "So Begins out Alabee," "The Party's Crashing Us," and "Oslo In The Summertime".Most of the whimsical lyrics and nature of Of Montreal's songs have been traded for an awesome indie pop sound, but never fear, the harmonies you've grown to love are still there and this album isn't going to stop you rom smiling.

The album, though different from previous OM albums, is the most listenable album yet.It's obvious that kevin Barnes' time spent in the studio was not wasted.(Amazing that he did it all in about a year.) ... Read more

113. Disintegration
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Asin: B000002H70
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1262
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Disintegration is a pop album realized on an epic scale. Most of its 12 songs are long mood pieces that develop slowly around the listener. Anchored by complex drum patterns, the layered guitars, soaring bass lines, and rich keyboards blend to create a lush, evocative soundscape that captures the ear immediately; and for all its length, the album is never boring. The lyrical focus is intensely personal throughout, and, with the exception of "Love Song," the mood is overwhelmingly dark and brooding. Here are songs of remembrance that, through their deep candor, transcend the individual level to explore universal longings and fears. Robert Smith, his vocals plaintive or angry or despairing, unfolds a tapestry of loss. Broken bonds, old lies, missed opportunities, belated realizations. Anyone who has experienced the joy and sorrow--especially the sorrow--of love will find his or her deepest sentiments, noble and petty alike, echoed poetically here. --Al Massa ... Read more

Reviews (208)

5-0 out of 5 stars Disintegration is the best album ever¿.
Disintegration is the best album ever....

God bless the boys from South Park. Kyle may have gotten it right. This album is epic. Before this record The Cure's music was underground club type music, and fit very nicely in the "post-punk" label. The music on this record has an incredibly beautiful melancholy to it. Most of the songs have a slow tempo and just ooze with a dark moodiness that makes you feel. I don't know that it can make everyone feel the same, but it will definitely make you feel.

The songs are a bit long, but that is not a bad thing as each is beautifully orchestrated. There is no filler in this record, and actually some of The Cure's best work is on this album. "Pictures Of You", "Love Song", "Lullaby", "Fascination Street", and "Prayers For Rain" are probably the best songs, but every song is incredible. Overall it's as bleak as any album I've ever heard, and it is painfully intimate. It's one I simply can't stop listening to, despite the dark melancholy of the music.

This is The Cure album for people that aren't even Cure fans. You don't have to be into moody, gothic, synthpop to appreciate just how great this record is. The album is nearly 12 years old, and doesn't sound dated at all. The material is still fresh, timeless. Enjoying this record is simply a beautiful experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite album of all time
At the time of the recording of Disintegration, the Cure were just beginning to be noticed in the U.S. as a result of several minor hits off of their "Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss me" album in the late 80s. 1989, the year Disintegration was recorded and released, was not a particularly good year in Robert Smith's life, so he naturally wasn't going to be making music akin to the poppy, upbeat, Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss me sound. When he first played the new album in front of a test audience, it was met with some mild applause, but mostly disappointing silence. Smith thought he'd committed career suicide and had chosen the worst possible way to follow Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss me. Little did he realize at the time that he and his band had created a masterpiece, which would go on to be the Cure's best-selling album as well as my favorite album of all time.

From the majestic opening of "Plainsong" to the closing chords of "Untitled", Disintegration is a beautiful, very cohesive masterpiece. Lush keyboards, soothing bass lines, complex drum patterns, and absolutely amazing guitar lines create a beautiful, melancholic atmosphere that totally envelops the listener. Backing it all up are Robert Smith's reedy, plaintive vocals, which are phenomenally emotional, passionate, and sincere. With few exceptions, the songs on Disintegration hover for gorgeously extended lengths of time, taking their time to unravel and inspire awe. Every single one of them is wondrous work of art, and their consistency in quality and theme is amazing. The album is 72 minutes long, and there is not one minute of filler. That statement, plus the fact that this album has only received three negative reviews out of 197, should speak volumes about the quality of Disintegration.

This album is simply the best thing I've ever heard. If you have patience, an open mind, and the desire to experience something simply and utterly beautiful, Disintegration is for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I purchased a copy of this album on vinyl in 1990 and used it to soothe my soul after a particularly difficult breakup with a girlfriend of mine. For a year I did nothing but listen to this album (along with Joy Division) and it really helped me get through some tough times. "Pictures of You" has got to be one of the most powerful and sad songs ever.

I hadn't listened to it in over 12 years when I bought a used copy of the CD recently - and to my surprise I found that it was as moody, beautiful and wonderful as ever. It hasn't aged at all. This is one of those CDs you can put on in your player and just hit replay forever. It really took me back to a time in my life where I was going through a lot of hurt - and it still has a restorative and theraputic power that amazes me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting Perfection
As novelists and poets may know, if your aim is to write something that will cause tears well up in the eyes of readers, you must be crying as you write every word. The emotional power and pain in this album may very well cause a tightening in the back of an attentive listener's throat. Easily respected as a great album in the popular musical canon, this album is, quite easily, my favourite album released by a popular musical artist.
The album opens within a windswept tunnel of heartache and love, with, "Plainsong" musing about the morbid beauty in a girl whose candle of life has been blown out, and who embraces with love and smiles at the thought of her death and emotional drowning. This beggining track segues into the single, "Pictures of You," of equally depressing substance, as we are reminded memories are the only permanence with the passing of time. "Closedown" is a poignant track in which Robert Smith wails in painful desire to feel love that isn't frought with human vice. "Lovesong" needs no formal introduction, being one of the most successful Cure singles worldwide. I attribute the success of this eerily touching, and appropriately named track, to its simplicity. It is Robert Smith's way of simply and directly saying, "I love you". "Last Dance" is a track about the waning enchantment in life as it progresses and we grow older. "Lullaby" is a haunting proto-Gothic classic, singing of the infamous "candy-striped leg" spiderman coming and eating dear Robert, who feels like a fly caught in a sticky web of gloom. "Fascination Street" offers a second-to-none baseline, and some of the catchiest guitar music on the album. "Prayers for Rain" is a song of the bleakest perfection one can achieve, Robert buries you alive in a catacomb of doom and gloom with this track. "The Same Deep Water as You" has a title that is quite self-explaining; despair, love, drowning in tears, with wails loudly and sonorously echoing in a dark cave of hope. "Disintegration" is a beautiful track, poetically splattering Robert's tears of insatiable desire onto canvass of lost hope. He beautifully sings, "I miss the kiss of teachery, the shameless kiss of vanity, the soft and the black and the velvety, tight up against the side of me/ and mouth and eyes and heart all bleed and run in thickening streams of greed..." This track segues into, "Homesick," an interconnected meditation on drugs fulfilling an emptiness and subduing the heartbreaking "home"sickness: or an allusion to those things, desires, needs, we put off in our lives... opting instead to never face them with the aid of emotional dillution. The depressingly beautiful album ends in a way that feels and sounds like an upbeat, bittersweet sort of death, completing the feeling of sinking, as though in a warm dark sea, gradually embracing it, and smiling as you accept your emotional drowning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ethereal & Haunting, A True Classic.........
Disintegration is by far the most haunting and evocative album ever released by The Cure, and is probably the most haunting and evocative album ever released, period.

Disintegration is also the greatest work in The Cure's long and distinguished career. The album is a masterpiece of melancholy lyrics and music woven seamlessly into a sonic journey into darkness and forlorn hope.

"Plainsong" is the first track on the album, and is a promise of what's to come. Incredible synthetic sounds mix with a haunting guitar riff and ethereal vocals to make an unforgettable opening track.

"Pictures of You" has to be one of the greatest songs written by any band, let alone The Cure. The track is a seamless integration of the traditional Cure sonic "loop", where each instrument begins separately leading to a unified trademark sound. Smith's lyrics top the track, and lead us into welcome territory.

"Closedown" continues the melancholy theme of the album, and serves as a nice to segue into "Love Song", a track that is a throwback to "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me", and breaks the dark structure of the album, albeit briefly, with it's upbeat sound and lyrics. A good track that does at times seem very out of place when compared to the much more darker theme of the album as a whole. A great track nonetheless that provides a refreshing change in tempo.

"Last Dance" is a dark track that evokes the last goodbye, and the accompanying feelings of pain and desperation that come with it.

"Lullaby" combines that trademark Cure quirkiness with an interesting musical arrangement and quite dark & gothic lyrics. There is a definite feeling of morose humor popping up in this track, and does not have the same forlorn feeling of the majority of the album.

"Fascination Street" is by far the heaviest track on the album, masterfully layered with a throbbing base riff, chaotic guitars, and superb vocals by Smith. One of the best tracks on an album filled with more than its share of memorable ones.

We now come to the heart of darkness on the album. The next to tracks provide a sonic journey into a hopeless landscape, haunting beyond anything The Cure has done previously. "Prayers for Rain", a very raw and dark track, sets up what I truly believe is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written....

"Same Deep Water As You" for some reason gripped me the first moment I heard it, and in the 15 years since Disintegration has been released, has never let go. One of the most beautiful and haunting tracks that you could ever hear, yet it weaves sadness, love & loss into a seamless whole. A true masterpiece.

"Disintegration" picks up the tempo. In a way, quite welcome given the last few tracks. A very good track, if not outstanding.

"Homesick" is probably the weakest track on the album. Not memorable, but ok.

We end with "Untitled", which is probably my fourth favorite track on the album. A nice arrangement accompanied by very good songwriting. "Happy Melancholy" is the only way to describe this track, and is a perfect way to close the album, as it's not too dark, yet not upbeat either, giving quite a neutral ending to a truly great album.

Disintegration is one of those gems that in so many ways will stay timeless for years to come. By far The Cure's most popular album, it however does not a have a commercial sound in any way, with one off tracks that do not fit the structure (except maybe for "Love Song"). A masterpiece that should be in any music collection. ... Read more

114. No Wow
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Asin: B00078XKDE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2422
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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On their sophomore release, the Kills come on like a post-punk version of Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter--with "hate" tattooed on one hand, "love" on the other. Lyrics reference the two to the extent that there's even a song called "I Hate the Way You Love" (plus a slow version, "I Hate the Way You Love, Pt. 2"). Similarly, VV (Alison Mosshart) sings like a cross between PJ Harvey and Christina Martinez (Boss Hog). And yet, despite lines like, "Get the guns out" ("Love is a Deserter") and "Lost a lot of blood" ("At the Back of the Shell"), No Wow is too catchy to be a bummer (must be "love" asserting its presence). VV and Hotel (Jamie Hince) make their songs move and groove with a minimum of fuss, mostly just some grubby guitar, unobtrusive drum machine, and Suicide-like electronic pulses. Mitchum would surely approve. --Kathleen C. Fennessy ... Read more

Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars A - HA
You know those douchebags that wear 100 dollar pants and try really hard to look cool on melrose ave. This is what it would sound like if they made music. It's cheesy as hell and its equally as shallow. They will have about the same longetivity as the trendy clothes and big sunglasses they wear. I can hear this playing at urban outfitters everywhere.

2-0 out of 5 stars The bore, the snore!
It was through hearing the single 'The Good Ones' on a local non-comm station, that I was inclined to pick this up.The song presentation is a moody and thick dirge.Rude vintage guitar tones fuzz-smear their way into melding the bottom end with the vocals resulting in a single insistent ZZZZVOOOOBBB!! of a sound.Being recorded in the midst of the analog heaven at Sear Sound in New York had everything to do with that.Certainly the best tools were on hand to deliver the classic warmth this disc provides.

It took approximately one-point-two listens to this disc to nail down exactly why "No Wow" falters as a whole.The Kills have managed to fill an entire album with exactly the same song- over and over and over.Producer John Agnello should have exposed this fact to the band.The culprit is that the verse vocal phrasing is identical on every song.Rudimentary one or two bar ascending or descendingmelody phrases take place within only a single octave directly result in nothing but boring-begets-grating-becomes-"didn't I just hear this song?"-insanity.

Having walked into a club in Detroit where the Kills were playing I can say that my feelings were immediately corroborated by the crowd reaction.Mostly there because the media hype said they should be, the audience were a disinterested lot at best when confronted with this drum machine powered (oxymoron?) 2-piece.At present there seems to be a glut of this guy/girl thing going on now too whether it be the Raveonettes, White Stripes, or even Ani DiFranco.

As a point of fact, there's a new service that the major labels are beginning to use called 'Hit Song Science' from Germany.The service analyzes the waveforms of songs and then compares them to songs that have been past hits.We all can speculate why this would be a bad, bad thing for the music industry.Was it used here?Don't know, but it sure sounds like it.There are rumors to the fact that those responsible for that first Norah Jones disc used HSS in the process and unfortunately that disc suffers exactly the same fate. Let's hope this is not a trend to come...the sound of this band and recording had promise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bumpy & Grindy
This album fits the bill if you're looking for some catchy alternative rock in today's polished, superficial music world.The Kills exhibit skilled, art-type rock that is melodic and yet abrasive.

NO WOW starts out with lots of WOW on the song "No Wow", shifts into poppy-type overdrive on "Lve Is a Deserter" and "Rodeotown", a single ("Good Ones") and "I Hate the Way You Love".Those are some highlights, but the album pulls you into playing through the entirety.Enjoy it for the ride it is!

5-0 out of 5 stars No wow? Plenty of wow IMHO
This is one of the best albums I've heard for a good while. I've heard the first single to be released, the incredibly catchy 'Good Ones' a bit on the radio and I ended up buying the album. That was a great impulse buy; the entire album has the same, minimalist guitar and drums and the odd mix of vocals but without ever becoming repetitive or samey.

The two singers are a hell of a combination. At times VV has a voice with a fallen-angel quality before sounding like someone who has been at the Gauloises far too much while Hotel (the man) provides great support vocals. Not quite backing vocals, but I think it's fair to say that VV's voice carries the album more.

In short, it's a great album. Yes, it's a bit of PJ Harvey, White Stripes and Echo thrown in a blender, but I really couldn't care less. Go. Buy. Now.

3-0 out of 5 stars cool
Now here's a pretty cool band.
They're not quite original as they sound like a mixture of pj harvey (4 track demos album) with yeah yeah yeahs but they're still cool. ... Read more

115. You're Living All Over Me [Bonus Videos]
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B0007NMK9Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5117
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sludgefest Sounding Greatness
This is where Dinosaur Jr. shined!It is back in print, thanksJ, and Merge.Yes.It was trouble to find this before this reissue and this is an essential to Dinosaur fans or 80s Psychedelic Post-Punk fans of SST bands(what label do we file these wonderful bands under?)Check out the other reissues also.

Little Fury Things opens the album beautifully with the wah pedal and screams...yet it turns out to a great pop tune with nice sounding vocals backing up J.The album sound is loud and guitar-driven obviously by Mascis!He plays the guitar with passion and lots of energy and great solos.He's probably one of the most original, passionate guitarist to come along.He mumbles the vocals though. Murph is a good drummer and he's back with tour with Dinosaur Jr. Lou is an interesting bassist and there's something different about his bass playing, but it rings good on all of the early Dinosaur Jr. albums.He also takes lead on two Dinosaur songs on here.One of them is "Poledo", which is completely lo-fi and kind of interesting.It runs a little long though and tends to be just weird noise in some parts, but it's all done on his own and there may be ukulele in the song.

The best songs are the intense "The Lung"(played on the Late Late Show" recently), the ultra heavy "Sludgefest",the single "Little Fury Things", the poppier "In a Jar", the downcast "Tarpit", the bonus track Cure cover "Just Like Heaven", and "Poledo" stands out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Show Me The Way
J Mascis has said that he didn't include Show Me The Way because he doesn't like it. It was him, not Merge. BUY THIS RECORD AT ALL COSTS!

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Sounds Great
YLAOM still stands out as one of the best underground/alternative/progressive/college-music/whatever albums from the mid-late 1980's. My taste in music has changed considerably since that time, but, unlike many other--well, loud--recordings from the period, I always gravitate back towards YLAOM and the follow-up BUG, both of which are awash in crazed screeching feedback but somehow sustain a sense of melody at times.As for the remastering, it's excellent.The levels were so low on the old SST CD version that you had to bump the volume all the way up when listening.Merge has cleaned up and amplified everything, although it still keeps that low-fi sound that's part of the production.

5-0 out of 5 stars It melted my face
I'll never be the same after rediscovering Dino.After listening to this reissue, I took all my other cds out of my truck, and re-filed them in my basement.They all appeared totally irrelevant and meaningless compared to Living All Over Me.Then I went and ordered all the other Dinosaur re-releases.

5-0 out of 5 stars Legendary Album Back In Print!
In 1987, Dinosaur Jr. realeased their seminal masterpeice, 'You're Living All Over Me'. This is an album that sounded like nothing being recorded at the time, except The Jesus & Mary Chain and Sonic Youth, the latter of which Dinosaur Jr. have quite alot in common with. This album is part of a trilogy of albums they made with their original lineup in the mid 80's which included 'Dinosaur' and 'Bug', respectively. For sheer intensity and noise, not much can touch this album. 'Little Furry Things' may be the best song in Dinosaur Jr. catalog, while 'The Lung' and 'Raisins' are some of the most melodic. Then comes 'Tarpit', a song that doesn't seem like it can get any louder, and then....IT DOES, moving eerily into My Bloody Valentine territory. This song epitomizes what Dinosaur Jr.'s sound is all about, loud guitars and etheral vocals that float aimlessly atop the feedback blasts.

But now for the bad news...or in other words, the re-issue. Unfortuanetly Merge removed the cover of Peter Frampton's 'Show Me the Way' and replaced it with the equally brilliant but unnessary (at least on this album) Cure cover 'Just Like Heaven'. On the other side of the coin though, there are two music videos, one for 'Little Furry Things' and 'Just Like Heaven'. So if you don't have this album, then buy it ASAP because the original CD's have been OOP for quite some time and are difficult to find for a resonable price. But do whatever you have to do to get this landmark album; one of the 10 best of the 1980's and one that defined a genre. ... Read more

116. Country Falls (With Bonus DVD)
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007X9TZM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6868
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

The Finnish band whose gorgeous confection of folksy instrumentation and sweeping ambient electronic has gob-smacked European club scenesters, cynical musos, and dreamy pop fans alike. Seductive, narcotic, and superb, this is their debut. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Start the summer right...
and check out this album!Every song on Country Falls sounds different, which makes for an enjoyable and interesting listening experience. I love that the Cd comes with the bonus DVD.The video for "Summertime Cowboy" is pure kitsch!One of the best new albums I've heard in a long time!

5-0 out of 5 stars An album worth buying
Well put together CD, amazing energy and design. for more info.
All together, two thumbs up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rescuing music
Tired of the same old thing?Husky Rescue to the rescue!This album is full of melodic masterpieces and atypically hooky infectious grooves.If you're like me and can't stand the 30 second previews at these online stores, go to and download a free Husky Rescue MP3 to get the full effect.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Record
Very musical, with flowing instrumentation, great hooks, and some really unique arrangements.Check this one out if you're tired of the same old garbage.Great to hear some real music in this genre for a change instead of repetitive beats and tired gimmicks.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like The Cardigans' LIFE or Beck's SEA CHANGES ...
Just when you feel you could catch a chill in the frozen climes of the current music scene, a saviour pads into view. Husky Rescue is here, carrying the revivifying (and intoxicating) liquor of musical invention and pure, untainted melodicism in their capacious sleigh. As clear as icewater, as dazzling as the Aurora Borealis, as jolting as a splash in the face from a Finnish lake; the music of Husky Rescue is more than capable of refreshing even the most jaded palate. Helsinki's all-round musical magus Marko Nyberg and sensual vocalist Reeta-Leena Korhola lead the Husky Rescue charge. Other members include Mikka Colliander on guitar, Ville Riippa on keyboards and Anssi Sopanen on drums. Touched by the chilly majesty of their homeland, and much more besides, the band describes their influences as being 'the magical moment' and mood in movies. David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Wim Wenders, Lukas Moodysson, Russ Meyer, Scandinavian architecture, Erik Satie, the airy lushness of French impressionism and Philip Glass, the sound of Arvo Part, warm and honest country music and a lot of other things in pop culture such as graphic design and photography. Each Husky Rescue song is a self-contained mini-movie aiming for its own unique emotional impact. When asked to describe their work, Nyberg's metaphors are unusual but entirely appropriate: David Lynch meets the night-less night in Lapland, he suggests, or perhaps Bambi meets big bad wolf and they become friends. If you can read that and not be intrigued, you are an iceberg, my friend.

... Read more

117. Burn the Maps
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00079I04C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1043
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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On their first studio album in nearly four years, the Frames have opted for a fuller, more adventurous sound than on 2001’s Steve Albini-produced For the Birds, although this placid, smoky-bar ambiance owes more to 'Birds than to 1999’s Dance The Devil. From the opening acoustic strums and lingering background vocals of "Happy" through "Locusts" and its Donovan-does-"Atlantis" vibe, this record teeters on the dark side, rescued by the stirring John Cale inspired string arrangements of violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire. Most of the Dublin based foursome’s dozen tracks have muted beginnings that swell to intoxicating volumes, as is the band’s trademark, with Glen Hansard’s uninhibited vocals uniformly at ease with the turbulent "Underglass" and the dreamy, windblown "Ship Caught in the Bay" (seemingly written with Astrud Gilberto in mind). It’s an unpredictably bipolar record with plenty of mood swings and emotional shifts that will ultimately leave listeners with feelings of euphoria. --Scott Holter ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Burn The Maps
Recently voted Best Irish Band in the Meteor Awards, expectations rest heavily on The Frames.Four years after the platinum-selling, For the Birds, Burn The Maps could be the album that propels The Frames to the zenith of their career. It could also mark the site of what might have been.

Every band has a strong point; be it the gravel of Johnny Cash, the intricacies of Lambchop, or the poetry of Dylan. For the Frames, it's the ability to be aggressively brash one moment and violently quiet the next. Some songs need canyons to breathe, but some sit quietly in the corner of the room. Burn the Maps doesn't start by kicking the door down. Opener, Happy, begins with solitary, gloomy acoustic followed by simple bass and drums. Glen Hansard's boy soprano melody glides over the top. It's very restrained, but with intimations of something more abandoned. The martial rhythms and brutal guitar enter next with single, Finally. Full of conviction and doubt, the vocals break into an anguished cry with the violin circling overhead like a vulture eyeing its prey. This is the Frames we know doing what they do best. In typical fashion, they pull the volume right down for the next track before bursting forth once more.
The whole record speaks with the melancholy bitterness of a disappointed lover, ricocheting between resentment and regret, love and hate, art and blood. Full of big songs but sung with the conviction they need, the album's centrepiece is Fake, The Frames' answer to Smashing Pumpkins' Today. Soaring riffs merge with infectious melodies to disguise the honest lyrics. The `A' side builds up to this crescendo, with the `B' side coming back down, finishing how it started. Underglass is worth mention for its driving bassline, towering chorus and haunting verse. It's their darkest album to date, but the openness brings a feel of authenticity. If it gets the recognition it deserves, the Frames will be huge.

Andrew Williamson

5-0 out of 5 stars The Frames Are The Best
I have not been so excited about a group since 1971. And never have listened to a CD more times than I've listened to The Frames' Fitzcarraldo.....but then I got that before Burn The Maps.
There's not a moment of instrumental superflash a la Hendrix, rarely a lyric that astonishes a la Dylan........but no one on the planet sings with more heart than Glen Hansard.....many songs are like an entire play with soft, lulling passages opening into scenes of stormy yelling drama......

And there's a tightness to this group, whose absolute center is Hansard.......and which has been going in various incarnations since 1990...............and a uniqueness (I loosely think of it as Irish alt-rock-folk)
to the sound, the tone, the lyric........the blend of it all.........
I guess the one proviso is that you have to like moody and romantic and rock and lyrical all together. I can't stand overly sentimental stuff, so
the fact that The Frames can put so much emotion, longing, sorrow,anger, memory into a song without ever being cloying is miraculous.
Ihave never seen a better concert than The Frames in Portland, Oregon in 2005.........and of perhaps 10,000 CDs I've listened to in my life...........would place Fitzcarraldo and Burn The Maps in the top 1%.........listen to Burn The Maps without expecting anything in particular..........and be ready to go somewhere both strange yet wonderfully familiar
With most groups, I know where I stand on their music within a few notes of each song, certainly by the time I get thru a CD. The Frames start out with me thinking they're really good, and by the third time thru.......I am sent back decades to the excitement (though quite a different style of music) of being a teen-age fan listening to the Kinks, or Dylan, or Cream.

5-0 out of 5 stars Give it a chance
On a first listen, this album may not grab you by the little fella's, but after 3 rotations you just can't stop listening to it. Every other review told you everything you already need to know-buy it, enjoy it and catch them live! I've been watching them live for 6/7 years, at least 3 times a year and have not become bored yet!

5-0 out of 5 stars simply beautiful
The thing about The Frames is that their live performances are so dynamic and engaging that their past recordings have only illustrated a portion of what makes this band so great.Conversely, the band's ethereal melodies and signature shifts in tempo, intensity, and octave lend themselves to the rich layers of a masterfully produced studio recording such as "For The Birds."

FTB was my introduction to The Frames, and after listening to it regularly for about a month, I found it very appealing but it wasn't quite hooking me.Then I saw them live, and I immediately got it!The Frames' mostly unfamiliar music engaged me live in a way that only my favorites usually can, and the songs I'd come to know off FTB finally came to life in concert.As a result, the music quickly became very familiar with the help of "Set List," the live CD from Dublin.As much as I enjoy listening to this energetic live recording, it admittedly lacks the rich production value of the Frames' studio sound, and it always feels a bit 'thin' to me.

I continue to see The Frames perform whenever possible, and the live introductions to their newest songs made them familiar by my first listen to "Burn The Maps."I am so happy to say that this CD just hits the nail right on the head!This beautiful collection of songs is about as cathartic as a live Frames show, while offering the moody ambience that we've come to expect from the band's finest studio efforts.This CD is a beautiful adventure, and one worth taking over and over again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Can You Trust What i Say?
If there's a Frames' album that deserves to be recognised, it's "Burn the Maps."This album has everything that's current.If you're an indie fan, you should enjoy the grand basslines and the sometimes-soft-somtimes-abrassive vocals of Glen Hansard, that are presented on this album.They sound much more ambisious and sound as though they've expanded their musical vision.

Check it out; i've learned that no matter how well-written a review, the music must speak for itself to your naked ears. ... Read more

118. Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000DJYME
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1461
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Opening October 15th nationwide, Friday Night Lights (a Universal picture starring Billy Bob Thornton and Tim McGraw, based on the best-selling book of the same name) features an original score by Temporary Residence top-seller Explosions In The Sky!

The film chronicles the entire 1988 season of a high school football team from Odessa, TX (adjacent to Explosions In The Sky’s hometown of Midland, TX). It focuses on the ongoing financial and emotional struggles of a small town that places all of its hopes on the team's chances at winning the state championship.

The Universal soundtrack – scheduled for release October 5 – includes Explosions In The Sky’s score, as well as a new Faith Hill/Tim McGraw duet and a new track by No Doubt's Gwen Stefani. Universal estimates the soundtrack will top one million copies sold by Christmas 2004. It is expected to debut in Billboard’s Top 10.

"Have You Passed Through This Night," from Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die... is featured in the film's trailer, which began airing in theaters nationwide June 11. The trailer began airing on national television during the Olympic Games. ... Read more

Reviews (47)

4-0 out of 5 stars soundscape
i have not written many reviews - trying to write only to those albums which 'hit' something in me. explosions debut album did the exact same as this one does. from the beginning of the album the listener is subjected to unothadox sounds coming from instruments of the most commonality. the first track - first brath after coma - reminds me a lot of their last album in style. you can't help but move your body to the riffs created. half way into the song you notice that your foot is lifting up and down, your head is shaking side to side, and your hand patting your stomach trying to follow all of the sounds thrown at you. the second track - the only moment we were together - is slower and different than what you'll hear on those who tell the truth...and while it is different, the listener may venture off of the music a little bit. however, when the third track begins - six days at the bottom of the ocean - it continues the slower building trend of the second but which so much more intensity and emotion falling out of the musical movements. what i love about this track is that it constantly builds and builds but never fully peaks. where with almost all of their songs there is a peak, this one keeps you in the building phrase to only stop at a slow lull to start track four. memorial - the title really tells the mood of this song. the most repetitive of their songs, it makes the listener dig through the music to find the changes and stay ingaged and then at the end, is an explosion of sound rewarding the listener for the first seven minutes of the track. the last track - your hand in mine - a beautiful opener. a smile can not help but creap upon my face as i get two and a half minutes in. its blissful sound coming through my headphones. i can't describe it beyond that.
this whole post-rock movement (for the lack of a better word) is growing. people are getting tired of emotionless, poor lyrical music. albums that can 'hit' something in you come few and far between, i recomend this album as a breath of fresh air. it doens't matter if you start with this album or their debut - neither will disappoint.
i would listen to it straight through the first time - soely concentrating on the music with a good pair of headphones and a clear mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Epic
Explosions in the Sky have created a beautiful piece of art. The music is sweeping and monumental. 5 songs span 43 minutes, and when it ends you'll be wishing for more. Passion and melodies pour from the speakers whether the songs are a bare whisper or a loud roar. And every song contains equal parts whisper and roar.

Every song rises and falls from one end of the spectrum to the other; hushed and soothing one minute and loud and rushing the next. The build ups and let downs of the music are incredible, and the entire album flows oh so smoothly. Each song bleeds into the other, but in a good way. Everything doesn't blend together to sound like one giant song.

This album says so much more without lyrics than most bands say in their lifetimes. Every minute of this album is glorious, I found myslef closing my eyes and just drifting away numerous times. But you won't drift to far because there will always be a wall of guitars and drums to keep you from going to far. Whether you enjoy instrumental music or not, give this a try, you may be surprised.

5-0 out of 5 stars A journey......
ETIS's latest offering "The earth is not a cold dead place" is a magical journey of textural guitars, rolling bass lines, and a drum sound that is reminiscent of a summer storm.....From the opening track "first breath after coma" the sweeping melodies drift across your consciousness, with some exquisite chord voicings the listener is transformed into actually taking that first delicious breath after being in a coma......"Six days at the bottom of the ocean" takes the you on a trip to the ocean floor inside the Russian submarine as the crushing inevitability of the situation "explodes" into complete silence..... "The earth is not a cold dead place" was described in a review as "music that saved my life", I find statements in this ilk patronizing and contemptuous, however, if music can indeed save ones life, and after almost overdosing on some of the gibberish that is recorded today the sublime peregrination that Explosions in the Sky deliver may well be as close as one can get to an adrenaline shot straight to the heart............Worth every penny you have.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Gets Better All The Time...
BUY IT! This is the universal must-have no matter what your taste in music. Real music created by real musicians, not manufactured garbage ripped off from the last great thing to fatten the wallets of all parties involved. Read the reviews, Listen to clips - there up there, click on them and crank it up! Dont take a chance on some other hit-or-miss record purchase. This stuff is unbelievable!

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
Some may call Explosions in the Sky Mogwai-Lite, but this album of 5 songs really places the band alongside their post-rock brothers (with Godspeed as well); tinted with optimism, showering with sparkling guitar, this album won't disappoint those who have come to love post-rock. Although slightly repetitive, this album does far more than the latest efforts from Mogwai and GY!BE do - consistently evoke strong emotions, moving the listener in and out of a range of beauty, melancholy, and everything in-between. I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could. ... Read more

119. The Alternative to Love
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007MEYIU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4506
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Brendan Benson is the kind of guy who still sits by the AM radio late at night, spinning the tuning dial from one end to the other in a hopeless search for the perfect pop song. Little does he know he's considerably helped his own plight by making an album full of them. Unlucky in both love and money, the Detroit singer-songwriter has plenty to chew on with his third disc. Using wistful bubblegum melodies and crisp '60s harmonies, in tunes like "Feel Like Myself" and "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" he lashes out at former lovers and A&R men with equal venom. "I always wind up screwed without a kiss," he hisses on the Phil Spector inspired "The Pledge." But, in the end the man who counts Jack White and Beck as devoted fans, knows impending success is the best payback. "Maybe I've been caught red-handed, making off like a lucky bandit/ This wasn't how I planned it," he gloats on the title track. It's really hard to argue. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars I HEART BRENDAN BENSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I found out about Brendan because he was opening for Keane. I went into it having no idea who he was and the minute he started to play I was hooked! This guy knows how to rock! And what I really love is how he combines so many era-sounds to make awesome Music!!! Buy this cd, you will not be dissapointed!!

2-0 out of 5 stars Am I Missing Something?
I saw Brendan Benson open for Keane last night. I mostly looked up the reviews on him because I was, quite frankly, appalled. My friends and I spent most of his set laughing at the stupidity of his lyrics. We assumed that he was someone Keane had brought in because the actual opener had cancelled at the last minute. When I checked online this morning and discovered that Benson has actually experienced some acclaim, I was very surprised. And Jack White likes him too? Why?

I very much feel like I am missing something here. Where's the appeal? Sure, Benson's cute, and his music is not innept, but we all agreed that he should pay someone else to write his lyrics for him. Perhaps Benson's music would be more listenable (at least for me) if his diction wasn't so good. Sadly, however, I could understand everything he sang, and he sounded like a complete idiot.

"Whenever you feel me slipping away, that's when you should hold me tight," makes me doubt Benson (or at least whoever he's impersonating in his songs) has never progressed beyond junior high school relationships. The rhyming is perhaps the worst part, and one person I was with suggested that perhaps its atrociousness stemmed from Benson's overreliance on a rhyming dictionary.

I don't doubt that Benson's previous albums have been better, and do not find him wholly untalented. However, as for last night, I have never been less impressed by a musical act in my entire life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Benson finally reaches power pop nirvana
I feel compelled to write this review after reading Mr Otwell's savage mauling of this album.I don't like to criticise the opinion of others but I really must protest at someone who reckons that Benson has lost his ability to write good music.

The simple truth is that 'Alternative To Love' is a masterpiece.

I already own 'Lapalco' and 'One Mississippi' but I always felt that they were patchy affairs.One or two songs on either album hinted at Benson's talent but over all there were too many half tunes to contend with.

On 'Alternative To Love', Benson really gets it right.
The songs are more straight forward power pop than before.

Musical highlights are many.I especially love the title song 'Alternative To Love'.It's great to hear layer upon layer of harmonies and great guitar work.The harmonica solo is a big bonus as well.I also love 'Biggest Fan'.It's the work of a genius.The keyboard (I think it's a Moog or a Melletron ?) dominates the track.Other highlights for me would be 'Flesh And Bone'.It's a nice melancholic track. Benson achieves the right mix of sadness and joy.
Any non-believers out there should listen to 'I Feel Like Myself Again' to dispel any nagging doubts about this man's genius.This song is an anthem to the power pop generation.It's a song similar to 'Surprise' by Semisonic - an uplifting song about finding your confidence again.A wonderful wonderful optimistic track - everything a power pop song should be.

I was doing a bit of research on this album and I found out that Benson recorded the album and then handed the tapes over to the producer with the instruction to 'fill out' the sound.This was a masterstroke.The producer added keyboards, vocal dubs and other technical flourishes to give the album a fuller sound.

I wish more artists would take a leaf out of his book and do the same !

I believe that at the moment Benson is collaborating with his friend Jack White of The White Stripes on new material.I'm not expecting too much from this.I can't see how White's back to basic blues approach will blend in with Benson's intricate power pop.Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised....

5-0 out of 5 stars Its really good
Brendan bensons new cd is really good, if you like brendans stuff you will dig it. Its not going to be another Lapalco, because if it was it would be very dissapointing to see that brendan isnt maturing as a musician. I mean, if he wrote another "Good to me" would we really be impressed?

"Between us" is defenatly my favorite song on the album, its so good it gave me chills when i heard it live. The albums awesome, and you should buy it, end of story.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good framework...frustrating listen
Brendan Benson's 'Alternative To Love' is sort of a frustrating listen, in that you can see the framework of great songwriting that never really materializes.Songs like 'Alternative to Love' and 'Feel Like Myself' start off sounding like they're going to be great songs, then they sort of wander off into monotony.

There's solid enough pop craftsmanship to suggest Benson is ripe with talent, but result of this songwriting effort is unrewarding and banal.Really more accurate than a 3 is a 3.5 or so, but I just couldn't bring myself to round up to a four because so many of the songs sound like they could be made into great songs with just a slightly different approach to them.And the sometimes cringe-worthy lyrics clinched it as a 3. ... Read more

120. Summer in Abaddon
list price: $14.98
our price: $12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002Z9ZQI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1172
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Album Description

Although it may seem like gentle pop music at first, the brilliance of "Summer In Abaddon" is slowly revealed over repeated listenings. The songs are buoyant and lively at times, melancholy and dark at others, and always resonate with an underlying intensity. Pinback lays out beautiful melodies that are deceptively complex, layering sounds and instruments upon one another and trading contrasting vocal parts with ease ... Read more

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