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121. The Queen is Dead
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122. The Bangles - Greatest Hits
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123. Milk-Eyed Mender
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124. Room on Fire
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125. Before the Dawn Heals Us
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126. Alligator
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127. Wicker Park
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128. The Last Broadcast
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129. Girls Can Tell
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130. XO
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131. Welcome Interstate Managers
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132. Mutations
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133. Execution of All Things
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134. Mellow Gold
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135. Drunken Lullabies
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136. Franz Ferdinand [US Bonus CD]
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137. Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
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138. You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
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139. Queer As Folk: Fourth Season
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140. Is This It

121. The Queen is Dead
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000002L9J
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2008
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This is the value of working at cross-purposes: The Smiths were Morrissey's excuse to undulate his wry, disaffected lyrics, and Johnny Marr's vehicle for his sharp, chiming, pop songs. Their favorite kind of compromise made them essentially a singles band, and The Queen Is Dead has a couple of their best (notably "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side," one of the greatest pop expressions of the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name). But it also has some wonderful compromises of different kinds: the bizarrely romantic "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," and "Cemetry Gates," where Marr covers up for Morrissey's floridity with shimmying rockabilly. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

Reviews (131)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Smiths' undisputed masterpiece
I still remember listening intently to "Bigmouth Strikes Again" on the radio just before this album was released here in the States. This has some of the Smiths' most powerful songs on it - "I Know It's Over", where Morrissey admits defeat at the hands of love and fate, "The Queen Is Dead", where Marr shows why he's one of his generation's best guitarists, "Bigmouth...", where Morrissey's self-deprecating lyrics match Marr's driving chords perfectly, and of course the classic "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", which has an unforgettable melody. This track is the favorite song of a lot of Smiths fans. "TQID" shows The Smiths at a turning point of sorts, leaving behind the jangly sound somewhat and mixing in a more glam-rock influence. "Some Girls Are Bigger..." is also an outstanding track. This album is already showing up at or near the top of a lot of 100 best albums' lists. It's not surprising, after just a couple of listens you'll see why. Also: notice the resemblance between the opening riffs on "Bigmouth..." with Heart's "Crazy On You"?

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Albums Of The 80s!
The Smiths were an incredible band. Led by Johnny Marr's driving guitar beats and Morrissey's bleak singing, the band had many great songs. Their third actual album, The Queen is Dead, is one of the best albums of the 80s and of all time. Although the Smiths sound like acoustic pop music, it is actually much deeper. The music is much more complicated than it sounds, which is the reason for the fullness of their music. The lyrics are anything but pop. Many of the topics of the songs are often frightening if you read them. All these things make up the Smiths incredibly unique sound.

Each of the ten songs on this album are classics. The Queen is Dead is one of the darkest songs on the album, while Frankly, Mr Shankly is much lighter. I Know It's Over is one of the best on the album. It is Morrissey at his best. Never Had No One Never is very simple, but a great song. Cemetary Gates is one of the brightest songs on the album and also one of the best. Bigmouth Strikes again is made up of demented lyrics set to beautiful music and singing. It works perfectly. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side is probably the best song on the album. Vicar In A Tutu and Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others are both great, while There Is A Light That Never Goes Out rivals The Boy as the best song on the album.

The Queen Is Dead is an incredible album. It is the Smiths best album and should part of everyone's CD collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Smiths Album!
Everything came together for The Smiths on this album.

The Smiths were one of the most original bands to come out of the 1980s. It's amazing that The Smiths could achieve popularity in an era where synthetic pop was king. They were in a league of their own in both words and music. The lyrics were poetry. They could hit just as hard read cold off the page as they could sung to music. The music was succinct- tightly constructed, subtle, but powerful. Johnny Marr didn't waste his time, or yours, with gratuitous soloing.

If you haven't experienced The Smiths before, this album with dazzle you with their brilliance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elvis WHO? Bring on Morrissey!
Smiths - Morrissey: let me give you the conclusion that took me 18 years to arrive at. Besides the song Meat is Murder, Morrissey doesn't have a bad song is his catalog. I used to think "Kill Uncle" (by Morrissey) was a lame album and that "Maladjusted" was worse. I traded in both cd's only to buy them back years later. It is a disservice to judge The Smiths and Morrissey album by album, this one is more sorrowful, this one has the right mix of angst, self-indulgence, wit, blah, blah, blah. Stick all the songs on MP3 format and press random: it is sonic Heaven and Hell. Morrissey IS the Mozart of our time, he will die as a blip on the musical scene with most people drawing a blank stare at the mention of "How Soon is Now." Oh wait, didn't he write the theme song for "Charmed."

5-0 out of 5 stars This album will occupy a place in your heart and mind
This album is near perfection - hence the 5 stars. The best band of the 1980's with their best album. " Frankly, Mr. Shankly made me laugh, "I Know It's Over" made me cry, and "Cemetary Gates" reminded me of what it was to be 18, lonely and into something unhip, like poetry. Morrissey really is an endearing figure - a sharp wit, yet vulnerable - I think his partnership with Marr reached it's pinnacle here - Just an essential album really. Enjoy! ... Read more


122. The Bangles - Greatest Hits
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00000273M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3128
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The Bangles' transformation from Merseybeat and garage-smart guitar band to near-definitive example of buffed-and-polished corporate popsters is one of the great rock mysteries of the '80s. What was up with that video for "Walk Like an Egyptian," anyway? Greatest Hits puts it all in perspective, tracing the curve from the post-Beatles group sneer of "Hero Takes a Fall" to the deadly earnest Susanna Hoffs showcase of "Eternal Flame." Shortly after that ballad hit No. 1, the group split. Now unfairly remembered as little more than space fillers on turn-of-the-decade airwaves, the Bangles here make a good case for their spirit, their own songwriting gifts, and, of course, those voices. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the 80's Greats
The Bangles are definitely a classic 80's group. They exploded in 1986 and were huge all the way up until their break-up in 1989. Inthat short time period they managed a handful of great pop singles that are still well known and recognized today thanks a lot to Susanna Hoffs distinguishable vocals and the girls' awesome harmonies. "Manic Monday" was the song that made them music superstars going to #2 in the US and becoming a pop classic. The hits kept coming with their huge #1 "Walk Like An Egyptian" and the #2 hit "Hazy Shade of Winter" *both included here of course.* They also had a top 5 hit with "In My Room" and had another massive #1 with my personal favorite, the beautiful ballad "Eternal Flame." "To Be With You," "Walking Down Your Street," and "I'll Set You Free" were also moderate hits all making the top 40. It's a shame that they broke up at the heighth of their popularity. I'm sure they could've been huge even into the 90's.

This "Greatest Hits" is an awesome collection of what made The Bangles so great. Sure, "Walk Like An Egyptian" may have 80's cheese written all over it, but it's so enjoyable, who really cares. Buy it and enjoy. Other 80's girl groups you might wanna check out are "The Go Go's" and "Expose."

5-0 out of 5 stars IT'S A MANIC WALKING THROUGH ROCK MUSIC EXPERIENCE
The Bangles, set the hits that the Go-Go's couldn't deal with. Is no lie that the Go-Go's were pioneers in girl bands, but, the Bangles took the crown for chart success, all their singles from their first LP(excluding their first EP) and on became top 40's. Their styles infuse a taste of good time all through the 80's that will stand in time as a great rock-pop icon. It was extremely delightful to see all four members sharing vocals, and still sounded with the same great Bangles beat that made them stars. The well written lyrics, the amazing orchestrated instruments, reflected that this ladies weren't a stroke of luck, no wonder they are back together, give it up for The Bangles. Highlights in this collection are "Manic Monday"(those lyrics), "Walk Like An Egyptian"(stuck in your head), "In Your Room"(rock anthem), "Eternal Flame"(elevator music classic) and "Hazy Shade Of Winter"(great instrumentation).

4-0 out of 5 stars Fine Collection
What can you say about the Bangles that hasn't been said a thousand times? I dunno. I do know that they certainly outdid themselves in the 80's. They say "They won't feel bad at all/When the hero takes a fall", and they're "Going down to Liverpool to do nothing all the days of their lives" which I don't think makes a whole lot of sense. I like "Manic Monday". It's a good song. "If She Knew What She Wants" is certainly nice. Both are rather mellow tunes.

Garage rock they may be, but that doesn't neccessarily mean hard rock. Not all their songs rock hard, thank God, because I'm not into hard rock.

Now from what I understand, "Eternal Flame" ruined the Bangles. I don't think the song's all that bad. It's just one of those rare torch songs (which hit #1), it's rather sad and it just makes you stop to think once in a while. Hearing "Eternal Flame" makes me want a girlfriend. I can't hear the song without it sticking in my head, in fact I can't hear most Bangles songs without them sticking in my head. "Manic Monday", "If She Knew What She Wants", they stick in my head for a long while. Even "Walk Like An Egyptian" is difficult to get out of my head.

I never heard of the Bangles until 2002, less than 3 weeks before Christmas. I saw the look Susanna Hoffs gave on "Walk Like An Egyptian". I was completely freaked out. I couldn't believe what I was seeing!

In October 2003, I ended up buying their "Greatest Hits" collection. I just couldn't take it anymore, it was eating me up inside. I wanted to hear what those girls could do. And it's excellent. I just didn't think their songs would be so hard to get out of my head, but they were. Still could be. I haven't listened to them in a long while. Listening to my favorite singers (James Taylor, Paul Simon) didn't do any good. I still had Bangles tunes stuck in my head.

I like that rather downbeat song, "Following". It's my favorite Bangles song not lead by Susanna Hoffs. The song is just mostly Michael Steele (bassist) throughout the whole song. She just picks up a guitar and plays the song. That song has to be the mother of all downbeat songs. It is REALLY downbeat. Most Bangles tunes tend to be rather upbeat, but "Following" is very downbeat. "Why do you call me?/Why do you look for me?/Why do your eyes follow me the way they do?" Michael sings. In the song, it sounds like she's accusing her boyfriend of being obsessed. He follows her around all the time and he just can't concentrate on anything else.

Just like I said, it's a rather downbeat song. Probably the most downbeat song recorded in the history of music, even today it still is. Michael Steele really outdid herself with "Following". And yes, that too, is hard to get out of my head. Most Bangles tunes are.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not enough hit records to justify a "Greatest Hits" package
It is true that the Bangles produced a couple of the best and brightest pop singles of the 1980's. In all they had a total of 7 or 8 songs that made Billboard's Hot 100. But to me it is a bit of a stretch to justify a "Greatest Hits" package for this group. There is simply too much filler on this disc for me to get excited about it. The bottom line in that I would never listen to the entire disc from start to finish. "Manic Monday" was clearly one of the great hit singles of the eighties. Aside from that there are only three other tunes on the disc I really liked. "Eternal Flame", "If She Knew What She Wants" and the remake of Simon and Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter" are all very enjoyable pop tunes. But I never quite understood why "Walk Like An Egyptian" became the groups biggest hit. I cannot put my finger on it but the song does absolutely nothing for me. Beyond that I find the balance of the tracks on this compilation, whether they hit the charts or not, to be very ordinary. Now I have been a collector for just about 40 years now. I try to acquire the best available collection of each artist. In addition to my vast collection of CD's and vinyl albums I also maintain a very large collection of 45's. With some exceptions the 45's are usually by those artists who did not have enough hit records to justify a "Best of" or Greatest Hits" compilation or in some cases like this one have a collection available I am not particularly interested in owning.
In the case of the Bangles I think I'm gonna stick with my 45's.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great "Greatest Hits"
Obviously, the girls didn't have anough hits to fill a Greatest Hits compilation. Maybe this CD should be called "Greatest Moments." However, even if you don't know all of the songs, they are worth listening to.

The songs are varied which makes this disc nice to listen to. It doesn't drag on like many other artists' discs that have songs that sound the same all the way through.

These gals are quite talented. I would recommend this disc to anyone who has enjoyed their songs in the past. ... Read more


123. Milk-Eyed Mender
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0001KL526
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1352
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars A real gem, if you're game
Joanna Newsom will never find a popular audience. The idea of a classically-trained singing harpist who plays American folk music would pretty much guarantee that, but Newsom's vocals are also an acquired taste-- of the sort that probably causes most fans to endure accusations of just trying to be hip, and not actually enjoying the music.

However, if you take in some of the samples and decide that you find Newsom's voice charming rather than grating, you're in for a special treat. For a young whippersnapper, her music manages to include many sophisticated elements, including a pleasantly reverent, old-timey, Appalachian sound that lingers beneath the atmospheric melodies. The American south that Newsom creates is highly idealized, but never so decrepit or depressing as to be gothic.

The lyrics are as important as the music, and although they can sometimes be frustratingly obscure, they are often disarmingly witty ("like a slow, low-flying turkey/ like a Texan drying jerky"), and even make ironic use of the pretentious academic jargon that seems to have become the lingua franca of 'empowered' college women these days. Yes, it's smart and artsy, but it's also genuinely fresh and engaging. Keep up the good work, Ma'am.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing ! A true artist with her own true voice...
Joanna Newsom sticks out as a truly original voice in the world of "alternative"/"neo-folk"/ etc....
Whatever you want to call it I have been completely blown away by this album. Strong and simple songwriting and production allows her "vision" to come through.
I can't believe that I am the first to mention it, but Ms. Newsom seems to have a real kinship with Victoria Williams...
Both artists seem to be creating genuine music without pretrense.
Sure, some people may be put off by her voice, but I personally love it.... I put her in the company of the aforementioned Victoria Williams, as well as Mary Margaret O'Hara, Vic Chesnutt, Devendra Barnhardt, Will Oldham, even Rickie Lee Jones...
Download the free songs off of the Dragcity.com and see if you can resist the lure.
Artists this "real" are few and far between..

5-0 out of 5 stars Courage and Purity=Truth
The CD was an unexpected gift and a gift it was! The card read, "Give this a few tries." Well, the first nano second of music broke through years of personal, illusive waiting. I hadn't realized that I had been waiting but as joanna offered her lyrics and her cry, so did I...the words and the tunes were something I already knew deep inside...I was lead home soulfully, intelligently and oh so courageously and playfully. A virtuoso performance intimately showing how words/thoughts should sound and travel, where they will, around your heart's history. Not for everyone, but listen carefully and ask yourself carefully, "When was I ever this honest?"

5-0 out of 5 stars by all means, listen to tracks online
Some reviewers below have complained about Joanna Newsom's "wretched" voice, perhaps because they were hoping for Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez. Joanna's voice is not for everyone, but for those who do like it, it is an absolute wonder, her superliterate lyrics combine the ancient and postmodern, and her harp-playing is virtuosic and unique. Joanna Newsom is the realest of deals to this listener.

2-0 out of 5 stars Strange
"Milk-Eyed Mender" is certainly not for everyone, and though respectable for its stark originality is nothing short of an "acquired taste." Ms. Newsom's harp playing is beautiful and her lyrics enchanting, but neither of these qualities make up for her rattling vocals, which test my patience to the breaking point. The strangeness of her music borders between being enchanting and disturbing, and it leaves me feeling agitated. Please try it before you buy it. ... Read more


124. Room on Fire
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0000C9ZLD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1291
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

An acclaimed debut prompts one of two kinds of follow-ups: either the band strives to broaden their palate or they attempt to deepen the colors they splashed all over that heralded first effort. The Strokes' second outing falls in the latter camp. In the tradition of the Ramones' Leave Home and Oasis' (What's the Story) Morning Glory, the Strokes largely stay the course with their second full-length release, producing an album that won't cause the stir that its predecessor did, but has a sneaky appeal all its own. Thanks to the quintet's Lower East Side roots, Velvet Underground and Television references abound with these guys, but Boston new wavers the Cars, and in particular their hit-heavy second album, 1979's Candy-O, provide a more suitable point of reference for Room on Fire. As with Ric Ocasek and company, Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas and his cohorts have a Cars-like knack for sly riffs that creep deeper into ones consciousness with each listen. Not much longer than a half hour from start to finish, this 11-song is modest in intent and execution, and succeeds quite nicely on its own terms. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (337)

4-0 out of 5 stars People are confused...
The first thing I want to say is that I gave it 4 stars because nothing in this world is perfect. Those of you who gave it 5 stars are misled individuals who think it's cool to over-promote the bands you love just because you can.

Alright.

Let me clear things up since people who don't like The Strokes keep posting absurd comments and comparisons within their reviews.

The Strokes don't specifically sound like any ONE band. Therefore, they have only been INFLUENCED by the INFLUENTIAL. When someone says, "The Strokes sound like The Cars, etc." and start tearing them down with all that negative "they write simple songs" bulls**t... guess what? INFLUENCE is a key to writing. Do you think The Cars, The Ramones, etc. weren't INFLUENCED by ANYTHING? Hell, I bet they were INFLUENCED by anything from cats and dogs, to drugs and the sound the ocean makes at night. Everything comes from something... accept it. You stupid-assed closed-minded human beings.

Anyways, Room on Fire is a great album. I don't really see how it sounds like Is This It, though. I mean, it doesn't take much to realize it's The Strokes' sound but, for the most part, it doesn't really sound as raw as Is This It. In fact, I would only say that a few songs from Is This It sound like they could be on Room on Fire.

If you like (from Is This It):

"Soma"
"New York City Cops"
"Hard To Explain"
"Trying Your Luck"

Then you should like the majority of Room on Fire.

Room on Fire isn't as upbeat as Is This It. The only songs that are upbeat in the way that "Take It Or Leave It" or "The Modern Age" were on Is This It are:

"I Can't Win"
"The Way It Is"
"Reptilia"

The rest of the album is either more melodic, slower, or just different than Is This It.

Is This It had more of a late 70's/early 80's punk vibe.

I will say this, though... if you don't like their simple guitar/bass patterns, then you probably will just be mad and pissed off because they're famous (sort of like the people who keep posting negative things.)

But, however, if you enjoy their intertwining melodies and the certain edginess this band possesses.. then this album will be a favorite of yours for, hopefully, years to come.

For a taste of this album I suggest:

"I Can't Win"
"What Ever Happened?"
"Automatic Stop"
"Reptilia"
"Under Control"

Later

4-0 out of 5 stars good album. nothing more, nothing less
The Strokes are not the saviors of rock and roll. But they are a good band, just a bunch of New York City hipsters playing cranked up, very New York City rock; that's enough. Give them some slack, eh, critics? It must be hard to be labeled as the musical equivalent of Jesus.
On the Strokes' second album, Room on Fire, the band follows closely to the template it set out in its first record, Is This It? That is, punky pop tempered with serious worship of the New York underground rockers of the past.
Singer/songwriter Julian Casablancas seems to have taken vocal lessons from the king of New York junkie rock himself, Lou Reed, and the chiming, clean twin guitars recall the less bombastic moments of CBGB punk darlings Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd of Television.
Same as it ever was for the Strokes. But this time they add a keyboard, most notably the album's single, "12:51," with a sing-songy synth line that recalls Weezer more than Suicide.
While Room on Fire peters out a bit toward the end with some filler tracks, the opening salvo of the first five or so songs is a fine example of why the band has become so popular; it's hit after mopey, drunken - and catchy -- hit.
They have been called the group that spearheaded the neo-garage rock movement, with loud, simple, Stooges-inspired bands like the White Stripes riding on their coattails.
But there is more of an indie-pop sensibility to the Strokes, less crash and bash and more sharp, stinging single notes. They have a good formula, but it's too obvious that they are following in the footsteps of true innovators. It's not necessarily a bad thing - it sounds good most of the time, but the Strokes have a long way to go before they truly earn the right to be drooled over by critics the way they are today.

1-0 out of 5 stars ugh
Just because it doesn't sound like Britney or Puddle of Mudd doesn't mean it isn't uninspired generic garbage. This band is not talented nor original. Their songs were probably written by middle-aged record executives who are trying to appeal to teens who secretly watch MTV and shop at Urban Outfitters for vintage-looking t-shirts with "witty" phrases.

If the only reason you listen to this band is because someone told you it's cool (and that means you considering thats the only way anyone could possibly like this uninspired drivel) just realize that people who like music that is actually good are still laughing at you because you're still nothing more than a pseudo-pretentious loser who wants to seem alternative. Take my advice and drop the black hair dye and white belts because you'll never be anything more than a fake until you start thinking for yourself.

3-0 out of 5 stars Sorry about the confusion
this is a good album. that is it, just good. 12fifty1 is a good song, so is reptilia. this is overrated.

4-0 out of 5 stars ?
am i alone in my view that 'room is fire' is superior to 'is this it'? their debut album has spent many, many hours in my CD rotation, and i know it backwards and forwards, and i must say, i find the sophomore album a bit stronger, actually. the first half of the disc is excellent. i tend to think that it fades a bit toward the end, but i think on the whole the percentage of good songs to mediocre ones is higher on 'room on fire' than on 'is this it.'

admittedly, this isn't high-end work. the guitar solos are utterly weak (sophomoric, even), the forms predictable (though are better here than on the first disc -- 'you're talking too much' is quite interesting, formally), the lyrics still often seem a bit childish, but ... it's still utterly enjoyable music. frankly, it's fun, sing-along-in-the-car stuff. at the very least, it's certainly as good as the acclaimed 'is this it.' ... Read more


125. Before the Dawn Heals Us
list price: $16.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00070Q8HC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1230
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Most druggy music chooses clearly between ecstasy and horror; Anthony Gonzalez deliberately blurs the emotional borders. The French musician, now a one-man-band following the departure of partner Nicolas Fromageau, communicates an awareness that even as the darkest trips have a sick thrill to them, the most pleasurable parts of a lysergic voyage have a creepy aftertaste. On the opener, "Moon Child," you can hear both creepiness and pleasure, as a lucid yet happily stoned female voice reveals that "The whole universe will glow," contrasting ominously with the sort of swelling background choirs Pink Floyd amassed when it was time for their big production numbers. And excitement and fear meld on "Don't Save Us From the Flames"; surreal snippets of lyrics ("Out of the flames/ A piece of brain in my hair/ The wheels are melting/ A ghost is screaming your name") are followed by the name "Tina" in a moan all-but indistinguishable from the airy synthesizers. Gonzalez is less adept at constructing structurally-complex compositions than at tunefully arranging sound effects--repetitive keyboard licks that could've been swiped from a '70s PBS documentary soundtrack and bone-scraping blasts of My Bloody Valentine guitar are among his favorite tricks. But his methods are justified by his sense of brevity, and careful alternating between two speeds--soft epic space-trance and vintage shoe-gazer rave-up--adds to the hallucinatory feel. --Keith Harris ... Read more

Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth buying
This cd has some awesome trance-inducing synth lines in it, and some very solid tracks.Favourites include 'mooonchild', 'dont save us from the flames' and 'teen angst'.The way the tracks alternate between ulrich schnauss style dream-like washes suddenly to rise to a drum infested crecendo really gets me going.my only reason for not giving this cd a 5 star rating is that i find the tracks to be fairly linear, unlike ulrich schnauss's tracks which are really progressive, these tracks seem to find one killer riff (for want of a better word) and stick with it, looping it through different levels of energy.however it works, so i really cant complain.

4-0 out of 5 stars More organic than Dead . .
The drums and piano really stand out.Good progressions via piano with Eno esque treatments.The drums are powerful on the second song, but mixed well.There are slow pieces like "Safe" and "Let Men . ." and aggressive songs in the mix.The only drawback?The female voice?Enough to make one wince in its melodramatic excess.In "Car . ." it is downright annoying that the young female voice takes on both the role of a little child and her mother and the voice of a little boy in the opening track.Sad . .it could have been five stars.

3-0 out of 5 stars "Oh god the flowers are dying!" is the PERFECT description
Another review of the album described this album as melodramatic and normally a review like that would leave me unconvinced.After hearing the album, however, this album has a very cheesy/romantic attitude, thus making many of the chord progressions painfully familiar, especially such the swaying-lighter-inducing "Farewell/Goodbye".The lyrics may be horrible and the French accent may be annoying but neither of those are a focus.When they use it the right way, M83 is hugely successful.Many of the tracks are wasted on short throwaway melodies and interludes often even interrupted by repetitive distorted "percussion" (and this comes from a Skinny Puppy fan).A couple of these interludes are memorable, such as "Slight Night Shiver" and "In the Cold I'm Standing", but the others just cost the album momentum.There are two absolutely undeniable classics on here- "Don't Save Us From the Flames" and "Teen Angst" are beautiful, rocking, wall of noisish synth metal and if M83 used this style more often I would love them.Stuff like "Car Chase Terror" only serves to point out again that these people are obviously bad romantic poets and should just shut up and use more of the melodic genious that they obviously possess.Instead of inspiring any kind of sad emotion they make me feel more like "Oh please.These people are pathetic" in a Dashboard Confessional sort of fashion."*" and "A Guitar and A Heart" are decent songs but nothing special again.The last track that some have said is ambitious is exactly what you'll expect by the time you reach the end of this album and so is not interesting.In conclusion... I think you will enjoy this album a lot more if you buy into the melodramatic everything-makes-me-cry attitude a lot of this has, but if that annoys you you'll still find some classics on here like I did.

4-0 out of 5 stars Blissful, bombastic, confusing
OK.I don't get it.On Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts, M83 was two guys and they managed to produce this tight, unified sound.Almost monolithic.It owed a hell of a lot to My Bloody Valentine and, while it may not have been the most original thing ever, it was pretty fantastic listening.So then one of the guys leaves and M83 turns into what's basically a Anthony Gonzalez solo thing and somehow the sound becomes totally schizophrenic.

And not neccessarily in a bad way, just a confusing one.Where the previous album was all insistent and fuzzed out, this one alternates between driving and languid.You've got your songs with fast, fuzzy beats and pretty synth lines.And you've got your songs that sort of meander around spare, aimless melodies.And it all sounds good, sort of.It's just that, because Gonzalez keeps bouncing back and forth, Before the Dawn Heals Us keeps losing its momentum.One track will fire you up and get your head nodding in tranced-out bliss.The next will lull you into a melancholic stupor.

It's a little frustrating, is what I'm trying to say.I can see where I *could* have been pretty let down, coming from the consistently driving previous album.But you know, the more I listen to this thing, the more I like it.Yes, there's no momentum to speak of.Yes, some of the tracks don't seem to go anywhere.But ultimately, it's much more of an album than the previous effort.It ebbs and flows and is consistently lovely.Sure, I'm still kind of confused by the whole thing, and I'm not yet sure what Gonzalez is trying for here.But, I've never been initially confused by an album and then grown to hate it.Any album that's confusing enough to intrigue me turns out to be well worth the time and effort spent getting to know it.And that's more than true of this here album.Give it a lot of time, and you'll grow to love it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A synthesizer, drums, piano, guitar and a heart.
Before the Dawn Heals Us is a beautifully arranged album with sweeping grandeur.This french menage produces a sound that is very very original.I haven't heard anything else quite so epic and unfamiliar before.Moonchild is a magnificent and appropriate introduction to the album and I have never heard such a magnificent, ambitious ending in Lower Your Eyelids to Die With the Sun.In between, features resplendent highs and overarching undertones that imbue the band with such concurring confidence, you can only beat your head in agreement.Yet there are the few songs that stray from M83's precious forumla and tend to go a little experimental, but I am willing to forgive since their first album was magnificent and this one can truly holds its own among M83s elite intentions. ... Read more


126. Alligator
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B0007LCNKM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 741
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

On their third recording, the National strikes a delicate balance between light and dark, fast and slow, American and British. While their sound is undeniably tinged with darkness, it isn't gloomy or depressing. This impression is mostly due to Matt Berninger's deep baritone, which brings to mind such sensitive, but manly Brit vocalists as Scott Walker and Stuart Staples of the Tindersticks. The National, however, are American. Formed in Brooklyn in 1999, the quintet hails from Cincinatti and doesn't sound much like a New York Band (Interpol, the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, etc.). Instead, they could be Midwestern or even Canadian in the way they combine alt-country, chamber-pop, and post-punk angst, like Toronto's Royal City or Montreal's Arcade Fire. Often compared to Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, and Tom Waits, the National's music is actually faster-paced and has a lighter, almost jaunty touch. In other words: they rock. --Kathleen C. Fennessy ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not The Smiths, But Just As Strikingly Original
Matt Berninger's the modern day Morrissey, circa Smiths.Wild lines of stunning impact and sing-song rhythms, unafraid to even sometimes approach show-tune emphasis in skip-ability, with low-key melody and deep, dark artsy truth.The guy's a mike poet, like Stipe and Bono and all those 80's icons.He stands and sings and turns and stumbles and drinks and smokes while putting out his heart in sad laments.He's already getting hate reviews, just like Moz did back in the day, from people who hate anyone who shakes things up with oddball pop/rock poetry.He really makes the band, though the rest are damn tight rockers and moody evocoteurs (cool made up word?) as well.Do you dig finding a great album that will be remembered for years long before your closest pals, and then shoving it in their faces years later about how you were on to a really big thing long before their lame-o rusty ears were?Cool.Then buy this and memorize it.No kidding.It's real.And Berninger's obviously just getting started.The Chancellor.

4-0 out of 5 stars Moving Americana from Brooklyn (4.5 stars)
I guess it's the nature of Americana -the most puzzling new genre label since "New Age"!- to find its worshippers in the most unlikely places, whether it's a borough of New York -having relocated from Cincinatti- or Leeds in the UK when it comes to Dakota Suite, or even somewhere Norway in the case of Midnight Choir.
Anyway the international references above are not gratutious or forced to make my point, The National ultimately belongs to the same community of voices as the above mentioned bands. Like its peers in Europe, they are keen on emotive ballads that manage to evoke and make sense of the pains of being alive.
Where The National does distinguish itself is in their ability to sound as convincing when it comes to the a louder and more epic songcraft, as they do with the intimate stuff. And, in this album, The National proves their range, whether it is the tender melody of "Daughters of the Soho Riots" or the building passion of "Looking ForAstronauts."
Other reviews have already mentioned influences and similarities. Certainly the singer will remind you of Stuart Staples of the Tindersticks, although the references to Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen -both of whom I know and admire- are less obvious to me. Actually, at least when it comes to two of my favorite songs -the brooding "Val Jester" and the gorgeous "All The Wine"- Matt Berninger's voice evoked the tone and phrasing of Robert Fisher from the great Willard Grant Conspiracy.
That said, and more importantly, these guys have their own things to say musically and lyrically, and the names mentioned should only be taken to give new listeners a sense of reference, but not to imply that The National's music owes anyone a major debt. They stand on their own, and they deliver a beautiful, heartfelt album, whether they rock or they long, when they turn the volume up and when they lower the lights.
If you were impressed by last year's EP -Cherry Tree- this full-length gem will fill you with joy. The National bare themselves and will lift your spirit. In addition, to the songs mentioned already, I'd add "The Geese of Beverly Road," "Karen" and "City Middle" to make my case.
Along with "Dignity and Shame" by the Crooked Fingers -which I also reviewed- "Alligator" is the best Americana music that you will hear this year. And what it's even more exciting, it may not even be the peak of their creativity. This band's ground is worth keeping your ear to, for whatever they do in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars wow
this record is quite amazing.It's the kind of rock no one has made in a while.it hits both ends of the spectrum quite well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I own all of the National's albums, but so far Alligator is my favorite. Like their other albums, there is a real range of songs --- from raging Pixies-esque rock songs to slow ballads that seem to channel Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen. I also get a Cat Stevens or Nick Drake vibe at times-- especially on Daughters of the Soho Riots.The arrangements are intricate but not overdone. In general the tempos are quicker than their previous albums and there is more snycopation in the drumming. The songwriting both lyrically and musically is great. Well done! ... Read more


127. Wicker Park
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Asin: B0002MIBW0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3998
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128. The Last Broadcast
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Asin: B000065SXM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8348
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The Last Broadcast sees Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin and multi-instrumentalist brothers Andy and Jez Williams soaring to new if perhaps grandiose heights. The thundering opening beat and spiraling guitars of "Words" are reminiscent of Ride at their bombastic peak, and "There Goes the Fear" has relentlessly reverberating Latin rhythms, New Order-influenced guitars, and sweeping vocals that are nothing less than breathtaking. Quiet reprieve comes with "M62," a delicate haunting reworking of King Crimson's "Moonchild," bizarrely recorded under the M62 flyover in Manchester, and its desolate atmospherics are juxtaposed against the remainder of the album. With the thrusting onslaught of "Pounding," the obligatory earthy rock of "N.Y.," and the joyous pastoral acoustic-led splendor of "Caught by the River," the Doves have crafted a liberating sophomore album that happily combines the uplifting anthemic essence of dance with good old rock & roll.--Christopher Barret ... Read more

Reviews (106)

4-0 out of 5 stars Takes them to the next level
Doves are a unique band. Coming from a background in dance music (as the band Sub Sub), they applied their sensibilities in that genre to create a wholly original sound as a rock and roll band. They're compared to bands like Radiohead and Coldplay much too often, and Last Broadcast is proof of why.

Doves know how to make moody, ambient music. But what they've become masters at is taking their soundscapes and turning them into warm, full rock songs. Their debut, Lost Souls, was the beginning of Doves honing their sound. Here, on Last Broadcast, the band is tighter and more focused. A killer intro preps you for something astonishing, and when "Words" blasts in, it delivers. A clever riff enhanced by lush, rich production and a disctinct tone of optimism, "Words" leaves most gloomy Britpop bands in the dust (Travis and Starsailor, pack your things).

Following the reggae-tinged "There Goes the Fear," the haunting King Crimson rework "M62 Song" drifts in as if from an ancient AM radio. Beautiful in every way, it echoes the work of Nick Drake and other long gone troubadours without feeling out of place within The Last Broadcast's greater framework.

Some songs miss ("Satellites" is too long and meandering), but the last four songs are as good as it gets, particularly "Pounding," a pulsing, driving anthem sure to be playing on a movie soundtrack sometime in the near future. Where Lost Sould petered out as an album, Last Broadcast ends with "The Sulphur Man" and "Caught by the River," both powerful, atmospheric arrangements that leave you wanting more.

Fortunately, for some customers, there is more. Some editions of Last Broadcast contain a bonus disc with four extra songs. Seek it out. While the four extra songs are fittingly not included on the album, they are fun on their own, particularly "Hit the Ground Running," which is a Doves rehash of "Werewolves of London." Already big in England, Doves deserve a larger following here in the US. The Last Broadcast could be, and should be, their big breakthrough.

5-0 out of 5 stars An individually brilliant album for the Doves
The Doves sophmore release, The Last Broadcast, bucks the traditional sophmore slump and takes it's place as a stunning version of Brit-pop. While not as dramatic, moody and brooding as the debut album, The Last Broadcast is definitely the Doves' chance to shine as songwriters and as musicians.

In comparison to their earlier release, Lost Souls, The Last Broadcast is definitely a happier and more accessible album. What the album lacks in dark honesty, it makes over tenfold in perfect songwriting.It almost reeks with pop motifs and has definite brit pop sound. A song like "N.Y." feels like a Blur song with Oasis pop, and "Satellites" is just riddled with gospel-influences, which instantly reminds me of Sting's last album. Those are just a few examples, at least. This doesn't detract from any of the songs (all of these influences are good), but it's not as groundbreaking or mood-setting as the debut. A song like "Pounding," which is my favorite track, has fairly basic guitar playing and musicality, yet has all the perfect hooks to draw the listener closer into the music.

While I am a devouted fan to their debut, The Last Broadcast is an ideal follow up and a perfect way for the Doves to become one of the focal points of the new brit-pop movement. Their songwriting and lyricism is still up to par, and any appreciator of just good rock and roll would immensely enjoy this CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars what you stole my queen margaret stamp!!!!
this four is based entirelly on a few of the songs(words,satellites,pounding,last broadcast). this is probably because i am normally a fan of death, black, and doom metal (with a bit of rock thrown in because its good and to avoid being totally hated by scum who think they're better than me because they like things that lots of other people like as well). there are however a few CDs such as this which i like for no apparent reason that i or anyone else could ever explain. i don't know why i like it but if I do there is no good reason for anyone else in the world to not like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Major Album
This is the second record by the much loved Doves. They are the greatest thing to come out of Manchester. Their first record Lost Souls was brilliant but often uneven. This time they went into the studio with the idea "Every song's got to be a killer." They were tired of being labelled as a dark and depressive band. They wanted to do music that was positive and upbeat, since now being miserable such a cop out. There's a new enthusiasm and confidence on the new record. The Last Broadcast is mostly self-produced. After the strange "Intro" the album moves into "Words" and that's where The Big Music starts. Even though it uses a U2 guitar riff, it goes on to something else. This is wake up and face the day music. This record makes you think about you life and hardly any music does that anymore.

Songs like "There Goes The Fear" and "M62 song" show their more folk side with a knowledge of prog rock. The first song sounds like coming off drugs and trying to enjoy life with them. Doves are great at creating distinct sounds that come to mean something over time and repeated listens. Mostly recorded in Manchester and Bath, "M62 Song" was recorded under a flyover and sounds like some of the weird songs Vincent Gallo did for Warp Records. Just as things get spaced out and mellow, Doves get loud and big again on "N.Y." that sounds like driving in the country music. Doves define their true sound here early on. It is a real mix of modern and the past, and there's no looking back now. The American release also comes with a bonus disc of four songs that includes a funny take on a Warren Zevon song.

The Second part of the album starts for me with "Satellites" that is a heartfelt ballad that is like a round. "Friday's Dust" is an even more impressive ballad. This is widescreen music for people who can look past the obvious. "Pounding" reinforces one of the main themes of the album: "Seize the time because it won't last forever...." This is done with a lot of building power. The title track is lighthearted ditty that becomes psychedelic at times. "The Sulphur Man" begins as a sort of religious song that could be played in a church. It is about this mysterious figure than seems as hard to put your finger on as this album is. This record is a great journey. It is a little deeper than something like Oasis. A song like the final track "Caught By The River" is like a little story about life itself. You are reminded that a lot has happened on this CD. Doves are finally a rock band that balances emotion and intelligence in a way that most of Britpop bands never could.

(www.freewilliamsburg.com)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good, but not as much as their debut
As much as their debut album was one of those rare jewels with practically no weak songs, this work by the Manchester band was not as solid all through it. However, it must be said it has several brilliant moments that make you think that their outstanding debut was beyond beginner's luck.

The album's three best moments are, literally, at the beginning (following the intro, with "Words" their more Coldplay-like track), midway through the album (with the beautiful "Satellites", followed by the tripping "Friday's Dust") and wrapping it all up, with "Caught by the river". Looking forward to their upcoming album, which they are recording at the time of this writing. For now, I leave them with four stars and recommend their "Lost Souls" and its counterpart B-sides album "Lost Sides" before this one. ... Read more


129. Girls Can Tell
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Asin: B000056O2Q
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6349
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

This is a great, understated album that merits repeated plays. Spoon have made a literate, rocking, breakthrough record that occupies a funny place--the songs are not unconventional, per se, yet they're somehow really special. Girls Can Tell displays the emotional resonance and big rock power of, say, Thin Lizzy and Mott the Hoople; the sonically referential, indie-rock smarts of a band like Versus; and amazing hooks that recall Colin Blunstone of the Zombies. Like Jennyanykind, Moviola, and the Lilys, this Austin, Texas, trio has chosen to work on perfecting their craft without paying much heed to mainstream or trends. In spite of (but mostly because of) wrenching breakup-centered lyrical material delivered in a very real, matter-of-fact way, Girls Can Tell is one of those life-affirming pop albums you know you'll return to in years to come. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars easily one of top ten albums of 2001
This outstanding album didn't stand a fair chance when it was released in 2001, admittedly a year of really great music. They fell just under the radar of notice, although critics made note of it, and as it was, a relatively famed band released a pretty [darn] good album in near obscurity.

Their music is driven by beats and melodies and these folks feel like simplified rock and roll. It's concise, to the point, and clean, if music can be described as such. In fact, it's catchy rock with pop simplicity, without being offending to rock. And use of clever musicianship. Track 10's "This Book Is a Movie" is a song completely without lyrics and is pretty cool that way. Their sound doesn't have any pretentions to be anything more than old fashioned rock and they stay consistent throughout. The album isn't difficult to enjoy, even if you've never experienced Spoon before. All their songs are extremely friendly and enjoyable, but no less credible for its accessibility. Bottom line: Disturbed or Papa Roach-like fans may not become avid fans, but if you like the Pavement, Strokes, Coldplay type of rock, you'll more than likely appreciate Spoon for what they are. Worth sampling, maybe off the net at first, if you can get a hold of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understated but indelible rock record
....It is not a "revelation," unless the revelation is that something can be great and totally unassuming, too.

But a 5 star record should be a record in which every song is great, and which will sound just as good 10 years from now. It needn't change the world at all--it just needs to be great in and of itself. With "Girls Can Tell," Spoon achieves just that: a timeless, fresh-sounding album of stripped-down rock songs which pay homage to the past without being too reverential, while maintaining a sound which is neither retro nor hyperfashionable.

In a sense the record reminds me of early R.E.M. records (though they sound nothing alike!) in that the spareness of the instrumentation seems to connote much more than is actually there, though the guitar/bass/drums arrangements leave room for the odd keyboard, harpsichord, etc. to pop in for added color.

In the past, Spoon seemed to err on the side of indie coolness. On "Girls Can Tell" there is an emotional openness to the melody and lyrics refreshing in its lack of irony. Here they are much more interested in being a rock band--one you might've heard on the radio somewhere between (I'm guessing) 1974 and 1980. The Thin Lizzy influence is there in the dry, spare attack of the band and the almost conversation run-on cadences of some vocals ....

...the album does rock with attitude, and rock in a way that does not require bone-crushing distortion, ham-fisted drums, a handful of steroids, and one trillion overdubs. It has the dangerous grace and surprise impact of a Shaolin boxer to the current state-of-rock's WWF.

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good!
The only reason I bought this CD was because it appeared in countless "best of" lists for 2001. Even though I had never heard of them, I thought there must be something there. I finally bought this CD last month, and it hasn't left my car CD player yet. It is not an album that immediately catches you, but rather one that sneaks up on you after repeated listening. I love this CD, most notably "Everything Hits at Once", "Fitted Shirt", and "Chicago at Night".

I really can't pin-point who they sound like or are similar to... but their uniqueness is very special. If you like hard rock, sound effects, screaming vocals, etc then do not get this CD. But if you like indie rock that isn't over-produced, has witty lyrics, and catchy melodies, listen to the sound clips and/or get the CD and decide for yourself if this album is worth the five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow...
Spoon has seen more more popularity after their CD "Kill the moonlight" came out, but not as many people know the earlier, and in my opinion, better CD "Girls can Tell". This CD has some amazing tracks on it, such as "Fitted Shirt", "everything hits at once" and the slower paced "1020 A.M.". This CD is full of Indie gems, and it is worth repeated listening. Get this CD!

4-0 out of 5 stars Buy this album now
This band might actually be better live than in the studio, but "Girls Can Tell" is their masterpiece, in my view, so far.
I still have reservations about the singer, but instrumentally
they are the perfect indie-rock band, mixing avant-garde touches and accessible tunes with deft control. The very obvious Krautrock influence is often ignored by fans not familiar with that early 70s genre, but is there not only in the band's name (which is taken from the title of a 1972 Can song) but in the
old-school synth touches and minimialist rhythms.

Spoon may not grab one as brilliant on the first listen, but after a few more attempts their overall goals and purpose will make themselves known. When this happens, you may never let "Girls Can Tell" out of your sight. ... Read more


130. XO
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Asin: B00000AEF9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 858
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 1998

Elliott Smith's fourth solo album and major-label debut, XO, brings narrative detail and a wide range of emotion to an indie meld of '60s-style rock and folk-pop. Whether in the broken stateliness of "Waltz #2 (XO)," the Sgt. Pepper tribute of "Baby Britain," or the explosions of "Amity" and "Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands," Smith's melodic and arrangement senses give his vulnerable vocals and brilliant wordcraft the maximum effectiveness. XO is a watershed in singer/songwriter rock. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (120)

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly Remarkable
I've never written a review, but...

This is such an amazing album, my review will surely fail to render a complete picture of it's brilliance. Having crafted a moving soundtrack for Good Will Hunting (with mostly pieces of either/or), he shows amazing range with this, his next project. Frank lyrics, acoustic-based arrangements and moving harmonies are the background for this album that continues to reveal new, subtle beauty. Smith reworks the waltz twice into current, beautiful ballads. More upbeat songs like Question Mark and Bled White still manage to convey a longing, restless energy that moves though these songs. The guitar work is solid--from a George Harrison inspired weeping solo on Oh Well, Okay, to the furious acoustic tempo of Tomorrow, Tomorrow, the album retains a certain calmness, but never bores. It is an absolute masterpiece and an album that will never get old! Truly sublime!

5-0 out of 5 stars The most tragically under-rated musician ever
I listen to all the music that's popular now and it makes me sick to my stomach. How can people be listening to Simple Plan and Good Charlotte and other such horrible bands like them, when there is something as beautiful and as meaningful as this? Elliot Smith was a genius plain and simple. Every single song on this album is beautifully arranged and beautifully sung. I listen to this album almost every day and it just keeps getting better. Over all, this is Elliot's happiest sounding record in my opinion. He is joyful, almost jubilant at several moments. Lines that stand out to me are "I may not seem quite right, but I'm not f***ed not quite" and "Bottle up and go, I can make it outside, I'll get through" Which are just a cruel irony in light that he plunged a butcher knife into his heart. Several songs on here, however are almost unbearablely sad. Oh Well, Okay and Waltz #1 come to mind. One of Elliot's most valuable assets was his voice. He sounded like an angel. His is one of the few voices that can move me to tears no matter what he's saying. This album will change your life. Don't waste your time on the meaningless music you hear on the radio. Buy this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is music at it's best. Elliott Smith is possibly the best songwriter ever, and XO a piece of evidence for this claim. Every song on this album was well written and played to perfection. I can't wait for his last release.

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful and honest. genius
I have never written a review online before but I have become so obsessed with this album that I feel complused to share it with everyone. This urge has recently grown to not only include my friends and aquaintences, but people I have never and will never meet. I want to run up to strangers on the street and tell them about it. Every song on the album is beautiful, and some if you are a sensitive type, will probobly make you cry. I'm not a sensitive type and some of these songs make me cry. It's that good. Honest, personal, simple and complex at the same time, beautifully composed, arranged, and sung. This is definitly my favorite album by Elliott Smith, though I really love figure 8 too. Basically you'll have to listen to it yourself, though like most good music, it takes a few times playing it before you'll really get into it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entrancing...
I first heard of Elliott Smith through my wonderful and talented friend who just so happened to be playing "Waltz # 1". At first I thought she and her awesome acoustic guitar playing sister wrote it but she recommended I check him out and I loved it. He is absolutely amazing and everyone needs to hear at least one of his songs before they die lol. ... Read more


131. Welcome Interstate Managers
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B00009QGF2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1144
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

After a four-year hiatus notable for some film and television soundtrack work, a lapsed contract, and a relaxed songwriting schedule Fountains of Wayne return with their third and best CD to date. The New York-based power-pop quartet delivers a diverse feast of infectious melodies and endlessly clever lyrics. Songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood still slide on a sweet scale between the Beatles and the Monkees, but they've branched out from '60s sounds to include bona fide alt rock ("Little Red Light," "Bought for a Song"), orchestrated pop ("Halley's Waitress"), a country lark worthy of Dwight Yoakam ("Hung Up On You"), and hints of psychedelia ("Supercollider"). The Cars-flavored "Bright Future in Sales" and "Stacy's Mom" warrant heavy-rotation airplay. Following their acclaimed eponymous debut and the vastly underrated Utopia Parkway, Welcome Interstate Managers leaves no doubt that Fountains of Wayne are gaining strength. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (196)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Songwriting; Superb Arrangements
The first two CD's by Fountains of Wayne were masterpieces of power pop and humor (think Zappa-McCartney compositions performed by Cheap Trick). On their third CD, Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger have done an Elvis Costello move (I've rocked your socks off and shown you my wit -- now I'll amaze you with my versatility).

As previous reviewers have noted, the first three songs pack a dynamite 1-2-3 punch. Song number 3, "Stacy's Mom," is vintage FoW - power chords, instant sing-a-long lyrics, and a slightly subversive topic -- a "My Sharona" for the new millenium. Play it loud once and it will run through your head forever.

In addition to the great power pop, Chris and Adam deliver quieter and more poignant pieces, pulling their songwriting tounges out of their cheeks and delivering emotional content that sounds less from the head and more from the heart than their earlier work.

"Hackensack" is a beautiful but futile love song. A laborer working in his dad's business, scraping paint off hardwood floors, directs his thoughts to the now-famous actress who once sat next to him during first period, Fridays at 8:15. "Yours and Mine," the album-ender, is a short, almost-unifished, two verse song which captures the togetherness of a loving couple in their simple, daily routines. "Peace and Love" brims with the happy vibe of someone who has determined to enjoy life without denying the problems around him -- a blend of the Beatles' "All you need is love" with the catchy pop singing of Call and Response.

FoW is at its best when it comes to capturing a paricular moment or mood -- when they write and sing about teenagers left alone during their parents' vacation on "Fire Island" or the blissful peace felt by a quarterback who finds himself with "All Kinds of Time," Chris and Adam OWN those topics. It is hard to imagine anyone even bothering to write another song about those subjects after hearing FoW's definitive take on them.

This band deserves to be huge. Let's hope that the third CD is the charm for them.

4-0 out of 5 stars You only need this cd if you love catchy, smart music
I got this cd based on the reviews I saw in Blender and Entertainment Weekly, and I loved it so much I bought their first 2 cd's within the following week. Welcome Interstate... is full of some of the catchiest, most fun music I've heard in ages. The songs are totally original and at the same time are clearly influenced in a very good way by the Beatles, the Cars, Simon & Garfunkel, and Squeeze. And as a major bonus, their lyrics are often hilarious. "Stacy's Mom" is already the best song of the summer and "Mexican Wine" is not far behind as an example of great power pop with a sense of humor. There is very little serious about this band, and that's a very good thing. The songs on Interstate will be rattling around in your head for months on end...they're that good. It's absolutely criminal that these guys aren't on the radio and selling a million cd's. I'm going to buy a copy for my best friend tomorrow. You should do the same!

5-0 out of 5 stars Now this is music!
This is one of the best albums I have ever heard. This was my first taste of this group. I want more!! Sometime after getting this album I got their first album which is fantastic too. Now on with the review.

1.Mexican Wine- Even though bad things happen, the sun still shines and everything will be alright. This seems to be a better version of Radiation Vibe, which is off their first album. It's a true power pop song that makes you want to sing along. 5/5
2.Bright Future In Sales- A night of drinking and partying takes a toll on a person. It's even worse when you have to go to work the next day! Another powerful, pop masterpiece. 5/5
3.Stacy's Mom- The reason I bought the album 5/5
4.Hackensack- A nice tune about the girl he loved making it big and becoming a celebrity. 4/5
5.No Better Place- Slower, but still very good. 4/5
6.Valley Winter Song- The true feeling of winter, and I love it 5/5
7.All Kinds of Time- A football player sees things in a new light. 4/5
8.Little Red Light- Now we are back to the rock stuff. Great song.5/5
9.Hey Julie- I really like this one. It has a nice story about a guy who can't wait to get off work so he can see his girl. 5/5
10.Halley's Waitress- Wonderful music. It's obvious that the song is about bad service. 5/5
11.Hung Up On You- Wow, I'm not really into country music but this song is just great. 5/5
12.Fire Island- It took me a little while to feel this one. It's about teenagers having a party without any adults. It's good but the cd may feel like it's too long and slow at this point. 4/5
13.Peace and Love- I like this one, it's catchy and fun. A hippie song really. 5/5
14.Bought For A Song- It's catchy and cool. 5/5
15.Supercollider- Wow, trippy. 5/5
16.Yours and Mine- A very short track. Closes the album on a light note. 5/5

This album seemed to drag at first. I don't think it does anymore. I have taking a liking to all of the songs and found they are all incredible and this is an album for a true music lover.

1-0 out of 5 stars NO MORE STACY'S MOM DAMNIT!
Ok, after being baraged by that song a million times a day for about a month I have a deep loathing and resentment towards Fountains of Wayne. When I first heard the song I knew imediently that these guys had "ONE HIT WONDER BAND!" writen all over them, and since Stacy's Mom we have heard no more of this annoying pop band (thankfully), but seriously, please don't buy this cd, this band and their songs are dissposable, crappy, and above all stupid.

5-0 out of 5 stars would put on repeat for the day
I love this album all the more after seeing these guys in concert last summer - you can tell they like what they do. Each song gives me a different feeling, all variations on 'good.' There are very few albums I put on repeat to just hear throughout day (Sgt. Pepper, Jimmy Buffett), but this I would because of the quality songwriting and musical deliciousness. I agree with another reviewer that these guys need a new marketing agent - they should be much bigger...But then, would I be able to see them again in a little bar in Portland for $5?? Let's keep them our little secret :) ... Read more


132. Mutations
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B00000DHYK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4757
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 1998

It's unfortunate how much attention has been paid to how this album was recorded--quickly, without the same level of studio fuss that marked Beck's breakthrough album, Odelay. That's a shame because our favorite chameleon has pulled the neatest trick of all: he's dropped the lyrical schtick that sometimes marred his sonic wizardy, leaving listeners to wonder if he even believed in the music he was playing. That's not an issue here. At times, he sounds like Ray Davies updated for the '90s, stripping himself bare with lovely, simple songs that linger long after they've supposedly ended. Beck may have made his initial mark with "Loser," a clever but insincere admission of inferiority; he's more likely to be remembered for the similar but more heartfelt confession of "Nobody's Fault But My Own." --Keith Moerer ... Read more

Reviews (214)

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING CREATIVITY COMPARABLE TO THE BEATLES
Most wouldn't call this one Beck's best album, but it's my personal favourite by Beck. The songs are generally laid-back although there's too much going on in them (and they're just too good) to be considered background music or easy listening. "Nobody's Fault But My Own" in particular is one of Beck's best, most moving songs (at least for someone who can relate to it). It's sooo dreamy, with exotic instruments such as sitar enhancing the mood.

Above all, this is an art album, Beck's forte, and Beck's typically off-the-wall imagery goes hand in hand with his pastiche of crazy sounds and styles. I won't gush about every song, but they're all great. Even the Bossa Nova "Tropicalia," my least favourite, is irrepressible.

Beck's lyrics are ambiguous enough to leave the songs open to wide interpretation, yet they're still so moving, like the delicate "Dead Melodies." Also worth noting is the unlisted bonus cut (whatever it's called). It's almost a conglomeration of everything he's done in the past. The only song that rocks on MUTATIONS, it rocks in a quintessential alt-rock fashion. At the same time, it's loaded with all kinds of musical noises including a Butthole Surfers' style "birdy interlude" and more transformations than you can wrap your mind around with one listen . . . (note to self: Beck is a genius!)

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beck Makes It Fresh & Cool With "Space-Age Folk Rock"
Beck Hansen's most accessible disc to date all but defies comparison. It's a little Donovon, a little early Bowie and some Beatles' white album tossed in for good measure. But these similarities do not overpower - They wash in and out with the ebb and flow of one genre morphing into another. For Mutations, Beck has put aside the discordant hip-hop of "Odelay" and goofy Gen-X snicker-snicker of "Mellow Gold". Languid vocals and a hypnotic mood prevail over rich layers of acoustic arrangments, twang, psychedelia, synths, sitars and even bossa nova. Like a travelogue into his subconscious, "Mutations" tours Beck's psyche, his influences and varying moods. Songs like "Bottle Of Blues" and "Canceled Check" are catchy, hummable ditties, while "Cold Brains," "Nobody's Fault But My Own" and "We Live Again" mesmerize with their introspective meanderings. Seems that America's most adorable geek has grown up. Lest you think he takes himself too seriously, Beck's grotesque imagery and clever musings sting with irony. Somehow, though, he still maintains a sincerity that distinguishes himself from the hipster wannabes out there trying to smirk their way onto a Rolling Stone cover.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not his Best Piece of Work...
Not Beck's best album. Sounds too much like the Beatles, the Mama's and the Papa's, etc. However, there are a few songs on there that sound more original, i.e., Cancelled Check, etc. I feel his best work is on Odelay.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beck minus overproduction = Beautiful Music
Why didn't he get here sooner? Odelay and Mellow Gold are good albums but could have been much better had he ditched the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, additive heavy production. This is where he really shows his colours for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Influences mutated...in a great way
I read someone else's review--"music to go to sleep to." What an underhanded comment! I think the reviewer meant it well, but I can't agree. The aptly titled MUTATIONS is a collection of songs, each showcasing a different genre of traditional euro-american music (or personal influence), altered or mutated by Beck here in the modern day. Many think this is his least cohesive effort, but I believe it is a collection of very different songs, all held together by a truly giffted performer. Call it a collage--an attempt by Beck to introduce you to each of his musical influences (with a little of that patented "Beck" twist). One thing missing from this mellow output that we saw on STEREOPATHETIC and ONE FOOT--the production quality of this CD is excellent. I almost miss the raw quality of his earlier "folk" sounding recordings. Evrything here is clean and polished. And once again, he astonishes me with incredibly insightful lyrics. Ther are a few weak tracks on this CD, but the good ones are by far his best recordings to date ("Cancelled Check," "Bottle O Blues," "Diamond Bollocks," "Tropicalia," "Nobody's Fault But My Own"). Songs that can make you laugh, then cry in the same breath. Truly amazing. ... Read more


133. Execution of All Things
list price: $12.98
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Asin: B00006LLN5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1799
Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars worth listening to over and over and over...
Now here's why we need independent record stores: I first heard Rilo Kiley while trying to unload some weak used CD's (one good song, lots of filler) at Rhino Records in L.A. "Execution of All Things" was playing over the store speakers, and immediately I thought -- no, can it be? -- yes, alternative rock that's actually catchy! Most alternative rock albums are vast atonal blurs of auditory sameness. But Rilo Kiley's "Execution of All Things" dares to display different tones and colors, and generally defies description. Indeed, the closest I can come to describing their sound is "Nancy Griffith with an electric guitar filtered through a David Lynch soundtrack." And that's not even close. Do yourself a favor: listen to this album. Not the samples below, but the whole thing. You may find yourself asking the same thing: "How can someone (lead singer Jenny Lewis) sound so cute yet so dark at the same time?"

I can only pick out two downsides to the entire album. First, the cover is atrociously ugly -- yeah, go ahead artsy people, call me a Philistine with no appreciation for drab blue-and-brown sketches of homely people, but you gotta admit it's ugly, and does a disservice to the sound it makes no attempt to represent. Second, and this is strictly a personal preference, but I cannot listen to cowriter Blake Sennett sing -- unless I'm in dire need of a nap. I think a general rule most male vocalists should follow is to try to sound less feminine than your female partner. But that's just me. And other than his two tracks, the album is worth repeated listening. I won't be trying to unload it at Rhino Records anytime soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Saddle Creek Success
It's so nice to see how much Rilo Kiley matured from their previous album, Take offs and Landings. They really hit the mark this time with Jenny Lewis's sweet clear vocals and their mellow, lyrical tunes. I love how their music can seem so lackadaisical, but yet a crowd of anxious indie kids can jump and nod and rock out.
The only follie on this CD is Blake Sennett's vocals. The poor guy just can't hold a candle to Lewis. The songs are cute, but he lacks the star power. Skip over these songs.
Despite Sennett's songs this album is absoloutely one of the best of 2002. Buy this album immediately, and while you're at it, see them in concert. They're even adorable live.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hands Down My Favorite CD of 2002.....
I Don't remember how I heard about this CD in the first place; maybe I read a positive review about it on pitchfork.com, but I am eternally grateful to have "discovered" this amazing album. This is the kind of album I always hope for, but only occasionally get: an album on which every track is excellent. The music is sublime and very well produced, but the best part of the CD is brought out by Jenny's introspective lyrics that paint a sonic emotional picture that is unique to this band. I can honestly say that this CD affected me in a deep way, and when music can be this honest and brutal (in a good way) then I am in heaven. I don't remember a CD that I have purchased recently that is really in this league - I give this album SIX stars - anyone who appreciates music and art of any kind will love this album. I suggest you make it a priority to give this band your precious time. You will be richly rewarded. A++ !!!

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!
I own a couple thousand CDs or so but I have never been inspired to write a reviwe for Amazon before... until now. I just picked this album up yesterday and have been listening to it nonstop ever since. This is the first time in a few years that I've been this incredibly blown away by a first listen. It's so nice to be this excited about a new CD (something that hasn't happened to me in awhile).

I'm not familiar enough with the album yet to write a detailed review... but I can say that I like every single little detail about it. From the epic songwriting to the creative musicianship to the lovely tone of Jenny's voice... this album has it all. Definitely pick this up if you're looking to be pleasantly surprised by something refreshingly unique, yet at the same time obviously inspired by some of the greatest bands of our time.

5-0 out of 5 stars absolutely unbelievable!
Stunned. While that is a rare first reponse for me, that is how I am feeling after hearing this cd. I have over 2000 cds and i get about 3 new ones a week. I bought this several weeks ago and I find myself reaching for it nearly every day. funny thing is I bought it completely on a whim. It came up as one of those "others who bought what you bought bought this" that Amazon tempts you with. I bought it unheard, or unknown simply because every single one of the 28 reviews were 5 stars (except for two or so, which were 4). Pretty good endorsement.

I cannot really determine what it is that I like so much about this. I am also at a loss when trying to think of bands/styles to compare them to. There is quite a bit of musical variety here. subtlety, beauty, bursts of controlled passion tinged with anger, vocals that soar, gorgeous melodies, irish marches, drake-esque moods, the beatles.....wow, I really love this disc. ... Read more


134. Mellow Gold
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B000003TB2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5970
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Far more than a novelty jester, Beck is a musical anarchist and bummed-out street prophet whose audience will squirm and thrill to the slacker delta blues of "Whiskeyclone" and urban nightmares like "Truckdrivin Neighbors Downstairs." --Jeff Bateman ... Read more

Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you don't like Beck; Buy this record
Hang on loosley people...I know I'm going against the grain here, but hear me out...Simply put, if you are unsure if someone is your Soul mate; Buy them a copy of Mellow Gold...If your meant to be, the future will take care it's course (on the good foot)...This Album is THE Beck album to own! If you want to, go ahead and remove the Radio classic "Loser" altogether from the track listing and you still have a great Album. If your looking for unique songs to add to that perfect mix CD, this album is packed with Nuggets & Doozies such as "Pay No Mind", "Wiskeyclone", "Truck Drivin Neighbors Downstars"...that will blow listeners away and make her/him fall in love with you...Why do you ask? Because, this album is completely original, yet sounds familiar and like a old friend...(snooring...blacked out on your couch). And remember, The DJ is a Con Man

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm a loser baby! So why don't you kill me?
Mellow Gold is a very odd album. It contains very odd music as well as very odd lyrical material. In the hit song, 'Loser' Beck sings, "In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey." This pretty much gives the gist of the entire album. No song sounds the same yet they are all oddly similar.

Though Beck's signature sound comes along with the album, it is vastly different from any of his other material. It contains some very dark songs (Mother....., Truckdrivin' Neighbors Downstairs), some light, happy songs (Pay No Mind, Nitemare Hippy Girl, Sweet Sunshine), and some just plain weird songs (Soul Suckin' Jerk). It's because of the musical diversity on the album that I like it so much.

So if you are a fan of Beck's latter material, namely Odelay, be wary in buying this album because though in my opinion it has some of his best material, the general public might think differently.

5-0 out of 5 stars Becks best all around album and one of the best of the 90s.
I must have played this album at least 50 times in the last 3 years its that good.Back in 1994 Beck was one of the most unusual and original songwriters around.There hasnt been a record written mostly about pure nonsense since Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart.Yep songs like Truckdrivin Neighbors Downstairs(my favorite song right now),Whiskey Clone Hotel City 1997 and even the radio friendly Loser have some pretty unusual lyrics.The vocals and music itself is also great to back it up.I wont write anymore because my fingers are getting sore so go out and buy this for yourself.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beck in the day.
There's a fine line between stupidity and genius. That's what I think when I listen to this album. It's almost indescribable. Lyrically, half of it's absolutely crazy, which is intentional and part of the fun. Musically it's all over the place, somewhere between the "Beastie Boys" and "Neil Young". But all of these things are what make this so incredible. So many things in a blender still make a tasty treat. This is kind of THE essential "Beck" album really. It's kind of the middle ground between "Midnight Vultures" and the excellent "Sea Change", both of which came years later. I guess it's one of those things you just have to hear to believe.

5-0 out of 5 stars must have..
v. v. dark, almost like a modernized chant in some songs with his low voice and scratchy guitar riffs. i love loser, i know so cliche but i have memorized almost every word its probably my fav. song, not only on the album....
buy this cd i am so serious. ... Read more


135. Drunken Lullabies
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000060MMI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1116
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (62)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wow! A Blast!
I snagged "Drunken Lullabies" on some good word-of-mouth, and I was amazed. Many bands brag that they are an Irish punk act, but they can't pull it off. If there is a dictionary of musical styles, under "Irish Punk" it should read, "See Flogging Molly."

The title track, "What's Left of the Flag," and "The Kilburn High Road," are thrashing, crazed guitar rants perfect for a rugby team's pre-game locker room scene. If anything, "FM" gets a bit carried away during their tunes -- "Death Valley Queen," "Rebels of the Sacred Heart," and "Another Bag of Bricks" made me check the liner notes to see if the band has a cardiologist or ER doc to thank! "The Rare Old Times" and "The Sun Never Shines (on Closed Doors)" prove that "FM" is not a one-trick pony, but you wish that there was a little more such diversity on the album.

Check these guys out -- if we're lucky, they'll be around for a long time.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the BEST BANDS EVER!
Flogging Molly is the band that got me interested in punk. I wasn't really into it, and my friend was having me listen to a Warped Tour Cd that had "What's Left of the Flag" on it. After I heard that I made him play it again I think 10 or 11 times. I instantly went out and bought this album, and eventually got all three albums and went to a live concert. If you ever get a chance to, these guys are a must live. Best Concert I have ever been to. This album is my personal favorite, and almost every song is fantastic, it's an album that you have no need to push "shuffle" on, just sit back and listen. That is, if you can sit still, it's almost impossible. The music just makes you want to grab a Guiness and pick a fight. If you have an open mind, or enjoy punk or celtic music, this is a must. HIGHLY HIGHLY RECCOMMENDED!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Drunken Lullabies.
This is such an amazing album. I first heard of these guys on the 'Warped Tour' record absolutly love thier blend of celtic and punk. This is such a refreshing twist. I have never heard (expect Dropkick Murphys but who i feel arent as celtic as FM) such a unique, yet simply amazing way of punk. This is cd is solid through out. My favorite tracks are:

1. 'Drunken Lullabies' - The title track is an amazing fast paced song, which dives right into their celtic influence. It will leaving you singing and dancing. My favorite track. Amazing lyrics.
2. 'What's Left Of The Flag' - This is another stand out. It starts off acousticly, but then jumps right into the punk feel. Their first real single of this record.
4. 'If I Ever Leave this World Alive' - This song is a slighty slower paced, but good as ever.
5. 'The Kilburn High Road' - A fast song, with a tearing guitar solo.
6. 'Rebels of the Sacred Heart' - Fast paced and brilliant.
9. 'Death Valley Queen' - This song's chorus is catchy. I feel tracks 8-10 are really dark, and this i one of the darkest.
11. 'The Rare Ould Times' - This is a cover song of a very old Irish song. I absolutly love the FM cover of it.
12. 'The Son Never Shines (on Closed Doors) - I really like this song a lot. I just love how the album ends with such a beautiful slow song.

Overall, a very good sophmore album, and i can't wait for their next album which they are currently wrapping up. This album is very solid through out, and Dave King voice is full of emotion. Every song through is filled with amazing lyrics. Flogging Molly's Drunken Lullabies is sure to leave you singing and dancing with one of the best, unique bands out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not quite 5 stars, but almost there.
This is an over-all enjoyable album. There aren't that many different styles on here, unless you call "ballads" a style ("Sun Never Shines"), but it's still good. Maybe you shouldn't listen to me, because I'm more of a punk fan, but either way you won't regret buying this, even though the tracks are fairly similar, and there isn't a great amount of emotional depth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Flogging molly blends just the right amount of punk rock with just the right amount of celtic to create one of the most unique styles of music youll ever hear. This CD is will be a great addition to your collection. ... Read more


136. Franz Ferdinand [US Bonus CD]
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0006B29WA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5341
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff
I'm not a music expert by any means, but Franz Ferdinand strike me as a cross between The Clash and The Cure, with more modern Interpol-esque elements thrown in.What results is a highly (re)listenable, original, catchy sound that'll satisfy that need to listen to some "Good Stuff".

A friend of mine suggested I listen to Interpol, so I ordered a couple of their albums off of Amazon and thought they were decent, although it seemed something was missing.Amazon always lists similar artists underneath any given CD, and I saw that Franz Ferdinand was listing.Having never heard of them, I offhandedly read a couple reviews and promptly forgot about them... until a few months later when I saw their CD combined with a bonus CD at a local "City" of the "Circuit" variety during their bi-annual $9.99 CD sale.I picked it up not expecting anything, but I gotta tell you -- I love it!

The bonus CD is really the deal-maker, with a faster-tempo'd rerecording of This Fire (it's entitled This Fffire on the bonus CD) that's much catchier than the great, original version (it makes me think of "That Thing You Do", which started out as a slow song until Guy sped it up; some songs were born to be fast... "That Thing You Do" and "This Fire" are two of them)."Van Tango" is fun and one of the better songs on the two-CD album, along with "All For You, Sophia", which is currently my favorite Franz Ferdinand Song."Words So Leisured", while not their best work, is interesting as sort of a "respin" of "Darts of Pleasure", track number 8 on the main CD.

The main album, also, isn't lacking great songs.I've greatly enjoyed "Take Me Out", an instanly recognizable song (after the 45-second introduction), even if you've never heard it before. "This Fire", of course, is excellent, and "Auf Achse" will have you pressing the repeat button a few times.

The rest of the songs are all good; some may like the others even more than the ones I've suggested, proving that there's something good for everyone here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Franz Ferdinand is Incredible
What more can be said about this band than to look at their meteoric rise from obscurity in just one year. This album (along with the bonus CD) are only a hint of things to come. They are truly talented musicians and have incredible presence onstage (I've seen them in Atlanta and Chicago). Yes, their music is very retro but they make it seamlessly their own. It is melodic, danceable, joyful, humorous, intelligent, and literate without pomp or circumstance. Franz Ferdinand, both the band and the album, are incredible.

5-0 out of 5 stars SCOTLAND HAS SHOWN ITS SUPREMACY AGAIN!!
AT FIRST IT SOUNDED LIKE THE KILLERS. no way... IT ISNT. 1000% BETTER. ITS ALOT MORE LIVELY AND IT GIVES U A FEALING TO RUN.. (IF U WANT MAJOR WEIGHT LOSS, LISTEN TO THIS) I EXERSIZE WITH THIS FOR HOCKEY AND I DROPPED 5 LBS.. GREAT STUFF FOR PARTIES, REALLY GETS YOU GOING

5-0 out of 5 stars Best CD of 2004
Franz Ferdinand's debut cd is one of the best post-punk cds to be released in the last decade, plus its just so damn groovy and catchy as hell!!! My new favourite band!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cute
I was originally going to give this album four stars, but then I listened to the bonus disc.Believe me, the material on the bonus disc is better than much of the album material.It's less produced and more raw, and gives you a better feel for the actual talents of the band.
The album itself is a cute and fun collection of some of the best pop music I've heard in a long time.It's got a unique sound, it's got a beat and you can dance to it.Yes, the album does sound like it is one really long song, but it's a good song.
Stand-out tracks are "Auf Achse", "Darts of Pleasure", "40'" and of course the singles.
But really, the album doesn't do this band justice.It's good, but the bonus material really makes you believe they're more than just a shallow pop band.And I personally think they are. ... Read more


137. Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00004TA8K
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1958
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2000

"I wear my influences like a f***ing badge," proclaims lead singer-songwriter Courtney Taylor regarding Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia. But while the Dandy Warhols liberally steal Rolling Stones riffs, Iggy Pop vocals, Britpop sonic surfing, and even Burt Bacharach horn sections, they give it back in spades, delivering one of the best rock albums of 2000: a masterpiece of sex, beauty, strife, and wry, raunchy-cool attitude. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Last Classic Rock Album
After waiting three years, the day has finally arrived. A new album by the Dandy Warhols, and quite possibly their best yet. Although it doesn't have some of the slow heavy psychadelic tracks from Dandys Rule OK and ...the Dandy Warhols Come Down, every song has unique qualities that make each one worthwhile. Basically, it comes down to one simple fact: this record rocks. The first track is "Godless" which is also the first US single, and it sets the pace for the album, always staying at this zenith of quality. Some of my favorites are "Country Leaver", "Horse Pills", "Get Off", and "Bohemian Like You", another of the album's singles. Even if you haven't heard either of the band's first two albums, you should buy this as soon as you can. The vocal harmonies are as tight and layered as ever, and the band seems to have gone deeper into arrangements, including horns and strings on some of the tracks and layering guitar, bass, and organ sounds more than on the other albums. The first few thousand albums pressed also contain a bonus disc, which includes "White Gold", "Phone Call", and live versions of the band's hit single "Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth" and "I Love You".

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars...loads of fun
The Dandy Warhols are one cheeky band. Amidst today's one-hit-wonder pop music scene, where buzzbin bands go from being the second coming to yesterday's news practically overnight (a fate that The Dandy Warhols narrowly escaped with their 1997 hit 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth'), the band decided to make "one last classic album" in the tradition of the great albums of the late sixties and early seventies, where the entire recording is remembered more than the one or two hit singles it may spawn. That's an audacious thing to do (after all, the music biz is all about pushing singles), but for real music fans, it's a godsend, and the resulting product, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia, is one of the most enjoyable albums of the year, and definitely the most fun.

Guitarist/vocalist/producer Courtney Taylor-Taylor and his crew plundered the classic rock vaults to create a wildly eclectic album. Notable styles that were 'lifted' are Burt Bacharach ('Godless'), The Beatles ('Mohammed'), Led Zeppelin III ('Country Leaver'), The Byrds ('Cool Scene'), Iggy Pop and The Velvet Underground ('Shakin''), Gram Parsons ('The Gospel') and Buffalo Springfield ('Big Indian'). Some people have also noted the sly irony in the song 'Godless', which borrows the intro to George Harrison's 'My Sweet Lord'. The classic album sound is also mimicked to perfection, with a warm, bass-heavy sound, luscious guitar overdubs, beautiful vocal harmonies, and as a final kicker, cross-fades between songs to give 13 Tales a continuous feel.

Taylor-Taylor's chameleonlike voice is the real star here. One minute he's delivering the vocals in a whisper-like tone, the next he's evoking Lou Reed while doing an eighties-style rap, then he's sounding like Iggy Pop, then he's harmonizing like the White Album-era Beatles, and as a final coup de grace, he sings the country-style album closer 'The Gospel' in a voice that sounds amazingly close to Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

Every song on the album is loads of fun, especially 'Country Leaver', 'Solid', 'Horse Pills', 'Cool Scene', and 'Shakin'', but the real great song (and ironically, potential huge single) is the sardonic 'Bohemian Like You'. Not since Jarvis Cocker's legendary class-war diatribes 'Common People' and 'Sorted For E's & Wizz' has anyone so hilariously lampooned wannabe hipsters. Over a guitar riff blatantly stolen from The Rolling Stones' 'Brown Sugar', Taylor-Taylor sings, "so what do you do?/oh yeah I wait tables too/no I haven't heard your band/cause you guys are pretty new" before launching into a (yet again) Stones-like "woo-hoo!" chorus. Irresistable!

People will probably overemphasize Taylor-Taylor's social commentary, but that's just prevalent in one song. As for the rest of the songs on 13 Tales, there's a reason the lyrics weren't included with the cd; as Taylor-Taylor sings in 'Cool Scene', "I really don't care what I sing/and I really doubt you know what I mean." Hey, forget about finding witty bon mots in the songs, sit back, and have a blast listening to this fabulous album.

2-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Find Second?
I just don't understand bands that have sensational released songs and the rest of their album's unreleased songs are nothing like the released ones either in quality, style or sound. A lot of songs on here seem to have had no effort put into them whatsoever when either writing or performing them.

Bohemian Like You is a sensational song, probably the best they've ever done. It is clever, catchy and one you can sing along to and would also be an excellent live song as well. You cannot say the same thing about any one of the other songs on this album. Some of these songs start of great but never seem to find second gear. You're listening, expecting something great to happen any moment but the song stays in the same first gear introduction format for its duration. Some of these songs even seem to be stuck in a loop repeating exactly the same thing for between three and five minutes. Even the songs which you are into at the start you get sick of halfway through them. The dreaded F word, Filler comes to mind.

The Dandy Warhols have had great success with Bohemian Like You from this album, We Used to be Friends from Welcome to the Monkey House and Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth from The Dandy Warhols Come Down. Why? Because they open their mouths in those songs and actually seem like they are interested in singing them. The rest of the songs on here are either mumbled, sung so softly you have to struggle to understand what is being said or are just plain terrible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Album
One of the better CD's in my collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Telling Stories
One of the best and unfairly underrated rock albums of the last years, this third Dandy Warhols` release is worth multiple listens. Here, the band gets even more experimental and innovative, covering a wider range of styles, rehashing old elements and using them to create something new.

This is a rich and multi-layered record, presenting a strong set of songs that flow well into each other and, although all of them sound quite different, they make sense as a whole. The first three songs in particular are great and make an engaging intro into the album.
"Godless" is a terrific ballad, proving that lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor has indeed a great voice behind his cool, slacker and laid-back attitude. The use of trumpet generates some unusual and gourgeous moments, giving an excellent starting point to the album. "Mohammed" is an unique moment of ethereal beauty, a dreamy and addictive song, even if it seems too strange at first. "Nietzche" is another high number, sounding harsh and abrasive while delivering a compelling and melodic chorus. These three tracks are a terrific beginning to a surprising musical experience.

The band offers new perspectives to rock here, combining influences yet managing to create a particular and personal sound and perspective. The quirky "Country Leaver" and the mellow "Big Indian" recall some Beck moments, while "Solid" seems like a Lou Reed experience with britpop. The energetic and delightful "Get Off" has some Pixies` resemblances and "Cool Scene" could be from a cooler, gutsier Elliot Smith.

The Warhols really outdo themselves here, offering a tight album that never gets tiresome or repetitive, even if it may sound a bit weird and strange at first. The quasi-instrumental "Sleep" is one of the best slices of music of the last years, creating a relaxing, spacey and dreamy mood that goes on and on with a sense of uplifting peacefulness. It also proves that this band has a great sense of melody without sounding too poppy or cheap.

"Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia" is a thrilling achievement that should get more recognition, presenting the Dandy Warhols in top form and proving that these guys are one of the most interesting alternative bands around. They surely know how to deliver a sucessful and consistent rock album.
Highly recommended. ... Read more


138. You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
list price: $12.98
our price: $10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0003JAHBA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1915
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Album Description

This duo is engrained in the lexicon of Simon and Garfunkel, The Chemical Brothers, The Carpenters, and Sonny And Cher. It's hard to believe the only instruments on this album, aside from the odd flute sample or moog oscillation, are the bass and drums. "This is your album--whether you're a metalhead, suburban stoner, glue-sniffing gutter punk, electroclash fashionista, new wave spazz, hoodie skate-rat, indie rock academic, geriatric Deep Purple fan, or whether you've just been jonesin' for an intelligent, uncompromising but accessible rock record to rival Queens Of The Stone Age's 'Songs For The Deaf' or the first Foo Fighters album"--The Eye. ... Read more


139. Queer As Folk: Fourth Season
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00023B14O
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9482
Average Customer Review: 2.67 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Showtime’s critically acclaimed and highly rated original program Queer As Folk is back!The 4th season soundtrack is in stores June 22th and features 14 of the most memorable songs from this season. ... Read more

Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars A nice change of pace...
It is no doubt that the current season of "Queer as Folk" has been targeting a much deeper degree of topics than the previous three seasons. So, even though it did come as a surprise, it is no doubt why the new Season Four soundtrack stands out on its own from the rest of the collection. This time around, there isn't the steady flow of dance music laced together in what has become an almost tedious fashion. Upon listening to the cd the first time, I was let down at this realization. I wasn't really sure what to think. However, it all quickly grew on me and I can now say that it comes as a nice change to a show that has grown and changed with us all over the years. The tracks are much darker... like the taste of what we were given on the second cd of the season three soundtrack. However, they still resonate better than the last. Not exactly "happy" music... much of the complaint ridden selections cover such experiences as lost love, death, and the other darker tones of this season's subject matter. Listen to it without the expetation of another club-dance collection and it is easily appreciated in its true form.
I have heard a lot of bad reviews for the cd. Mainly in the matter of people being disappointed that it does not fall into the same category as the last three soundtracks. To stay the same is boring. We need change! And, that is exactly what this cd does this time around...

2-0 out of 5 stars 2 stars because its a Queer as Folk CD
OK I admit I have got into a bit of a rut with the Q as F CDs and I have previously bought them and loved them for the dance tracks. I was disappointed with CD 2 from season 3 as it was not great dance music, most of it old and already in my collection. It was therefore with some trepidation I bought CD 4. Unfortunately for me season 4 continues the downward spiral of season 3 CD 2. I bought it on the strength of season 1, 2 and 3 (CD 1) and really wish I had had the opportunity to listen to it before purchase. Any crticism is a personal thing and not all will agree but I stand by comments I have made to friends such as it makes me want to cut my throat, its a bad T-rex cover etc.
I agree with the reviews that say the music in Q as F is an essential part in telling the story however people have bought the previous CDs on the strength of the club tracks and trying to get that Babylon / Woody's feeling. I feel cheated as this CD is such a complete change in direction and its not even good alternative music. Much of it is old and depressing, at least with seasons 1-3 when I listened I was always 'uplifted' as its 'happy' music.
This review is an edit of my original as I have re-listened to the CD since then trying to find something about it I like. Though I appreciate some of the tracks more now I still feel like I am listening to a Leonard Cohen CD.
For the sake of set completion I am glad I have season 4 but all in all it is very very very different from previous seasons and for those that just 'lurved' the soundtracks to season 1-3 you will probably be as disappointed as those of us who have given this 1 or 2 stars

3-0 out of 5 stars QAF:S4 A Change in Direction and BPMs
I purchased Queer As Folk: Season Four spur of the moment thinking it would be a great summer Hi-NRG disc for listening in my car. After my initial disappointment, where I thought briefly of writing a "don't bother" type of review, I decided to really take a listen. After further consideration, I believe it makes for good listening, but not if your in the mood for a continuous bump and grind upbeat dance mix. There is nothing bad on this CD and it does have a number of dance-oriented selections, but some cuts are more worthwhile than others including Cue the Pulse to Begin by Burnside Project, Train by Goldfrapp, Understanding the New Violence by The Uncut which has an early 80's dance/new wave retro sound, the hilarious showbizzy/loungy If I Were a Man by Andrea Menard and the melodic Wonderful Life by Black, the main title cut from his 1987 release. Listening to the lyrics of Wonderful Life one can understand why it was chosen by the producers of the series. I hope our lives are more multi-dimensional than just going to the local cha-cha palace on Saturday night and the culture that surrounds it. The QAF:S4 soundtrack, while not a classic, proves that a change in direction can be a good thing. I applaud the producers of the series and the CD for taking chances and risking alienating fans which they have done here obviously. After all, the same thing over and over again is boring and not very creative.

4-0 out of 5 stars COMING OF AGE
I believe this new CD is great! I know it's not anything like the other 3 seasons, but neither is the TV show. It's their "coming of age" and this new CD is exactly that. There is less dance club and more realistic (if that is the right word) music. It is more meaningful. There are, of course, still some club mixes and an awesome broadway-type tune on the CD. I think, if you love the show, you will love the CD.

1-0 out of 5 stars What happened here?
I purchased the Season 4 soundtrack with anticipation of greatness and what I found was certainly a let down. This is the worst of all the soundtracks; I was expecting so much more. When they started this new season with this great new opening and the Cue to Begin song I thought wow. The music that is in the show is so much better than what they placed on the soundtrack. The mix that was chosen for Cue to Begin was a sad one and a major let down. The mix that is actually on the show is so much better and I guess that I was expecting to hear something similar. I would not suggest purchasing this seasons sountrack and hopefully they will hear our pleas for better music in the future. The first three seasons are worth the purchase. ... Read more


140. Is This It
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00005QIPH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2080
Average Customer Review: 3.74 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

With all the media hype that dogged the Strokes before the release of their debut album, it's rather apt that they chose the title Is This It. On the strength of just five songs released on two singles, the Strokes were being hailed as everything from the saviors of rock & roll to the Savior himself. Surely, few bands could live up to the impossibly high standards set for this young five-piece, but the band needn't have worried: Is This It is one of the most exciting and energetic debut albums to spring from New York's long-dormant club scene. In fact, the Strokes are a New York City band through and through; like the Velvet Underground, these are a bunch of uptown artsy types elegantly slumming downtown to the tried and tested themes of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Their singer-songwriter, the fantastically named Julian Casablancas, delivers his lyrics with a weary nonchalance that belies his age on songs like the title track, "Soma," "Hard to Explain," and the altogether wonderful "Barely Legal." And the band recalls the likes of Television and the Stooges on "Last Nite" and "The Modern Age." Let's hope this sexy, stylish, and undeniably cool band is the future of rock & roll. --Robert Burrow ... Read more

Reviews (835)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Your Typical Album
Basically any kind of album can fall into one or both of the following categories: rock or pop. Groups like Cherry Poppin' Daddies and The Brian Setzer Orchestra are considered a little of both; morever, they both rely on a feel and sound from several decades prior to their albums' release. Well, a new group to follow that same kind of formula is the NYC-based quintet The Strokes, composed of vocalist Julian Casablancas, drummer Fabrizio Moretti, bassist Nikolai Fraiture (who looks like a cross between Beck and Ashton Kutcher), and guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond, Jr.

What time capsule did The Strokes dig into? Well, judging by their dress and sound, I'd say the mid-seventies to early eighties. Their songs contain simple drumbeats and enthusiastic guitars...something that not everyone can pull off as well as they can. They work "When It Started" (replacing the limit-pushing "New York City Cops") so well, it's hard to believe there's not a DJ hiding in there somewhere. That is one of the best parts of the album, not to mention the preceding song (and their current single) "Hard To Explain". After Fabrizio starts things off, Albert jumps in to make everything all right, but it's not until Nick and Nikolai give their contributions until you can get the feel of the song...and Julian's vocals keep things on the right track. They continue to shine on songs like "Last Nite", "The Modern Age" and "Alone, Together".

Does anything on this album need improvement? Maybe switching up the subject matter a little. There are a few too many relationship-problem-type songs on here. Also, "Barely Legal" may be a little too out there for many listeners. But Is This It is an above average album nonetheless, and I personally hope to hear more from these guys in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is It
It's pretty sad that most of the people who give this album a bad review just make some weak comparison to VU or some other band and say that The Strokes are not original. I can only assume that these people have not heard either VU, The Strokes, or possibly either band, or are nu metal fans bitter at their ... genre's demise and have come here to bring down others.
I was somewhat skeptical about The Strokes at first, seeing them for the first time on MTV and then reading about their priviliged backgrounds. But then I pulled my head out of my ... and realized that it didn't matter how I heard of them or how rich their parents are, they make damn good music. Yes, some of it's poppy and catchy, but some of it is also raw, balls out rock and roll. Just listen to BARELY LEGAL and TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT a couple times. Keep an open mind and you'll find yourself liking them too.
I would say the most impressive aspect of this album, besides it being an incredibly fun listen, is how well crafted the songs are. They each play fairly simple parts, but they fit together in such a way and change often enough that it doesn't get old or stale. The simplicity of this album is, oddly enough, just amazing. (This coming from someone who is a big fan of Radiohead and At The Drive-In, which is saying a lot if you know anything about those bands)
I am one of those people who prides himself on keeping his ear to the ground in the music scene and hearing and knowing about the indie and lesser known bands (someone people might refer to as a "music snob") because I am not happy with most of the crap on MTV or the radio. However, I also realize that sometimes it is ok, and maybe even good, to listen to music just for the sake of pure mindless fun. Which one reason why I love The Strokes.

p.s. the material for The Strokes' second album is shaping up quite nicely (good luck making comparisons so VU now)

p.p.s. Interpol's debut album Turn On The Bright Lights is just damn good

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Record ever made!!
I honestly believe this is the best record ever recorded. This album not only jumpstarted a revolution, but contains the best music I've ever heard. Julian Casablancas dull drone is incredible, and the band is just as brilliant. Nick and Albert are two guitarists who complement each other as good as Slash and Izzy ever did. Nickolai bass is always consistent, and Fab is the best thing on drums in a long while. From the creative opener "Is this it" to the album, and set-closer "Take it or leave it" there is not a dull moment. You could argue "Led Zeppelin I" and you could argue "Appetite for Destruction", but "Is this it" will never be duplicated.

5-0 out of 5 stars Does this album stand up, after all the hypes blown over????
Considering the enormous amount of hype the came attached with this album on its first release, it's interesting to see several years on if it still stands up to closer scrutiny. And surprisingly the answer is an emphatic 'Yes'. The raw paired down sound, still feels vital and self-assured, energetic and anxious. Tracks such as "Is This it" & "Last Nite" still brim with a confident swagger from a band that were yet to truly establish themselves as a viable act. "Alone Together" & "Trying your luck" express the more contemplative side to the band, that dismissed critics arguements that the band were a pastiche of new wave 80's bands like "Blondie", "The Police"....(although I'll concede that the band are obvious admirers of "the Velvet Underground"). Even though the songs that weren't released as singles and make up the rest of the album ("Trying Your luck", Take it or leave it", "Someday"), still remain impressive even today, and more importantly their knack with an infectious melody appears to be no one off!!! And although the jerky guitars, Convulsive drumming and exuberant sneer of vocalist "Julian Casablancas'" urgent singing, has since been copied a thousand times over since the release of this debut. Many people will still come here, to find the answers to the raw, revealing and minimal production values, that were able to make the mainstream (mostly) sit up and notice.

Nobody here is trying to pretend that what Casablancas and Co, were trying to do is original or new.....because those with a keen ear will hear different influences peppered throughout the album (I myself seem to hear a tangible influence from "Blondie" & "Velvet underground"), but what they did make is a indie rock/ Garage rock revival album that does actually stand up, after all the huge hype following its initial release. Ironically for an album that is a fantastically realised and impressive performed, with that air a Art-rock cool, that separates a mediocre act, from something impressive....my fave track that was removed from the U.S. version (but included in the U.K. release) "New York City Cops" for me......encapsulates everything that is special about the Storkes. Funny, urgent, impeccably performed, and sneeringly cool, the band made a debut that whether they ever scale these heady heights again is debatable, but for now, lets enjoy one of 2001's most remarkable albums.

5-0 out of 5 stars Is This It?....let's hope not!
This is a killer debut by a great rock and roll band. Every song's a winner and, in my opinion, the best tracks were never released as singles (why do you think you can download "Last Nite" here at amazon for free?). Believe the hype surrounding this one and get it today.
One of the best CDs I've bought in a while, along with Mr.Deviant's "Techno Obsession" which is a killer mix of power rock and hard dance instrumentals. ... Read more


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