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161. Elliott Smith
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162. Rejoicing in the Hands
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163. Worlds Apart
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164. The Soft Bulletin
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165. ( )
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166. Any Time Now
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167. Lonesome Crowded West
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168. Uh Huh Her
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169. Eveningland
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170. Exile in Guyville
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171. Straylight Run
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172. Midnite Vultures
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173. If You're Feeling Sinister
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174. Spiderland
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175. Teaches of Peaches (Bonus CD)
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176. Live 2003 (CD & DVD)
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177. Meat Is Murder
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178. Now Here Is Nowhere
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179. 69 Love Songs
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180. Karma

161. Elliott Smith
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Asin: B00000373G
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1846
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Recorded mildly better than his debut (Roman Candle on Cavity Search), the self-titled second solo album is one of the most understated and incredible albums to emerge from the indie-rock scene in the 1990s. With his nimble picking fingers behind him, Smith writes sad, little songs about drugs and romantic codependence that border on the obsessed. "Needle in the Hay" and "The White Lady Loves You More" are exemplary tunes that fuse the Beatles' pop sense with Neil Young's sense of doom. Lying in his own burned out basement, Smith can rough up the gentlest love song with a few salty words of choice. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars Geronimo
It's PINK MOON with a needle in it's arm. Or imagine the whispery sordiness of "Sunday Morning" Lou Reed, only all on a lonely acoustic guitar. It even touches on the maudlin side of BIG STAR. And all without coming across as derivative. If you're a fan of any of the aformentioned, ELLIOTT SMITH is the perfect fix.

After hearing all his other albums, "Needle in the Hay" remains Smith at his haunting best. Lines like, "drink yourself into slo-mo/ made an angel in the snow" should make "Clementine" an all time favorite(as well as bring a smile to your kiss-less lips). Drug references abound & "The White Lady Loves You More" has to be one of the most heartbreaking songs about chemical dependency I've hever heard. "The Biggest Lie" is enough to make you play the whole thing over again. While not my first introduction to Elliott Smith, this one certainly left me with a lasting impression. Melancholy to say the least, but not enough to make you want to hang yourself in a garrett. A tourniquet for the soul, so to speak.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elliott's Best
While Amazon[.com]'s reviews don't do the following statment justice, the self-titled "Elliott Smith" rarely gets the praise its successor "Either/Or" does. Strange, considering many of the followers of Mr. Smith prefer the dark and unique tone of Elliott, best embodied on this sophomore, (NOT SOPHOMORIC), solo release. A brilliant album, this record has what is unquestioningly the best in fingerpicking the accoustic-Elliott has to offer. Songs like "Southern Belle" and "Christian Brothers" are Elliott's finest in arangement, instrumentation and melody as Elliott finger-picks his way to musical ingeniousness. Intense, accoustic tracks and driving, serious lyrics are the halmark of this brilliant LP that often overshadow the amazing if tangential melodies it has to offer. Fans of other Elliott records of course must indulge in the record, and Elliott beginners won't fail if they start here.
Among Elliott's first 3 records, which fall largely under the "accoustic" label", here is the best one. Unfortunately, its lack of stand-out song and overall genius has relegated it to its weakest of Elliott LP's designation, (among "fans"). Believe not what you hear: those opinions stem from a well-guided but confused populous. Buy and enjoy "Elliott Smith."

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is pure Elliott Smith! I highly recommend this.

5-0 out of 5 stars the most private album i've ever heard
it really is like elliott is playing just for you. on this album in particular, smith's voice is so warm and affecting you feel him holding your hand and so cool and hurt you WANT to hold his hand.

i love this record. i have for sometime. elliott smith was a fine musician and, from what i understand, a very fine, though lonely, person. either/or is his masterpiece, but every recording of his is something you want to hold on to as all your own. you'll love it with a ridiculous passion.

sleep well, elliott, your listeners miss you dearly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elliot Smith
If he had lived, his music would have just kept getting better. Some people call Either/Or Elliott Smith's best, but I must dissagree. This just might be the most wonderful thing I have ever heard. Every single song is great and wonderful. His voice is so soft and peaceful, I feel as if he is sitting next to me, and playing his guitar in a mini-private concert, just for me. I really love Elliott's music. Buy this album before you buy anything else by him. Rest In Peace, Man. ... Read more

162. Rejoicing in the Hands
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Asin: B00020W0ME
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2550
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Music for a Country Porch
Despite their disdain for the mainstream media's tendency to hype up young bands as 'the saviours of rock & roll' (i.e., Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, The White Stripes, etc.), the indie media always seem to be on the look out for their own 'next big thing'. Though occasionally a band, it is more often some sort of subgenre, where a couple of noteworthy releases have critics proclaiming some given year to be the year of some given subgenre. Last year was apparently the year of dance-punk, a conclusion spearheaded largely by The Rapture's mediocre-but-acclaimed-anyway debut. This year, surprisingly enough, is being touted as the year of neo-folk. With newly made indie superstars like Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens putting out great follow-ups to their breakthrough releases, the indie media has rushed to herald every new poppy or slightly psychedelic folk release as proof positive of their determination that this genre is just now hitting it big. Devendra Banhart is among this supposed tidal wave, and though he's apparently part of this year's big thing, he seems more concerned with all things small in some year long passed. Armed with just an acoustic guitar and his voice (though production does add in some other more atmospheric instruments from time to time), this young, homeless, traveling minstrel doesn't really deal with any of the big topics. Simple joys, simple friendships, and unassuming loves populate his songs, which find their home in the earthy glee of Appalachian folk. While listening to Devendra croon, one's mind is filled with images of yellowed pages from old Bibles and rolling up your own tobacco to smoke down by the lake. It's serene, heartfelt music for a time and place that, for the most part, has long passed, consumed in the arrival of goliath Wal-Marts and 'pimped out' Honda Civics tearing down country roads. Though his instrumental and lyrical content are very pleasant, I can see Devendra's voice becoming something of a dividing point among listeners. For some (including myself), the Southern, bluesy vocals adds a charming sort of character that blends perfectly with music that sounds like it could have been recorded 80 years ago. For others, Devendra's croaking vocals might evoke images of a withered muppet that has hit the moonshine still one too many times. Hopefully, more people will embrace the prior opinion, for while Devendra Banhart might not represent some revolutionary force exploding onto the music scenes, he makes pleasant music that is, simply, enjoyable.

5-0 out of 5 stars The New Face of Folk Music (5/5)
Devendra Banhart is still new to the world, which finds most people comparing him to a surplus of other musicians. However, Banhart has quickly proven that, contrary to comparison, he possesses his very own unique style that easily sets him apart from any singer/songwriter on the planet (past or present). His voice is so unique that he will find himself in a similar league with some of music's all-time great distinctive voices.

His ability to create charming images of a surreal world with his abstract lyrics, abnormal time signatures, and inimitable vocals is like no other current artist today. On his previous albums, this was heard through his ghostly recordings on four track recorders and answering machine messages. These were songs never meant for public consumption until his friends convinced him that it'd be a good idea to let them loose. So, Michael Gira (Swans and Angels of Light) took control of these recordings and released them "as is" on his self-managed Young God label. Accolades have been strewn about Banhart's feet since.

One of the principal qualities that made these early recordings of Banhart's so unique is how they effortlessly sounded like they came from another era. If you didn't know they were recorded within the last five years, you'd swear they were the lost tapes of Robert Johnson's next-door neighbor. But with the release of Rejoicing in the Hands, Banhart entered an official studio to record fifty-some songs. There is a decidedly cleaner sound than on the lo-fi recordings of before. Some of the new songs will appear here and the rest will make it on to a separate album or EP to be released in the next year.

Banhart certainly is prolific at what he does. He's also very dedicated to making his art as perfect as possible, regardless of how bizarre it may appear. During the song "Todo los Dolores" he makes a mistake with the Spanish lyrics, but quickly recovers and shows that his work is very serious. Once he regains composure and begins his "1-2-3-4" intro, it's time for business again.

Banhart's lyrics are not only on par with what he has currently accomplished, but music schools around the world should study his guitar work on this folk-rock masterpiece. With the addition of the studio effects Devendra has been able to add different elements to his songs. Rejoicing in the Hands has a more current vibe than Oh Me Oh My and Black Babies, but the charm and unique qualities are still very much in tact. If anything, it has allowed his music to become more greatly appreciated by the casual listener. "Insect Eyes," which is also the best song of Banhart's catalog, has the addition of bass and "Autumn's Child" contains piano. Both of these instruments are exclusive to this album so far, but subtly add a substantial depth to the songs.

Besides being one of the most interesting artists to come out of the singer/songwriter genre in recent memory, Devendra Banhart is proving that the self-reliant style of the folk artist is something that is sadly being overlooked. If anyone can single-handedly bring this back to the forefront, it will be him. He's already every bit as important as Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Jackson C. Frank, or any of the other artists who have influenced his art. Only his music speaks more clearly to this generation.

The idea that he can transcend his influences makes Devendra Banhart well worth your time and attention. And if you've appreciated any of his work thus far, you'll be extremely happy with what Rejoicing in the Hands has to offer. Perhaps only time will tell, but it could very well turn out to be one of the great timeless folk albums. And anyone who can sit down in such a short period of time and write this many unique songs has to have something abnormally genius working inside.

5-0 out of 5 stars Completely Amazing
I've read reviews that say this music is music to put on in the background of a party. If that happened, I'd be the guy with his ear the speaker, breathing in Devendra's beautiful sound. He would be stunning even if he only sang. His voice operates on levels that seem above us humans. But his voice isn't the only great thing about Devendra. The guitar picking on this album is to be marvelled at. It ebbs and flows like it comes from another world. This album is simply amazing. And if you like this one, I thoroughly recommend his first CD. It doesn't have the dubbed-in extra instruments, but that just makes it better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good
If you found Oh Me, Oh My a bit out there/creepy/wierd you will probably find this album much more accessible. More melodic and easier to listen to. Excellent overall.

5-0 out of 5 stars "like an old folk song. that youve never ever heard.....
...still you know every word."
yeah this album is amazing. i loved the energy of the first album. but i kinda wrote banhart off as a lo-fi for lo-fi sake artist. and i was really suprised to hear such a clean recording. and the sound still has some major atmosphere. trust me. this guy is no fluke. his song writing is only getting better. and his lyrics are just insainly rad. he is a true artist. a creator. this album goes good with:
rain/ thunder/ lightning
old/ new friends
candle light
camping...desert or forest.
porch sitting
tree climbing
bare feet
dark alleys
broken glass
pointy teeth
cold skin
buy this album. listen to it. and be glad that there are still people coming out with such amazing creative energy. amazing indeed. ... Read more

163. Worlds Apart
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Asin: B00075TZYA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5875
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The lesson of this album--which is by no means unenjoyable in its use of loud-soft-loud dynamics and psychedelic guitar textures--is that the art-rock of the future is apparently not so different from the art-rock of the past. This band used to sounding an awful lot like late ‘80s Sonic Youth, and you can't blame them for wanting to try something new, but does it have to sound like a screamo take on the Moody Blues? It’s easy to imagine the members of this Austin-based act resplendent in ELP-style capes as they sing the bombastic, gospel choir-backed ditty "All White." Then again, the group samples "We Did It Again" by British prog pioneers the Soft Machine at the end of that particular song, as if to say that not only are those who don’t know the past doomed to repeat it, but those who do, as well. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Changed my mind...
If I may change my mind, I'd like to state that, this album is more of a 4-star-album than 3, actually closer to 5 - you will get more out of the album after each listen. If it is something this album does not contain - it's fillers. Every song is good, every song is better than the other it seems while you listen. The album, is, as I said before, not as good as Source tags and codes - but - TOD's originality stays with them (both musically and lyrically). A nice substitute to any other band of the great category of alternative rock - bands that just feel more and more "ordinary" (Feels like the music that ought to be called alternative gets more and more mainstream with each year). We need the originality - and TOD delivers exactly that (and they do it with a rough sound and amazing melodies). And for one thing... TOD beats the crap out of At the Drive in or any other band that they may be categorized with.

3-0 out of 5 stars frantic noise merchants...
There is a beauty in noise.A sonic resonance that can take a mush of guitars and send the listener spinning.Occasionally, and just occasionally, this album manages to do that but the band cannot sustain that level of engagement and ultimately you are left a little disappointed.

As a newcomer to AYWKUBYTOD, yet someone who had head snippets and snatches across the years, I was hoping for much more.For a second I thought I might be listening to something to rival the At The Drive In Album but sadly not.

Decent album, worth a few spins, but no classic.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as source tags
Not at all as good as the previous album, Source tags and codes - but still good.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best impulse buy ever.
My only experience with ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead prior to this is the faint memory of a commercial for one of their albums a few years ago that I don't recall exciting me very much.For reasons I'm not sure of, I decided to buy Worlds Apart on impulse.

The first thing you notice is the unique medieval tapestry-style cover art, but you quickly forget it as the music begins.The album starts with an epic musical overture which ends with a single female voice stating "And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead..." which announces the next track, "Will You Smile Again?", a near-two minute block of nothing but hard rocking guitars and banging drums followed by several minutes of a lone voice backed by a single drum beat.The song builds back into a wall of noise that ends just before the seven-minute mark, and it's possibly the best on the album.It's followed by the title song, which begins with some humor, expresses a vulgar, politically-charged message, and ends with a chorus of animals.

Two of the album's biggest motifs are that of an unorganized jangle of loud noise and a romantic renaissance theme expressed by the jacket art, animal sounds, and some beautiful violin and piano interludes.These two concepts mesh surprisingly well to create a cohesive sound that belongs solely to this band.

Other highlight songs include "Caterwaul", with nice vocals backed by an infectious melody; "Classic Arts Showcase", a noisy song with an incredible, epic bridge; and "The Best", a song that starts with a screeching guitar riff that turns into a lyrically driven song that seems to evoke Cursive, and ends with the haunting noise of a woman screaming and a distant reprise of the chorus from "Worlds Apart".

The album isn't perfect, none of the songs are bad, but at times the main melodies can seem a bit too repetitive.But if you're in the mood for a unique album that is both thoughtful and hard as hell, you should definitely check out ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead.

5-0 out of 5 stars gutwrenching, beautiful, introspective
So many musical elements are blended in this album, they've really stretched out and tried new things. Also, The sound bites are mixed in perfectly with the songs. Just when you think you know were a song is headed, it goes off in a creative direction. The first time I listened to the album I would have rated it a 3. After reading some of the lyrics and getting accustomed to the transitions I'm loving it. The second half is better than the first half IMO. The 'pink floydesque' background vocals sound so smooth and ethereal. This album is like one of those sour tarts in this candy store of ours...bites at you but you can't get enough. ... Read more

164. The Soft Bulletin
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Asin: B00000JC6C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1741
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 1999

The crazed genius of the Lips comes to full flower on the sonically massive and majestic The Soft Bulletin. Head Lip Wayne Coyne compounds the band's penchant for psychedelic freak-outs with a symphonic extravaganza. The result is nothing short of magnificent, not only the best rock album of the year, but among the best recordings of the decade. In 30 years, your grandkids are going to think you're pretty damned cool for having The Soft Bulletin in your collection. --Tod Nelson ... Read more

Reviews (316)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Dream Menu (within a bulletin)
Just like it's successor, the brilliantly titled "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots", "The Soft Bulletin" has a sound fans of The Flaming Lips will immediately enjoy, but one that is not so accessible with those not so familiar with the group. The Flaming Lips makes albums that reward the listener over time, because of complex, interesting lyrics, and layered, though not convoluted, symphonic soundscapes. What makes this album exceptional, and worth buying is simple really... quality. "The Soft Bulletin" song for song, is one of the most exceptionally crafted albums I've ever listened to.

I've only heard two Flaming Lips albums, this one, and "Yoshimi", and they both strike me like haunting dreams. If you've ever had one of those strange dreams, and woke up finding yourself wanting to go back there, then you know what I'm talking about. The group's song writing is among the most unique in music. Songs like "Race For the Prize" have a sweeping ambition to them, as they deal with the complexities of human longing, and potential. There is one quality that is prevalent throughout all of The Flaming Lips recent work....courage, and the words come straight out at you, as the warm dream tinted melodies surround them.

This is one album that I wont give an abridged song by song synopsis to, because it's one of those albums that functions better when listed to, and experienced in it's entirety. The Flaming Lips represents a very small minority of groups that have been making music ten years or more, they actually get better with time. I would recommend this album, and other albums by this group, to anyone looking to build an interesting, dynamic music collection. The cover alone is worth the consideration.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lovely Music, Shame About The Vocals
Progressive Rock, then. Huge orchestral sounds, experimental song structures, waves of emotion and long, drawn-out instrumental passages. The indie kids who spent so long laughing at this stuff have for some reason taken it over since the mid-90's, with every year yielding a *classic album* (see Radiohead, Spiritualized, Grandaddy, Mercury Rev...and of course The Flaming Lips).

"The Soft Bulletin" is pure Yes. People who say it sounds like nothing else ought to just bop on down to "The Yes Album", which contains similar vocal harmonies, adventurous use of piano, and an identical guitar style. But this is no bad thing AT ALL. On a musical level, "The Soft Bulletin" is faultless. It contains the most moving string arrangements, the most interesting chord changes, and the most adventurous everything-including-the-kitchen-sink production values I've heard in a long, long while.

My only problem (which is the same gripe I have with Mercury Rev a lot of the time) is the awful, lazy, weak, grating vocal lines. Take the song "Suddenly Everything Has Changed". Surely I can't be the only person frustrated by the complete disparity between voice and music? The instrumental sections are beautiful, heart-rending and nothing short of breathtaking. Then the singer's annoying Neil Young-isms tear through the beauty in the most infuriatingly fey, indie way...singing about vegetables from the grocery store, no less.

If you're into these sorts of vocals, "The Soft Bulletin" will change your life. If you have yet to be converted to the American-indie obsession with tuneless Neil Young impersonations, it won't. But I have given this album four stars for the music alone, which is absolutely legendary.

I really think it's a matter of taste. Personally, I think if these songs were played on acoustic guitar nobody would like them. And to rely on production just to make your songs good... I don't know, smacks a bit of dishonesty to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Flaming Lips Best.. well maybe...
The Flaming Lips have made an interesting career of changing it up on each album. If you listened to "Clouds Taste Metallic" (their album before this one) than listen to "Yoshimi" (their album after this one) you wouldn't know it was the same band. "The Soft Bulletin" isn't their most ambitious work (that would be Zaireeka) and it's not the most drastic change from their original works (that would be Yoshimi), but it was simply the next step that connects the growth of the band from "Clouds" to "Yoshimi."

So why is it their best? It's not the most ambitious, the most different, the most rocking or anything like that. Instead each track is a treasure in it's own way. The songs aren't very tied together but instead present a different sound with every new endeavor. From the happy go lucky love on "Buggin'" to the almost, dare I say, dance feel you get from the drums on "What is the Light." "Suddenly Everything Has Changed" presents a transformation of fast to slow over and over again. Even the two "remixes" present quite different sounds from the "unremixed" versions of the same songs. Rather than being "remixed" it seems to me the Lips just couldn't decide which version was better and decided to present them both. Each track is incredible in its own way. And while you could argue "Yoshimi" is a better album based on how the fact that each Lips album seems to be better than the next, "The Soft Bulletin" presents the Lips in a way that is familiar to all of their other works but still very different, and comes out, at least to me, as their best work to date.

2-0 out of 5 stars Wayne Coyne is Annoying...
or that's what one would gather from listening to this album. Really, Coyne can be a truly outstanding and remarkable frontman or he can be absolutely awful as shown in the Soft Bulletin. Now the Lips have some great works, such as Yoshimi and Transmissions From The Satellite Heart but this isn't one of them. All of the indie kids seem to love this album though, but from what I gather they just jumped on the Flaming Lips bandwagon a little too late and ended up loving the next album they made which happened to be this. Coyne essentially tears away all of the grinding, loud guitars from the earlier albums and all that is left is adult alternative, contemporary music that people in their fifties will love, merely for the fact that the music sounds pleasant enough. Coyne's never really had all that great of a voice to begin with but he's at his worst here. He's damn near unbearable in A Spoonful Weigh's A Ton. The whole album just sounds hollow, and the production values aren't anything to revel at, which is remarkable considering the Lips were aiming for a bombastic sound. There is some good stuff on here though including Buggin', Suddenly Everything Has Changed, and The Spiderbite Song. I'm really quite frustrated from the acclaim that this album gets when in reality their earlier albums are much more worty of it...

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of the 90s
The Soft Bulletin is certainly one of the Flaming Lips best works. The soundscape on this album is incredibly vibrant, and detailed. It's clear that they know their way around a recording studio, but they never force recording tricks. They show a lot of restraint, every orchestra swell, or drum flourish flows and feels like it should be there.
Conceptually the album is tight. They take on some real issues here. Stuff that anyone can relate to, the songs are about human nature, death, love, and eternal struggle. The album kicks off with "Race for the Prize", an upbeat number about two scientists making the ultimate sacrifice to come up with The Cure. It's slightly silly, and playful on the surface, but its ultimately about 2 guys willing to die to save some lives. There's many songs that dwell on this subject. The second song "A Spoonful Weighs a Ton" alternates between an extremely sweet orchestra section, and a deep funky bass section. "The Gash"(my personal favorite) is a real freak out, with incredibly layered vocals of all different pitches singing again about the eternal struggle that scientists have, and how you have to march on no matter what, all over an offbeat piano riff, with an orchestra and electronic whirring. This song represents the band the best, it is silly and incredibly eccentric but still charming and meaningful.
Other songs go into more about mortality such as "Suddenly Everything has Changed" about how during everyday events your mind drifts to morbid thoughts or on "Waitin' for a Superman" where singer and chief songwriter Wayne Coyne deals with the burden of his father's death.
People complaining that this album means nothing and its about drummers who lost their arms, superman, headwounds, mosquito bites quite frankly missed the point. The songwriting here is meaningful, and poignant. Every song has a deeper meaning, but not so deep that you can't find it.
The Soft Bulletin is a great album that delivers on all levels. People looking for sheer joyful noise will find it, people looking for something with deep lyrics will find it, people looking distinct, catchy and great melodies will find them on every song. The album stands as a great pop album, and an extremely deep, artistic thinkpiece. It is definitely one of the best albums of the 90s and one of my favorites of all time. I think anyone that gives it a little time will find that every song is a gem. The Soft Bulletin is top-notch ... Read more

165. ( )
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our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00006LLNU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2452
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Are Iceland’s Sigur Rós the saviors of 21st-century rock or true heirs to the silk-robed-and-platform-booted, pompous progressive rock of the '70s? On their third album (first for a major label), they are a little bit of both. The group continues to mix the most interesting aspects of U2 (the anthem), Low (the maximalist slow-mo thing), Radiohead (the utter lack of irony in the quest to make meaningful art for stadium crowds), and My Bloody Valentine (guitar as texture), while not sounding like anyone else on this planet. The average song length on the eight untitled tracks is eight minutes, with cascades of moaning, bowed guitars colliding with low-end keyboards while the lovely, alien-registered vocals of singer Jónsi float on top. Dynamics are employed spectacularly, but half of the album is spooky soundtrack music that never really goes anywhere. However, the actual songs on Two Sausages Kissing (or whatever you want to call it)--the third, sixth, eighth, and especially fourth tracks--are mind-blowers, spectacularly worth the price of admission. If they just stopped trying to reinvent the wheel all the time, Sigur Rós could really be a band for the ages. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (262)

5-0 out of 5 stars a uniquely distinct experience of a record
It's not exactly an easy task to describe Icelandic band Sigur Ros' latest record. For one, it doesn't have a title, other than "( )." "( )" also has no linear notes whatsoever, giving us no song names, or any references to the musicians, engineers and psychiatrists who appear on it. What's more, the lyrics, which are written half in English and half in Icelandic, are sung mostly in an echo-drenched falsetto that makes Jeremy Enigk sound like Paul McCartney.

Then again, no one ever understood Michael Stipe or Kurt Cobain. And the Beatles did the same sort of disappearing act on the White Album. And while we're at it, Bjork's from Iceland as well. And every review of this band ever written will mention that.

What's left is an odd and uniquely distinct experience of a record. Imagine the condensed images of a Stanley Kubrick film put to music that's mostly whispered and played at half-speed. Picture My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth daydreaming away on thousands of crates of cough syrup.

Pianos give way to walls of guitars, strings, and drums that occasionally lift the pulse above a trickle. Occasionally. But Sigur Ros don't work in speed or pop hooks. They work in pure aural texture. They move sideways, and they swell, not into catchy choruses, but into orchestral static and ghostly buzzing. This isn't a record for fans of mainstream pop music. In fact, it may not be a record for listening to at all, but rather it's something to play during science fiction movie credits, or in the background of an opium den.

Oddly enough, this isn't exactly a bad thing. Sigur Ros may just be the first band in a long time to sound so different, so confounding, and so beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sigur Ros...A Gift From God
I remember about 2 months ago when I typed in "Sigur Ros" in a search engine and downloaded the song called, "Untitled 4." I was literaly blown away. This album changed my life. I just sat in my room and listened to it at least 6 times in a row as I lied in my bed and cried my eyes out. The hauntingly, gorgeous music just rips through your emotional barrier, making you vunerable for change and reflection, such as a small child. You can be free again. Just don't be afraid to take an emotional voyage.

I am still in a state of shock from hearing this album. For god's sake, just support the greatest musicians alive and buy this album. If you like Radiohead, Godspeed You! Black Emporer, Bjork, or Pink Floyd, this progressive style of beautiful music will just fill you with the most tranquil feeling of sensational, perpetual bliss, just every single note tearing through your heart as you remember all the sad things that have happened to you throughout your entire life. How could something so beautiful be so sad? That is mystery of the band itself: Sigur Ros. What every these musical prodigies are making next, it is going to change my life. I just know it.

5-0 out of 5 stars ( )
please stop reading the reviews and buy this album. words cannot do it justice--as the members of sigur rós recognized also. you need to hear this work of art for yourself. every single track on this album is just everything more than astonishing. i love every single track. i love the keyboards in track one. i love the singing in track two. jonsi your voice is fn breathtaking. i love the keyboards and melodies in track three. i love track four, hands down. i love the eerieness of track five, oh man i love how he sings. i love the ending of track six. beauty. track seven is just...just close your eyes and listen. you will know. and track eight. what to say about track eight? track eight is fn awesome. all of these tracks are amazing. i am not singling any of them out for a standout or any of them for a track of lesser beauty. amazing album. honestly. get this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Walking in a Winter Wonderland
This album reminds me of walking in the blistering cold in the snow. This Icelandic band creates soundscapes that are cold and sterile, yet can bring a tear to your eye. The guitarist likes to use a bow, creating long notes in these slow ballads. Most songs start off soft and slowly build to a huge crescendo. the first 4 tracks are more focused and accessible, the last four are noisier, and rely less on normal melodies. The vocals are in hoplandic i.e. gibberish, but really it is the singer trying to use his voice as any other instrument. Just the sound and inflection are what are important. I think this is the band's best album to date, but all 3 are fantastic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable
This album is simply amazing. Powerful and overwhelming. A fantastic trip. ... Read more

166. Any Time Now
list price: $19.98
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Asin: B000066ALY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1512
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (68)

4-0 out of 5 stars W.O.W.
It was just another boring day in music class. We had to bring in a song that we enjoyed and play it on the CD player. I was asleep for half the class when the teacher woke me up. Class was already half over. It was time for the next song. The kid brought an O.A.R. CD in. He gave a little shpeel for a minute then put the CD in and dialed in "That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker." After the little intro riff played, I knew this band would soon be my favorite. To describe this in a couple of words, I would describe it like this "O.A.R. is its own genre. Think Bob Marley meets Dave Matthews." I highly reccomend this album to any teenager or college student, because I think that that is OAR's target audience. Oh and by the way, I heard they play a ... good concert.


5-0 out of 5 stars One Of The Greatest...
...Of A Revolution is one of the most underrated bands out there. Their music is original with twists that makes any fan of a good rock band happy.

This is O.A.R.'s live cd. They are one of the greatest live bands i've ever heard. i've been to many concerts in the past couple years but nothing can even come close to compare what O.A.R. can produce.

The tracks on this 2-disk set really show how creative O.A.R. is with their great arrangement of words in their lyrics. Some of the great songs are "That was a crazy game of poker" and "hey girl".

This is a must have for any fan of dave matthews, matchbox twenty, five for fighting, hootie and the blowfish, howie day, damien rice, guster....

Dont forget to pick up their other cds includeing, "in between now and then", "the wanderer", "risen", "souls aflame".

1-0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly one of the worst bands ever
I am nauseated by all the five star reviews I have seen people giving this CD. It plays all the time on the jukebox where I work and every time I hear it I pull the plug and reset it. This is some of the most annoying "music" that I have ever heard in my life. The singer repeats the same lines over and over at some points while the guitarist seems to be doing his own thing (and it sucks). Jam bands like phish and these slobs are musical refuse. This is music that you listen to when you want to get pissed off at something. I cannot stress how much this CD blows. If you own suck.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay, It's Not THAT Great!
I honestly didn't think this album was that good. I'm usually a tough critic when starting with a new band, but I just didn't really like this album. Not much more I can say. I bought "In Between Then and Now," and THAT is a great CD. Stick with that one, especially if you're new to this band.

5-0 out of 5 stars instant fan maker
I bought this for my first OAR cd two weeks ago and I am a fan already. I have listened to it constantly and anywhere I am. I love City on Down, Hey Girl, About an Hour Ago, etc....Just a great album. ... Read more

167. Lonesome Crowded West
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Asin: B000003L26
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1026
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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The opening track, "Teeth Like God's Shoeshine," explodes out of your speakers with sharp, see-sawing guitars and shouted vocals, an irresistible melange of angular rhythms and mighty, powerful dynamics. The rest of the songs are similarly pulled along by some unseen force, driven by an energy found in classic post-punk bands like Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 or Drunken Boat. Some reviewers have referenced the Pixies, and while that's not off the mark, this is more like the Pixies undergoing dental work--without anesthesia.--Lorry Fleming ... Read more

Reviews (97)

5-0 out of 5 stars My First Experience with Modest Mouse
I was flipping through my brother's CDs one night, and noticed this CD lying among the rest. Not really wanting to check it out at the time, I made a note to check them out later.

So finally, after a month or two completly dry of new music, I finally went out and got this CD.

Whoa, was I amazed.

Modest Mouse, has an interesing sound, the album started off with the jarring loud sounds of Teeth Like God's Shoeshine, and then moves into the softer, Heart Cooks Brain. By the end, I felt as though this album went through so many different genre's it was amazing.

Issac Brock's voice, which was jarring at first, has quickly become one of my favourite parts of Modest Mouse. His voice is definately an aqquired taste though.

Musically, Modest Mouse tend to be "punk rock" ish (And I've heard many comparisons made between them and The Pixies, but I've never heard anything by the Pixies) but they occasionally dip into a country western sound (Jesus Christ Was An Only Child) or a softer, sound (Heart Cooks Brain)

Definately a good place to start listening to Modest Mouse.

5-0 out of 5 stars very good, not the greatest of the 90s, however modest mouse to the pixies. okay... isaac brook and black francis both have unique scream-y voices, both bands play distorted fractured yet catchy songs. but modest mouse's ideas on songforms and willingness to experiment is a big difference (don't take this as a bad thing for the pixies). most pixies songs were short compact and fit within conventential songform. not so with modest mouse, their songs are long epic strangely assembled with threading guitars working their way through. also, when have the pixies ever experimented as wildly with genre as modest mouse? they put in some surf rock on their later albums. they never used a turntable, or played with country, much less on the same album. now that THAT'S out of our way... i can discuss the merits of the album it's self. this album is best loud (well okay most albums are but this one benefits especially), a perfect soundtrack for teenage bedroom flailing. it's super long and full of energy the entire duration which makes listening to it straight through exhausting in the best possible sense. for whatever reason i rarely listen that hard to the lyrics in rock, so i can't comment especially on their merit but there's nothing embarrassingly bad in them that jumps out, and whatever isaac is singing about you can tell: HE MEANS IT, MAN! the chord progressions are throughly in the late '90s indie totally non-blues post-sonic youth polvo, built to spill style. i'm not a real big music theory head so i might be wrong, but the chords don't sound like any blues or metal or punk clichéd progressions. my favorite song: cowboy dan (but this might only be because i can play most of it on guitar). yeah i actually get a certain bored middle american parking lots and strip mall suburban depressing feeling from this cd which is good for me cos i can totally relate to that [bad] vibe living in a soulless place like that myself. end of ramble here.

4-0 out of 5 stars Crisco Disco
It is a rare thing, indeed that a band issues a debut that not only defies convention, but also defines a sound; Lonesome Crowded West, by Modest Mouse, at the very least, does this. Reference points and comparisons are meaningless here. The spiraling and inharmonious guitar ricocheting off melodious base lines and thundering drums are kept afloat by Brock's impaired vocals. Love this record, or hate it, but where can one find a turntable, acoustic guitar, violin solos, and Jesus all in one song. Brock's lyrics cover the spectrum, life, religion, cowboys and, in their own way, offer meaning to what has none. In these existential tirades are also great stories, interesting characters, and non-existent dance moves. Don't be fooled by double-talk or jaded old rock critics; this album is one for the ages. Keep it in your car for a week on repeat- soak it in, then see if you haven't suffered a shift in the way you hear an album. This record will change your mind about what could, should, and ought to be done with the tried and true guitar, base, and drum trio. The West, though now it may be crowded was once a great frontier. With Lonesome Crowded West, Modest Mouse have opened a new one.

5-0 out of 5 stars An arrogant mouse baring it's teeth...
After being introduced to MM through "The Moon and Antarctica", I bought this release and was confused. Gone was the mellow mood and beautiful, smooth-sounding backwards guitars prevalant on most of "Moon...". In their place was screaming about cowboys vowing to kill God and some minor-chord indie dance called the Cockroach.

After the longest period of getting into an album I've ever had to deal with, I can say that this is MM's best release. It is their most focused, with all tracks focusing on single goals or points of view, without the jump-around eclecticsm of their later releases (i.e. "Good News..." and how it jumps from emo-rock to Tom Waits). Although it's harder to get into, this album is definitely worth it.

As the review says, there is a very "white-trash" feel to this album. But not celebrating being ignorant, like Kid Rock does. It's more like having to cope with being poor (just see the absolutely jaw-dropping track "Trailer Trash"). Seeing as how Modest Mouse honed their skills playing in a makeshift practice space BUILT by Brock next to his mother's trailer, they have credibility in living a hard life.

I'll outline some of the standouts:

See the first track, "Teeth Like God's Shoeshine". Long (it's past 6 minutes) and angry. Isaac Brock's incredibly moving screams and shouts (criticized by many of the newer Modest Mouse fans) permeate this song as he sings, "Said hell ya! The money's spent - went to the country line and paid the rent said 'Uh-oh'!" After a momentary silence, the guitars burst back in with jagged rage as Isaac screams, "Well, do you need a lot of what you've got to survive?"

The next track, "Heart Cooks Brain" is the best downbeat indie-rock song with DJ scratching I've ever heard. Some of the coolest and most bizarre metaphors in music.

"Lounge (Closing Time)" shows off Modest Mouse's ability to play in bizarre time signatures and starts to show their ability to write jump-around emo. "I've got a girlfriend out in th ecity, I know I like her I think she is pretty!" Isaac chants with a hillbilly drawl over 7/8 time.

"Jesus Christ was an Only Child" is funky country that features Tyler Riley, one of the most prominent MM side musicians.

"Doin' the Cockroach" is just cool. Listen to it. Damn.

"Cowboy Dan"...uh...let me just quote the lyrics:
"Cowboy Dan's a major play in ther Cowboy Scene. He goes to the reservation, drinks and gets mean. Goes to the desert fires his riffle in the sky and yells, 'God if I have to die, you will have to die!'"

The rest is more of the same brilliance. If you are open-minded and looking for something indepedent-sounding, while needing a fix for loud guitars and a dose of Americana, buy this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow.
Isaac Brock is a pure genius. On this album, there is a wide variety of music. From the 10 minute-long "Truckers Atlas" to "Cowboy Dan" to the fiddle in "Jesus Christ Was An Only Child". I must say, I cannot be more impressed by this album than I already am. It is one of the few CD's that I can listen to all the way through and not get tired of it. The guitars are fantastic on all the songs, and the lyrics are incredible. If you've never heard of Modest Mouse, then I suggest that you give this CD a try and get into some great indie-rock music. ... Read more

168. Uh Huh Her
list price: $13.98
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Asin: B000255LAC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1260
Average Customer Review: 3.82 out of 5 stars
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How can someone so unpredictable behave so predictably? Every time PJ Harvey releases something sophisticated and clean like 2000's Mercury Music Prize tipped Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, it just about guarantees a contradictory follow-up album is around the bend. Her ambitious 1992 debut, Dry, inspired the bitter death rattle of Rid of Me. Her third offering, 1995's elegant To Bring You My Love, gave way to the stormy Is This Desire?. Harvey's sixth solo album, Uh Huh Her, doesn't disappoint. It's a nasty riposte to the success of its predecessor, built on grubby blues-punk riffs and the brooding, primal howl that Harvey uses when she wants to impersonate a she-wolf. Some of it seems disappointingly remedial ("The Letter," "Cat on the Wall"), but the best material ("The Desperate Kingdom of Love," "Who the Fuck?") just reconfirms that no matter how raw the British songwriter serves it up, the beauty of her work is undeniable. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars ..."Look what you're doing to me..."
I am constantly, constantly amazed by this woman. I can't put my finger on just one thing about her that makes her music so brilliant and captivating, its a swarm of things. This album is so beautiful. Its a total oppositve of her last labum, yet its just as compelling and seems even more personal. I think she's pouring herself out completely in these songs. On top of that, her voice is possibly the best its ever been- and that's just hard to grasp, considering she has one of the most powerful voice I have ever heard.

"The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth" kicks it all up with a fantastic guitar riff and her raw, in-your-face words, and that amazing voice. I can't get this song out of my head. "Shame" is really beautiful, and her voice sounds almost child-like on a few of the tracks, like "The Pocket Knife" which is a song about someone lamenting the woes of getting married. Could be her, but who really knows...

I'd say my personal favorite tracks are "Its You", "The Desperate Kingdom of Love" and "the Darker Days of Me and Him" FOR NOW, but I just started listening more to the "Slow Drug" and I can't believe how amazing it is. PJ totally, completely delivered folks. Ignore all the bad reviews. This album is brilliant. Its a winner all the way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Uh Huh Her ¿ The Unhappy Medium

"Uh Huh Her" PJ Harvey's follow up to the ultra-polished, almost glam "Stories From the City..." follows the loud/soft, lo-fi style, guitar-riffs-ripping-out-heart-strings of her earlier recordings to a certain extent. The first thing noticeably different about this record before even popping it into my CD player is that instead of photography by Maria Mochnacz the cover art and insert graces candid self-photographs by Polly herself. (Maria and Rob Ellis do the artwork) The main sound of the album is mainly a fusion of quasi-bluesy punk rock with a little sprinkling of folk and a smattering of ambiance for lack of better words. It sounds like it was made in a garage, it is raw, it is rough and it is essentially PJ Harvey updated for 2004. It may lack the smoothness and polish of her last album that won critical accolades, but there is something primal, precious and direct about it.

It has been my pleasure to listen to the musical evolution of PJ Harvey. Her lyrics are still minimal to a point, but much more coherent and lucid than they ever were before. Her voice is more trained, but still has the ability to be unhinged at the drop of a hat. She has the incredible gift of expressing and weaving any given emotion into her music to the point that the song is a core of something far more powerful and that few artists ever have that talent. It's obvious that she has lost her rose coloured glasses of unbridled optimism but she can no longer back track to the days of screaming at someone to measure her... Uh Huh Her is in the space between the two extremes.

Uh Huh Her is a transitional album. There is anger but twinged with more regret than absolute bitterness. It is a very introspective album and more about understanding and reclaiming herself than exorcising any blue-eyed demons.

I was very surprised to see all the negative reviews of this vibrant, painful, and darker album. It is very solid, not at all boring, and just another step in her evolution as musician. I for one know that this album will be in steady rotation in my CD player for quite some time.

The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth - A great choice for the opening track. A rumble almost gleefully angry track.
Shame - Very hypnotic and darkly beautiful guitar ballad. A song I can listen to on repeat.
Who the F***? - Probably the best song on the album. Why? It just rocks.
Pocket Knife - Plaintive song about marriage and how fast time passes.
The Letter - Slightly ominous and appropriately luddite - full of caveman moans and vintage echo effects and heavy guitar.
The Slow Drug - Sparce lo-fi downtempo. Wistful.
No Child of Mine - Short and rough ballad.
Cat on the Wall - Reminds me of Sonic Youth for some reason! More experimental and flanged out. Layers of sound.
You Come Through - Chunky, melodic and hopeful.
It's You - Kind of punk karaoke sounding, it's a hang-over of a song, timid in parts and dull-edged licks.
The End - Simple instrumental that sounds like it should be in an indie soundtrack.
The Desperate Kingdom of Love - Somehow it sounds catharic for her, like a soothing balm. It reminds me of an understated hymn.
The Darker Days of Me & Him - Asian-inspired, ethereal voice, and regretful. Sort of a sonic ace bandage.

2-0 out of 5 stars A very disappointing effort.
This is my 6th PJ Harvey cd. And it's probably my least favorite. I waited awhile before I wrote this review. I wanted to have a chance to listen to this cd many times and absorb it. I'd read many other reviews here that said the cd would grow on you after awhile, so I wanted to be fair before I wrote my opinion. I've probably heard it about 10-15 times now. And I think no more favorably of it now than I did when I first gave it a listen.
Let me start off by saying that if I were judging this cd on it's own merit, I would probably give it 3 stars. The first 5 songs here are nice (not great or that memorable though). The rest of the cd is just really a watered-down version of what this genious is capable of. BUT, I'm judging this cd in comparison with the rest of PJ Harvey's catalog, and it just doesn't stand up.
I know there are a lot of people out there who really like this cd, so maybe I'm missing something...but my honest opinion is that this is the weakest of her albums. I love PJ Harvey. I think To Bring You My Love is the best cd of the 90's--hands down. But Uh Huh Her doesn't even make a blip on my radar. It's forgettable and expendable. Too much filler and not enough substance.

3-0 out of 5 stars Uh huh... huh?
One of the biggest problems with a brilliant early career is that everything after it gets compared unfavorably. So it is with "Uh Huh Her," the latest by now-legendary PJ Harvey. It's too light and soft in places, but midway through Harvey's deliciously abrasive rockers burst on through.

It starts off with "The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth," an awkwardly ominous song followed by the poppier "Shame" and "Pocket Knife." But Harvey hits her stride with the hilarious, snarly "Who the F*ck?", the dirgelike "Letter," and the dizzy, staticky "Cat on the Wall." After a forgettable pair of ballads and befuddling track of seagull noises, Harvey closes the album on the steady "Darker Days of Me & Him."

Harvey is something of a rock legend now, with her rough wailing vocals and bluesy-punky-rocky riffs. In "Uh Huh Her," Harvey seems to be taking a different road -- her songs are somewhat poppier and less raw at times, but she proves she can still blow us away with her unpolished gems.

Harvey's voice changes from a rough howl, to a murmur in "Pocket Knife." She's pretty solid in either, but she sounds uneasy in the softer songs, like she isn't sure whether it's working or not. But she sticks close to the angst, anger, and the darker ponderings that she does well. And her solid riffs are just as versatile, ranging from mournful to vaguely folky.

When Harvey's writing is good, it's very very good. And when it's bad... well, it's mediocre. She manages a subtle, erotic longing in "Letter," where she sings, "Can't you see/In my handwriting/The curve Of my g?/The longing... Wet the envelope/Lick and lick it." On the other hand, there is the flaccid "Dancing in circles on the kitchen floor/I'll play this song 'til I can't take anymore." Okay, whatever.

PJ Harvey isn't in her best form in "Uh Huh Her," but she does produce some solid, memorable songs that earn the "repeat button." Spotty but worth checking out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth The Wait
If I had to summarize this album in one word, that word would be "witty." If given a few extra words to throw around, I'd go so far as to describe this album as raw and defiant, yet tender in a don't-mess-around kinda way. That's the PJ whose return I've been awaiting. She took the best parts of Stories From The City, and brought it back to her Rid Of Me & To Bring You roots. She sings of lips tasting of poison and washing mouths out with soap and it hits me right in that part of me that loves all the things I know can destroy me. PJ Harvey is every girl. She's dirty, she's pure. She's tender, she's badass.
She taunts: "Wash it out, wash it out, wash it out"
She screeches: "I'm not like other girls; you can't straighten my curls"
In a brilliant letterwriting metaphor, she moans: "Wet the envelope, lick and lick it, Ohhhhhhhhhhh"

People have speculated that this is her breakup album to Vincent Gallo, but I don't know that for sure, and it really doesn't matter. Because in the end, anyone who's ever had to give up something meaningful can relate to the vulnerability and raw emotion displayed throughout this album. Only thing missing is a cameo by Thom Yorke :-) ... Read more

169. Eveningland
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B0002W4T6M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 563
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Album Description

As the eight-piece Brooklyn collective Hem releases their second full-length album, Eveningland, their reputation precedes them as one of the most distinctive and emotionally rewarding bands in American music. Hem’s homespun blend of vintage Americana, country/folk and chamber music made its 2002 independently released debut Rabbit Songs a critical success, inviting musical and lyrical comparisons to everyone from Dusty Springfield to Randy Newman to Aaron Copland. On Eveningland, recorded during their brief tenure with the ill-fated Dreamworks label, the band shows how deeply they’ve matured as musicians and songwriters.Eveningland, produced by Messé and guitarist Gary Maurer, updates the rustic charm of Rabbit Songs as references to bygone folk tunes give way to sonic touchstones from another classic era."These songs have more of a relationship to the ‘60s and early ‘70s. We’re all in love with that Countrypolitan sound," Messé says reverently referring to!classics like Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, and albums by Glen Campbell and even the Carpenters. Produced by Gary Maurer and Dan Messe. ... Read more

170. Exile in Guyville
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B000040JF0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3938
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (77)

4-0 out of 5 stars I can feel it in my bones...
his album is a hit-or-miss case. I have friends who can't stand it, and I have friends who love it and claim it in their Top 10 of all time. It's worth listening to just to see where you stand. There isn't much debate about whether or not Liz can sing...she can't. She had to take singing lessons for her latest album. So ignore her voice...its whining, its monotone, it cracks, and it sounds like she was singing in her garage. That's also one of the strong points to those people who loved this album so much. When Liz's voice cracks, its usually because of the emotion in it. That's generous, given she doesn't really show much emotion...but she does deliver angst, longing, despair, guilt, and a little raw hatred. Her lyrics are witty, yet sometimes simple, but what her voice fails to deilver, her words do. Take the warnings of parental advisory seriously...she doesn't edit her feelings at all. It took me a long time to love this album. The songs don't work the first, oh, let's say 10 or so times you hear them. But if you think you hear something in her style, then listen some more. Memorize the songs...because they will grow on you, and infect you, and take you over. This is an ideal album for someone who just got out of a relationship. It runs the full range of emotions about breaking up...longing, hope, anger, guilt, despair, anguish. But ultimately the real charm of this album lies in its simplicity...most of the songs feature Liz as the sole musician. The songs seem as if they were recorded by Liz, her guitar, and a tape recorder (and actually, most of the songs came right from the demo tape that got this album recorded). The production quality may disapoint those looking for a studio-hyped album with richly woven melodies. I personally thought that the power and the charm of the album came from the fact that it was nothing more than Liz, stripped down to nothing but herself and her guitar. You'll either love it or hate it. But those who love it never take it out of their CD players.

5-0 out of 5 stars This CD changed my life.
I first saw Liz Phair perform in 1993 at Treno's in Urbana, Illinois. She was an opening act (along with the Coctails) for the now-defunct Urbana-based band Corndolly. At that time, Liz was singing and playing guitar in the middle of a room full of people; I couldn't hear her at all. Therefore, when I saw "Exile in Guyville" on the shelf at the record store, I figured I'd buy it just to see what I'd missed. From the first listen, I was hooked. It rarely left my CD player, and the tape I made for my car nearly wore out. That next academic year, I was working on my master's thesis. I was three months late submitting it for approval, and I blame the delay entirely on this album. Late at night, when I should have been working, I would play "Exile in Guyville" and absolutely disappear into the lyrics. Each of the songs stands well on its own, but together, they make up an album worth more than the sum of its parts. This CD truly is a work of genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Truly "Mesmerizing" Album
What an absolutely wonderful album! I was afraid that I wouldn't like it at first, but from the opening notes of 6'1", I was hooked! Every song on here is a gem and hooks you, especially the opener, "Soap Star Joe," "Never Said," and "Stratford-on-Guy." MUCH better than her latest and completely the opposite of it. Word of warning: If you don't enjoy indie-type music, minimalist arrangements, garage-type production, or lyrics that actually make sense beyond the usual Britney Spears type stuff, then this one isn't for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars All They Say It Is
What is wrong with America? Besides Bush and taxes, it's our country's taste in music. In 1993, an amazing album came out. It was Exile In Guyville. Despite the press and MTV both intervening to help this album, it only sold 296,000 copies. However, that's an amazing figure for an indie release. I think it should have sold 20 times as much. Liz Phair is the reason for Alanis (whom I LOVE) Jewel, and most recently, Avril Lavigne. My favorites are: 6'1, Dance Of The Seven Veils, Never Said, Flower, Gunshy and Stratford-On-Guy. I plan to buy Whip Smart in the next few days, but Exile In Guyville is amazing no matter what. No wonder it's considered one of the best albums ever made. I love her new songs, but I also love the folksy stuff that marks this album. Can't we love both? I think so. Critical acceptance is important, but Liz Phair has given me and a lot of other people reason to believe that she deserves more commercially. The amazing quality of this album says that. I think that had it been released in 1996 or 1997 at the height of the girl-in-rock movement, it would have sold more copies. But then she would have been accused of riding the wave. I prefer her as the brave fearless leader that started it all and got no credit, because it makes this album more special than it already is.

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost a five...
I first gained interest in Liz after hearing the catchy(but overplayed)"Why Can't I?" on the radio. Then, I heard she used to be an indie rock queen, and after reading all of the five-star reviews on here, I decided to buy it. My first reaction was: What a monotone voice! I'm so dissapointed! But I started listening to the lyrics closer. I decided my money hadn't been wasted after all. The best songs are: Help Me Mary, Glory, Canary, Mesmerizing, #### and Run, Girls Girls Girls, Divorce Song, Flower, Johnny Sunshine, and Stratford-on Guy. "Never Said" seems to be a favorite of many people, but I find it mediocre. Take the Parental Advisory warning seriously, because she never edits her feelings. Sample Lyric: Every Time I See Your Face, I Get All Wet Between My Legs. But that can't mask the album's greatness. Buy It! ... Read more

171. Straylight Run
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Asin: B0002VYQCU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1534
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172. Midnite Vultures
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Asin: B000030009
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5115
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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When Beck mangles folk, hip-hop, country, blues, and lo-fi rock into a unique sonic species, he pays homage to his influences in a way that is utterly entertaining. Indeed, the alt-rock vagabond is responsible for some of the 1990s' most indispensable music. In his lesser moments, however, Beck's attempts at emulating his preceptors fall flat, creating only B-grade versions of the genuine articles. Midnite Vultures splits down the middle between the great Beck and the not-so-great Beck. About half the album gorges on retro pulp fiction, a"Becksploitation," if you will, where his relatively straightforwardimpersonations shortchange his influences. On the slow-burn soul tracks "Peaches and Cream" and "Debra" or the 808-driven tributary "Hlwd. Freaks," he lacks the pipes, heart, and history to pass as a legitimate double-breasted soul man or old-school rapper. The other half, finding Beck in his element, is exhilarating. His unfalteringstudio mastery is especially evident on standouts such as the horn-punched "Sexx Laws," the steamy, slap-bass-blasted "Nicotine and Gravy," and the wah-wah bombast of "Mixed Bizness." The album proves that Beck playing the straight-up funkateer will never match ranks with the raw talents of Marvin Gaye, George Clinton, or Prince, but as long as he adheres to more inventive genre splicing, he remains compelling in his own right. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (325)

4-0 out of 5 stars Beck Gets Down
Beck is one of the few artists in music today where it is very difficult to put a label on. He combines rock, hip-hop, folk, soul, dance, alterna-rock, you name it, he's incorporated it into his sound. While this eclectic style has served him well on many songs, he has also struck out in some cases. Midnite Vultures is another example of his hit and miss style. When he hits, he hits hard, when he misses, he strikes out. On his last release, Mutations, he dived into folk and country stylings, on this one he has created a party album that incorporates 70's funk & soul with 80's dance music. Notable hits include the funky "Sexx Laws", "Mixed Bizzness" and "Peaches & Cream". He strikes out on "Hlwd. Freaks", "Broken Train" and "Nicotine & Gravy". On this album he was obviously influenced by Prince and the standout track on the album is its closer, "Debra", which sounds like it could've been on an early Prince album. It is a 12-minute slow jam, in which Beck hits some extremely high notes. It is a classic and it is worth buying the cd for it alone

4-0 out of 5 stars Robo-Dance Innovator
The multi-talented Beck Hansen has an uncanny ability to squirm out of any artistic pigeonhole in which he finds himself. Anyone who sees him primarily as the Gen-X poster boy of "Loser," or even the cut-and-paste artist of Odelay, is behind the times. Those impressions, after all, can be attributed more to the media than Beck himself, who remains elusive and consistent at the center of it all. That's at least partly the result of Beck's ability to funnel just about any style of music into his own creations, as last year's rich, organic Mutations proved. If that record was largely about finding subtlety and delicacy in Beck's trademark pastiche style, the new Midnite Vultures takes the opposite approach.

An entertainingly excessive album, its libidinous funk mosaic finds Beck coming on like a master of ceremonies overseeing a sci-fi orgy. On "Nicotine & Gravy," Beck promises, "I'll feed you fruit that don't exist / I'll leave graffiti where you've never been kissed," inventing seductive invitations that never occurred to Barry White. A sex album meant to affect senses above the neck as much as below the waist, Midnite Vultures pairs Beck's R&B love-man shtick (so over-the-top as to be almost cerebral) with a full-band sound, layering its beats with everything from pounding bass to new-wave keyboards to Johnny Marr's guitar to, on more than one occasion, a banjo. It's simultaneously funny and funky, at once musically engaging and a continuation of Beck's mind-twisting campaign of musical appropriation. What exactly does it mean when a scrawny white guy promises to "make all the lesbians scream" on an album that borrows heavily from three decades of black music? There's no easy way to answer to that question, or to describe this relentlessly entertaining record. It might be better just to enjoy it for what it is and rest assured that the next one will sound nothing like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars come dance with me
This is one of the most enticing albums that have ever graced my ears. All tracks on the album are standouts, all could be singles. Of course, favorites cannot be avoided, but even these seem to swim in the great bombastic dance album that is "Midnight Vultures". Songs like "Mixed Bizness", "Sexx Laws", and "Debrah" simply outdo themselves. This album takes me to a place and time where contemporaries would include Dianna Ross, James Brown, and Run DMC. I'm shoved about by this music willingly, from one era to the next. I never lose my energy, and neither does Beck.

5-0 out of 5 stars nice
I can understand why people get scared off, they're trying to take this album too seriously. It's not about beautiful music and deep lyrics. It's about funky bass, horn - everything - lines, sex, and anything that rhymes. Listen to Hollywood Freaks and you'll understand: Hot milk/Mmmm...tweak my nipple/Champagne and ripple/Shamans go cripple - why would you even try to take this seriously? Just sit back and enjoy.

2-0 out of 5 stars an entire album of "Where it's At"
Ok. "Where it's at" was a good tune. But an entire album in the same style? That is basically what this is. Does it work? Not really. This record is average at best compared to Mellow Gold or Odelay.

Die-hard Beck fans only need apply. I am a Beck fan, and I don't really like this. I highly suggest listening to this before you buy it. If you are expecting anything like Mellow Gold or Odelay, you will be dissapointed. ... Read more

173. If You're Feeling Sinister
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00000JHAU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1566
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Whimsy and preciousness is an integral part of 'If You'reFeeling Sinister', along with clever wit and gentle,intricate arrangements - a wonderful blend of the Smithsand Simon & Garfunkel, to be reductive. A Matador Recordsrelease. ... Read more

Reviews (144)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best album ever?
This one definitely ranks among the best albums I've ever heard. Each song is perfect pop, each with its own story to tell. "The Stars of Track and Field" is an epic, shimmery opener, "Seeing Other People," propelled by its rollicking Guaraldi-esque piano riff, shows lead singer Stuart Murdoch's clever lyrical wordplay. The real winners on SINISTER, however, are its middle tracks, "Like Dylan in the Movies," "The Fox in the Snow," and "Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying." These 3 songs are so beautiful, with great messages to boot. I guess the best advice I can give is to believe the hype and buy the album. Unless your idea of good music is Britney Spears or Limp Bizkit, SINISTER will easily rank among your favorites.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mellow, hard, delicate, a wolf in sheeps clothing.....
I first heard this album from a now ex-friend of mine. I was just sitting there in her room for about an hour when I suddenly noticed how lovely the music in the bacground was. Since then I've bought both this album and 'The boy with the arab strap' which is the follow up. The singer, Stuart Murdoch has a sublime and striking voice, the tunes are classic as well as being extremely original and the sheer number of parts in the band means you get songs which constantly reveal new surprises as well. If you're wondering about the title of this review, the lyrics and social commentary that the songs contain are more than enough to punch out from the smooth sounds and the soft singing and makes you think 'these guys are onto something'. They fully deserve the awards they are given, and frankly they deserve many more too. the reason I haven't given this album five stars is because nothings perfect is it? But this album, in its genre, comes pretty close.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This was the first B&S album that I bought and I love it. Tracks 1-7 are flawless and some of the best music you'll get to hear anywhere. Songs 8 and 9 aren't bad songs they just dont stick in your head like the previous do. The last track picks up where the first seven left off. All in all this album is fantastic and very fun to listen to. If you just like good music and great songwriting then pick this one up. There are a variety of intruments used and every song is worthwhile. If you're new to B&S this is THE place to start. ENJOY!

3-0 out of 5 stars Donovan from the 60's
Anyone remeber Donovan? He had a few hits back in the 60's. Belle and Sebastian sound like today's Donovan. Pretentious! Maybe it is Donovan? Whatever happened to him? He could be doing this stuff today? He was doing this stuff 30 years ago.
I would pass on this, unless you liked Donovan. Well then buy some Donovan...


5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of the past ten years
I had never heard too much about Belle & Sebastian other than a good word and the occasional rave review and didn't give them much thought. I heard 'Like Dylan In The Movies' at a friend's house and had to hear more. This album completely exceeded all of my expectations and made me a permanent fan of the group.

Musically, the album is very folkish, with most acoustic guitars, or clean electric guitars. On some songs ('Seeing Other People', 'The Fox In The Snow') the piano is the dominant instrument. Many of the tracks are also augmented with trumpet melodies ('The Stars Of Track And Field') and gentle string arrangements ('Like Dylan In The Movies', 'The Boy Done Wrong Again'). The lyrics are another high point to this album, they are absolutely fabulous. Sometimes dark, sometimes thoughtful or introspective, and always interesting.

Despite what a few reviews say, this album is not esoteric or difficult. It's actually quite catchy and melodic, even easy on the ears. It's very quirky and has that very Anglo European kinda feel to it. The music is very tonal and really quite simple and pleasing. It's not an album that "scenesters" have to pretend to like, because it easily gets by on its own merits. If you've heard good things about this group, please buy this album, it's well worth it. ... Read more

174. Spiderland
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Asin: B0000019HU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7669
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Although this Kentucky combo had a short lifespan, its influence has been extraordinary, presaging the underground "math-rock" revolution and spawning spinoffs such as Tortoise and Gastr Del Sol. But don't go thinking that the foursome is a mere footnote: The bracingly dense, dizzyingly complex songs that vein this, their second full-length release, perfectly capture the smarter face of early-'90s thug-rock. Yes, Slint's sound is descended from punk, but its members--particularly guitarist Brian McMahan--never subscribed to the "keep it simple, stupid" philosophy. Spiderland is so rife with breakneck tempo changes, off-kilter chord progressions, and bizarro-world themes, you'd be hard-pressed to go a listen without discovering something new. --David Sprague ... Read more

Reviews (71)

4-0 out of 5 stars "He wished he was drunk..."
There is simply no other band in rock music that sounds anything like these guys. "Spiderland" is a study in loud/soft dynamics and obtuse lyricism. Some highlights from this record are the opener "Breadcrumb Trail" which starts off quiet and builds to an amazing, heavy chorus. "Washer" is simply beautiful, probably one of my favorite songs of all time. "Good Morning, Captain" (my first exposure to Slint, courtesy of the "Kids" soundtrack) tells a bizarro story of a sea captain washed up on a shore somewhere. In a way, this track can be seen as a miniature version of the entire album. It starts off very slow and soft, with the singer muttering some cryptic lyrics, and gradually works up to a crashing, ear-bludgeoning crescendo, with the guy screaming, "I miss you!" To me this record is the perfect soundtrack for those days when you are feeling especially alone and unloved. It's not relentlessly gloomy though, just honest and emotional. I only hesitated to give it five stars, because in my opinion, with only six songs, the album is simply too short to be considered "perfect." Buy this. Go ahead. You won't regret it, I promise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Math rock, post-rock, whatever. This is simply amazing.
Wow. I can't emphazise enough how good Slint's Spiderland actually is. I know that sounds like overblown fanboy gushing, and it probably is, but hear me out. Released in 1992, Spiderland was forgotten amidst the waves of Seattle grunge, and that's too bad, for this is an incredibly unique work.

This Louisville, Kentucky quartet was once a hardcore punk outfit, though you would never realize it by listening to this album. The guitars are spidery, the tempos slow and methodical, and the vocalist recites muted spoken word in the darkened recesses. The arrangements are somewhat spare and repetitious on first listen, yet there is an underlying mathematical structure to them. Overall, the sound is distant, dark, and vaguely unsettling. This album conveys the sound of an overcast and windy autumn night, the leaves rustling in the trees, the fog rolling in. Delicate and meloncholy, yet shadowy and intense at the same time.

Spiderland rewards a patient listener. The songs are extended somewhat, hovering in between five to almost nine minutes. The chiming guitars of the opener Breadcrumb Trail begin the journey, followed by the wonderfully creepy Nosferatu Man, probably the most intense track on the album. Don, Aman is a slow piece full of whispered lyrics and strummed guitars that ominously build and build, until a wave of distortion breaks through as if to signify something dramatic and terrible has happened. Washer, the longest track, is a downbeat and poignant song full of yearning and emotionally naked lyrics. This is not "emo"--this is way more powerful and moving than any whinery that the likes of Conor Oberst can muster up. "Wash yourself in your tears, and build your church on the strength of your faith.."

For Dinner.. is an instrumental. While it is not the strongest track on the album, it serves as a breather for the finale Good Morning, Captain, one of the most emotionally intense pieces of music I've ever heard. The way the singer whispers toward the end, "I'm trying to find my way home..I'm sorry, and I miss you," followed by a dramatic crescendo and his cries of "I miss you!"--it leaves a pit in my stomach. Every time. Sounds cliche, I know, but it must be heard to be believed.

Although later post-rock bands such as Tortoise, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, and Explosions In The Sky have attempted to replicate the power of this album, nothing can beat the original. Spiderland is pure emotion set to music, and one of the most powerful records of the '90s. Calling it "essential" is an understatement.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy Spiderland Now.
I don't actually have this album. A friend of mine does own it, and I have listened to it several times through. I am actually planning on buying it within the next few months.

I really love Slint. The lyrical art on this album is one of my favorites (particularly "Nosferatu Man"). They are very poetic.

I actually heard about Slint when I first saw The Shins music video for "New Slang," in which The Shins pay homage to all of their inspirations by posing for their album covers. I figured that if they inspired The Shins as did Squirrel Bait, Dave Matthews, The Replacements, The Minutemen, Husker Du, et al, I would check them out.

I'm glad I did.

5-0 out of 5 stars I thought it was friendly...Real Scary-Like
Chilling Lyrics. For the first week I owned it, I couldn't listen to Good Morning, Captain in the dark. I like to keep my reviews short and simple, so I can tell you, with all honesty to but this album, even if you get creeped easily. You can stand it. It'll haunt you to sleep...

5-0 out of 5 stars "Spiderland rewards a patient listener."
A reviewer below said that, and I don't think truer words could be said about this album.

Back in 1991, I was writing for a fanzine. I'd become friends with one of the other writers, and he was the one who generally got first pick of the many pre-release copies that were sent in for review. Whenever I went over to his place he'd turn me on to whatever he thought was worth our time. One day he said "OK, this record is AMAZING, you really need to hear this." He put Spiderland on and the first song, Breadcrumb Trail, began playing. After a few measures I became restless and made him skip to the next song. Then the next. As he turned the record over to side 2, I asked something like "So is that all they do?" He sighed and said "Eh, you don't get it." And he was right, I didn't. Back in those days I was listening to noisy, scary stuff like the Melvins, Jesus Lizard, Helmet, etc. This music was so incredibly subdued and low key, it simply did not compute for me. But it did for my friend, and it seemed like any time I went over to his place for the next few weeks, he was always listening to Spiderland.

A few weeks or maybe months later, I was browsing around in a record shop. The clerk was playing something on the stereo. It was very familiar and pleasing to my ears, but I couldn't figure out what it was. I had to ask him to find out that it was, of course, Spiderland. It had taken some time, but it had finally managed to worm its way into my head and into my heart. That was when I bought my own copy. It's been somewhere in my All Time Top 5 ever since. ... Read more

175. Teaches of Peaches (Bonus CD)
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Asin: B00006L3HS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4233
Average Customer Review: 3.17 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Enhanced bonus disc includes videos of "Set it Off - Toby Neuman Remix" and "Set it Off - Peaches Super 8 Video". ... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars X-Rated Techno with a Punk Edge
I came across this in a indie record store under employee recommendations. The CD itself I was attracted to cause of the hot pink color which was loud in itself. The CD also had on the packaging a quote from a review from a popular music magazine mentioning 3 well known artists, Trent Reznor, Courtney Love, and Foxy Brown claiming they should be "afraid, very afraid!"....well this exlamation justified my curiosity upon purcasing.
All I have to say regarding this CD is it is fun, tounge in cheek , and yes... edgy. If one is into techno, Industrial, and dance music with a punk edge then I would recommend. On track "Lovertits" she sounds similar to Gwen Stefani behind a Euro-techno dance pop beat. The tracks that I found most memorable are "Rock Show" which displays a Joan Jettish rock rebel grrrl growl behind synth beats. The next is "Diddle My Skittle" which has a great synth intro that kind of reminded me vaguely of NIN but it stands on it's own. The beats on some of the beginning of the songs are kind of similar, but not monotonous. Sleaze talk aside, I found it provocative and fun. The songs tend to grow on you. Just use with caution if you are one to sing aloud in a crowd!!! :)
This edition of the Cd also has a bonus disc with a great remake of the Berlin song Sex (I'm a...) which is one of the true gems on this 2 CD set. You will also find two very different and unusually strange videos for the song "Set it Off."
Now that I have listend to this CD, I am now even more curious on seeing her live which should be just as interesting as the inside picture cover, but that is another story and another review! Thanks!

4-0 out of 5 stars ...Girl Power Techno with a Punk Edge
I came across this in a indie record store under employee recommendations, and it really wasn't the recommendation that caught my attention, but the cover shot of the hot pink pants...Peaches?!?
All I have to say regarding this CD is it is fun, tounge in cheek... If one is into techno, Industrial, and dance music with a punk edge then I would recommend. On track "Lovertits" she sounds similar to Gwen Stefani behind a Euro-techno dance pop beat. The tracks that I found most memorable are "Rock Show" that displays a harder punk sound behind synth beats. The next is "Diddle My Skittle" which has a great into that kind of reminded me vaguely of NIN. although it can stand on it's own. Some of the beats on some of the songs are kind of similar, but not monotonous.
Sleaze talk aside, I found it provocative, fun and "I like the beats and you can dance to it!!!" That and the songs tend to grow on you.
Could this be the new pop star of the up and coming? I wouldn't be surprised. Parents should beware...and you too!! Peaches may be the one to come kick the mainstream...

1-0 out of 5 stars where are led zeppelin, deep purple and black sabbath?
when this lady is an anti pop star ? the songs she plays, surely has nothing to do with the classic masterpiece rock n roll elements...she certainly plays rock songs, but it is definitely not a rock n roll or Heavyrock masterpiece genre!

Some veterans legendary heavy rock bands from the past such as Black sabbath, Uriah Heep, King crimson, Led Zeppelin or deep purple should teach her how to play Rock n roll very well!

5-0 out of 5 stars Love it!
I don't usually like this type of music But I love this CD.
I first heard "F**K the pain away" on the movie "Lost In Translation" By Sofia Coppola and starring Bill Murray I had to order it. It has an excellent beat.
Even though the lyrics are dirty it makes me warm and fuzzy all over!
A must have for your music collection!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Garbage for this Genre
Hype and ego probably introduced you Peaches. There are several artists of this genre that actually have some talent. Don't waste your money on this crap. This woman is talent-free and a dog to boot. ... Read more

176. Live 2003 (CD & DVD)
list price: $24.98
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Asin: B0000DJZA0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1667
Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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Riding high on the phenomenal success of A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay is in peak form on Coldplay Live 2003. This CD/DVD two-pack was filmed (on Super-16mm film) and recorded in Sydney's Horden Pavilion on July 21 and 22, 2003, during an exhaustive year-long world tour, and the medium-sized arena provides a fitting stage for the London-based rock quartet, not so grand as to overwhelm the music, but large enough to indicate their large and loyal following, which includes enthusiastic fans of either gender. Especially when played in DTS 5.1 surround, this 90-minute concert is richer, thicker, and (of course) louder than Coldplay's studio recordings, lending a wall-of-sound expansiveness to the band's signature sound, which draws from such diverse influences as Genesis, Pink Floyd, The Verve, U2, and their own unique sonic landscape. "Politik" gets the gig off to a rousing start, and other impressive!highlights include "Daylight," "Yellow," the as-yet-unreleased new song "Moses," and the popular hits "In My Place," "Clocks," and "The Scientist." And while the concert visuals are slick and professional (perhaps placing a bit too much emphasis on singer/frontman Chris Martin), this DVD and CD--the latter containing a truncated 70-minute version of the same performance--are best appreciated for their pristine audio quality. Culled from 400 hours of home video, the 40-minute "concert diary" represents a wasted opportunity, enjoyable for hardcore fans but offering no insight into the band or its individual members. Much better, then, to play the concert at healthy high volume, and appreciate Coldplay in the prime of their young career. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (67)

4-0 out of 5 stars Coldplay on top
I am a HUGE Coldplay fan and found this DVD to be well worth the money. For those who were unfortunate to miss out on seeing them live (like me) this does make you feel like you are in the audience watching them. And even though most of the members stayed relatively stationary throughout the songs(except when Chris thrashes around on stage to 'yellow'- when perhaps he should have stayed seated), the energetic lighting and multiple camera angles, not to mention Chris's passionate vocals, keep the mood vibrant and energised. Visually the concert is very good, and the music is excellent with some of the songs sounding better than they did in the studio recordings.

The only thing that was dissapointing was the tour diary. I am a huge fan of coldplay's music, but also their personalities. From the small amount of footage i have seen of them in interviews they all seemed like really funny and charismatic guys- especially Chris. So when i found out that there would be a behind the scenes documentary included in the DVD i waited with baited breath, desperate to get greater insight into their individual personalities and the way that they live. However,this documentary fails to do that. One of the most frustrating things about the diary is probably the fact that there is a lot of footage of them on stage, and considering that we already have access to a full concert i found this to be unneccessary and the time should have been used to showcase who they were as people. Also watch out for Gwyneth Paltrows blink and you'll miss it appearance on the documetnary (she was on tour with them at the time)

2-0 out of 5 stars pale
Coldplay, like most English bands, doesn't really deviate from the studio version when playing live. This makes for a predictably likable set. With only two CDs it's too early for Coldplay to release a live recording. In the documentary (included on the DVD) you get the feeling that Chris Martin doesn't think his band will last. The U2 influence is undeniable especially considering how far the band has come in America in such a short time. It's also a testament to how bad the music scene is today.

The bonus CD is tracks from the same concert as the DVD and offers noting new.

For completists only.


3-0 out of 5 stars Decent, but not nearly as good as other concerts
I am very picky about the concert CDs I buy, and this was no exception. I was a bit disappointed after having downloaded a handful of prior Coldplay concerts (as well as attending one). The songs add a little variety to the recorded versions, but not really enough to justify buying this set. Other groups (Dave Matthews comes to mind) have set the bar very high on producing variations on the originals, and Coldplay tends to stick to the studio formulas pretty closely. If you can ever find a recording of their 2002 concert at The Forum in London, it is a fine example of what this album should have been. The band is capable of a lot more, I'm just not sure why the label decided to use these particular tracks.

4-0 out of 5 stars Left me wanting more
As a recent convert to all things Coldplay, I was hoping for more insight into the band beyond what I've heard on the album. What I got was a great live performance, with a couple new songs -- but it did not rise above. Don't get me wrong - I love the album - but I expect to hear a different side of the band on a live album. And I want to hear MORE of them. 40 minutes of audio? C'mon people, throw us a bone? Love the music, just want more of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!
I am a new fan and just love this CD/DVD. Haven't had a chance to view the DVD yet, but I have been playing the CD in SUV every day. ... Read more

177. Meat Is Murder
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Asin: B000002L7J
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2996
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Singer Morrissey's brittle wit and guitarist Johnny Marr's incisive guitar helped make the Smiths create both an entranced cult following and pop music of the highest order. The U.S. edition of the band's second album includes the bonus single "How Soon Is Now?" and while it's a welcome addition, the rest of the tracks stand ably on their own. The militant vegetarianism is heavy-handed, but the sly humor of "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" and "I Want the One I Can't Have" present proof of the band's scope, as do the anthemic "The Headmaster Ritual" and "Rusholme Ruffians." --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of the 1980's
This album really grew on me, when I purchased it in 1994, never hearing it before, except "How soon is now" on the radio back in the 1980's. I had no idea that there would be so many songs even better than that one. My favorite one being "That joke isn't funny anymore", it really showed me the kind of musical and guitar genius that Johnny Marr is. What a huge loss for Morrissey when he went solo without Johnny Marr. I find the Smith's view on vegetarianism commendable (eventhough a challenge), however they do run the risk of alienating many of their fans including me. Ironically the worst song on the album is "Meat is Murder". So if you can overlook that and take the whole album in context, there should be no doubt in your mind that this album is a work of art, worthy of praise for its immense creativity and musical magic.

4-0 out of 5 stars Meat The Smiths.
I can't really say this is better or worse than any other "Smiths" album, because I find them all to be very good. So, I guess this would be your typical "Smiths" disc, with many excellent songs, and some not-quite-so excellent songs. Their most well known track "How Soon Is Now?" is on here, but I don't see that as a huge plus since I feel it's been overplayed through the years. "Headmaster Ritual" is a great track, and a good start to the album. "Barbarism Begins At Home" has some catchy bass, and I think "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" is probably the best song included here. Overall, I suppose I'd actually suggest "Louder Than Bombs", "The Queen Is Dead", or even "Strangeways, Here We Come" before "Meat Is Murder", but it's still a very good album, and goes great with a juicy burger.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indie Glory
"Meat is Murder" is the perfect second album since it considerably expands the Smiths musical scope(now embracing experiments with rockabilly-"Rusholme Ruffians" and haunting dirges-"How soon is now?)"while retaining the quirkiness that made them the most vital band of the 80's.

As most would agree the Smiths are an adquired taste and Morrissey's voice is likely either to repel or eternally charm you.All things considered"Meat is Murder" is arguably the second best Smiths album,falling slightly short of the undeniable masterpiece"The Queen is Dead".

The album is by far more consistent and better balanced than their debut with the addition of boasting a handful of their best songs ever-from the vitriol of "The Headmaster's Ritual"to the phantasmagoric"How soon is now?",the fast pace and quintessential Morrissey of"Nowhere Fast"("And when I'm lying in my bed I think about life and I think about death and neither particularly appeals to me")or the underheralded gem"That Joke isn't funny anymore"which should be subject of study by every guitarist of the alternative realm.

Outstanding throughout.If you've already liked some other Smiths recording or are interested in 80's indie pop(R.E.M.,Lloyd Cole,Orange Juice,Feelies,...) you can't go wrong with this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterful But Not the Smiths Best
Not widely considered to be the band's best but it does contain their biggest hit, "How Soon Is Now?". MIM contains the perfect mix of Smiths' style songs including both fast and slow, fun and political. I remember back in the 80's when 'Spin Magazine' had "How Soon Is Now?" ranked as the best single of all time. I also remember thinking, "You know, that isn't even one of my favorite Smiths' songs." Actually not even my fave from this album. To me HSIN had great lyrics and a cool sound but was generally not very Smiths-like. The song lacked the rawness and edge of their other material due to its high-gloss production... precisely NOT the point of the band. Still it's a wonderful song with a catchy, highly original melody and Mozz' sharp wit.

I've always been partial to the underappreciated songs from this album. The haunting "Well I Wonder" is dreamy and melancholy declaring "This is the fierce last stand of all I am." "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" is simply brilliant as we watch the knife of past words turn sharply against the protagonist. "What She Said" speeds up the pace but remains downbeat lyrically with its angst and sarcastic humor; Marr delivers an understated but excellent performance. On "I Want the One I Can't Have" the singer laments his inability to hide his emotions or capture the subject of his desire. And in "Nowhere Fast" Morrissey questions whether he has the capacity to experience life or emotionally progress at all (hence the name).

The title track is often clasified as over-the-top and may be many people's least favorite from this collection of songs. I beg to differ. Morrissey is entitled to his opinion on us meateaters and I have no issue with that. He states his case in a dark, poetic manner backed by the cries of cattle and sounding of the screaming knife. Missed in the criticism of this track is MArr's ability to craft an otherwordly guitar melody that is both sad and majestic in a way I've rarely heard. Quite simply, this is the vegetarians' anthem. Actually there was a t-shirt in the 80's with every single lyric printed on it. "The Headmaster Ritual" speaks of systematic cruelty embedded in British schools while "Barbarism Begins at Home" echoes that abusive cruelty in the home.

All in all, this is not the band's best but still merits every bit of 5 stars. In other words, an average Smiths' release.

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." ... Read more

178. Now Here Is Nowhere
list price: $13.98
our price: $12.99
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Asin: B0002234H2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2160
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of 2004's Very Best Albums!
The debut album from the Secret Machines is amazingly assured and confident. They do not fall into the trap of 2 minute 30 second rock songs. They take their time to develop mood and meaning and and do not rush anything. The album is basically made up of nine tracks segued into two long songs. Of course, this is reminiscent of Pink Floyd, but besides that and the unhurried approach, there is not much compare between the two. The highlights of the album are the monterous opening and closing tracks, but the middle sections have much to offer as well. In particular Nowhere Again, You are Chains, and Leaves are Gone. All in all, this is one of the best debut albums in recent years, on par with The Stills debut album Logic Will Break Your Heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blowin' All The Other Kids Away
This is far and away the best album released in the last year. Nothing else even comes close. "Now Here Is Nowhere" is The Secret Machines first major label release after releasing the six song EP "September 000" in March of 2002. The production value and song craft are noticably improved on this album.

The comparrisons to Pink Floyd are logical if only because so few bands approach the sonic tightness and spatial ambience so blissfully associated with early Floyd. I think a better modern day comparison would be to the music of Spiritualized particularly "Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space". Like Floyd and Spiritualized, The Secret Machines reach out, grab you by your spine and take you on a sonic journey only fully realized at its conclusion. The entire album has a cohesive quality to it that remains evocative without becoming repetative.

The album opens with "First Wave Intact". Immediately the listener is pulled into TSM's world with a catchy drum beat followed by a dark guitar riff. As the lyrics begin you are immediately struck by the desperate quality of Brandon Curtis' vocals. He is both haunting and hypnotic. The song is long by modern standards (which I hate) but essential. As the synths and feedback kick in at the end of the song the listner is left hungry for more.

"Sad and Lonely" doesn't dissappoint. The second track is more of a rock song, something you might hear on the radio if the radio ever played something worth listening to. There is plenty of sonic brillance to marvel at as well. The song builds and builds keeping you on the edge of your seat before segueing into the mellowest song on the album, "Leaves Are Gone".

Track 4, "Nowhere Again" and track 5 "Road Leads Where It's Led" are quite possibly two of the best indie/psychedelic rock songs of the last 10 years. "Nowhere Again" simply rocks out. It will be stuck in your head for weeks. Track 5 is my personal favorite. It almost sounds like a British rock song. TSM's are definitley "Blowin' All The Other Kids Away" with this track.

"Pharaoh's Daughter" is more of a journey. It starts out slow and builds its hypnotic ambience until you literally feel like you are floating in space. There have been a few times where I've been listening to this song in my car at a red light with my eyes closed and been awaken to honks from impatient cars behind me obviously not listening to TSM's.

"You Are Chains" starts off slow but quickly rocks out. It is almost two songs in one. When they do bring the beat in it catches you off gaurd. You just don't expect such an extreme transition to be so smooth. They pull it off with such ease that it is hard to believe that this is their first major release.

"Light's On" is a pretty dark song about not knowing who your friends are and not knowing who you can trust.

The final song, "Now Here Is Nowhere" is basically a reprise of "Nowhere Again" at least musically. It really ties the album together.

This truly is one of the best albums I have heard in the last 10 years. I bought it off their website 2 months ago after reading about them in Guitar Player magazine. Since then it has barely left my CD changer. I've turned dozens of people on to them and everyone has been equally impressed. This album is an instant classic. I imagine that we'll see big things from these guys before it is all said and done. Get it now!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this now!
This album, and more importantly, this band, lives up to its well-deserved hype. "Now Here is Nowhere" is comprised of spacey, neo-psychedelic rock ala Pink Floyd, Led Zep, later-day Flaming Lips, with a dash of the early Verve. The songs were written to flow, and the CD harkens back to a time when bands made LP's, not just singles. If you have a chance, see these guys live; they will blow you away! I've seen them twice at the Black Cat in D.C., and cannot wait to see them again. Live, they are on par with Sonic Youth, if not better. I would not be going out on a limb by saying that they are akin to a modern version of Cream. If you were to buy this album now, and see them live, you would make two choices you will not regret. The members are great guys, and they make intense and exciting music. Enjoy-

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent album, if a bit repetitive
Secret Machines can definitely rock. 'Sad and Lonely' ROCKS and is one of the better songs I've heard recently. Tracks 1-7 are all very good... yes, a couple of songs have the same melody/harmony arrangement, but at least it sounds great!

The reviewer comparing them to every other junk band out there is on crack.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not Good
Was looking forward to hearing this on the back of their impressive EP & the globs of press they are garnering right now. To say this album is a disappointment is an understatement. This album goes absolutely nowhere from start to finish. It is just flat out boring & the same riff/bass line/melody are used on three of the same songs. They attempt to ape The Flaming Lips & Interpol but it all ends up sounding forced and just plain amateurish. ... Read more

179. 69 Love Songs
list price: $39.98
our price: $35.99
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Asin: B00000JY1X
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 924
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Singer-songwriter Stephen Merritt's ironically morose lyrics, Tin Pan Alley stylings, sugary melodies, and idiosyncratic sound have earned his band the Magnetic Fields cult status and the adulation of grad students everywhere. The ambitious, genre-hopping, and intensely heart-tugging three-disc set 69 Love Songs probably won't gain Merritt the wider recognition he deserves, but the clever misanthrope likely wouldn't have it any other way. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (109)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic collection of bitter-sweet songs
For the past nine months (with the reissue of "Holiday"), the Magnetic Fields have become my all-time favorite band. Beware of the craving for every Stephin Merritt release that will accompany the purchase of "69 Love Songs."

This boxed set is the crowning achievement of the Magnetic Fields' already stellar career. The diversity of the music is incredible and Stephin Merritt is one of the few artists whose lyrics are as enjoyable as the music.

For the seasoned Magnetic Fields fan, "69 Love Songs" is significantly less techno-sounding than their previous work. Guitar, ukelele and piano dominate while the synth pop takes the back seat.

There are too many great songs to list here but my absolute favorites are "Fido, Your Leash is Too Long", "Epitaph for my Heart", and "The Death of Ferdinand De Saussure".

Please ignore the review posted by Darren from Chicago. These albums are not "overindulgent" or "plain old annoying": they are creative, humorous, witty and endlessly listenable. There are so many other bands who package their musical talent with a pretentious attitude (i.e. have you ever tried to read the liner notes to "If Your Feeling Sinister"?). Stephin might occassionally be bitter and sarcastic, but he is certainly not "cooler than thou".

The Magnetic Fields have single-handedly restored my faith in "indie" rock. "69 Love Songs" is a great work of pop exuberance for the new millenium.

5-0 out of 5 stars One year and still in the player
I've had this box set for a year and still am amazed.. Stephin Merritt is incredibly talented and will be remembered for this creation of tunes in years to come. Whether it's catchy humorous pop (Ab.Cuckoo, Chicken..,I Think I Need a New Heart, etc.), sweet serenades (Come Back from San Fran., The Book of Love, Your My Only Home, etc.), experimental sounds(Love is Like Jazz, Xylophone Track, etc.) or classic duets (Yeah, Oh Yeah!, Papa was a Rodeo)... (shall I go on?)it's all good. There's a little bit of everything in this set, and it all fits together so perfectly. I saw The Magnetic Fields perform all 69 Love Songs in a 2-night concert that touched my soul. This album, about love, taps into ambivalence, fears, disgusts, bliss, dysfuntion, etc....much of which can be expressed quite eloquently in a damn good song. Here's 69 of them. Buy it and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars All killer? Any filler?
Well, yes, there is some filler. But for 3 CDs and 69 songs, Stephen Merritt is allowed some slack. The rest is gorgeous, nearly a dictionary definition of indie pop. Most of the instrumentation is sparse, allowing the witty lyrics to come to the foreground. Many different styles appear here, with only the loose theme of "love" to tie them together. A lot of the songs deal with the messy end of love - making this set perfect for the heartbroken as well as the head-over-heels couples.

5-0 out of 5 stars weak tastes need not apply
Folks, this collection is the best thing I've heard in years. I predict that Mr. Merritt will be considered the Gershwin of our times. Take a shot on this band. Truly beautiful, poetic, and true sentiments for those of us who've ever really been in love.

4-0 out of 5 stars classic
maybe not merrit's best, but it's sprawling and it's beautiful and it's fun ... Read more

180. Karma
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B000005DCB
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2704
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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The novelty was stripmined from ethnobeat pop long ago, and this skin-deep confection is surprising only in its lack of edge and invention. On the plus side, the melodies are textured and lush, the beats entrancing, and a parade of gifted singers--Kristy Thirsk, Jacqui Hunt, and Sarah McLachlan included--bill and coo impressively. Lead single "Euphoria (Firefly)" has spark and spirit, while "Enchanted" and "Duende" are strong vehicles for Thirsk and Camille Henderson respectively. --Jeff Bateman ... Read more

Reviews (158)

5-0 out of 5 stars Karma is a Delerium Classic
Karma is a wide leap from the earlier albums from Delerium, such as Stone Tower, but it is excellent. I love the fact that Rhys and Bill decided to bring in phenomenal female singers such as Kristy Thirsk, Jacqui Hunt, Sarah McLachlan, and Camille Henderson. The enchanting rhythms and sounds create a beautiful sound scape for your mind to dive into. My favorite track on this album is Duende. I love the mid-eastern feel of it. Enchanted is another great one, Thirsk's voices is amazing, and the lyrics have a lot of meaning. The album comes together as a whole when you listen to it all the way through, as with most of the Delerium albums. Karma will enchant and move you to higher places.

I cannot wait for the next Delerium album to follow up this one. But for now, this along with other Delerium albums such as Semantic Spaces and Spiritual Archives are staying in my CD player.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding vocals over surrealistic soundscapes
Wow! Wow! I can't hear this CD enough!

I started listening to Delerium through the side-door: I'm no fan of Front Line Assembly or much of Leeb and Fulber's other work produced under various names, including Delerium.

Then a friend leant me the awe-inspiring Semantic Spaces. Shortly, I got ahold of Karma. And it's been stuck in my Rio player for six months now, and I've no plans to remove it any time soon.

It's hard to write about something that sounds so beautiful: words don't do it justice. But imagine ethnic beats, electronic sophistication, angelic lamentations, and ethereal landscapes, and you might get an idea of what this album sounds like. If you're at all a fan of Semantic Spaces, or Enigma's early work, you'll definitely enjoy Karma.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Get Enough Of This Disc
I just bought this CD yesterday and wow, there is nothing like this group in existance. Their music is so lush and haunting. I had used to think Enigma was the height of otherworldly music but Delirium outdoes them everytime. My favorites have to be Enchanted and Silence (featuring the lovely Sarah Mclachlan) A must for anyone who love ambient music.

4-0 out of 5 stars Leeb, Fulber, you guys have changed man
If you are truely familiar with Delerium you know that it is the oldest and now (thanks to albums like this) the most profitable side project of "Front Line Assembly". That's not because this is their best album, it's because this is the type of music mainstream America wants. If your familiar with earlier Delerium then it's evident that this is not their true style. It sounds like an experiment done by Leeb and Fulber to milk the common American cd buyer of every penny so they can make improvements and upgades on their 2 million dollar homes. Having said that I'd like to reassure you that this review is not going to be all negative. There's nothing wrong with making money and capitolism is how our favorite groups become successful. Hey, I gave this album 4 stars. It's a good album for what it is. It's for a very specific mood. To me it's for getting girls in that 'specific' mood. Women seem to like this album more than us guys. Although us guys have a taste in softer music too even though we may try to hide it behind our heavy metal, beer drinking and love of boxing.

So Leeb and Fulber have a good idea here. As always they have a vision for creating a style of music unique for any type of mood. Using female vocalists such as Kristy Thirsk creates a sort of sensual feel to this cd. The entire album is solid, with no song sticking out as a best or worst. Like I said it's a cd designed for that 70+ minute mood that we all sometimes feel. It's not at all like early Delerium and certainly different from most Front Line Assembly. If you're a big fan of heavier FLA this album might dissappoint you. If you expect Delerium to sound like they did on "Faces Forms and Illusions" then this album is bound to raise a few eyebrows. But I gave this album a try and liked it. I guess I believe that all music has it's place and purpose.

5-0 out of 5 stars My first delerium, my favorite delerium
This was my first delerium cd, and it served as an excellent introduction to new-era delerium. I like all the other cds of the duo, but this is still my favourite. it is probably the most tribal album of theirs, and it is vocal without being a cheap poppish attempt to make money. It has quite a variatey of styles, ranging from ethereal trance/new age (twilight) to ambient/dance pop (but not forced) songs like euphoria (firefly) and silence. the details are below.

1:enchanted- I LOVE kristy thirsks voice! it is so sexy, when she comes in with her oohs and aahs. this song is tribal, ambient, poppish, and a little ethereal. So angelic.

2:deunde- When I first got this album this was my favorite song. it has a great powerful beat, some sampled chants, and a great vocal job by camille. It almost makes you feel like you are in the aboriginal outback, but it is still pop influenced.

3:twilight- an ethereal tranceey instrumental track with some chants. very pretty and inspiring.

4:silence- outstanding song. it has monks in the bigenning but after about 1:30 sarah mclachlan comes in, and starts singing. piano is interlaced through parts of the chorus and there is a nice piano solo at the end.

5:forgotten worlds- very otherworldly, you can see why they put the title there. the song takes you to a long forgotten temple and awakens it and brings you inside. it only starts out dark, then it begins to glow. Chanting in this one too.

6:lamenation- definitley tribal, especially during the first three minutes or so. then it gets really pretty. too bad it has such a long introduction. a little weak, could have been on semantic spaces.

7:euphoria (firefly)- two slightly slow instrumental somgs make way for a dancey pop song. this was the first single from the album. it is catchy and danceable. if you heared and liked other poppish songs like silence or deunde you'd probably like this.

8:remembrance- one of my friends claims to have heared this on the radio, but I never knew it was a single. (or is it?) this starts out with some woodwinds, but about 1:00 in this song comes to life with chanting monks and then gets spacey and synthesized after about three minutes, and then the chanting comes laced in with the spacey sounds. very interesting.

9:wisdom- a short song, but still welcome. yay, more thirsk! This song is a little like enchanted, but less tribal sounding.

10:window to your soul- this is not at all even hinted with pop. it is a piece of mood music, very relaxing, and inspiring. and even though it's around 10 minutes, it dosent drag on. it keeps you listening. it starts out dark, but dont skip it, after about two minutes you will be on your way to a very peaceful place. this song has chimes, synthesizers (of course) and chanting. REALLY pretty.

11:til the end of time- this is probably the weakest song on the cd. it is a lot like wisdom, but slower. vocals, too.


You need this in your collection! there is a little something for everybody, but you will probably end up liking it all. :) ... Read more

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