Average Rating: 3.69
Rating Variance: 0.77
Objectivity Score: 72% (Fairly Balanced)
Sort by: Rating | Release Date | Rating Date | Name5.0 classicBiffy Clyro Infinity Land'Infinity Land' is absolutely fantastic. It throws everything at the wall to find out what sticks. It's a chaotic mess of an LP, but is so intense and thrilling to listen to. Almost every song has some irrisistable hook or change up on it that elevates the whole thing. There are countless great songs, from album highlight 'Wave After Wave', through the Incubus-esque 'My Recovery Injection' through the crazy pairing of 'There's No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake' and 'The Kids From Kibble And The Fist Of Light'. An outright classic, and one of the most exciting records ever made.Brand New DaisyI love 'Daisy'. It's my favorite Brand New LP. Whereas 'TDAGARIM' is undoubtedly their masterpiece, somehow it's 'Daisy' that always pulls me back in when I want a quick fix of Brand New. I know it's a bleak album, designed to repulse but I just find it so much fun to listen to. These days 'TDAGARIM' takes effort because it's so damn epic and emotionally draining. But 'Daisy' comes and goes in the blink of an eye. It's chaotic, sad, desperate, weird, atmospheric and artistically satisfying in all the right ways. I love it and spin it regularly even now, 7 years on.Coldplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His FriendsA nice, almost shoe-gazey album from Coldplay that surprised me with it's quality. The individual songs are all pretty good, even if none of them are classics. But the real prize here is the overal atmosphere, which is cohesive and solid. A good comeback after the floundering 'X&Y', but still lacks the raw emotion and pop-punch of 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head'.Echo & The Bunnymen PorcupineEmery You Were Never AloneGene Drawn To The Deep EndIdlewild Hope Is ImportantiLiKETRAiNS He Who Saw The DeepIron Maiden Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' is an excellent album, and certainly one of the most cohesive and atmospheric record Iron Maiden ever put out. It's also the Maiden record that I would recommend to alt-rock fans who are interested in checking out Iron Maiden for the first time (I'm an alt-rocker myself, see). The melodies stand out really well on this album, and there aren't any bad songs at all. But there a buch of strident classics, including 'Can I Play With Madness', 'Moonchild', 'The Evil That Men Do' and the title track 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son'. An epic classic, and very close to being Maiden's best LP.Manchester Orchestra A Black Mile to the SurfaceMorrissey Viva HateMorrissey World Peace Is None of Your BusinessThis, in my opinion, is Morrissey's best LP for the last 20 years. The lyrics are interesting, with just the right amount of emotion, pathos and laugh-out-loud funny moments. The music is much, much more satisfying than... Well, pretty much anything else in his solo career. Employing a Spanish guitar pro for those wonderful trills was one of the smartest moves Moz ever made. World Peace is None of Your Business is a true return to form for Morrissey.Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the MoonR.E.M. DocumentThis LP is my favorite R.E.M record by a country mile. It has so much energy that it gets me fired up every time I listen to it. It's a masterclass in pop-punk / indie jangle rock. 'It's the End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)', 'The One I Love', 'Exhuming McCarthy' & 'King Of Birds' are all among the best R.E.M songs ever written. An utter, unasailable classic.R.E.M. Fables of the ReconstructionR.E.M. Lifes Rich PageantRoyksopp The UnderstandingSuede Coming UpThis is one of my favorite albums of all time. It's so intense in it's nostalgia, that's it's hard for me to separate the music from my teenage memories, so I'm somewhat biased through experiences. But the likes of 'The Beautiful Ones', 'Filmstar' and 'Trash' are true britpop classics. And 'Saturday Night' was the first single I ever bought (along with Gene's 'We Could Be Kings' at the same time)... On cassette, no less! For me, the highlights are the softer moments like the haunting 'By The Sea', the woozy 'Picnic By The Motorway' and the aforementioned ballad 'Saturday Night'. The album is only ten tracks and around 40 minuets long... And every second is fantastic. No bad songs and no down time, it's a masterpiece of guitar pop and one of my top ten albums ever.The Cure PornographyThe Cure DisintegrationThe Twilight Sad Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To LeaveThis LP is an absolute masterwork. The raw emotional nature of the album really makes it special. I'm struggling to think of the last time I heard a record that sounded so bruised without sounding contrived. This is easily The Twilight Sad's best album in my opinion and something of a seminal record in the genre. Don't be surprised if this is still being whispered about by post punk know-it-alls 10 years down the road. An easy best of the year for me.The Vines Winning Days'Winning Days' is a perfect album and a stone cold classic, in my opinion. Every song on it is pure gold. It has a pinpoint mix of stomping punk-pop ('Ride', 'TV Pro', 'Animal Machine', 'FTW') and sun-tinged ballads ('Winning Days', 'Rainfall', 'Sun Child'). This is my favorite album to listen to on a sunny day out with my friends, or whenever I'm traveling on holiday... It just makes me feel happy every time I hear it. Wonderful!We Were Promised Jetpacks In the Pit of the Stomach4.5 superbBrand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeEcho & The Bunnymen Ocean RainEmery We Do What We WantIdlewild 100 Broken Windows'100 Broken Windows' is a fantastic album, and one that is almost equal with 'Hope Is Important' as my favorite Idlewild record. It has lots of uncluttered space, a gnarled raw quality, and an intense catchiness to it. The album features so many classic tunes like 'Little Discourage' and 'Idea Track'. Even the softer songs like 'Quiet Crown' have never been bested by the band's later works. This album has served me well over the years, and remains one of the most played and loved LP's in my record collection.Idlewild Warnings/PromisesIdlewild Everything Ever WrittenEverything Ever Written is an unbelievable and unexpected return to form for Idlewild. That's probably a gross understatement, as EEW might actually be the band's best album to date. The level of ambition and sonic texture found on this LP is far superior to anything the band has released prior. The way the songs flow and build into an atmospheric, cohesive experience is really quite masterful. Yet on the flipside, this record also collects up the many different eras of Idlewild into one package. 'On Another Planet' takes care of the brash punk of Hope is Important and A Hundred Broken Windows. 'Radium Girl' is pure The Remote Part style mainstream pop. 'Nothing I Can Do About It' and 'Like A Clown' could have easily found a home on Warnings / Promises. 'Collect Yourself' sounds like it comes directly from Make Another World and 'Come On Ghost' is the best single that Post Electric Blues never had. More than the sum of it's parts, sounding fresher than ever but somehow recalling the band's best moments, Idlewild's Everything Ever Written is a fantastic record. Interpol AnticsThis album was a ground zero record for me. It was one of those rare, magnificent albums that changed my life. What I wore, what I listened to... This record completely spun me round. It's perfect from start to finish, and takes in some of the best tunes around like the thumping 'Evil', the mysterious 'Narc' and the epic 'Not Even Jail'. Truly one of my favorite albums of all time, and one of the most important impacts in my musical life.Interpol Our Love to AdmireInterpol InterpolIron Maiden Somewhere in Time'Somewhere in Time' sandwiches the speed and power of the previous 'Powerslave' with the prog atmospherics of the succsessive 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son'. This album fires on all cylinders, with classic after classic roaring from the speakers, including 'Wasted Years', 'Heaven Can Wait' and 'Alexander The Great'. In my opinion, this LP is everything that was ever great about Maiden on one CD, and probably my favorite Maiden album overall... That said, however, if you are new to Iron Maiden and shopping about for a good entry point, then 'Somewhere In Time' isn't your best choice because it's lengthy and quite a bit more obtuse than the other albums.Iron Maiden Iron MaidenJoy Division Unknown PleasuresAn undeniable classic. The likes of 'new Dawn Fades' and 'She's Lost Control' make it worth owning by themselves alone. This album has more energy and tunage than the uber-bleak follow up 'Closer'. I find this album much easier to listen to than that one, with even the weaker tracks offering more than enough entertainment to never be considered 'filler'. It's also the best starting point for people who are thinking about checking out Joy Division for the first time.Morrissey Vauxhall and IThis is one of the very best Morrissey albums. It's languid in the best possible way and features some of Morrissey's greatest and saddest songs. Of course, the album highlight (and perhaps the best Morrissey song of all time) is 'Now My Heart Is Full', but there are many other fantastic songs on here too like 'Speedaway', 'Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning' and the classic 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get'. An absolutely amazing record.Muse AbsolutionA really fantastic mixture of thumping riff rock and classical elements. 'Absolution' is Muse's best album by miles and is epic in a way that most records can only dream of... And all without sounding overly pretentious, which is a big plus. There are no bad songs on this album at all, and it all flows together perfectly with each song supporting the next. Classic!R.E.M. MurmurR.E.M. Automatic for the PeopleAutomatic For The People is a very nice, dark hued chamber-pop album. There is a great sense of theatrical bombast on this album which is rarely seen on R.E.M albums. Containing classics like 'Everybody Hurts', 'The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight' and 'Find The River', this is one of the best examples of R.E.M in their 'imperial' phase and an easy release to recommend to people new to the band. That said, I still prefer the more aggressive sound of the earlier I.R.S albums like 'Document'.R.E.M. Out of TimeAfter tuckering themselves out with the god-awful 'Green' in '88, R.E.M took a few years off and returned rejuvenated with a new sound and direction. 'Out Of Time' is a hugely experimental chamber-pop record, mixing the unusual melencholia of 'Country Feedback' and 'Belong' with the strident indie-pop of 'Shiny Happy People' and 'Radio Song' to fantastic effect.Rialto RialtoThe Beach Boys Pet SoundsOne of the only albums from the sixties that I truely love. Songs like 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' and 'God Only Knows' are so famous and catchy that it's hard not to feel an immediate thrill. But the really good songs are the slow burn ones like 'I Just Wasn't Made For These Times' or 'Caroline, No'. Beautiful and timeless, 'Pet Sounds' is a great album that everyone should experience. Oh.. And 'Sloop John B' is awesome too.The Boo Radleys Giant StepsThe Boo Radleys C'mon KidsThe Cure FaithThe Cure WishThe Divine Comedy LiberationThe Smiths Meat Is MurderThis for me, is the best album by The Smiths. It's darker than the others, and has a deeper atmosphere. It does start slow, with the first three tracks being good, but not great. But on the forth track 'What She Said', the whole thing explodes into perfection and continues in that vein right through to the finish. There are so many classics on here, like 'That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore', 'How Soon Is Now', 'Well I Wonder' and 'Barbarism Begins At Home'. A brilliant, brilliant LP.The Smiths Strangeways, Here We ComeA very good effort by The Smiths. It has an alluring mood of storm clouds, finality and discomfort. Most of the tracks are good, but there isn't very much to say about the album in either an overtly positive or negative way, to be honest. I think it does suffer from the lack of an outright classic song (although 'Girlfriend In A Coma' comes close), but then makes up for that absence with it's decent level of consistancy.The Smiths The World Won't ListenA great compilation from The Smiths. It saw the band at the zenith of their powers, gathering the likes of the high charting and brilliant non-album singles 'Panic' and 'Shoplifters Of The World Unite'. Among other wondrous cuts is the bizarre rockabilly-punk single 'Shakespeare's Sister', the aching acoustic strum of 'Half A Person', the piano led suicide-lullaby 'Asleep' and the thunderous smoke-belching maelstrom of 'London'. The only bad additions come in the form of some throwaway instrumentals (specifically 'Oscillate Wildly') and the fairly dire Twinkle cover 'Golden Lights' which closes out the record on a bit of a sour note. But overall, this is an excellent compilation which serves as a good starting point for people new to The Smiths.4.0 excellentBiffy Clyro Blackened SkyThis record is very good, and takes in some classics like '57' and 'Christopher's River'. It does have a couple of fillers on it, most notably 'Scary Mary' and '27', but the other tracks are great and I enjoy the more grungey, alternative atmosphere presented by Biffy Clyro on this album.Biffy Clyro Only RevolutionsA really fantastic Biffy Clyro record that gets better every time I listen to it. It has some pop rock classics on it, like 'The Captain' & 'That Golden Rule'. It also has my favorite Biffy song in the form of the brilliant ballad 'Many Of Horrors'. It's restrained from greatness by a few pleasent-yet-autopilot numbers on the second half, and the strange appearence of a remixed 'Mountains' which sees all the savage guitars of the single version annoyingly scrubed off.Brand New Deja EntenduBritish Sea Power Open SeasonColdplay A Rush of Blood to the Head'Politik', 'In My Place', 'The Scientist', 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head', 'Amsterdam'... These are the best Colplay songs ever, and they're all on this album. These combined with the great likes of 'Green Eyes', 'Warning Signs' and 'God Put A Smile Upon Your Face' make this very nearly a classic. In fact, the only song I don't like that much is 'Clocks', which kind of still hangs in there due to it's familiarity and fame. Great, great record.Doves The Last BroadcastA brilliant shoegaze album that has tons of night-time atmosphere. It's highlights include the thumping single 'Pounding', the epic 'There Goes The Fear' and my personal favorite, the uber-nostalgic 'The Sulphur Man'. It has occassional dips, but they're all swept along by the albums' fantastic current of overarching atmosphere.Dubstar DisgracefulEcho & The Bunnymen Heaven Up HereEcho & The Bunnymen CrocodilesEcho & The Bunnymen SiberiaEditors In This Light and On This EveningEmery I'm Only A ManFeeder Pushing the SensesThis is the first truely consistant Feeder LP, in my opinion. The textures are deeper, and all of the 10 tracks on here are well written and crafted. There is also a slew of highlights to be had, with the punky R.E.M aping title track, the stomping 'Pilgrim Soul' and the melodic piano-pop of 'Tender'. A Great album, and only a hair short of 'Silent Cry' for Feeder's best album.Feeder Silent CryAlthough it took a while to sink in, I now consider this the best Feeder album. The songs are wonderfully consistant, and there are many towering tracks that rank amoung the band's best like 'Fires', 'Who's The Enemy' and the epic closing track 'Sonorous', which is my favorite Feeder song ever, striking the perfect balance between dispairing lyricism and thumping guitar riffs. Feirce and tender, often at the same time, it's a shame that this record wasn't heard by more people.Feeder RenegadesGene OlympianIdlewild The Remote PartA great Idlewild album. It's overly clean production works against it somewhat, though. There is a good consistency running through the quality of this album, with many highspots such as 'A Modern Way of Letting Go' or 'Stay the Same'. 'The Remote Part' is excellent, and offers a deep and rewarding listen.Idlewild Make Another WorldI don't know why 'Make Another World' gets so maligned by Idlewild fans. I love it. It has Roddy Woombles greatest set of lyrics running through it, with the happiness of his then recent marrige seeping into almost every corner of the album. There are also some full fledged classics on offer here too; The charging bass and supurb lyicism ("Let your tears fall in the shape / Of every one of the American states") of the title track, the uber-catchy 'A Ghost In The Arcade', the delicate R.E.M-esque 'You And I Are Both Away', the brass toting nostalgia of 'Future Works', the epic would-be-epitaph of 'Finished It Remains'...
The list could go on! It's a brilliant album, and one that I would place above 'Warnings / Promises', 'Captain', 'Post Electric Blues' and even (gasp!) 'The Remote Part'.
See, I told you I loved this album!iLiKETRAiNS Elegies to Lessons LearntiLiKETRAiNS The Christmas Tree ShipiLiKETRAiNS The ShallowsInterpol Turn on the Bright LightsIron Maiden PowerslaveFrom start to finish, this record is flat-out breakneck in it's pacing. It's unrelenting in it's metal assualt, with each new opening riff sending another burst of adrenaline down your spine. Plus it pulls the fantastic trick of ending with it's two best tracks back-to-back; The wonderfully Egyptian themed 'Powerslave' and the 13 minuet epic 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner', which comes second only to 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' in the leauge of classic Maiden tracks. 'Powerslave' is a great Iron Maiden album, and certainly the best one to pump yourself up into a frenzy. Despite it's greatness, though, I prefer the slightly more catchy records.Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast'Number Of the Beast' is a pretty sweet album. There are some great tunes on here like 'Invaders', 'Children Of The Damned', 'Number Of The Beast' and, of course, the truely epic all time classic that is 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'. But there are a few numbers that let the side down, most notably the back-to-back pairing of 'Gangland' and 'Total Eclipse', both of which are fillers of the first order. I don't think that this is the strongest Maiden album, but it's a very good effort.Iron Maiden The X FactorIron Maiden No Prayer for the DyingMost Maiden fans Run To The Hills when it comes to this album, as it is lambasted as the band's weakest record. I say NUTS to that. Coming from an alt rock perspective, 'No Prayer For The Dying' is one of Iron Maiden's best albums, and certainly the one that I listen to most. It has a great accessibility to it which no other Maiden record has. It's also short and to the point, minus the huge instrumental passages but still exciting enough to really catch the ear and twist attention. It also contains a clutch of full fledged classics like 'Enema Number One', 'Fate's Warning', 'Holy Smoke' and 'Mother Russia'. A much underated classic.Morrissey Southpaw GrammarI love this album. It's here that Morrissey finally pushed the boat out in a musical way, rather than a lyrical way. This record rocks with punk passion in a way that Morrissey never has before or since. Every song is great, and all of the tracks are full of interesting riffs and extended instrumental sections. I feel strongly that this LP was unfairly lambasted as a weak Morrissey effort, when it was anything but. A classic, through and throughMorrissey MaladjustedAn awful, awful Morrissey album. There are two good tracks on offer here; the stomping jangle of 'Satan Rejected My Soul' and the beautiful internet-related ballad 'Wide To Recieve'. But that's your lot. The rest are hookless, boring fillers. Hardcore Morrissey fans might find a little enjoyment in the likes of 'Alma Matters' or 'Roy's Keen', but casual fans should simply stay away from this festering turkey of a Morrissey album.Morrissey Bona DragThis compilation of early singles and B-sides catches Morrissey at his most strident and pop orientated. Easily as good as The Smiths' 'The World Won't Listen' and containing undeniable classics like 'Everyday Is Like Sunday' and 'Last Of The Famous International Playboys', 'Bona Drag' is Morrissey at his zenith, both chart-wise and quality-wise.Muse Black Holes & RevelationsA great album from Muse, full of variety and texture. Songs like 'Super Massive Black Hole', 'Starlight' and 'Knights Of Cydonia' really push Muse's sound into unknown areas and also rank amoung the band's finest works. Very nearly Muse's finest hour.Pulp Different ClassThe first ten tracks on this album are almost perfect taking in some true classics along the way like 'Common People' and 'Disco 2000'. The lyrics are so good on this LP that they completely paper over a few of the occasional half-arsed compositions. Why not a higher rating? Well... The last two tracks ('monday Morning' & 'Bar Italia') are both fillers, and drag the whole record down a notch. End with a bang, not a whimper!R.E.M. MonsterR.E.M. ReckoningRoddy Woomble The Impossible Song & Other SongsRoddy Woomble's second solo outing 'The Impossible Song And Other Songs' is an excellent record. It has a wonderful eclectic mix from the beautiful acoustics of 'Tangled Wire' and 'Work like You Can' to the alt-rock blast of 'Leaving Without Gold' to the ambient shoegaze wailing of 'Between the Old Moon'. The album feels spacious, atmospheric and almost completely devoid of filler. In my opinion, 'The Impossible Song and Other Songs' is Roddy Woomble's best solo LP thus far.Royksopp JuniorRoyksopp The Inevitable EndShed Seven A Maximum HighStrawberry Switchblade Strawberry SwitchbladeA perfect slice of 80's pop, sounding quite like the 90's Britpop band Dubstar, who I loved back in the day. The record is pretty much flawless, being very cute and catchy, yet with a slightly darker undertow beneath it all. It peaks with the fantastic back-to-back pairing of 'Who Knows What Love Is?' and 'Go Away'. I'm not sure why this isn't one of the most famous pop records of the eighties, because it certainly deserves to be, sometimes even sounding like a female voiced, synth-pop version of The Smiths (see 'Deep Water' or 'Go Away' for proof). A classic album of which I wish there was more of.Teenage Fanclub Songs From Northern BritainThe Boo Radleys Everything's Alright ForeverThe Cure The TopThe Cure Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss MeThe Divine Comedy CasanovaThe Divine Comedy Bang Goes The KnighthoodThe Divine Comedy A Short Album About LoveThe Divine Comedy PromenadeThe Divine Comedy Fin De SiecleThe Ordinary Boys How To Get Everything You Ever Wanted In Ten EasyThe Twilight Sad Forget The Night AheadThe Vines Vision ValleyI didn't like 'Vision Valley' for quite some time after it's release. It just didn't seem like a good idea to retread all of your prior albums by the way of two minute 'flash-in-the-pan' tracks. But... It grew on me over time, and I now find a lot of enjoyment in it, which mostly stems from how easy the album is to listen to. It's not deep or clever... But it is very fun. And tracks like 'Dope Train', 'Don't Listen To The Radio', 'Vision Valley' and 'Gross Out' all rank among the band's finest.3.5 greatBiffy Clyro PuzzleAlthough not quite at the level of the previous 'Infinity Land', 'Puzzle' is a brilliant album featuring some great hooks and a slew of memorable choruses. There are a lot of decent individual tunes on here like 'Who's Got A Match' and 'Folding Stars', but the main thing about this record is it's overall consistancy. There isn't much that lets the team down, save for the moderately boring ballad 'As Dust Dances', and a couple of ordinary-yet-pleasent fillers like 'Get Fucked Stud' and 'The Coversation is...'. A very good Biffy Clyro album.Brand New Your Favorite WeaponBritish Sea Power Do You Like Rock Music?BSP's third album is a close runner-up to the supurb 'Open Season'. It has a lot of night-time atmosphere, best typified in 'Lights Out For Darker Skys' and the gliding instrumental 'The Great Skua'. But at certain times it can get a wee bit boring. It also doesn't have many individual classics on it, save for the monumental 'Waving Flags', which is probably the best BSP song ever.Coldplay X & YA decent but also flawed effort from Coldplay. It's saved by a few really good songs, however. 'Swallowed In The Sea', 'Speed of Sound', 'X&Y', 'The Hardest Part' & 'A Message' are all among the best that Coldplay have. There also isn't anything truly awful on here but the remainder of the record feels a bit overcooked and overlong.Echo & The Bunnymen What Are You Going to Do with Your Life?Echo & The Bunnymen MeteoritesEmery The QuestionEmery ...In Shallow Seas We SailA fantastic pop-punk album, with a lot of alt-rock tendancies. There is only one filler here ('Piggy Bank Lies'), and it passes so quickly that it doesn't really register. This LP is catchy and great, becoming better with each and every spin. It's a little overwhelming at first because it has no dips in quality, and that actually detracts from it a little... When everything is great, it's hard to spot the highlights. Also suffers a little for not having a ballad / slow song of any kind. Still... A great album.Europe The Final CountdownI bought this album just for the song 'The Final Countdown', but was quite surprised to find that the rest of the album was pretty great too. It's all really catchy with an achitypically hillarious 80's hair metal style (but in a good way). Standouts include the thumping 'Danger On The Track', the chuckle-worthy 'Ninja' ("Ninja survive / Because when I'm with you / There's no need to... HIIIDE") and soppy power ballad 'Carrie'. Good, solid fun... And this from a person who won't usually touch hair metal with a ten foot barge pole!Feeder Comfort In SoundAfter the tragic death of John Lee, front man Grant Nicolas used 'Comfort In Sound' as a cathartic release for all that bottled grief. The result is an album so soaked in sadness, that it makes me squirm a little. Songs like 'Quick Fade' and the awesome title track are unbelievably candid. The album feeds off it's own atmosphere, and while it isn't as accomplished as Feeder's subsequent albums, it was the beginning of a very good turn-around for a previously laughable band.Idlewild CaptainIron Maiden Brave New WorldIron Maiden The Final FrontierIron Maiden's most willfully obtuse and overlong record, 'The Final Frontier' is a challenging listen. However, the album gives back as much as you put in to it, and repeated spins will yield one of the deepest, most atmospheric and consistant Maiden records out there. You just have to make it over the hour-and-a-quater entry hump about three times for proper effect, which is something not everyone will be able to stomach.Joy Division CloserA great LP, and one of the bleakest ever recorded. The soaring likes of 'Twenty Four Hours' and 'Heart And Soul' are just awesome on all fronts. But the album is far, far too dark for frequent listens. It's endlessly interesting as a document of self-destruction. But it's not catchy or fun or even musically impressive. All it has is it's unrelenting bleakness. And that's good enough when in the right frame of mind, but at other times (mostly when it's sunny) I'd rather pull my teeth out than listen to 'Closer'.Manic Street Preachers Everything Must GoA great, solid album from the Manics. The singles are all fantastic ('A Design For Life', 'Everything Must Go', 'Kevin Carter' & 'Australia'), and hold a certain nostalgic value for me. The other album tracks are also pretty good, including the album highlight and closing track 'All Feeling, No Surface'. The second half is let down a little by two obvious fillers in 'The Girl Who Wanted To Be God' and 'Further Away', but still very good.Morrissey You Are the QuarryA good, solid Morrissey album with a nice degree of energy displayed by the backing band, which make the likes of 'Irish Blood, English Heart' and 'First Of The Gang To Die' bristle with strident pop passion. It's held back from greatness by an occasional vapidity in the lyrics, plus a few autopilot tracks like 'All The Lazy Dikes', 'Let Me Kiss You' and 'You Know I Couldn't Last'.Morrissey Your ArsenalA solid Morrissey album, which features the likes of the mournful classic 'Seasick, Yet Still Docked' and the hillarious 'We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successfull'. On the flip side, 'You're The One For Me, Fatty' is rubbish, and a few of the other songs suffer from some annoyingly vapid lyrics.Morrissey Beethoven Was DeafMuse The ResistanceR.E.M. GreenR.E.M. Collapse Into NowRoddy Woomble Listen to KeepAnother excellent solo outing from Roddy Woomble. The choruses really shine on 'Listen to Keep' with songs like 'Traveling Light' and 'Trouble Your Door' immediately sticking in the memory. It's a bit more of a strait-laced folk rock jangler than the previous 'The Impossible Song And Other Songs' (still his solo masterwork in my opinion) but 'Listen to Keep' still delights at every turn.Royksopp Melody A.M.Royksopp's debut works well as a very relaxing piece of background music. But like most albums of it's type, 'Melody A.M' doesn't always connect when listened to with concentration, tending as it does toward the more unfocused side of things. But there are some classics to bolster the proceedings including 'So Easy' and 'Royksopp's Night Out'. 'Melody A.M' is a good album, but I much prefer the band's later records that developed into a set of actual 'songs'.Swish Emergency LightsThe Beatles RevolverCatchy and simple, 'Revolver' makes for a nice listen. I don't think it's an all time essential album, but then again, I was born in the eighties, not the sixties. I had The Smiths for my own generational revolution. But still, a very nice LP that does trancend it's age. Not nearly as good as 'Pet Sounds', though.The Boo Radleys Wake Up!The Cure The Head on the DoorThe Cure Seventeen SecondsThe Divine Comedy Absent FriendsA great album by Mr Hannon. Most of the epic instrumentation is gone here, relying on reveb-driven acoustics to craft a bitter-sweet chamber-folk album. The lyrics are great as always, and the general atmosphere is excellent, being wreathed in a heavy hearted sadness (much more so than any of the other DC albums).The Divine Comedy RegenerationThe Ordinary Boys BrassboundThe Smiths The Queen Is DeadThis ia a great album, marked by it's towering classics 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out', 'I Know It's Over' and 'The Boy With A Thorn In His Side'. But there are a few throwaway tracks on here like the muddied 'Never Had No One Ever' and the pointless closing track 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others'. A very good album, but not nearly the 'all time classic' that it's reputation dictates.The Smiths Hatful of HollowI've always felt that this compilation is overrated. Why? Well... 'William, It Was Really Nothing' is the most pointless, throwaway single that the band ever released. The self produced version of 'Hand In Glove' featured here is, in my opinion, the worst thing The Smiths EVER recorded. An inferior version of 'This Charming Man' and a boring, piano stripped version of 'Reel Around The Fountain' also conspire to drag the album away from classic status. So, overrated then, but it IS still great, with superior versions of 'What Difference Does It Make?' and 'Still Ill'. Plus it has 'Girl Affraid, 'Back To The Old House' and the mind blowingly brilliant classic 'Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want'.The Twilight Sad Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen WintersThe Twilight Sad No One Can Ever KnowThe Vines Highly Evolved'Highly Evolved' was great back in 2002. It completely rocked my world back then. But over time, my interest has dropped off somewhat. It's still a great record, and contains loads of classic songs like 'Homesick', 'Get Free' and 'Outathaway'... It's just that it feels a little overlong sometimes, a fault which is compounded by the fact that the following 'Winning Days' and 'Vision Valley' albums were very easy to listen to, and I now tend to gravitate more towards those records when I feel that certain 'gotta-listen-to-the-vines' itch.We Were Promised Jetpacks These Four WallsWe Were Promised Jetpacks Unravelling3.0 goodBattle Break the BanksThere are a lot of good songs on 'Break The Banks' such as the acoustic led single 'Paper Street', the Bloc Party-esque 'North Sea' or the none-more-Morrissey-like throwaway pop ditty 'History'. There are some weak moments too, however. Opening drum heavy track 'The Longest Time' seems to spend the longest time looking for a hook, but never finds one. 'Sit With Me' is utterly pointless and grates somewhat. But then you have 'Negotiation' which is a simple and hauntingly beautiful ballad and the closing track 'The Other Way', which is perhaps the highlight of the album with it's slow-burn build up and alluring lyricism.
In the end, it's good pop record. But nothing more.British Sea Power The Decline of British Sea PowerMost tracks on this record are good, even taking in some classics like 'Apologies To Insect Life', 'Carrion' and 'Fear Of Drowning'. But there are some proper misteps that halt the proceedings somewhat. The 14 minuet long 'Lately' is boring enough without it's insane length... Likewise, closing track 'A Wooden Horse' is completely 'meh'. I feel that this is the weakest BSP album, but it's still not bad.Coldplay ParachutesWhilst there isn't much that is bad about 'parachutes', there isn't much that is particularly great either. There are a handful of good tracks like 'Trouble', 'Spies', 'Yellow', 'Sparks'... Actually, pretty much the whole A-side is solid... And most of the B-side too, now that I come to think about it. So why only a 3? Well, while it is consistant, it just doesn't generate any excitement. There is also an elusive quality that I can't quite put my finger on... But its something that restrains the record from being really interesting. Still not bad, though.Echo & The Bunnymen EvergreenEditors An End Has A StartThis Editors album is an above average effort, and far better than the inconsistant debut. But it suffers from being a little too dour and samey for it's own good, with a rather muddied guitar tone prevading the whole record. It can also be really boring to listen to, if you catch it in the wrong mood. But if taken in the right frame of mind it can be Good... But never great.Emery The Weak's EndFeeder Echo ParkThis is the best of the John Lee era Feeder albums. It's a colorful record that boasts a handful of great anthemns like 'Buck Rogers', 'Turn', 'Seven Days In The Sun' and 'Satalite News'. There's not too much on this album that's bad except the awful 'Under The Weather'... although 'Choke' and 'Tell All Your Friends' do have a distictly filler-esque feel about them. There's a bit too much throw-away lightness which prevents this album from being great, but it's still pretty good. certainly the most 'fun' album the band have ever released.Gene LibertineIdlewild Post Electric BluesI didn't like this at first, thinking it was Idlewild's weakest, but it started to grow on me over time. Whilst still not one of the strongest albums, I now enjoy this LP to a good extent. There are some beautiful moments on here like folkey '(The Night Will) Bring You Back To Life' and Echo & The Bunnymen aping 'Cicles In Stars'. There are a few filler-esque numbers which are pleasent enough, and there's one awful song in the form of 'Take Me Back To The Island', which sounds like a cut from Roddy Woombles solo material that they found in the cutting room bins. Still more interesting than 'Warnings / Promises' in my opinion, though.Interpol El PintorIron Maiden Dance of Death'Dance Of Death' is one of the most frantic and heavy Iron Maiden albums ever crafted. It's a ton of fun to listen to, and has a spectacular A side of rare quality. The first five tracks are golden, with the opening duo of singles 'Wildest Dreams' and 'Rainmaker' kicking the album off with some pacey toe-tapping hard rock. The following three tracks 'No More lies', 'Montseneur' and 'Dance Of death' all rank among Maiden's finest tracks. The B side can't maintain the consistancy, however, and the only track to truely rise back to the top flight is the much lauded epic 'Pachendale'. the other tracks range from mildly interesting 'Face In The Sand', 'New Fronteir' & 'Age Of Innocense' to mildly boring 'Journeyman' & 'Gates Of Tomorrow'. But overall, it's a great addition in the Iron Maiden saga.Iron Maiden Piece of MindA bit of a slow starter, this one. The two opening tracks 'Where Eagles Dare' and 'Revelations' are both alright, but nothing special. The album really finds it's feet after that with 'Flight Of Icarus' and then just gallops along perfectly until it's epic finish with the crazy Dune inspired 'To Tame A Land'. It also passes through a wonderful fantasy themed segment along the way ('Still Life', 'Quest For Fire, 'Sun And Steel')... And yes, I do actually like 'Quest For Fire'.Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark'Fear Of The Dark' is a solid offering from Iron Maiden. It takes the more mainstream sound of 'No Prayer For The Dying' and adds lots of extended instrumental sections that made their older albums sparkle. The result is an enjoyable album peppered with classics like 'Fear Of The Dark' and 'Afraid To Shoot Strangers'. It does have a few filler tracks like the boring ballad 'Wasting Love', the weak 'Weekend Warrior' and the flat-out awful Guns & Roses rip of 'The Apparition'. But overall, its a nice album which deserves a much better reputation than it has via public opinion.Iron Maiden Virtual XI'Virtual XI' is a woefully underated album. The record sees Iron Maiden at their most melancholic and atmospheric. Almost everything hits the spot on this record, from the thunderous opener 'Futureal' to the slightly overlong but awesome epic 'The Clansman' through to the twin peaks of sadness 'Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger' and 'Como Estais Amigos'. "So why not a classic rating?" I hear you cry. Well, the album has one MAJOR blip on it in the guise of it's lead single 'The Angel And The Gambler'. If this track had cut off at the five minute mark, it would have made for a nice, if forgettable addition to the album. By dragging it on well past the ten minute mark, the band turn the track into a form of audio torture and lower the quality of the whole record in the process. Ah well...Morrissey Kill UncleA fairly insipid Morrissey record. Redeemed somewhat by 'Sing Your Life' and 'There's A Place In Hell For Me And My Friends', both of which are excellent in a kind of autopilot Morrissey way. Also, the strange sepia tone of this album make it a bit more alluring than the other weak Mozz albums like 'Maladjusted' and 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors'... And I certainly spin it more times than those two stinkers. But it can never be considered anything more than average.Morrissey Years of RefusalA solid yet workmanlike effort from Morrissey. This album mostly retreads 'You Are The Quarry' to uninspiring, yet mildly diverting effect. 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' is classic autopilot Mozz, whilst 'It's Not Your Birthday Anymore' has emotion and power behind it's vocals and 'One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell' has a delightful eighties synth stomp running through it... But then the record shoots itself in the foot by making the remaining tracks a bit ho-hum and then ending with the two worst songs on the album by the way of 'Sorry Doesn't Help' and 'I'm OK By Myself'.Morrissey Southpaw Grammar (Legacy Edition)R.E.M. AccelerateRoddy Woomble My Secret Is My Silence'My Secret is My Silence' is a decent first solo outing from Idlewild's Roddy Woomble. A few of his best solo numbers are tucked away on here, such as 'Every Line of a Long Moment', 'Act IV' and 'Waverly Steps'. But elsewhere there are songs that feel like unfinished thoughts, with Roddy and his band seemingly unsure about how to proceed. 'My Secret is My Silence' is a good album but it sometimes feels like Woomble hasn't quite reconciled the difference between what he wants to do in his solo career and what he used to do in Idlewild.Royksopp SeniorShed Seven Change GiverShed Seven Truth Be ToldThe Divine Comedy Victory For The Comic MuseThe Ordinary Boys Over The CountercultureThe Protomen The ProtomenThis was actually quite good. Obviously a bit silly with it's Mega Man espousing lyrics, but yeah... kind of good. The likes of 'III: The Will Of One' and 'VI: Sons Of Fate' are genuinely entertaining in their 8-bit metal opera madness. The stomping clean guitar funk of 'IIB: Unrest In The House Of Light' is also fun. Not a classic, or anything, but diverting for five minuets none-the-less.The Vines Future PrimitiveVangelis Blade Runner SoundtrackWow. This album really surprised me. Note I used the word 'album'. Vangelis really put a lot of effort into the stucture and form of this LP, which is much more than just a soundtrack. Every tune passes pleasently, with the sole exception of 'Blade Runner Blues' which drags on for a little too long.
It feels like this album has captured the same rain soaked, half asleep vibe that made it's celluloid counterpart so cathartic and essential. And thusly it's a worthy record.2.5 averageBiffy Clyro The Vertigo of BlissThe singles on this record are all good, and so are a lot of the other individual tracks... So why a 2.5, I hear you cry? Well... The last three tracks are just back-to-back filler. They have no redeeming factors whatsoever. I find myself reaching for the stop button many more times than I should before the album closes out.
Added to that, the record also suffers from a really dour guitar tone that lasts through it's entire duration. There's just no let-up to it's dull grey murky assualt... It just feels like a workman-like 'slab' of sound plonking out of the speakers. Lot's of people think that this is the best Biffy Clyro album. I think it's the weakest. Echo & The Bunnymen Echo & The BunnymenEcho & The Bunnymen The FountainEditors The Back RoomThe singles on this LP are great (except 'All Sparks', which is actually kind of crap). The likes of 'Blood', 'Munich' and 'Bullets' all kick some serious ass. But the rest of the album falls on hard times. The aforementioned 'All Sparks' is fairly useless, as is the dirge like 'Camera' and the opening 'Lights' AND the closing 'Distance'... Almost a complete write off, then, except 'Fall', 'Fingers In The Factories' and 'Open Your Arms' just about save it from the trash can. But still only average.Feeder Yesterday Went Too SoonThere are some fantastic songs on 'Yesterday Went Too Soon'. The bizzarely cockney sounding title track, the hectic thrash of 'Insomnia' and 'Hole In The Head', the duel bittersweet peaks of 'Tinsel Town' and 'Paper faces'... But the record is marred by quite a lot of fillers AND some of the worst songs Feeder ever written such as 'Radio Man', 'Dry' and 'So Well'.
I find this record much easier to finish than the prior 'Polythene', but it still can only be considered an average album.Gene RevelationsIron Maiden Killers'Killers' displays the earlier, more punky sound that Iron maiden had from the off. It's a catchy, quickfire record that is easy to listen to and has a great toe-tapping vibe to it, almost like the band wanted to fuse 70's glam rock with snarling Sex Pistols style punk. The result is an entertaining album that sweeps it's occasional weak spots under the carpet by being brisk and not ever over-staying it's welcome... And 'Wrathchild' kicks serious ass!Morrissey Live at Earls CourtMorrissey Ringleader of the TormentorsI quite liked 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors' when it first came out, but time has not been kind and I now find it far too boring to listen to. It drags on for way too long, and has an annoying production that elevates the vocals too far above everything else. Plus most of the tracks are autopilot... And some ('At Last I Am Born', 'On The Streets I Ran', 'I Just Want To See The Boy Happy') are terrible. This ranks with 'Malajusted' and 'Kill Uncle' as a poor excuse for a Morrissey record.R.E.M. Around the SunShed Seven Let It RideThe Smiths The SmithsNo, no, no. I love The Smiths, but their debut album, quite frankly, borders on poor. It was re-recorded in two weeks after the original sessions went askew... And it shows. The production is woefully inconsistant, with some tracks sounding like unfinished demos. Johnny Marr's playing is also insipid at times, with the likes of 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle' and 'Reel Around The Fountain' having dull and lifeless compositions. morrissey has his faults too. His early falsetto is really bad, and almost kills the likes of 'You've Got Everything Now'.
But it's not all bad. 'This Charming Man', 'What Difference Does It Make', 'Still Ill' and 'Suffer Little Children' are all timeless classics. But the other half is mostly for the birds. The weakest record by The Smiths by far.The Vines MelodiaThis is a very average by The Vines. There are a few truely worthwhile tracks like 'A Girl I knew', 'A.S III', He's A Rocker' & 'Orange Amber'. But this LP is a retread of 'Vision Valley', which itself was a retread of 'Winning Days', which in turn was yet another retread of debut 'Highly Evolved' (although in the latter case, it was more of a 'perfecting')... But you know how it goes; The more times you xerox something, the lesser the quality gets, and so almost by default, 'Melodia' is the weakest album from The Vines by quite a big margin.2.0 poorBloc Party IntimacyThe beats on the LP, whilst at first exciting, really start to grate about 3 quaters of the way through the album. It all starts to sound overly samey, and I end up reaching for the stop button way more then I should. There are good tracks on here like 'Murcury', 'Talons' and 'Aryes', but overall as an album... No thank you. I really hope Bloc Party go back and think about what dirction to explore after 'Intamicy'. Because my throbbing head (steady now!) couldn't take another repeat!Echo & The Bunnymen FlowersFeeder Polythene'Polythene' has some great individual songs on it like 'Crash', 'Cement', Descend', 'Tangerine' and 'Stereo World'. But it also has a lot of forgettable filler too. But what really drags this album into the grave is it's overall 'wacky' tone of psychadelia. It grates big time! No matter how good some of the songs are, I find it near impossible to listen to the entire record. Thank goodness Feeder improved!Funeral for a Friend Casually Dressed & Deep in ConversationI find that most of the tracks on Funeral For A Friend's debut are stilted and uninteresting. There are a few exceptions, 'Storytelling' is a great slice of heavy hewn pop and the epic 'Red Is The New Black' is flat out awesome. But elsewhere there is a lot of bland, sound-alike emo. Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid.R.E.M. RevealR.E.M. New Adventures in Hi-FiThe Protomen Act II: The Father of DeathOh dear... This album is all build up and no pay off. It feels like it's going somewhere and then just... doesn't. Sound wise, it's darker than the debut with a lot more clean guitar. The crazy punk of the first album is notably absent, which is a shame because the best tracks on that record were the louder ones. The debut was fun. This follow up is just boring... And when you're singing about Mega Man, it REALLY shouldn't be that way.1.5 very poorFeeder SwimYikes! Not a great start for Feeder. This album has three good tracks on it, 'Sweet 16', 'Stereo World' and 'Descend'... But two of those three were on the band's first full-length LP 'Polythene', relegating this mini-album to having only one exclusive good song. That fact combined with the awful remainder of the album make it one to steer clear of at all costs!Iron Maiden A Matter of Life and DeathMore than any other Maiden album, 'A Matter Of life And Death' is a really mixed bag. The darker atmosphere is good and I have no problem with the decision to make more lengthy, progressive songs. However, I find the album really inconsistant. Some of the tracks are brilliant, such as 'The Reincarnation Of Benjemin Breeg', 'For The Greater Good Of God' and 'Brighter Than A Thousand Suns'. On the flipside, though, 'Lord Of Light', 'Out Of The Shaddows' and 'The Legacy' are among the band's weakest efforts. On an album with only ten tracks, this proportion is hard to swallow. And when you factor in Maiden's past consistancy and rich history, why would you ever chose to play this record over, say, 'Somewhere In Time'?Morrissey World of MorrisseyMuse Origin of SymmetryI find this Muse album almost unlistenable. There are a few good songs dotted about like 'Bliss', 'Hyper Dementia' and... Well, actually, that's about it. Even the likes of the single 'Plug In Baby' gets old and boring really quickly... And 'Newborn' is just outright awful, and all this is without mentioning the shoddy production values. Bad, bad album.1.0 awfulAir Pocket SymphonyOh my good word. It takes a truely terrible album to score a 1 from me. In fact, I'd be hard pushed to think of another example... Maybe R.E.M's 'Up'. That was stinker. Anyways, this Air album is a complete write off. It's boring from start to finish, and when you have vocalists like The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon and Pulp's Jarvis Cocker guesting, that's a pretty hard thing to achieve. But Air did it. I can't recomend anything about this LP at all. And that's such a shame because 'Talkie Walkie' and 'Moon Safari' were excellent records. Good if you want to put yourself in a coma, though.R.E.M. UpAHHHHGGHH!! I hate this album with every fiber of my being! It's a stain upon the name R.E.M. The only good song... No, wait... Make that the only listenable song is 'Daysleeper'. The rest of the LP consists of turgid acoustic or bleepy synth mush that drags on and on and on and on and... You get the point. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
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