Tom93M
Major Tom
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Reviews 139
Soundoffs 104
Album Ratings 448
Objectivity 70%

Last Active 03-06-14 11:09 am
Joined 02-22-11

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Average Rating: 3.71
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Objectivity Score: 70%
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5.0 classic
Alice In Chains Dirt
Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am...
Art of Noise (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise!
A tidal wave of relentless oddball electronic experimentalism, The Art of Noise produce a listening experience like no others.
Brian Eno Another Green World
Brian Eno Here Come the Warm Jets
Brian Eno Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
David Bowie Low
Low is the pinnacle of David Bowie's career. It completely rejuvenated his creativity, and presented the world with a distinctly different sound to the glam rock or plastic soul of the past. Low's fractured arrangements, detached vocals and seamless blend of synthetic and traditional instruments influenced a generation of musicians, serving as a blueprint to the forthcoming post-punk explosion. What's more impressive is that Low is only the first part of a groundbreaking trilogy; but even when separated from its partner albums, Low unfolds as an endlessly thrilling and awe-inspiring experience, to be missed by none.
David Bowie Heroes
Heroes, for all it's differences, is essentially more of the same and that's precisely why it shapes up as a fantastic record. It presents a slightly more optimistic and refreshing slant on Low's formula for those who couldn?t stomach its icy, fractured melodies, whilst still sounding similar enough to its predecessor to be hailed as the natural successor to what Low blueprinted. It may not gather as much credit as Low, simply because that album came first, but over the years it's received the mass of critical acclaim it ultimately deserves. And rightly so, as Heroes is just as thrilling and essential as Low, managing to shake things up just enough to separate itself from its similarly outstanding older brother, resulting in yet another glistening highlight in Bowie's extensive catalogue of genius.
David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust...
There may have been technically better Bowie records; albums that were more compositionally groundbreaking, but crucially, none had the sheer cultural impact The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars enjoyed. The album catapulted Bowie into the big time, and rightly so - it's a fascinating concept executed to an enduringly accomplished standard. It witnessed the birth of the most famous incarnation of David Bowie and ensued his icon status - an accolade still standing proud and proving its influence almost 40 years on. Quite simply, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars is one of the most important and essential rock albums ever made.
David Bowie Hunky Dory
Hunky Dory is David Bowie's first classic album. It's distinctive yet familiar simultaneously, featuring some of his most essential tracks, as well as a platter of lesser known, gentle pop gems. The scent of the air is sweet and exultant, with a young Bowie doffing his cap in the direction of simple cabaret rock, without the constraints of an omnipotent persona providing the backbone of the tales and tribulations of each song's character. Here, Bowie sounds rather carefree and generally less tense and paranoid than his Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke embodiments, with Hunky Dory representing a unique and individual place in his eclectic music catalogue. Instead of most of the songs relating to an androgynous alien rock star or a cocaine-addled soul man's off-kilter view of the world, on this record, Bowie is just being Bowie - singing tales of hypothetical youngsters trying to live life, to an impressively accomplished standard.
Depeche Mode Black Celebration
Depeche Mode's most brilliantly dark hour. Contains a plethora of anthems to be played alone, at midnight including classics like 'A Question of Lust' and 'Stripped'. Its greatest charm comes in its ability to be both depressing yet uplifting. A Classic.
Depeche Mode Violator
Violator set a new benchmark in its genre. Dark and unique enough to be classed as alternative, yet full of sharp pop sensibilities and perceptive enough to reach a larger audience. Seriously one of the best albums, ever.
Iggy Pop The Idiot
Although The Idiot is most effectively categorised as post-punk, its influences and mix of genres are disparate to say the least. Taking elements of funk, krautrock, industrial, rock and electronica, the album boats a highly distinctive and deceptively varied sound. Despite its undercurrent of eclecticism, The Idiot is a very metallic and clinical record - its subtle traces of seemingly incompatible genres are capably moulded into a menacing post-punk cadence by Bowie's Alomar/Davis/Murray rhythm section. The Idiot is every bit as stunning as you'd expect from two of rock's most iconic and important stars, and then some. A consistently stunning and ground-breaking listen which breathed life into Iggy Pop's declining career, The Idiot is unequivocally one of the most defining and essential albums of its era.
John Lennon Imagine
John Lennon John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
Joy Division Closer
Joy Division Unknown Pleasures
Kraftwerk Trans-Europe Express
Machine Head The Blackening
Machine Head Burn My Eyes
Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral
Nirvana Nevermind
Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
Oasis Definitely Maybe
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Architecture & Morality
What makes the album really special is the fact that it feels more important than the 'synthpop' constraints would have you believe. It's aged extremely well, and the power of hits like 'Joan of Arc' still ring true. It's far too considered and beautifully executed to be brushed off as an unnecessary product of electro-pop cluttered 80s Britain - it's too clever, subtle and, more than anything else, gorgeous, to be ignored. A cohesive album that is extremely consistent in not only its tone, but also its quality; 'Architecture & Morality' is one of the great gems that many may have overlooked or missed - and that is simply a crime. If you're unsure about the pretentiously named Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, or whether this record is worth the time; one can only plead to you as a fan of great music to another, to give it a chance - and if you?re a fan of electro-pop at any level, you may find that that chance may be one of the most satisfying you ever took.
Pantera Vulgar Display of Power
Radiohead OK Computer
Radiohead The Bends
Rammstein Mutter
Roxy Music Country Life
'Country Life' also captures the final showing of the early Roxy style, i.e. before funk and soul elements seeped into the mix more and more until the group gradually became a vehicle for front-man Ferry?s seductive crooner persona to run wild with romantic glimmer and enticing, silky soft rock tunes (something that would become fully realised with Roxy?s final outing, the brilliant 'Avalon'). As such, the record is simply all that was great about the art rock sound of early Roxy, but taken to the extreme and its natural, satisfying succession point. A truly phenomenal album, 'Country Life' enraptured and influenced an innumerable amount of listeners, and with glistening gems such as 'The Thrill Of It All', 'All I Want Is You', 'Out Of The Blue' and 'Prairie Rose' being just a few of the high points, its not very difficult to understand why. No matter the taste preference for a certain time period or style in the bands eclectic discography, 'Country Life' is undoubtedly one of the best Roxy albums, and some would say (with great reason), the best.
Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks
Soft Cell Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
One of the most unique acts in early 80s synth-pop, Soft Cell had a flair for creating sleazy, sinful slices of dark electronic music. If all you've heard is 'Tainted Love' then you're really missing out.
System of a Down Toxicity
The Beatles Abbey Road
The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles Revolver
The Clash London Calling
The Cure Disintegration
'Disintegration' is the finest album The Cure ever constructed, featuring a consistently brilliant atmosphere on a level the group never quite managed before. Albums like 'Pornography' were immensely dark but suffered the tiniest amount from omnipresent melodrama, and that?s precisely why 'Disintegration' is a better album - because it takes all the captivating angst and darkness from the past, but expresses said emotions with a newfound grasp of subtlety and sophistication, so that any of the issues that held previous efforts back are simply erased; overcome; bettered. This is truly the work of a master of its field; the master being The Cure and the field being alternative rock. 'Disintegration' is more than just merely the best Cure record - it's one of the greatest alternative rock albums of the entire decade.
The Doors The Doors
The Jam Snap!
The Kinks Something Else by The Kinks
The La's The La's
The Smiths The Smiths
The Smiths Hatful of Hollow
The Smiths Complete
The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico
Yazoo Upstairs at Eric's
Catchy and concise yet innovating and influential, it's quite possibly Vince Clarke's finest hour.
Yazoo In Your Room
'Don't Go' out, stay 'In Your Room', with 'Only You' and the complete Yaz collection. 2 remastered albums, a 3rd disc full of b-sides, remixes and extended cuts, and a bonus DVD ensues this is the most complete and handy boxset of the duo ever made.

4.5 superb
ABC The Lexicon of Love
Adam and the Ants Kings of the Wild Frontier
Alice In Chains Jar of Flies
Alphaville Forever Young
A stunning synth-pop debut that came from a band who sadly arrived a little too late to receive all the recognition they deserved.
Arcade Fire Reflektor
Arctic Monkeys AM
Bauhaus Bela Lugosi's Dead
Blur Parklife
Brian Eno Before and After Science
Class Actress Rapprocher
David Bowie Scary Monsters
Quite simply, Scary Monsters is a fantastic album - featuring stellar moments such as the frenetic, childlike nightmare, 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)', the beautifully constructed 'Teenage Wildlife', the glistening 'Up The Hill Backwards', and the top class pop delights of 'Fashion' and 'Ashes to Ashes'. At the time of its release it was fresh and exciting, and fortunately the years have done little to erode such sentiments. Scary Monsters would be the last classic album Bowie would release for a number of years, leaving one with a bitter final thought: if only the rest of the chameleon's eighties material was as golden as this?
David Bowie Aladdin Sane
Aladdin Sane takes the glam foundations and lyrical concepts laid down by last years effort and builds upon them to include slight avant-garde leanings (such as the irregularity of the gorgeously odd 'Time'), and rougher rock tracks - rougher in comparison with Ziggy's polished, sparkly glam-rock, anyway. That's precisely why it works - why fix something that isn't broke? Sure, the album was cut super-fast and can seem a tad rushed if one digs beneath the surface; sure, it doesn't expand much on the Ziggy Stardust blueprint; sure, it's perhaps not as ambitious or deep as last years' effort; but when all is said and done, Aladdin Sane still remains as one of the most instantly enjoyable albums Bowie ever recorded, and is too much of an uninhibited delight to condemn.
David Bowie The Man Who Sold the World
The Man Who Sold The World was a crucial turning point for David Bowie as it marked the first time he found a solid direction in which to channel his ideas. This time it came in the form of maniacal hard-rock, which, when combined with some of Bowie's finest, twisted, self-searching poetry, made for a truly astounding and groundbreaking release. It may not be as consistent or hit-worthy as some of his later work, but The Man Who Sold The World was undeniably one hell of a way to enter the seventies - a decade which would soon witness the true birth of it's Bowie-shaped master.
David Bowie Station to Station
Station to Station was a groundbreaking release. At only 6 tracks long and featuring a distinct lack of commerciality, it's easy to underestimate its importance, but the experimental blend of plastic soul and detached arrangements proved to be massively influential over the following years. It also marked Bowie's departure from soul, and hinted at the sound he was moving towards - the metallic, fractured rock of his Berlin trilogy. Station to Station is definitely a transitional album; contemporary interviews and even the lyrics hinted at Bowie?s desire to return to Europe - most starkly on the title-track ("The European cannon is here"). Transitional albums are usually a mess, but Station is an exception - gracefully ducking its head below the parapet, saving itself from condemnation via the incredibly unique and influential sound it boasts. The end result is an album that ranks alongside Bowie's finest accomplishments.
David Bowie Lodger
It might not be as groundbreaking as Low or Heroes, nor is as instantly gratifying - its relentless oddness easily overwhelming for fans of cut and dried rock music - but for those who invest the appropriate amount of time into Lodger, they'll find an incredibly enjoyable album on their hands. What's more, Lodger goes to great lengths to demonstrate just how brave and challenging Bowie was as an artist who could've easily rested on the success of Heroes or Low, and merely churned out more of the same. But the point is he didn't. He took a step forward and tried something new, so if nothing else convinces you to give Lodger a chance than perhaps the presence of Bowie's undeniable ambition and credibility will.
Depeche Mode Playing The Angel
After the snail-paced 'Exciter', Depeche inexplicably rocketed back up to their familiar dark and moody brand of electronic pop. The best Depeche Mode album since 'Songs of Faith and Devotion'.
Depeche Mode Some Great Reward
Depeche Mode took their first foray into greatness with this dark, cynical, ironic classic. Packed with hits and criminally underrated tracks, its essential listening.
Depeche Mode Music for the Masses
Depeche hit the big time with a mellow and sophisticated album that demonstrates a band comfortably matured into its own dark sound. Not a weak moment on the whole disc, superb.
Depeche Mode The Singles 86–98
Disturbed The Sickness
Faunts M4
Five Finger Death Punch Way Of The Fist
Five Finger Death Punch War Is the Answer
Florence and the Machine Ceremonials
Frank Sinatra In The Wee Small Hours
Frank Turner England Keep My Bones
Gary Numan The Pleasure Principle
'The Pleasure Principle' is one of the most important and iconic electronic albums of its time, and fortunately, for all the right reasons. Arriving at the tail-end of 1979, the record helped blueprint the way for swathes of other young British groups who were bored of punk and were looking to experiment with new-fangled synthesisers as tools for making pop music. As it turned out, few did it better, with 'Cars' becoming a serious chart presence on both sides of the Atlantic, the album reaching number one in the UK, and Numan himself failing to scale the lofty heights he reached here, ever again, with a series of increasingly disappointing albums leading him down a steady slope to cult-status, rather than maintaining the sheer commercial superstardom he managed here. 30 years on, tracks like 'Cars', 'Metal' and 'M.E.' are still blisteringly good, and Numan's icon has swelled immeasurably since his solo debut, with a mass of covers and remixes of his most memorable songs, and references of influence by the likes of artists such as Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor. In short, 'The Pleasure Principle' is a fantastic listen, and nothing less than essential to fans of electronic music at any level, despite one or two minor niggles.
Iggy Pop Lust For Life
John Foxx Metamatic
In short, 'Metamatic' saw Foxx being able to distil and refine his style into its purest, most effective and influential form yet. Truthfully, there isn't really a weak moment on the entire disc, and whilst some tracks standout more than others, after a few plays, 'Metamatic' really begins to shine as one of the most enjoyable, very early 80s British electronic albums, that demonstrated all that was great about the country's growing fascination for the cold, danceable electro beats of Kraftwerk, and fashionable futurist themes and moods - something which 'Metamatic' does a better job of than most of its contemporary rivals. John Foxx, (aided by, at-the-time unknown; sharp, young engineer Gareth Jones) took his visionary tales of the future (first toyed with when he sang for Ultravox) to the next level, producing an album that features a genuinely eerie and clinical electronic atmosphere to match his jarring, detached vocals and astute sci-fi lyrics. 'Metamatic' is a stunning, confident and well-executed debut album, and is impossible to ignore for any fan of influential electronic music, especially if they love sci-fi, to boot.
Joy Division Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979
Joy Division Substance
Joy Division The Complete BBC Recordings
There's not much more you could ask for other than more performances, but until we build that time machine and steer Curtis away from the heartbreaking end he brought about, we'll have to enjoy these brilliant numbers without thinking 'what if', and instead just appreciate the opportunity to experience a small vibe of what it must have been like standing at the front of packed room in a small north west club, as the boys stumbled on stage to wash the crowd in gloomy post-punk perfection. All in all, The Complete BBC Recordings is a handy way acquiring both Peel sessions and the much bootlegged Something Else performances in one handy, and thrilling bundle. A must-have for fans, a curio for everyone else.
Killing Joke Killing Joke
Kraftwerk Autobahn
Light Asylum Light Asylum
Machine Head Unto the Locust
Magazine Real Life
Metallica Ride the Lightning
New Order Power, Corruption and Lies
Power, Corruption & Lies is the true birth of the New Order that influenced and enraptured many throughout the eighties and still holds dominion today - in fact it's rather astonishing how fresh, relevant and utterly satisfying this three decades old music still is. New Order named their debut album 'Movement', as if to announce to the world that they had moved on from the past, but if that album didn't really satisfy in that respect, than this second attempt undoubtedly did. Power, Corruption & Lies is simply New Order grasping their identity and modelling it to the ears of listeners in a glorious, confident and compelling pose - provocative, cool, sophisticated and unreservedly refreshing, its eight tracks are nothing less than essential to fans of groundbreaking music, in general.
New Order Low-Life
Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
Oasis The Masterplan
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Dazzle Ships
On 'Dazzle Ships' OMD risked a lot and they lost some of the chart success they managed to pull off in the past three years, but also become immensely more credible at the same time. They could've just deployed tried and tested chart geared hits like previous successes, but the point is they didn't. They chose to experiment, and whilst the album might not necessarily be as immediately grabbing as older chart topping hits like 'Enola Gay' when each track is digested separately, but when served as a cohesive album played from start to finish without interruption, 'Dazzle Ships' compels just as much and proves that sometimes, the risk is worth the gain.
Purity Ring Shrines
Rammstein Reise, Reise
Rammstein Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
Roxy Music Roxy Music
Roxy Music's 1972 debut is a stunning arrival of a band that, even here in its baby steps, explored the boundaries of rock and began on a trail of classic albums that would inspire many, over the years. Its incredibly confident and assured for a debut - already knowing what stamp it wanted to make on the music biz and doing an equally stellar job at carving out its stylistic portrait.
Roxy Music For Your Pleasure
'For Your Pleasure' is, essentially, a continuation of what Roxy set out to do on their debut, the preceding year, and because of that, its simply more of the astounding work that influenced, and enthralled many. But where appropriate, the album is held back just the tiniest amount by the creative tensions at play between Ferry and Eno, with some tracks being ever so slightly indifferent, in their goals and execution. However, 'slightly' is the key word, as 'For Your Pleasure' is, despite its minor niggles, a thrilling and radical slice of arty, glam rock experimentation at near perfection.
Stone Temple Pilots Thank You
Tears For Fears The Hurting
On 'The Hurting', Tears For Fears accomplished a great deal. They established the sound and style they'd become known for in a quality and manner that suggests they'd had been around for years, as well as showing the world they were a more ambitious pop band than most, with the primal scream theory inclinations and assured takes on grim subject matters being impressively risky focal points for a new band to tackle. Fortunately for 'Tears', it all worked out, and 'The Hurting' rose to the #1 spot in the UK album charts back in 1983 when it was released. To conclude, 'The Hurting' is an ambitious debut album executed to a near flawless standard, and the genuine emotion, minimalist pop hooks and superb vocals stand the test of time more than most artists of this era could ever hope for.
The Beatles Rubber Soul
The Beatles The Beatles
The Clash The Clash
The Cure Boys Don't Cry
The four 'new' tracks, two of which are essential Cure tunes ('Killing an Arab' and 'Boys Don't Cry'), when combined with the best material from 'Three Imaginary Boys' (such as the plodding '10.15 Saturday Night' and the infectiously catchy 'Grinding Halt'), mix together to create a package that is ultimately more satisfying than the debut album, with its trim, streamlined track-list. Shedding any of the weaker songs from the previous year's effort, and featuring gems aplenty; 'Boys Don't Cry' is a perfect summation of the bands loveable early phase (before Smith embarked on his gothic desires with a trail of dark albums) and serves as a perfect place for any Cure neophytes to delve into the bands work.
The Cure Pornography
The album works best when the listener draws the curtains shut, waits until the dead of night, plugs in a pair of headphones, and allows himself to be transported into 'Pornography's dark whirlpool of sound, determined to drag him down into the bowels of hell. And it's not as hard as it may seem to be drawn so deep into Smith's deprived world, as 'Pornography' is simply one of the most convincing and grandiose albums The Cure ever produced. It may be incredibly melodramatic, but that doesn't stop it from also being one of the most spectacular and dark albums the post-punk genre ever gave birth to.r
The Cure The Head on the Door
'The Head On The Door' is easily one of most accomplished and enjoyable albums the band ever produced. It's refreshing and consistent; pleasantly familiar at times, but excitingly experimental at others and alternative, yet hooky enough to be immediately catchy. Robert Smith penned some of his sharpest lyrics here and, with a full band that was sorely missed since Gallup's departure, some of his strongest melodies too. The full band setting helped usher in rejuvenation for a group whose future appeared to be hanging by a thread, a year previous, and to top it all off, singles like 'Inbetween Days' managed to make headway in popularising the band outside of their home turf; just scrapping into the Billboard Hot 100 at #99. To put it simply; with 'The Head On The Door', The Cure reached heady heights indeed.
The Human League Dare!
To the late 70's futurist kids that discovered the 'League' through the bands first two icy-cold, detached, robotic records, 'Dare!' was a betrayal. It completely removed itself from the sound it nailed so well and replaced it with straight ahead, chart-leaning synth-pop tunes like 'Don't You Want Me'. To the aforementioned group it was a betrayal. To everyone else it was a revelation.
The Jam Sound Affects
The Kinks Face to Face
The Kinks Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneygoround
The Smiths Louder Than Bombs
The Smiths The Sound of The Smiths
The Stooges Raw Power
Various Artists Cold Waves & Minimal Electronics, Vol. 1
More than just a carefully and loving compiled collection of icy, obscure synth from the futuristic 80s, Cold Waves Vol. 1 is an education, and nothing less than essential for anyone with an interest in this niche, but highly forgotten and quietly influnetial field of electronic music.

4.0 excellent
Alice In Chains Black Gives Way to Blue
AlunaGeorge Body Music
Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare
Bauhaus In the Flat Field
Beach House Bloom
Bombay Bicycle Club So Long, See You Tomorrow
Brian Eno Discreet Music
Broken Bells After The Disco
Buddy Holly The Chirping Crickets
Burning Hearts
Cloud Nothings Attack on Memory
Cold Cave Love Comes Close
Cold Cave Cherish The Light Years
Combichrist What The Fuck Is Wrong With You People?
Crocodiles Endless Flowers
Daft Punk Musique Vol. 1 (1993-2005)
David Bowie Diamond Dogs
Diamond Dogs is a messy, conflicting concept marked by a tenuous transition from glam rock to plastic soul, and that's precisely why it was such a crucial and important record in Bowie’s catalogue. It captured an artist mid-evolution, baring witness to his first steps away from the past, and as such, it remains an intriguing listen. An album of many firsts, Diamond Dogs features a small platter of sparkling Bowie classics, and even with its flaws, the overall experience shapes up as a fabulous, nightmarish ride through a grim and terrified vision of a dystopian future. Conclusively, this dog's howls might not be diamond, but where it matters, they're most definitely still gold.
David Bowie Heathen
Heathen is a great album and Bowie's best since 1980's Scary Monsters, but it's not a 'classic' album. It is, however, a classic Bowie album - even though it comes a star short of five - in the sense that it hints at the same characteristics possessed by an artist who crafted those iconic masterpieces years ago. It's not because this album ranks alongside such efforts, but rather because it captures Bowie's mind in a similar frame as it was back then ? not worried about living up to expectations or consciously trying to innovate, just recording what was right for him at the given moment. Heathen is not a classic album, but comes as close to such a title as any modern Bowie record could ever hope to because there's an undercurrent of awareness that understands that creating such an experience is nigh on impossible. Instead, Heathen just makes the best out of the present, and ultimately, the results are nothing less than a delightful success to behold for fans and casual listeners alike.
David Bowie The Next Day
Deathstars Termination Bliss
Deftones Diamond Eyes
Depeche Mode The Singles 81→85
Depeche Mode Speak And Spell
Unlike any other Depeche Mode album, it remains a charming piece of early synth-pop, despite featuring outdated synths, shaky vocals and few concerned lyrics. Worth a listen for its place in British electronic music history.
Depeche Mode Construction Time Again
The addition of Alan Wilder seemed to propel the bands creativity into overdrive. The result was an album more rich, dense and sample-heavy than any other DM record that came before.
Depeche Mode Songs of Faith and Devotion
A risky album that dared to change the universally acclaimed sound that appeared on 'Violator' and explore a slightly rockier edge. On the whole it works rather well and even though it doesn't beat their late 80's highs, it comes damn close.
Depeche Mode Sounds Of The Universe
30 years in the music industry doesn't seem to have worn down Depeche Mode's steam or creativity one iota. Familiar yet fresh, 'Sounds of the Universe' is a consistent and satisfying listen.
Depeche Mode Delta Machine
DIIV Oshin
Disturbed Believe
Disturbed Ten Thousand Fists
Duran Duran Greatest
As with most pop groups, it's the hit singles, not the full length albums, that provides the definitive picture. Greatest is a compilation effort that certainly understands and implements this, and within the realm of Duran, one couldn't ask for a more effective and enjoyable album.
Eagulls Eagulls
Elvis Presley Elvis Presley
Florence and the Machine MTV Unplugged
Foo Fighters Wasting Light
Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
Future of the Left The Plot Against Common Sense
Grimes Visions
Iceage New Brigade
Jack White Blunderbuss
Jake Bugg Jake Bugg
Joy Division Preston 28 February 1980
Kasabian Kasabian
Very exciting and solid debut, holding promise for a much-hyped band. The album begins perfectly, with the mega-anthem 'Club Foot', and carries on delighting with 'Processed Beats' and the catchy 'Reason Is Treason. The remainder takes an electronic route, remaining interesting if a little unfocused at times. With a little bit of refinement, a brushing off of pressure and more focus, Kasabian could have evolved into something which the hype justified.
Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown
Leila U&I
A clinical, claustrophobic cauldron of eerie robotic ambience and synthetic melodrama, crafted by able and confident hands; U & I is an obscure but thrilling electronic journey.
Louis Prima The Wildest!
M83 Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Metronomy Love Letters
Miles Kane Don't Forget Who You Are
Mirrorring Foreign Body
Mystery Jets Radlands
Neon Indian Era Extrana
New Order Movement
Although New Order hadn't really found their sound yet (however, non-album tracks like 'Temptation' held big hints of the future, with danceable electro rhythms driving the song), it ends up making Movement stronger. The clinging to the past juxtaposed against the small adjustments in sound, left the album in a unique and distinctive place in the bands stellar catalogue, sounding unlike anything else they'd do in the eighties. Movement is a challenging listen because of two main reasons; the first being the unfortunate context surrounding the band at this time, and the second being the music itself, and the fact it doesn't really sound like the New Order most are familiar with. But artistically, this is why it, appositionally, stands up as a rather brilliant album - simultaneously being a suitably grim and moody funeral hymn, and a subtle step in a different sonic direction. It's cold, unnerving atmosphere isn't easy to warm to, but for those willing to appreciate the album for its necessity in the bands history, 'Movement' has more to enjoy than may seem apparent on the surface. New Order needed to release some of the anguish and sorrow inside of them before they could move on, and 'Movement' builds the necessary atmosphere for them to bid farewell to the tragic past, and for Joy Division fans to do the same, should they wish to be part of the procession, themselves.
Nine Inch Nails The Fragile
Ocean Colour Scene Moseley Shoals
Olafur Arnalds Living Room Songs
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Organisation
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Junk Culture
Pantera Cowboys from Hell
Pixies Come On Pilgrim
Pond (AUS) Beard, Wives, Denim
Porcelain Raft Strange Weekend
Pygmy Lush Old Friends
Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf
Rabbit Junk Project Nonagon
Rammstein Herzeleid
Rammstein Made in Germany 1995 - 2011
Solid run-through of Germany's finest export's 15+ year career. Points for the remastering and new track, 'Mein Land'; points deducted for perhaps a slighty too skimpy tracklist to paint the fullest picture. Still a thrilling and well pieced-together introduction to Rammstein for those unfamililar, all in all.
Regina Spektor What We Saw from the Cheap Seats
Roxy Music Siren
As per, there's still a great deal of eclecticism on 'Siren', with odd country-glam outings like 'End Of The Line' and atmospheric, airy numbers like 'Sentimental Fool' sitting comfortably aside funky pop-rock tracks like 'She Sells' and 'Could It Happen To Me', without ever sounding out of place or unwarranted. 'Siren' is simply one of Roxy Music's most cohesive, well realised, surprising, and brilliant albums, with not a single average track, nor a moment were it doesn't thrill or shock with its unexpected, eclectic twists and turns. Highly influential, critically lauded and commercially successful (with Love is the Drug reaching #2 in the UK singles chart, in '75), 'Siren' is an album that deserves its place on 'Rolling Stones' list of the '500 Greatest Albums of All Time'.
Roxy Music Stranded
Roxy Music Avalon
After a 2 year break, Ferry and co. seemed to buck their ideas up. It was the 80's, they'd been going for 10 years and their last pair of LP's were middling, to say the least. For a band to come back and release a swansong to close their reign, especially one as important and influential as Roxy, one couldn't ask for a much maturer, sophisticated and successful end. Not quite as thrilling as their early sevnties material but gorgeously pop-charming nonetheless. Well done, lads.
SebastiAn Total
Simple Minds New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
Simple Minds Reel to Real Cacophony
Soft Cell Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing
An ecstasy-fulled EP that turned up the BMP count and became one of the first 'house' albums of its time, influencing the techno/dance genre.
St. Vincent Strange Mercy
System of a Down System of a Down
Tears For Fears Songs from the Big Chair
The Beatles A Hard Day's Night
The Beatles 1
The Beatles Beatles for Sale
The Beatles Help!
The Black Angels Passover
The Clash The Essential Clash
The Cure Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Count them up and you'll see there's an abundance of worthwhile moments - far more than there are skipable ones. Most albums would dream of containing as many gems as this outing and that's what 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me' encapsulates, really - a bloated concept, but one with enough value to warrant an investment of time and care from the listener. It may be a big, fat, smothering kiss, but there's still good reason to want to find 'Kiss Me's shade of lipstick smudged on the collar of your shirt.
The Cure Three Imaginary Boys
The album marks itself out as one of the most distinctive Cure LP's, regardless (and most probably, because) of any creative tensions present during recording, with as many (almost) jolly post-punk outings as it has gloomy ones; and a youthful exuberance and seemingly carefree buzz (see: the 54 second closer, 'The Weedy Burton', or the studio chatter of 'Foxy Lady') that makes the album a sheer delight to listen to - adding balance to the more moody tracks and making it all easier to digest, in the process. It may seem a little different than most Cure albums, but, crucially, it's a pleasant difference. 'Three Imaginary Boys' is a fantastic and influential slice of post-punk that sits comfortably as a nice parallel to the Cure's darker albums, of which, would soon arrive after this surprisingly, non-gothic, (sometimes) happy, and wholly underappreciated debut.
The Cure Faith
'Faith' is, as you might expect, just as grim and gothic as its surrounding albums - as grey as the artwork adorning the album cover. It does, however, mark another step-up in quality from last years effort, featuring a more diverse set of tracks and some of Smith's most sharply considered lyrics to date. Truth be told, there isn?t a single weak track on the album, with a string of essentials in 'All Cats Are Grey', 'The Funeral Party', 'Primary', 'Doubt' and, of course the title track; 'Faith' is simply one of the strongest Cure albums in the band?s 30 year catalogue.
The Cure Wish
If you hit play without any expectations or notions of what this record should be it really begins to shine, and show off of its strength - its consistency acting as flexing muscles, inspiring appreciation and awe in observers. If you don?t think of this as the follow-up to 'Disintegration' and instead, just chalk it up as another Cure record (which it is, at the end of the day), then after several plays, 'Wish' slowly but surely begins to mark itself out as a very enjoyable album - on a par with 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me' and trailing not too far behind 'The Head On The Door' - two exceptional reasons to make sure this album finds its way into the sweaty palms of any Cure admirer who's been putting the record off, for far too long.
The Damned Damned Damned Damned
The Doors Strange Days
The Durutti Column The Return of the Durutti Column
The Human League Reproduction
The birth of a child, never as dark and cold as he was here, in his baby steps.
The Jam All Mod Cons
The Kinks The Kinks Kontroversy
The Maccabees Given to the Wild
The Men Open Your Heart
The Prodigy The Fat of the Land
The Prodigy Invaders Must Die
The Smiths Strangeways, Here We Come
The Walkmen Heaven
Thieves Like Us Bleed Bleed Bleed
Ultravox Ha!-Ha!-Ha!
Yeti Lane The Echo Show
Young Galaxy Shapeshifting
Young Galaxy shape shift into a creature of previously unknown confidence and subtle electro-pop beauty.

3.5 great
Alt-J An Awesome Wave
Arctic Monkeys Suck It and See
Art of Noise In No Sense? Nonsense!
Art of Noise Daft
Art vs. Science The Experiment
Beady Eye BE
Biffy Clyro Only Revolutions
Black Breath Sentenced To Life
Bleeding Knees Club Nothing To Do
Breton Other People's Problems
Broken Bells Broken Bells
Cancer Bats Dead Set On Living
Chairlift Something
Chromatics Night Drive
Chromatics Kill For Love
Combichrist Noise Collection Vol. 1
Combichrist Everybody Hates You
Creed My Own Prison
Crystal Castles Crystal Castles
David Bowie Reality
Reality is a confident, mature and self-assured album featuring a consistent set of polished songs. Tony Visconti returns in the producers chair and his skilful hand is once again appreciated as he channels Bowie's ideas into fully-functioning modern gems. There's nothing as rocking as 'Slow Burn' this time around, but the album has a slightly weirder edge to it, with odd sparkles of noise and subtle inclusions of Bowie's treasured Stylophone flecked throughout. Still, it's more of the same when it comes down to it, and that's precisely why Reality shapes up as a great listen; practically on a par with Heathen.
David Bowie Best of Bowie
David Bowie Young Americans
'Young Americans' is also a lot more than just an interesting genre exercise, as it represented one of the first significant excursions by a white man into a genre that was previously seen as a 'black-only' style of music and is the process, Bowie opened the floodgates for blue-eyed funk imitators everywhere. Some would call it a genre-exercise and one that the fans didn't necessarily wish to be subjected to, and whilst that's true to some extent, 'Fame', 'Win', 'Fascination', 'Right' and of course 'Young Americans', that view tends to wear a little thin in favour of one that labels the album a different, but still delicious flavour, of Bowie. For those who just couldn't get over the leftfield change of style, they didn't have to wait long - by the time disco had exploded the restless musical chameleon Bowie had moved on to pastures new, but what else did you expect from one of music's great innovators?
David Bowie Outside
Ultimately, Outside is too challenging for its own good - even those who grasp its 'non-concept' can't argue against an overly long runtime and an inconsistent set of songs. Still, the album contains some of the most exciting and thrilling moments out of all Bowie's nineties work, and it's certainly the most ambitious album he attempted that decade. It's not the masterpiece it should've been, then, but it?s still an impressive and oftentimes brilliant experience, that all Bowie fans should try at least once before they decide to throw its splintered, complex carcass on the rubbish heap with his other misguided efforts, because Outside, despite itself, is far from deserving such a treatment.
David Bowie Hours
Hours is a mellow, refreshing and consistent listen. It marks a new level of maturity in Bowie's writing and carries subtleties that instil pleasantly reminiscent thoughts of earlier days in the chameleon's lifespan, without ever sounding retro or out of date. It's not the most thrilling of listens, but Hours's subtle and oftentimes beautiful compositions, served as good indicators of the quality of what would come next in a career that spanned over five decades and took as many turns as a theme park rollercoaster.
Depeche Mode A Broken Frame
Without Vince Clark's influence, DM created one of the most intriguing albums in their catalogue, sprinkled with oddity, melancholic beats and a lone underrated classic 'The Sun and the Rainfall'.
Dirty Three Toward The Low Sun
Duke Ellington Ellington At Newport
Duran Duran Rio
Rio, as a cohesive album, remains an optional extra open to those who've exhausted one of the compilations to death and want more, and holds little worth to those who are only interested in the hits (like most causal listeners will be) - a group that should just pick up the 'Greatest' CD to collect all the essential tunes in one brilliant package.
Fats Domino This is Fats
Faunts Feel.Love.Thinking.Of.
First Aid Kit The Lion's Roar
Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues
Frankie Rose Interstellar
fun. Some Nights
Handsome Furs Sound Kapital
Heaven 17 Penthouse and Pavement
Penthouse and Pavement is a very self-assured debut from a band that want you to think almost as much they want you to dance, and with the 9 tracks on their debut (re-issues and re-masters have added a few more bonus tracks) they've done a rather stellar job. If Heaven 17 hadn't quite hit their stride completely on Penthouse and Pavement, they had at least picked the shoes in which they'd walk with total confidence just over year later in the follow-up, 'The Luxury Gap' in 1983.
Howler America Give Up
Japan Gentlemen Take Polaroids
John K. Samson Provincial
Joy Division Still
Kasabian West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Kasabian Velociraptor!
Kings of Leon Because Of The Times
Klaxons Myths of the Near Future
Korn Korn III: Remember Who You Are
Laurel Halo Quarantine
Lemonade Diver
LostAlone I'm a UFO in This City
Machine Head Through the Ashes of Empires
Machine Head The More Things Change...
Metronomy The English Riviera
Miles Kane Colour of the Trap
Neon Indian Psychic chasms
New Order Brotherhood
Nine Inch Nails With Teeth
Nine Inch Nails The Slip
Oasis Don't Believe the Truth
Oasis Dig Out Your Soul
Paul Weller Sonik Kicks
Prinzhorn Dance School Clay Class
Rammstein Sehnsucht
Santigold Master of My Make-Believe
Sharon Van Etten Tramp
Shimmering Stars Violent Hearts
Simple Minds Empires and Dance
Sleigh Bells Reign of Terror
Sleigh Bells Treats
Soft Cell The Art Of Falling Apart
Ironically, the 'Falling Apart' bit of the album title is the best summation of Soft Cell's 2nd LP. Great in places, but overall, far less consistent than their debut, providing an expirence only tailored to fans, alone.
System of a Down Mezmerize
Temples Sun Structures
The 2 Bears Be Strong
House music brought to life with a fresh, fun, frankly ridiculous and simply entertaining modern slant. As fun as it is annoying.
The Beatles Please Please Me
The Black Keys El Camino
The Courteeners St. Jude
The Cribs Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever
The Cure Seventeen Seconds
Because the album is so sparse and instrumentally driven, it takes a good few spins before its beauty can be registered in the mind of the average listener, and if one were to nit-pick, one would conclude that there isn't much variety, with most of the album blending into one, continuous, droning wave. However, 'nit-pick' is the key phrase, as 'Seventeen Seconds' is a subtle and very solid Cure record - not their finest work, sure, but still a crucial step into new territory. And well handled it was, at that, with 'Play for Today', 'A Forest', 'Seventeen Seconds' and one or two other contenders all amounting to essential listening status for Cure fans.
The Cure 4:13 Dream
The band sounds fresher and more contemporary than they have since the early nineties. It really benefits the album - the track-list is bubbling with warmth, confidence, maturity and most markedly, potential for the future of a band that seemed too old to walk months ago. '4:13 Dream' is thoroughly enjoyable, and solid from start to finish, leaving one with a quiet confidence for 'Part 2', should it ever see the light of day.
The Hives Lex Hives
The Smiths Meat Is Murder
The Smiths The World Won't Listen
The Soft Moon Total Decay EP
The Strange Boys Live Music
The Twilight Sad No One Can Ever Know
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Trouble
Tribes Baby
Tronics Love Backed By Force
Tubeway Army Replicas
Ultravox Systems Of Romance
VCMG Ssss
Veronica Falls Veronica Falls
Yuck Yuck
Zola Jesus Conatus

3.0 good
A Place to Bury Strangers Onwards To The Wall
Adam and the Ants Prince Charming
Alabama Shakes Boys & Girls
Alice In Chains Facelift
Arctic Monkeys Humbug
Art of Noise In Visible Silence
Art vs. Science Art vs. Science
Beth Jeans Houghton & Hooves Of Destiny Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose
Blondes Blondes
Casiokids Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen
Chintzy Casio parps (never would'a guessed) crafted by a group of Norwegians looking through sunny shades. Bright, light and unique pop that floats by pleasantly without compelling that much.
Class Actress Journal of Ardency
Coldplay Mylo Xyloto
Combichrist The Joy Of Gunz
Combichrist Making Monsters
Combichrist Today We Are All Demons
Creed Full Circle
Creed Human Clay
Creed Weathered
Crosses EP
David Bowie Let's Dance
Let's Dance is a mixed effort in every sense. It boasts three glistening pop classics early doors, but shapes up as a tedious and uncompelling record towards the end. It doesn't really feel like a Bowie album either. Nile Rodger's shiny, but terribly anachronistic production and its deliberately commercial slant make it a distant and disappointing counterpart to Bowie's incredibly unique seventies antecedents. Still, it was one of the most successful and popular albums of the eighties, and its early tracks are delightful, ultimately saving it from condemnation. But whether the album is worthwhile firmly lies in the eyes of the beholder. Picking up Let's Dance will get you a flawed and unessential, but sometimes hugely enjoyable record - its value depending on just how much you wish to put your red shoes and dance the blues.
David Bowie The Deram Anthology 1966 1968
For those Bowiephiles looking to investigate this very early phase of the chameleon's work, 'The Deram Anthology' offers the best package yet. Collects 'David Bowie' (Bowie's debut LP) in its entireity, alongside several non-album singles, such as the infamous 'Laughing Gnome', and alternate takes on certain tracks, making for a more complete picture than just 'David Bowie' on its own.
David Bowie Space Oddity
Ultimately, Space Oddity is an album without great direction. It suffers from a lack of cohesion and is too inconsistent to be considered a classic. It has classic moments for sure, but they're sadly outweighed by the littering of weaker attempts at finding a niche for Bowie to grasp. On the one hand, Bowie's song writing had dramatically improved, but on the other he still hadn't found the right format to exploit his new-found adeptness. Space Oddity really hammers home the notion that Bowie works best when he expresses himself through a persona. It gives him a focus - a focus which he unfortunately lacked on this particular album, with its uncomfortable darting between cynical protests and feather-soft tales of lost love.
David Bowie Earthling
Its all very solid and enjoyable, but at the same time, one must question whether a dance-flavoured incarnation of David Bowie was what the fans wanted. Earthling is well-made for sure, but at the end of the day, when one thinks of Bowie and what?s great about his musicianship, the word 'dance' certainly doesn't jump to mind, and that's precisely why Earthling is both satisfying and underwhelming, as odd as such a notion seems. Its consistency and tact cannot be faulted, but its necessity and overall importance in the shaping of Bowie's musical portrait can perhaps be debated. Conclusively, Earthling is enjoyable but skipable - personal preference serving as the only sound critical advice that truly matters when deciding whether the album should find a place on your record shelf or not.
Dead Sara Dead Sara
Depeche Mode Ultra
That this album exists at all is an impressive feat, after all the obstacles that came Depeche Mode's way prior to its release. A few decent tracks but too many instrumentals and slow tracks unfortunately make Ultra one of the bands weakest releases.
Disappears Pre Language
Disturbed Indestructible
Disturbed Asylum
Django Django Django Django
A warped and wacky indie debut. Dense, hypnotic and exotic, Django's debut is set to shake up the stale alternative waters present in early 2012.
Errors Have Some Faith In Magic
Farewell Republic Burn the Boats
Faunts High Expectations/Low Results
Field Music Plumb
Foxy Shazam The Church of Rock and Roll
Frightened Rabbit A Frightened Rabbit EP
Funeral Party The Golden Age Of Knowhere
Gabrielle Aplin Home
Graham Coxon A+E
Islet Illuminated People
Japandroids Celebration Rock
John Lennon Mind Games
Joy Division & New Order Total: from Joy Division to New Order
There's not much more that can be said, other than, if you're interested, just go and listen! All the New Order hits are present: the irrepressible 'Blue Monday', 'True Faith', the gorgeous 'The Perfect Kiss' - to keep it short and sweet, this is all great music and pretty much essential listening for those who've yet to discover either band. And 'Total' offers that opportunity, with a not a single duff track and a unique chance to view both Joy Division's and New Order's work in one brief, yet spectacular bundle. Could 18 tracks from two different bands ever be sufficient enough to be called a total career retrospective? The answer is no, but that's irrelevant, because, at the end of the day, if these 18 tracks were released as a singular, standard studio album, and not a career spanning compilation, 'Total' would be hailed as one of the greatest albums of the alternative genre, and that, to my ears, is enough to warrant it?s existence.
Julia Holter Ekstasis
Like lifting in off in a plane, one which frequently promises to fly you somewhere exciting, only to keep circling the clouds, with little flashes of sunlight that beam through holes in the clouds reamaining just not bright enough.
Kap Bambino Devotion
Kasabian Empire
Kings of Leon Only By The Night
Lamb of God Resolution
Last Dinosaurs In A Million Years
Leaether Strip Anal Cabaret: A Tribute to Soft Cell
An EBM take on 5 influential Soft Cell tracks, thoroughly solid and worthwhile for both Soft Cell and Leaether Strip fans.
Mark Lanegan Blues Funeral
Maximo Park The National Health
Maybeshewill I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone
Neon Trees Picture Show
O. Children Apnea
Oberhofer Time Capsules 2
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Perfume Genius Put Your Back N 2 It
Rammstein Rosenrot
Sharks No Gods
Shiny Toy Guns We Are Pilots
Soft Cell The Bedsit Tapes
Eerie demos from Soft Cell at their most raw and experimental; tailored to uber-fans, alone.
System of a Down Steal This Album!
System of a Down Hypnotize
Tanlines Mixed Emotions
The Beatles With the Beatles
The Cribs The Cribs
The Cure The Top
'The Top' captures The Cure in a transitional period, and as such, some of its experiments and ideas don't quite gel, but when they do work they're intriguing and surprisingly effective. The key to getting the most out of 'The Top' is to simply understand that it's experimental and transitional, so it's uniqueness can take a little longer than usual to set in, and even then, not every track will be a big hit, given the album's eclecticism. With all that mind, the best consumer advice one could issue, is thus: take it with a pinch of salt and just enjoy it for what it is - an odd, chaotic, wild, unrestrained, and more than anything else, crucial chapter in the band's history.
The Cure Bloodflowers
Ultimately, the album is too self-conscious and familiar to be the epic return to form it was intended to be, yet, appositionally, it works precisely because of those two complaints. 'Bloodflowers' paints a wontedly satisfying portrait of an ageing band that can still appease its followers, but only when it resorts to using the same old pretty, yet slightly un-compelling, colours and brushstrokes.
The Cure The Cure
'The Cure' was one of the quickest recordings in the band's history, and it seems to have had an adverse effect on the sound of the album. It sounds carefree, relaxed and comfortable in its own skin, and it's nice to see a set of songs that haven't been fussed over too much. Having said that, nothing here is all that compelling; it's simply a middle-of-the-road Cure album, best suited to more serious fans than casual admirers.r
The Human League Travelogue
An awkward transitional phase, Travelogue remains a mere curious (but crucial) footnote in the bands history.
The Louvin Brothers Tragic Songs Of Life
The Magnetic Fields Love At The Bottom Of The Sea
Conflicting and inconsistant but frequnetly charming nonetheless. The chick's vocals are more irritating than an itch in your arse crack when you are unable to scratch it and some of the tunes are too twee for their own good, but other tunes make good use of the synth motif and all in all, create breif, fun pop music.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Belong
The Saddest Landscape After The Lights
The Sea Lions Everything You Always Wanted To Know About...
Brief, jangly indie pop that's frequently enjoyable but wholly uncompelling and somewhat absent from a distinctive human touch, with frontman Pillado's monotone vocals finding themselves drowned by the surrounding noise too much to take hold and connect.
The Shins Port of Morrow
The Tallest Man on Earth There's No Leaving Now
Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures
Trailer Trash Tracys Ester
Yazoo You and Me Both
Yazoo's swansong showed signs that the incredibly short-lived duo were losing momentum, but manages to redeem itself with stellar efforts like 'Nobody's Diary'.

2.5 average
Alice In Chains Alice in Chains
Atlas Sound Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See...
Ceremony (USA-CA) Zoo
Cheap Girls Giant Orange
Dave Gahan Paper Monsters
David Bowie David Bowie
Ultimately, it's far too odd and curio-worthy to be recommendable to all but devoted Bowiephiles, nor is it an ideal starting point for neophytes - it's uniqueness serving as a poor representation of Bowie's defining sound. Having said that, for those that do wish to venture into this naiive, youthful incarnation of David Bowie, there's enough substance here to pick apart and devour for long enough to seem just about worthwhile, even if it does come in the unfamiliar flavour of whimsical folk-pop.r
David Bowie Black Tie White Noise
Black Tie White Noise is an odd mix of drum and bass, wonderful Lester Bowie jazz trumpet warbles, and a passing intrusion of guitar and piano. It?s certainly not the most memorable or enjoyable phase of Bowie?s work, but the set is incredibly more consistent and ambitious than anything he did post-Scary Monsters. A conistent and enjoyable set, but one that isn't likely to blow you away or make you reassess your choice for best Bowie album, but if you give the record a fair spin you'll get a instant hit of warmth, simply because Black Tie White Noise showed fans that David Bowie was not ready to give up yet.
Depeche Mode Exciter
Mellow, tranquil, chilled, relaxed - none of these words are likely to spring to mind when you think 'Depeche Mode', yet they're the only moods you'll hear on 2001's 'Exciter'. Arguably the bands least satisfying album so far.
Depeche Mode Remixes 81–04
Detroit Diesel Terre Humaine
Dry The River Shallow Bed
Flash Fiktion Flash Fiktion
Foe Bad Dream Hotline
Too clean to be punk yet too dirty to be pop; Bad Dream Hotline doesn't really know which way to go and suffers in a confused middleground as such.
Guided By Voices Let's Go Eat The Factory
One hand: Interesting ideas; other hand: swathes of inconsquential ones. An unkemp slice of fuzz; promising at times but such highlights are buried under the weight of neighbouring trivialities.
Hospitality Hospitality
Iron Lamb The Original Sin
Jake Bugg Shangri La
John Lennon Some Time in New York City
Killing Joke MMXII
KMFDM WTF?!
Lana Del Rey Born to Die
The singles, which are front loaded, make for a strong enough start before the remainder (and majority) of the cuts stretch out the kitsch and retro-modernism to breaking (boring) point. By the time you hit the halfway point, Lana's voice is less cute and more samey; the music continually devoid of hooks; and her debut left an average reminder of how a desire for fame, and a particular route towards it, cannot be sustained by a couple of good tunes and rouged red lips.
Miike Snow Happy to You
Nada Surf The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
Just as the stars are indifferent to astronomy; Nada Surf are indifferent to entertaining me. Just middle-of-the-road rock. Skippable.
Nitzer Ebb That Total Age
Oasis Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
Oasis Heathen Chemistry
Panzer AG This Is My Battlefield
LaPlegua would go on to greater full-time success with Combichrist than on this early side project, although 'This is my Battlefield' does offer a few exciting moments to attract genre fans attention for long enough.
Pulled Apart By Horses Tough Love
They're just a bunch of big meanies from Leeds, really. I mean, look at the album art - who smashes a poor little kitty ornament!? It probably belonged to a pensioner; a poor little old lady who shares her home with stray Toms. Well, Pulled Apart By Horses do, and for this I cannot forgive them. Having an average album that does nothing new, has so-so vocal work and middle-road guitars doesn't help much, either.
Rose Elinor Dougall The Distractions EP
Shearwater Animal Joy
Stone Temple Pilots Stone Temple Pilots
Superheaven The Difference In Good and Bad Dreams
Swim Deep Where The Heaven Are We
The Big Pink Future This
The early tracks lay out a promise the remainder cannot deliver upon. The sound is strangled and swampped with epic walls of synth, and The Big Pink's obvious desire to hit the charts has led to an inconsistent and over-ambitious 2nd album, that features a few worthwhile tracks, with 'few' sadly remaining the key term.
The Courteeners Falcon
The Cure Wild Mood Swings
'Wild Mood Swings' is rather solid throughout and has a small cluster or gems, but, most markedly, it floats around in the air more than it touches ground. It doesn't have that crucial direction of either gloom/gothic territory or radio-freindly rock turf, that made earlier albums great. Essentially, it's a middle-of-the-road Cure album - far from terrible, but skipable for all but the devout and those wishing to get the complete picture about this seminal post-punk outfit.
The Cure Japanese Whispers
An odd album that provides fans with an opportunity to collect The Cure's 1983 non-album singles that proved to be a massive change of direction for Smith and his ever-changing gang of goths. Both 'The Lovecats' and 'Let's Go To Bed' are essential, but sadly, the rest of the disc is not. An average, but important step in The Cure's history.
The Menzingers On the Impossible Past
The Vaccines What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

2.0 poor
Berlin Pleasure Victim
Camouflage Voices & Images
If there's one simple and effective overview of this album, it would surely be to make it crystal clear that Camouflage were OBSESSED with Depeche Mode when making their 1988 debut, 'Voices & Images'.
David Bowie Pin Ups
Pin Ups is unnecessary and underwhelming. It was either a big bout of self-indulgence or, more likely, a way of keeping the record buying public satisfied whilst Bowie figured out where he wanted to steer his musical ship next. It's solid and far from terrible, but wholly superfluous, and only recommendable to those Bowie fans who must have a complete collection of his material - even if it does mean acquiring mediocre outings such as Pin Ups.
David Bowie Tonight
Whether it was a favour to a friend, a sad demonstration of artistic drought, a cash generator or a combination of all three, Tonight shapes up as consistently average listen - hence it disappointing status for long-term fans who've experienced bigger and better Bowie records. Apart from its two highlights, 'Loving The Alien' and 'Blue Jean' (which aren't all that astounding, anyway), Tonight represents the first Bowie album in a long time that can be well and truly skipped by all but the absolute devout.
Depeche Mode People are People
Diagrams Black Light
It seems lazy, even as an amatuer music jounro, to describe an album as such, but when the word 'boring' is the overiding feeling gathered from listening to this debut LP, one can't argue... Mainly because one has fallen asleep.
Leonard Cohen Old Ideas
Leonard speaks his way through his lines, and whilst his prose is without fault the rest of Old Ideas is not. The music is consistenly a mere bland backdrop and nothing more, whilst Cohen's voice, perhaps down to his grand old age, fails to lift off ground to anywhere interesting. Lyrically fine but a shame about the rest.
Oasis Be Here Now
That Fucking Tank TFT
The Ting Tings Sounds from Nowheresville
Tribes Wish To Scream

1.5 very poor
David Bowie Never Let Me Down
Never Let Me Down is not the worst album in existence (see: Justin Bieber's My World), but it is the worst album in Bowie's catalogue. It mirrors nothing approaching the quality of his vastly unique and influential seventies work - it doesn't even come close to the lesser delights of Let's Dance, or its disappointing follow-up, Tonight. It's absent from character and identity; creativeness and passion - merely a collection of poorly executed stadium pop - the small glimmers of hope it offers are swiftly buried under heaps of dross material. Never Let Me Down let us down. Big time.
Serj Tankian Imperfect Harmonies
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