CynicalComplex
User

Reviews 3
Approval 100%

Soundoffs 25
News Articles 3
Band Edits + Tags 5
Album Edits 7

Album Ratings 102
Objectivity 89%

Last Active 02-18-14 9:31 pm
Joined 08-29-11

Forum Posts 0
Review Comments 56

Average Rating: 3.22
Rating Variance: 0.76
Objectivity Score: 89%
(Well Balanced)

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5.0 classic
Steely Dan Pretzel Logic

4.5 superb
Barenaked Ladies Stunt
Billy Joel The Stranger
Cynic Traced in Air
David Maxim Micic Bilo 3.0
Amazing beginning and end, good middle. Weakest point is probably "Smile," which is a song with a nice enough backbone, but could have been cut down by a minute or two.

In contrast, "Daydreamers" is probably my SotY and is one of the best musical renditions of carpe diem that I've heard (if not THE best).
Iron Maiden Powerslave
Megadeth Rust in Peace
Mutemath Odd Soul
Porcupine Tree Fear of a Blank Planet
Scale the Summit The Collective
Carving Desert Canyons was an enjoyable effort, but it was often weighted down by songs that were a bit too long for their own good. Monument suffered from a similar problem, only the issue there was that things were a bit too mathy. Scale the Summit went back to the drawing board, struck a balance, did some minor trimming and tweaking, and this beauty is the result.

"Whales", "The Levitated", "Origin of Species", and "Drifting Figures" are modern masterpieces; everything else ranges from good to great. Absolutely no filler.
The Beatles Abbey Road
The Beatles Rubber Soul

4.0 excellent
Barenaked Ladies Gordon
Cloudkicker The Discovery
Dream Theater Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Frost* Experiments in Mass Appeal
Gatsby's American Dream Volcano
John Mayer Continuum
King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King
Maroon 5 It Won't Be Soon Before Long
Guilty pleasures! Guilty pleasures! Come and get yer hot guilty pleasures!
Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Return to Forever Romantic Warrior
Russian Circles Geneva
Silversun Pickups Carnavas
Steely Dan Katy Lied
Steven Wilson Grace for Drowning
The Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky
90125? Feh. THIS is the top dog of 80s prog-pop albums released by the 70s prog bands. Unless you want to call Discipline pop. Do you?
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland
Tortoise TNT
Yes The Yes Album

3.5 great
Barenaked Ladies Maroon
Barenaked Ladies Grinning Streak
Between the Buried and Me The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues
Camel Moonmadness
Cloudkicker ]]][[[
Cynic Carbon-Based Anatomy
The ambiance is a double-edged sword; it's very enjoyable in the short tracks under 2:30, but I also think it makes Box and Elves sound muddled.

Give the shorties (especially Hieroglyph) and the eponymous track a spin.
Dream Theater Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Dream Theater Octavarium
Flying Colors Flying Colors
Foo Fighters Wasting Light
Freezepop Future Future Future Perfect
Gogol Bordello Trans-Continental Hustle
Goo Goo Dolls Gutterflower
Goo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up The Girl
I Mother Earth Blue Green Orange
Good news: Edwin's not singing!
Bad news: Lots of filler!

Track picks: "Summertime in the Void", "Good For Sule", "Cloud Pump", "Autumn on Drugs"
Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell
Mutemath Mute Math
Porcupine Tree Deadwing
Radiohead Kid A
If you must listen to one album by the Angsty Falsetto Kings, this is the one. Yorke's voice becomes more tolerable when buried behind a wall of surprisingly cool-sounding electronics, and not even I am immune to "Idioteque".
Russian Circles Empros
Bizarre how an album with such awesome interludes and an amazing middle ("Schiphol", "Atackla") could leave me feeling...a bit unsatisfied. Perhaps it's that old adage about people remembering the beginnings and endings of things the best. While neither track is outright bad by any stretch, "309" gets lost in its own loudness and "Praise Be Man" simply doesn't have the grab of "Hexed All" or some of their other quieter tracks.

Regardless, a good effort and admirable attempt to integrate their louder and softer halves.
Scale the Summit Carving Desert Canyons
Sigur Ros Takk...
Steely Dan The Royal Scam
The Smashing Pumpkins Oceania

3.0 good
A Perfect Circle Mer de Noms
Arcade Fire Neon Bible
Barenaked Ladies Hits From Yesterday & the Day Before
Barenaked Ladies Everything to Everyone
Though the Ladies started dialing down the good-natured tongue-in-cheek on Maroon, this album marks the point where the clown mask really starts to fall off. Much of the album is a sardonic commentary on consumer culture and the Bush Administration; Steven and Ed's political observations are neither subtle nor especially poignant, and it's probably no coincidence that the songs that proselytize the most are also the ones I press skip on the most.

There's still a small handful of great songs to like here, but this album is divided very sharply between the winners, losers, and mediocre.

Try 'em, you'll probably like 'em: Celebrity, For You, Testing 1-2-3, Aluminum.
Avoid like the plague: Shopping, War on Drugs.
Alright in a pinch: Maybe Katie, Unfinished, Second Best, Take it Outside, Have You Seen My Love.
Barenaked Ladies Maybe You Should Drive
Instrumentally, Maybe You Should Drive ranks as one of the Ladies' strongest efforts; Jim and Andy Creeggan are at the top of their game. Andy left the band shortly after the album was complete; his jazz-inflected keyboards were one of the best features of the earliest BnL albums.

Steven Page characterized this album as "difficult", largely because of producer Ben Mink's influence. Even if most of the songs have BnL's trademark tongue-in-cheek humor, the melodies are ordered and layered, not freewheeling. This leaves much of MYSD with a bit of a disconnected feel.

This is, however, an underrated album, and there are still a few tracks that are quite worth your time. Highlights include "Jane", "A", "Alternative Girlfriend", and "Life, in a Nutshell"
Barenaked Ladies Barenaked Ladies Are Me
A pretty strong first half dragged down by the Ladies' indulgence in antiwar/Bush 43 sentiment for four songs in a row towards the end of the album. Serious tracks have never been BnL's forte, and it's glaringly obvious here. Aside from "Bull in a China Shop", Steven Page sounds intensely bored; in hindsight, this album (and its twin, Are Men) showcases his increasing isolation from the rest of the band.

Track picks: "Adrift", "Bank Job", "Easy", "Bull in a China Shop", "Wind It Up"
Beardfish Sleeping in Traffic: Part Two
Collective Soul Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid
Counting Crows Films About Ghosts: The Best Of
Five For Fighting America Town
Five For Fighting Two Lights
I Mother Earth Scenery & Fish
Mutemath Armistice
Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Radiohead The King of Limbs
The Beatles Please Please Me
Tortoise Standards
Not nearly as jazzy as TNT, and thus, in my opinion, not as enjoyable. Six Pack, Blackjack, and Speakeasy are all great. Most of the rest of the album is listenable if not up to the standards (pun possibly intended) that TNT sets, with the exception of Eros which cannot be called anything other than annoying.
Weather Report Heavy Weather
One unbelievably good track (Birdland) and two others which are pretty good (A Remark You Wrote, Palladium) on an otherwise passable, but 'meh' album.
Yes Yes
Yes Time and a Word
Like a scrambled up jigsaw puzzle--lots of good parts that just aren't assembled together well. There's loads of latent potential in this album, most of which can't be fully enjoyed because Yes's songcrafting had yet to fully mature at this point. The future seeds of greatness that would spring to life on The Yes Album, however, are firmly in place.

Track picks: "The Prophet", "Astral Traveller".

2.5 average
Barenaked Ladies Born on a Pirate Ship
Barenaked Ladies All in Good Time
The Ladies harness their anger toward Steven Page's departure with mixed results. Most of the time it fizzles out and gets thrown into a pile of listenable but ultimately forgettable pop hooks, but a few tracks soar brilliantly and you'll get a brief flash of the Barenaked Ladies that you used to guiltily love circa Stunt or Gordon ("Golden Boy", "Every Subway Car"). "You Run Away" is also the best ballad that Ed will ever write.

The addition of more vocals by Jim Creegan ("On the Lookout", "I Saw It") is a welcome change, counterbalanced by the unwelcome addition of more vocals by Kevin Hearn ("Another Heartbreak", "Jerome", "Watching the Northern Lights").
Bruno Mars Doo-Wops & Hooligans
David Bowie Hunky Dory
Dream Theater Systematic Chaos
Lady Gaga The Fame
Maroon 5 Hands All Over
Nirvana Nevermind
Radiohead Amnesiac
Inconsistent.

Worth your time: "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box", "I Might Be Wrong", "Dollars and Cents", "Hunting Bears".
System of a Down Toxicity
System at their most accessible. This isn't saying much.
System of a Down System of a Down
Yes 90125

2.0 poor
Cloudkicker Portmanteau
Cloudkicker The Map Is Not The Territory
Huey Lewis and the News Sports
Katy Perry Teenage Dream
Radiohead OK Computer
Excellent evidence that the words "influential", "experimental", and "different" are not always synonyms for "enjoyable".
Steely Dan Gaucho
Let's say that Gaucho is a middle-aged woman who used to be quite a looker. Instead of coming to grips with her age, she simply tries to bury her wrinkles under an ever-increasing mound of skin exfoliation products and make-up. All these products do, however, is make her look worse.

Some Dan fans love to talk about how 'smooth' or 'groovy' Gaucho is. You wonder why they use these adjectives? These are the ONLY words that can be used to describe this album. Nothing else resides in these tracks--Gaucho has no soul left under the laboriously-applied mascara.
The Fray How to Save a Life
1) Pinch your nose while singing along with the piano in a whiny voice.
2) ?????
3) PROFIT!!
The Mars Volta Noctourniquet
Cedric's a landmine, alright. This album is, too, primarily in the sense of it being dangerous to your hearing. Interesting drums, "Vedamalady" and "Noctourniquet" are pretty good. Everything else is skippable.
Vampire Weekend Contra
Yes Big Generator

1.5 very poor
Incubus If Not Now, When?
Lady Gaga Born This Way
Unlike Ke$ha, she has something resembling a brain and could have produced something other than banality. Instead, we get to listen to her musings on how it's cool to be an outcast while she sings along to boring, contrived dance-pop. Whoa! How edgy, original and empowering.
Maroon 5 Overexposed
System of a Down Steal This Album!
Talent: Obvious.
Sense of musical transition or melody: Nonexistent.

1.0 awful
Kesha Animal
Kesha Cannibal
I thought nothing could be worse than Animal. I was proven wrong.
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