Mike Kaplan

Reviews 56
Soundoffs 2
Album Ratings 132
Objectivity 74%

Last Active 01-04-23 3:24 pm
Joined 07-02-22

Review Comments 1,919

04.02.24 The GOOD and the BAD (April) - Folk 12.04.23 The Manatea Awards 2023
11.15.23 Rec me the albums I’m missing for a y10.22.23 (Mana)tea time - Still slaps?
07.23.23 The Great Sputnik Summer Roast-VOTING S07.02.23 One year sputversary/Sputnik appreciati
05.16.23 (Mana)tea time - things I can’t get05.04.23 (Mana)tea time - gym recs/manatea says
04.14.23 (mana)tea time - sputnik zodiac 04.08.23 (Mana)tea time - Unnecessary Expenses
04.05.23 Happy Passover Sputnik!03.20.23 (Mana)tea time - small joys
03.11.23 (Mana)tea time - Pet Peeves12.18.22 🕎 Happy Hanukkah Sputnik!
11.27.22 My best of 2022

The GOOD and the BAD (April) - Folk

In a legitimate effort to expand my scope as a writer, I am starting a new challenge for myself. Part of the reason that I don’t write about more genres (such as folk, a lot of jazz, ambient, hip-hop/rap, etc.) is because I don’t feel like I have a good gauge of what elements make these genres good and what makes them bad. Therefore I’m going to YOU the Sputnik community for recs on this. Here’s how this is going to go: I want you to rec me the BEST folk album you’ve heard and also the WORST folk album you’ve heard. I will pick ten albums randomly (five of each) and provide my thoughts throughout the month of April. Why ten? Because I don’t have the fucking time to listen to an album every day. Deal with it. Thanks sput!
False Lankum

2Labi Siffre
Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying

someone rec (BEST)

Okay got started on this. Opener is wonderful. There’s something about an a capella melody that is just magical to me. I feel like the simplistic nature of this kind of music has always pushed me away for reasons which I cannot really understand, but when I put emphasis on the lyrics and the musical context they are placed in it’s quite nice. Will give a rating once I’m done with it but I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far.

Update: Finished this album. It was a very nice listen and was deep enough to be thought provoking but not so heavy as to be obnoxious. The songwriting is very pleasing to my ears. Great start to this journey.

Rating: 4.2
3Sufjan Stevens
Carrie and Lowell

somnolence rec (WORST)

Just got started on this and I don’t have complaints so far. If this is the worst folk album written then this genre is secretly the key to all good music period. (Note: I have never listened to Stevens once so…) I’ll keep you updated!

Update: Okay I finished this album. I don’t know if I hate it, but I can understand why it might fall in the middle of the ground? Idk. I think part of the problem for me with regard to folk music is that a lot of it has to do with lyrics and meaning and that (for whatever reason) has always been the least important part of songwriting to me. While the message is very powerful and the music is pretty, after a while it starts to mush really badly and I get antsy. That’s not to say that I hate it, but I cannot give it the same praise that others who are more dedicated followers of the genre might do. Musically I can only say that it’s pretty, but not enough happens here that really matters to me.

Rating: 3.4
4Musk Ox

Dedes rec (BEST)

Ironically enough I then pick an album where there are absolutely no lyrics at all. Boy, am I ignorant. Anyway, this album is pretty but it’s not really my jam. I don’t really have much else to say. It’s very beautiful, but I think I need to come back to this album again after I’ve explored further albums.

Rating: 3.7 (subject to change)
People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People

Ryus rec (WORST)

Lol wtf is this?

Update: Okay I can understand why people would enjoy this, but it’s not for me. Other than the fact that the “tongue-in-cheek” lyrics often come across as a very feeble and pretentious attempt at irony or humor or legitimate poetry, I can’t get myself into the style of music they play. It feels so…um…annoying? That being said the album certainly has some interesting moments and some lyrics did make me genuinely chuckle. I found enough in here to appreciate but not enough to actually like it.

Rating: 2.9
6Leonard Cohen
Songs of Leonard Cohen


This is… fantastic. Update coming soon.

Okay so this is a great album and I had to listen to it three times to really get a grip on it. I don’t have a lot to say other than it’s beautiful, the lyrics are incredible, there is JUST enough variety to keep me going, and I’m glad I listened to this. I even had a little connection to my dad when I told him I had just listened to it and his response was, “I never made you listen to that?”

Rating: 4.3
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