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Last Active 05-01-10 1:34 am
Joined 04-21-10

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07.02.11 I Propose A Great New Genre Classificat03.26.11 Are You Hateful Enough? Part One
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01.19.11 Best Emotionally Desperate Albums

I Propose A Great New Genre Classification!

I, like many members of Sputnik, find it useful to use genre classifications as tools to examine and contextualize music. Although I once posted a list that gently poked fun at those who adhere to rigid definitions of genres, I think that genre names, though some times ridiculous sounding (ex: indie rock) can be extremely helpful for those who wish to understand music. There is a particular strand of undergound/somewhat mainstream rock which has existed for a while and that, to my knowledge, has not been bestowed with a genre title. I'm talking about modern rock based music that makes heavy use of symphonic instruments and orchestral dynamics while also incorporating a wide variety of elements from other genres. And I'm not talking about prog rock or anything that resembles prog rock. The most popular band for this style is the Arcade Fire, though they did not invent it. I propose the name Symph Wave (short for Symphonic Wave). Doubtlessly, some of you will mock me for this bold attempt at coining a new genre term, but read on and I think I'll win yer heart.
1 Spiritualized
Laser Guided Melodies

Though I could be wrong, I think this is the first album that could be called a
symph wave album. Seamlessly integrating blues, gospel, ambient, folk, classical
and psych rock, this majestic album sounds like no other.
2Mercury Rev
See You on the Other Side

Even though it was released by Columbia Records, this hugely ambitious album
failed to even sell as well as a mildly successful indie record. But the album is
genius. The standard psychedelic rock bombast of early Mercury Rev is present,
but the incorporation of doo wop, jazz, hymnal music, blues, dance and soul
took the band to another realm entirely. "Kiss From an Old Flame (A Trip to the
Moon)" sounds like a ballroom waltz from some acid-kissed, sci-fi Disney
musical. The other songs. . .well, just go listen to it.
3Flaming Lips
The Soft Bulletin

Though the Lips had used plenty of orchestral flourishes in prior works, on this
album they were firmly entrenched in a fantasia of symphonic majesty that no
other band could ever have even conceived of. This is the first symph wave
album to actually receive a lot of indie level attention and even some cross over
4Arcade Fire

The music needs no description, but this awesome and extremely influential
record is the first big time symph wave hit.
5Arcade Fire
The Suburbs

I can't really think of any other record that is so stylistically diverse while also
possessing an amazing cohesion that almost makes it one single "piece" of
music. Not my favorite symph wave album, but it is the most emotionally
provocative one.
6The Dears
Degeneration Street

This is an ok but not all that great symph wave album. It is just one of the
numerous records of the past five years or so that carry a huge Arcade Fire vibe.
I pick this one only because I haven't listened to all that many post-Arcade Fire
symph wave bands (I have a lot of death metal, gospel and death-gospel to
listen to). I have read many reviews of albums that sound like they would
classify as symph wave, and it is exciting to think about where the genre can
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