Friday, August 29, 2008

The Friday Thing: Freakbeat Phantom by The Rascals

The Rascals are one of those bands that aren't anything ultra-special, but are really good nonetheless. Compared to the studio version of 'Freakbeat Phantom', this performance is just as good if not better and you can tell that they like what they do for the fact that they get really into this performance. Enjoy.

Freakbeat Phantom

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Our Love To Admire-
Status-Out As Of 2007
Rating-2 Feathers

After creating the genius work that was Antics, Interpol changed record labels and used three years to create the very long awaited Our Love To Admire. You may think it’s impossible to top such a career-changing album. You might be right. ‘Pioneer to The Falls’ begins the album very nicely. Just when you think the mini-guitar rant is going on a bit too long, the vocals come in. It’s a bit calm, but not too long, although due to the calmness, it doesn’t really suck you in. ‘No I in Threesome’ is one of my favourite songs on the album. It’s a tad more upbeat than the previous, but it’s pretty calm. Paul’s voice fits the song so perfectly. The song sounds like a more mature Interpol, so I’m glad they decided ‘It’s time to give something new a try’. ‘The Scale’ is pretty dark sounding compared to the last two but it’s very long and very boring. After you’ve passed out, ‘The Heinrich Maneuver’ wakes you up with its fast paced beat and it’s kicking sound. They really should have put this song first on the album because it would have sucked in even those who hate Interpol. When the song is over, you’re dying for more. ‘Mammoth’ starts out seemingly loud and nice but it actually gets a bit quieter and it gets really monotonous. It’s like no really, ‘Just spare me the suspense’, I don’t think I can take it anymore. ‘Pace is the Trick’ is extremely quiet at the beginning; as in you don’t realize it’s playing, probably because you’ve lost your train of thought from the last song. Pace is the trick to making a song good, and this song is far too slow to captivate anyone. The only thing that gets interesting is the vocals, but the guitar just repeats the whole time. ‘All Fired Up’ sounds different than any other Interpol song I’ve heard before. The drums developed that short drum roll thing and the guitar has a different distortion on it than what we’re used to. The way he sings it is also different. I must say, I really like it; it’s a different sort of sound, which is exactly what I was hoping for with this album. ‘Rest My Chemistry’ has a very subdued Jazz feel to it, which gives its own sound, but it’s pretty uneventful, and lengthy. ‘Who Do You Think’ is pretty catchy, and so much better than the previous few songs pacewise. What’s nice about it is it varies, which is what you’ve been hoping for. ‘Wrecking Ball’ is very quiet. The vocals are odd, but the rest of it is very dull. The end bit sounds like dreamscape, if you actually realize it’s playing. ‘The Lighthouse’ is very dreamlike and the little guitar blobs throughout sound like the beginning bit of ‘Anyway Anyhow Anywhere’ by The Who. By the end of the song, I completely lost my concentration and began to focus on other things. Clearly not the best addition to their catalogue, but you can think of this album as a transformation period: a period between their old sound and their new. For fans like me, it’s our love to admire for the fact that we continue to love this band, despite the bit of mediocrity that they tend to come out with.
‘We never want to stay within a certain parameter—we always want to keep moving forward, and I think we have. You don’t really want to keep making the same record over and over.’ Daniel Kessler

Video for No I In Threesome

Interpol's Official Website
Note: This is the last I'll be posting of Interpol until their forth album comes out godwilling next year. Though I gave them a 2, I still really like them and that probably won't change. Also note, I have the special edition version of this album hence the black cover. The normal version has a lion attacking some sort of elk/deer thing, just letting you know. I hope you enjoy the album or review! Thank you for reading!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Magic and Medicine-
The Coral
Status-Out as of 2003
Rating-3 Feathers

The Coral are one of those underrated bands, even in England where they are from. By this point, these guys from Hoylake have one album out (‘The Coral’) and are known for such hits (in the U.S.) as ‘Dreaming of You'. Now with their second album out, ‘Magic and Medicine’, one could hope that these fantastic musicians make a better name for themselves. ‘In the Forest’ is a great beginning to the album. The keyboard that goes throughout adds a mystical feel to it that will be seen throughout the record. ‘Don’t Think You’re the First’ is a semi-creepy song. The guitar style they use in this helps add a very eerie and haunting mood to it that keeps you wanting more. Unlike the first two, ‘Liezah’ is very clean; almost a light skiffle. Though it contains short bursts of weird melodies, it’s becomes an acoustic sound that you’ll hear throughout the album also. ‘Talkin’ Gypsy Market Blues’ is really annoying. They’ve got the whole blues thing down, but my God, the vocals are irritating. The song gets very monotonous and James Skelly is not meant to sing the blues, ever. ‘Secret Kiss’ is a lot better than ‘TGMB’. It’s a light sounding song that has elements of the creepy keyboard sound, but the overall mood is similar to that of ‘Liezah’. ‘Milkwood Blues’ is the last blues song, and it’s better than the other, but it’s not great. They know how to play the blues, but the song is far too dragged out and too mellow. It’s almost cocktail party type music. ‘Bill McCai’ tells the story of a depressed middle-aged man whose ‘kids don’t even notice him’ and he wishes he were a little boy again. The song is a hugely nice change to the previous bunch. It’s a little gloomy, but with a hopeful tone. What really helps it is it’s undeniable catchiness. ‘Eskimo Lament’ is very dreamlike. Half way through, it gets brassy and weird but it’s still far too slow for my liking. The whole ‘rain rain go away’ idea is an exhausted concept which really makes the song lack cleverness. ‘Careless Hands’ is too similar to the last song for the fact that it’s overdrawn and you’re dying for it to end. ‘Pass it On’ sounds very similar to ‘You Like Me Too Much’ by The Beatles. It’s calm like the last two, but it’s a bit more upbeat. It’s nostalgic and it’s downright beautiful. ‘All Of Our Love’ is a combination of the calm and haunting styles of the album. The song doesn’t sound like it was mixed properly (i.e. The guitar is too loud, the vocals are too quiet…) and it’s exceedingly repetitive. ‘Confessions of A.D.D.D.’ starts out nice but it gets almost western, which is not nice to the ears or the headache you’ve developed from the last song. Halfway through it gets significantly better and I’m glad they didn’t end the album on a slow note. Though the album was ultra-fantastic or anything, they are still a sound band that with more maturity and experience are bound to make an album that’s more cohesive and pulled together. With clear early sixties and fifties influences, they are promising and just need a little Magic and Medicine.

“I think Liverpool has kept a lot of its musical innocence. The sound that often comes out is what has sort of been passed on or influenced by another Liverpool band. It’s stayed traditional with guitar music and we’ve stayed true to it.”-Ian Skelly

Video for Pass it On

The Coral's Official Website
Note: This is their 2nd album and since then, they've come out with two others. Invisible Invasion, the one that came out directly after this, has Rootkit on it (it's a software that'll screw up your computer if you load it on) so I'd make sure you get a copy of it that doesn't have it (which I don't know how you'd tell and it's Sony's doing, not theirs). Also, because they're on Deltasonic, no band of theirs has any CD that has a U.S. release so if you find these albums in stores you're lucky. I found this at Bestbuy, the only CD of The Coral they had.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends-
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

From London, Coldplay is one of those few British bands that’s actually popular in the UK and the U.S. With the mad success of ‘Parachutes’ and ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’, and the disappointment that was ‘X&Y’, you could only hope that these four would create something that actually lives up to their debuts. Now in their early thirties, they’ve decided to try a style completely different to that of the last three. ‘Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends’ is that follow-up that everyone was hoping for. The album starts out with ‘Life In Technicolour’. A cheery overture starting out and album can only lead one to have expectations grandeur. This song reminds me very heavily of strawberries: just listen, you’ll see. ‘Cemeteries of London’ is dreary enough to fit the title and it’s gloomy enough to make it not sound like a repeat of the previous song. The acoustic guitar helps add to the middle-earth feel. ‘Lost!’ is bit annoying to me. I really don’t like the clapping so much. Though it doesn’t take away from the mood or splendor of the album, I really just don’t like it. It has a coconut sound that sounds stupid compared to the rest. ‘42’ is much better than ‘Lost!’. It’s gloomy and a bit eerie with the whole ‘I’m not dead, they’re just living in my head’ thing, but it has a pure sound to it that envelops you. When the mood changes to the ‘you didn’t get to heaven but you made it close’ thing, it really captivates the eardrums. I really don’t like ‘Lovers in Japan’ for the fact that it sounds too much like U2. Though it sounds a bit stupid compared to the rest of the album, the ‘Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp’ drum sound helps to make it more cohesive to the rest. ‘Reign of Love’ has a very storybook mood. It’s happy, but with that soft piano that further reminds me of fruit, melons to be exact. ‘Yes’ has a very murky, deep feel to it that makes you wonder why they didn’t name it ‘No’. The ‘Russian Folk Dance’ sounding strings helps add to the weird but dramatic sound of the album. ‘Chinese Sleep Chant’ is supposed to be a hidden track, but it’s not really hidden. The airy vocals and upbeat drums create a much more of a ‘YES!’ feel than the previous. It really puts you in a pleasant, very dreamlike mood, one that lasts too. ‘Viva La Vida’ goes right proper with the rest of the album. The strings produce such a clean, almost emotional sound, that’s unbelievably enchanting and the enthralling vocals just tie it together. ‘Violet Hill’ is a completely different sound from the previous but the general gist really goes. The end bit with the poignant and ghostly piano really finishes off the song nicely. ‘Strawberry Swing’ sounds very Irish bag pipe-y. Boysenberries come to mind with the thick drum beat and light acoustic guitar. It’s just a bit long. ‘Death and All His Friends’ finishes the album with a peaches and cream aura. Mid way, it develops a ‘Two of Us’ sort of feel (that’s the cream). The hidden track ‘The Escapist’ sounds like the lead off with the very spacy, strawberry feel. When an album loops it adds a much more finished, complete feel to it. Though a much better addition to their catalogue than ‘X&Y’, it’s still a huge style change to what you’re used to with Coldplay. Containing their biggest hit to date (Viva la Vida), you can easily see why this album sold so well. I’d suggest it to anyone, Coldplay fan or not. Melons and berries, makes a good fruit salad.

"We feel like a new band again, rather than some corporate machine"-Jonny Buckland

Video for Violet Hill

Coldplay's Official Website
Note: It's about time I review this album being that I don't review too many albums that came out this year. I'm going to post more reviews this week, like one a day or something so check back when you can. I hope you enjoy and I love the comments!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Friday Thing: The Coral

Hey everyone. Because I'm bad at keeping up with my reviews, I've decided to do something every Friday non-review related. I call it The Friday Thing. I will post something that has to do with pop-culture but the main point is to post a live performance that I think is absolutely brilliant. The performances will come from with The Glastonbury Festival or Later... With Jools Holland. I'll be posting a review of either Viva La Vida or Magic and Medicine tomorrow so stay tuned.

The Coral are one of those bands that's very underrated and almost unheard of in America, surprise surprise. This performance for 'In The Morning' at Glastonbury, to me, was one of the best performances I've ever seen. Here it is and enjoy.

In The Morning

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Wincing the Night Away-
The Shins
Status-Out as of 2007
Label-Sub Pop
3rd Studio Album
Rating-3 Feathers

With their roots in Albuquerque, New Mexico and two hit albums under their belt, (‘Oh, Inverted World’ and ‘Chutes Too Narrow’), it’s only telling that their third album be a great addition to such a collection. For any Shins fan, ‘Wincing The Night Away’ does not disappoint. ‘Sleeping Lessons’ starts the album with a very spacey keyboard, which follows the vocals. About half way through, the song reaches a sort of exhilaration unlike the beginning. This song is about opening yourself up, which to me, helps make it a fantastic lead off. ‘Australia’ greets us with someone shouting in a seemingly heavy German accent. This is definitely one catchy number. The subtle use of a ukulele is very effective. ‘Pam Berry’ is very short, almost a filler sort of song, that is extremely electronica. In ‘Phantom Limb’, the bass is very electronic allowing for a blend between it and ‘Pam berry’. The general sound of it is similar to that of ‘Australia’ but it’s mellower. The general sound of it gives me a wrenching headache for some reason and they really could’ve made it shorter. ‘Sea Legs’ has an annoyingly hip-hop sounding drum and bass track with a random flute and string section in the background. I’m flat out bothered by it. I really can’t stand a non-varying bass and drum line. It’s definitely not my favourite song, at all. ‘Red Rabbits’ starts with an airy but poppy sounding instrument that backs the vocals. This song shows James Mercer’s ability to sing to softer sort of song. The main problem with it though, is it’s just a bit too long. ‘Turn On Me’ is my favourite song on the album. If you like basic pop/rock songs you’ll be sure to like this song. The drums are simple but perfect. I find it cheesy how in the chorus he has to say ‘fond of y-o-u’. I find the whole spelling things out deal kind of stupid. ‘Black Wave’ is much different from the last song. I never realized how dark an acoustic guitar can sound on it’s own and how effective it is in doing so. Unlike the lyrics, you are not ‘looking on the brightest side', but you’re still bound to love it. ‘Spilt Needles’ is certainly not the best, although the beginning oddness sucks you in. The vocals create such irresistible hooks that help create a sound different from the other songs. ‘Girl Sailor’ starts out nice, but you quickly realize there is virtually no variation. Though pleasantly calm, it gets pretty boring. If you listened to it all the way through, ‘you made it through the direst of straits’. ‘Comet Appears’ at first sounds like a hopeful version of ‘Black Wave’ equipped with a slide guitar. It’s extremely dreamlike which I think is a good, composed way to end a record. The problems that present themselves in this album are that it sounds like too many new influences are being crammed into one record which makes it very uneven, and sometimes, very distasteful. The other problem is that more than half the songs seem to drag on forever, and ever. As songs on their own, most of them are really good, but as a collection, it’s very unappealing. Compared to the first two albums, this record is much more mature, but not necessarily better.

"There was a long while where I was struggling to get the lyrics. It was blood from a stone for a while." –James Mercer

Video for Australia

The Shins Official Website
Note: I'm sorry for not posting much reviews recently. I've been doing alot of listening but I haven't gotten around to writing the actual review so within the next week I'll have atleast 3 new reviews. I reviewed The Shins first album awhile ago so check that out. I didn't review their second album because I don't want to buy it, it's as simple as that. I'm going to post a rating guide soon so you understand how I rate CD's and stuff. Please keep posted and comment! Thank you everyone!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?-
Arctic Monkeys
Status-Out as of 2006
Rating-4.5 Feathers

With their sudden rise to fame, the Arctic Monkeys wasted no time recording new material. Almost four months after their debut came out, they released the EP ‘Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?’ containing five tracks, four new ones. The EP starts with What Ever People Say I Am’s ‘The View From The Afternoon’. Like the previous review, the shear power exhibited sucks you in immediately. The highly observant lyrics on going out at night just make it that much better. Also, the fact that Alex’s voice cracks makes them even more relatable. ‘Cigarette Smoker Fiona’ is a little edgier than the previous song. Lyrics like ‘I never came from no ghetto, but it wasn’t nowhere near here’ show that the band aren’t trying to be anything they aren’t, which is always a plus. Over all, it’s not that incredible, so it’s not going to become an instant classic, or favourite for that matter. ‘Despair in the Departure Lounge’ is about a guy leaving a girl and learning how to deal with the reality of being alone again. Though it’s a little lengthy, the lyrics like ‘Cause she isn't there to hold your hand, she won't be waiting for you when you land’ express the emotion extremely well and the lone guitar with a subtle piano are very effective in achieving the heartbreak mood. ‘No Buses’ is much more poppy and happier than anything they’ve done so far and it oddly reminds me of the beach. Though the line ‘it was the antiseptic to the sore’ is supposed to be romantic, it’s just gross. ‘Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?’ finishes the album with a bang. The song discusses what it’s like to become as successful as they did in such a short time, the dark side of it, and how people may be saying ‘in 5 years time will it be “Who the fuck’s Arctic Monkeys?”’ Matt’s vocals and Andy’s bassline at the end help this song embrace a more serious feel, but still dark. Shouting ‘Bring on the backlash!’ shows that they are ready for anything that comes their way. Though this EP received virtually no air-play because of it’s increased ‘language’, it still sold extremely well. With four new genre exploring, unexpectedly amazing tracks, you can only imagine what this would have turned into if it were turned into an album! It’s a nice treat that’ll hold you off until their next album arrives.
“People already proper care about the music, before it's even finished. You can see it in their eyes and nobody can take that away from you.”-Alex Turner

Live Video for Who The Fuck are Arctic Monkeys?

Arctic Monkeys Official Website
NOTE: Okay, I really wish they hadn't used f-ck so much because their may be some sensitive readers out there so I censored it, I hope, properly. Just tell me if it's really bothering you. Also, with the video, Alex's hair and shirt are horrible but the performance is overall good, that's why I put it, so enjoy the sound. Thank you for reading my first EP review!
EDIT: Screw it, I took the line out and put the real word.

Friday, August 8, 2008


The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation-
The Wombats
Status-Out as of 2008 (in the US)
Label-14th Floor
Rating-3 Feathers

When drummer Dan Haggis and guitarist Matthew Murphy met at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, they became friends and started jamming together. When bassist Tord Øverland came to the school from Norway, he got an offer to join them, which would help them soon form The Wombats. With chances given by the school to perform in front of more than 20,000 people, the band were sure to write something. This led to ‘The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation’. The title is very suiting in the fact that every song mentions love, loss, or desperation. The album starts out with ‘Tales of Girls, Boys, and Marsupials’. It is out right freaky. It’s a weird a cappella sung by all three members and it sets the mood of weird for the rest of the album. ‘Kill the Director’ was inspired by their hatred for romantic comedies (‘if this is a rom-com, kill the director’). It’s very catchy and weird enough to work. ‘Moving to New York’ is fantastic. Tord’s bass is flat out awesome because to me using a bass as a lead is always a plus. It has an over all dark aura about it, but it still makes me think ‘Christmas came early for me.’ ‘Lost in the Post’ is pretty dull. Dan’s drums are the only thing that really make the song, the rest is just bland. As the lyrics suggest, it’s just his ‘inability to think outside the box’. ‘Party in a Forest (Where’s Laura)’ is a heavy/calm sort of song, but it’s absolutely nothing special. It’s just a dumb love song in disguise. ‘School Uniforms’ seems overall far too easy to play, which makes it silly. The chorus is the only thing that is memorable about it. ‘Here Comes the Anxiety’ is not ‘the darkest song (he) ever wrote’ as he suggested. It’s a nice, serene song. The backing vocals of oohs and the like add The Wombats flair to it. ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ is my favourite song on the record. Because I megaloathe Joy Division, I was glad to find the song had really nothing to do with them. Murph’s Liverpool accent is extremely prominent, which makes the song very captivating (you know how I love accents). Dan’s drumming fits the song flawlessly. However, the kids choir is really creepy. ‘Backfire at the Disco’ is gloomier than the last song, but it’s still pretty good. Tord and Dan are just really great musicians. ‘Little Miss Pipedream’ is too long. It goes on and on and on. It has virtually no variation which is enough to put you to sleep. ‘Dr. Suzanne Mattox PhD’ sounds industrial with a bubblegum twist. It’s a nice wake up to the previous song due to it’s change of mood and pace. ‘Patricia the Stripper’ sounds like a song that tons of groups have already done before. The only interesting part is backing vocals, but that couldn’t even save it. ‘My First Wedding’ has a post-punk vibe to it, which stands out from the rest of the songs. You can actually hear the anger in his voice! I commend the band for not only conveying the emotion in the lyrics so well, but for also ending the album with a loud, fast song rather than a quiet, sappy song, which a lot of bands seem to do. This band has a very childish feel to them, but they are definitely sound musicians. Though this album wasn’t astounding or life changing, they still managed to write a few sure hits. With a musical education, and a developing fan base, let’s hope that the next piece of work is better.
“In the middle of the songs we'd break into uncontrollable screaming. The idea was not to be funny."- Matthew Murphy

Video For Let's Dance to Joy Division

The Wombats Official Webstite
Note: I hope you enjoy, I'm trying to get reviews out as quickly as I can so you should check back when you can, if you want. I won't wait two weeks before my next post like I used to so whatever. Thank you all for your support!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Status-Out as of 2004
Rating-4 Feathers

With one passable album in their collection, Interpol could have only gone up from there. With a new attitude on music and a new concept of what their talents could achieve, 'Antics' is the answer to our prayers. 'Next Exit' starts off the album with a gospel-y organ, and though you wouldn't expect it, Paul Bank's drone-y voice meshes perfectly with the mood. You won't want to take the 'next exit' out of the room for the fact that this song in it of itself makes up for the mess that of which was 'Turn on the Bright Lights'. 'Evil' has possibly Carlos D.'s most infectious bass-line. It's more like your basic pop song than what Interpol usually does, but the vocals are so overly captivating that you cannot help but sing along. What you notice is no lengthy guitar rants. 'Narc' starts with a drum-line and guitar riff that provide for an undeniable groove that of which was lacking in most songs of their debut. The way Paul sings this makes it sound very conversational making it relatable. 'Take You on a Cruise', for lack of a better term, sounds lopsided. If you listen to it, you'd understand where I'm coming from. It's very cryptically about being on a cruise/boat, but the song just flat out doesn't go: each instrument together sounds like 'a broken watch'. 'Slow Hands' is my favourite song off the album for a number of reasons. The lyrics are odd as usual, but the heavy guitar and off-kilter drums are absolute genius. The moment it was recorded, it was bound to be an instant classic. 'Not Even Jail' comes in very dramatically. The subtle use of strings is exceptionally effective. This sounds like a song that could've easily been on their last album, but it actually holds your interest. The calmness of it all allows for a nice rest from the previous upbeat songs. 'Public Pervert': The title alone is enough to make you want to listen to it. Though it gets a tad monotonous and rant-y, the chorus is very catchy and about four minutes in it changes pace, which helps to save the song. 'C`mere' is very likable and it's similar in feel to 'Slow Hands' and 'Evil'. 'I had my doubts' on what to rate this album but then this song played. 'Length of Love' has an overall melancholic feel to it, darker than the usual Interpol. It's a nice change of mood and pace that is sure to surprise and impress. 'A Time to be So Small' finishes off the album with a calm atmosphere. It's a bit lively but it feels like it goes on a smidgen too long. It's not memorable, at all. Compared to 'Turn on the Bright Lights' this album is such an extreme turn around for such a talented band. The drums and bass improved so much and that it helps make the album what it is. (The absence of over-drawn guitar rants doesn't hinder it either!) A definite must for any music lover and nice change for any Interpol fan.

"You can't be worried about what everyone's going to think if it's really coming from your soul." - Paul Banks

Video for Evil

Interpol's Official Website
Note: I reviewed their first album awhile ago, so if you hadn't read that one, i'd suggest reading it first. Did you guys read the Oh, Inverted World review? If you haven't please do, it's some of my best writing. Thank you for your lovely comments!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Modern Guilt-
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

Beck is cool. Beck is the essence of cool. Beck considers himself indie/alternative but I personally think that he created his own genre. Using everything from drum tracks, sampling, and a melodic yet distinctive voice, there is no way you can classify his sound. With 9 albums under his belt and 5 U.S. top 20's Beck has developed a mass of respect in the music industry. With this 10th edition to his discography and inspired by a song created by Beck and producer Danger Mouse, 'Modern Guilt' is bound to be good. 'Orphans' is the best song Beck could've chosen to kick off the album. It sounds like a classic Beck song so it's going to incase new listeners as well as die hard Beck fans and make them want more. 'Gamma Ray' sounds like a groovy surf song. This is less experimental than the usual Beck, but it is one catchy number. In contrast to the lyrics, your body is not bored. 'Chemtrails' is extremely psychedelic. The vocals throughout are very dreamlike and airy made possible by semi-falsetto vocals. From reading the liner notes, I noticed this is the only song on the album that uses an actual drummer other than a drumtrack, but the style is still similar to the rest of the record. 'Modern Guilt' is not the greatest song. The drum track is not that great and it's too electronic. It's very old time-y sounding but that couldn't save it. 'Youthless' sounds very dark at the beginning but once other instruments kick in, it lightens up a bit. The drum track fits in flawlessly. Their ain't nothing 'Youthless' about it. 'Walls' starts with a synth that gets kicked up a notch with a very captivating drum track. Danger Mouse's 'beats' are absolutely genius. The violin/flute sound makes it exotic sounding. It's certainly one of the better songs. 'Replica' really just sounds like super jazzed up elevator music with a striking drumtrack. It has the generic jazz synth but Beck really knows how to make it exciting. It's like Mantovani plugged in. 'Soul of a Man' is really odd sounding. The random heavy-electric guitar riffs are what keeps you hooked. The obscure lyrics are effective too. 'Profanity Prayers' is unusually upbeat. The repeating guitar riff during the verses sounds like 'The Modern Age' by The Strokes, which adds to the Modern feel. The end bit sounds very George Harrison with the slide guitar and ukulele sounds. 'Volcano'(s) drum track at the beginning sound like the elimination drums on 'Project Runway'. They fit in very weirdly with the calmness of the song, which shows that Beck is good at taking two seemingly dissonant sounds and putting them together to form a harmonious product. The lyrics seem metaphoric for finding the meaning of life, so in that case I think it's a good way to end the album. Though it's more mature and possible more experimental than the usual Beck, 'Modern Guilt' will certainly impress even the harshest critics (and I'm hard to impress). If you like any of Beck's earlier work, or you just discovered it, make the latest entry into your CD collection this. Let's hope this isn't the last piece by such a talented musician.

"But people like to say, Oh, it's in the blood. But art comes from nowhere. It comes from a vague, scary place. It's scary because you don't know when it's coming or if it will ever come again."-Beck

Video for Orphans

Beck's Official Website
Modern Guilt Site for the Album
Note: Second review in a day? I'm on a roll! Thanks Arnie for the review idea!


Oh, Inverted World-
The Shins
Status-Out as of 2001
Label-Sub Pop
Rating-3.5 Feathers

When singer/guitarist James Mercer decided to do something different from his former band Flake Music, and other members from Flake Music followed, that something became The Shins. Coming from Albuquerque, New Mexico, The Shins created one of the best known indie albums, to me, ever. This debut 'Oh, Inverted World' has an extremely youthful feel, even though the members age from late 20's to mid 30's. 'Caring is Creepy' is a fantastic lead off into this album. The vocals are jolly, the drums are dark, and the guitar is mellow: can you pick a better combination? 'One By One All Day' is alright. The vocals are quite a bore for the fact that it's the whole band singing at the same time and the vocals sound very monotone. The song doesn't really stick in your mind at all except for how generally stupid it sounds. 'Weird Divide' has a calm Hawaiian feel. It's okay, I mean, not really my favourite. It's a tad to airy for my liking. It's definitely a weird divide between 'One By One All Day' and 'Know Your Onion!'. Opposed to the lyrics, this memory doesn't please me. 'Know Your Onion!' is definitely the quintessential Shins song. The twangy guitar intro draws you in and the poppy backing vocals make you die for more. The lines like 'What kind of life you dream of? You're allergic to love' help tell a story of a 'pimpled and angry' adolescent leaving home. It's a definitely one of the best youth anthems. 'Girl Inform Me' has one catchy vocal pattern. Just the sound of the vocals alone is the major hook of the song. It sounds like it'd be used in a TV show during a significant scene between two characters. 'New Slang (When You Notice the Stripes)': Words can't properly describe it. As Natalie Portman said in Garden State 'You gotta hear this one song; it'll change your life' and, my friends, that it did. It's so beautifully poignant that it's enough to move you to tears. Man, just writing about it is making me tear up. With lines like 'Never should have called, but my head's to the wall and I'm lonely' and 'I'm looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find' make you think these guys are geniuses. 'The Celibate Life' at first sounds like a deranged Beatles song. Though, compared to New Slang, it's a little weak. They do that vocal thing that they did in 'One By One All Day' that just kills it and makes it a dull. 'Girl on the Wing' really packs a punch when it comes in as in it comes out of nowhere. The vocals, like 'The Celibate Life' are extremely uneventful. The computerized beeps are the only thing that truly adds to the song. 'Your Algebra' is flat out creepy. It's so spacey and haunting that it kind of freaks you out, but in a good way. The sounds of little kids giggling at the end are real bizarre. It's one of the 'finer points' of the album. 'Pressed in a Book' is better than some of the other songs on the album. The sound of the guitar at the beginning makes a nice changeover from the last song. The vocals excellent but the rest of the instruments create generic non-effective hooks that keep the song from being memorable. 'The Past and Pending' has a light acoustic guitar that makes for a good ending to a respectable album. The distant horn makes it very melancholy, which truly adds to it. The only problem with this song is that the ending drags out a minute too long. In a decade that will see a destruction of even the most basic pop-music, The Shins will be there with an unadulterated sound that will never cease to perform. Though some of the songs need a bit of work (and more explosion), this a sound record and a sound band with a very positive future.

"If someone is articulately trying to express their point of views on something it's worth hearing."-James Mercer

Video For Know Your Onion!

The Shins Official Website
NOTE: Sorry for my hiatus, I didn't really feel like posting er anything so I hope this review is worthwhile. I will be posting atleast 3 more reviews within the next few days so keep posted and comment! Also, don't you love the blue youtubebar to match the album cover? Thank you!