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Traviud’s Top 25 of 2013

22 Dec

The Traviud top 25 has been a tradition at An Ocean of Noise for a handful of years now. Typically, my write-ups are obscenely long. This one isn’t much shorter, but if your favorite album wound up with only a handful of sentences (better than placing a bomb or a pair of scissors next to it anyway), rest assured that I liked it a lot anyway. I took great care in listening to and ranking these records so that this list could mean something to the reader. Regardless of their recency, I’ve heard every album on this list at least twice and some upwards of ten times, depending on their appeal and replay value. This list of 25 + 5 was culled from a selection of over 200 albums, so consider these to be in the 85th percentile of all releases this year.

I’d say the albums here are really good, but I can’t vouch for my own taste, so it’s possible that this list sucks as much as any other list. It probably does, to someone. But if I took that person into account, then I’m sure someone else would hate it instead. That’s just the way it is; hater men marry hater women and have hater kids.

25. Charli XCX – True Romance

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Arguably the most flawed album on this list, but no less deserving of a spot, True Romance is also among the most unique and consistently enjoyable pop records of the year. Charli XCX’s sound is labeled “darkwave” by some (I’m not sure where the Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil influences are, personally), one can very clearly hear the Kate Bush in her voice and new romantic in her sound. It’s a bold, polished and surprisingly personal product that establishes her as one of the most exciting new prospects of 2013. It must be said that the album is dragged down by a handful of poor tracks, but the highs here are absolutely fantastic and make this record worth hearing for anyone with even a passing interest in the current state of pop music.

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The Top 25 Albums of 2012

18 Dec

An Ocean of Noise isn’t Tiny Mix Tapes, so I’ll limit this opening paragraph by saying that a lot of good things happened in 2012 and that a lot of bad things happened in 2012 and that music was good and music was bad. Now let’s get to the damn list. Continue reading

The Fame Crossroads

6 Feb

Hey, Traviud here. Since I began writing for this site, I’ve given off something of an image of being a hipster schmuck. While that’s wholly accurate, it’s also misleading, as I do have a sizable appreciation for shimmering melodies and considerable hooks, and my interest in pop radio has increased as of late, due in part to bono_212’s own love for it, and partially due to a recent shift in sound from dunderheaded braggadocio rap to shiny synth pop. While I don’t often dedicate a lot of thought to music I hear on the radio (surely how it’s meant to be), occasionally an artist will burst onto the scene that garners such interest.

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A big-ass review for Big Star – #1 Record/Radio City

16 Jan

In the world of music, it’s all too easy to celebrate a martyr (even easier to misuse the term like I just did). In 1970, three rock legends passed away: Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. These deaths marked not only the end of brilliant music careers, but signaled a death of an era. A certain resentment occurs once a genre or trend has played itself out: look at punk’s determined modus operandi of simply NOT BEING PROGRESSIVE ROCK, or grunge’s nonchalant disowning of hair metal earmarks. Similarly, the acid rock overload of the early 1970s was formally shunned by Big Star, as was the fear of the Perfect Pop Song that FM radio fostered.

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2009: The Good, The Bad, And The BrokeNCYDE

31 Dec

For those who might not be aware, I listened to a shit-ton of music released this year, to the tune of 112 albums. I could condense that number to a selection of 10 to 20 that readers could actually use, but I would rather they join in the musical journey that was my 2009, so I will list every album I heard and attach a short synopsis of each for your convenience. The majority are snide and condescending, but that’s all part of the fun. Or at least that will be my story when the lawsuits roll in.

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Collapsing in the 00s…it’s not just for the Irish anymore

24 Nov

On LA power-pop band Weezer‘s eponymous debut album (henceforth referred to as The Blue Album, due to its sky blue cover, akin to a shoddily-painted wall in a bedroom basement one would make for a son-in-law they resent), they had a song entitled “In The Garage.” This track detailed their musical influences and hobbies during their adolesence. Despite some occasionally cringeworthy lines, the song was an inspired romp through nerd cliches that gave insight into the mind of singer Rivers Cuomo, and would represent every flaw and positive attribute the Weezer of the 90s boasted. It was also one of the weakest songs on an otherwise classic album that would go on to influence countless bands, ranging from Bowling For Soup to The Format.
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