Tag Archives: 2009

Overlooked in 2009

10 Jan

I don’t tend to expect my favourite albums to show up on many end-of-year lists. They’re niche-audience sort of stuff. However, sometimes – only occasionally, but sometimes – there are albums I love that otherwise seem to go totally ignored and fail to appear on said lists when I would fully expect them to show up.

I understand it when the metal albums I write about in gushing, hyperbolic tones get ignored. Metal, it seems, is not quite for everyone – an acquired taste, and a taste I’m convinced more people would acquire if they would just put aside a few stereotypes. I get it when the post-rock albums that totally enchant me are ignored. Apparently some people out there don’t have the attention span for lengthy compositions, or seem to think music just isn’t music without some guy singing D-grade poetry or worse. I know, I know. I’m a cranky arsehole destined to have marginal tastes. I’m destined to sit around with my Agalloch, my Russian Circles, my Isis, my Wolves In The Throne Room, and my Long Distance Calling, all the while wondering why people rate mediocrities such as Radiohead, Animal Collective, and Arcade Fire tremendously highly (yes, I am aware John took this blog’s name from Arcade Fire; he made me an admin so I’ve forgiven him).

But there are times when my tastes cross over. The early 2010 buzz seems keen on Surfer Blood’s Astro Coast; I’m enjoying it myself. Back in 2008, I dug a good few songs from Fleet Foxes despite all expectations. Explosions In The Sky are one of the few post-rock bands that get recognition, and I would happily rank The Earth Is Not A Cold, Dead Place in my top thirty albums of the 2000s. Even Porcupine Tree, my favourite band, have been starting to break beyond prog and metal fans in the last few years. So sometimes I’ll hear an album, think “this is great!”, and then assume it must be all the rage. Then I log onto Rate Your Music or cruise the blogosphere or check end-of-year lists and find … nothing.

Here are three of those 2009 albums.
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Thoughts on ranking music

8 Jan

During October and November, a trickle of publications began releasing their Best Of 2009 and Best Of The 2000s album lists. Every indie hipster and every person who likes to bash indie hipsters closely followed Pitchfork’s chart, to know (in the case of the former) what to revere to great exaggerated heights or to know (in the case of the latter) what to deride without even listening. Every other chart was dug up pretty much simply to mock. By December, the trickle had turned into a flood. By late December, every man, his dog, and even a couple of contributors to An Ocean Of Noise had jumped the gun and were proclaiming the best albums as if 2009 were being terribly impolite by not bringing itself to a close already.

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A 21st-century breakdown of 21st Century Breakdown

14 Dec

I’m revisiting Green Day’s newest concept album (It’s not a rock opera. Tommy is a rock opera. The Wall is a rock opera. This is a concept album.) about the characters Christian and Gloria, who may or may not be extensions of Jesus of Suburbia and Whatsername from American Idiot. I’m not sure why. It probably won’t be a track-by-track review of it. I’m just sort of putting down thoughts here.

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Horrible Music Hour – Bowling For Soup: Sorry For Partyin’

24 Nov

The first Horrible Music Hour album for the blog and it is Bowling For Soup’s Sorry For Partyin’, their newest release. The reviewers for this album are myself John, Ax, Ashley and Travis

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Single Review: Muse – Undisclosed Desires

16 Nov

So we’ve got a song here with a very cryptic title and a bunch of lyrics I can’t make out, it must be the new Muse single!
Undisclosed Desires
Personally I’m a fan of Muse, not a huge fan seeing as their albums aren’t amazing (Absolution is pretty great though) but from what I’ve seen from their live performances they’re one of best bands going right now and they’re on my list of bands I must see live. So when The Resistance came out I was quite eager to hear it, however while good I found it sounded too much like…well Muse, it was Muse being Muse but that review’s for another day.
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Final Fantasy XIII Theme Song – My Hands

16 Nov

So I’m not going to lie here, I’m a pretty big gamer. I’ve been into them for years and one of my favourite series of all time has been Final Fantasy. But this is not a gaming blog so why am I talking about this? Well simple, music has always been a key part of the Final Fantasy series, back in what many would regard as the glory days of the series, the game would feature an amazing soundtrack composed by Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy VIII is my personal favourite, I actually own the soundtrack to it on CD, I’ll probably get around to reviewing it for here eventually but that’s not what this is about.

A couple of days ago, RPG addicts the world over rejoiced when it was announced that Final Fantasy XIII  is coming out in Europe and North America on the 9th of March. However they were also in for a shock when the theme song for the game was also announced; that song turned out to be My Hands by Leona Lewis and naturally seeing as it wasn’t sung by some random J-Pop singer that none of the people who play the game have ever heard of, a lot of people started to get a little angry…actually scratch that a lot of people went completely over the top and claimed they wouldn’t buy the game now; because apparently a four minute song ruins a 50 hour long game.
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