03 December 2008

Mineral - The Power of Failing (1997)

An essential album to have for any real emo fan. Mineral were together for only four years releasing two full length albums in that time. The Power of Failing being their first and their best. The album is full of driving melodies and "heart-penetrating lyrics." The explore the gambit of volume vocals that go from hushed to pure power and instrumentals that can go from calm to almost violent in an instant. Anyone who claims to know what "emo" is doesn't know shit if they haven't heard this album.

Here's part of a real review from punknews.org
"It’s always nice when you discover a band (or album) that hits you in a way much like a breath of fresh air after a long night in a crowded bar. When I first listened to The Power of Failing. by Mineral, I was really impressed with them musically, just the way they sounded so cohesive and how at any point in time I could find myself humming some of the bass or guitar parts in my head. Too bad they only lasted through the `90s; they still made an impact however on how indie and emotional music would be made afterwards. 

If you are into this type of music, this is definitely one of the best indie/emotional rock albums that I’ve ever heard and I hold it in high regard, much like Sunny Day Real Estate’s album Diary. The only defect (if you could even call it that) on this album would have to be the length of the songs; however, all the songs are pretty amazing all the way through. The shortest track falls around the 3:15 minute mark while the rest usually push over five minutes.

The music itself is quite moving: beautiful guitars, well-placed bass lines, and great drums charge the engine of this band. The vocals are emotional and energetic as vocalist Chris Simpson pours every amount of feeling and vigor into the mic. The songs are slow, melodic, and the instrumentation will baffle you. The best track on this album (in my opinion) titled “Slower” holds lyrics like "I scream into the wind and laugh / As the words slap me in the face / I would gladly trade a lifetime of convenience / For an honest day or two" are alone powerful but the way that Simpson’s haunting voice delivers them are unforgettable. Whether it’s on top of noisy distorted guitars, clean and subtle picking or strumming, his voice really completes the sound of this band and makes a distinct mark on first listen."

Track Listing:
1. Five, Eight, and Ten- 5:26*
2. Gloria- 3:42*
3. Slower- 5:47
4. Dolorosa- 5:10*
5. 80-37- 4:33
6. If I could- 5:59
7. July- 4:24
8. Silver- 6:56
9. Take the Picture Now- 3:16
10. Parking Lot- 3:52*

*My personal favorite tracks

Blondie - Atomic 12" (1980)

This is one of my all-time favourite singles. This is the version re-released in 2004 (I believe) out of the Singles collection. "Atomic" is the best song Blondie recorded, and they manage to perform a surprisingly competent version of David Bowie's "Heroes." "Die Young Stay Pretty" is definitely one of Blondie's essential B-Sides. All in all, this is Blondie at their prime. If you're a fan of pop music at all (and haven't heard these songs), check it out.

  1. "Atomic" (7" Mix) - 3:50
  2. "Die Young Stay Pretty" - 3:36
  3. "Heroes" (Live) - 6:19
Get it here.
Note: If anyone is reading this blog and wants more Blondie singles, just leave a comment. I have loads of them.

02 December 2008

"Lhuna" by Coldplay feat. Kylie Minogue

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"The Kylie / Coldplay duet ‘Lhuna’, which Chris Martin has been raving about, finally sees its release, on World AIDS Day (1st December)."

Chris Martin has been blowin' up this duet with Kylie Minogue, saying that it was "too sexy" for Viva La Vida. Well, today its finally out and after giving it a listen, there is a good reason why it was a leftover from Viva la Vida, and hell, it was even a leftover from Prospekt's March EP, which was an ENTIRE collection of leftovers that were obviously better than this song.

Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of Coldplay. I own probably all of the songs they have in their catalog including b-sides, and let me tell you, all their b-sides are GOLD. But this b-side is such a throw-away.

As soon as I hear Kylie's voice, I ask myself, wtf is Kylie doing on this track? This isn't her style of pop, and this style difference make me cringe. Then when Chris Martin sings the chorus, somehow, somebody thought that stacking 5 different versions of Chris Martin's low vocals would sound sexy. It result, it sounds like Chris Martin is mumbling in pain.

I dunno, its a disappointment. If anything, I am hoping this was the record label's attempt at getting more money out of the consumers, and not done at Chris Martin's will. Just like Jay-Z' s verse in "Lost+" was suppose to magically attract black people into liking Coldplay.


01 December 2008

Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada(1999)

 "And lo, it was waste and void." That's the translation on the mysterious front cover of this Godspeed EP. On the back you can learn how to make a molotov cocktail in Italian. 
The music is simple and heart rending. Reflecting the bleak deserted Mile End described by the band(abandoned buildings, haunting forests, burned out railroad cars, and abandoned train tracks). "The same feelings of fear and triumph found in Beethoven can be found here" says Marc Gillman of all music and I am going to have to agree with him. Godspeed You! Black Emperor take you on a journey through the not so great white north. From the haunting whispers of the forests to the screech of ghost trains on abandoned tracks.
I'm sure that not everyone will like this album but if you're a post-rock fan or just getting into it then this is a good and easy two song, thirty minute experience. 

Track listing
1.Moya 10:52
2. BBF3 17:45

28 November 2008

Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak (2008)

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"Taking a sample, looping it and doing all that 'throw your hands up in the sky' thing has become such a cliché. Hip-hop is over for me."-Kanye West

Although not West’s best album, 808s and Heartbreak is the most creative and interesting side project that I have ever heard come out of any Hip-Hop producer. And I am not going to even front about it. You either are completely in love with it, or you HATE IT.Here are the reasons you should not hate it:

1) Auto-tune:

Please don’t give me that bullshit that auto-tune is played out. Just because Lil’ Wayne likes to use it in the studio when he is fried on cough syrup, and T-Pain likes to use it doesn’t mean auto-tune is played out. Turn off the radio, and the problem of auto-tune playing out is solved.

2)The New York Times says "Mr. West can’t sing, and it is that weakness for which this album will ultimately be remembered”

This album is oozing with musicianship. A lot of the verses and choruses he uses on this album explain the hardship of getting out a relationship and the auto-tune makes up for him not being able to sing.

Here are reasons you should love it:


The Drums on every single track is amazing. A lot of people use the TR-808 Roland drum machine. Hip-Hop producers, techno junkies, ect. Kanye West has managed to make them sound tribal, and has given them a natural vibe which I haven’t heard in anybody’s work, possibly other than Timberland. Good ass Drums.

2) It’s different:

Yeah it’s not the Kanye we all know that speeds up soul samples makes songs like” Through the Wire” and “Crack Music”, but this album is different, and is a fresh new sound. A musician is always changing. I’ve seen it in Coldplay, the Beatles, and even in Bob Dylan. And this change is for the good. Hearing a musician evolve through music is probably one of the things I like about music. Kanye is a musician. A talented one at that. It’s heard throughout this album.

Yeah, I’ll stop ranting now and give you guys the final word. Do you love it or hate it?

27 November 2008

Gang Starr - Step In The Arena (1991)

I have a problem with a lot of rap albums, none of the songs feel like they were made to be put on the same album. Too often rap albums sound like greatest hits albums. It's not a deal breaker but I'd rather not get that feeling when I listen to music. Many artists avoid that problem by adding some loose narrative (Deltron 3030 and Disposable Arts come to mind), others just write songs that sound good together. Gang Starr took the latter to new a level with Step In The Arena.

Every song is apart of a greater whole, married to the themes present throughout the album. Guru brings lyrical diversity with no shortage of rap braggadocio while DJ Premier made sure every track was scratched to hell and back. It was unprecedented 17 years ago and 17 years later it's unrivaled. It's no wonder why IGN called it the number 1 rap album.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.


Play Auditorium

I like seeing music and gaming come together beyond the scope of Fisher Price guitars and drums. That's why I'm posting about Auditorium. If you're even remotely interested in gaming or music you should be playing this demo right now. If I said more the experience would be ruined; wear headphones and enjoy the game.


The Dø - A Mouthful (2008)

Genre: Indie Pop|Folk Pop

This is one of my favourite albums to come out this year. I don't feel like writing a complete review, so here are some snippets of Nick Southall's review on Drowned in Sound:

"First things first. The Dø are a Franco-Finnish duo comprised of Dan Levy and Olivia B. Merilahti. The band name is drawn from the initials of their first names. Their MySpace page lists their influences as “Bela Bartok, Jimi Hendrix, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Nico, Igor Stravinsky, The Who, Bird, The Last Poets, Coltrane, Björk, Monte !, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Mingus, Eminem, The WuTangClan, Lauryn Hill, Betty Davis, Queen, The Beatles, Tom Waits, Art Pepper, Toumast, Frank Zappa, Young marble giants, Duke Ellington, The White Stripes , Peaches, Michael Jackson, BECK, Joanna Newsom, Patti Smith.”

"Above and beyond that impressively eclectic list, The Dø sound, at various points, like a female Eminem backed by a brass band, like The Cardigans stripped to nothing but a jazzy guitar strum and a sexy whisper, like Iko Iko’ by The Dixie Cups re-imagined by Pingu, like Moldy Peaches with a hint of continental sophistication, like ‘The Block Party’ by Lisa Left-Eye Lopez if she’d grown up listening to Pavement, like PJ Harvey on the moon, and like Os Mutantes at their most chilled-out."

"The secret of The Dø’s success, apart from the fact that Olivia B. Merilahti is a stupidly gifted, idiosyncratic and sexy singer more talented at imitating vocal ticks than Rory Bremner, is probably the fact that Dan Levy is a (not so) secret jazzer; there’s a musical dexterity and ability running through A Mouthful which makes them stand out from the crowd. (Not that their milieu is exactly laden with contemporaries.) What this means is that every one of the 15 songs here is interesting in one way or another; compositionally, texturally, rhythmically, emotionally, or any one of a myriad of other ways."

"A Mouthful is a resolutely pop album, in the old-fashioned sense; eclectic, characterful, audacious, addictive and irresistibly sexy in a sophisticated yet irreverent fashion. I’ve not heard anything like it in a long, long time, which is an enormous shame. Awesome."

  1. Playground Hustle - 2:55
  2. At Last ! - 4:09 *
  3. On My Shoulders - 5:21 *
  4. Song for Lovers - 2:24
  5. The Bridge is Broken - 4:42
  6. Stay (Just a Little Bit More) - 3:06
  7. Unissasi Laulelet - 2:19
  8. Tammie - 3:15 *
  9. Queen Dot Kong - 3:14
  10. Coda - 1:57
  11. Searching Gold - 5:10
  12. When Was I Last Home? - 3:34
  13. Travel Light - 4:02
  14. Aha - 4:19
  15. In My Box - 1:48
NOTE: Tracks with an * are highlights.

Get it here

26 November 2008

First Post

All I ever do these days is listen to music, so I thought I'd share my music through a blog.
I'm gonna see if I can get some friends onboard as well, since they listen to different music.
Music to come.