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