My Progress!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

520. Swordfishtrombones

Swordfishtrombones
Tom Waits
1983














Tracks
1. Underground 
2. Shore Leave 
3. Dave The Butcher 
4. Johnsburg, Illinois 
5. 16 Shells From A 30.6 
6. Town With No Cheer 
7. In The Neighbourhood 
8. Just Another Sucker On The Vine 
9. Frank's Wild Years 
10. Swordfishtrombone 
11. Down, Down, Down 
12. Soldier's Things 
13. Gin Soaked Boy 

14. Trouble Braids 
15. Rainbirds


Well that was a lot odder than I expected.  Many moons ago I reviewed Heart Attack and Vine and, understandably, fell in love with it.  By 1983, Waits had left Asylum for Island Records; perhaps the new label allowed him to do whatever he wanted for the first time.  This album is a lot more experimental than his previous work; I almost didn't recognize him.

I can't say I was 100% behind all of his creative decisions.  I wish he had stuck to more conventional instruments (even Waits can't make bagpipes work).  However, I did like how eclectic this album was, while still remaining strangely coherent.

RATING: 3/5

Thursday, June 15, 2017

519. Soul Mining

Soul Mining
The The
1983














Tracks

1. I've Been Waiting for Tomorrow (All My Life)
2. This is the Day
3. The Sinking Feeling
4. Uncertain Smile
5. The Twilight Hour
6. Soul Mining
7. Giant

8. Perfect

Once again, I was greatly confused by which version to listen to, as this album has approximately a thousand rereleases (or you know...five).  I ended up choosing US 1983 version, which is fortunate, as "Perfect" was easily the best song on this album (and wasn't included in the UK release).

This album is somewhat dated, although in the best way possible.  I feel like it really captures the British spirit at the time (this is just a conjecture though; I wasn't there).  Overall, a great album and I hope The The is featured more on this List.  Sorry for making fun of your name earlier.
  
RATING: 4/5

Thursday, June 8, 2017

518. Murmur

Murmur
R.E.M.
1983














Tracks
1. Radio Free Europe
2. Pilgrimage
3. Laughing 
4. Talk About the Passion
5. Moral Kiosk 
6. Perfect Circle
7. Catapult
8. Sitting Still 
9. 9-9 
10. Shaking Through 
11. We Walk 
12. West of the Fields


This is another album that's quality is slightly diluted over time; I am sure this would have sounded quite original at the time.  As is, the experience is rather generic now, although "Radio Free Europe" still stands out as a great song.

Of course, I am pretty sure the songwriters admitted that "Radio Free Europe," at least, was mostly babbling and wasn't intended to make any sense at all.  I tend to prize lyrical quality above all else, but I guess when you have a good enough beat it doesn't matter (I Am The Walrus, anyone?).

Next up: The The.  I am already wowed by this band's creativity.

RATING: 3/5

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

517. Pyromania

Pyromania
Def Leppard
1983














Tracks
1. Rock Rock (Till You Drop)
2. Photograph 
3. Stagefright 
4. Too Late For Love 
5. Die Hard The Hunter 
6. Foolin' 
7. Rock Of Ages
8. Comin' Under Fire 
9. Action Not Words 
10. Billy's Got A Gun


Well, it appears that my icon will remain as a snail, as I continue to move at that pace.  It's been a rough month and I didn't think Def Leppard would be much help.  My mood has been much more Nico/Fiona Apple.

That's not to say that this isn't a good album; it had a distinct Aerosmith/AC/DC vibe with slightly more intelligent lyrics and slightly less memorable hooks.  Some of the lyrics were downright sweet, although that adjective might make Def Leppard fans cringe.  Actually, ignore that.  I just googled this album and apparently Taylor Swift did a cover of "Photograph" with Def Leppard.  So maybe any pretensions their fans have are gone by now.

So a decent album and a vast improvement from Duck Rock.

RATING: 3/5

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

516. Duck Rock

Duck Rock
Malcolm McLaren
1983














Tracks
1. Obatala
2. Buffalo Gals
3. Double Dutch
4. Merengue
5. Punk It Up
6. Legba
7. Jive My Baby
8. Song For Chango
9. Soweto
10. World's Famous
11. Duck For The Oyster


Having visited Malcolm McLaren's grave last year, I came into this album with a certain kind of softness; I was ready to be kind.  But wow, this was a rough one.

Like most people, I have only known Malcolm McLaren through his work with the Sex Pistols and hadn't heard his own music.  This album is styled like a radio show and...what can I say? It was odd, jarring, and not all rhythmic.  I suppose that isn't the point of his music.  The point is...well, I've never understood what the point is, which is probably obvious.

Duck Stab, Duck Rock...can we agree to stay away from the mallards please?

RATING: 2/5

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

515. Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes
1982















Tracks
1. Blister in the Sun
2. Kiss Off
3. Please Do Not Go
4. Add It Up
5. Confessions
6. Prove My Love
7. Promise
8. To The Kill
9. Gone Daddy Gone
10. Good Feeling


Once again, I am confined to bed after an ankle surgery.  Maybe I will binge myself on albums like I did with movies last time.  I'm not sure that the solution to excruciating pain is heavy metal music, but I think we are safe for now with the Violent Femmes.

Based on the name of the band, I was kind of hoping this was some Camp Cope-esque angry female group.  Although I was initially disappointed that the vocalist wasn't female, I quickly warmed up to Gordon Gano's voice.  It sounded very 70s to me, which was a fun throwback.

I hope their next album is on The List. Now if you'll excuse, I need to consume some drugs.

RATING: 4/5

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

514. Rio

Rio
Duran Duran
1982













Tracks
1. Rio
2. My Own Way
3. Lonely In Your Nightmare
4. Hungry Like The Wolf
5. Hold Back The Rain
6. New Religion
7. Last Chance On The Stairway
8. Save A Prayer
9. Chauffeur


I have lost track of how many times I have said this on this blog, but once again, I am on the verge of nervous breakdown for how much I have to get done.  So, naturally, I am prioritizing this blog over my other assignments, because sanity is a fleeting thing.

How can this music not make you happy?  It was nice to hear something relatively upbeat for once; I feel like the recent goal of these albums have been to make me have a breakdown (as though I need any nudging).  The best songs on this album are the ones that everyone knows, but the entire album is extremely fun.

So a nice break from heavy metal.  Back to reality...

RATING: 4/5