Tag: Alternative

1999, Music

Midnite Vultures (1999) by Beck

I really like Beck. You might say I love Beck, or at least Beck’s mainstream records from ’90s and early ’00s. (I have slowly become less of a fan, over the years.) And I’d like to think I also really enjoy listening to musicians I enjoy having a great time, though I don’t know if …

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There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999) by Foo Fighters

I have written on many occasions that post-grunge is one of the few genres I hate as a whole genre, which is nothing I normally do. (I generally believe there are no “bad genres” but there are a few ’90s genres which make me want to reconsider that.) The Foo Fighters are more “rock” than …

1989, Music

Boomerang (1989) by The Creatures

Does the idea of a Siouxsie and the Banshees album with the music made up of almost entirely percussion sound appealing to you? Well, that’s probably the easiest way of explaining this Creatures record to someone who isn’t familiar with it (as I wasn’t). It’s got a similar vibe to their parent band except the …

1994, Music

Geek the Girl (1994) by Lisa Germano

I knew nothing about this record going in and, frankly, nothing about Germano. The name maybe rung a bell, a teeny bit, but that’s all. So I had no idea what I was in for, which is maybe why I keep can’t help but compare her to other people.

1994, Music

No Need to Argue (1994) by The Cranberries

There are so many ’90s alternative albums which I thought I ignored when they came out but I must have heard at some point. Like so many of those, when I put this on, I thought I just knew the singles. And then I remembered other songs. And I was confused. I don’t ever specifically …

1994, Music

Ruby Vroom (1994) by Soul Coughing

Beginning sometime in the mid to late ’80s, there was a curious trend in the UK where a bunch of white guys began to appropriate much of the music of hip hop to make music that was, mostly, decidedly not hip hop. This music has very little rap in it (sometimes absolutely none) and had …

1994, Music

Definitely Maybe (1994) by Oasis

Loud electric guitars had been missing from British radio for a long, long time by the early 1990s. With the exception of U2 and the Smiths and a few other bands, there hadn’t been much popular guitar-based music for much of the previous decade. And when guitar-based music appeared, it often had synthesizers, gated drums …

1984, Music

Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)

The Minutemen’s magnum opus is really a magnum opus, coming in at a fairly ridiculous 45 tracks in 81 minutes. (That runtime is longer than Zen Arcade by over 10 minutes…) The band basically admits they included virtually everything they had, dubbing the final side “Chaff”. This is supposed to be a record by a …

1999, Music

Californication (1999) by Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Scar Tissue” was everywhere in the summer of 1999. The radio was always on at my work and so the song was always on. I fell in love with a girl at my work who loved “Scar Tissue.” And so I found myself torn between my love for this girl, who would sing along to …

1989, Music

Street Fighting Years (1989) by Simple Minds

Simple Minds is one of those bands that put out an absolute ton of music but which I was only aware of due to their biggest hit. Until 2018 or 2019 I had never heard a single album of there’s. That one album sounded too much like U2 to me, but mostly because of Kerr. …

1999, Music

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999) by Ben Folds Five

For most of my adult life I’ve been only vaguely aware of Ben Folds and his band. I think he had a hit or two I heard of and many years ago I managed to listen to their reunion album but it apparently made no impression on me. Despite sort of bemoaning the death of …

1989, Music

Full Moon Fever (1989) by Tom Petty

For years, my only real experience of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was their 1993 Greatest Hits record. That record contained the three big hits everyone knows from this solo album, though I wasn’t too concerned that these were ostensibly solo singles on a record collecting the band’s hits. I also wasn’t particularly concerned, at …

1994, Music

Troublegum (1994) by Therapy?

When I first heard “Knives” I thought “YES!” and figured I had just found a new favourite band. But that track turns out to be the album’s most immediate track – it’s a smart thing to lead off with in some respects but a bad idea in others.

1984, Music

The Smiths (1984)

The British music critic establishment and whomever else greeted this band as saviours must have been so desperate for guitars to greet this band – this jangle pop music – as the thing to deliver them from synthesizers, instead of something louder or more interesting (or both). The Smiths are one of those mystifying bands …

1999, Music

14:59 (1999) by Sugar Ray

I hated Sugar ray. I hate “Fly.” I hate “Every Morning.” I hate Mark McGrath’s flat singing and his fame-whoring. I hated their super poppy “fusion” thing which seemed like some weird kind of experiment of what would happen if a generic “alternative” pop rock band tried to incorporate hip hop like it was nu …

1989, Music

Technique (1989) by New Order

The fusion of alternative and dance was such a big thing in the late 1980s in the UK. But it’s not something I really get because, well, I don’t like dance music. But I wish I could appreciate it more, because there are all these bands, with all these acclaimed albums, and I listen to …

1998, Music

Supposed Form Infatuation Junkie (1998) by Alanis Morissette

My biggest problem with Jagged Little Pill is its faux grunge (what we would now call post grunge) production; there’s this veneer of trying to make Alanis fit in with alternative rock bands, but it’s clearly the work of someone who was never in an alternative rock band and is just trying to create a …

1988, Music

Mutations (1998) by Beck

I can imagine that, had I paid attention to Beck more when he first became popular, and only heard Mellow Gold and Odelay, and not his earlier “anti folk” records, this record might have knocked me on my ass. In retrospect it has far more in common with Sea Change than it does those records …

1998, Music

1965 (1998) by The Afghan Whigs

I did not particularly enjoy the critically acclaimed Gentlemen and I think so much of that has to do with when I heard it, in my late 30s. I suspect had I heard it when I was, say, 22, I might have really liked it a lot. It’s still a fine record but, as a …

1993, Music

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993) by Sarah McLachlan

This is the Sarah McLachlan I was too young for; the kids at my school weren’t into this music when it came out and I don’t think she was big enough in the States yet to make it on MTV when I got the chance to watch that at my cousins’. I say this because, …

1993, Music

Gentlemen (1993) by The Afghan Whigs

Expectations are a terrible thing. I had none the first time I listened to this record. But, not really getting how it had made it on to my list of major album anniversaries for October 1993, I looked it up and started reading all the praise out there. So by the second time I listened …

1988, Music

Fisherman’s Blues (1988) by The Waterboys

I listened to the Waterboys’ debut a while ago, and grudgingly acknowledged it was probably a pretty big deal in the UK music scene at the time – it might have been the first record you could call “alternative” instead of post punk for all I know – but I didn’t love something about it, …

1988, Music

Ultramage OK (1988) by Soundgarden

Chris Cornell apparently didn’t like the production of their debut and I must say that, as someone who is really familiar with their ’90s efforts, this doesn’t sound like Soundgarden to me. Even Cornell himself doesn’t quite sound like himself. I’m not sure how much that can be blamed on the production, how much it …

1998, Music

El Oso (1998) by Soul Coughing

Members of Soul Coughing are quoted in The Secret History of Rock, the pre-internet guide to weird and rarely heard rock music which was my bible for a long time. I made it my mission to listen to all the bands that were featured in that book, but I also made it my mission to …

1998, Music

Is This Desire? (1998) by PJ Harvey

If you spend too much time reading music magazines – do people still do that? – or you spend too much time on the internet, it’s tempting to see Is This Desire? as the flip side of The Boatman’s Call, or a direct response to it or some combination of the two. The easiest thing …

1998, Music

How It Feels to Be Something On (1998) by Sunny Day Real Estate

Apparently these guys were one of the original Midwest Emo bands. I did not know that; really I knew nothing at all about them before listening to this record.