Tag: Art Pop

2017, Music

MASSEDUCTION (2017) by St. Vincent

I saw Annie Clark early in her career on Austin City Limits, showing off her guitar playing and doing vaguely quirky things like playing a “cello guitar.” I really enjoyed it and figured I would check her out. I bought Actor whenever it came out and liked it enough tried to like it more than …

2016, Music

Lemonade (2016) by Beyoncé

Despite her ubiquity, I have never listened to Beyoncé solo album. Years ago, I listened to two Destiny’s Child albums which were better than I thought they would be. Needless to say, we’re a long way from there. (Obligatory mention of the fact that, if Beyoncé is the age she says she is, we’re exactly …

2023, Music

Que Dios te maldiga mi corazon (2023) by The Mars Volta

I remember ahead of either Octahedron or Noctourniquet, Cedric or Omar said their upcoming album would be acoustic, and then of course it wasn’t, it was just softer than the past. Well, they finally made their acoustic album, only it’s just a remake of their reunion left-turn album. And, listening to it, I imagine that this …

2022, Music

The Mars Volta Live at Massey Hall, Wednesday October 5, 2022

The Mars Volta have reunited, much like At the Drive In did five years ago. However, unlike that reunion, this is a very different version of the band, if there new album is anything to go by. So I was slightly worried about this show. But that proved to be unfounded.

2013, Music

And I’ll Scratch Yours (2013) by Various Artists

I quite enjoy Scratch My Back and love New Blood but, for some reason, it took me years to get around to listening tot he other half of Scratch My Back. But the thing I love about New Blood doesn’t really apply to this project (or Scratch My Back either, really, even though they sound …

2001, Music

Poses (2001) by Rufus Wainwright

Someone called Wainwtright’s voice a “rich kid voice” and I laughed when I read it. Even though I’m Canadian and have been exposed to Wainwright more than most Americans or Brits, I still have a hard time dealing with his affect. As I wrote in my review of his first album, it’s hard to imagine …

1971, Music

Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971) by Serge Gainsbourg

I first encountered Serge Gainsbourg through the Great Jewish Music series. (I was probably more aware of his daughter, who I was barely aware of, than I was him.) I liked the Gainsbourg album the least of those records – and I still wish they had made way more – but it did give me …

1986, Music

The Colour of Spring (1986) by Talk Talk

I have come at so many bands backwards, listening to their peak stuff before their early stuff, and it really distorts a band’s evolution. But few bands changed as much as Talk Talk in their somewhat brief existence did and so it’s extra ridiculous that I’ve come at their discography completely backwards and it makes …

1996, Music

Boys for Pele (1996) by Tori Amos

So sure, this is denser than her previous albums but I’m kind of mystified by how it’s viewed as “difficult” by so many people. It’s still a woman with a beautiful voice singing relatively conventional songs. I guess we listen to different things…

1996, Music

Viva! La Woman (1996) by Cibo Matto

I’m a subtitles guy, I’ll take subtitles over dubbing every single time. (Well, not quite: I’ll watch dubs for laughs.) Similarly, with music, I have strong opinions about listening to people sing in their own language versus singing in English when they don’t have complete command of that. This view appears to be a minority …

1980, Music

Double Fantasy (1980) by John Lennon, Yoko Ono

The dirty little secret about this record – if it’s even a secret – is that it was a failure when it first came out: it got bad reviews and it didn’t sell very well. People can write all they want about how it was John Lennon’s return after being a dad, or what have …

2000, Music

Felt Mountain (2000) by Goldfrapp

The British really did like a certain sound circa the turn of the millennium. It was one I was entirely oblivious to, living in rural Quebec, even though I had what was then an incredible internet connection. I suspect some of my radio station friends were into stuff like this, but I was honestly unaware.

1990, Music

Jordan: The Comeback (1990) by Prefab Sprout

Note: This album has nothing to do with Michael Jordan. It’s always weird coming to a critically acclaimed album by a band you’ve basically never heard a note of in your entire life. I was like 6 or 7 when Prefab Sprout had their big hit, and it was a hit in the UK. I …

1985, Music

Hounds of Love (1985) by Kate Bush

Though I have yet to listen to every one of her albums, this strikes me as her most ambitious album, at least to date. Recording a side-long suite of songs is borderline prog rock (and would actually be, I guess, if the music was a little more connected).

1980, Music

Never for Ever (1980) by Kate Bush

It’s funny, for me, that I cam to Kate Bush, because I seem to love just about everything she does. I find her music so compelling that I sometimes struggle to put it into words. There are things I like and clearly her particular brand of theatrical performance, interesting arrangements distinct songwriting is very much …

1980, Music

Vienna (1980) by Ultravox

I understand that this album represents a fairly major change in the band’s personnel. I’m less sure about how much of a change in sound there was, which should tell you that I don’t know anything about this band. So I can’t say anything about where this fits in their history/evolution.

2000, Music

Things to Make and Do (2000) by Moloko

I don’t know Moloko at all, so I don’t know how this album changed their sound from previous record. I read that they were considerably more electronic before this record, but I’m taking that on faith. All I can really talk about what’s here, whish might be described as soulful, funky, dancier  Portishead – like …

2020, Music

Fetch the Bolt Cutters (2020) by Fiona Apple

So, full disclosure: I love Fiona Apple. My least favourite of all her albums is her first record, which is still extremely impressive for someone of her age. (Compare it to records made by similarly aged artists through the history of pop music, I bet it stands out pretty strongly). So I don’t think I …

1990, Music

I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990) by Sinead O’Connor

Sinead’s second album is considerably more self-assured and even than her debut, though it’s lacking a bit of the energy of the debut and, also, the pure shock factor of a woman so young seeming like such a self-assured songwriter and performer. And like the debut, it hasn’t dated that well, but that’s sort of …

1965, Music

The Beach Boys Today! (1965)

Well this is the moment when the Brian Wilson who has been endlessly celebrated by the music press truly emerges, at least in album form. Though the lyrical sophistication of these songs has been greatly exaggerated (to a degree I don’t think I can stress enough) the musical sophistication is leaps and bounds beyond most …