Everything Must Go (1996) by Manic Street Preachers

Categories: 1996 and Music.

This is my first experience of The Manics, beyond one single (“If You Tolerate This than Your Children Will Be Next,” which I have a compilation). As I’ve noted more times than I can count, the problem with hype is that is elevates your expectations to heights where they will never be satisfied. This is a well made Britpop record with well-above-average lyrics. But one of the best albums of all time? Really? I want my “great” records to do more than just make me happy. For me, greatness is as much measured in influence and staying power (“transcendence” as Read More

Moseley Shoals (1996) by Ocean Colour Scene

Categories: 1996 and Music.

This is among the most “rock” of all ’90s Brit Pop albums I’ve heard. The band not only appears to really like guitars a lot, but likes lots of rock music, not just the rock music made by British bands between 1962 and 1966. It’s certainly the most rootsy, or the most “classic rock” of the Brit Pop albums I’ve heard. Maybe that makes it more derivative (particularly of the Stones) than some of the more inventive Brit Bop bands (like Blur) or some of the ones more influenced by Post Punk (like Pulp), but I’d still much rather listen Read More

The Queen is Dead (1986, Rough Trade) by the Smiths

Categories: 1986 and Music.

I usually don’t have trouble liking rock I’m “supposed” to like (i.e. the generally accepted rock canon). I can’t say the same about pop I’m supposed to “like” (frankly, I just prefer inventiveness, grit, rhythm and other such things to melody, aesthetic angles to precision arrangements, appropriate to clean production and mixing, etc). I usually can at least bring myself to  respect most rock music that has become canonical. Hell, often I can put aside my gut feelings and and least say “this is a pretty impressive feat even though I don’t particularly like the style of music.” But I Read More