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Category: Music

2024 Album-A-Day: Week 7

Feel free to suggest albums (although I don't think anyone's seen these so far)

February 12th: Heaven or Las Vegas by the Cocteau Twins

This album was full of relaxing vibes. I love the spaced out synths and guitars, and all of the reverb, and the vocals that are so incomprehensible that they're almost an instrument. (sidenote: I don't know why, but I can't find the lyrics to any songs on this album on any official websites, and it's entirely possible that there's no actual words in these songs). I really liked the opener "Cherry-colored Funk", "Icepick Luck", and the title track. The songs I really ought to listen to more dream pop. I'll probably return to this album whenever I need vibes with inscrutable lyrics.

February 13th: The Stone Roses by the Stone Roses

Apparently, I've been confusing the Stone Roses with the Happy Mondays this entire time (because they're often spoken of in the same breath, in terms of their importance to the Madchester scene). I assumed this would be all funky drums, synths, and psychedelia. It's not that. I mean, it's still psychedelic, but not in the way I'd assumed. It was more jangly guitar pop and alternative rock than I'd expected, and I really liked it. "I Wanna Be Adored" is a beautiful piece of indie rock, "She Bangs the Drums" is really catchy, "Elizabeth My Dear" is... kinda out of place but still good, and I'd say there's no bad songs on this album. "I Am The Resurrection" especially kicks ass. I will say, "Fool's Gold", which apparently wasn't originally on the album, has the sound that I was expecting. I understand why this is considered a classic and I'll probably return to it later.

February 14th: 3D Country by Geese

I'd heard the lead single, "Cowboy Nudes" (great song) on the local college station, so I checked out this album because of that. This album was a really good fusion of indie rock with country and jam band elements, and these songs always go in weird unexpected places. For example, the aforementioned "Cowboy Nudes" has an unexpected bongo breakdown in the middle, and more than one of these songs devolved into screaming. I really like the opener "2122", "I See Myself", and "Tomorrow's Crusades". I also really enjoy the backing vocals that appear on most of these songs. Overall, solid.

February 15th: Psychodrama by Dave

Dave is a British rapper that I'd heard about with his 2020 BRIT Awards performance that pissed off all the right people, so I checked out this one. I haven't listened to a lot of UK hip-hop, but this is different from the stuff I've heard. Dave says he really likes film soundtracks, Lana Del Ray, and Pink Floyd, which can all be easily heard on this album. "Black" is definitely my favorite song on the album, with Dave talking about racial identity and systemic racism with dramatic piano and strings. Another high point is "Lesley", a 10 minute story about abuse and heartbreak. The album isn't without levity, however, like the summertime-y dancehall number "Location" which has a pretty good Burna Boy feature. I also quite liked the chorus on "Voices". With this album, Dave has earned the award of "Second Rapper from the UK that I've listened to a full album of." (the first is Dizzee Rascal.)

February 16th: Ram by Paul and Linda McCartney

I had never listened to Paul McCartney's solo work before. I'm a huge Beatles fan (which is to say, a reasonably sane human person) but I haven't explored much of the post-Beatles solo work. I started with Ram because this album has the classic arc of being critically panned when it was released but then being reappraised later. This album has something of a "we're just kind of fucking around" quality to it, what with the silly voices and slightly frivolous song topics, but that doesn't stop it from having great songs like "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" and "Too Many People" and "Eat at Home". I mean, he's Sir Paul McCartney. Of course there's going to be really good jams. I plan on exploring post-Beatles stuff more in this project.

February 17th: Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix

I'd actually listened to the first two Hendrix albums independently of this project, and this was me rounding out the trilogy. This album is just as good as the first two. I've yet to decide which of them is my favorite, but I certainly love them all. I don't need to convince you that Jimi Hendrix was a guitar legend; that speaks for itself. "Crosstown Traffic", "1983.... (A Merman Should I Turn To Be)", "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp", his powerful reworking of "All Along The Watchtower", and both "Voodoo Chile" and its twin "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)". There's not much I can say beyond FUCK YEAH.

February 18th: Transformer by Lou Reed

I've listened to The Velvet Underground and Nico but not much else Lou Reed has done. (Although I've also heard some of Lulu, the baffling garbage pile that he made in collaboration with Metallica, which Chuck Klosterman wrote about in one of the greatest pieces of music criticism I've ever read) Transformer is pretty good glam-rock with some additional orchestration sometimes (and more tubas that I was expecting). I'd heard "Perfect Day" and "Walk on the Wild Side" before, and those songs remain classics, I love opener "Vicious" and "Make Up", and I must thank Lou Reed as a fan of MST3K for coining the term "Satellite of Love". I probably need to listen to the other VU albums.

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