Nothin' before 94

This is a music blog, reviewing music between the years 1994-now. Whatever artist, whatever genre

http://www.last.fm/user/Matt-2304
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#14
The Flaming Lips- The Soft Bulletin
What’s considered to be The Flaming Lips’ ‘Magnum Opus’, the first real brilliant album of theirs after the weird DIY punk/psychedelia/badly produced/confused records they came out with previous to it. This one had a very cohesive, passionate theme to it all too, they decided to go and compile a long musical viewpoint on humanity. It seems to be a long message of hope against a very overwhelming, nasty world. Musically it’s a really passionate, and really pretty album too, the first album they’ve done that I’d probably consider to be pretty. They’ve gone and done long passages of confusing fuzz, and now they’ve decided to go for the more conventional, it is a lot poppier and accessible, which could be a good or bad thing, though it definitely gets more of a message across.
'Race for the Prize' sets it all off as one of my favourite album openers, this one beginning with so much energy, still with quite a passionate and slightly melancholic tone. It begins with “Two scientists are racing for the good of all mankind.” To me this describes the power that individual humans can have on the world when it comes to things like science. It tells a story of a competition between two scientists to create something that would cure everyone, it's just a positive view of humans, though it can be interpreted negatively, because in a way it could be about the 1945 atomic bomb if you listen carefully. Especially when it leads onto 'A Spoonful Weighs a Ton', which could well be referring to an atom, weighing a ton when it creates the reaction that makes a giant explosion, this is still within the theme of the power humans have, except a little more negative, this power comes through in the awesome bassline when it makes its way into the songscape. Though it could just refer completely vaguely to how little things can make such a large difference to people. This theme of 'little things making a difference' carries on to 'The Spark that Bled' which is where he “accidentally touched” his “head” ie. had an accidental epiphany/idea, and it made him stand “up and” say “yeah!” ie. it totally changed his life, this has a bigger picture to it, about how ideas are the tiny things that can completely change people's mindsets, one example being something like Darwin's theory of evolution, which changed the mindsets of almost everyone in the world (“it seemed to cause a chain reaction”) on how they became who they are. This song is where they've started to get a bit of electronica involved in everything, and it makes for a good addition. It has a beauty to it, this one.
A wonderful little compressed drum fill then takes us into ‘Slow Motion’, which I find is looking at how we feel like the past has gone so much quicker than what we see of the present, and the future. And how so much time has been leading up to the moment we are in in the present - “It takes a year, to make a day” - and how if we think of everything in that respect, we are going in slow motion. Or they could have been high. Either way it’s an interesting song, making use of some nice psychedelic production methods (crazy panning). ‘What is the Light?’ is then a very obvious wonder of where we are and how we got there, the strangeness of it all, plainly questioning it all. It’s a really epic, euphoric song too, and I love it, nice one Flaming Lips. ‘The Observer’ is then a brilliant instrumental, which oozes curiosity, it is a carry-on from ‘What is the Light?’ letting us ponder where we are to some curious, and quite epic in its own right, music. I do like the guitar melody, and the delayed piano effect in the background. It’s full of emotion and grandness. ‘Waitin’ For a Superman’ then goes back to the very human themes of the album, this one was said to be an ode to Wayne Coyne’s father who died before this album was released, it’s an emotional, genuine song about how the world is hard for human’s to deal with, and that they should just “hold on”, and that maybe the problems of the world are even “too heavy for superman to lift.” It’s possibly one of the most genuinely emotional songs of the album.
'Suddenly Everything has Changed' keeps this passion going, however with the addition of a shameless rhythm section, and some euphoric sections, I like the two sections in the song, in 4/4 and 6/8, separated by a beautiful rhythmless section. It's a very well-composed song, with such emotion. It's a nostalgic song about realising how different we are to when we were younger, and how different the world is. It uses a meaningless task like “folding up the shirts” to show that these repetitive meaningless tasks are what actually make us forget about the past to think about the present. 'The Gash' begins really quite dramatically, really demonstrating their difference as a band since their fuzzy previous releases. It's a dramatic expression of how humans still battle on, despite all the problems they have deep within them, how they “fight for their sanity,” and that sometimes the biggest fight is to understand “that you're broken.” It's a brilliant epic tune that sounds almost like it could be the music in an old school video game or something, possibly on purpose, possibly not. 'Feeling yourself Disintegrate' I find is actually talking about death, either that or drugs, it's a very dreamy song, perfect for drugs, though it's also a perfect place in the album to talk about death, it's what humans battle on to get to eventually, and in death we do disintegrate into the world. And then it has the line “life without death is just impossible.” It's a lovely dreamy song and one of the best on the album.
"Sleeping on the Roof’ is then another emotional, passionate instrumental, it follows a piano melody playing within what sounds like a natural environment. This one I think is to contemplate death to, in all its melancholic emotion, in doing that it makes the song so beautiful. The name makes sense here, in a ‘Great Gig in the Sky’ sort of sense, about particles of yourself making their way to the sky, or the "roof". Saying that this song I’d say is possibly The Soft Bulletin’s 'Great Gig in the Sky', I like how it repeats and repeats until it gets quite intense. 'The Spiderbite Song' is then said to be about their guitarist 'Steven Drozd's heroin addiction and, in a bigger picture of things, how much human's get through in life, car accidents, drug addictions, how they happen, and how they can just get through and get over it. It's just a bit of a ballad by Wayne Coyne about Steven, with themes that refer to bigger things, like a lot of songs on the album. It's a really well-produced song too, with some wonderful textures running through it. The album then ends, in a really strange way, with 'Buggin', about… bugs annoying people. It is probably referring to all the meaningless things that just follow you through life, like bugs buzzing around your head. It's still a strange place to end, the music has a nice fun vibe to it, and it's a nice celebratory end to the album musically. I guess they wanted to end the album in a nice light-hearted fun-loving way. It's a really meaningful passionate album overall, packed with so much emotion and genuinity. Well done Flaming Lips.
Recommended Listens: “Race for the Prize”, “Waitin’ For a Superman”, “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate”
Have a Listen!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKiVSuDEF2c

#14

The Flaming Lips- The Soft Bulletin

What’s considered to be The Flaming Lips’ ‘Magnum Opus’, the first real brilliant album of theirs after the weird DIY punk/psychedelia/badly produced/confused records they came out with previous to it. This one had a very cohesive, passionate theme to it all too, they decided to go and compile a long musical viewpoint on humanity. It seems to be a long message of hope against a very overwhelming, nasty world. Musically it’s a really passionate, and really pretty album too, the first album they’ve done that I’d probably consider to be pretty. They’ve gone and done long passages of confusing fuzz, and now they’ve decided to go for the more conventional, it is a lot poppier and accessible, which could be a good or bad thing, though it definitely gets more of a message across.

'Race for the Prize' sets it all off as one of my favourite album openers, this one beginning with so much energy, still with quite a passionate and slightly melancholic tone. It begins with “Two scientists are racing for the good of all mankind.” To me this describes the power that individual humans can have on the world when it comes to things like science. It tells a story of a competition between two scientists to create something that would cure everyone, it's just a positive view of humans, though it can be interpreted negatively, because in a way it could be about the 1945 atomic bomb if you listen carefully. Especially when it leads onto 'A Spoonful Weighs a Ton', which could well be referring to an atom, weighing a ton when it creates the reaction that makes a giant explosion, this is still within the theme of the power humans have, except a little more negative, this power comes through in the awesome bassline when it makes its way into the songscape. Though it could just refer completely vaguely to how little things can make such a large difference to people. This theme of 'little things making a difference' carries on to 'The Spark that Bled' which is where he “accidentally touched” his “head” ie. had an accidental epiphany/idea, and it made him stand “up and” say “yeah!” ie. it totally changed his life, this has a bigger picture to it, about how ideas are the tiny things that can completely change people's mindsets, one example being something like Darwin's theory of evolution, which changed the mindsets of almost everyone in the world (“it seemed to cause a chain reaction”) on how they became who they are. This song is where they've started to get a bit of electronica involved in everything, and it makes for a good addition. It has a beauty to it, this one.

A wonderful little compressed drum fill then takes us into ‘Slow Motion’, which I find is looking at how we feel like the past has gone so much quicker than what we see of the present, and the future. And how so much time has been leading up to the moment we are in in the present - “It takes a year, to make a day” - and how if we think of everything in that respect, we are going in slow motion. Or they could have been high. Either way it’s an interesting song, making use of some nice psychedelic production methods (crazy panning). ‘What is the Light?’ is then a very obvious wonder of where we are and how we got there, the strangeness of it all, plainly questioning it all. It’s a really epic, euphoric song too, and I love it, nice one Flaming Lips. ‘The Observer’ is then a brilliant instrumental, which oozes curiosity, it is a carry-on from ‘What is the Light?’ letting us ponder where we are to some curious, and quite epic in its own right, music. I do like the guitar melody, and the delayed piano effect in the background. It’s full of emotion and grandness. ‘Waitin’ For a Superman’ then goes back to the very human themes of the album, this one was said to be an ode to Wayne Coyne’s father who died before this album was released, it’s an emotional, genuine song about how the world is hard for human’s to deal with, and that they should just “hold on”, and that maybe the problems of the world are even “too heavy for superman to lift.” It’s possibly one of the most genuinely emotional songs of the album.

'Suddenly Everything has Changed' keeps this passion going, however with the addition of a shameless rhythm section, and some euphoric sections, I like the two sections in the song, in 4/4 and 6/8, separated by a beautiful rhythmless section. It's a very well-composed song, with such emotion. It's a nostalgic song about realising how different we are to when we were younger, and how different the world is. It uses a meaningless task like “folding up the shirts” to show that these repetitive meaningless tasks are what actually make us forget about the past to think about the present. 'The Gash' begins really quite dramatically, really demonstrating their difference as a band since their fuzzy previous releases. It's a dramatic expression of how humans still battle on, despite all the problems they have deep within them, how they “fight for their sanity,” and that sometimes the biggest fight is to understand “that you're broken.” It's a brilliant epic tune that sounds almost like it could be the music in an old school video game or something, possibly on purpose, possibly not. 'Feeling yourself Disintegrate' I find is actually talking about death, either that or drugs, it's a very dreamy song, perfect for drugs, though it's also a perfect place in the album to talk about death, it's what humans battle on to get to eventually, and in death we do disintegrate into the world. And then it has the line “life without death is just impossible.” It's a lovely dreamy song and one of the best on the album.

"Sleeping on the Roof’ is then another emotional, passionate instrumental, it follows a piano melody playing within what sounds like a natural environment. This one I think is to contemplate death to, in all its melancholic emotion, in doing that it makes the song so beautiful. The name makes sense here, in a ‘Great Gig in the Sky’ sort of sense, about particles of yourself making their way to the sky, or the "roof". Saying that this song I’d say is possibly The Soft Bulletin’s 'Great Gig in the Sky', I like how it repeats and repeats until it gets quite intense. 'The Spiderbite Song' is then said to be about their guitarist 'Steven Drozd's heroin addiction and, in a bigger picture of things, how much human's get through in life, car accidents, drug addictions, how they happen, and how they can just get through and get over it. It's just a bit of a ballad by Wayne Coyne about Steven, with themes that refer to bigger things, like a lot of songs on the album. It's a really well-produced song too, with some wonderful textures running through it. The album then ends, in a really strange way, with 'Buggin', about… bugs annoying people. It is probably referring to all the meaningless things that just follow you through life, like bugs buzzing around your head. It's still a strange place to end, the music has a nice fun vibe to it, and it's a nice celebratory end to the album musically. I guess they wanted to end the album in a nice light-hearted fun-loving way. It's a really meaningful passionate album overall, packed with so much emotion and genuinity. Well done Flaming Lips.

Recommended Listens: “Race for the Prize”, “Waitin’ For a Superman”, “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate”

Have a Listen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKiVSuDEF2c

#15
Modest Mouse- The Moon & Antarctica
The last ‘Modest Mouse’ album reviewed on here - The Lonesome Crowded West had a big focus on America, and western culture. This one goes further into universal, celestial territory. This album has a prominent space theme running through it, making it the perfect album for them to start experimenting a little bit musically. The emptiness of space also makes for a nice link to the feeling of emptiness, and The Moon & Antarctica, both of which are some of the emptiest places associated with our planet. Perfect to speak about empty feelings in relation to. This album has a much ‘larger’ and much more ‘epic’ tone to it than The Lonesome Crowded West did and I do like that, even if it is quite similar in many ways. It’s an ambitious album, yet still holds a lot of authenticity and grittiness in a Modest Mouse kind of way.
'3rd Planet' is the song that begins the album and is possibly the most brilliant song on the album. The lyrics are really quite abstract throughout, and it has a really subtly emotional, innocent feel to it, as if it is a very naive image of the world. It is one long reminder of the connections between everything, in a really abstract way, of our similarities to the water, well the fact that we're mainly water “and the animals are swimming, around in the water in the oceans in our bodies”/ “our blood is just like the Atlantic”. How we're constantly falling apart, and how everything in life has a cyclical nature. It's all said in a really nice, naive, and interesting way, lyrically and musically. 'Gravity Rides Everything' is then where Modest Mouse begin to experiment a bit musically, even though behind it all is quite a simple song, you can hear some unique sounds in the electric guitar, this song is using the metaphor of 'Gravity' to explain what is always constant, and what brings something back to earth. They uses it to explain a version of fate, where everything will eventually fall into place. 'Dark Centre of the Universe' then carries on with this experimentation, this one is a little more atmospheric, however it all comes back to an old-school style Modest Mouse song when it breaks into the chorus, and not in a bad way at all. The lyrics of this song are the consequence of all his awareness of existence, a little bit of nihilism. It's a bit pessimistic to be honest. This is where the emptiness of the album starts to fall into place.
'Perfect Disguise' has more of a laid-back setting, with a melancholic aura about it, keeping with the melancholy of the last song, except in less of a detached way. It could be looking back at the cause of some of the empty feelings in the album, about people in the past purely using him. This one has quite a spacey feel, in a Modest Mouse-ian kind of way. 'Tiny Cities Made of Ashes' could possibly be alluding to another cause of emptiness, consumerism, it is speaking of trying to get away from it all, each verse speaks of a different example of consumerism in the world and then the chorus is “does anybody know a way that a body could get away.” The song then slowly and subtly changes and changes in texture brilliantly making for a really interesting listen. 'A Different City' is then back into Modest Mouse's roots, gritty alt-rock. This one is about all the bombardment of everything in life, from a very nihilistic sense, about people buying nothing at all of meaning, and saying nothing at all of meaning and often “talk out of their pants.” 'The Cold Part' is a beautiful song, with a really emotional atmosphere, especially in those strings. It has so many links to 'Antarctica' in the album name, and in the empty feeling throughout the album. In this one however, he is saying goodbye to his emptiness, and the coldness it makes him feel. The song seems to repeat itself over and over, becoming darker and darker each time.
'Alone Down There' then carries on the darkness that has encompassed this part of the album - musically and lyrically, there is a dissonance in the guitar lines. It is he looking at his own dead self, and realizing how lonely and isolated he is in, even in death. He is telling himself that he will not commit suicide because of how he doesn't want himself to be even more alone in death. It's a dark song, but then it's quite positive at the same time, in the sense of the world. 'The Stars Are Projectors' is really the height of their musical experimentation in the album, with its space theme lyrically, and it's strangely trippy nature musically too, in the song's textures. Here he is looking for meaning in life, as it is clear he hasn't found much at all, listening to the first half of the album. Here he looks at where the world came from. He believes that it all came from the stars, and to not believe people who want to 'teach' you meaning in life because chances are they're wrong. It's a really interesting song musically and lyrically, at nearly 9 minutes long, it could be one of the best ones on the album. It goes a lot of places. 'Wild Packs of Family Dogs' after this is then the shortest on the album, it's still good in it's own way, as it tells a short story of a boy coming across some dogs, which eventually disappear, causing him to contemplate what may have happened, coming to realize how everything in life does eventually leave. It moves then onto 'Paper Thin Walls' which is more like of a light-hearted older Modest Mouse song musically. This one is more about themselves and what they are in the world, as a band, “Laugh hard, it's a long way to the bank” etc. It is of their 'successful' position and what it means. It then ends with “I can't be a fool for everyone that I don't know” which is packed with a nice amount of meaning.
'I Came as a Rat' contains a nice amount of experimentation with the guitar, it's quite a catchy one at the same time too. The lyrics in this one are much more abstract, looking at the sorts of things he isn't, and may have been in the past like “a cat”, “ice” etc. Instead of this one having an altogether meaning, it's a lot more fragmented, with many. It's a good one to listen to anyway. 'Lives' is much more different, this time much more acoustic and a bit more positive, about saying he should live his life, because it is a state of mind that makes him feel empty, this is illustrated nicely in “If you could be anything I bet you'd be disappointed, Am I right?” and “my hell comes from the inside.” It has a number of different sections that have a Modest Mouse kind of passion involved with them. 'Life Like Weeds' brings this theme forwards, about all the parts of life that will obviously never be changed, that aren't part of the individual's self. This one is a bit more regretful, as if it is talking from the point of view of someone who's just died, regretting everything they didn't do in life because of the way they were. 'What People are Made Of' then eventually finishes the album with plenty of energy. I love the last line of this song, the last line of the album, which is “And the one thing you taught me about humans was this. They ain't made of nothin' but water and shit.” Before all this is a song wondering what life and the world is made of. The whole album is a lot more ambitious than anything they've ever done, a lot more experimental, a lot more cohesive and overall a lot more interesting.
Recommended Listens: “3rd Planet”, “Gravity Rides Everything”, “The Stars are Projectors”
Have a Listen!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxlOsOTULFM

#15

Modest Mouse- The Moon & Antarctica

The last ‘Modest Mouse’ album reviewed on here - The Lonesome Crowded West had a big focus on America, and western culture. This one goes further into universal, celestial territory. This album has a prominent space theme running through it, making it the perfect album for them to start experimenting a little bit musically. The emptiness of space also makes for a nice link to the feeling of emptiness, and The Moon & Antarctica, both of which are some of the emptiest places associated with our planet. Perfect to speak about empty feelings in relation to. This album has a much ‘larger’ and much more ‘epic’ tone to it than The Lonesome Crowded West did and I do like that, even if it is quite similar in many ways. It’s an ambitious album, yet still holds a lot of authenticity and grittiness in a Modest Mouse kind of way.

'3rd Planet' is the song that begins the album and is possibly the most brilliant song on the album. The lyrics are really quite abstract throughout, and it has a really subtly emotional, innocent feel to it, as if it is a very naive image of the world. It is one long reminder of the connections between everything, in a really abstract way, of our similarities to the water, well the fact that we're mainly water “and the animals are swimming, around in the water in the oceans in our bodies”/ “our blood is just like the Atlantic”. How we're constantly falling apart, and how everything in life has a cyclical nature. It's all said in a really nice, naive, and interesting way, lyrically and musically. 'Gravity Rides Everything' is then where Modest Mouse begin to experiment a bit musically, even though behind it all is quite a simple song, you can hear some unique sounds in the electric guitar, this song is using the metaphor of 'Gravity' to explain what is always constant, and what brings something back to earth. They uses it to explain a version of fate, where everything will eventually fall into place. 'Dark Centre of the Universe' then carries on with this experimentation, this one is a little more atmospheric, however it all comes back to an old-school style Modest Mouse song when it breaks into the chorus, and not in a bad way at all. The lyrics of this song are the consequence of all his awareness of existence, a little bit of nihilism. It's a bit pessimistic to be honest. This is where the emptiness of the album starts to fall into place.

'Perfect Disguise' has more of a laid-back setting, with a melancholic aura about it, keeping with the melancholy of the last song, except in less of a detached way. It could be looking back at the cause of some of the empty feelings in the album, about people in the past purely using him. This one has quite a spacey feel, in a Modest Mouse-ian kind of way. 'Tiny Cities Made of Ashes' could possibly be alluding to another cause of emptiness, consumerism, it is speaking of trying to get away from it all, each verse speaks of a different example of consumerism in the world and then the chorus is “does anybody know a way that a body could get away.” The song then slowly and subtly changes and changes in texture brilliantly making for a really interesting listen. 'A Different City' is then back into Modest Mouse's roots, gritty alt-rock. This one is about all the bombardment of everything in life, from a very nihilistic sense, about people buying nothing at all of meaning, and saying nothing at all of meaning and often “talk out of their pants.” 'The Cold Part' is a beautiful song, with a really emotional atmosphere, especially in those strings. It has so many links to 'Antarctica' in the album name, and in the empty feeling throughout the album. In this one however, he is saying goodbye to his emptiness, and the coldness it makes him feel. The song seems to repeat itself over and over, becoming darker and darker each time.

'Alone Down There' then carries on the darkness that has encompassed this part of the album - musically and lyrically, there is a dissonance in the guitar lines. It is he looking at his own dead self, and realizing how lonely and isolated he is in, even in death. He is telling himself that he will not commit suicide because of how he doesn't want himself to be even more alone in death. It's a dark song, but then it's quite positive at the same time, in the sense of the world. 'The Stars Are Projectors' is really the height of their musical experimentation in the album, with its space theme lyrically, and it's strangely trippy nature musically too, in the song's textures. Here he is looking for meaning in life, as it is clear he hasn't found much at all, listening to the first half of the album. Here he looks at where the world came from. He believes that it all came from the stars, and to not believe people who want to 'teach' you meaning in life because chances are they're wrong. It's a really interesting song musically and lyrically, at nearly 9 minutes long, it could be one of the best ones on the album. It goes a lot of places. 'Wild Packs of Family Dogs' after this is then the shortest on the album, it's still good in it's own way, as it tells a short story of a boy coming across some dogs, which eventually disappear, causing him to contemplate what may have happened, coming to realize how everything in life does eventually leave. It moves then onto 'Paper Thin Walls' which is more like of a light-hearted older Modest Mouse song musically. This one is more about themselves and what they are in the world, as a band, “Laugh hard, it's a long way to the bank” etc. It is of their 'successful' position and what it means. It then ends with “I can't be a fool for everyone that I don't know” which is packed with a nice amount of meaning.

'I Came as a Rat' contains a nice amount of experimentation with the guitar, it's quite a catchy one at the same time too. The lyrics in this one are much more abstract, looking at the sorts of things he isn't, and may have been in the past like “a cat”, “ice” etc. Instead of this one having an altogether meaning, it's a lot more fragmented, with many. It's a good one to listen to anyway. 'Lives' is much more different, this time much more acoustic and a bit more positive, about saying he should live his life, because it is a state of mind that makes him feel empty, this is illustrated nicely in “If you could be anything I bet you'd be disappointed, Am I right?” and “my hell comes from the inside.” It has a number of different sections that have a Modest Mouse kind of passion involved with them. 'Life Like Weeds' brings this theme forwards, about all the parts of life that will obviously never be changed, that aren't part of the individual's self. This one is a bit more regretful, as if it is talking from the point of view of someone who's just died, regretting everything they didn't do in life because of the way they were. 'What People are Made Of' then eventually finishes the album with plenty of energy. I love the last line of this song, the last line of the album, which is “And the one thing you taught me about humans was this. They ain't made of nothin' but water and shit.” Before all this is a song wondering what life and the world is made of. The whole album is a lot more ambitious than anything they've ever done, a lot more experimental, a lot more cohesive and overall a lot more interesting.

Recommended Listens: “3rd Planet”, “Gravity Rides Everything”, “The Stars are Projectors”

Have a Listen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxlOsOTULFM

66 plays
Sigur Rós,
( )

omie:

Sigur Rós - Untitled (Samskeyti)

I love their concept behind this album, leaving the name of each song and the album itself to the listener’s interpretation, aside from the band’s unofficial names in parenthesis. I think I’m going to title them myself in my phone.

This song’s unofficial name is “Samskeyti”, meaning Extension.

I would name this piece, Attainment.

(via lil-deku-scrub)

do-the-manta-ray:

rnbnf:

anangryqueer:

hiiw-5390687:

"this is not poetry" is a chapbook containing 8 poems about the unpoetic nature of mental illness and the effects it has on both the sufferer and their relationships.
click here to read

please read hannah’s poetry.[trigger warnings for: themes of suicide and self harm]

This is really good Again tw for suicide/self-harm

Woah Hannah, it was completely my loss not to have seen this until now! I’m literally amazed, you’re so talented *____*

do-the-manta-ray:

rnbnf:

anangryqueer:

hiiw-5390687:

"this is not poetry" is a chapbook containing 8 poems about the unpoetic nature of mental illness and the effects it has on both the sufferer and their relationships.

click here to read

please read hannah’s poetry.

[trigger warnings for: themes of suicide and self harm]

This is really good
Again tw for suicide/self-harm

Woah Hannah, it was completely my loss not to have seen this until now! I’m literally amazed, you’re so talented *____*

#16
Pulp- Different Class
Musically it’s a bit cheesy and seems like it’s a bit aware of the fact that it’s a bit jaunty and light-hearted, and all the themes through the album are glaringly obvious, without very much artistry behind them, in other ways it’s a complete opposite to the album yesterday. Though i’d say it’s probably the most important album that’s come out of the ‘britpop’ genre. I don’t know why Oasis and Blur had to be the biggest of it all. The whole thing is about the class system of Britain, and it decides to talk about a number of taboos inherent in British society and not spoken about; drugs, sex, and then just a few things that were ignored in popular music at the time - what’s considered banal and boring, like supermarkets, car parks, a field in Hampshire, bedrooms, and many more aspects of British life that many popular artists like to ignore.
'Mis-shapes' begins the album in quite a dramatic way, which isn't a surprise for this sort of genre. This one talks about the lives of the working-class people's in Sheffield where Cocker used to live. Throughout it he seems very aware however, that he is speaking about something that is rarely spoken about with lines like “we don't look the same as you, we don't do the things you do, but we live round here too, oh really.” This has a dramatic tone as if he is speaking about how all these people could easily start a revolution and the minority middle and upper-class wouldn't stand a chance. It then goes into 'Pencil Skirt' which is about another taboo subject - masterbation, and even more taboo, female masterbation. The whole song is from the perspective of a dildo(“Oh but I know you're engaged to him, oh but I know that you want something to play with”), one of the song's that has given Jarvis Cocker the reputation of a bit of a weird geeky pervert. I don't think I've come across many songs from the perspective of a dildo though. After this comes their most famous song 'Common People', from the perspective of a working-class citizen who is friends with someone of a higher class, who is being a “tourist”, something which “everybody hates”. This is really giving an expression of how the division feels and the alienation that underlies it all.
'I Spy' is then another dramatic track, like many of the others. This is a bit more aggressive towards the middle-class and the lack of passion and the pretense that goes on in the middle class lifestyle. The witty lyricism in “my favourite parks are car parks, grass is something you smoke, birds are something you shag” is brilliant, showing the deprivation of the working-class lifestyle. 'Disco 2000' after this speaks about the class divide's impact on relationships, and how prejudice about class can affect them. It's a strange song because it seems so light-hearted but underneath it's actually quite a sad story, basically about how people change from when they were children to adults, and how environment can affect everything. There is a slight melancholic aura to the music though, i find. 'Live Bed Show' then shows a similar theme, except from a female perspective, it is of a lonely old woman  who doesn't really have a sexually active lifestyle anymore because of the fact she is old and poor. It is explaining that this sort of thing happens all the time, and nobody really hears of it because it isn't any 'tragic story' because nobody gets physically hurt. And it's actually quite a boring story - “If this show was televised, no one would watch it.” It's quite a sad song, if not a bit too dramatic musically, though this whole album is really and that's kind of down to my own taste.
'Something changed' is another popular song on the album, it's a ballad-type song which in a way, is a love song, explaining situation and environment”s impact on relationships between individuals. This is demonstrated through this one relationship (“When we woke up that morning we had no way of knowing, That in a matter of hours we’d change the way we were going. Where would I be now if we’d never met? Would I be singing this song to someone else instead?”). The themes through this album are very obvious indeed, though British music needed some of this sort of thing at the time. ‘Sorted for E’s and Whizz’ is quite obviously about another taboo that goes on all the time in Britain, drugs. This song really de-glorifies it all, and shows the actual tragedy of it all, about “what if you never come down?” and “the hollow feeling” that “grows and grows and grows.” There is a sense of melancholy in the song, though it’s still a bit light. Rather than tending to this ‘rave scene’ like much British music at the time was doing, it actually brings to light the misfortune that it all brings. ‘F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E’ follows this which deglamourizes another thing that is held up high in music, and in life, love. It brings a sense of realism to it all, “I’ve got a slightly sick feeling in my stomach Like I’m standing on top of a very high building, oh, yeah. All the stuff they tell you about in the movies. But this isn’t chocolate boxes and roses, it’s dirtier than that. Like some small animal that only comes out at night”. This song is pretty much all spoken-word, which Jarvis is actually quite good at. Most of the album is a hybrid between singing and speaking really. This song also has a drama to it all.
"Underwear", like with "Live Bed Show" is like the previous song, except from a female perspective. This one has more focus on puberty however, and instead of a first time falling in love, a first time having sex. It brings into light the fear and confusion that comes with it all (especially if you change your mind about it at the last minute) and makes quite an awkward, yet necessary song. There is plenty of drama in the music of this song too, in a very Pulp-esque way. ‘Monday Morning’ brings a nice start of the climax to the whole album, speaking about the aimlessness individuals have in life, especially in Britain, how individuals live their life on a present basis, working from one monday morning to the next monday morning, never thinking about the bigger picture of "what’re you gonna be?" This brings to light the tragedy and lack of escape for the working class. Finally the last song of the album, ‘Bar Italia’ is describing the escape that he brings to mind in the last song, going out to a nightclub every week and taking drugs. It finishes the album well musically. I like the little lyrics that don’t feel very important yet pack so much significance like "you’re looking so confused, oh what did you do?" They are an important band, and this is an important album, even if it isn’t the most interesting album musically. It gets a message across really brilliantly, in a very in-your-face, British sort of way. And it has emotion and passion to it, a Jarvis Cocker sort of emotion and passion.
Recommended Listens: “Mis-Shapes”, “Common People”, “Disco 2000”
Have a listen!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWi5Te7KJhI

#16

Pulp- Different Class

Musically it’s a bit cheesy and seems like it’s a bit aware of the fact that it’s a bit jaunty and light-hearted, and all the themes through the album are glaringly obvious, without very much artistry behind them, in other ways it’s a complete opposite to the album yesterday. Though i’d say it’s probably the most important album that’s come out of the ‘britpop’ genre. I don’t know why Oasis and Blur had to be the biggest of it all. The whole thing is about the class system of Britain, and it decides to talk about a number of taboos inherent in British society and not spoken about; drugs, sex, and then just a few things that were ignored in popular music at the time - what’s considered banal and boring, like supermarkets, car parks, a field in Hampshire, bedrooms, and many more aspects of British life that many popular artists like to ignore.

'Mis-shapes' begins the album in quite a dramatic way, which isn't a surprise for this sort of genre. This one talks about the lives of the working-class people's in Sheffield where Cocker used to live. Throughout it he seems very aware however, that he is speaking about something that is rarely spoken about with lines like “we don't look the same as you, we don't do the things you do, but we live round here too, oh really.” This has a dramatic tone as if he is speaking about how all these people could easily start a revolution and the minority middle and upper-class wouldn't stand a chance. It then goes into 'Pencil Skirt' which is about another taboo subject - masterbation, and even more taboo, female masterbation. The whole song is from the perspective of a dildo(“Oh but I know you're engaged to him, oh but I know that you want something to play with”), one of the song's that has given Jarvis Cocker the reputation of a bit of a weird geeky pervert. I don't think I've come across many songs from the perspective of a dildo though. After this comes their most famous song 'Common People', from the perspective of a working-class citizen who is friends with someone of a higher class, who is being a “tourist”, something which “everybody hates”. This is really giving an expression of how the division feels and the alienation that underlies it all.

'I Spy' is then another dramatic track, like many of the others. This is a bit more aggressive towards the middle-class and the lack of passion and the pretense that goes on in the middle class lifestyle. The witty lyricism in “my favourite parks are car parks, grass is something you smoke, birds are something you shag” is brilliant, showing the deprivation of the working-class lifestyle. 'Disco 2000' after this speaks about the class divide's impact on relationships, and how prejudice about class can affect them. It's a strange song because it seems so light-hearted but underneath it's actually quite a sad story, basically about how people change from when they were children to adults, and how environment can affect everything. There is a slight melancholic aura to the music though, i find. 'Live Bed Show' then shows a similar theme, except from a female perspective, it is of a lonely old woman  who doesn't really have a sexually active lifestyle anymore because of the fact she is old and poor. It is explaining that this sort of thing happens all the time, and nobody really hears of it because it isn't any 'tragic story' because nobody gets physically hurt. And it's actually quite a boring story - “If this show was televised, no one would watch it.” It's quite a sad song, if not a bit too dramatic musically, though this whole album is really and that's kind of down to my own taste.

'Something changed' is another popular song on the album, it's a ballad-type song which in a way, is a love song, explaining situation and environment”s impact on relationships between individuals. This is demonstrated through this one relationship (“When we woke up that morning we had no way of knowing, That in a matter of hours we’d change the way we were going. Where would I be now if we’d never met? Would I be singing this song to someone else instead?”). The themes through this album are very obvious indeed, though British music needed some of this sort of thing at the time. ‘Sorted for E’s and Whizz’ is quite obviously about another taboo that goes on all the time in Britain, drugs. This song really de-glorifies it all, and shows the actual tragedy of it all, about “what if you never come down?” and “the hollow feeling” that “grows and grows and grows.” There is a sense of melancholy in the song, though it’s still a bit light. Rather than tending to this ‘rave scene’ like much British music at the time was doing, it actually brings to light the misfortune that it all brings. ‘F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E’ follows this which deglamourizes another thing that is held up high in music, and in life, love. It brings a sense of realism to it all, “I’ve got a slightly sick feeling in my stomach Like I’m standing on top of a very high building, oh, yeah. All the stuff they tell you about in the movies. But this isn’t chocolate boxes and roses, it’s dirtier than that. Like some small animal that only comes out at night”. This song is pretty much all spoken-word, which Jarvis is actually quite good at. Most of the album is a hybrid between singing and speaking really. This song also has a drama to it all.

"Underwear", like with "Live Bed Show" is like the previous song, except from a female perspective. This one has more focus on puberty however, and instead of a first time falling in love, a first time having sex. It brings into light the fear and confusion that comes with it all (especially if you change your mind about it at the last minute) and makes quite an awkward, yet necessary song. There is plenty of drama in the music of this song too, in a very Pulp-esque way. ‘Monday Morning’ brings a nice start of the climax to the whole album, speaking about the aimlessness individuals have in life, especially in Britain, how individuals live their life on a present basis, working from one monday morning to the next monday morning, never thinking about the bigger picture of "what’re you gonna be?" This brings to light the tragedy and lack of escape for the working class. Finally the last song of the album, ‘Bar Italia’ is describing the escape that he brings to mind in the last song, going out to a nightclub every week and taking drugs. It finishes the album well musically. I like the little lyrics that don’t feel very important yet pack so much significance like "you’re looking so confused, oh what did you do?" They are an important band, and this is an important album, even if it isn’t the most interesting album musically. It gets a message across really brilliantly, in a very in-your-face, British sort of way. And it has emotion and passion to it, a Jarvis Cocker sort of emotion and passion.

Recommended Listens: “Mis-Shapes”, “Common People”, “Disco 2000”

Have a listen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWi5Te7KJhI

#17
Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven!
A real triumph of an album, it’s where popular music starts to apply more of the structure and ambition of classical music, with the whole album seeming as if it is split up into four distinctive movements, given brilliant universal names, which make up a theme that would encompass the entire song. Some could call it extremely pretentious and some could call it incredibly artistic and I can understand both viewpoints. One could say the album is a brilliant achievement which carries ‘Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s messages about humanity without any vocalist, and one could say the album is a very pleasing, epic, instrumental album that really brings a perfect example of a modern day equivalent of classical music, that is post-rock. It is very well-composed, in a modern way, where there is a focus on the actual sound of the music, rather than a heavy focus on the notes, harmony etc. Either way, this music does tell a story, without any sign of a vocalist. One can’t really know this story until they hear every second of it themselves.
The album begins with the first… ‘movement’ (it’s hard to really call it a song when it’s almost 23 minutes long) - ‘Storm’. Now if you think that this album is probably pretentious, I’d probably stop reading now. To start off with, the song begins with what sounds like the sounds of life, like animals coming out from hibernation and calling to each other, all these sounds, start to harmonise with each other, and repeated melodies crop up again and again until they all find a unifying melody to repeat and repeat together. This song then becomes a giant build up into an epic celebration of what feels like much more than it probably is. This ‘Storm’ seems like it last quite a long time. The beautiful celebration is soon broken by what seems like the heavy thump of the metallic hands of humanity. There is a long echo, and silence, until ‘Static’.
'Static is a lot darker musically, and it feels a lot colder, this one with a very apocalyptic tone. There is a sample running through the early part of this song of a human speaking about “see(ing) the face of God”, which is interesting because if the speech is taken outside the context of humanity speaking it, and if humanity themselves is put into the role of the subject of “God” then it makes sense in a narrative of humans coming and sucking all the life out of the world - “I show you to see it through the light of God, and the understanding of God, because when you see the face of God, you will die, and there will be nothing left of you, except the God-man, the God-woman”. This is combined with some very intense, dark instrumental passages, and industrial sounds - the sound of a train is involved near the beginning of the song, and a plane just before a climax in the song’s intensity. After this comes a dark, apocalyptic silence, where there is a one single sound, that sounds a bit like a factory at work. It’s a dark one this one, and apparently it’s our fault. Though maybe they’re saying christians are the problem, who knows.
The third ‘movement’ is called ‘Sleep’, and it begins with another speaking sample about ‘Coney Island’, which seems like it is being used to represent the entire world. This one is a beautiful, and incredibly nostalgic song. The sample only takes up about the first minute of another 23 minute long piece, and even the sample is wonderful, the way the man seems like he’s about to cry by the end of it. This song’s the aftermath of ‘Static’, which feels like a representation of long into the future, where human’s have gotten too far and ahead of themselves, that they are in control of their own lives a little too much, and want to be able to let the environment they live in to carry them. (I found all of this in the line “They don’t sleep anymore on the beach”, maybe I’m the pretentious one). Either way the song feels very desolate, and brings up images of an empty, cold, post-apocalyptic world. They are brilliant at stirring up these images, along with emotion, they’re good at that too. All of the build-ups and climaxes in this song feel like they are going on within the minds of humanity at this point in the world, more so than accompanying what is going on physically with the world. It feels like in some of the parts where the instruments begin to repeat a riff in unity, it harks back to the beginning of ‘Storm’ when everything was ok with the world of this album.
Finally the last ‘movement’ ‘Antennas to Heaven’, is more of a general summary of the whole message of the album. It begins with an acoustic/country song which I feel is probably sampled, speaking of being given a baby, and not knowing what to do with it. The three things that the speaker decides to do with the baby are to “wrap him up in a tablecloth, throw him up in the old hay loft”, “give my baby a bottle of gin”, and “Stick my finger in the baby’s eyes”. These give perfect metaphors (the album is filled with metaphors… coney island, a religious preacher) towards what humanity has done, now it has been handed the ‘baby’ that is this planet. The music through this one is really quite inspiring, though not in a sense that gives cohesion with the themes of the album, it’s just…. inspiring. Which I do love anyway. After all this, the only real problem with the album is that after all of this interpretation… it is all quite vague after all. Though I do believe it should be an album that isn’t forgotten.
Recommended Listens: ‘Storm’, ‘Static’, ‘Sleep’
Have a listen!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZwQeZh6rP0

#17

Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven!

A real triumph of an album, it’s where popular music starts to apply more of the structure and ambition of classical music, with the whole album seeming as if it is split up into four distinctive movements, given brilliant universal names, which make up a theme that would encompass the entire song. Some could call it extremely pretentious and some could call it incredibly artistic and I can understand both viewpoints. One could say the album is a brilliant achievement which carries ‘Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s messages about humanity without any vocalist, and one could say the album is a very pleasing, epic, instrumental album that really brings a perfect example of a modern day equivalent of classical music, that is post-rock. It is very well-composed, in a modern way, where there is a focus on the actual sound of the music, rather than a heavy focus on the notes, harmony etc. Either way, this music does tell a story, without any sign of a vocalist. One can’t really know this story until they hear every second of it themselves.

The album begins with the first… ‘movement’ (it’s hard to really call it a song when it’s almost 23 minutes long) - ‘Storm’. Now if you think that this album is probably pretentious, I’d probably stop reading now. To start off with, the song begins with what sounds like the sounds of life, like animals coming out from hibernation and calling to each other, all these sounds, start to harmonise with each other, and repeated melodies crop up again and again until they all find a unifying melody to repeat and repeat together. This song then becomes a giant build up into an epic celebration of what feels like much more than it probably is. This ‘Storm’ seems like it last quite a long time. The beautiful celebration is soon broken by what seems like the heavy thump of the metallic hands of humanity. There is a long echo, and silence, until ‘Static’.

'Static is a lot darker musically, and it feels a lot colder, this one with a very apocalyptic tone. There is a sample running through the early part of this song of a human speaking about “see(ing) the face of God”, which is interesting because if the speech is taken outside the context of humanity speaking it, and if humanity themselves is put into the role of the subject of “God” then it makes sense in a narrative of humans coming and sucking all the life out of the world - “I show you to see it through the light of God, and the understanding of God, because when you see the face of God, you will die, and there will be nothing left of you, except the God-man, the God-woman”. This is combined with some very intense, dark instrumental passages, and industrial sounds - the sound of a train is involved near the beginning of the song, and a plane just before a climax in the song’s intensity. After this comes a dark, apocalyptic silence, where there is a one single sound, that sounds a bit like a factory at work. It’s a dark one this one, and apparently it’s our fault. Though maybe they’re saying christians are the problem, who knows.

The third ‘movement’ is called ‘Sleep’, and it begins with another speaking sample about ‘Coney Island’, which seems like it is being used to represent the entire world. This one is a beautiful, and incredibly nostalgic song. The sample only takes up about the first minute of another 23 minute long piece, and even the sample is wonderful, the way the man seems like he’s about to cry by the end of it. This song’s the aftermath of ‘Static’, which feels like a representation of long into the future, where human’s have gotten too far and ahead of themselves, that they are in control of their own lives a little too much, and want to be able to let the environment they live in to carry them. (I found all of this in the line “They don’t sleep anymore on the beach”, maybe I’m the pretentious one). Either way the song feels very desolate, and brings up images of an empty, cold, post-apocalyptic world. They are brilliant at stirring up these images, along with emotion, they’re good at that too. All of the build-ups and climaxes in this song feel like they are going on within the minds of humanity at this point in the world, more so than accompanying what is going on physically with the world. It feels like in some of the parts where the instruments begin to repeat a riff in unity, it harks back to the beginning of ‘Storm’ when everything was ok with the world of this album.

Finally the last ‘movement’ ‘Antennas to Heaven’, is more of a general summary of the whole message of the album. It begins with an acoustic/country song which I feel is probably sampled, speaking of being given a baby, and not knowing what to do with it. The three things that the speaker decides to do with the baby are to “wrap him up in a tablecloth, throw him up in the old hay loft”, “give my baby a bottle of gin”, and “Stick my finger in the baby’s eyes”. These give perfect metaphors (the album is filled with metaphors… coney island, a religious preacher) towards what humanity has done, now it has been handed the ‘baby’ that is this planet. The music through this one is really quite inspiring, though not in a sense that gives cohesion with the themes of the album, it’s just…. inspiring. Which I do love anyway. After all this, the only real problem with the album is that after all of this interpretation… it is all quite vague after all. Though I do believe it should be an album that isn’t forgotten.

Recommended Listens: ‘Storm’, ‘Static’, ‘Sleep’

Have a listen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZwQeZh6rP0

#18
The Smashing Pumpkins- Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
This is when The Smashing Pumpkins had a surge of ambition, and decided to begin to turn away from the grungy sound of ‘Siamese Dream’, and clean it up, moving into more symphonic, emotional territory. They also decided on making the album an epic 2-hour-long double album just because they had a little too much material, this does mean plenty of tracks potentially considered to be filler. Out of all though, it is generally a well-composed, thought-out album musically, in my opinion, more than any of their others. My only gripe would be the filler, and the melodrama in the lyrics ( ”Living makes me sick/So sick I wish I’d die’” and ”Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness. And cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me” are a bit cringey). Though what was I expecting listening to an album with “infinite sadness” in its name.
This album has 28 tracks, and I’m not going to be able to talk about them all, so I’ll just go through a select few. The album is really a general insight into Billy Corgan’s mind, him thinking back at his own childhood, relationships he had, bringing a theme of the passage of time through the whole album. The introductory song of the album - ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’, is a brilliant opener to the album, and sets a completely different tone than the previous two albums, it is gentler, and a lot more relaxed, with a sense of melancholy. This is a change from the explosive intensity of the openers in Gish and Siamese Dream. It then moves on into ‘Tonight, Tonight’ which also sets up the themes of the album in the first verse of “Time Is never time at all. You can never ever leave, without leaving a piece of youth. And our lives are forever changed. We will never be the same. The more you change, the less you feel”. This is possibly the most emotive song of the entire the album (it’s this or ‘1979’ anyway), in the string section it uses, which I believe fits in with the whole ‘traditional’ style of the album cover, and then each time it drops into the ‘Tonight’ of the chorus. After this it then drops right into the grungy sound that pervades the majority of the album with ‘Jelly Belly’. This song is a self-loathing one, however with a slightly uplifting tone - “you’re forever to me” - carried on from ‘Tonight, Tonight’ and it’s passage of time, and love theme. It does a good job in the album, especially when sandwiched between ‘Tonight, Tonight’ and the song that follows, ‘Zero’.
'Zero is possibly the best of all the grungier tracks on the album (this or 'Bullet with Butterfly Wings'). This is also where the actual themes darken a little bit, and rather than talking about the past, he speaks about having depression in the present with lines like “Intoxicated with the madness, i’m in love with my sadness” and “You blame yourself, for what you can’t ignore. You blame yourself for wanting more”. The riff of the song just adds to the darkness of it too. Following ‘Zero’ is ‘Here is no Why’, which is more of a conventional song, leaving space to focus on lyrics, there is a general emotional feeling behind it though. This one, seems to be speaking from the perspective of his present self still, yet speaking to a past self, and the disillusioned dreams he had as a teenager - “may the king of gloom, be forever doomed and in your sad machines you’ll forever stay burning up in speed lost inside the dreams, of teen machines”. After this comes one of the biggest songs of the album - ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ which is possibly one of the most universal songs, which links with the depression themes, even if it might be a little bit melodramatic. The significant line that is repeated through the song is “despite all my rage I’m still just a rat in a cage” which wraps it up nicely, of him being an angry, meaningless human being trapped in the cage of his own world. Some parts of it delve into melodrama, though this line brings through a genuine thoughtful expression nicely.
'To Forgive' looks back into where his hateful nature actually came from, looking into his own past once again, and realizing that he shouldn't actually be so angry at the world. Lines like “I forget to forget that nothing is important” and “holding back the fool again” show his realization about the foolishness behind all his anger, which lyrically redeems some of the cringy moments lyrically in the past few songs. 'Love' contains a similar theme of looking at the world in more of a positive light, though Corgan's voice, and the whole distorted, grungy feel of the music, shows a lot of sarcasm. It's as if he has been told through his life that “love solves everything” and somehow he doesn't trust it. Other than the interest in the lyrics, 'love' can probably be taken as a filler song. They go into the theme of love in 'Cupid De Locke' afterwards, this one is more cleaned up and poppier than any of the grunge in 'love', and it seems more genuine about love. It seems to plainly be his interpretation of what 'falling in love' is like and is about, possibly to just to show that he knows what it actually means. This one is only quick (just under 3 minutes) though it is a lovely one, and quite different for their style of music.
'Muzzle' is another one where Corgan looks back at his own life, following with the theme of the album, it's a little more emotional and nostalgic with lines like “And everything I’ve ever done is gone and dead, As all things must surely have to end, And great loves will one day have to part, I know that I am meant for this world”. This one carries on with the love theme in a way, and the theme of his own existence on earth. It is like ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ in how it puts things into perspective. This one uses a nice equilibrium between the grungier tone, and the nice emotive one. On Disc 2, titled “Twilight to Starlight”, I’ve got to admit, there is a lot more filler, so I’ve decided to only talk about the two best songs on this disc - ‘Thirty Three’ and ‘1979’. ‘Thirty Three’ is a beautifully composed, where the music and lyrics combine in quite a pleasing way. The lyrics are a little more abstract here, overall they seem to stand for looking at the world in a more positive light though. Finally ‘1979’ is probably my favourite song on the album, in it’s general laid-back and nostalgic tone, the lyrics in this one paint images of the carelessness and of youth, and how it manages to go so quickly. It’s a look back at his fun-loving life as a teenager. The brilliance of the song is really is the nostalgic tone. I like the last lines of the chorus which put his life and all he says in the album into perspective with “And we don’t know, Just where our bones will rest, To dust I guess, forgotten and absorbed, Into the earth below.” Really this should’ve been the last song on the album
Genre: Alternative Rock
Recommended Listens: ‘Tonight, Tonight’, ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’, ‘1979’
Have a listen!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eePRkP1HMYQ

#18

The Smashing Pumpkins- Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

This is when The Smashing Pumpkins had a surge of ambition, and decided to begin to turn away from the grungy sound of ‘Siamese Dream’, and clean it up, moving into more symphonic, emotional territory. They also decided on making the album an epic 2-hour-long double album just because they had a little too much material, this does mean plenty of tracks potentially considered to be filler. Out of all though, it is generally a well-composed, thought-out album musically, in my opinion, more than any of their others. My only gripe would be the filler, and the melodrama in the lyrics ( ”Living makes me sick/So sick I wish I’d die’” and Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness. And cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me” are a bit cringey). Though what was I expecting listening to an album with “infinite sadness” in its name.

This album has 28 tracks, and I’m not going to be able to talk about them all, so I’ll just go through a select few. The album is really a general insight into Billy Corgan’s mind, him thinking back at his own childhood, relationships he had, bringing a theme of the passage of time through the whole album. The introductory song of the album - ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’, is a brilliant opener to the album, and sets a completely different tone than the previous two albums, it is gentler, and a lot more relaxed, with a sense of melancholy. This is a change from the explosive intensity of the openers in Gish and Siamese Dream. It then moves on into ‘Tonight, Tonight’ which also sets up the themes of the album in the first verse of “Time Is never time at all. You can never ever leave, without leaving a piece of youth. And our lives are forever changed. We will never be the same. The more you change, the less you feel”. This is possibly the most emotive song of the entire the album (it’s this or ‘1979’ anyway), in the string section it uses, which I believe fits in with the whole ‘traditional’ style of the album cover, and then each time it drops into the ‘Tonight’ of the chorus. After this it then drops right into the grungy sound that pervades the majority of the album with ‘Jelly Belly’. This song is a self-loathing one, however with a slightly uplifting tone - “you’re forever to me” - carried on from ‘Tonight, Tonight’ and it’s passage of time, and love theme. It does a good job in the album, especially when sandwiched between ‘Tonight, Tonight’ and the song that follows, ‘Zero’.

'Zero is possibly the best of all the grungier tracks on the album (this or 'Bullet with Butterfly Wings'). This is also where the actual themes darken a little bit, and rather than talking about the past, he speaks about having depression in the present with lines like “Intoxicated with the madness, i’m in love with my sadness” and “You blame yourself, for what you can’t ignore. You blame yourself for wanting more”. The riff of the song just adds to the darkness of it too. Following ‘Zero’ is ‘Here is no Why’, which is more of a conventional song, leaving space to focus on lyrics, there is a general emotional feeling behind it though. This one, seems to be speaking from the perspective of his present self still, yet speaking to a past self, and the disillusioned dreams he had as a teenager - “may the king of gloom, be forever doomed and in your sad machines you’ll forever stay burning up in speed lost inside the dreams, of teen machines”. After this comes one of the biggest songs of the album - ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ which is possibly one of the most universal songs, which links with the depression themes, even if it might be a little bit melodramatic. The significant line that is repeated through the song is “despite all my rage I’m still just a rat in a cage” which wraps it up nicely, of him being an angry, meaningless human being trapped in the cage of his own world. Some parts of it delve into melodrama, though this line brings through a genuine thoughtful expression nicely.

'To Forgive' looks back into where his hateful nature actually came from, looking into his own past once again, and realizing that he shouldn't actually be so angry at the world. Lines like “I forget to forget that nothing is important” and “holding back the fool again” show his realization about the foolishness behind all his anger, which lyrically redeems some of the cringy moments lyrically in the past few songs. 'Love' contains a similar theme of looking at the world in more of a positive light, though Corgan's voice, and the whole distorted, grungy feel of the music, shows a lot of sarcasm. It's as if he has been told through his life that “love solves everything” and somehow he doesn't trust it. Other than the interest in the lyrics, 'love' can probably be taken as a filler song. They go into the theme of love in 'Cupid De Locke' afterwards, this one is more cleaned up and poppier than any of the grunge in 'love', and it seems more genuine about love. It seems to plainly be his interpretation of what 'falling in love' is like and is about, possibly to just to show that he knows what it actually means. This one is only quick (just under 3 minutes) though it is a lovely one, and quite different for their style of music.

'Muzzle' is another one where Corgan looks back at his own life, following with the theme of the album, it's a little more emotional and nostalgic with lines like “And everything I’ve ever done is gone and dead, As all things must surely have to end, And great loves will one day have to part, I know that I am meant for this world”. This one carries on with the love theme in a way, and the theme of his own existence on earth. It is like ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ in how it puts things into perspective. This one uses a nice equilibrium between the grungier tone, and the nice emotive one. On Disc 2, titled “Twilight to Starlight”, I’ve got to admit, there is a lot more filler, so I’ve decided to only talk about the two best songs on this disc - ‘Thirty Three’ and ‘1979’. ‘Thirty Three’ is a beautifully composed, where the music and lyrics combine in quite a pleasing way. The lyrics are a little more abstract here, overall they seem to stand for looking at the world in a more positive light though. Finally ‘1979’ is probably my favourite song on the album, in it’s general laid-back and nostalgic tone, the lyrics in this one paint images of the carelessness and of youth, and how it manages to go so quickly. It’s a look back at his fun-loving life as a teenager. The brilliance of the song is really is the nostalgic tone. I like the last lines of the chorus which put his life and all he says in the album into perspective with “And we don’t know, Just where our bones will rest, To dust I guess, forgotten and absorbed, Into the earth below.” Really this should’ve been the last song on the album

Genre: Alternative Rock

Recommended Listens: ‘Tonight, Tonight’, ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’, ‘1979’

Have a listen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eePRkP1HMYQ

Thank you to all (well 90% of) my followers for not unfollowing me all this time, but I gave up with this blog about a year ago now, and I’ve decided to fire it back up again, expect new reviews soon, better than they’ve ever been.

Expect plenty more made-up genres, unnecessary-riff-loving, and finding things in lyrics that definitely weren’t intended to be there.

I still plan on finishing these Top 100 albums (I’ll have to find the list I made somewhere), and then I’ll move onto something fresh, I promise.

spilling-tea-mcgee:

Best of All - Adjective Animal

Live at Fab cafe Jam night

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