Sunday, July 28, 2013

Random Access Memory - Daft Punk

DO YOU EVER HATE YOURSELF FOR NOT DOING REVIEWS LIKE YOU SHOULD. THEN YOU'RE ON THE SAME BOAT AS ME. This is the new album by Daft Punk. I've been waiting for this thing to come out. I first started listening to these guys around the same time I started listening to Coldplay. Junior year and it was about the time of Mylo XylotoMy question, with all the hype and Get Lucky, who isn't waiting for this release? I hoped to pick up a copy on June 18, same day as Fashionably Late & Yeezus. Well I ended up getting this, Yeezus, Fashionably Late [Deluxe Edition], Sounds of Silence, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [Deluxe].
  1. Give Life Back to Music: This is definitely a good way to start off this album. It's an upbeat song and you can dance to it. I recently saw "Night At The Roxbury", it was ok, but I could imagine them doing the head dance to this song too. This song is a pretty good tone setter and I think kind of says "sit back, relax, play this loud on a warm summers day. At the beach, any day, as long as it's summer".
  2. The Game of Love: This song is kind of romantic, I could see this being in a movie where there is a guy serenading a woman. Except the vocoder might not be there. It might be if there was a montage of them falling in love. (ie. We Have All The Time In The World in On Her Majesty's Secret Service). This is a solid song. This song just falls short of making me want to make sex with someone.
  3. Giorgio by Moroder: This song is a story. It's told by Giorgio. He is one of Daft Punk's influences. The more I listen the more it blows my mind. I love the hell out of that track. It's great and I can't believe I heard anything like it. It kind of reminds me of Aerodynamics off their 2001 album Discovery. This song pretty much changed my views of electronic music. I've been, since hearing this, trying to compose something along the lines of that. {10/10}
  4. Within: This song is a song I could literally see being from the 70's. Maybe if the production was a little "warmer" I could picture this on vinyl. This is a pretty song though. The synth sounds like it would be from then.
  5. Instant Crush (feat. Julian Casablancas): I like this song more than I like The Strokes. I really like the way the chorus sounds. It is another song I could see dancing to. This whole album is a dance album, but it a good way. Not overbearing pop crap, it's prefect the way it is. I like the little "do do dodo" thing that sounds like he's dialing a phone or something like that. I think it's a pretty sick way to end an album.
  6. Lose Yourself to Dance (feat. Pharrell Williams): This song features Pharrell's almost universally, at least from what I've read/talked about, panned falsetto. I don't care for it, but it isn't that bad. This song isn't one of my favorites, but I still think it's a decent song.
  7. Touch (feat. Paul Williams): This song, though not at first, has grown on me. I love the outer space vibe in the beginning. It reminds me a little of Forever Dolphin Love by Connan Mockasin. This song also reminds me, before he starts singing, a little of, I'm pretty sure it's the song, Sonic Attack by Hawkwind off 1973 live Space Ritual album. Then after that I love how his voice just comes in, and then the whole New Orleans band vibe instrumental part. Damn this song is pretty great. Then the whole electronics outerspace part towards the end reminds me of Siberian Breaks. This song reminds me a lot actually, as it progresses MGMT's song Siberian Breaks and the Congratulations album almost as a whole. Like the vocals in the backgrounds and becoming louder reminds me of Siberian Breaks and also Someones Missing. I love the strings "meltdown". That reminds me of A Day In The Life by The Beatles off the legendary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This song is just great. And better with every listen. {9/10}
  8. Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams): This song is a great song. It's got a kind of disco vibe to it. It also kind of, more of less, reminds me a tad of Aja by Steely Dan. I'm gonna do a review of that album, though as of now I like Can't Buy A Thrill or Countdown more, sometime soon. I don't really know how you can not like this song. It's one of those songs that's hard not to like. Yes it's a catchy song, but it's also pretty well put together.
  9. Beyond: The beginning of this song, I'm pretty sure, reminds me of the Saffron City song from Pokemon. I might be wrong on what town, but at least you know it reminds me of Pokemon. Then song slows down a little and turns into something more like Give Life Back to Music or The Game of Love. I like the little keys solo at the end.
  10. Motherboard: This is a pretty good song, but you know, I can't say I've really heard it enough to say what I think. I do like the whole acoustic guitar in the song. I think that's pretty sick and the strings are awesome two. But I don't want to diss the song, or praise it since I don't feel I know the song enough. I can though add a note maybe at a later date. It does reminds me of MGMT  though, at parts.
  11. Fragments of Time (feat. Todd Edwards): This is another song, that for me, I feel is a little weaker. Who knows though, I might change my mind about it over time. I do this is is a decent song though, I'm not damning it, I'm just saying from what I've heard it's ok. The like solo thing reminds me a little of the song A Drive In The Country by Bill Conti which is in the movie, and a weaker Bond film, "For Your Eyes Only".
  12. Doin' It Right (feat. Panda Bear): This song is good. It's good, it's not great, but it is a decent song you can dance to. The album drops off a little after Get Lucky. Not really, but just a tad.
  13. Contact: This is a great song, it reminds me of Giorgio and also of Aerodynamics. My two favorite Daft Punk songs. I couldn't have imagined this would end the album. I can't complain in the least about this song. It's such an epic finale to the album, it's like a book closer. Other great book closers/finales to albums are Outside The Wall, A Day In The Life, Eclipse, Shine On You Crazy Diamonds, Save Me, Jungleland, Memory Of A Free FestivalWreck On The HighwayHere Come The Warm Jets, Wild Is The WindTomorrow Never KnowsChant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family, Rock 'N' Roll SuicideThe End, Ambulance, I'll Be BackShelter, The MedleyCombinations, Congratulations I could go on forever, but these are just some for you to checkout if you haven't. {10/10}
Overall I love this thing, 8.6/10. Theses songs are COMPOSED!. I love that, that's what I want to do. I have nothing but respect for them with this type of stuff. Noel from Oasis doesn't know crap, other than how to not grow up and make up with his brother. He couldn't compose if his life depended on it. And if he grew up and just didn't disown his brother, then maybe I'd respect his opinion on this album. This album is also a holy grail of disco and other "black music" musicians. BUY THIS CD! SUPPORT THE CAUSE, DON'T LET CDs DIE! What I'm gonna start doing is review albums more based on my influences for writing at the time. It will help me dissect the music, and will be fun to do. I'll still do new album and random ones here and there, but that's gonna be for the most part.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Station to Station - David Bowie

FINALLY, HERES A NEW REVIEW. This is the 10th studio album by one of my favorites, David Bowie. This is the album where he was at the height of his cocaine addiction. This is the album before the legendary Bowie/Eno Berlin Trilogy. This album was produced by Bowie and Harry Maslin. I have noticed an almost universal love for this album I like the album too, but not as much as everyone else does. It has grown on me 
  1. Station to Station: This song is one of my favorite Bowie songs and one of, in my opinion, the best songs ever made. This is, in theory, kind of like Bowie's own Stairway. But this song kicks the crap out of Stairway in everything, except a complex guitar solo. At the end of the day though, you don't need to have a Jimmy Page solo to be a good solo. Look at Coffee & TV by blur. That solo fits the song, and this solo fits this song. This song is kind of a build up. It starts with a 1 or 2 minute intro of what sounds like trains chugging. I love the way the piano sounds when it kind of breaks the train off. Then after that it goes into a guitar riff that replicates, more or less, the rhythm of the train in the beginning. Then when the vocals come in this guitar arpeggios? is playing "The return of the Thin White Duke, Throwing darts in lovers eyes". I love that line of the song. The lyrics of this song are just so sick. This is one of the fastest 10 minutes of my life. The cream of the crop comes thought at about 5:15ish when there is a drum interlude for about a second or so and then "Once there were mountains". I love that part. I can't tell you how much I love it. It's a completely different song after that point. It's almost like they were written as two different songs squashed together, but it worked perfect. Kind of like Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding. The former ended in the same key as the latter started in, so he put them together. "The European Cannon is here". Damn, this is an amazing song! I just love the lyrics; but one of my favorites, and stand out for me, is "Have you sought fortune evasive and shy". I could take that more than one way. But my way of interpreting that specific line is, have you gone after fame evasive and trying to hide and sneak around people. This is nothing short of epic. I think they double tracked his vocals, but one is higher pitched. So rather than reverb it's like two different people singing. I love they way that people do this trick. And David was able to sing different enough to make it sound right. The guitar riff is kind if like a horse Gallup, at the "Have you sought fortune and fame". The bass is pretty sick to play too. I can play this song, I love jamming and playing along with it. I could go on forever about this song, but I should probably stop. {100/10}
  2. Golden Years: This is a good song. Not great, but it's a quality song. This is just an odd song. It has a weird feeling to it. I know it's kind of like a song that is like a ballad, but it's just somewhat weird. Maybe it's weird chords, but I love the idea of this song. Like, a ballad with "indian chords". I know they didn't use "indian chords", but the idea of making a pretty song with odd sounds. I looked it up, it's F# to E. that's awesome. {8.1/10}
  3. Word On A Wing: This is a pretty romantic song. Kind of like some of the romantic songs on Young Americans. I actually could almost see this song being on that album. According to he VH1 Storytellers he said this was written as kind of a way to cope with the darkest time of his life. There is also a theme of religion in this song he touches upon. This is a pretty touching song. You can kind of tell there is some emotions that go into this song. I didn't like it much at first, but with more listens its become a song I love to hear. This is a song I would check out if you haven't heard it before. I also like the choir thing at the ending. {9.2/10}
  4. TVC 15: This is supposedly inspired when David Bowie saw Iggy Pop's wife get eaten by a TV. I don't know what that is supposed to mean, but this song is a decent song. I don't really know much about what to say. I could see, in an odd way, this being a song you can dance too. I like the "dance hall?" flavor in the beginning. I think that's the right word. The chorus part I'd just sick. It feels pretty epic and big. I also like the sax there. It's harder to hear, but if you listen you can hear it. 
  5. Stay: This is another song that is a little different. Not what I expected. I do like the chorus. This is a song that reminds me of Young Americans. This is a pretty damn good song. I like the way he sings in the chorus. I also like the solo. It's more of like a guitar fill. It's not overly complex. It somewhat reminds me of, at parts, of Georgie's playing. That's probably my favorite part. 
  6. Wild Is The Wind: Though I love the dozen or so Nina Simone songs I've heard, especially Save Me, I think David does it better. This is a pretty romantic song. I like that this is the ending. It fits the album perfect. It's like the book closer. This feels like a song where you'd take the woman under your sheets and just make sweet love to her. I like the acoustic guitar a lot also. Excluding YA album this is probably the most romantic he gets. I also kind of laugh at the way some of the words sound funny. Then I remember Nina's songs. I love where it starts to pick up. The sound of acoustic guitar on this song is my favorite sound. Like the "distortion?". That's not the right word, but I hope you get the point ;)
Overall I have  to give this album a 8.5/10. All the songs on this album are quality songs. No single song on this album isn't good, but they aren't like the songs on Ziggy or Space Oddity or even Diamond Dogs. The album though, I think, isn't mind blowing. As time has gone on, and this album has sat with me, I like it more and more. But you know, I know this is an important period in his career, but that doesn't make a good album. Also, I'ven't heard all of Low or Lodger yet, so I can't judge them yet. All these songs are fun to sing alone with, and the lyrics aren't that hard to remember. If you think about it Space Oddity had its parts where it was psychedelic and it's parts where it would fit on a glam album. This album is kind of like that. 

Addition 7/28/13: This album, with more listens is a damn great album. That's why I'll award it a 9/10. And it is one of my favorite Bowie albums, and is definatly the slickest album I've ever heard. I wouldn't be surprised if that 9 turns to a 10 by the end of the year. Damn! David also said something, which I could never really think of how to say it or what it was, but said this is a "dark album". Look at this Richard Corey was everyone's idol and they loved him. But he obviously was troubled and had some darkness there. Lots of times everyone's heroes have more troubles than we think. Comedians usually have some type of problem, not all, but lots historically have. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Transformer - Lou Reed

This is the sophomore solo album by ex-Velvet Underground lead singer, Lou Reed. Now I watched the Classic Albums doc on this and I gained a new appreciation for it. Before that this was one of those "I'll listen to it eventually" albums. Even though I knew that David Bowie produced the album. I heard a few songs from it and decided to do a review.
  1. Vicious: I don't know if there is a specific reason, but I keep listening to this song. I don't think it's the best song on the album, but there is something about it that makes it catchy. This is a good way to start out an album. It gets your attention and it kind of keeps it. I like how the drums sound like a "metrognome". The lyrics are kind of dark. Not sadistic, but the type of dark that reminds me a little of One More Minute by "Weird Al". Tongue-and-cheek dark.
  2. Andy's Chest: I guess this is about how Andy Warhol was shot. This is a decent song, I mean that I don't think it's mind blowing, but it's ok. I think that this track does have some significance to Lou. But you know, I just am not super into it. The more I hear it the better it gets, but for right now, I'm not in love with it.
  3. Perfect Day: I was just, before I started the review, listening to Duran Duran's cover of this song off their Thank You album. The more I listen to it the better it gets. The more "perfect" it gets. Here are the legendary Mick Ronson strings. Damn, if I could have ever had the chance meet this guy. But I can't, :(. This song though has this pretty piano and the strings that go along with it. I mean, Damn.
  4. Hangin' 'Round: This is a total Bowie song. I could almost see this being an outtake from Ziggy Stardust sessions. It's kind of uncanny about how much this is like one of those tracks. I'm assuming that it sounds like that because Bowie helped, but still. This reminds me of a song off that album.
  5. Walk On The Wild Side: I love the way this song is. I don't love it, how it turned out, but it's amazing. That contradicts itself but I love the way this song is, the instrumentation, just the overall. I love the lyrics and love the way it IS, but I'm not in LOVE with it, if that makes sense? I think the way the instrumentation is and the whole overall idea about it is awesome, but I'm not crazy about how it turned out? I like it, but I wish it was a little more exciting. This is a relaxing track. I guess you could compare it to Soul Love.
  6. Make Up: I'm not a huge fan of this song either. I get what it's talking about, but I don't think it's anything special. If I had a choice I'd probably skip this track, but it's not horrible.
  7. Satellite Of Love: This song is just... it took me by surprise. I never really cared for The Velvets but after this song, I decided to check them out. They aren't as bad as I though, and I plan on reviewing one of their albums I've yet to touch later this month. This is by far my favorite song by Lou that I've heard. I heard a demo of this song from the Loaded deluxe album. Only that demo. It's not as good as this version. I do like it tough. It has one of my favorite chord progressions and is one of the funnest songs I know how to play. The whole "I've been told". This is my favorite part and it's so much fun to play along with. The ending that is like ad-libbed, it's great. I love David's high notes in that outro. Something I don't think he used enough on his, if at all, Next Day.
  8. Wagon Wheel: This song reminds me of The Velvet Underground. I'm not huge on that band, but you know, it's not that terrible of a track. It's hard to live up to that last track.
  9. New York Telephone Conversation: This is a fun song. I can honestly say I never though Lou Reed would do anything like this. Maybe David had an influence on him, but still. This is a silly song, and probably the most silly. I love this song, it's so weird that I don't think it could ever work unless Davey had something to do with it. This is a very fun song and I hope I could write a song almost as fun as this is to listen to.
  10. I'm So Free: This song is a little more return to this sound of glam rock, more so than that last song. It actually reminds me of the Wagon Wheel track a little.
  11. Goodnight Ladies: This is a great ending to this album. It's a bizarre and it's an awesome ender. It's like a glammed up version  of Good Night off 1968's self titled album The Beatles. Its a great track and if you've never heard it, I'd definitely listen to this first or second to Satellite.
Overall I have to give this album a 8.6/10. I understand this thing. Lou Reed seems like a guy who is dirty and one of those Factory Kids who hung with Warhol, but this is a silly album. It is the opposite of the dark Velvet Underground albums. Just listen to any track off this album, then any track off The Velvet Underground & Nico. David definitely know how to work magic. Most of this album is amazing, though there are some Ok parts, nothing is terrible or boring or bad.