Monday, July 21, 2014

Not Available - The Residents

Today is my birthday, in honor of that i decided to do whatever I want. Since no one can lock me up for reviews, i decided to do one of my favorite albums.... EVER!!!! This is the 1978 (their second recorded, it's from 1974) studio album by Louisiana's The Residents. This album is known as The Residents living embodiment of the Theory of Obscurity. Look it up, its an  interesting concept that needs the back story, so look on their website if you care. This album also, allegedly has much personal drama on it and is an opera, of sorts. This is gonna take some multiple listens to review, but I'm not complaining. Note: I'm using the 2010 most current version for this review.
  1. Part One: Edweena: Now this album starts off with something that sounds kind of cheap. I know that intro, upon first listen isn't that much of a draw in. But trust me, sit through it and it will pay off. The intro reminds me and sound a little of When We Were Young off 1980's Commercial Album, but with more instrumentation. The drums are kind of primal sounding and remind me of Fingerprince. Then these voices that sound like possessed chipmunks, or at least ones who hit puberty come in. After that for awhile it changes vibes and it's hypnotic. The vocals that come in sound almost robotic or like aliens from outer space. The vocals, the effect and the feeling I get in my gut, reminds me a little of Simple Song. Then the flute sounds speed up and a piano that sounds like it's off Meet The Residents comes in. The lyrics on this album, and song, are vary minimal, but this is kind of like a future calling to what they'd do on Commercial Album. The female vocalist's (known as Edweena) part reminds me a little of the Forbidden Zone. Also the drums sound almost analogue-esque. The possessed alien choir comes back and continues the story. And this is only 7 minutes into the 10 minute song. After that a guy, Uncle Remus (a mentor), talks and the choir comes in again, later followed by a fade in of the music. Really this is possibly best ever described as The Abbey Road Medley if it was on Sgt. Pepper and they were either taking a little too much acid, or they were genuinely bizarre people. Also if it took up the entire album.
  2. Part Two: The Making of a Soul: This intro sounds similar to the first track. It's not even close, but the atmosphere is definitely continued. It sounds cohesive, the only real difference is the sax lead parts and it's a little louder overall. This track introduces the Porcupine. This part is followed by my favorite melody that now makes me cry when I hear it. It's like a demented Moonlight Sonata, or more avant-garde Because. The vocals just come in and sound so desperate. I honestly don't think that you can't be touched in some way by this guys voice. It's very much in the vein of Daniel Johnson, who didn't even come till years later. After it speeds up a little, the aliens return. They are almost like Omnipotent beings. Then the next section is a kind of reprise of the intro to this track. But the desperate love stricken Porcupine returns. And before he starts singing, quick note, a hammer comes in (another Abbey Road comparison, just saying). For those of you who don't know I think in every aspect of the word Abbey Road is the greatest album of all time. After the then the old guy, Uncle Remus, comes back.
  3. Part Three: Ship's a'Going Down: The song starts calm, and is, then followed by a shriek and the singer literally Freaks Out along with the music. After the freak out, it goes back to another hypnotic felling before freaking out again. This is mainly told between "The Catbird" (the screamed vocals), "Uncle Remus", and the "Enigmatic Foe". The following part just makes me honestly say that this is truly the predecessor to Commercial Album, but with a story rather than a concept. This part contains the part where the singer is basically crying and the other voices are sings the title of this track. There is a lot of repeated musical motifs in this album, but damn they don't ever get old. This is followed by a reprise of, basically, the intro to track two, and the sad piano part. Followed by another reprise of another part. This should have, in any logical thinking person's mind gotten old by now, but it doesn't. Not even in the slightest. The part that follows this up reminds me of their 90's output and possibly The Ughs! track In The Dark. And outside the music is a beautiful melody that I wont describe. I wan't you to find it.
  4. Part Four: Never Known Questions: This sounds like it's the ending of the story, and it properly is, well with the exception of an epilogue. The melody reminds me a little of Sympathy For The Devil. This is followed by "spot the rot" part. It's great! really it is. Followed by what I can only describe as Porcupine's Sonata. Followed by the "realization" in him. When everything clicks with him, he is truly happy and his first time a grand, happy upbeat part plays for his part.
  5. Epilogue: This is kind of a final call back to the intro of the album. With the according to the site "chorus" giving the final benedictions and wrapping up the story. This is followed by a final call back to Porcupine's Sonata. Well with the exception of the Son is singing this. The boys voice makes it all the more touching and sad and really.... IDK? If you are confused by the lyrics study them and piece this album together, or at least try. You can get a clearer picture and when it's clearer this track really expalins the whole trauma and calls back to the first few lines in the album.
Overall I have to give this album a 100/10. This album is a trip, in the best way possible. I can't believe this album has the honor of being the first album I've listened to 3 times in a row front to back. With each listen I find it harder and harder to say what I don't like. Why, because its like it melts away. There is just something that's so touching and just indescribably. If you've ever seen any review of this they all say it's "indescribable" but it truly is. I've tried my best, but even my descriptions can't help truly give justice to this masterpiece. Forester should have played this album a few times for the SOL, eventually they'd be brainwashed by the album into loving it. If you want to make a good album, check this one out. This ranks up there with Freak Out!, Abbey Road, In The Court Of The Crimson King, Commercial Album. Go to their website for a heart breaking review, in a good way. Upon visiting the lyrics, there are easy connections to every single human's life, and upon revisiting this it is all the more enlightening.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mandatory Fun - "Weird Al" Yankovic

This is the latest ALbum.... get it? Well this features 12 new tracks that I was hoping that would blow Alpocylapse out of the water. Overall it wasn't a terrible album, but way to underwhelming considering, while 2006's Straight Outta Lynnwood was just sub-par (for me), I've dug further and 2003's Poodle Hat is fricken' awesome, at parts, setting a bar for post 90's Al. In fact I've both warmed up to that album, 2011's, and (for lack of a vast vocabulary) repulsed by it at the same time. Now repulsed is a strong word, but where repulsed is a 8/10 or higher on the scale of pushed way, I'd say I'm more of a 5/10 for my stay away-ness. But I really hope this is great. Let's just say it's better that I expected it to be. A LOT!
  1. Handy: The album kicks off with a parody, far superior than, of that Fancy song. I really don't listen to the radio, so I heard this first. Still, this is funny and better in general. Though this song don't grow on me after a while, it doesn't quite fade. It may with more time, but I still think it's far superior to the original.
  2. Lame Claim to Fame: This is a style parody of some group I never heard of until today, July 14th 2014. That group being Southern Culture on the Skids. I looked them up on Spotify and they look like people from MST3K. But I like this song, and think it's pretty good.
  3. Foil: This is a parody of Royals. I think it's funny but I wonder if its a satire about conspiracy theorists or a real statement done humorously. Every time I hear this I laugh.
  4. Sports Song: This is one of, no more than two or so, songs that I don't care for here. While I think it's funny, and great and kind of a song I'm glad was written, but I don't care for "band" music. Obviously it wouldn't be as funny without it, but I'm just not that into the music on this track. 
  5. Word Crimes: This is second only to Got To Give It Up by Marvin. And unless you lived under a rock you heard of the law suit. Regardless of anything, Thicke's song was over glorified and Gaye's song was also kind of making fun of disco. That's another story, but this is a hilarious song. It's kind of like a sequel, in a way, to White & Nerdy. It's kind of a stretch, but look at this. It's kind of like a nerdy song about the Internet. Not that he didn't have nerdy songs before that, but in the age of Internet I think it fits. The reason i cant give those people crap is because I do that sometimes. I try not to, and after listening I want to learn proper English. And I love the "Nevermind I give up" line. {8/10}
  6. My Own Eyes: This is a style parody of an overrated band, I think, Foo Fighters. It's not that their not talented or they suck, I just haven't really heard any songs that I've either liked at all or for longer than a few listens. This is the other song that I am not huge on. The riff later sounds just like Slither. But if this is an edificational track the I know I'd go "insane" if I saw half of this stuff. 
  7. NOW That’s What I Call Polka!: The saving grace of every ALbum is his polka songs.Well with a few exceptions, the Bohemian one and Hot Rocks one. The only one that I though was bad was Polkarama!. And Damn, this is as good as the best track on Alpoclypse, Polka Face. And something I need to say is that "this is really awesome". I really don't know how not to look up to him. Not as a religious figure, but as a hero. The track begins with the best version ive ever heard of Wrecking Ball. This is followed by the best version of Pumped Up Kicks. The sad thing is that "self awareness" and "humor" in pop songs aren't really that funny. Why? Well those songs are by people who don't have any sense of humor, nor do the artists. But I laughed at that One Direction part where he makes the sounds. I mean he does literally a 1000000000x better job than they could ever at making that a joke. Al is, at the end after this it's followed by Polka Gagnam Style, Call Me Maybe, Scream & Shout, Somebody I Used To Know, Timber, I'm Sexy And I Know It, Thrift Shop and Get Lucky. This truly shows why Al is above anyone who has ever made a humorous song. He uses no profanity and he makes better and far superior versions of tracks than the originals. These last two polka tracks are fricken great.  
  8. Mission Statement: This is a style parody of Crosby, Stills & Nash. I'm not familiar with the group very well outside of a few Déjà Vu and Woodstock. The back words guitar, or back-masked sounding guitar reminds me a ton of I'm Only Sleeping, a favorite of mine off Revolver and my favorite part of the track. Either that or the "do do do do" part. I'm not laughing, but I mean seriously with other great tracks not everything is on the same level. 
  9. Inactive: This is a parody of a song that until this parody I couldn't sit through. It was boring and to radio pointless for my ears. This is great and is a sister track, of sorts, to Couch Potato. And in many ways this is a far superior track. Actually in just about every aspect it's better. 
  10. First World Problems: This is a style parody of Pixies. There is a girl voice who I think may be Popeli.  I love how it pokes fun of the "poor me, I can't get the new iPhone" people who are like teens. I mean come on, I "literally" want to "smash a crow bar against your head". 
  11. Tacky: This is a far superior parody of Happy. Where the originals happy and upbeat, it is truly kind of "tacky" and "cheesy". Not in a, funny/enjoyable unintentional way, but in a you were of RAM so he kept up that 70's sound. Hilarious in every aspect. 
  12. Jackson Park Express: This is a style parody of Cat Stevens. I believe this is the 3rd longest song he's released at 9 minutes, the 1st being Albuquerque at 11:23 and Trapped in the Drive Thu at 10:55. I feel this will progressively became a favorite among the ranks of Buy Me A Condo, Albuquerque amoung others. Actually the morbidity of the latter is present here. And it just gives me the chuckles. I think that this guy would Creep Me Out instead of the other guy. I also fantasize about things, not to his extent, but I do about my future. And just everything in this song, minus the morbidity, can directly relate to me at one point or another. The only problem I have is its 9 minutes and when I drive it takes up most of my driving time. But really, that's not a real complaint. Just looking for something to say negative about the track. Why? Too much good here to find anything else wrong. I'd like to note that, this is possibly the greatest style parody Al ever made.
Overall I have to give this album a 8.5/10. I honestly, in my life, have not really heard a new Al song in my life and actually laughed. Usually it's either I enjoy it or a chuckle, even some of his older stuff I don't LOL. But gosh, I laughed over this album, but kept it in so I could hear it all. Another thing I want to give him credit for is he did every album track gets a video in 2011, Blue Ivy's mom did it over two years later. Also I should mention that anther thing I didn't like his last album was that it had 5 tracks released on an EP two years before AP. I think that's just kind of lazy on his part. But he definitely stepped it up on this album. The promotion of this album was perfect, no singles so you hear the album all at once. PS Beyoncé didn't invent that, look at Death Grips last few albums, they popped out of nowhere. Hell, Government Plates was released out of the blue the same year as Beys self titled, but a month before (and had a music video for every song come out the day of). Lets just hope if Al sees this review, there aren't any grammatical errors within the post. I've listened to this album a bunch of times in the course of three days. By far the best album since Running With Scissors. Also do you know why Al's still making worth while music, he writes his songs. There aren't outside song doctors. All lyrics are by him, half of the music is by him. Minus the parodies

Monday, July 14, 2014

Stay Gold - First Aid Kit

This is the third album by First Aid Kit. I listened to the LP front to back the day it came out. As I did with Lazaretto and Ultraviolence and The Hunting Party. To be honest, this is slightly not on par with those subpar albums. This is slightly lower.
  1. My Silver Lining: They are kind of cute. There's one thing. Also where is the Man and the Mountain. Also is there a play book that can help make this track better?
  2. Master Pretender: Question, is this guy an expert at exploding also. 
  3. Stay Gold: Stay hopeful Danny, you can do it. 
  4. Ceder Lane: I've heard of the lake, not the lane though.
  5. Shattered & Hollow: I wonder how Sleepy Mick & Phil are? He's getting older, they probably need a naps.
  6. The Bell: Lou Reed is a Stupid Man in 1979's The Bells.
  7. Waitress Song: What?
  8. Fleeting One: I wonder if this is a cover of the Children of Bodom collab with Fleet Foxes.
  9. Heaven Knows: What, this album was made?
  10. A Long Time Ago: In a galaxy far away. 
Overall I have to give this album a 3/10. My biggest problem is it gets boring fast. Also there aren't any surprises here at all. Hebrews I think was an all around better album then this, and it kinda sucked. To be completly Honest I began tuning ithis out upon first listen.