March 2nd, 2009

Quickie Reviews: Lily Allen

Lily Allen: It’s Not Me, It’s You is a musically intriguing little pop confection with a slightly intellectual core. Sometimes when Ms. Allen gets up too high on her horse the songs fall flat, but for the most part she leaves sociological observations left to those who can actually do it and just observes her world to very best of her ability, which in most cases in excellent. Recommended songs: “The Fear,” “Not Fair,” “22,” “Never Going to Happen,” “Fuck You.”

I was going to talk about Different Class and This Is Hardcore by Pulp but I’ll have to get back to you on those two. Excellent albums though, really glad I gave them a listen.

Original post by imnore

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March 2nd, 2009

Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews » Quickie Reviews: Lily Allen

Lily Allen: It’s Not Me, It’s You is a musically intriguing little pop confection with a slightly intellectual core. Sometimes when Ms. Allen gets up too high on her horse the songs fall flat, but for the most part she leaves sociological observations left to those who can actually do it and just observes her world to very best of her ability, which in most cases in excellent. Recommended songs: “The Fear,” “Not Fair,” “22,” “Never Going to Happen,” “Fuck You.”

I was going to talk about Different Class and This Is Hardcore by Pulp but I’ll have to get back to you on those two. Excellent albums though, really glad I gave them a listen.

Original post by Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews

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January 27th, 2009

Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews » Tonight It Will Be Off With Their Heads in Perfect Symmetry

Today, because I have a lot free time due to a snow day (still had classes this morning, but I won’t go into that) I’m going to write-up a review of Franz Ferdinand’s new album and re-review Keane and the Kaiser Chiefs third albums. However the format is going to be a little different, mainly because I’ve already written up a sort of review for Franz Ferdinand and don’t feel the need to connect these reviews like I did with Keane and the Kaiser Chiefs. Anywho, it’s a big review post and I’m very excited. Finally, I may or may not be reviewing the Killer’s third album as well, we’ll see where I’m at, at the end of these three reviews.

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand
Five years ago I got heavily into five bands: Franz Ferdinand, the Killers, Keane, the Kaiser Chiefs, and Maximo Park. In those five years I’ve become less attached to Maximo Park and the Killers (due to second albums that I didn’t like so much) and more attached to Keane, the Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand. What got me to listen to each of these bands, and what generally kept me listening, was musical originality. With Tonight: Franz Ferdinand the seemingly endless fount of creativity that Franz Ferdinand exhibited has started to wan. While Tonight is musically (and acoustically) intriguing (and quite slick production-wise) most of the songs are a rehash from the band’s previous two albums. By focusing on the night and all that implies, Franz Ferdinand also loses a great deal of the lyrical complexity that they had on their second album, which is a shame given the potential that album had. The first 2/3rds of Tonight are interesting enough to keep a listener’s attention, though some of the songs sound incredibly similar, particularly “Twilight Omens” and “Can’t Stop Feeling”, enough so that one might actually get confused. However after a revamped version of “Lucid Dreams” (7 minutes of the band showing off their ability to use technology to make interesting noises) the album takes a nose dive into the unlistenable. “Katherine Kiss Me” is a strange rehash of “No You Girls”, using a majority of the same lyrics, but with an acoustic guitar and slightly altered melody line, while “Dream Again” is a anemic after thought to “Lucid Dreams”. While the recording technique may have been original and the majority of the songs are a shitload of fun, Franz Ferdinand it would seem are starting to lose their edge. Grade: B (keeping in mind that compared to most of the stuff that is released nowadays [don't I sound old] is crap compared to this album) Recommended Songs: “Ulysses,” “No You Girls,” “Twilight Omens,” and “Bite Hard”

Off With Their Heads by Kaiser Chiefs
In one review of the Kaiser Chiefs’ second album, a reviewer over at Fake DIY pointed out that the Kaiser Chiefs are a band that makes music that sometimes needs to be “lived in” (my words from around the same time) before it can be truly appreciated. While writing a first review several months after an album is released makes no sense, re-reviewing Off With Their Heads seems worthwhile because this is definitely an album that needs to be lived in before you can really get it.
Off With Their Heads is, after listening to it at least fifty times, still a disappointment. It’s an example of what happens when a band that should have taken a break decides to record an album instead. While a great many of the songs are seriously lacking in enthusiasm, after about fifty listenings, each song has a bar/measure/chorus that makes it worthwhile to listen to. But a single bar/measure/verse/chorus does not a good song make and the majority of the album suffers because of that fact. Yours Truly, Angry Mob was often accused of being bland and many considered it another example of the sophomore slump, but really Off With Their Heads is the album that suffers the most from blandness. Revamped Grade: C+ Recommend Songs: “Like It Too Much,” “You Want History,” “Good Days, Bad Days,” “Always Happens Like That,” “Addicted to Drugs”

Perfect Symmetry by Keane
In thinking about it, my original review of this album still accurately reflects my opinion of Perfect Symmetry. But instead of giving the album a B+, I would give it an A-, because compared to the two albums I just reviewed, Perfect Symmetry perfectly combines musical development with lyrical development while still being in sync with the band’s overall image. Recommended Songs: “The Lovers Are Losing,” “Better Than This,” “Perfect Symmetry,” “Playing Along,” “Pretend That You’re Alone,” “Love is the End”

The next big review will be Lily Allen’s second album which is released Feb. 10th, so be expecting something around then.

Original post by Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews

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January 27th, 2009

Tonight It Will Be Off With Their Heads in Perfect Symmetry

Today, because I have a lot free time due to a snow day (still had classes this morning, but I won’t go into that) I’m going to write-up a review of Franz Ferdinand’s new album and re-review Keane and the Kaiser Chiefs third albums. However the format is going to be a little different, mainly because I’ve already written up a sort of review for Franz Ferdinand and don’t feel the need to connect these reviews like I did with Keane and the Kaiser Chiefs. Anywho, it’s a big review post and I’m very excited. Finally, I may or may not be reviewing the Killer’s third album as well, we’ll see where I’m at, at the end of these three reviews.

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand
Five years ago I got heavily into five bands: Franz Ferdinand, the Killers, Keane, the Kaiser Chiefs, and Maximo Park. In those five years I’ve become less attached to Maximo Park and the Killers (due to second albums that I didn’t like so much) and more attached to Keane, the Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand. What got me to listen to each of these bands, and what generally kept me listening, was musical originality. With Tonight: Franz Ferdinand the seemingly endless fount of creativity that Franz Ferdinand exhibited has started to wan. While Tonight is musically (and acoustically) intriguing (and quite slick production-wise) most of the songs are a rehash from the band’s previous two albums. By focusing on the night and all that implies, Franz Ferdinand also loses a great deal of the lyrical complexity that they had on their second album, which is a shame given the potential that album had. The first 2/3rds of Tonight are interesting enough to keep a listener’s attention, though some of the songs sound incredibly similar, particularly “Twilight Omens” and “Can’t Stop Feeling”, enough so that one might actually get confused. However after a revamped version of “Lucid Dreams” (7 minutes of the band showing off their ability to use technology to make interesting noises) the album takes a nose dive into the unlistenable. “Katherine Kiss Me” is a strange rehash of “No You Girls”, using a majority of the same lyrics, but with an acoustic guitar and slightly altered melody line, while “Dream Again” is a anemic after thought to “Lucid Dreams”. While the recording technique may have been original and the majority of the songs are a shitload of fun, Franz Ferdinand it would seem are starting to lose their edge. Grade: B (keeping in mind that compared to most of the stuff that is released nowadays [don't I sound old] is crap compared to this album) Recommended Songs: “Ulysses,” “No You Girls,” “Twilight Omens,” and “Bite Hard”

Off With Their Heads by Kaiser Chiefs
In one review of the Kaiser Chiefs’ second album, a reviewer over at Fake DIY pointed out that the Kaiser Chiefs are a band that makes music that sometimes needs to be “lived in” (my words from around the same time) before it can be truly appreciated. While writing a first review several months after an album is released makes no sense, re-reviewing Off With Their Heads seems worthwhile because this is definitely an album that needs to be lived in before you can really get it.
Off With Their Heads is, after listening to it at least fifty times, still a disappointment. It’s an example of what happens when a band that should have taken a break decides to record an album instead. While a great many of the songs are seriously lacking in enthusiasm, after about fifty listenings, each song has a bar/measure/chorus that makes it worthwhile to listen to. But a single bar/measure/verse/chorus does not a good song make and the majority of the album suffers because of that fact. Yours Truly, Angry Mob was often accused of being bland and many considered it another example of the sophomore slump, but really Off With Their Heads is the album that suffers the most from blandness. Revamped Grade: C+ Recommend Songs: “Like It Too Much,” “You Want History,” “Good Days, Bad Days,” “Always Happens Like That,” “Addicted to Drugs”

Perfect Symmetry by Keane
In thinking about it, my original review of this album still accurately reflects my opinion of Perfect Symmetry. But instead of giving the album a B+, I would give it an A-, because compared to the two albums I just reviewed, Perfect Symmetry perfectly combines musical development with lyrical development while still being in sync with the band’s overall image. Recommended Songs: “The Lovers Are Losing,” “Better Than This,” “Perfect Symmetry,” “Playing Along,” “Pretend That You’re Alone,” “Love is the End”

The next big review will be Lily Allen’s second album which is released Feb. 10th, so be expecting something around then.

Original post by imnore

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January 18th, 2009

Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews » A Fear of Good Days and Bad Days (A Terribly Late Review)

I’ve been a bit neglectful of this blog for which I apologize. There hasn’t been that much to review and the last review I did write, I forgot to post here. Again, sorry for the lack of entries, all will be made up for soon(ish). Anywho, here’s a review I wrote over a month ago. Enjoy!

Ah, time for some reviews. Lily Allen has a single, the Kaiser Chiefs have a single…and both have videos! There’s also the small matter of not wanting to think about my exams, so here’s a nice way to pass the time. Write two reviews.

“The Fear” — Lily Allen
Lily Allen has a gift for lyrics. She writes brilliant and catchy lyrics that, while not exactly mind-stretchers, are able to be topical without sounding pedantic. However, as with “The Fear”, she can sound a bit hypocritical singing them. In this latest single Ms. Allen’s musical vocabulary has expanded to a certain extent, but ultimately her songs aren’t about the music but the lyrics and the lyrics sound silly coming out of her mouth. Ms. Allen is almost as well known for her tabloid antics as she is for her music and so singing about the stupidity and shallowness of her life seems a tad rich. A bit like the pot calling the kettle black if you know I mean. But “The Fear” is saved by the musical expansion exhibited by Ms. Allen and her cohorts. If this any indication of her next, I’m sure it will be as good and as catchy as her last one. Let’s just hope she avoids any more hypocrisy. [As for the video, it's majestic and visually interesting, but Lily is not a good actress. Really horrible in fact.]

“Good Days Bad Days” — The Kaiser Chiefs
There’s something peculiar about the Kaiser Chiefs. First impression rarely do justice to the actual quality of the music they produce. While I wouldn’t exactly retract my original grading of Off With Their Heads I don’t hate the album much as I did when I first listened to it. There are moments in nearly every song that makes it worth while to listen to. In the case of “Good Days Bad Days” it’s the refrain and bit towards the end that discusses changing your attitude. “Good Days Bad Days” isn’t a brilliant song by any stretch of the imagination, but if you listen to it enough times, you too will find a moment in it that you like and makes it worth while to listen to. That’s just how the Kaiser Chiefs work. [Peanut was in hospital during the video shoot and the hang a neat little sign on his keyboard that says "Be back in 5 minutes." The whole thing is a giddy romp that reminds me of the video for "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" except without skeleton sex. Though it's odd, they always pat down Ricky's hair and it makes him look really odd. But yeah, good video.]

Original post by Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews

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January 18th, 2009

A Fear of Good Days and Bad Days (A Terribly Late Review)

I’ve been a bit neglectful of this blog for which I apologize. There hasn’t been that much to review and the last review I did write, I forgot to post here. Again, sorry for the lack of entries, all will be made up for soon(ish). Anywho, here’s a review I wrote over a month ago. Enjoy!

Ah, time for some reviews. Lily Allen has a single, the Kaiser Chiefs have a single…and both have videos! There’s also the small matter of not wanting to think about my exams, so here’s a nice way to pass the time. Write two reviews.

“The Fear” — Lily Allen
Lily Allen has a gift for lyrics. She writes brilliant and catchy lyrics that, while not exactly mind-stretchers, are able to be topical without sounding pedantic. However, as with “The Fear”, she can sound a bit hypocritical singing them. In this latest single Ms. Allen’s musical vocabulary has expanded to a certain extent, but ultimately her songs aren’t about the music but the lyrics and the lyrics sound silly coming out of her mouth. Ms. Allen is almost as well known for her tabloid antics as she is for her music and so singing about the stupidity and shallowness of her life seems a tad rich. A bit like the pot calling the kettle black if you know I mean. But “The Fear” is saved by the musical expansion exhibited by Ms. Allen and her cohorts. If this any indication of her next, I’m sure it will be as good and as catchy as her last one. Let’s just hope she avoids any more hypocrisy. [As for the video, it's majestic and visually interesting, but Lily is not a good actress. Really horrible in fact.]

“Good Days Bad Days” — The Kaiser Chiefs
There’s something peculiar about the Kaiser Chiefs. First impression rarely do justice to the actual quality of the music they produce. While I wouldn’t exactly retract my original grading of Off With Their Heads I don’t hate the album much as I did when I first listened to it. There are moments in nearly every song that makes it worth while to listen to. In the case of “Good Days Bad Days” it’s the refrain and bit towards the end that discusses changing your attitude. “Good Days Bad Days” isn’t a brilliant song by any stretch of the imagination, but if you listen to it enough times, you too will find a moment in it that you like and makes it worth while to listen to. That’s just how the Kaiser Chiefs work. [Peanut was in hospital during the video shoot and the hang a neat little sign on his keyboard that says "Be back in 5 minutes." The whole thing is a giddy romp that reminds me of the video for "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" except without skeleton sex. Though it's odd, they always pat down Ricky's hair and it makes him look really odd. But yeah, good video.]

Original post by imnore

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November 10th, 2008

Starting

So I just began to start my paper.  I have only 4 pages done, but I feel like my into is good, but now I have to start running my regressions and doing the empirical testing.  Also, i went ahead and bought a subscription to economagic, and i suggest that if your data is on it to buy the cheapest subscription.  Its cool because all the data is placed in an excel spead sheet which can be converted to e-views making like a lot more easy.

Original post by gnovak

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November 2nd, 2008

Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews » A Review (Because I Couldn’t Come Up With a Clever Title That Included Both Album Titles

As promised, my review of Off With Their Heads and Perfect Symmetry. Not as much bashing as I thought there would be, but still rather good if you ask me.

Originally Off With Their Heads and Perfect Symmetry were suppose to be released on the same day. It was going to be an absolute bonanza for me: Two of my favourite bands releasing their third albums on the same day. Sadly, though I guess ultimately for the best, Off With Their Heads was delayed three weeks here in the States and so I got to hear Perfect Symmetry before I heard Off With Their Heads. If you had asked me at the beginning of October whose album I was more excited about I would have automatically answered the Kaiser Chiefs. But now, after listening to both albums I must, sadly, admit Keane has the better third album. And what it comes down to is passion.
My main complaint with the Kaiser Chiefs’ lead single, “Never Miss a Beat” (beside the idiotic nature of the lyrics), was the lack of passion contained in the song. This apathy pervades the band’s new album Off With Their Heads leading the listener to think that band doesn’t care about what they’re singing or playing, that they are merely putting out and album to put out an album (and ultimately, why should we care about an album that the band doesn’t care about). Although Mark Ronson and Eliot James do a very good job of producing Off With Their Heads, the band’s lack of enthusiasm and the poor quality of the lyrics makes listening to this album a very trying experience. The few saving graces on the albums, particularly “Like It Too Much” and “Always Happens Like That”, are the songs that seems to have even iota of passion in them. Unfortunately those songs are too infrequent to make up for the rest of the passionless tracks that dominate Off With Their Heads.
Recommended Tracks: Like It Too Much, You Want History, Always Happens Like That, Remember You’re a Girl
On the flip side, you could never accuse Keane of not being passionate about their music. While not every song on Perfect Symmetry is absolutely brilliant, the band never wanes in its enthusiasm for the music they’re producing. As often happens in the mixing of an album, Perfect Symmetry is front loaded with the best songs recorded by Keane, but there are a few gems on the second half of the album particularly “Pretend That You’re Alone” and album closer “Love is the End” that save the album from being too dull at the end. While some of the messages on the album can come across as heavy-handed the musical experientialism paired with Tom Chaplin’s complete and utter belief in what he is singing more than makes up for calling mankind weeds. The best songs on the album are those that break ground both musically and lyrically for the band, those few times when they step out of their comfort zone and create something unexpected.
Recommended Tracks: The Lovers Are Losing, Better Than This, Perfect Symmetry, Pretend That Your Alone, Love Is The End
A good album shows growth musically and lyrically and conveys the passion a band has for creating music. Good songs step ever so slightly outside a band’s comfort zone, showing a certain amount of experimentation without alienating their fans or casual listeners. Those elements and the lack of those elements are what make Off With Their Heads a disappointing album and Perfect Symmetry a good one. Ultimately, it all comes down to passion.

Perfect Symmetry: B+ Off With Their Heads: C-

Original post by Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews

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November 2nd, 2008

A Review (Because I Couldn’t Come Up With a Clever Title That Included Both Album Titles

As promised, my review of Off With Their Heads and Perfect Symmetry. Not as much bashing as I thought there would be, but still rather good if you ask me.

Originally Off With Their Heads and Perfect Symmetry were suppose to be released on the same day. It was going to be an absolute bonanza for me: Two of my favourite bands releasing their third albums on the same day. Sadly, though I guess ultimately for the best, Off With Their Heads was delayed three weeks here in the States and so I got to hear Perfect Symmetry before I heard Off With Their Heads. If you had asked me at the beginning of October whose album I was more excited about I would have automatically answered the Kaiser Chiefs. But now, after listening to both albums I must, sadly, admit Keane has the better third album. And what it comes down to is passion.
My main complaint with the Kaiser Chiefs’ lead single, “Never Miss a Beat” (beside the idiotic nature of the lyrics), was the lack of passion contained in the song. This apathy pervades the band’s new album Off With Their Heads leading the listener to think that band doesn’t care about what they’re singing or playing, that they are merely putting out and album to put out an album (and ultimately, why should we care about an album that the band doesn’t care about). Although Mark Ronson and Eliot James do a very good job of producing Off With Their Heads, the band’s lack of enthusiasm and the poor quality of the lyrics makes listening to this album a very trying experience. The few saving graces on the albums, particularly “Like It Too Much” and “Always Happens Like That”, are the songs that seems to have even iota of passion in them. Unfortunately those songs are too infrequent to make up for the rest of the passionless tracks that dominate Off With Their Heads.
Recommended Tracks: Like It Too Much, You Want History, Always Happens Like That, Remember You’re a Girl
On the flip side, you could never accuse Keane of not being passionate about their music. While not every song on Perfect Symmetry is absolutely brilliant, the band never wanes in its enthusiasm for the music they’re producing. As often happens in the mixing of an album, Perfect Symmetry is front loaded with the best songs recorded by Keane, but there are a few gems on the second half of the album particularly “Pretend That You’re Alone” and album closer “Love is the End” that save the album from being too dull at the end. While some of the messages on the album can come across as heavy-handed the musical experientialism paired with Tom Chaplin’s complete and utter belief in what he is singing more than makes up for calling mankind weeds. The best songs on the album are those that break ground both musically and lyrically for the band, those few times when they step out of their comfort zone and create something unexpected.
Recommended Tracks: The Lovers Are Losing, Better Than This, Perfect Symmetry, Pretend That Your Alone, Love Is The End
A good album shows growth musically and lyrically and conveys the passion a band has for creating music. Good songs step ever so slightly outside a band’s comfort zone, showing a certain amount of experimentation without alienating their fans or casual listeners. Those elements and the lack of those elements are what make Off With Their Heads a disappointing album and Perfect Symmetry a good one. Ultimately, it all comes down to passion.

Perfect Symmetry: B+ Off With Their Heads: C-

Original post by imnore

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October 7th, 2008

Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews » Pop Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word

We’re studying secondary dominants in theory right now and Prof. Long has been making a lot quippy remarks about pop music. Today however was the cherry on the sundae. I feel I should mention that Prof. Long is a composer and holds a fancy doctorate in something pertaining to music (I don’t remember whether it’s theory or composition.) To Prof. Long pop starts are illiterate idiots who degrade the artistry of music. I sighed heavily and closed my eyes every time he mentioned pop today, mainly because I was thinking of skipping today’s class and was wishing I had. You see I wish I could immerse myself in pop at all times and really want to spend the rest of my life listnening and studying pop music. Yes the people who perform pop music can be considered the equivalent of trained monkeys (I’m thinking of Britney Spears and her ilk when I say this) but the people who write pop songs are every bit as sophisticated as classical composers. A person can’t write a good pop song without knowing what they’re doing. Singer-songwriters may not get a formal education in theory (most of the time anyway) but they know what they’re doing. They have to. You can write mediocre crap and get no where very quickly in the music business. It takes skill and a thorough understanding of pop music to really get anywhere in the business (at least the mainstream business.) Writing off pop music as the domain of idiots is like accusing Judy Bloom of not being a good writer. Pop should not be a dirty word in the world of music.

Original post by Anglo-Audiophile: The Reviews

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