For more than a year, some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
I have limited exposure to The Flaming Lips, but I’ve always been attracted to this album art. I don’t know why.
I didn’t know it until listening to this album this week, but I had heard the title track (Pt. 1) before. And I really liked it. I mean, I’m not a super fan of the synth noodlings, but when they’re juxtaposed with the acoustic guitar I think it really supports the lyrics. Other highlights include Fight Test (I thought it was a strong way to open the album) and Do You Realize.
Pt. 2 of the title track (perhaps the actual battle) was a little odd, and I’m not sure I loved it. Partly because of the sound. Partly because it was just a simple five note scale going up and down, up and down, over and over and over again. There’s simple music, but then there’s not-even-trying. I also didn’t love All We Have is Now. It was weird and it really felt like something was missing. I mean, this whole album was a little weird, but usually not so much to be a distraction. On the whole, this album was more interesting than bizarre.
If I remember right, this is their best-selling album, and that might mean that it (on the whole) has the best music. I prefer a live drummer (as opposed to many of these songs, which seem to have programmed drums), but this album has still intrigued me enough to look into some of their other stuff.
It makes me want to listen to some more electronic rock. 3/5
Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool (2015)
I don’t really know anything more about these guys than what Chris said (which wasn’t much to begin with) – they’re British, it’s alt rock, and this is their debut album.
And it didn’t really start how I expected. It was creepier. But I like the sound of the guitar. And I really like her voice. Bros was more what I was expecting. It actually reminded me of The Cranberries’ Dreams.
Your Loves Whore was a great tune. I loved the melody, I loved the guitar licks, I loved the drums, and I didn’t notice anything that sucked. Although, I’m not entirely sure what the title means or lyrics mean. Is she saying that she’d do anything for his love? That’s what I got out of it, but I can’t be totally sure.
Swallowtail had some unexpected rocking out at the end, which I liked. The acoustic beginning was okay, but I liked it more in contrast to the end. I try to listen to everything suggested to me twice, but I know I don’t always do that. Sometimes once has to be enough, but Swallowtail is the perfect example of why you need to listen to something at least twice. I made sure I did, and I think I liked it more the second time.
Actually from the end of that song, through the kind of psychedelic Soapy Water and the harder Fluffy (except for what sounded like little kid screams), the album just got better and better. By the time Wonderwhy was over, I wanted to listen to it all again.
I didn’t love this whole album, but I sure did like it a lot. 4/5
The Weepies – Say I Am You (2006)
I’ve actually been thinking about reviewing these guys for maybe 3 1/2 years now. I almost a year and a half ago. But for one reason or another, it’s just been sitting in my queue. I’ve been playing more acoustic music lately. To get me in the mood, especially to write stuff which sounds good acoustic (honestly, Van Halen does not sound nearly as good acoustic), I have been listening to more acoustic stuff.
Have you noticed how in the last 10 years or so normal people have turned into hipsters? One of my friends and I were talking about how we have a hard time wearing the clothes we used to wear, but not because we are fat. It is because we used to wear clothes we got from thrift stores, but now that is what hipsters do and we are not hipsters (although now that we have big boy jobs, it doesn’t matter as much).
And music. Thankfully, it seems like most millennials, at least where I live, are into indie rock or indie folk, which only makes up maybe 15% of what I regularly listen to (I’d say ska/reggae is about 25%, rock/metal/punk maybe 45%, and jazz 10%) or rap (which I purposefully don’t listen to when I can help it). A few bands I have liked for years have become popular among the rich white kids who are trying to act like they are not so rich or white or mainstream (i.e. hipsters). But The Weepies are not one of those bands, although they are indie folk pop rock.
This is their second album. The two singers/songwriters (Deb and Steve) were mildly successful on their own and were a fan of one another’s music and eventually started playing together. And then started dating. A year after this album came out, they got married. Not that any of that matters in context of the music, but I thought you might want to know.
They alternate who sings melody and who sings harmony. And I don’t think there’s a bum track on the whole album, but I will concede that you might have to be in the mood. If you’re in the mood for some Van Halen, you might be a little disappointed with this.
Here’s what my friends had to say:
“I had time to listen to this twice this week. It was nice as I like acoustic stuff a lot, but like most things, it didn’t really ever catch my ear much to stop working and look at what song was playing. It was pleasant though. No lowlights. Suicide Blonde did stand out a bit. Something in the vocal harmonies resonated with me. And I liked Slow Pony Home. Just the right amount of sad sound. Reminded me a lot of Barenaked Ladies’ Are Me(n) albums.” 3.8/5 – Spencer
“I remember listening to this album back in my days at Music to the Maxx. A fellow co-worker of mine introduced me to them and burned me an album or two (which I believe included this one. Still enjoyable, even if not exactly what I’m looking for in my tunes these days. The harmonies are always welcome, and it was a nice chill listen. But not sure it excites me all that much these days.” 6.5/10 – Chris
Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments below.