For a couple of years 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.
Four Tet – Rounds (2003)
Here’s an electronic album by a Brit named Kieran Hebden, released under his stage name. And that’s all I know about it.
I tried to give this a couple of good listens. My first listen through was in between listening to E3 presentations, so I thought that’s why it became background noise to me: I was thinking about vigigames. Spirit Fingers stood out, but as a lowlight. I actually stopped and thought, “what is this?”
The second half of the album did have some decent stuff, though. I liked Unspoken. It was a little long, but still felt less background-y than the rest of the album. As Serious as Your Life wasn’t bad, but I kept wanting it to develop more. Instead I got more repetition. Slow Jam may have done the same, but it was more interesting to begin with (although I could have done without the rubber ducky).
The only other thing I have to say is And They All Look Broken Hearted reminded me of Red Hang, which was a good thing. I give this album a solid 2.5/5
Here’s what my friends had to say:
“Not a big fan of this one. More often than not it sounded like noise over music. It reminded me of an episode of Star Trek Voyager. The Doctor, who is a hologram, likes to sing and introduces the concept of music to this alien race. They quickly make him a star, then ditch him when they realize they don’t need him to create music. And their music is pretty much just electronic garble that merely serves a mathematical function rather than an emotional one. Anyway, that is kind of how I felt about the album. It was just too alien to me and didn’t feel like music. But it wasn’t completely bad so it avoided 1 star.” 2/5 – Tim
Let me just push my glasses up a little bit. I’m pretty sure Tim is referring to season 6, episode 13 Virtuoso. You can listen to Tincoo (one of the Qomar, the aliens who had never heard of music before)’s composition here.
Boston – Life, Love and Hope (2013)
Here’s Boston‘s sixth (and latest) studio album. Some of these tracks are re-recordings from their fifth album (which I’ve never heard).
Unfortunately, even though the same guy’s writing the songs, the same guy isn’t singing them all the time. I kind of get mad at people who talk about a band as one person (usually the lead singer). Finding a consistent, decent bassist or drummer is quite a task. They’re in demand. But this album helps me understand a little why singers (and sometimes guitarists) can be such divas. If someone gets used to how a band’s vocalist sounds, switching that singer could be a mistake. It’s just not Boston without Brad Delp (peace be upon him) at the mike. The rerecording of Someone was probably the highlight of the album for me. The other songs were fine, they just weren’t “Boston” to me.
To that point, I really loved the instrumental, Last Day of School. As soon as it ended, I immediately wanted to hear again. The title track and Someday were pretty good. They felt the most Boston-esque of the vocal tunes, which is really a compliment to their new vocalist.
If You Were in Love didn’t sound like Boston at all (probably because of the female singer), but I’d listen to more stuff like that. I may have liked it better than Life, Love and Hope just because it was so different. The same girl sang on Sail Away (with Delp), but it wasn’t nearly as good. You Gave Up on Love was somewhere in between. The opening and closing tracks (not counting bonus tracks) were especially un-Boston-esque. 45/14 = 3.21/5
From my friends:
“I’d listened to this before, but I gave it another run through at lunch today. Its not my favorite Boston work. Having the female singer, while she’s good, it makes it sound like a different band. The trading phrases between the two singers are good like on You Gave Up. That tune sounded so much like Didn’t Mean to that I thought it was a reprise. I liked the piano, nice change of timbres, and it is still Boston. I just like their earlier work better. I listened through all of them once and decided I liked Corporate America (2002) best out of their post-Thrid Stage work, but that one isn’t on spotify anymore. I’d rather listen to this than a LOT of stuff though.” 4.0/5 – Spencer
TAT – Soho Lights (2008)
I don’t feel like we’ve shared much punk in the past couple of years. So here’s the only full-length release (so far) from a British punk band fronted by Tatiana DeMaria (which is where they get their name). I was introduced to these guys five years ago by my guitarist, Jer. He described them as “rough around the edges.” They fit into my auditory diet somewhere between Paramore and Rancid (Live for Rock is especially Rancid-esque).
My favorite tunes on the album are Pessimist, Here’s to You, and Take You Home. Sandra Dee and You Hero are pretty good, too. The latter reminds me of something Green Day would have done (maybe). I’m torn in my feelings about Taking it All. On one hand, it’s a decently strong tune. On the other, it feels a little predictable.
I thought I should let you know I heard some adult-type language in Road to Perdition, Stay Up, I Don’t Want to (Love You), Sandra Dee, You Hero and Live for Rock.
Here’s what my friends had to say:
“I actually liked the female singer here, which especially for the genre is not common, but the profanity kept turning me off. It reminded me of high school. There was some decent variety between songs and I could probably get much more behind this if there were less swearing. I only had time for 1 listen, so I might pick more out in a couple more listens.” 3.1/5 – Spencer
“This was a fun album, and so many f-words I’m surprised Paul shared it. It was pretty decent, and glad I listened but, not an outstanding album by any means.
Side note, why is it all punk bands think they need to sound Irish or Scottish? I’ve always found that so cliche…” 3/5 – Tim