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I Am The Greatest Man That Ever Lived...or June Rock Reviews
Shwax
| July 1, 2008
2comments
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It's almost sad to see June end. My birthday...done with. Good new albums to look forward to...well...I said back in the end of May that July would not have much to offer (although I understated that a bit - besides '''NIN's''' ''The Slip'', there is also '''Candlebox''' with ''Into the Sun'' and the new album, ''Stay Positive'' by '''the Hold Steady'''.) Anyways, as a huge music fan, I made it my business to purchase most of the albums I recommended. So now, hereís what I think about some of them. [[image|url=http://ecx.images- amazon.com/images/I/51e6KSP5XAL._SL500_AA240_.jpg|width=150|align= left]] '''''10 Years''''' ñ '''Division''' ñ At first, I didnít know what to think because it wasnít quite what I expected (a little bit more acoustic and melodic than the previously slightly more raw '''Autumn Effect'''), but I soon realized that was not a bad thing at all. I was anxiously awaiting the hidden instrumental interludes and was almost worried when there were none in the first few tracks. They showed up, surely enough ñ although the instrumentals were either acoustic guitar or piano-based as opposed to the interludes in Autumn Effect. And while some songs such as the lively and powerful ''Actions & Motives'' and ''Russian Roulette'' quickly caught my musical soul, it would be other, softer songs such as ''Just Canít Win'', ''Dying Youth'', and ''Proud Of You'' that would randomly enter and get stuck in my head either at work or waking up or wherever. Iím pretty sure I was humming Just Canít Win while sitting on a hose behind 50 Centís house when it burned down (Iím a volunteer firefighter for those of you unaware). Lyrics are still thought-provoking and poetic, but a slight step down from their previous endeavor. Simply said, itís a great album. Get it from Best Buy and get bonus tracks! '''Rating ñ 8.5/10 (A- )''' [[image|url=http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/mu sic2/evilurges.jpg|width=150|align=right]]'''''My Morning Jacket''''' ñ '''Evil Urges''' ñ I really didnít know what to expect from this album since I have never really listened to any of their past efforts. I decided to buy the album after hearing ''Iím Amazed.'' The title-track made me nervous, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of the album was closer in sound to the first song ñ a sound I could only define as neo-classic meets indie-alternative. I think I also appreciated the album version of ''Evil Urges'' more than the Saturday Night Live version. Their sound is not bad at all and is very original in my mind, although I donít know if any of their songs have that instant awe-inspiring, rock-my-soul-and-fill-it- with-psychitude sound Iíve come to find from my favorite artists. '''Rating ñ 6/10 (C or C+)''' [[image|url=http://stereogum.com/img/weezer- red_album- cover.jpg|width=150|align=left]]'''''Weezer''''' ñ '''Self-Titled/Red Album''' ñ The opening track didnít grab me at first (Iíve warmed up to it though), but wow did number two get my attention. I think ''Greatest Man'' might very well become one of my favorite Weezer songs of all time and definitely one of the top songs for the summer. Itís just a modern mini-epic song. Rivers and the gang take pages out of many notebooks and put ëem into one in this song alone, such as through the use of vocal harmonies and rounds. ''Pork & Beans'' is somewhere between vintage Weezer and the experimental sound they claimed this album would have (itís basically a song written for commercial airplay). The rest of the album is also very good - a fresh, yet familiar, but at the same time, very unfamiliar sound; tweaked just enough to sound different but still awesome and still Weezer. Bassist Scott Shriner sings two songs on this album ñ ''Cold Dark Day'' and ''King'' (Rhythm guitarist Brian Bell also sings a song ñ ''Thought I Knew'' that's pretty freakin awesome) and while they donít necessarily match the Weezer sound weíre used to, they are among my favorites from the album. I bragged above about the Greatest Man, but King is probably my favorite ñ but that may because while Iím a huge Weezer fan, many of my other favorite artists are a bit rougher and tougher. Definitely get this album, and definitely get the Deluxe edition ñ Four great bonus tracks plus the liner notes have cool, interesting side-notes about each song that I donít think are included in the normal edition. I donít think thereís a single song I donít like or love. '''Rating ñ 9/10 (A)''' [[image|url=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2134/2 450263366_23fe949c8c.jpg|width=150|align=right]]'''''Coldplay ''''' ñ '''Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends''' ñ Hearing ''Violet Hill'' and ''Viva La Vida'' made really anxious to get this album in my hands as theyíre both great. Hearing the opening track, ''Life in Technicolor'' (an instrumental) and ''Cemeteries of London,'' I thought this could be favorite Coldplay album yet. However, the next few tracks kind of lost me a bit. I appreciate how the piano has long been the key instrument in Coldplay songs, but it was almost as if the guitar parts were muted or taken out in some songs and a good guitar riff/hook or solo (both of which appear in Violet Hill) are pretty much what make me tick. Itís good, but it is important to note, as Dan did, that this really is a departure from the Coldplay sound weíre used to. If you prefer the piano side of Coldplay, you might like this new sound. The lyrics, however, are something else (in a good way), as one might expect from Chris Martin, as he paints stories as silhouettes. However, I still find certain songs to be a little too soft, drawn out, and confusing. It really depends on your musical taste. Because this album has two titles, Iíll give it two ratings ñ one for my own [[link|url=http://www.last.fm/user/Opacity0flight]]tastes[[end- link]] and one for people who...well, donít share the same tastes. '''Rating ñ 5/10 or 8.5/10''' ... an average between 6.5 and 7/10 '''(B-)''' I haven't had a chance yet to give Jakob Dylan's album a listen, but I'll review it when I get the new Candlebox and Hold Steady albums and can review them)
Share Your Thoughts
Shwax | July 3, 2008, 9:32pm
I agree a bit on the heart songs in that its it is a bit iffy and too soft, but i really like the theme/idea of it (ie. RIvers singing about all the songs that meant alot to him and influenced him growing up through today, etc.)

dcp38@cornell.edu from WVBR | July 3, 2008, 2:57pm
Solid insights on the Weezer album...it's over-the-top enough to be fun (Everybody Get Dangerous, Greatest Man) while still not being campy. Only song that didn't cut it for me was "Heartsongs;" it's a little too trite for me. I'm cool with being emotionally in touch, but not with cloying appeals to adult contemporary-like nostalgia. And man you must check out Z or It Still Moves; Evil Urges doesn't really hold a candle to either of their last two albums, I will absolutely agree there. There were only a few songs that stuck with me (Aluminum Park, I'm Amazed and Touch Me I'm Going to Scream) and the rest were sort of forgettable, though they still had MMJ's reverb-heavy sound. And yeah finally, Coldplay did depart from their guitar-heavy work, I think because they worked with producer Brian Eno - also an ambient/electronic artist. It results in some great moments like the strings in "Yes" or the looped guitar of "Strawberry Swing," but also some not so great moments like "42."
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