Album-Listening Club (Listening to Little Earthquakes; Now nominating)

vonFiedler

Ridley is in Smash
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator



This is a weekly club where we pick an album, listen to it, and post discussing it. We follow a layered process as follows:

1. Nominating.
Anyone can nominate any one album, only limited occasionally by themes. Nominate an album maybe you'd like to listen to for the first time or something you want everyone else to hear. Make sure when you nominate to post I Nominate Album by Artist (Year) in bold so that it stands out, as we may be having discussions at the same time.
2. Voting.
A strawpoll will be created choosing an album from the nominations to listen to.
3. Listening.
We'll each listen to the album on our own, and maybe find a way for those of us who can meet at a good time to listen together. Even if you've listened to the album before, why not listen again?
4. Discussing.
Post about the album. What did you like about it? What didn't you like? What songs stood out to you? Did it introduce you to an artist or change how you felt about them?

If you participate in one part, try to participate in the rest (don't nominate and then refuse to listen to an album).

I picked a weekly cycle because I think with albums this isn't oppressive in terms of money or time, but let me know what you think.

Finally, if you have an RYM account or equivalent that logs your musical rankings and tastes, feel free to share it and I'll collect them for others to see.
 

vonFiedler

Ridley is in Smash
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
CURRENT VOTING FOR WEEK OF 3/7

THE VOTE

vonFiedler
The Raven by Lou Reed (2003)
I've dumped on Lou Reed before for how his lyrical abilities far exceed anything else he can do. But one of his hidden gem songs is Who Am I, and it's from a big Edgar Allen Poe concept album. I'm intrigued. I'm a bit doubtful I'd ever get around to checking this album out on my own, so it goes here.

Tenshi
Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos (1992)
Little Earthquakes is one of the most important albums for most any if not in some ways every female artist who got their fame after the 90s. It isn't a stretch to say Tori started what would become almost a surge of female singer/songwriter artists in the later 90s and early 00s, especially piano players which were nearly nonexistent in the pop industry before Tori (Tori herself had trouble keeping the piano as her record label wanted to replace them all with guitars which would've been...needless to say Tori didn't allow that and thank fuck for that cause this is some of the best piano playing I've heard in an album). The album does very heavily discuss themes of patriarchal imbalance(and Tori's struggles because of it), Christianity and her religious upbringing causing guilt, and her own sexual assault so it can be a tough listen at times.

ASMRxism
Velocity Design Comfort by Sweet Trip

berry
Pink Moon by Nick Drake (1972)
in a stark contrast to all of my other highly-rated (9+/10) albums, pink moon is a short, stripped down folk album focusing on topics of depression, loneliness, and failure with poetic but empty vocals pretty much whispered over drake's own guitar playing. this album is impossible to describe with words other than "simple", but but that hardly tells the whole story- it's more atmospheric if anything, with drake seemingly just trying to fill a void before his disappearance and suicide two years later. personal depressioncore favorite for rainy nights
 
Last edited:

vonFiedler

Ridley is in Smash
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
I'm going to nominate three albums today, because I'm the host and I don't know yet how many nominations we'll get at the start.

I Nominate Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay (2008)
I'm giving people a newer option here, but I also really love the song Viva la Vida and fuck with a bit of Coldplay here and there. This would be the first album of theirs I've heard.

I Nominate Meet Danny Wilson by Danny Wilson (1987)
My obscure pick, this short-lived Scottish avant-garde pop band launched the career of Gary Clark, prolific songwriter and the man behind the music of the excellent film Sing Street. I haven't heard a lot of their music but it seems solid.

I Nominate The Teaches of Peaches by Peaches (2000)
I'm going WAY out there here but I figured actually the kind of stuff I would want to nominate for this club are things I wouldn't just be listening to on my own. Peaches is a humorously vile artist, seriously don't vote for this unless you've got a thick skin, but I think she's able to discuss social issues in her music in a way that more mainstream artists aren't.

Lemingue
 

Coconut

W
is a Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Tutor Alumnus
LC Leader
Going to jump in and nominate a couple of things that I really have liked lately. With all of my noms I'm going to include an older album and a newer album to match it.

I Nominate Big Wave by Tatsuro Yamashita (1984)
It's a very short LP, totaling in at 6 original songs and 6 covers/remasters, but what it lacks in length it covers in quality. This LP is the love-child of the most famous Japanese City Pop artist, combined with the classic Surfer pop/rock sound that you'd find from the Beach Boys. First time listeners have noted that his English is near fluent, to the point where you wouldn't even recognize he is Japanese just by listening to it.

Album highlights: Jody, Magic Ways

I Nominate Collapsed In Sunbeams by Arlo Parks (2021)
This album by rising artist Arlo Parks is a trendy neo-soul/pop album that really hits the mark with raw emotion. She really lays her heart out there with track after track of lyrics that can make you smile and cry. I'll be honest when I say that Arlo's lyrics really carry the production at a couple of points, but the vague sense of mystery really makes this new artist someone I'd recommend.

Album highlights: Black Dog, Green Eyes, Eugene
 

Estronic

eggcellent
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
GP Co-Leader
This looks fun.

I Nominate Homogenic by Bjork (1997)
I honestly feel like this is one of the albums everyone should listen to at least once in their lives (no bias, I swear). It's hard to describe what you'll be getting into with this album, I believe that this is one of the most influential albums of all time and helped shaped some of the many sounds of music today.

I Nominate Visions of Bodies Being Burned by clipping. (2020)
Another one of my favorites, this is a great horrorcore and rap storytelling album that takes a trip through many horror genres from 90s thriller films to Lovecraftian horrors.

I Nominate Big Fish Theory by Vince Staples (2017)
I've heard good things about this album, and it gained my immediate interest after listening to just one song. It's apparently a big mix of genres like avant-garde, hip-hop, house, and more tied into one. I wanted to give the album a full listen for some time now, so I figured it might be fun for others to do it with me.
 
time to shill
I Nominate Imaginations From The Other Side by Blind Guardian (1995)
Absolutely mad album. Also kind of an acquired taste if you don't like power metal, but to me this is a 10/10. Riffs are a crushing thrash-power mix, solos the beautiful, melodic neoclassical sort, and vocals imo the best in metal. I really like the acoustic sections too, adds a lot of emotional punch to it.
 
I Nominate Pure Magic by Bruneaux (2012)
Bruneaux's Pure Magic is an 'early' mashup album that's very reminiscent of artists like Girl Talk and Super Mash Brothers. It's technically 11 tracks but it all blends together in one uninterrupted mix. Very groovy/dancey album, and would make great background music for a party.
 

Tenshi

Now known as Raihan Kibana
is a Live Chat Contributor
I Nominate Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos(1992)
Little Earthquakes is one of the most important albums for most any if not in some ways every female artist who got their fame after the 90s. It isn't a stretch to say Tori started what would become almost a surge of female singer/songwriter artists in the later 90s and early 00s, especially piano players which were nearly nonexistent in the pop industry before Tori (Tori herself had trouble keeping the piano as her record label wanted to replace them all with guitars which would've been...needless to say Tori didn't allow that and thank fuck for that cause this is some of the best piano playing I've heard in an album). The album does very heavily discuss themes of patriarchal imbalance(and Tori's struggles because of it), Christianity and her religious upbringing causing guilt, and her own sexual assault so it can be a tough listen at times.
 
Last edited:
I nominate The Much Much How How And I by Cosmo Sheldrake (2018)

I'm bad with words, and I probably won't be able to summarize this album well, but here it goe: TMMHHAI is an album focusing on an animal, folk, mythos sound. Cosmo uses various instruments and included real life sounds to the table. Like its sound, the lyrics change from talking about the life of an animal, to the explorations of man, and the folk tales of time.
I sadly don't know many english music terms, so I can't really categorize Cosmo's work. However, the songs are said to range between energetic and fast, to calm and long, and inbetweens.
 

Perry

ԅ(ಥwಥ ԅ)
is a Tournament Directoris a Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Moderator
oh that looks great!

I would like to nominate Folklore by Taylor Swift. It's one of the standout albums from last year, and if you have not listened to it by now, you really should listen to it at this exact moment. It was surprise released last July, with a deluxe, a live version and a sister album released later that year, and it turns away from Swift's notorious lyrics about her life experiences to third-person lyrics - and she excels at it. I mean, to be perfectly honest, Taylor managed to release an album with some of the best 5 first songs ever for me - the one, cardigan, the last great american dynasty, exile, and my tears ricochet are prime examples of how she excels at storytelling - while making it so damn easy too. cardigan's sister songs august and betty are also standouts too, singing about a teen love triangle between James, Betty and the unnamed girl that spends a summer with James.
Seriously, try it!

I am also nominating SAWAYAMA by Rina Sawayama, one of the best debut pop albums ever in my opinion. I mean, just listen to XS once and you'll know why - it's the best pop song from a year filled with GREAT pop songs. And not only that, Rina manages to write songs about many subjects that are sometimes passed over by pop artists - you can see that perfectly in Bad Friend. tl;dr, if you miss the pop songs from the start of the last decade, listen to this album!
 
Last edited:
I just finished sorting through my music library so new albums is just what I'm looking for! So many great submissions so far. :)

I nominate Heisei Fūzoku (平成風俗) by Shiina Ringo & Saitō Neko (2007).
Shiina Ringo is one of Japan's most prominent music artists, founding the band Tokyo Jihen and producing a wealth of albums that span many genres including rock, jazz, pop, and international covers. This album is one of her best works, in my opinion. Saitō Neko, an amazing violinist and composer, provides a very grand and orchestral accompaniment to Shiina's unique vocals. The album serves as a soundtrack to the film Sakuran, which displays the life and struggles of a courtesan. Heisei Fūzoku succeeds in capturing the melancholy, passion, and drama of the film while also setting a rich musical atmosphere that is truly captivating.
Favorite tracks: Yokushitsu (浴室) & Poltergeist
 

Isa

I've never felt better in my life
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
i nominate velocity : design : comfort by Sweet Trip (2003)
five-six years ago this album was more or less unknown, registering primarily as a blip on /mu/ boards
today it is That Underground Album You Love. it is a fusion of glitch, idm, shoegaze, dreampop etc. it has some of the most summery songs i know (Dsco), beautiful strings, great select glitch vibes, airy female vocals that goes above par for the course for the dreampop genre.
it is also a Super Unique album in terms of sound. i do not know of another album, not even by the same band, that sounds like this album does. no other artist or group has dared to fuse these elements in the same way.
 
i nominate velocity : design : comfort by Sweet Trip (2003)
five-six years ago this album was more or less unknown, registering primarily as a blip on /mu/ boards
today it is That Underground Album You Love. it is a fusion of glitch, idm, shoegaze, dreampop etc. it has some of the most summery songs i know (Dsco), beautiful strings, great select glitch vibes, airy female vocals that goes above par for the course for the dreampop genre.
it is also a Super Unique album in terms of sound. i do not know of another album, not even by the same band, that sounds like this album does. no other artist or group has dared to fuse these elements in the same way.
one of my favorite albums of all time since high school a decade ago, was lucky enough to track down the vinyl pressing last year. strongly recommend this, loved seeing it go from total obscurity to /mu/ essential over the past few years

My nom:

Dots and Loops - Stereolab

Stereolab rules. This album is the most lush and accessible but also prob the most realized Stereolab record, though most people tend to be more familiar with Emperor Tomato Ketchup it seems. Lush, groovy, krautrock and jazz influenced, french lady vocals, frequent time signature fuckery.
 

Tadasuke

Tuh-dah-skay
is a Pre-Contributor
I am also nominating SAWAYAMA by Rina Sawayama, one of the best debut pop albums ever in my opinion. I mean, just listen to XS once and you'll know why - it's the best pop song from a year filled with GREAT pop songs. And not only that, Rina manages to write songs about many subjects that are sometimes passed over by pop artists - you can see that perfectly in Bad Friend. tl;dr, if you miss the pop songs from the start of the last decade, listen to this album!
Absolute banger of an album. Everything from the production, composition, lyrics, etc is just incredible. I remember thinking it gave me heavy early-2000's Britney Spears vibes until suddenly there's a metal song playing. STFU and Commes de Garcon are instant favorites.

I'd like to nominate Crumbling by Mid-Air Thief (2018).
This album took so much of what I thought I knew about music and just flipped it on its head. Mid-Air Thief seamlessly blends his virtuosity on guitar with top-notch electronic music production skills to create something that is compositionally, texturally, and emotionally a completely unique experience. Songs like Why? and Curve and Light have a very heavily produced pop/dance-y vibe to them, whereas tracks like Dirt and No Answer provide stark contrast to this with very open, bare-bones acoustic soundscapes. My two favorites off the album would have to be These Chains and Crumbling Together. Both strike me as similar to epic poetry but in musical form; you don't need to understand a single word of what he's saying for the poetic impact to be the same. The lush combinations of acoustic guitar, electronic sounds, and orchestral instruments push these songs a notch above the others for me, but hopefully you'll have the time to listen through and develop your own opinions. I won't get started on the music theory behind a lot of what he's doing, but as someone who studies it extensively this album was a breath of fresh air. There isn't a single bad song here, and the flow/pacing of the album is, simply put, perfect.
 

berry

rock
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
Doing this in another server and I need more music to listen to so fuck it.

Edit: roast me on rym https://rateyourmusic.com/~berryrock

I nominate Boris at Last - Feedbacker by Boris (2003)
This album was one of my introductions into drone metal and truly genre-bending experimental rock, and it is the only album that I have ever written a full in-depth review on. In essence, it is a beautiful 44-minute 5-movement journey through multiple genres and expressions of shoegaze-y rock, metal, and noise. From the get go it seems quite slow, but I think the group paces themselves extremely well for an album, never spending too long on an idea before moving on to something interesting and connected. Some parts are quite slow for a new drone listener (Movement 1 is especially long-winded and it doesn't seem like the group is going anywhere, but trust me, it's worth the wait), some parts appeal to regular rock, punk, and metal listeners (Part 3), and other parts devolve into Merzbow-esque noise interludes (Part 4), but they all wind in and out of each other to create an abrasive and beautiful soundscape. One of 8 albums that I have ever considered to be "perfect" (alongside Estronic 's pick up there, Homogenic!)

I nominate Loveless by My Bloody Valentine (1991)
The "hipster" pick on my list, My Bloody Valentine created a set of incredibly beautiful and remarkably catchy pop songs that are completely dominated by the group's use of effects pedals on their guitars. I see this album as an experiment on how far musicians can push their guitars until they are completely unrecognizable as guitars and still be able to make killer music, and I'd say MBV completely succeeded. Dreamy vocals layered over what sounds like dozens of guitars making waves of unbreakable sound are intertwined to create one of the greatest and most influential albums in rock and pop.

I nominate White Light from the Mouth of Infinity by Swans (1991)
Seems like 1991 is my year in music. With WLFTMOI, Swans is able to absolutely dominate the post-punk and gothic rock genres and completely one-up everything that Joy Division, Siouxie and the Banshees, and other previous popular players in the genre did. This is my favorite album that I've heard in the past month and I think that it completely changed my mind on post-punk and gothic rock, two genres that I originally HATED but came to start to like with this album's takes on them. This album is perfectly experimental and extremely well paced, introducing crushingly loud synth walls to fill slow, galloping beats that play behind Michael Gira's pained verses and resonating guitars. Everything about this album swells to fill the space that is left for it, with riffs that seem like they go forever constantly building on top of each other and breaking in just the perfect moments.

I Nominate Homogenic by Bjork (1997)
I honestly feel like this is one of the albums everyone should listen to at least once in their lives (no bias, I swear). It's hard to describe what you'll be getting into with this album, I believe that this is one of the most influential albums of all time and helped shaped some of the many sounds of music today.
Adding on some support to this, Homogenic is one of the most important albums I've ever listened to and I lost my shit the first time I heard Joga
 
Last edited:

starry blanket

The Blanket
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
really fun idea!

nominating feist - let it die. a very sweet and comfy indie pop album with themes of seasons changing both figuratively and literally, making it a really lovely album to listen to around january and february when it's really cold outside. feist's voice is really pretty and soft while still having a lot of vocal and emotional range, and the album mostly has fairly simple production. it keeps things fairly cute and approachable for most, and in general i find it's a hard album to dislike. it might not be everyone's absolute favorite, but there's certainly a lot to love here for most people.
 

vonFiedler

Ridley is in Smash
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
CURRENT VOTING FOR WEEK OF 2/14

THE VOTE
I'm putting in all nominations, but next time, everyone gets one nomination.
We'll vote and listen to the top album. If anyone else feels like listening to more than one a week, let me know. We're going with one for now to be safe.
You can vote for as many albums as you like. You may vote for your own nomination, as long as you also vote for others.
If you didn't nominate in this cycle, you may still vote. Just make sure you listen to the winner and make a comment on it.

Info on albums for current vote can be found in the second post of this thread.
 
How long will the vote last, and what happens if multiple albums are in a tie for first?
So many great nominations, by the way. Really excited for this!
 

vonFiedler

Ridley is in Smash
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
How long will the vote last, and what happens if multiple albums are in a tie for first?
So many great nominations, by the way. Really excited for this!
If there is a tie, I'll say that both are up and you can listen to either or both. The voting will be called at Sunday, which is a while, but I'm just trying to normalize the cycle to end on Sunday from now on.
 
Kind of off topic, but since there's clearly a few Sweet Trip fans, just wanted to let everyone know they're repressing VDC again if you didn't get it the last few pressings, and the just drop a new single a few weeks ago that's very nice
 

vonFiedler

Ridley is in Smash
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
It was a tight battle, and -
Homogenic by Bjork... AND
SAWAYAMA by Rina Sawayama
Have tied with 12 votes. They are this week's winners.

You may listen to either or both and make a post about your experience. If you nominated or voted, please do so.

We are ALSO doing nominations for next week. Noms will end on Thursdays from now on. You can only nominate one album, and if you nominate more I'll take the first one. If you would like to reuse your old nomination without posting it again, sad react this post (if you posted more than one the first time, I'll take the first one).

I nominate Everything That Happens Will Happen Today by David Byrne & Brian Eno (2008)
I've struggled with Brian Eno before, but he's good at producing and I really think he just needs another creative mind to work with (David Byrne being this madman). I've only heard one song from this album but it's sick, you should sample it here. It also has really oddly evocative album art, something just draws me to it:
 
Last edited:

berry

rock
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
Bjork - Homogenic (1997)

I'm a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl
you're the bird on the brim hypnotized by the whirl


Following two critically acclaimed albums in Debut and Post, as well as an attempted murder plot from a superfan stalker, Bjork released Homogenic, an amazingly experimental post-pop masterpiece that would shape the face of music going into the 2000s. This album is clearly a step up from her previous projects, pushing the abrasive experimentation that was present on Post to new levels, as well as creating one cohesive thread that she follows throughout the album, hence its title. Bjork's outward-directed anger is present all over the album, with aggressive electronic beats making up the backbone of songs like Bachelorette and Alarm Call, covered up with beautiful vocals that wax and wane between anxious and reassuring. Other tracks like Joga and Immature are seemingly abstract and off-beat until they slowly develop into incredible trip-hoppy tracks that perfectly mix EDM-style percussion with orchestral instrumentation. This boundary pushing experimentation is present from track to track, a whole 10 years prior to the crunchy EDM inspired radio pop of the late 2000s. Overall, Homogenic is a stellar third piece to Bjork's first quartet of albums, building off of the ideas presented in Post and setting the stage for her follow up, the gentle and beautiful Vespertine.

Key track: Bachelorette

10 / 10 - essentially perfect, boundary pushing, genre and decade defining, incredible personal significance
disclaimer: I've probably listened to this album 20-30 times in this past year, and I would encourage anyone who is interested in this to listen to Debut, Post, and Vespertine as well. I'd also strongly recommend headphones while listening to this album, as it is mixed and mastered INCREDIBLY. Homogenic is truly an album that keeps on giving, and I feel like there's always so much more left to discover every time I come back and listen to it. Zero skips except for maybe 5 years.

Now for something I'm less familiar with.

Rina Sawayama - Sawayama (2020)

Luxury and Opulence.

Rina Sawayama's eponymous 2020 album is an interesting dive into J-Pop and R&B Fusion, pulling heavy on its 2000s and early 2010s radio pop stars a la Britney Spears, Kesha, and Ariana Grande. This album moves from idea to idea EXTREMELY quickly: the first couple tracks are dominated by these really interesting punctual guitar riffs that add a ton of depth, but after this initial strong start I can't help but feel that at times this album falls into pretty bland autopilot pop tropes. The key change in Paradisin' stands out as especially bad to me, as I don't think the song was interesting enough to actually warrant an extra 30 seconds. Then songs like Love Me 4 Me would be just complete corporate feel-good background music and if not for the really interesting synth solo that pops in at the two minute mark, I would have no reason to listen to them. I feel like every one of these "self care anthems" or whatever sound the same, and I really don't feel like songs like this have any real reason to bring me back to listen to them. The end of this album is very same-y, with a lot of the cool ideas that were present on the first four tracks completely absent. Maybe this vein of pop music just isn't for me, but I can't help but think that this album would be a lot better if the producers spent more time experimenting with the instrumentation that was used on the first third of the album. Overall, I think this album is an excellent showcase of Sawayama's vocals, but after the first few tracks, it loses a lot of the interesting ideas that initially pulled me in with tracks like Dynasty, XS, and STFU!, as well as some interesting clips in the second half on tracks like Who's Gonna Save U Now?.

Key track: XS

5 / 10 - Appealing at times but underwhelming as a whole. Not painful, but not attention-holding. Sorry, Sawayama stans!

Week 2 Nomination
Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix) by Death Grips (2017)

This 22-minute EP from Death Grips is a jaw-droppingly aggressive and abrasive take on EDM and the British hardcore techno genre Gabber, all while intertwining head-poundingly loud bass lines and drum sequences with death grips' own takes on metal and hip hop.
 
Last edited:

vonFiedler

Ridley is in Smash
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
SAWAYAMA
Rina Sawayama was introduced to me with my Color Walrus, where her song Cherry took home the gold in the Pink category. So I was optimistic about this album, and I'm glad to say it paid off. I see people already talked the J-Pop and R&B elements of this album, but have skipped over the elements of Power Metal that define the identity of Dynasty, XS, and STFU!, probably the defining songs of the album. While they aren't rock songs at all, the fusion makes them feel like Power R&B. This is most well-melded in Dynasty itself with its heavy orchestral backing, but is plainly obvious elsewhere as well. In XS it takes the form of a very prominent sting, and to be honest I'm not sure if the sting is annoying or not, that will remain to be seen on future relistens, but it didn't annoy me the first time. That mentality is important with much of SAWAYAMA. There's a lot of parts of these songs that I don't like, but each song manages to be a lot more than the sum of their parts. STFU! is the perfect example of this between its nu metal segments, crude lyrics, and occasional screeches, but the chorus is actually quite a lovely departure from all that and it really ties the song together. Comme des Garcon (Like the Boys) takes this in a different direction, with some club aspects that I don't generally like, but I think this song is okay. The metal and latin influences remind me of Lady Gaga's Born This Way, which makes sense given that Sawayama has covered her music.

I playlisted Akasaka Sad maybe against my better judgement. There's a lot I don't like about this song in the beginning. It's taking influence from some of the worst rap of the day, but it grew on me by the end with its beeps and boops (beeping and booping also being prominent in XS). Paradisin' is the best song on the album. It's the exact kind of dance pop I want to be hearing right now, ala Howard Jone's recent album Transform, and I really like the intro to the song as well. Touches like that really help songs and albums pop in my opinion.

Love Me 4 Me is when the album begins to creatively sink. While every song so far has had its own unique identity and offered a lot to the identity of the album, Love Me 4 Me is more generic off-disco. It would feel at home on Jessie Ware's What's Your Pleasure or the back end of Rick Astley's Whenever You Need Somebody. And like, I can fuck with it. I playlisted it for sure. But everything I just said about it is the same and worse with Bad Friend, the first song from the album that I didn't playlist. It's fine, but couldn't sustain my excitement. And it gets even worse when Fuck This World (Interlude) continues the trend. An interlude is supposed to reset and recontextualize the album to keep the listener's attention, but the song utterly fails at this.

Thankfully the album gets better from here. Who's Gonna Save U Now? is not an amazing track. It's rather slow to bring your attention back to the album, but it does so by bringing the album back around to its Power beginnings with the booming stadium sound. It has just enough oomph to be worth listening to. Tokyo Love Hotel is another generic pop song, but I like its beat enough to forgive it. Chosen Family is the statement ballad of the album and it's not great musically, but I love the message of the song and the lyrics go a long way to do it justice. Finally Snakeskin feels like it bookends the whole album by ending with more Power R&B, but also tying into the overarching message of transitioning identities. It's not the album's best song either but it gets the job done.

Overall while the album is at its most creative early on, it's never boring and Rina Sawayama is definitely a pop artist to look more into and keep an eye on in the future.

Homogenic to come later in the week.
 
Last edited:

Coconut

W
is a Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Tutor Alumnus
LC Leader
I'm no fucking Buddhist, but this is enlightenment

I was very excited to see Björk as not only a nomination, but a winner of the first week. LC mains know how I praise Homogenic as not only the best Björk album, but in contention for the best album of all time. While I'd get some pushback on that statement in the form of Vespertine and Post, the general consensus is that Homogenic is amazing independent of these two. I'm not going to get into the context or story behind Björk—other people will do that, but its clear that where she was in the world at this point affected many of her artistic decisions. The loud, bellicose sounds complimented by the vocals that resonate beyond just words creates a sound that would be molded and transposed into so many modern sounds. I don't even think it's much of a stretch to say that nearly all modern music has roots in Björk. I'd love to tell you the highlight tracks to this album, but frankly the whole thing is the closest thing to perfect that I believe music has reached. Give the album a listen and I'm certain that you'll be screaming THIS STATE OFFFFFF EMERGENCY along with her.

Like the first time, I'm in my prime

I first discovered Rina Sawayama in the song Cyber Stockholm Syndrome back in late 2017. I was a fan of the EP but I wasn't enough of a fan to go around shouting it to the heavens. I knew to look out for her in the future so Cherry blowing up was absolutely no surprise to me whatsoever. Cyber Stockholm Syndrome didn't have new sound that Cherry had, opting for a 2000's pop sound; on the other hand, Cherry had the X-Factor of a chart topper. Waiting for SAWAYAMA to come out was absolutely something that pushed me through the pandemic. I can safely say that I was pleased overall with the album. She really shows her range with all of the different sounds that populate this album, which I think is more due to her not exactly knowing her direction yet. For example, listening to the two best songs on the album: Comme Des Garçons and Paradisin' independently, you wouldn't even think these are on the same album. And I don't even think these are the widest dichotomy of songs on the album, these are just my two favorites. While I think there are some duds on this album, overall I think this album deserves the positive reception it currently has. It's a unique feel that you don't really get from a lot of other debut albums.

_______________

In honor of the news of Daft Punk breaking up, I'd like to nominate Discovery by Daft Punk.

What more needs to be said about Daft Punk. They opened the door for countless Electronic artists. Defined house music and brought it into the mainstream market. Produced for countless pop and hip-hop artists (their songs even being played at the super bowl this year). Daft Punk was and still is a cultural icon and Discovery is where that started. You've likely heard songs like Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger or One More Time, but I think this album provides more than that with quite a range of feels.

Album highlights: Aerodynamic, Something About Us, Digital Love
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top