Nut Suite. Mini reviews of albums old and new. Minimum words. No fuss. No spoilers [?]. Occasional smugs.

Friday, November 18, 2016

DANNY ELFMAN / Batman: Original Motion Picture Score [1989]

In 1989 Danny Elfman was primarily known as that guy from Oingo Boingo who's composed a small handful of scores for a few quirky comedies.  Naturally no one thought he was right for the big blockbuster Batman film but thankfully director Tim Burton was the only one who rightfully had faith in the composer.
Elfman's sprawling Gothic theme of grandeur helped bring a certain level of cheeky sophistication to the film and entirely redefined the cinematic Batman figure as suitably dangerous.  The score isn't afraid to engulf itself into the darkness but not once does it lose the sense of fun and wide-eyed excitement.  It's big, bold and brassy with flavors of tragic heroism, the lonely romantic and the criminally insane.  A definitive Elfman score that no fan of the composer, Batman or scores in general should be without.

5 beautiful dreamers out of 5

Songs of Note: The Batman ThemeDescent into Mystery

It should be noted that this particular album has seen 4 separate releases but La-La Land Records' 2010 double-disc release is definitely the most comprehensive collection to date.  

RADICAL FACE / The Family Tree: The Bastards [2015]

Before the release of each installment of his Family Tree trilogy, Radical Face put out a free EP of songs that didn't quite fit with the rest of their respective albums.
The suitably titled The Bastards is a complete collection of all 11 songs in a tidy little package that is just as quality a listen as each of the trilogy albums are.  These aren't throwaway songs by any means and in fact some songs are stronger than the albums they were originally meant for, they just didn't mesh with the pacing or tonal textures of their immediate family.  They are the mismatched black sheep if you will.  Twisted and quirky but still pack in enough heart to break and mend it with warm caring tired hands.

4 lovely little lies out of 5

Songs of Note: BaptismsNightclothes

ROGER WATERS & VARIOUS ARTISTS / When the Wind Blows (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [1986]

Based upon Raymond Briggs' graphic novel, director Jimmy Murakami (who also faithfully adapted Briggs' The Snowman) was lucky to hire ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters to score When the Wind Blows.
David Bowie's title track is another highlight of the soundtrack album.  However the four remaining songs leave much to be desired if you haven't already fallen asleep.  Waters' contributions sound like a prelude to his Radio K.A.O.S. 1987 solo album and that's all right because they're simply pleasant pieces in bits or as a whole track.  It's not a must-have album but certainly a quaint little record to revisit every once in a blue moon.

3 lullabies out of 5

Songs of Note: Tower of FaithFolded Flags

JOE VOLK / Happenings and Killings [2016]

Joe Volk's first album since leaving Crippled Black Phoenix, 2016's Happenings and Killings, is a familiar yet subtle departure from his previous works.
With production help from Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury it means careful attention was paid to the gentle yet complex production and rewards with each subsequent listen.  Volk channels a low-key acoustic tone that is subtly complimented with soft electronics and the occasional string textures.  There's slight echoes of Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys and Radiohead but never enough to mistake it for anybody else other than Volk.  His prog-rock influences are still evident but it focuses more on being a haunting singer/songwriter project that raises the bar with opening track and only gets better and better with each track.

4 thieves of our ideals out of 5

Songs of Note: Soliloquy; The Curve

VARIOUS ARTISTS / Wild at Heart: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [1990]

The soundtrack to director David Lynch's batshit crazy road-trip rom-com Wild at Heart has been a staple in my music collection since it's 1990 release.
Dramatically opening with a suitable snippet from Strauss' swan song Four Last Songs, the album is quick to bounce all over the musical map.  There's tongue-in-cheek speed metal, the obligatory finger-snapping Badalamenti jazz, Chris Isaak oozing sultry drama over reverberated guitars, scrappy rockabilly toe-tappers, lush orchestrated string pieces and all topped off with actor Nicolas Cage crooning like The King.  As incohesive as it all sounds it's still a tight little package of dreamy madness that reflects the schizophrenic nature of the film itself.

5 psalms from the Old Testament out of 5

Songs of Note: RUBBER CITY / PerditaCHRIS ISAAK / Blue Spanish Sky

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

SUM 41 / 13 Voices [2016]

After a second brush with death, Canadian rock act Sum 41 made a full sober recovery (with a new drummer and the return of guitarist Dave Baksh) to release their sixth studio album, 2016's 13 Voices.
For a guy who had to relearn how to walk, talk and nevermind play guitar, frontman Deryck Whibley has managed to put together a pretty solid record brimming with passionate urgency and furiously harsh melody.  It starts out with seething anger that rivals Screaming Bloody Murder's finest moments but slowly morphs into suspicious hope as the record comes to a close, making it feel almost as if were a concept album.  The Sums, with their fusion of hard rock and melodic metal, have no interest in re-living in their goofy Beastie Boys-esque pop-punk past and it's a very welcome addition to the sudden 2016 pop-punk revival.

4 phony friends left in the dust out of 5

Songs of Note: Fake My Own DeathWar

NOFX / First Ditch Effort [2016]

Spending well over 30 years as the grand-fathers of foul-mouthed pop-punk pranksters NOFX get a little more serious on their 2016 album, First Ditch Effort.
They might not be as instrumentally experimental as they have been on their past few albums and instead they trade it for the strongest vocal harmonizations to date.  They haven't been this aggressively melodic or enthusiastic in over a decade and it kicks ass.  As much as I like them NOFX seems to pump out the same record over and over doesn't make them a staple in my collection.  However when I'm in the mood for their retreaded brand of thrashy pop-punk then it's solid albums like this that are a definite go to.

3½ toasts to Tony Sly out of 5

Songs of Note:  I Don't Like Me AnymoreI'm So Sorry Tony

BLINK-182 / California [2016]

After losing squeaky-voiced guitarist Tom DeLonge to higher ambitions yet again, veteran pop-punkers blink-182 (vocalist/bassist Mark Hoppus & drummer extraordinaire Travis Barker) recruited Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba as a suitable replacement.
2016's California should have been a reinvention of sorts, considering the appetizing experimentation the band was dabbling in with their previous records.  However they played it safe here and produced a pretty standard blink-182 record of yesterday with the added minus of some embarrassing joke songs.  There's a small handful of great songs and potentially tasty melodic moments here but it's mostly overly-polished boredom that might have actually been a bit more interesting with some rough edges here and there.  As a return to form it's an average record but as an album that sets out to prove something it's pretty weak.  

2½ nods to home out of 5

Songs of Note: Bored to DeathShe's Out of Her Mind

DESCENDENTS / Hypercaffium Spazzinate [2016]

12 years after their previous record, Cool to Be You (which was a reunion of sorts as well) the Descendents cough up with their 2016 comeback record Hypercaffium Spazzinate.
With the band all being over the age of 50, it's time their lyrics grow old with them.  Vocalist Milo Aukerman tackles getting fat, illnesses, losing friends and struggling to remain cheery and true to oneself throughout the not-so graceful age progression.  Unlike most of their pop-punk peers, Descendents (and NOFX) have never had interest in changing their sound and instead opt to play tighter in their comfort zone which surprisingly hasn't gotten too stale over the years.  Sure there's a few cringe-worthy "out of touch grandpa" moments but it's to be expected and makes it all the more honest.

3½ fast food addictions out of 5

Songs of Note: Spineless and Scarlet RedComeback Kid

GREEN DAY / Radio Revolution [2016]

After a public meltdown resulting in rehab, two members getting cancer and a trilogy of commercially and critically unsuccessful albums it seemed like it was time for Green Day to call it quits.  So naturally, 2016's Revolution Radio was definitely an album that is set-up with something to prove.
Sadly they do nothing of the sort and rely on the safety of the same type of predictable cheese and Hot Topic "danger" they've been riding with since 21st Century Breakdown.  There's a few good songs in the mix but as a whole it's not the album that is going to win back the older fans they've lost over the years.  Sure it's a little more focused than the misdirected trilogy previous to that but it still feels like it's running around in circles trying to figure out how to top American Idiot.  Oh well, at least Rolling Stone & People magazine probably think it's risque punk album of the year and not the half-decent pop album that it really is.

3 rebel's lullabies out of 5

Songs of Note: Still BreathingOrdinary World

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM / Get Hurt [2014]

2014 saw the release of New Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem's fifth (and probably final) studio album, Get Hurt.
Written after considerable commercial success and a nasty divorce for frontman Brian Fallon, The Gaslights push towards a quieter, darker mid-tempo sound that is a bit of a departure from their previous records.  There's still traces of Springsteen but they bring in more influences into the mix that will reminds listeners of '70's stoner rock and other vinyl era rock acts.  The problem here is the music is so moody all the fun of their previous works has been sucked dry.  One can't deny the passion is still firmly intact but it's easy to hear a lack of interest within the member's chemistry would lead into a indefinite hiatus in 2015.

3 favorite songs in the dark out of 5

Songs of Note:  Break Your HeartHave Mercy

PRINCE / Batman [1989]

After a few albums of minor commercial and critical success funky R&B weirdo Prince was about ready for another hit on his hands.  1989's Batman album was the answer, with it's thematic inspirations coming from Tim Burton's massively popular blockbuster film, the album was a surefire hit.
Apparently it hasn't really survived the test of time but I was surprised to find it's not as excruciating as I thought it would be.  It sounds hastily written and cobbled together but the roughness is some of it's charms, no matter how much some songs never really sound fully realized.  At best it's a guilty pleasure most folks can shamefully enjoy and at it's worst...well...they created the "skip" button for this reason.

3 nods to Neal Hefti out of 5

Songs of Note: Electric Chair; Partyman

Sunday, August 28, 2016

ROGER WATERS / The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking [1984]

After receiving mixed reviews for Pink Floyd's The Final Cut, Roger Waters opted to record a solo album (and ditch Floyd a year later) which resulted in 1984's The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.
The rest of Floyd chose The Wall over this album to record as their next opus in 1979 and it was probably a good idea career wise.  Critics and audiences weren't ready for Waters' bizarre sense of humor and only wanted him dark, melodramatic and cynical.  Still the story of a beaten down middle-aged man that dreams of fucking a hitchhiker he's picked up is still filled with plenty of anger, spit and melancholy as it dissects the human psyche.  Musically it isn't always up to par as it lacks any memorable hooks or melodies as it seems to jump all over the place as its searches for some common ground.  Maybe that's the point and it just requires the listener to dig deep to really find it's cold heart and soul.

3½ possible pasts out of 5

Songs of Note:  4:50 am (Go Fishing)4:58 am (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin)

ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD / The Bible 2 [2016]

Andrew Jackson Jihad's (or AJJ as they like to be known as now) previous album Christmas Island was a nervous reinvention that wasn't quite right but thankfully they've worked out most of the kinks on 2015's The Bible 2.
Picking up exactly where Christmas Island's "Angel of Death" protagonist Cody left us, AJJ kicks right into hilarious misery and honest self-deprecation with "Cody's Theme".  There's only minor traces of the folk-punk detected, so instead the complete band relies on lo-fi guitars, booming drums and whiny synths to get the head a bopping to their trademark cheery sneers.  Heavy with frightening sincerity is what AJJ does best and thankfully they aren't watering down the uncomfortable lyrics with an ever-growing audience.

4 flaming mommies out of

Songs of Note:  American Garbage; No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread

RADICAL FACE / The Family Tree: The Leaves [2016]

2016's The Leaves completes Radical Face's Family Tree trilogy about the fictional supernatural Northcote family of yesteryear.
Still holding onto the same sparse instrumentations of the previous installments, Cooper merely layers on top of them with subtle strings sections, gentle electric guitar and humming synths.  The lyrics might supposed to be about the Northcotes but one can't help but feel the closer Cooper got to his characters the more his own trials & tribulations spilled into the mix.  It's clear The Family Tree was never a linear form of storytelling but more like snapshots of the all the important times in a lost soul's life.  The lyrics have a beautiful way of transporting the listener back to all the their good and bad times they've encountered and miraculously what they have yet to experience.

4 resurrected birds out of 5

Songs of Note:  The Ship in PortBad Blood

JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON / Sicario: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [2015]

Icelandic composer  Jóhann Jóhannsson earned himself a great deal of respect amongst the film score community with his beautifully realized lush music in The Theory of Everything.
Naturally being the type of artist that he is, Jóhannsson took a complete opposite turn with the nerve-wrenching soundscapes in Denis Villeneuve's heart-pounding Mexican cartel thriller Sicario.  It's a anxiety throbbing percussive score filled with low-end ominous strings and a vast horn section that perfectly encapsulates the gritty subject matter on screen.  There's a beautiful mournful string theme buried within the brutality of the score but it offers no reassurance of safety or hope.  It's not often music makes my stomach-turn with nervousness like this but Sicario does so with such force it's clearly not a listen that sets out to be enjoyed.  Heavily armed with technical and creative brilliance, it certainly is a challenge to listen to but definitely rewarding should you take on the overly intense task.

4 heartbeats beneath the ground out of 5

Songs of Note: The BeastAlejandro's Song

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

JULEE CRUISE / Floating into the Night [1989]

After collaborating with director David Lynch & composer Angelo Badalamenti on a cut from the Blue Velvet soundtrack, singer Julee Cruise ending up recording a full album with the songwriting duo, resulting in 1989's dream-pop cult classic Floating into the Night.
Combining Badalamenti's dreamy contemporary jukebox jazz, Lynch's playful cliché lovesick lyrics with Cruise's ethereal falsetto voice creates a hauntingly soothing atmosphere.  5 of the 10 tracks would end up appearing in Lynch's TV series Twin Peaks so it could easily be considered an extended soundtrack to the show but on it's own it stands quite well, considering you have a taste for this sort of music.  It can't help but escape comparisons to The Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil, so in short it's one of the best albums record label 4AD never put out.

4 sad dreams blowing through trees out of 5

Songs of Note: Rockin' Back Inside My HeartThe World Spins

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM / The B-Sides [2014]

After The Gaslight Anthem parted ways with SideOneDummy records the label took it upon themselves to release one final album from the band, 2014's slapdash compilation The B-Sides.
It's exactly what the title suggests.  Mostly a collection of one "new" studio track, rough acoustic versions of past songs, live recordings and cover songs of Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones and more.  Most of the material is between roughly okay to mildly decent but certainly not essential, so it makes it harder to excuse the shoddily arranged track listing that makes next to no sense.  The Gaslights wouldn't start producing great b-sides until they're move to Mercury records, which seeing as the band split ways in 2015 I wouldn't be surprised to see another collection in the near future which I know will be ultimately better than this.  

2½ Blackwater Surprises out of 5

Songs of Note: She Loves YouBoxer (acoustic)

GEOFF BARROW & BEN SALISBURY / Drokk: Music Inspired by Mega-City One [2012]

2012 was a busy year for Portishead's Geoff Barrow with his side-projects Beak> and Quakers releasing full-lengths I don't know where he found the time to work with composer Ben Salisbury as well. 
Drokk: Music inspired by Mega-City One is what I suspect Barrow & Salisbury intended to be the score for Pete Travis' Dredd film before Paul-Leonard Morgan took over composing duties.  Rather than acknowledging the film, the duo opted to draw inspiration from Mega-City One of the comic books with a cold-hearted John Carpenter-esque blanket of menacing synth cues.  Drokk does nothing to hide it's '80's darkwave influences and relies heavily on throbbing arpeggiators, fuzzy synth strikes and stroboscopic drones spiraling in and out laying down an immensely unsettling atmosphere that threatens to suffocate with paranoid claustrophobia.

3½ Escapes from drokking Mega-City out of 5

Songs of Note: Helmet Theme; Exhale

DR. DRE / The Chronic [1992]

After a very bitter split from West Coast gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A. head beat-master Dr. Dre broke new ground with his iconic 1992 solo debut The Chronic.
By combining the fat P-funk sounds of George Clinton with twisted slowed down hypnotic tempos and predominant portamento synth lines over frighteningly realistic themes of violence, Dre crafted the definitive gansta rap album that still has yet to be topped.  The lyrics are misogynistic, homophobic and unrelentlessly vicious but still with each lyricist's unique flow and mind-boggling lines to twist your tongue around it can't be anything but offensively creative.
Love it or leave it, you can't really deny that The Chronic is the most influential gangsta rap albums of all time.

5 introductions to Snoop Dogg out of 5

Songs of Note: The Day the Niggaz Took Over; Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang

Thursday, August 18, 2016

RON GEESIN & ROGER WATERS / Music from The Body [1970]

For his bizarre 1970 documentary art-film, The Body, director Ron Battersby enlisted Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and Ron Geesin (co-writer of Floyd's epic Atom Heart Mother suite) as the composers.
The results of these two collaborating on something so weird is unsurprisingly strange itself.  A mixture of short bio-music tracks (made up mostly of burps, belly slapping, crazed laughter and the occasional fart) with a few soft-folk numbers sung and played by Waters makes for a bit of a challenging listen.  As a heavy admirer of Ummagumma (and other art-noise Floyd works) this is a fascinating listen but I can honestly say I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without a taste for the same chaotic styles.

3 disturbingly intimate heavy breaths out of 5

Songs of Note: Old Folks AscensionGive Birth to a Smile

ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD / Christmas Island [2014]

For their fifth studio album, 2014's Christmas Island, anti-folk punksters Andrew Jackson Jihad beefed it up some more with producer John Congleton, known for his work with Swans, Marilyn Manson and not-surprisingly The Mountain Goats.
Pushing forward with a more fuller sound, that includes more fuzzy guitars, somber violins and humming 80's-esque synthesizers, AJJ are prepared for wider recognition.  They're still writing upbeat head-boppers but seemed to have found a love for some softer songs where frontman Sean Bonnette seems most emotionally comfortable.  His lyrics are still sarcastically vulnerable reality checks but as a whole the band sounds really tired which on many tracks it's used to their best bitter advantage.

3½ museum melt-downs out of 5

Songs of Note: Coffin DanceTemple Grandin Too

ANGELO BADALAMENTI / Soundtrack from Twin Peaks [1990]

With David Lynch & Mark Frost's 1990 primetime TV series Twin Peaks becoming a worldwide phenomenon it seemed like a no-brainer to release a soundtrack album featuring composer Angelo Badlamenti's iconic score.
Meticulously setting the tone of the oddball series with perfection, Badalamenti jumped from beautifully melodramatic to feverish-playful jazz, using a small ensemble led by his synthesized string section and flighty piano fingering.  The emotions weave in and out of dark, sad, quirky but most of all very atmospheric to the point that it's very much an unseen leading character of the television series.  As an added bonus to the score, we're graced with three wonderful source songs from the whimsically voiced Julee Cruise, written by Badalamenti & Lynch.
As short and sweet as it is, this is one of those albums that formed me into the person that I am today and it will forever be a defining staple in my collection.

5 dances for men from another place out of 5

Songs of Note: The Bookhouse BoysInto the Night (performed by Julee Cruise)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CLAMS CASINO / Instrumental Mixtape 3 [2013]

Hip-hop producer Michael Volpe aka Clams Casino returned in 2013 for his third and final instrumentals mixtape, before unleashing his full-length debut LP in 2016.
Pulling from various sources, including A&AP Rocky, Doom and even the GTA V soundtrack, Clams also throws in a few unreleased tracks to go for a variable but smooth sampler of his many styles of work that he produced over the year since his previous mixtape.  It's a noticeable departure from past works as he hardly makes use of any sampled voices and instead focuses on thickening up the gooey euphoria with slow, heavy beats and tranquil rhythmic ambience.  
It's not as strong a compilation as the first two outings but it still floats through the ears like candy-coated syrup under a flickering black-light.  Yum.

3½ adult swims out of 5

Songs of Note: CrystalsBird Call

RADICAL FACE / The Family Tree: The Branches [2013]

Radical Face's second part of The Family Tree trilogy, 2013's The Branches, was a case of instant love for me.
Here we're stepping into the year 1860 through 1910 and the sound has developed a bit more adding in some more instruments and sounds but still reflecting back to the feel and heart of the first album.  Ben Cooper's lyrics are so honest and raw it sincerely compliments his soft falsetto voice that's delicate, sad and intimately personal.  Still recording in his backyard tool shed, Cooper's production isn't perfect but it's creaky enough to make you listen even closer to wrap your mind around it's minor details and off-kilter moments that make it feel all the more dear.
With it's organic textures, ethereal design and lyrical beauty, it's a constant reminder to remain grounded in a world of good, bad and everything in between.  

5 collections of scars out of 5

Songs of Note: The MuteReminders

FAITH NO MORE / Sol Invictus [2015]

18 years after their previous album and much-publicized self-destruction alt-rockers Faith No More returned in 2015 with Sol Invictus.
Picking exactly where they left off, FNM are still skipping around the boundaries of hard rock and bizarre art-rock, never once giving a toss about radio play (their first comeback single is a low-key operatic piece not-so subtly titled "Motherfucker").  Their smirking sarcastic humor and sinister piano lines are still firmly intact within the inviting tension they conjure up with each track.  For some odd reason, it seems as if the group forgot how to finish songs and each one peters out with slight boredom and misdirection.  The song order is a mess but with a customized re-arrangement one can easily remedy this minor problem.
There's a bit of dust and cobwebs collecting but hopefully this is just the boys getting back into the groove before they deliver another stellar album.

3½ leaders of men out of 5

Songs of Note: Separation AnxietyMotherfucker

GIN WIGMORE / Gravel & Wine [2011]

Sassy humored Gin Wigmore's second album, 2011's Gravel & Wine, is finer realized step-up from her upbeat soul-pop 2009 debut.
Armed with a coarse deep voice that explodes with passionate attitude, devilish playfulness and sultry seduction, Wigmore's songwriting compliments it with dirty blues, highway twang and a 50's diner daydream rock that was missing from her previous works.  The production is bright, big and spirited enough to never let her voice overpower the music and vice versa.  It might be an exact retro-replica of the music of yesterday but this is a pretty damned good reason as to why someone listened to those type of songs in the first place.

4 bad women to keep out of 5

Songs of Note:  Man Like ThatIf Only

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS / Blue Velvet (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [1986]

Like the 1986 David Lynch masterpiece, the original soundtrack album for Blue Velvet is a grand mixture of the beautiful and bizarre.
Marking the first collaboration between the director and composer Angelo Badalamenti, the score is a dark nod to Bernard Herrman's neo-noir works with it's romantic combination of lush string writing and an ominous brass section.  The other half of the album transports you into the unspecified forgotten era of the film with a series of both modern and classic pop songs, a series of sound effects and some cool cat jazz numbers.  It's a nice little piece of audio memorabilia from the film but misses several musical moments that cries for an updated deluxe version on it's 30th Anniversary.  

4 songs that aren't This Mortal Coil out of 5

Songs of Note: Main TitlesMysteries of Love (performed by Julee Cruise)

NICK MASON'S FICTITIOUS SPORTS [1981]

Nick Mason, the only constant member of Pink Floyd, apparently released Fictitious Sports as his debut solo album but in reality it's songwriter/jazz enthusiast Carla Bley's show where she's merely assisted by the rock drummer as co-producer.
What this all results in is a relatively catchy alt-rock/bizarro jazz album that's more or less disappeared into the sands of time.  The amusing songwriting and coarsely captivating vocals by Robert Wyatt (who sings on 7 of the 8 tracks) stand out amongst the so-so inoffensive musicianship.  As a Bley album, it's a pretty average outing that simply leaves you not regretting the 30+ minutes you invest in giving this album a chance.

2½ creepy rust-lickers out of 5

Songs of Note: Can't Get My Motor To StartDo Ya?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Kamen Rider Blade Song Collection (2004)


For years I lived under the assumption that only Hajime and Tachibana-san had character songs. Nope. Not only do Kenzaki and Mutsuki have them, so too do Hirose and Shirai! The duet between Kenzaki and Shirai where they sing about being friends...you're melting my soul Toei!!! There's also this weird 70s romance movie/80s cigarette commercial song, both OPs, and another Ricky led RIDER CHIPS missive. All amazing. Who really cares about the one meh song that sort of sounds like a 555 leftover, when the rest is perfection?

Songs I Failed to Notice: Wanna Be Strong; HERO

4½ Chances to Find Yourself, No Matter How Far You Fall out of 5

Saturday, April 2, 2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS / Gyakuten Saiban 4 OST (2007)


OF COURSE, many of these tracks are re-workings of the mainstays from the central trilogy. Though, much akin to Zelda II, they do receive a new tone and flavor. On the whole, I find what is legitimately new to not be as pleasantly listenable out-of-context as what’s found in the Sound Box. Further, Trucy’s theme is better experienced on the Jazz album. Klavier’s theme, however, is an undeniable original-audio standout and, yes, I am going to posit an aural pastiche as a song of note.

Real talk: unless you’re a completist, pass. In-game is where most of these should be experienced.


2½ Fluffy Frontin' Foxes out of 5

Monday, March 14, 2016

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND / Crash (1996)


While a few of these songs are too abrasive to be pleasing to my ear, or are disagreeable to me lyrically, a healthy majority find them switching effortlessly between languid, beautiful exhalations and their patently infectious ADHD-hiccuping. The cover art is, consequently, particularly apropos. It’s also worth noting that although many of these tracks are on the lengthy side they never fall entirely into self-indulgent noodle-ing for its own sake. Here, DMB are quite adept at being concise while still not overtly limiting themselves.

Songs of Note: Two Step; #41

3 Voraciously Satiated Appetites out of 5

Monday, March 7, 2016

NINJA SEX PARTY / Under the Covers (2016)


Okay, listen, there’s not much wrong here on a technical level. Danny doesn't embarrass himself vocally. Well, maybe on the Floyd cover. My massive issue with this is the same one I have with his other serious endeavor, Skyhill. For me, Danny is not fit to do bald-faced sincerity. He and Brian are masterful at sneaking it into NSP’s original material, but in the open it’s WRETCHED. You don’t understand the need for Revolutions, Danny? I don’t understand the need for Rush. We’re even. You still rule my world~<3

But seriously, Brian, fuck you for making me listen to Van Halen. Never again.

1 Beautiful Song That Used to Be Free* out of 5


*I don’t mind paying for it. I would have then if I could have.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Animatrix: The Album (2003)


There are a few extremely nice, balmy hits of diversity present here, which is fitting given the source material. Though, a number of tracks would have benefited from a more strict editorial hand, sticking around long past their welcome as they do. This is ironic considering the appalling brevity of some of the cues elsewhere on these soundtracks. The elephants in the room are Red Pill, Blue Pill and The Real. Were they serious with these? I’m aware of the technique of sampling audio but when EVERY Game Grumps remix I’ve ever heard is better than these, something is horribly wrong.

Songs of Note: Blind Tiger; Under the Gun

2 Sultry Shuffle-beats out of 5