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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#61 | Posted: 06/22/2016 03:21 | Post subject: Reply with quote

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Elaenia by Floating Points

Released: 2015
RYM Primary Genres: Progressive Electronic
First Listen

I love the textures and song structures here. I liked this more than I anticipated, and it's the first album I've ever tried with that genre tag.


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Fun House by The Stooges

Released: 1970
RYM Primary Genres: Proto-Punk, Garage Rock, Hard Rock
First Listen

This is a quite good and fun hard rock record. Didn't connect much to it, but it was worth a try.


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The Groop Played "Space Age Batche... Stereolab

Released: 1993
RYM Primary Genres: Indie Pop, Art Pop
First Listen

This mini-LP finds Stereolab pushing their sound forward again, closer to the futuristic lounge pop influences that they would become known for. Entertaining, but they have yet to come into their own in a fully satisfying way.


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Perpetual Motion People by Ezra Furman

Released: 2015
RYM Primary Genres: Indie Rock
First Listen

Wow! This is the most bowled over I've been by a first listen in quite a while! Like the title suggests, this is a punchy, never-boring album that is a crazy-quilt of different genres. For instance, I hear indie pop, power pop, punk, country, spirituals, doo-wop, jazz, indietronica, and indie rock all making appearances in 43 quick minutes. The songwriting is very good, frequently witty and almost always packed with raw emotion. Furman discusses autobiographical themes such as his queer and gender-fluid identities and his struggles with depression and alcoholism in songs that are both poignant and very catchy. He's heavily influenced by Lou Reed and, surprisingly, an Orthodox Jew by choice and not upbringing. In any case, it's already high on my 2015 chart and I encourage more people to try it out!


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Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi by Camera Obscura

Released: 2001
RYM Primary Genres: Twee Pop, Indie Pop
Re-Listen

I keep coming back to this album for some reason. It has the most magical beginning and warm textures, but then peters out a bit later on.



Boxer by The National

Released: 2007
RYM Primary Genres: Indie Rock, Post-Punk Revival
Re-Listen

So far this album never gets old for me. I think I may have converted someone else to liking their music this time.


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Observator by The Raveonettes

Released: 2012
RYM Primary Genres: Dream Pop
Re-Listen

This was already on my overall, and somehow it sounded even greater this time. Amazing end to end, my favorite of theirs by a good bit.


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Brill Bruisers by The New Pornographers

Released: 2014
RYM Primary Genres: Power Pop, Indie Pop
Re-Listen

A minor letdown. This band's shtick isn't really doing it for me anymore. They were one of my favorites but their albums aren't holding up too well to repeated listening. Pleasant, but I wish the hooks were less oblique and the songwriting was more personal than it is affected and peppered with non sequiturs.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#62 | Posted: 07/03/2016 01:31 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I have seriously neglected this diary. Here's what I've heard since the last post:


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Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Anno... Stereolab

Released: 1993
RYM Primary Genres: Experimental Rock, Noise Pop, Art Pop
First Listen

Another step forward for Stereolab, much of the noise is now more interesting, and this is the first release I'd heard that made me anticipate a second listen. More to discover here, although there are still some irritating segments dragging it down.


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Cilvia Demo by Isaiah Rashad

Released: 2014
RYM Primary Genres: Southern Hip Hop
First Listen

Skilled TDE rapper and probably my third favorite after Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock. He has the charisma to carry a full-length and the beats here are laid-back, top notch, and an excellent fit for his flow. Like the title indicates, it's still unfinished-sounding and an appetizer for something better.



Mars Audiac Quintet by Stereolab

Released: 1994
RYM Primary Genres: Art Pop, Indie Pop, Experimental Rock
First Listen

Finally, some great hooks to add to the groop's (sic) repertoire. "Wow And Flutter" and "Ping Pong" are standouts. Another step up, although it still is missing something with some aimless sections.


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Psychic by Darkside

Released: 2013
RYM Primary Genres: Art Pop
First Listen

I love the textures on here. Just a captivating and atmospheric listen.


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Refried Ectoplasm (Switched On Volume 2) by Stereolab

Released: 1995 (material originally released 1992-1995)
RYM Primary Genres: Noise Pop, Experimental Rock
First Listen

As one might expect from a non-LP leftovers compilation, it's scattered, but strikes gold several times. Definitely worth a try and better than the first installment of Switched On.


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It's Love by The Softies

Released: 1995
RYM Primary Genres: Twee Pop
First Listen
~played for me by NTDM~

This is a really great twee pop album. The vocals are fantastic and it just pushes all the right buttons.


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Holiday In Rhode Island by The Softies

Released: 2000
RYM Primary Genres: Twee Pop
First Listen
~played for me by NTDM~

Another very good twee album. Maybe it was because I was hearing a bit too much all at once, but I didn't like it quite as much as It's Love.


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Something About April by Adrian Younge / Venice Dawn

Released: 2011
RYM Primary Genres: Psychedelic Soul
Re-Listen

A magical imaginary soundtrack to a love affair. I would think this was heavily influenced by Mayfield. It evokes a sense of wonder throughout, and the standout tracks are the ones with vocals.


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Sweet Exorcist by Curtis Mayfield

Released: 1974
RYM Primary Genres: Soul, Chicago Soul
Re-Listen

Brilliant, sultry, impeccably orchestrated / arranged. This was an even better demonstration of what makes Curtis great than I remembered.


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Ones And Sixes by Low

Released: 2015
RYM Primary Genres: Slowcore, Indie Rock
First Listen

This is a very finely-crafted album in all aspects, including lyrics. I didn't enjoy it as much as it deserved because I'm not a huge fan of slowcore yet.



Emperor Tomato Ketchup by Stereolab

Released: 1996
RYM Primary Genres: Art Pop, Experimental Rock
First Listen

Finally, I've reached a Stereolab album that I enjoy almost unreservedly! The lyrics and vocals are better than ever, and they're pushed more to the front of the mix. The sonic variety is great -- I hear funk and reggae influences seeping in on the basslines of a few tracks, and I like the lead guitars more than in prior albums.



Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus

Released: 1959
RYM Primary Genres: Post-Bop
First Listen

Pretty sensational effort that should end up high on my decade chart.


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Dots And Loops by Stereolab

Released: 1997
RYM Primary Genres: Art Pop, Electronic
First Listen

This is a close contender with its predecessor. I love what they've done with the sound, making it even poppier and incorporating elements from a range of genres including MPB. At the end, the drums get satisfyingly harder and the instrumentals would even fit well in left-field hip-hop. The lyrics might be a slight step back, and it gets just a little too lounge-y in the middle.


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Rumours by Fleetwood Mac

Released: 1977
RYM Primary Genres: Pop Rock, Soft Rock
Re-Listen

The hooks are there and I can see why this album is revered, but I still don't really connect with any of it. Seems a bit contrived and hackneyed. Prefer the previous one.


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The Wayward Bus/Distant Plastic Trees b...tic Fields

Released: 1995 (Distant Plastic Trees 1991, The Wayward Bus 1992)
RYM Primary Genres: Indie Pop
First Listen
~played for me by NTDM~

I was kind of bummed when I heard this. I thought, why does such a revelatory, fantastic, magical album peter out into such mediocre atmospheric indie? Then I learned it was two albums smushed together. The Wayward Bus, which is the first half, is great. I look forward to listening again!


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End Of Daze by Dum Dum Girls

Released: 2012
RYM Primary Genres: Indie Pop
Re-Listen

This EP is probably my favorite release of theirs. It wasn't quite as good as I remembered, but it was still really good. The original "Trees And Flowers" is better, but I have Dum Dum Girls to thank for turning me on to Strawberry Switchblade!


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Odessey And Oracle by The Zombies

Released: 1968
RYM Primary Genres: Psychedelic Pop, Baroque Pop
Re-Listen

It's always fun to revisit such an enduring favorite. I used to have a poster of this cover on my wall freshman year of college. These are simply some of the best melodies and harmonies. It's maybe not quite as great as I recalled, though.


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The Muscle Shoals Sound by Various Artists

Released: 1993 (material originally released 1961-1972)
RYM Primary Genres: Soul, Southern Soul
Re-Listen

This is the incoming #3 on the next, more honest update of my overall, and it sounded great as always! Here's what I have to say in my sandbox chart:
baystateoftheart wrote:
This choice in particular requires some explanation. Yes, it's not a proper LP. But the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section created the greatest backdrops in soul music history (sorry Memphis), Rhino makes the best compilations, and this one in particular is very well-curated. Many of the songs on here are either not well-known or not on great albums themselves, which makes trying it even more worth your while. Furthermore, all the tracks are 100/100 with only two exceptions, which are both still good ("Sweet Soul Music" and "Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street").

This album opened so many doors in my personal exploration of soul, which is now one of my favorite genres. If I had to pick one album to introduce someone to soul, this would be it. Finally, the replay value and versatility of this compilation are fantastic. I have commuted more to this album than to any other. I have also made out more to this album than to any other.



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Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featur...e Ronettes

Released: 1964
RYM Primary Genres: Girl Group, Brill Building
Re-Listen

The Wall of Sound is one of my favorite sounds, and despite the sappy melodrama of the lyrics, I still love it. I always think of Brian Wilson pulling over on the side of the road in tears of ecstasy as he heard "Be My Baby" for the first time. And it makes me smile every time Ronnie's New York accent breaks through. The fake live audience in "What'd I Say" is also amusing.

[The House Of Tomorrow EP by The Magnetic Fields] (too short for BEA)

Released: 1992
RYM Primary Genres: Indie Pop, Dream Pop
First Listen
~played for me by NTDM~

Eh, it was alright. Pretty interesting, but nothing memorable that I want to hear again.


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Alvvays by Alvvays

Released: 2014
RYM Primary Genres: Indie Pop, Twee Pop
Re-Listen

I had to introduce the twee-est person I know to one of my favorite twee records. This time "Party Police" really stood out to me, although it's gorgeous front-to-back.


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Mecca And The Soul Brother by Pete Rock....L. Smooth

Released: 1992
RYM Primary Genres: East Coast Hip Hop, Conscious Hip Hop, Boom Bap, Jazz Rap
Re-Listen

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth > DJ Premier & Guru

In overall body of work, Gang Starr obviously has an edge, but the consistency of these two working together was unparalleled imo. This album has their most iconic tracks and has perfect jazzy beats (and even some Sister Nancy on "The Basement"). At 78 minutes, its only weakness is being overlong, which is why I might prefer their preceding EP.

~~~

And here's the update on my Stereolab listening project first-instinct ranking:

1. Emperor Tomato Ketchup
2. Dots And Loops
3. Mars Audiac Quintet
4. Refried Ectoplasm
5. Transient Random-Noise Bursts And Announcements
6. Switched On
7. The Groop Played "Space Age Batchelor Pad Music"
8. Chemical Chords
9. Peng!
10. Low Fi

Next up to hear:

1. Aluminum Tunes
2. Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night
3. Sound-Dust
4. Oscillons From The Anti-Sun
5. Instant 0 In The Universe
6. Margerine Eclipse
7. Fab Four Suture
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#63 | Posted: 07/15/2016 21:38 | Post subject: Reply with quote

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Aluminum Tunes: Switched On, Vol. 3 by Stereolab

Released: 1998 (material originally released 1994-1997)
RYM Primary Genres: Art Pop, Indie Pop
First Listen

The third installment of Switched On is also the worst. It's the longest, has the weakest material, and has the least variety (almost all mellow). Still, these are great leftovers for any band and display some great melodies.



Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik by OutKast

Released: 1994
RYM Primary Genres: Southern Hip Hop
Re-Listen

Wow, I forgot how amazing this was! Chock full of jams and almost as good as Aquemini. A+


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Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In ... Stereolab

Released: 1999
RYM Primary Genres: Art Pop, Experimental Rock
First Listen

Stereolab is still in peak form on this release, the third straight LP that I've loved. Excellent and often very inventive compositions that fit together very cohesively. The material is somewhat weaker toward the end, though.


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The Execution Of All Things by Rilo Kiley

Released: 2002
RYM Primary Genres: Indie Pop, Indie Rock
First Listen
~played for me by NTDM~

This is great - I love the songwriting and the influences of alt-country.


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Singles by Future Islands

Released: 2014
RYM Primary Genres: Synthpop
Re-Listen

On the umpteenth listen, I still enjoyed it but found it somewhat cheesier than I had in the past. Demoted from the #1 annual spot.


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Art Angels by Grimes

Released: 2015
RYM Primary Genres: Electropop, Synthpop
Re-Listen

This album is fantastic pop music and everyone should hear it. Unfortunately, this time I wasn't particularly in the right mood to fully appreciate it.


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Loveless by My Bloody Valentine

Released: 1991
RYM Primary Genres: Shoegaze, Noise Pop
Re-Listen

Dreamy guitars, obviously. The first time I heard this it felt revelatory. This time, less so. I think hearing it from headphones with full focus could have made a big difference the first time. I was going to put this high up in my next overall update, but I'll need a third listen to properly assess how I feel about it.


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Nozinja Lodge by Nozinja

Released: 2015
RYM Primary Genres: Shangaan Electro, Kwaito
Re-Listen

This album is fire!! So danceable and inventive and fun front to back. Bumped it up a few spots on the annual chart after this listen.


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99¢ by Santigold

Released: 2016
RYM Primary Genres: Electropop, Alternative Dance
First Listen

This is definitely her third best album out of three. My ranking, contrary to most, would be Master Of My Make-Believe > Santogold >> 99¢. The standout tracks on here, which are the two with featured artists, are good, but aren't on the same level as the standouts on her past albums. As usual, it's a fun sonic grab-bag with great production value. There's some smoother pop and even some trap that shows up.


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Sound-Dust by Stereolab

Released: 2001
RYM Primary Genres: Art Pop, Indie Pop
First Listen

This is a really good indie pop album that I would recommend, but it didn't make a lasting impression on me this first time. The hooks weren't quite sticky enough.


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Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z

Released: 1996
RYM Primary Genres: East Coast Hip Hop, Boom Bap
Re-Listen

I underrated this a lot on first listen. It really is a classic and just a hair behind The Blueprint as his best. My one criticism is I feel there is some less than inspired biting here. There are a couple really clumsy samples of other rap songs, and the "Can I Kick It" interlude is pretty bad.


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Trick by Alex G

Released: 2012
RYM Primary Genres: Lo-Fi Indie
First Listen
~played for me by NTDM~

After not liking what I heard of Beach Music, I pretty much wrote off Alex G. Good thing I had someone to introduce me to this, which has a great atmosphere and is one of the better lo-fi records I've heard.


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Music To Climb The Apple Tree By by Beat Happening

Released: 2003 (material recorded 1984-2002)
RYM Primary Genres: Twee Pop, Lo-Fi Indie
First Listen
~played for me by NTDM~

I like this collection of B-sides and rarities more than their debut, but Beat Happening might not quite be my thing. Too many jarring moments for my taste. I'm going to try another album later.


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Oscillons From The Anti-Sun by Stereolab

Released: 2005 (material originally released 1993-2001)
RYM Primary Genres: Art Pop, Indie Pop
First Listen

This is the best Stereolab compilation I've listened to. The material is strong and fills three discs without much trouble. It gives a full picture of their career up to this point and has interesting alternate versions of many of their songs. For instance, "Jenny Ondioline" works much better as a single. Full of earworms and (semi-)hidden gems.

~~~~~

Updated Stereolab Rankings:

1. Emperor Tomato Ketchup 85
2. Dots And Loops 85
3. Cobra And Phases... 85
4. Oscillons From The Anti-Sun 80
5. Sound-Dust 75
6. Mars Audiac Quintet 75
7. Refried Ectoplasm 75
8. Transient Random-Noise... 75
9. Switched On 75
10. The Groop Played... 70
11. Aluminum Tunes 70
12. Chemical Chords 65
13. Peng! 65
14. Low Fi 55
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#64 | Posted: 07/24/2016 03:12 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't have the time to properly update this with writeups, and I won't for the foreseeable future. So I'll just maintain this as a straight-up listening log, with substantial comments few and far between. Apologies.


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Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake

A+, wow at first listen


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Chordslayer by Maxo

Good bubblegum bass


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Instant 0 In The Universe by Stereolab

80/100


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Pain In My Heart by Otis Redding

His debut and the worst thing I've ever heard by Redding. Vastly overrated on this site at #2, properly rated on RYM.



Margerine Eclipse by Stereolab

75/100


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Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones

Meh. Bumping it off the decade chart.



Clouds by Joni Mitchell

Nice.


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Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. by Bruce Springsteen

Really good! Was underrating this


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#1 Record by Big Star

Simply amazing, A+


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Homogenic by Björk

Quite good


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The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Balla...is Redding

Quite good [2]


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Fab Four Suture by Stereolab

70/100


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Lemonade by Beyoncé

Visual album experience. Amazing!


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Night Falls Over Kortedala by Jens Lekman

Magical first listen! A


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Emily's D+Evolution by Esperanza Spalding

Groovy. I like both the fusion and the tracks with a Joni influence.


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Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration by Various Artists

Quite good [3]
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#65 | Posted: 07/29/2016 16:25 | Post subject: Reply with quote

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Greatest Hits by The Lovin' Spoonful

A lot better than I remember. Very uneven but some real standout tracks like "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice", "Daydream", "Summer In The City", "Rain On The Roof", and "Darling Be Home Soon."



Well Respected Kinks by The Kinks

All their essential early material in one album. Great.


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Shakara by Fela Kuti & Africa 70

A+
I also found this article interesting: http://www.msafropolitan.com/2013/08/af...-lady.html



Otis Blue / Otis Redding Sings Soul by Otis Redding

A+ Great re-listen. On this album he really does justice to the covers, the band is cooking, and the imperfections somehow improve the record.


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The Stone Roses by The Stone Roses

A+ This one might end up high on my charts
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#66 | Posted: 08/07/2016 23:30 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Lots of one-liners and one longer note below:


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The Soul Album by Otis Redding

Pretty good


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Fela's London Scene by Fela Kuti & Africa 70

Pretty good


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Roforofo Fight by Fela Kuti & Africa 70

Really good


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Afrodisiac by Fela Kuti & Africa 70

Good


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Telefone by Noname

Really good. New #3 of the year. Added to database.


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Shangri-Las - 65! by The Shangri-Las

Really good - their best. High up in my next decade update.


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Spring Fever! by The Pussywillows

Really good

This one I'll say more about. I just added it to the database. I found it on RYM. It's a super rare album. Only pressed once on vinyl, not a large batch either, and goes for a bunch of money. Never released on cassette or CD. Not available on streaming sites or for sale digitally. There's also no torrent/zip/etc. online. Six of the seven songs are on YouTube in a playlist. The fifth track, "Everyone Will Know," is not on YouTube but is available as a free mp3 download on various sites.

It's an upbeat, bubblegummy girl group revival record. The seven songs are all covers, but none were big originally, meaning that they arguably record the definitive versions here. The songs also all fit into a fairly cohesive emotional concept, something basically unheard of in the original wave of girl group albums. This is short and very very sweet.

I think SuedeSwede, CryingGameDahlin, and Jimmy Dread might like this, and probably others as well.


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iiiDrops by Joey Purp

Pretty good, below expectations



Complete And Unbelievable: The Otis Red...is Redding

Re-listen, not as good as I remembered (pretty good)



Entertainment! by Gang Of Four

Really good


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Sprinter by Torres

Pretty good, below expectations


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The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding

Re-listen, better than I remembered (really good)


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The Sensual World by Kate Bush

Good. Liked better than Hounds Of Love.



The Immortal Otis Redding by Otis Redding

Good


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Open & Close by Fela Kuti & Africa 70

Pretty good


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Why Black Men Dey Suffer by Fela Kuti &...nger Baker

Good. Added to database.


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Gentleman by Fela Kuti & Africa 70

Good


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The Beach Boys Today! by The Beach Boys

Re-listen, better than I remembered (really good)


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LP1 by FKA Twigs

Re-listen, same as I remembered (really good)


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Philadelphia Freeway by Freeway

Re-listen, better than I remembered (good)


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Born Under A Bad Sign by Albert King

Good
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#67 | Posted: 08/14/2016 01:49 | Post subject: Reply with quote

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Holland by The Beach Boys

Good. The last good BB album. Walks a tightrope between stunning beauty and unacceptable cheesiness that everything else post-Surf's Up falls off.


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Love Man by Otis Redding

Good.


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Lemonade by Beyoncé

Good. Not as good as it seemed visually, although it gained a good K.dot verse.


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Tell The Truth by Otis Redding

Pretty good. But his worst as it's the final batch of leftovers.


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The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips

Good. Some tracks are out of this world but I don't think the whole thing is a masterpiece. Yet.



Swordfishtrombones by Tom Waits

Pretty good. I was rather uninspired tbh.


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Spring Fever! by The Pussywillows

Really good. Even more listens to this.


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Out To Lunch! by Eric Dolphy

Pretty good. A little too spacious for my taste. Love the bells in this.


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After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete St...Wendy Rene

Pretty good. Full of emotional potency, but some of it blurs together. Recommend splitting this up, as opposed to one sitting.


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Moth by Chairlift

Good re-listen.


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Telefone by Noname

Really good re-listen.

Currently listening to and liking so far:


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Late Nights With Jeremih by Jeremih
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Skinny
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#68 | Posted: 08/14/2016 02:09 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Maybe try taking an album that intrigues you, listen to it three or four times, and then try to explain what it is about that album you enjoyed, and perhaps what didn't quite do it for you. It would make for a much more interesting read.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#69 | Posted: 02/17/2017 19:25 | Post subject: Reply with quote
This list is my music diary for 2017. Until I have time to write anything more substantial (if I ever do).
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#70 | Posted: 09/03/2017 19:19 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I know it's been forever since I posted in here. If anyone's interested, I started a new music diary over at RYM (in part so it can easily accommodate singles too). You can check it out here.
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