The Birthday Massacre Board The Birthday Massacre Board

Go Back   The Birthday Massacre Board > More Topics > More Music

More Music Discuss artists and bands, old and new.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-29-2012, 05:49 AM
Dark_Spiral's Avatar
Dark_Spiral Dark_Spiral is offline
No.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Somewhere.
Posts: 13,516
Default Album Reviews

We've got the threads for bad albums and good albums, but I had an idea: why not make a thread where anyone can review any album you like, both for yourself and for all the other fans here?

I'll kick it off (note: this first one is not a template, feel free to write a review in any way you'd like).

Album: Garbage- Not Your Kind Of People

In the seven years between albums, you'd think that Garbage would have found some new shit to throw into their songs. And you'd be wrong. Not Your Kind Of People basically sounds like a mash-up of Garbage and Bleed Like Me with a little Version 2.0 thrown in on the side. Most of it's rock with Shirley Manson's ever-excellent vocals on top. And it's not bad. It's fairly good. But it is unoriginal. The lyrics range from good ("Sugar", "Control") to bad ("Automatic Systematic Habit") with not much in between.

Do the songs on the album sound exactly the same? No (though the intro to "Control" sounds eerily like the intro to "Y Control" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs). I'll give them that. But a lot of their songs just aren't very good, in my opinion. The title track takes forever to go nowhere and bores the hell out of me, as did several of the other songs like "Bright Tonight". "Automatic Systematic Habit" and "Battle In Me" get me confused because they sound similar. "Battle In Me" reminds me too much of "Supervixen". "Felt" reminds me too much of "Special". And "Beloved Freak", the depressing ending song (all of the albums have one) simply isn't depressing enough. Swapping it with "Sugar" would have sufficed nicely.

As for the singles, "Blood for Poppies" is excellent, "Battle In Me" is OK, and "Automatic Systematic Habit" is... all right. The last two aren't too good- they're not bad, but they're not good either. Personally, had I been the one to choose the singles, I would have gone with "Blood for Poppies", "Sugar" and "Control". I would have named the album after either "Blood for Poppies" or "Battle In Me". The better songs are the ones that aren't generic and actually have substance, and unfortunately, the album as a whole lacks it.

In short: it's a decent album, but it doesn't live up to anyone's expectations, doesn't excel, isn't entirely memorable and honestly, should be better.

Darky's rating: 7/15

Darky recommends: "Blood for Poppies", "Sugar", "Felt", "Control".
Darky doesn't recommend: "Not Your Kind Of People", "I Hate Love", "Man On A Wire".

Worth a look?: Yes. Like I said, it doesn't excel, but it's not a bad album and everyone should be able to find a couple of songs they like.
__________________
Green is not a creative colour.

Last edited by Dark_Spiral; 08-11-2012 at 02:36 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:14 AM
Dark_Spiral's Avatar
Dark_Spiral Dark_Spiral is offline
No.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Somewhere.
Posts: 13,516
Default

And another, 'cause I felt like it.

Album: New Years Day- My Dear

As debut albums go, this one really isn't bad. It's surprisingly polished for a self-funded, self-produced record made in a bedroom, and the quality's incredibly good.
However: New Years Day started up when three of the band members got together after two incredibly bad breakups, and by God does it show. Of the eleven songs, ten of them are some variant of Anti Love Song, and the majority of them are break-up songs. I have nothing against break-up songs, but seven out of eleven on one CD is really pushing it.

However, what redeems all of them is that each song is unique. It's like they wrote eight songs about failed/failing relationships, but about a different relationship each time. And that's just lyrically- the music is great, and singer Ash Costello has a beautiful voice.

Not to mention, they've got a really morbid streak that comes through in both their music videos and their lyrics- the chorus of 'Ready Aim Misfire' starts 'Shoot my Cupid out of the sky/break off his wings, and gouge out his eyes', and the video for 'I Was Right' has hallucination!Ash nearly killing her arsehole ex in a variety of interesting and elaborate ways. The music, in addition, is a pop-rock-punk blend that really works with the lyrics, and blends nicely with Ash's voice.

Now that I'm done with the shilling, let's get down to where it didn't work.
"Razor" is... kind of emo, shall we say, and it just doesn't click with me. See, some songs fail to grasp me for whatever reason, and as a result I just get bored- though it doesn't mean the song is bad, let me just say. "Razor", sadly, is one of them. "Sunrise Sunset" has some lyrics that A, don't rhyme, and B, don't work (and I'm honestly not sure which problem I dislike more). "Temecula Sunrise", the stand-out song on the record that wasn't an Anti Love Song, is unmemorable at best and boring at worst. It's sweet, true, but it doesn't stand out and it doesn't really do much.

"Ready Aim Misfire", the first unofficial single (they don't actually have any singles, just three songs with music videos) is damn good, as is the second, "I Was Right". However, I have to say that they shouldn't have named the album after "My Dear" (it's an OK song, but not very memorable)- I would have gone for "Ready Aim Misfire" or "Brilliant Lies".

In short: While a good album and a damn good effort for a debut album, it has way too many break-up/Anti Love songs, and the one love song fades in comparison. A good first start, though.

Darky's rating: 10/15

Darky recommends: "Ready Aim Misfire", "Part Time Lover", "Brilliant Lies", "I Was Right"
Darky doesn't recommend: "My Dear", "Temecula Sunrise", "Sunrise Sunset"

Worth a look?: Definitely.
__________________
Green is not a creative colour.

Last edited by Dark_Spiral; 08-11-2012 at 02:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-01-2012, 09:33 AM
Dark_Spiral's Avatar
Dark_Spiral Dark_Spiral is offline
No.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Somewhere.
Posts: 13,516
Default

OK, I guess nobody's going to join in. What the hell, I can still review shit.

All right, let's get interesting.

Album: The Birthday Massacre- Pins and Needles

The general definition of 'one-trick pony' is a person or thing that is limited to a single talent or skill. Thus, one-trick ponies are predictable, unoriginal, and after a while, boring.
Am I calling TBM a one-trick pony? No. But they're skirting the edge of it.
I said in my review of Garbage's album Not Your Kind Of People that the album was pretty much just bits of other albums tacked together- and that's what it looks like here. What Pins and Needles seems like to me is the lovechild of Violet and Nothing and Nowhere- dark lyrics, heavy beats and ethereal tones over the top. And while that's not bad, there's nothing new to it. After a while, it gets boring.

See, this is why I love Walking With Strangers- it was different. Really different. Sure, they kept the ethereal shit, but the sound was lighter (even if the lyrics often weren't) and it had more of a rock feel. But there's nothing new on Pins and Needles. Beautiful ethereal music surrounding dissonant lyrics ("Always", "Pale", "Two Hearts", "Secret")? Been done- look at "Under the Stairs", "Nevermind", "Unfamiliar" and both versions of "To Die For". Heavy beats surrounding dark lyrics ("In the Dark", "Sleepwalking", "Midnight")? See "Blue", "Lovers End", "Broken" and "Looking Glass".

And they're not the only cases. I can't be the only person who thinks "Secret" is eerily similar to "Movie", can I? Dark lyrics implying revenge and violence with a fairly heavy base- are we talking about "Midnight" or "Under the Stairs"?

Like I said, however, it's not bad. TBM are a bloody amazing band, and they continually show it. "Two Hearts" is a major standout, "Always" is beautiful, and "Pale" is a work of art. "In the Dark" is a great combination of rock and Chibi. It's generic, but it's amazing at the same time, and having had some time to think about it, there isn't a song I wouldn't recommend.

I'm not condemning the album for what I deem to be unoriginality. The problem, methinks, is that all of TBM's albums have had a different sound... excepting this one. Nothing and Nowhere thrived on ethereal sounds, Violet had the solid macabre streak, Walking With Strangers was lighter rock... but Pins and Needles is a combination. Not bad, but nowhere near as good as it could have been.

Also, a few problems: Does anyone else think that "Two Hearts" should have been longer? Did anyone else find the chorus of "Shallow Grave" kind of... lacking? Does anyone else not have a clue what the fuck "Pins and Needles" is about and thus have problems liking it? I can't be the only one. It feels sort of unfinished, I guess. Not good.

In short: Pretty damn good, but ultimately unoriginal and needs way more variety.

Darky's rating: 10/15

Darky recommends: "Two Hearts", "Always", "Pale", "Secret", "In the Dark"
Darky doesn't recommend: None, actually.

Worth a look: Hell yeah.




Before everyone jumps down my throat, I want to make it clear that my opinions are purely subjective. I'm not forcing them on anyone and you are free to agree or disagree with them as you see fit.

That being said, almost every review I read where the reviewer was familiar with TBM's other albums agreed with me that Pins and Needles was repetitive and unoriginal. Take that as you will.
__________________
Green is not a creative colour.

Last edited by Dark_Spiral; 10-22-2012 at 05:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-01-2012, 05:47 PM
Depth94's Avatar
Depth94 Depth94 is offline
Midnight
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,233
Default

^ A bit surprised by how high you rated this album based on your review. I agree with the "Secret" and "Movie" point. However, I feel that "Secret" is what "Movie" was trying to be and succeeded. I love "Secret"; it's my favourite track on the album.

I have a few reviews from Rate Your Music. Not great, but eh.

"I was initially attracted to The Birthday Massacre because of their unique sound and atmosphere. Nothing and Nowhere had a dark atmosphere, while Violet felt magical. Walking With Strangers had some atmosphere, but was much more poppy than their previous albums. It was a bit disappointing. Then, Pins and Needles came out.

The synth isn't emphasized, but the guitars are. They're crunchy, kind of plain, but convey the energy they tried to get across. It works... the first few times. If I was stuck listening to this album for days, I would get bored. Blasts of beautiful synth have been replaced by surging guitars, and it really strips away the power of the songs. Sure, you could say that by doing this that when they do use a blast of synth, it's more effective; in fact, I'll agree with you. However, these moments aren't satisfying and don't last that long.

People complain that they sound exactly the same, and that they need to change their sound. Ironically, they kind of did. Guitars are more prominent on this album. Chibi's voice feels glossy and poppy. Her singing on this is the most emotive in TBM's career. Compare Pins and Needles and Violet. It may not be striking, but their is a difference vocally.

The problem is that these changes make the album feel generic. The one thing they needed to change was the structure of the songs; intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, change, chorus, end. I realize that most songs go this way; however, Pins and Needles is so overproduced, so much like a pop record, that it's boring.

The atmosphere is not entirely gone. The title track Pins and Needles has a part where it slows down with a piano and haunting sound effects. Also, Secret, my favourite on the album. I miss that.

The transitions between songs seems tacked-on at the end; an after-thought. TBM songs used to meld into each other. This just comes out of nowhere. The album also feels recycled. I've heard Science and Goodnight, and even the songs on the album copy each other. Pins and Needles lacks diversity.

Final verdict: A decent album with crunchy guitars, hug-a-bunny vocals, and synth. It's a real adrenaline-pumper, but doesn't have much replay value."

3/5

More here: http://rateyourmusic.com/collection/Wraith888/reviews/1
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-01-2012, 09:16 PM
Dark_Spiral's Avatar
Dark_Spiral Dark_Spiral is offline
No.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Somewhere.
Posts: 13,516
Default

^ I never said I didn't like it. I adore TBM, and while it is generic, it's pretty damn good for generic. That, and I changed my 'out of' thing. It wasn't working.
__________________
Green is not a creative colour.

Last edited by Dark_Spiral; 06-01-2012 at 11:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-02-2012, 01:44 PM
donnaj's Avatar
donnaj donnaj is offline
Black
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wonderland.
Posts: 339
Default

Alright, I'll post one. :3

Album: Evanescence - self-titled [deluxe version]

Evanescence has been one of my favorite bands since 2003 so I was hoping this effort would be fantastic like their other releases. To be honest, when I first listened to this album, very few parts really stood out for me. Fallen and The Open Door were the same for me too. But, the more I played them, the more I loved them. This record is no different in that case.

It's one of my all time favorite albums now. I just can't believe the bonus songs weren't included on the standard edition, they're actually better than some of the tracks that are. One thing I love about this band is that they can change their style on each record but they still sound like Evanescence. I do miss the epic strings and choirs that were used in their other albums. The strings are used sparsely and choirs have been basically replaced with Amy's layered vocals. But this album is fun and addictive once you get used to the energetic new sound. The lyrics are also a lot more positive and optimistic than previous albums. Most of the songs use the same basic guitar and drum sounds, with occasional experimentation. I did welcome the addition of harp into the music, Amy plays it wonderfully and it gives a few of the songs a storybook atmosphere.

I haven't had a chance to see this material performed live yet but I bet it's a blast. The band sounds like they're having a great time with these songs. On a slightly negative note, a few songs' choruses feel like they drag a bit [Erase This, End of the Dream, Never Go Back] and they took the longest to get used to. Most of the verses are pretty decent though. I approve of the synths used in Oceans. If they keep doing that, you won't hear me complaining. I also liked the guitar solo on Made of Stone, I wished they had done a few more. My Heart Is Broken is a perfect Ev song; very well pieced together, I think. Its chorus was one of the parts I loved since I first heard it. Lost In Paradise is a gorgeous ballad, full of emotion and still gives me goosebumps to this day. The most unique song on this album is Swimming Home. It sounds a little strange when you first hear it and it sounds best on headphones. So many layers and sounds are woven into it and it's mostly electronic and the lyrics are just beautiful. It's the only song other than Secret Door that isn't intense or guitar driven.

Bonus tracks: New Way To Bleed: Definitely should have been used in the standard. The vocal fueled intro and the harp parts are my favorites. Say You Will: Very energetic like most of the other songs. I like it, especially the ridiculously infectious chorus. Disappear: Maybe it's because I can relate to it, I'm not sure, but I absolutely love this song. The chorus makes me want to throw my fist into the air and sing with it. Another favorite since I first heard it. It also has a great message and is probably the most fun song they've ever made. Secret Door: Harp, strings and Amy's vocals dominate most of this song and I adore it. This sounds like something right out of a fairy tale. I almost wish she hadn't sang the chorus so intensely, I love her soft vocals a lot more. In short, it's a magical song.

If I had written a review right after I had listened to it the first time, I may not have praised it so highly. I didn't hate it then, of course not, although it didn't seem to sink in at first. But a lot of my favorite albums are growers. It actually is a busy album and fairly intense but enjoyable.

I'd rate it at 95/100
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-02-2012, 02:58 PM
Clear Vision's Avatar
Clear Vision Clear Vision is offline
Oh My Cod!
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Piņata Abattoir
Posts: 7,305
Send a message via Skype™ to Clear Vision
Default

Hey Darky, I love this thread and I'm sure gonna use it in the future for albums I will buy and some albums released recently I need to give some more time listening before posting a review. I love this thread and thanks for creating it. I agree with you on P&N, though it's an amazing album, it isn't that exciting and refreshing compared to WWS.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:19 PM
Dark_Spiral's Avatar
Dark_Spiral Dark_Spiral is offline
No.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Somewhere.
Posts: 13,516
Default

^ Awesome.

donnaj- thanks! Great review!
__________________
Green is not a creative colour.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:39 PM
DoomGem's Avatar
DoomGem DoomGem is offline
In the Mood
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: (UNiVERSE-CiTiES)
Posts: 11,552
Default

Whereas WWS is about a 113/100, PAN is probably about a 106. If you're actually taking the time to write out a detailed technical review of either of these albums the same way you would a "normal" music album, then I think you're missing the point of TBM's "music". It's not even music, it's something a whole lot more than that. It broke through the barrier of whatever "music" was. Audio Heaven.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:56 PM
Clear Vision's Avatar
Clear Vision Clear Vision is offline
Oh My Cod!
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Piņata Abattoir
Posts: 7,305
Send a message via Skype™ to Clear Vision
Default

If you'd ask me they changed a bit from more freely written songs to more structered and less surprisings songs and structures. The heavyness and more rock orientated sound of PaN to me, just distracted a bit from the synths and atmosphere in songs. That's why I prefer songs like blue, lovers end, the dream, promise me, kill the lights a bit more. I gotto say songs like always, pale and shallow grave are my favs from PaN.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-02-2012, 10:38 PM
DoomGem's Avatar
DoomGem DoomGem is offline
In the Mood
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: (UNiVERSE-CiTiES)
Posts: 11,552
Default

^ I can't tell the difference. All of it is lush gold to me. PAN is just an awesome extension of WWS. I mean, you take an epic album like WWS and then you follow it up with PAN? I honestly don't think they could've done a better job with that.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-05-2012, 09:21 PM
Depth94's Avatar
Depth94 Depth94 is offline
Midnight
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,233
Default

I just listened to the new Beach House record, Bloom. This is all I could say about it:

"beach house
beach house stop
i cant take all this beautiful music you've bestowed upon me
beach house stop"

5/5
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-09-2012, 06:25 PM
Dysnomia's Avatar
Dysnomia Dysnomia is offline
Total Clarity
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 4,487
Default


Act II: The Father Of Death by The Protomen

The Protomen's self titled release in 2005 was a fun album. Not brilliant or ground breaking, but fun. It was well written, but no matter how hard you try, it's hard to make the story of Megaman incredibly seriously or gritty, despite the album having good emotionally moments in the lyrics. But in this album, The Protomen wrote a completely original story that ties into the Megaman universe, but stands alone and truly is full of raw emotion.

The into song "Intermission" sets a perfect tone for the entire album. Slow and mellow, then halfway through the song, the instrumental song subtly shifts into a sadder tone, then the next song, "The Good Doctor" does a perfect job of introducing us to the characters in this album's story and showing us their personalities and faults. The album also utilizes three different singers to tell the story from the perspective of four different people, which often makes tracks and the album as a whole more interesting.

The album starts strong, yes, but the album just grabs you when it gets to the fifth track, "The State VS. Thomas Light". I feel absolutely no shame in saying that this song made me cry the first time I heard it. The emotion lead vocalist Raul Panther expresses in this song is beautiful and tearjerking, and absolutely pulls you into the story of the album.

The album is amazing from start to finish, but I do have some mild nitpicks about it. For starters, the instrumental track "How The World Fell Under Darkness" I find a bit boring. It feels too much like a long outro to the track prior, rather than its own song. And "Keep Quiet" feels too long, and on some listens I skip it as I feel a bit impatient. But this may also be because the song that follows it is one of the best tracks on the entire album.

From start to finish, The Father Of Death is an absolutely amazing album. While it is solidly a rock album, each song shows different influences from different genres, and very often shows heavy influence from 80's rock. It tells a fantastic, gritty and tearjerking story, and lends itself to many replays.

Rating: 9/10

Recommend Tracks: Light Up The Night, The State vs. Thomas Light, The Hounds
__________________
Harold, I'm gonna be on television!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-09-2012, 06:44 PM
Depth94's Avatar
Depth94 Depth94 is offline
Midnight
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,233
Default

^ Whoa. Light Up The Night is amazing. Definitely gonna check this album out. Thanks for sharing.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-12-2012, 06:20 PM
Depth94's Avatar
Depth94 Depth94 is offline
Midnight
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,233
Default

Think I'll take back my 5/5 on that Beach House album. Still good stuff, though. 4/5
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.