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  #46  
Old 09-14-2013, 01:39 AM
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darkholiday darkholiday is offline
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Lana Del Rey: Born to Die (Paradise Edition)


The Paradise Edition has a few good additions to the Born to Die album, but not necessarily enough to warrant the purchase if the extended edition.

1. Born to Die: Slow, melodic, and characteristic of Lana. Some call the song (and album) monotone but I enjoy it. One of the things I enjoy about Lana are her lyrics, and this song has great lyrics. Good title track for the album.

2. Off to the Races: At first I didn't like this song and I thought it was weird and her voice sounded too baby-doll like. It's really grown on me--she isn't afraid to sound a little absurd.

3. Blue Jeans: First song I heard from Lana, but it was acoustic, and remains to be one of my favorite. Slow, sexy; kind of like a lounge singer. This song is clearly about unrequited love.

4. Video Games: Again, another favorite with that lounge singer quality. Sweet and childish in an innocent sort of way.

5. Diet Mountain Dew: An upbeat song, very refreshing. I liked it as soon as I heard it. I actually own a pair of heart shaped sunglasses as sung in the lyrics.

6. National Anthem: The video portrays the Kennedy's--I really really love this song. It might be my favorite. Definitely sexual, I think this song is a reference for gold digging...but Lana does it so well.

7. Dark Paradise: I honestly could go with or without this song. She makes references to wishing she was dead in the verses...hm.

8. Radio: I say this about most of the songs but this might be second favorite to National Anthem. It kind of reminds me of bod, hehe ("no one even knows what life was like/now I'm in LA and it's paradise").

9. Carmen: Not much to say about this song. I could do without it.

10. Million Dollar Man: Again, I don't listen to this song enough to comment. Not one of the best.

11. Summertime Sadness: Good end-of-summer anthem. Reminds me of dressing up to go out.

12. This is What Makes Us Girls: Reminds me of my best friend growing up and how we'd cause trouble. It's a cute song.

With the extras from the Paradise Edition you get a handful of new tracks. The best hands down are Ride and Gods and Monsters. The rest are kind of meh.


Overall rating: 12.5/15
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  #47  
Old 11-22-2013, 07:59 AM
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Album: Goldfrapp- Tales of Us

After the complete fuckup that was Head First, I was really looking forward to this album. What I got was a cross between Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree, but a strangely lacking blend: it's all very low-key, heavy on the instruments, nothing big or mainstream. It's got the soothing instrumental sounds of Seventh Tree and some of the lighter weirdness of Felt Mountain, but the problem is that by trading in the defining features of both albums for originality, it loses quite a bit. See, Felt Mountain was fucking weird, by which I mean that I refuse to believe that they weren't on drugs while making that album. It is just straight up writing on acid trippy. Seventh Tree, on the other hand, was just golden and blissful and so happy and relaxed. It was beautiful. Tales of Us is grey and misty and brings to mind walking through a forest alone on a cloudy day: beautiful, peaceful, but at the same time, you're probably going to get rained on.

Well, may as well do the track-by-track breakdown:

1. "Jo" is actually quite good, but it takes a few listens to get used to it.

2. "Annabel" is OK, but it would be better if they didn't repeat the damn title over and over again.

3. "Drew" is just fantastic. One of the highlights of the album.

4. "Ulla" actually sounds like a track off Seventh Tree, but with less instruments. Not bad.

5. "Alvar" sounds like it's trying to get a bit of the Felt Mountain feel back , but it doesn't quite work.

6. "Thea" stands out in that it actually has a drum, which I have to admit is pretty surprising, but I'm not really sure what to make of it.

7. "Simone" is OK, but very dark and dirgeful.

8. "Stranger" is pretty average.

9. "Laurel" sounds like another attempt to be like Felt Mountain, but again, it doesn't work.

10. "Clay" is somewhere between average and OK.

The depressing thing about this album is that while I initially wrote the whole thing off, I imagine this is probably going to be one of my favourites in a few months. The songs really aren't bad, but whether or not Alison and Will intentionally attempted to combine Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree really doesn't matter- I'm still going to be comparing Tales of Us to both of them. And while I'm always happy to listen to some really top-notch instrument work- and Tales of Us has some amazing musicians playing on it- Goldfrapp have been reinventing themselves with every new album, and I don't think anyone really wanted a blatant cross between two previous albums. Not to mention, while I guess the album's pretty good if you want to listen to a more depressing version of Seventh Tree, if I wanted to hear Seventh Tree or Felt Mountain, I'd just go listen to them.

Darky's rating: 9/15, though I imagine it'll probably go up in a few months.

Darky recommends: "Jo", "Drew", "Simone", "Clay"
Darky doesn't recommend: *shrug* Eh, none of them suck enough to land here, but 'average' isn't exactly an outstanding quality.

Worth a look?: If you like Goldfrapp, yes, if you like outstanding instrument-centric music, yes. If you wanted a completely new and original Goldfrapp album, then no.
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  #48  
Old 11-12-2014, 09:39 AM
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I did a brief first reaction video review after I listened to TBM's album Superstition and you can see it here. It includes actual clips of me listening to it and being a complete fangirl but I also give my general thoughts on it. The only complaint I had was its length and I also expected certain tracks to be a little different but didn't dislike the results. Overall, I enjoyed it. But I can honestly say it didn't make me feel like the previous albums did, at least as a whole. Though that may have been due to the fact that I let myself hear Beyond [which I loved instantly] before the album so the excitement and surprise level wasn't quite the same as it was when I heard Hide and Seek the first time since the entire set of songs were brand new to me and I had no clue what to expect.

I have to say, after listening to it more, I'm loving the record on a larger scale. I've come to appreciate the little things the album brings, such as the amazing percussion and programming in the title track, the atmosphere of the album, all of the melodies and all of the vocal work especially the layered harmonies. On just a slight negative note, I kinda wish there had been more creative guitar work in the two heavier songs. Minor nitpick though. I'm sure that once I have these tracks memorized and can sing along with them all the way through like I can with their other stuff, I'll have even more fun with the experience.

Favorite tracks: Divide, Diaries, Oceania, Superstition and Beyond.
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