Best of 2021

Recent Ratings

SPC ECO - June
SPC ECO
June
90
Apr 18
SPC ECO - Calm
SPC ECO
Calm
90
Apr 18
Belly - DOVE
Belly
DOVE
60
Apr 18
Belly - King
Belly
King
90
Apr 18
Belly - Star
Belly
Star
91
Apr 17

Pinned Review

JohnLouisHoward -
100
DRY CLEANING

A Kerry Bog Pony.
Do everything and feel nothing.
Nick Buxton’s drums.
An Oslo bouncy ball.
Working class roots vs. middle class roots.
Tom Dowse’s guitar.
Aldous Harding’s even more eccentric cousin.
Just an emo dead stuff collector, things come to the brain.
Lewis Maynard’s bass.
Authentic vs. post-authentic. Most listeners have lost the ability to tell the difference.
Aldous Harding’s producer, John Parish.
Listeners have lost the ability to tell ... read more

Recent Reviews

JohnLouisHoward -
60
not great, and not really needed. it has no effect on their legacy one way or the other.
JohnLouisHoward -
90
maybe it does have a clunker or two, but it's totally not a sophomore slump. if anything, the songwriting is more out there and the songs are more challenging than Star, with lots of time changes and unusual passages. it's more of an integration of a Throwing Muses jagged harmony style into Gail Greenwood's punk-metal guitar and bass than it is a successor to the debut. Greenwood's presence puts the record into a different, less radio-MTV friendly space. fewer hits (none in fact), more ... read more
JohnLouisHoward -
91
a debut album that sounded like a mid-career upgrade because that is essentially what it was. Tanya Donelly is an A-plus songwriter, is equally adept at lead and rhythm guitar, and is a versatile vocalist who brings lots of intensity to her delivery without being showy. everybody knows the hits, but "Untogether" leaves you gobsmacked if you get it. what a song. but the real star of Star is "Stay", an absolutely perfect song. please play at my funeral or whatever.
JohnLouisHoward -
68
hypercompetent psychedlic dream pop from Norway. nothing here of much nutritional value, but pleasant enough for a snack. vocalist Linn Frøkedal sounds stronger and more self-assured than on their last album, and the songs again have attractive and melodic pop hooks. it all blends together a bit too much though and only the musicianship keeps it from slipping into a melange of sweet nothingness. lacking the standout singles of their previous release, there is not much left to prop this ... read more

Shoutbox

Apr 17, 2021
Bilinda Butcher! Aldous Harding! Marissa Nadler (her voice is like a siren)! RACHEL GOSWELL! Oh! For me, I'd add Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush, and Chan Marshall. And yes, the list goes on... To be fair, I don't think we'll ever really figure it out, never really ever be able to say "this is the ethical way to relate to an artist"... Hopefully, though, we can learn something from our very being unsettled, from being pulled in so many affective directions... I'm beside you, my friend, on that journey.

Rohan
Apr 16, 2021
The other day I printed out a bunch of poster-size old photos of the band, including one performance in Philly with Thom Yorke, who performs "Untogether" with Tanya... It's a touching moment... But am I merely *using* it for its libidinal value? How can I inaugurate an ethical relationship with someone like Tanya? That's what I'm really struggling with.
Apr 16, 2021
Yes, that was the sense I was getting too—but the worst part is, Tanya's resistance to her own superficial, performative fetishization *also* became colonized by MTV... In that same interview I alluded to earlier, MTV flashily displaced a quote from Tanya, all laureled up in messy script, reading: "I don't like it when people say I'm cute". So her own resistance to commodification became itself commodified, itself the paradigm of the "cool". The other thing I'm reckoning with is my own modest crush on Tanya; it's ok to be a little starstruck, I think, but I worry about co-opting her image, investing so much emotional energy in her before having given myself time to develop an intimate, authentic, intrinsic relationship to her music. I don't want to participate in the very economy of the image that led to Belly's implosion after the poor sales of "King"...
Apr 16, 2021
Don't know, I guess I'm just trying to wrestle with those tensions myself...
Apr 16, 2021
I know you're very much invested in the Muses, and that you've followed Kristin's artistic trajectory fairly closely... But what do you make of Tanya's post-Muses career? Have you heard her LPs with Belly? Her solo outings? I've been trying to get into Belly's 1993 record "Star", this week, which, as I understand it, was actually quite a hit at its time, though seemingly forgotten now. I think Tanya was very much caught between the tensions of that kind of "success" under the exclusionary indie apparatus—I watched a couple interviews on MTV where that was sadly apparent—but also discomfited by it, trying to find a way to self-consciously distance herself from it. But it seems she left the Muses, and later the Breeders, to chase something a little more "poppy", a little more "accessible"... But, I mean, how many times can you play "Feed the Tree", over and over again, (it's a good song, don't get me wrong) and still smile every time? She must have felt at least a little aloof...
Mar 30, 2021
Congrats on 300 followers!
Mar 26, 2021
Sorry to send a lot of messages, but this chat is not able to send such a large text at once, anyway
Mar 26, 2021
For example, the album dark side of the moon, I see the colors there as follows:
Gray, Black - Speak to me
Brown - breath
Gray, black - Ont the run
Verde - Time
Blue - The great Gig in the Sky
Black, gray, green - Money
Blue, purple - Us and Them
Yellow, green, gray - Any color you like
yellow - Brain Damage
gray, blue - Eclipse

It is very difficult to explain how "" "we see" "" the colors, because we don't really see them, but they are there, they are ALWAYS there
Mar 26, 2021
Like, we don't necessarily see a color in front of us when we listen to music. It all happens inside our head. It is as if I am listening to a song and in my mind it appears like an aurora borealis the color of the song. Nor am I the one who chooses the color, it's that and that's it. When I listen to the music, that color comes out of nowhere. And there is also something interesting, the more familiar I am with music, the more visible the color is. Maybe it's because I'm used to it, so it's easier to see. This "phenomenon" is pretty cool.
Mar 26, 2021
They say that only 4% of the population has this, but I don’t know, I think it must be a lot more, because where I’m going to look for, there are always dozens of comments from people saying they also have it.
The most common synesthesia is "hearing colors". I have to listen to colors, see words and numbers with certain colors, and connect smells to places I have been to.

About

100 = perfect
91-99 = levels of greatness
90 = good stuff
80-89 = worthy of an extended listen
70-79 = decent
60-69 = good song or two
50-59 = thanks but ...
under 50 = no thanks

I rate generously most of the time, unless something is deeply inauthentic, or overtly venal.

Strong preference for small labels and indies, tend not to rate major label and mainstream stuff, but when I do then look out.

Top 100+ Songs of 2021 (in progress): https://open.spotify.com/playlist/42ygL0YD77rxTEs8kHkCW0

Around the Web

Rating Distribution

90-99
 
998

80-89
 
620

70-79
 
247

60-69
 
120

50-59
 
123

40-49
 
44

30-39
 
15

20-29
 
31

10-19
 
29

0-9
 
40

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Recent Lists

Good music on the way.
Updated 7h ago 3
I will put them on the list according to the tour or album they were promoting. This is partial. I will add more as the gaps in my memory are filled in.
Updated 2w ago 2
Member since March 21, 2016
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