Recent Ratings

Recent Reviews

 - Mule Variations
Wonderfully self indulgent and tremendously raw, Mule Variations finds Waits pushing boundaries farther than ever with some of his most severe vocal performances, lopsided instrumental arrangements and an exceedingly thorough exploration of timbre. However, while blues are a certainty in any Waits LP, some of the more straightforward, melancholy examples like Hold On, House Where Nobody Lives and Georgia Lee present as a detriment in this project more than any other. Weakening the incredible ... read more
 - Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
A compilation of utterly inoffensive, generic pop singles that continue to push Gorillaz in a worrying direction. Looking at the elementary song writing, formulaic structuring and weak narratives, I can't help but wonder how the band that gave us Plastic Beach has become this uninspired.
 - Positions
"You drink it just like water (water)."
 - Visions of Bodies Being Burned
A valiant effort and a sure feat in production, but a lack of sonic direction, development and pacing (especially in the first half) combined with Diggs' deadpan delivery left this project disappointingly feeble.
 - Loveless
It's subtlety that makes Loveless the masterwork it is. While production techniques transform an electric guitar into a looming cumulonimbus, it's the genius of the songwriting that envelopes you in that cloud. The melody lines here have an immediate innocence, offering linear tonal development and rhythmic simplicity, with momentum just sufficient to generate a sway. They have no where to be, as only the wind supplies their direction. The harmonic arrangements transform this idea, countering ... read more


Hey I just wanted to let you know that my list aggregating AOTY's favorite albums of the year 1970 is finally live, and that you are included in it!

This was a very big project that would not have been able to be completed without your ratings and I hope to continue this series with future installments!

If you would be so kind as to check the list out and even possibly give me any feedback at all it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
What is your favorite album of the year 1970, and could I get a few words on your thoughts on that album!?

{I’m going to be doing a series of lists where I go through AOTYs favorite albums of every year since 1970 and this is the first part of that ultimate goal!!}
analysis by Jane Piper Clendinning. Its a college level text that is enormously useful and handy to have nearby for reference. I would also recommend after you finish Schoenberg's theory of composition, I would check out his theory of harmony. Just as one increases ones vocabulary by reading books and articles, learning to read scores also boosts musical vocabulary (and its also very rewarding and enjoyable). I hope you find my recommendations useful in your exciting endeavor!
Hello Sam! It seems to me you are already on an excellent path reading Schoenberg's texts. The only advice I can offer are things that have personally aided me in understanding and practicing musical composition. First off if you have access to a keyboard or piano, I would recommend exploring its framework where one can visually see the complete array of tones that can be accessed by simply pressing them. Ask any composer and they will attest that the keyboard has proved to be their best friend when sounding out melodies and hammering out rhythms before writing them on a nearby score. You mentioned that your understanding of musical theory to be sufficient so I would recommend writing music as soon as possible even if they may be short fragments or simple phrases it must begin somewhere even if you are not completely familiar with all the bells and whistles of musical composition. As for recommended texts on music composition I can recommend, The Musicians Guide to Theory and...
Also, if you would like, I would love for you to be apart of the CFCE group. I think you would be an excellent addition!
Here’s the Discord link:
an ingenious interpretation I have ever laid ears on. The choice of breaking tradition and beginning at a rivetingly slow tempo pays off tremendously when contrasted with the conclusion of the piece as it is played at an absolute breakneck speed. It is marvelous! What is also interesting is that the piece was recorded in the late fifties and doesn't boast the best sound quality but the other-worldly performance somehow completely compensates. Furtwangler's most honest vision for the ninth at long last came to fruition at that legendary performance, he died three months later.
I wouldn't say that my opinion on Karajan himself has changed, I respect the maestro as one of the most influential and defining conductors of the last century. It first must be stated that to say that Karajan is a bad conductor is a complete misstep. Every conductor has their own preference and expectation and having that coveted role they must make vital stylistic choices on the material they are conducting. My issue with Karajan lies in this point, his handling of requiem, and Beethoven's ninth symphony specifically has many stylistic changes that I am significantly averse with, whether it be with changes in tempi or flavor. My critique of this issue is not to say that he is a bad conductor, but his personal instructions I don't necessarily favor. On another note, the recording quality for those two albums is incredibly one-dimensional and quite lifeless. I have recently been completely enthralled with Furtwangler's reading of Beethoven's ninth, it is perhaps the most masterful and.
and eventually free jazz. Monk was equally reverent for the traditions of jazz but also aware and concerned with its inevitable progression. For that reason and for simply the enjoyment and power of his music, is why he is my favorite jazz pianist. I would recommend to you Brilliant Corner's and Monks's Music if you haven't heard them already.

You are right Glenn Gould is quite a controversial figure in the classical world. I can say that I haven't completely bought into his many quirks and fashions but I have a general respect for his interpretation of The Well-Tempered Clavier, but I find his other interpretations (The Goldberg Variations) to be oftentimes performed at such breakneck speeds that they are almost emotionless. I find the best balance of speed and emotion in anything touched by Alfred Brendel, or Evgeni Koroliov for that matter when it comes to The Goldberg Variations.
Absolutely please don't hesitate! I have many favorite jazz pianists simply because I view the piano as the central and essential instrument of the jazz idiom, and through its progression, there have been many influential musicians who have left a significant impression on the way it is played. Since we have already discussed Tatum I would recommend you listen to Oscar Peterson who is one of the only few to rival Tatum's work. However one of the most formative pianists that have influenced me has to be the formidable Thelonious Monk. An audacious talent from the very beginning, Monk characterized his playing by showcasing slightly experimental techniques as he was always pulling out odd and elusive harmonies, atypical chord progressions, and generally fragmented time signatures. He is someone who unlike Tatum journeyed beyond the standards and erected countless originals infused with his distinct style. Even in the 50s Monk was foreshadowing many things, one of them being post-bop....
Unfortunately, Art only penned several original compositions, and they aren't necessarily worth seeking out. That is because, in my opinion, even though the many standards Art interpreted arent written by himself, they essentially become his own after he is finished with them. Personally, I treat them as such, but the best compilation that compliments his body of work has to be "The Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces" which is an enormous box set containing some of Art's most virtuosic cuts.

Rating Distribution











Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
Member since April 17, 2020

AOTY April Playlist
AOTY Discord