Blessedheart's End of Year Review 2006 (aka 'IN MY OPINION!!!')

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Gen 1 2007, 17:59

Yeah, it's one of those pointless end of year list things. Well, it's not entirely pointless, as it's keeping my fingers and brain busy. If you decide to read through all of this, I would like to apologise in advance for wasting your time.

This is basically just my thoughts on what I feel are the ten best albums of the year (box sets, compilations and live albums don‘t count), plus anything else I decide to throw into this lukewarm cauldron of irrelevance. I'll just play it by ear.

Please feel free to agree or disagree with any of the following meandering ramblings by leaving a comment or nine. It’s something to do.

Firstly, here's my top 5 singles of 2006 in reverse order...(it's even more exciting!)

5. Crazy
4. Mojo (feat. Rahzel & Dan the Automator)
3. Harrowdown Hill
2. Starlight
1. Live With Me

Right then, the albums. This is what I've been splitting hairs over for the past week or so. I hope I think it was worth it. You probably won't like all of it, but that doesn't bother me...it just means that I have better music taste than you.

It has been a pretty good year for music in that there have been plenty of good albums. On the other hand, it's been a pretty shit year for music in that there have been very few truly great albums.

'GWET ON WITTHTH TIT!!!!11!!', you say? You're so impatient.

In reverse order...

10. Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam are one of those bands that seem to have a huge and devoted following, and yet most of their fans will have at least one album that they're not all that keen on. I'm not one of those people. Frankly, I love all their 'shit'. This year they decided to release their 4,768th full length studio album and call it 'Pearl Jam'. It's pretty obvious why. It's because they're really old now and think they've already used up every other possible album title. It just so happens that the album pretty much condenses 90% of the band's previous output into 13 songs. I won't go into too much detail, as I want to move on to the next album - by an astonishing coincidence, I'm unfortunately cursed with an allergy to both the words 'pearl' and 'jam', which causes excruciatingly painful diarrhoea and a temporary obsession with dust - but Come Back recalls the classic Black, and World Wide Suicide recalls about half of their rockin' numbers, of which their are more than enough on this disc. In fact it could be argued that 'Pearl Jam' is...oh shit, back in a bit...

...


OK, I'm back. That was just too painful even to appease my sado-masochistic tendencies. Someone up there must hate me.

Anyway, it could be argued that the album you're reading about is pretty much the opposite of an album like No Code, where almost every song was mellow, with a couple of exceptions, such as the Foo Fighters-like Mankind. On this latest 'PJ' (yes, that's right, PJ Harvey) album, we're only treated to a few - perhaps one too few - more reflective moments, but those are fantastic, particularly Gone, and the aforementioned 'Come Back'. Apart from that, it's all what former/possibly current Smashing Pumpkins/A Perfect Circle guitarist James Iha and I like to call 'barnburners', many of which are not all that great.

Oh, and their headline set at Leeds Festival in August went down a storm (I'm sure it did in Reading too, but hey, I'm a northerner).

9. Thornography

Thankfully I have no allergies relating to this album or the band that 'Thornographed' it, although if you check Cradle of Filth's shoutbox, you'll doubtless cum across a few unfortunate fools who are allergic to the band, and yet continue to wallow in their affliction.

Anyway, straight to the point. A lot of people have been saying that this is Cradle's best album since Cruelty and the Beast or, going even further back, Dusk and Her Embrace. I disagree, but that's only because Midian is the band's masterpiece and it will never be bettered. This is no 'Midian', but it's no Nymphetamine either. There are moments of brilliance - Dirge Inferno and Rise of the Pentagram, for example - but nothing to rival the majesty of Her Ghost in the Fog or From the Cradle to Enslave.

One thing that makes 'Thornography' stand out is that it's the first Cradle Of Filth album to feature 'clean' singing vocals (ie not growled, screeched or whispered) by the exquisitely talented wordsmith Dani Filth. This was partly due to him recently nearly dying or something. He's not great at singing in this way, but it doesn't hinder the generally excellent quality of the music, and HIM's Ville Valo drops in for a guest appearance on The Byronic Man. Despite his ailments, Filth sounds positively ferocious on the Dracula-themed Lovesick For Mina.

Speaking of vocals, there are a total number of five different vocalists on 'Thornography' (shit, there's the allergy! I hate the number 5! Thankfully though I don't get quite the same horrific symptoms as the Pear...previously mentioned allergy, I just feel uneasy for a few minutes after enCOUNTering that fucking number).

So yeah, there's Mr Filth, Mr Valo, the hugely entertaining 'legendary, even in Hell' Doug Bradley, Sarah Jezebel Deva - of whom there is disappointingly little on this album - and the blonder-than-Blondie Dirty Harry.

Which leads me to my main complaint.

The final track on the album is a cover of Heaven 17's Temptation. Now don't get wrong, it's a decent enough pop song, and Cradle have made a very likable version of it, but it doesn't belong on here. It belongs on next year's inevitable 'Thornography' re-issue!!!!!!!!

But seriously, it just doesn't fit on a full length Cradle Of Filth album, and it just seems tacked onto the end, which I frankly suspect that it was. It's an obvious choice of single - just listen to those hooks! - and I'm fairly certain that it wasn't on the original album tracklist, so I reckon that it was a last minute tacking job. This slightly dampens the effect of penultimate track Under Huntress Moon, which would have made a superb album closer.

Mixed by the great Andy Sneap!

8. 10,000 Days

When Tool released Lateralus in 2001, I was completely blown away by its epic awesomeness. Whenever I heard it I kept thinking, Surely they can't ever beat this? Every Tool release is a marked progression from the previous one, but surely they couldn't possibly take their distinctive sound and style any further?

Well no, they couldn't, and I didn't really expect it either.

Tool like to fuck with their fans' minds. It's that whole Third Eye business I think. When '10,000 Days' revealed itself to the world through the medium of the internet (in other words, it was leaked), Tool fans were left perplexed. They didn't believe that it was genuine, partly because they thought that the album and song titles were 'gay ass', that the album cover was 'lame' and that the music itself simply seemed to sound like an amalgamation of the previous two albums, one of which I've already mentioned, and I won't link to the other one as I can't be bothered working out what its proper exact title is.

Anyway, if I am to criticise Tool's latest platter in a negative way, it would be that, as I have already stated, it's really not much new. For most bands, that wouldn't necessarily be a particular problem, but this is Tool, a band that has continually evolved until now. However, like I said, they were never gonna beat 'Lateralus', and I do respect them for at least trying.

'10,000 Days' is in fact a highly enjoyable record, which showcases the band's typically outstanding musicianship. Perhaps the best example of this is the slow-burning double-headed centrepiece Wings for Marie (Part 1)/10,000 Days (Wings Part 2). Maynard James Keenan wrote the song/s about his deceased, religious mother Judith Marie, a figure who will be familiar to any fans of A Perfect Circle. Along with songs like Jambi and The Pot, it represents the stunning creative peak of what is a solid progressive metal album.

The only question is, what the hell will their next album be like when it emerges in 4 or 6 years' time?

Oh yeah, there is one other question...what's all this about re-arranging some of the tracks to reveal some 'crazy' hidden cleverness? Am I still sane? I'd check myself, but I left my 'sanity towel' on the...ceiling. Teehee.

7. Meds

I don't usually comment on people's appearances but Brian Molko has been gradually losing his hair ever since Placebo first brought their androgynous looks and songs about sex and drugs and shit on to the music scene about 11 years ago. He still looked pretty good during the Black Market Music era, but his newly-shaved head, alas, does not suit him at all. But never mind that, he's still great at writing songs, although he did trail off slightly in that respect somewhere around the time of Sleeping with Ghosts.

'Meds' sees Molko and the other two return to top form, with an album that rivals the debut, Placebo, and its follow-up release, the masterful Without You I'm Nothing. Every song is a gem, which is more than can be said for either of the previous two albums, and I can safely say that the band were truly inspired when they were working on this one.

Like Cradle Of Filth, Placebo used a couple of extra vocalists to help them out, and in both instances with very successful results. The title track features Alison Mosshart of The Kills, while Broken Promise utilises R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe for a dark tale of adultery, which wouldn't have been half as good if the band had chosen a heterosexual female to sing Stipe's parts. Elsewhere, the likes of Infra-Red, Follow the Cops Back Home, In the Cold Light of Morning and A Song to Say Goodbye provide stunning highlights, and some of the best Placebo tracks in many years.

Incidentally, in contrast to certain other bands that I could mention, Placebo were not very good at all at Leeds. Maybe I was just discombobulated by Molko's new look, and the fact that it took me about 4 or 6 minutes to actually recognise him, or maybe it was the sound problems. Or maybe it was the fact that the band didn't seem to want to be there.

6. Peeping Tom

Ah, now here’s a chance for me to greatly increase the number of people checking out this tedious journal entry by linking to various different artists pages. However, I won’t be linking to individual songs for this album. It would take me far too long to get all the ‘feat...’ bits right, what with all these bloody guest musicians.

Former Mr. Bungle, Faith No More and current Fantômas and Tomahawk frontman, solo artist and collaborator with the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The X-Ecutioners, Björk and Kaada, among many others - erm, his name’s Mike Patton - has this year released an album has been in the works for several thousand years - amazing, considering that Patton was born in 1968. The album features Dan the Automator, Odd Nosdam, ’beatbox champion of the world’ Rahzel, Amon Tobin, Kool Keith, Jel, Massive Attack, Bebel Gilberto, Kid Koala, Doseone, Norah Jones and Dub Trio. Yes, that is a lot of people.

Surely then, with all these different voices and sounds, the album is an unfocused mess? That idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Patton and friends have cooked up a fine mix of pop, rock, hip-hop, trip-hop, jazz, latin jazz, electro, soul and countless other styles, and managed to turn it all into an extremely coherent record. It sounds like it was all recorded live in one room in the space of an hour, with all the musicians enjoying the best party in history. However, that’s not how it happened. It was actually recorded at various parts of the world - depending where the musicians actually were at the time - over the course of who knows how many years, and the tracks were sent between musicians across the world via email.

Regarding the ‘pop’ style in relation to this record...well it’s about the catchiest record that Mike Patton Patton has ever made, even more so than The Real Thing. The man himself was quoted as saying about the album...I don't listen to the radio, but if I did, this is what I'd want it to sound like. This is my version of pop music. In a way, this is an exercise for me: taking all these things I've learned over the years and putting them into a pop format."

Listening to ’Peeping Tom’, it’s not hard to see why Patton is so popular.

5. On an Island

I’m currently 21 years of age. I’m a working class lad. I’m poor. I’m lonely. I’m miserable. I don’t get out much. I can’t remember the last time I had a proper holiday. I occasionally sell old CDs and books that I don’t need anymore. That’s me.

David Gilmour is currently 60 years of age. He’s now what you might call an ’upper class old chap’. He’s very, very rich. He’s got a wife and kids. He’s happy. He goes out for long walks in the country. He goes on holidays on islands. He sold his mansion and gave every penny that he got in return to charity. That’s him.

‘On An Island’ is pretty much an account of that last paragraph, and yet I reckon that it’s the 5th best album in all of 2006. Why? Well, musically it’s everything and more that you would expect from the Pink Floyd man Gilmour. I’d like to interject at this point in the middle of a paragraph and say that Gilmour is better than Roger Waters by quite a long way. There. Anyway, yeah, I’m a big Floyd fan, so why shouldn’t I like it musically? Actually, Gilmour, as with Mike Patton, has collaborated with several thousand other musicians here, but I really can’t be arsed writing out another list. The phrase ‘can’t be arsed’ seems to continually sum up my life and yet Gilmour - 39 years my senior if I’m still living up to the Maths GCSE which I was forced to earn if I wanted to study something that was actually interesting or in any significant way relevant, really can be arsed. Sure, he may not release too many records these days, but then he doesn’t need to. He’s certainly made an effort here. He’s really gone to town with the arrangements and orchestration which can be heard on tracks like the dreamy opener Castellorizon and the blissful closing track
Where We Start.

And about those lyrics. Good for him. Despite being a rich bastard he actually seems to be a really nice guy, so he deserves every ounce of happiness that he get his wrinkly hands on. Listen to him soloing on ‘Castellorizon’ and On an Island...seriously this guy is out of this world, and he doesn’t seem to have lost any of his talent over the years, which is a rare thing.

‘Dreamy’ is a good word to describe album actually. It all feels like you’re floating on a pile of fluffy white clouds, with the exception of the strident Take a Breath - which reminds me of tracks like Have a Cigar and Run Like Hell - and the bluesy, aging millionaire atheist anthem This Heaven.

The album was in fact released on Gilmour’s 60th birthday. He is fully aware that he is aging rapidly, as we all are, and the death this year of his old friend and Floyd bandmate (for about 5 minutes) Syd Barrett must have been particularly sobering for him as he reaches where most of us are planning our retirement. But that’s something that he doesn’t need to do. He probably hasn’t worked in nearly 40 years, and music is something he does as and when he feels like it. The thing is that, if he keeps releasing stuff at his current rate, then this might just be the last album he ever makes. If it is, then he’ll have gone out on a high.

4. The Eraser

‘The Eraser’ isn’t the best album released this year, but it might be the most important. Thom Yorke is a genius. There is no question about that. I think most would agree, even if a lot of people don’t like him. It’s because of this that he’s been able to release an album full of songs like ‘Harrowdown Hill’ - written about the fallen (or should that be ‘pushed’?) Dr. David Kelly - and have it be almost universally praised. Of course, there will always be ignorant twats who can’t POSSIBLY like anything with a noise in it that they wouldn’t know how to make, or anything that isn’t about either girls, boys, girls AND boys, sex toys, being gay, feces, urine or the genitalia of either sex. But fear not, because those people are slowly and very quietly changing their minds.

I always find it interesting when musicians release a solo album after being in a band, because it usually shows what kind of an influence he or she had on that band and their music. In this case, it seems that Yorke is at least 75% of Radiohead. Johnny Greenwood’s astonishing arrangements aside, the band’s music these days is mostly about beats and bleeps, morose jazz and funky basslines, with occasional forays into the ‘alternative rock’ of their earlier albums. That’s a pretty accurate describe of ’The Eraser’, apart from the rock bit. And the morose jazz bit. In fact, if you hadn’t known that it was Thom Yorke, you’d have sworn that it was Radiohead.

At first listen, the album quite impenetrable. There is a lot of bleeping and - more so than on any Radiohead album - very little reliance on melody. At least that’s how it seems at first. After a few listens, lilting melodies seem to reveal themselves from every corner, nook and cranny, crack and crevice. Songs like ‘Harrowdown Hill’, Analyse, Black Swan and Cymbal Rush all display beautiful and idiosyncratic melodies that should have you singing along.

I have to say that, while it may not quite live up to the standards of most Radiohead albums, it’s a hugely satisfying record. It may be very much of it’s time - global warming and the environment in general are prevalent themes - and yet I feel that it will only become more relevant in years to come. It’s an awesome album, and will prove to be an enduring one. It’s an instant classic in my book, as are the next three albums in this list.

Yorke claims that the 9 songs that make up the album were made when he was bored. He’s taking the piss.

3. A Line of Deathless Kings

If you’re a member of My Dying Bride’s official message board, you might know me as MySanityDoesFly, a pseudonym which is no way reflective my own state of mind. No way at all. Which reminds me, I must get my sanity towel back down from the ceiling. Anyway, you’ll also know that there has been a mass debate on t’forum about this new album, with some very polarised opinions indeed.

While it’s not their best album - and only one album can hold that title - it is definitely a great one, and I would say that if any album is the quintessential My Dying Bride album. Musically, I can’t fault it. Apart from a similar production to that from the previous 2 albums, Songs of Darkness, Words of Light and The Dreadful Hours, it sounds quite a lot like almost everything they’ve done before, which, as with the Pearl Jam album, is...oh my God, here we go again!!! Back in a bit.

...


OK. I’ve had enough of this. Maybe I should kill that band, so I don’t have to say of hear those 2 words together again. Sure, everyone would be talking about them for quite a while afterwards, but I could always just take a permanent residence on the toilet for a week or so until it all blows over.

Anyway, as I was saying a while ago, it’s a good thing that the album sounds like their previous work. It’s somehow more satisfying than most of the other albums, even if it isn’t quite as good as some of them. A lot of people will disagree with this, although the album seems to have grown on just about everyone, but every song is incredible and pretty thrilling.

One of the main criticisms that it has had is that the lyrics are surprisingly uninspired. OK, they may not be Aaron Stainthorpe’s most adventurous or original - and that’s probably be he wrote them all over the course of 2 days - but as I hear it, they aren’t tired or cliched, but somehow enhance the mood of the songs. They are easy to understand, while still being poetic. They’re very powerful in the way that they engage perfectly with the music. For example, Deeper Down clearly describes the descent of a man’s soul and spirit, although those are both essentially abstract notions. The song also clearly hints at suicide by drowning. It’s not a happy song. In fact it’s about as miserable as anybody else could manage to write themselves. Musically, the song gets gradually more and more doomy. It’s starts with heavy power chord-based riffs and moves on to some sinister-sounding guitar harmonies, before finally descending into unbearably slow and murky torture (I mean that in a good way). ‘A Line Of Deathless Kings’ is moody as hell.

Another popular criticism is the song titles. I Cannot Be Loved, Loves Intolerable Pain...most of these sound like Morrissey and/or The Smiths song titles. Well, guess what? I like Morrissey and the Smiths, so that doesn’t bother me at all. My Dying Bride’s music is bleak to say the least, and I think some of these titles represent a sense of humour that has only previously been heard in tracks like Heroin Chic or Base Level Erotica.

Another popular criticism is the lack of ‘death’ vocals. It’s true that most of the vocals are clean, but that never did The Angel and the Dark River or Like Gods of the Sun any harm, did it? No, it certainly fucking didn’t.

Another popular criticism is the lack of keyboard parts. It’s true that most of the keyboard parts are not at the forefront, but that never did As the Flower Withers any harm, did it? No, it certainly fucking didn’t. Frankly, who cares? As long as the songs are good, it doesn’t matter one bit. Like any good band, My Dying Bride have always only used what was needed, when it was needed. Granted, poor Sarah Stanton always looks a bit bored on stage - which is understandable, as she’s only actually playing about half the time - but metal just doesn’t rely that heavily on keyboards. Maybe she should take up the violin.

Despite the fact that I’ve just spent a lot of my ever-diminishing time explaining why I think that this album is the quintessential My Dying Bride release, there are some new things on there too. Some of the riffs are different for the band, while not being Earth-shatteringly original either. The main thing I want to mention here though is significant improvement in Stainthorpe’s voice. He’s always been a competent clean vocalist, but his main vocal strength has previously been with the barking. This time though, some of his vocals are angelic and sublime, with a newfound clarity, and his range seems to have improved too.

‘A Line Of Deathless Kings’ is essential My Dying Bride.

2. A Matter of Life and Death

In most other years, this would have been number 1. I’m a massive Iron Maiden fan, and ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’ has thrilled me since its release. In Manchester on December 14th, as they have done on every other date on the tour, Maiden played the entire album from start to finish. Yes, that’s 70+ minutes of entirely new material. And they got away with it. Apart from a very small minority who kept shouting “The Trooper!” - well, no, they didn’t shout ‘Iron Maiden - The Trooper’, just “THE TROOOOOOOPPPEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” - everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, loved it. Gig of the year. Band of they year. But not album of the year. And that’s not to say that the album has any faults, because it doesn’t, as far as I’m concerned. It’s the perfect album that Maiden could have made in 2006.

The first track is Different World, which is in the same upbeat vain as the previous two album openers, Wildest Dreams and The Wicker Man. But is it really upbeat? Well yes. And no. Half the lyrics seem to suggest that, y’know, life isn’t easy, but we should make the most of it while we can. But then there’s the bits that say, ‘Hang on, what the hell is happening here? I mean what the fuck are we doing with the world, really? It’s all really confusing.’ But Out of the Shadows is the real ‘odd one out’ here, as Bruce Dickinson had it in Manchester, and probably everywhere else. It’s the only 100% positive song on the entire album, and it’s kind of...a celebration of life, I guess. At least, the life of the carefree multi-millionaire British rock star.

The rest of the album deals with the more prominent dark side of life. War, religion. Well yeah, those two words sum it all up really. For the Greater Good of God would be one of the standouts if only all 10 songs weren’t genius. It’s an epic track, as are most of them, about the hypocrisy of world leaders who use religion as a weapon of war. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns is, like, totally awesome. It’s about nuclear war and the Atomic Age. It’s probably the only song in history that features Einstein’s ‘e=mc2’ in its lyrics without me wanting to punch the singer. Incidentally, the song is almost certainly the heaviest song that Maiden have ever made. Yes, even heavier than Powerslave, released some 22 years earlier. It’s actually quite brutal.

This brings me on to another point. The band claim that they are not a metal band anymore. They are a progressive rock band. Sure, it’s a very progressive album, but it’s also a damn heavy one, featuring quite a few of the heaviest songs they’ve done. It’s only really ‘Out Of The Shadows’ and the brilliant album closer The Legacy that aren’t in the slightest heavy, and even that last one IS.

I have to talk more about ’The Legacy’ actually. It’s genius. I’m not the biggest fan of Janick Gers. Don’t get me wrong, he’s amazing, but when you’re playing guitar in a band with Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, you just can’t win. However, he’s really written a masterpiece with this one, along with the mighty Steve Harris, of course. It’s mostly an acoustic based song, and yet another epic. It starts with haunting Baroque-period guitar, and an eerie, lulling nursery rhyme melody. Then later, we get these huge electric guitars coming in, before the song truly explodes. We end with just the acoustic guitar again, and it’s a stunning ending to a stunning album.

The guys in the band are all around 50 years old. Iron Maiden the band is about 30 years old. They’ve always been intelligent, but there’s always been a playfulness to their music as well. Since Dickinson and Smith returned at the turn of the century though, that playfulness is more or less gone, though they all still seem to have the energy of 20 year olds. Dare I say it, they are now properly ‘mature’, in sound and in mind. They’ve always dealt with serious issues, but now it somehow seems like they mean it more than ever.

Iron Maiden are deadly serious, and if you’re not listening, you should be.

1. Monotheist

OK, so that was a pretty glowing review there for Maiden, wasn’t it? What could possibly have bettered it in 2006? Only one album that I’m aware of.

Celtic Frost have been away for a long time, but after 14 years, they have returned with ’Monotheist’, undoubtedly the greatest comeback since Harold from ‘Neighbours’.

Two words that I used for the Maiden album were ‘brutal’ and ‘heavy’. Yes, the album is both of those things, but 'Monotheist' makes it sound like James Blunt by comparison. Even the haunting closer, the entirely orchestral Triptych: Winter (Requiem, Chapter Three: Finale), is brutal and heavy. It’s the final part in Celtic Frost’s very own requiem, the second part of which hasn’t been made yet, bizarrely enough. It’s also the closing track of triptych that concludes ‘Monotheist’ - the best track of which is the second, Triptych: Synagoga Satanae, which is just astonishing, and features the vocals of Satyr from Satyricon.

Celtic Frost are often considered to be a death metal or a black metal. While those elements are here, it’s first and foremost a doom metal album, if you want to categorise everything like one of those annoying journalists just have to have a name for everything to make it seem like they know more about music than you do. It’s got bags of long, slow and drawn-out riffs and Crowley references to be sacrificed as part of a satanic ritual for.

Actually, this album review is gonna turn out pretty short, ain’t it? For the best album of the year? I just can’t think of enough adjectives to describe it without repeating myself (I never do that, do I?!). I think the best thing to do is to ask you nicely...nah, fuck it, I’ll just order you...to listen to it. If you’ve already heard it, you know how immense it is, and if you don’t know how immense it is, you should listen to it again, because this ain’t exactly easy listening (especially if you’ve had 8 cans of Guinness and a bit of vodka and are about to vomit your pasta up all over the carpet). Whether you’ve heard it or not, listen to it right now, if possible. That’s what I’m doing.

By the way, I really want to see Celtic Frost with Kreator in Bradford in March. Is anyone prepared to offer me a bed or a floor for the night? It’s the difference between me going and not going. Cheers.

PLAY LOUD

...


Albums that would have been good enough to have made the list had there not been other, better albums released in 2006...

Revelations
Saturday Night Wrist
Ballad of the Broken Seas
The Great Western
Rio Grande Blood
Black Holes and Revelations
I Killed The Zeitgeist
On Leaving
Stadium Arcadium
Educated Horses
Christ Illusion
Come What(ever) May


Albums that might well have made the list had I actually heard them...

St. Elsewhere
Living With War
Amputechture

...


Well, if you read all that, kill yourself because your life isn’t worth living. What that says for me, who actually sat here and typed it all out, I’m not quite sure. 5,526 words!

By the way, this has taken me three days to complete. It’s now January 1st, 2007. If it any point I have used the words ‘this year’, then you should read that as ‘last year’. Thanks.

Like my 'unique' brand of 'humourous' review writing? Then pay Mark Prindle a visit and get educated!!!


Matt

Commenti

  • ad_nauseam

    That was a very enjoyable read, not least because I recognised conversations we've had and references to gigs and a certain description pertaining to an incident of Bacchanalian Hallowe'en revelry. I hope this stays up for many years, to help me remember the best bits of 2006. But that's just because you're my brother, I really don't know how this is helping your genetic interests...

    Gen 1 2007, 22:20
  • adriansmith

    Good list! I can agree with most of it

    Gen 7 2007, 0:01
  • PEiPHatesYou

    I didn't really like a matter of life and death. It was way too religion centered, and you can't really deny that dickinson's vocals aren't up to par with what he could do in the 80's.

    Feb 17 2007, 6:24
  • Blessedheart

    Well, I guess the religious thing is down to preference. Bruce's vocals though, while perhaps not quite up to the strength of the 80s material, are still fantastic for his age. And you have to bear in mind that the 80s was 20 years ago! Matt

    Feb 17 2007, 12:47
  • Stubbsy67

    Incidentally, the song [Brighter than a thousand suns] is almost certainly the heaviest song that Maiden have ever made You really think? I'm not disagreeing with you, I've just never really thought of it as being that heavy. But then, I guess I've never really considered which Iron Maiden song is the heaviest. I agree with just about every word you wrote in your AMOLAD review though, nice job! I really love the album, it took me quite a long time to get into compared to most of the other albums, but I think this can be put down to lengthy compositions are fairly simular sounding songs. That doesn't mean I'm accusing Iron Maiden of writing the same song 10 times like Nickelback do, but I think most would agree that most songs have the same feel to them. I haven't really read any of the other reviews because I don't know the artists so well, though I've been considering getting hold of Meds. I'll be back. Ps - I feel like I know you from the amount of song shoutboxs I see you in! As someone once pointed out (I think on the Prowler page) you really are in every good song's shoutbox!

    Mar 29 2007, 10:39
  • Blessedheart

    Yes, I am ubiquitous ;) I guess the heaviness thing depends on how you define it. For me, the dynamic range in that song is actually quite brutal, especially at the moment when the distorted guitars and full band kick in for the first time. The whole thing is just performed with so much passion and intensity, it's unbelievable! As for Meds, I would highly recommend it. I don't know if you've heard any other Placebo albums, but this one definitely ranks among their best. Matt

    Mar 29 2007, 17:58
  • Maeldun

    Seeing your review of the year made me want to listen to some 2006 classics. I'm not that much into metal anymore, and i still have a whole lot of Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam and Tool to catch up with to be able to comment on their latest releases, but I couldn't disagree with you more on Meds. It striked me as dull and formulaic on the first listen, and a complete waste of time, in comparison to Without You I'm Nothing or Placebo. I returned to it months later, hearing that Placebo was coming in to promote their album over here in a concert, and i did find it later an ok-listen. Brian Molko has lost a lot in song-writing, yes. In my opinion, although obvious, he's trying to stay away from the excess and androgyny that characterized him in other years. The shorter hair and lack of make-up means he's finally derailed back into a man. I heard that he's now happily married and has a child. Meds is a more mature album because of that, but in this case it means lack of originality and passion put into the music. Or maybe i just don't like what he's got to say anymore. Sure, Broken Promise is interesting, and Meds, Infra-Red and Drag all sound pretty nice, but they can't compare to Summer's Gone or Slave to the Wage. And the rest of the album sounds pretty much like standard 00's filler rock to me. I for one was really disappointed in the album. I can agree with you on The Eraser, though. Can't wait for the new Radiohead album. I hope it's epic.

    Mag 10 2007, 16:24
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