Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow *

Let's see, there's snow, precipitation, flurries, flakes, um...sleet?

Anyways I don't know why I bother. Is this even on that other site's radar? They weren't sold on Kate Bush's last original album (6.4), and I know nothing about this one so have nothing to go on.

In fact I know very little about Kate Bush other than the big songs off Hounds of Love. Remember the video for Cloudbusting, with Donald Sutherland? Awesome! I'm not ashamed to say I still play Running Up That Hill and Cloudbusting on occasion.

According to Wikipedia, Rolling Stone says this new album "finds a universe of emotions in its wintery theme – a sort of virtual snowglobe..."

Seriously! Guess the editor was off that day. That sounds fucking stupid!

I'm going to throw out a 7.2. That's pretty average.

Actual rating: 8.5. Point differential: 1.3.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Los Campesinos

One of the Campesinos told me via twitter that my website idea is terrible. Hey! Who died and made you an expert on website ideas!

But the comment (heartless and cowardly as it was) began a period of serious self-reflection on my part. And I'm pleased to say I have emerged from this period as a much stronger person.

It would be easy to pack it in, knowing how Los Campesinos! feels about my website, but that wouldn't be fair. It would leave a huge hole in the Pitchfork-rating-prediction area. There are people out there - three daily unique-page-views worth of people - who rely on me for what I do. I can't leave them lost like newborn puppies to search out other sources of album rating predictions. There are no such other sources.

So I'm going to keep doing what I do. And if Los Campesinos! doesn't like it, well, that's too bad. Deal with it. Stop obsessing already!

In the meantime I was off by 0.1 on the band's new album! Pretty good!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Fucked that up! I was way off. I wouldn't make a good music reviewer obviously. I'm not objective enough.

That's why I do what I do.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tommy Stinson

Just wanted to recommend the latest album from Tommy Stinson to my tens of readers. It's called One Man Mutiny.

Here's a link to arguably the best post-Replacements song. And here's a cool live version.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

R.E.M. - Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011 *

I used to love this band so much back in the day. It was my first taste of "alternative" (along with the Violent Femmes), and I still pull out the old "LPs" once a year or so.

But I never got over what happened in the 90s.

While I do think fans of R.E.M. are usually pre-Out of Time or post-Out of Time (barring the few songs from Document and Green that were played to death), Out of Time isn't the band's worst album from the 90s, in my opinion.

Out of Time was actually pretty good once you got over a few songs. It was still "alternative" music. If you think back, alternative hadn't quite become mainstream at that point and there were enough indecipherable lyrics and jangly guitars on the album that it still had a passing resemblance to the R.E.M. of old. Yes Losing My Religion made the band huge the same way Stand made it huge in 1989. But it was still modern rock, not mainstream rock. I'm not one of those insufferable fools who will say "Shiny Happy People killed R.E.M."

Automatic for the People was more of the same for me. It was the anti-grunge R.E.M. There was more crap on there, but no more or less than what was on Out of Time.

What really killed R.E.M. in my opinion was Monster. I bought it, listened to it exactly twice, and have never played it again. Then the insufferable E-Bow the Letter came out from New Adventures in Hi-Fi and I was officially done with R.E.M. Hard to believe that was 15 years ago.

Which brings us to now and what is apparently the final R.E.M. release - a greatest hits compilation of sorts. One convenient release for fans of what I call the Two R.E.M.s - pre-Out of Time and post-Out of Time.

I wouldn't buy this release, simply because I intentionally didn't buy most of the albums represented on the second disc, and everything I want on the first disc I already have. Plus, even the early parts of the band's career are not well represented on this one. If you're reading this and you are seriously thinking of buying an R.E.M. compilation, buy the one that came out in 2006 that focuses more thoroughly on the band's early years.

However I will happily predict the rating this one will get on that other site. It's easy actually: it will be 7.8.

Actual rating: 9.4. Point differential: 1.6. Oops!


Thursday, November 03, 2011

Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness *

I have been digging Sirius XM U for the past couple of months, where this band's new singles have had the shit played out of them. It's reaching a point where I'm getting sick of the new one (By Your Hand), but you can't deny the poignancy of a line like "I'm not sure if it's love anymore, but I've been thinking of you fondly for sure."

Anyways these guys are as typically indie as you can get - they have more than the normal number of band members, they share last names, and there are boys AND girls in the band. Crazy. These factors and more likely explain the love from Pitchfork. The band's three albums all hover around the 8.3 mark over at that other site.

Why mess with a good thing?

Let's say 8.1 and go get a coffee.

Actual rating: 8.0. Point differential: 0.1.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Atlas Sound - Parallax *

Y'ever see Walk Hard? It's one of my favourite movies. "You don't want none of this dirty old Cox."

Anyways this guy Bradford Cox is like hipster-indie royalty. I have the first album he threw together as Atlas Sound. I like it. It's good. And I'm not just saying that to impress you.

PF really liked it too, blessing it with an 8.6 when it was released. It gave the next album an 8.2. Both received the coveted "Best New Music" label.

There will be more of the same for the new one. We're predicting an 8.4 around these parts.

Actual rating: 8.7. Point differential: 0.3.


Justin Bieber - Under the Mistletoe

PF won't review this. We all know it. But the people are asking what I think, and I hate to disappoint the people. They are the reason I'm here, doing what I do with remarkable irregularity.

Let's just say 3.3.