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Tim "Tim" (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

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FFS - Digipack
FFS - Digipack
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For flip's sake, it's FFS!, 21 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FFS - Digipack (Audio CD)
After the initial rumblings a decade ago, Sparks' collaborative album with the popular Scottish indie rock group Franz Ferdinand finally exists! After years of mostly (synthetic) orchestral music, hearing Sparks rocking with a tight band again is an absolute joy. And FF singer Alex Kapranos' vocals and songwriting contributions is a great element and they all have an undeniable chemistry together. Highlights include the glorious Ron Mael-penned Piss Off (which sounds like a Propaganda outtake!), the multi-sectioned epic Collaborations Don't Work (which sounds sounds like a Hello Young Lovers outtake!) and the rocking Police Encounters. This collaboration does work!


The Terror
The Terror
Price: £7.50

2.0 out of 5 stars The Flaming Lips don't control the controls, 20 July 2015
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
A lot of stuff happened in The Flaming Lips camp between The Terror and previous album Embryonic. Frontman Wayne Coyne split with his partner of 20+ years and chief instrumentalist Steven Drozd briefly relapsed into heroin use. Embryonic already showed the band developing something darker than their generally uplifting, positive music of the '90s and '00s and The Terror shows the band journeying even further into the heart of darkness. Cold buzzing synths dominate proceedings with no songs standing out. To emphasize this lack of song-driven coherence, the iTunes version of the album came with a bonus track of the entire album in a single file. I rarely listen to this album but for the band to make such a 360° turn from their most commercially successful material 30 years in should be applauded. Now, where will they go next?


Embryonic [Standard]
Embryonic [Standard]
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not The Flaming Lips' last stand, 16 July 2015
This review is from: Embryonic [Standard] (Audio CD)
After 8 years of the Yoshimi show, The Flaming Lips were in danger of becoming stale. Thankfully, Embryonic provided a much-needed shake-up. A dark, meandering pysch album which makes up with sonic adventure what it lacks in structure. Although the whole thing sounds like a 70 minute long jam session, some songs stick their heads up from the racket - the bleepy opener Convinced Of The Hex, the abrasive See The Planets and the silly I Can Be A Frog (the only time they let their guard down, albeit slightly), which features Karen O making animal noises. Wayne Coyne's vocals are no longer warm and friendly and it's easily the least inviting music they'd made to this point. It's certainly not my most played Lips album (i'm a pop guy at heart) but I do enjoy it when i'm in the mood and I appreciate them pushing forward in a new direction this late into their career.


In a Priest Driven Ambulance
In a Priest Driven Ambulance
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars This is my perfect dream world, 15 July 2015
Wow, where did this come from? Easily the best Flaming Lips album on release and it still stands high in their now massive discography. Wayne sounds closer to the warm, quivery guy-next-door we all know and love and new guitarist Jonathan Donahue (of Mercury Rev fame) adds a delicious layer of feedback over all the songs. From the brilliant opener Shine On Sweet Jesus (with it's melody surely 'borrowed' from Do They Know It's Christmas?) to the gorgeous indie rock reading of What A Wonderful World that closes, this is a near perfect LP.


Telepathic Surgery
Telepathic Surgery

3.0 out of 5 stars Play Telepathic Surgery right now, 15 July 2015
This review is from: Telepathic Surgery (Audio CD)
This album is notable for containing the Lips' first attempts at sonic experimentation, the best example being the 23 minute-long centrepiece Hell's Angel's Cracker Factory with it's motorcycle revving-sampling, backwards vocals et al. But there's some amazing rockers too - Redneck School Of Technology (one of my all-time favourite Flaming Lips songs!), the sterling opener Drug Machine In Heaven and the discordant Right Now. Telepathic Surgery is a good record that's unfortunately overshadowed by the brilliance that came immediately before (Oh My Gawd!!!) and after (In A Priest Driven Ambulance). Ignore at your peril.


Oh My Gawd!
Oh My Gawd!
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £28.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Take this brother, may it serve you well..., 9 July 2015
This review is from: Oh My Gawd! (Audio CD)
Sonically this isn't much of a leap forward from Hear It Is but songwise it's definitely a stronger album. The rockers such as the opening salvo Everything's Explodin', the trippy The Ceiling Is Bendin' and the Disney-sampling Can't Stop The Spring are all exhilarating. There's also probably the first 'beautiful' moment on a Flaming Lips record - the piano-led Love Yer Brain (well, it's beautiful until they audibly smash up the piano at the end!). One of the best albums from their 'indie' days.


Hear It Is
Hear It Is
Offered by roundMediaUK
Price: £9.15

3.0 out of 5 stars Hear it is, the first Flaming Lips album, 9 July 2015
This review is from: Hear It Is (Audio CD)
The Flaming Lips started life as an enthusiastic garage band. Hear It Is - their 1986 debut album contains some quality songs such as the classic quiet-loud-quiet (a year before the Pixies' first record!) Jesus Shootin' Heroin, the punky Charlie Manson Blues and the slowy Godzilla Flick. It may scare away fans of Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots but this is a fun LP for those who enjoy the group's more straight forward 'rock' moments.


The Third Eye Centre
The Third Eye Centre
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Push Barman To Open Old Wounds part 2, 9 July 2015
This review is from: The Third Eye Centre (Audio CD)
A bit of a missed opportunity, this. A sequel of sorts to Push Barman To Open Old Wounds, this time compiling the Rough Trade-era non-album material. The problems are - there's quite a few omissions, it isn't in chronological order and the would-be highlight Your Cover's Blown is represented by an inferior remix. And, to put it bluntly, the b sides/rare tracks from this time simply aren't as strong as the ones from 1997-2001. Still, the bouncing, joyous The Life Pursuit - the title track that never was, is one of my favourite B&S songs and Your Secrets is nice in an old school way. Not essential but if you didn't buy all the singles, it was a decent stopgap before the glorious comeback of Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance.


Push Barman to Open Old Wounds [2CD Set]
Push Barman to Open Old Wounds [2CD Set]
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Belle & Sebastian get their fingers dirty at the school of rock, 8 July 2015
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Under a stupid title and mediocre artwork typical of their later records lies some of the greatest songs Belle & Sebastian ever recorded. You see, between 1997 and 2001 B&S released a steady stream of non-LP singles/EPs and all of them are compiled here. The first 3 EPs (all released in 1997, incredibly) that make up the first disc are B&S at their absolute peak - songs such as the sparse Dog On Wheels, the Morricone-tinged ode to the dole walking life String Bean Jean and the indie dancefloor classic Lazy Line Painter Jane. Although not as consistent, the 1998-2001 EPs and singles on the second disc also contain some gems such as the awesome synth-led instrumental Judy Is A Dick Slap and the groovy Stevie Jackson-sung Jonathan David. Proof, if needed, that B&S didn't always put their best songs on their albums.


Tigermilk
Tigermilk
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Belle & Sebastian rule the school, 24 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Tigermilk (Audio CD)
Tigermilk was released in 1996 in about the most low-key way possible - 1000 copies on the record label of a local college attended by the group's drummer Richard Colburn. Few heard it then but after the popularity generated by their next two albums, it was given a wider release in 1999. From the gentle opener The State That I Am In to the woodwind-driven closer Mary Jo, it's still one of B&S' greatest LPs. The lyrics are all grounded in a discernible reality and with songs such as Expectations, which perfectly sums up the experience of being bullied in high school, it speaks perfectly to the kind of 'outsiders' (for want of a better word) who were initially attracted to the band. And as Belle & Sebastian arrived with their aesthetic fully formed, Tigermilk is as good a place as any to start exploring their now quite large discography.


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