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Eli "Eli" (Oxford)

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Person Pitch
Person Pitch
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £5.69

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitch Perfect, 23 Feb 2007
This review is from: Person Pitch (Audio CD)
Starting what is sure to be a phenomenal year for everything Animal Collective related, Person Pitch by AC drummer Panda Bear is the first essential album of 2007. His previous solo LP, Young Prayer -all acoustic strumming and moaning, all tracks untitled- bears little resemblence to this: a stunning cacophony of reverb-soaked Beach Boys harmonies that just melt into your conscious, impossibly upbeat and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The standout track, though hard to choose, is Bros, a twelve minute waterfall of beautiful noise that sucks you in until you're singing along to words you can barely understand amid the crashing guitars and loops. Completely unique.

Night Ripper
Night Ripper
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £15.90

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head-explodingly good, 24 Jan 2007
This review is from: Night Ripper (Audio CD)
OK, first off, ignore the other dude's review. If you have an unslakeable desire for clever recontextualisation, look elsewhere. This album is a banger from start to finish, not something you listen to with a glass of cotes du rhone. It's an unbeatable party mix c/o non-DJ Gregg Gillis, over a hundred killer samples sewn together in under an hour, the perfect mix for todays ADD afflicted youth. Mashups aren't usually a lasting source of enjoyment, but Night Ripper has a rythmn and flow that makes it really feel like a proper album despite the frankenstein reality of its creation. It won't last forever, but you'll be able to wear out a copy before mashups aren't cool anymore.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2011 4:49 PM GMT

Boys And Girls In America
Boys And Girls In America
Price: £17.90

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We had some massive nights...., 8 Dec 2006
If you were to scan over Craig Finn's lyrics detailing the youth of America's massive nights of sex, drugs, and getting 'messed up on the music', you might think Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady's third album in as many years, is a cautionary tale. Listen to the album, though, and you'll find the tales of drunken kids transformed by Tad Kubler's music into an air-punching celebration of what it is to be young and stupid.

This is an incredible example of words and music merging so perfectly together, colliding, contrasting, expanding and complimenting each other like on no other rock album I've heard in many a year. Whatever reservations you may have about Finn's nasal monotone, this is rock through and through. He's learned to sing (better) since Seperation Sunday, with the music instead of on top of it, immeasurably helping his stories really become songs (not to mention the inclusion of 'whoa whoa whoa' choruses).

The material is similar to SS but the scope is much larger. Heartbreaking stories of trying to fit in even when you know you can't such as 'You Can Make Him Like You' and teenage missions of getting high and wasted for the hell of it are here in spades, but Finn's brilliant lyricism and Kubler's cribbing of Thin Lizzy power chords celebrate and elevate the boys and girls' sad time together to become anthems you've known your whole life. It's not all fist-pumping stuff, the slow piano of 'First Night' is beautiful and the quieter 'Citrus' is also a wonderful moment. Boys and Girls is nostalgic, contemporary, beat, and hugely refreshing in a rock landscape where self-consciousness and irony stretch for miles around.

The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) [DVD]
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Billy Bob Thornton|Frances McDormand|Michael Badalucco|Adam Alexi-Malle
Offered by rsdvd
Price: £3.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the film that wasn't there, 1 Dec 2006
After the success of their southern odyssey O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coen brothers once again proved themselves to be the most unpredictable filmmakers in Hollywood by serving up The Man Who Wasn't There, a dream-like, detached, languid neo-noir right out of leftfield, standing in stark contrast to the misadventures of Ulysses Everett McGill and co. Not least because the film is shot in black and white, but because it maintains an almost Zen-like air of quiet (although definitely not tranquillity) throughout, due in large part to Billy-Bob Thornton's stoic and enigmatic performance as Ed Crane, the nucleus of this mood movie.

Crane is a disenfranchised barber (he doesn't much care for the title) with a disenfranchised wife living in Santa Rosa, 1949. He cuts hair; she works in a department store. Their relationship is barely existent, they seem to just be one of those couples. Things start happening when Ed gets drawn into a business opportunity -as a silent partner no less- involving a dry-cleaning enterprise. He needs $10,000 to get in on it. Acting on suspicions of infidelity on his wife's part, he turns to blackmail, leading to murder, and wrongful imprisonment. If all this sounds like quite a ride, dash those thoughts now. Most of this is tied up by the hour mark, leaving the rest of the film to ruminate on isolation, wasted life and UFO's. Although quite a departure, even for the preposterously eclectic Coens, the film remains unmistakeably theirs. They imbue it with such a vivid visual style, thanks in part to Roger Deakins' austere cinematography, that the film does take on, fairly early, the feel of a dazed half-dream with Thornton's bone-dry voiceover your guide. some may see this film as style trumping substance, especially as it drifts away and disintegrates toward the end, but let yourself get swept up in Ed Crane's unusual story and you'll see that here it is no bad thing at all, but in fact an incredibly affecting experience.

The Drift
The Drift
Price: £12.84

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars like a fine wine....that leads to insomnia, 31 Oct 2006
This review is from: The Drift (Audio CD)
The king of brooding avant-rock returns over a decade after 1995's immensely rewarding aural challenge, Tilt. So, has he mellowed, perhaps come full circle, The Drift a collection of pop tunes with guest appearances from the other Walker siblings? You can probably guess the answer.

The Drift is a punishing listen, painfully intense and more than a little bonkers. The lyrics remain cryptic as ever, Walker on Jesse addressing 9/11 via Elvis Presley's stillborn twin, elsewhere pondering the woman who insisted on dying with Mussolini and punching a donkey on the streets of Galway. Away from impenetrable couplets and Donald Duck impressions, historical politics dominate on tracks such as Clara and Escape, a glint of humanity on a truly alien record.

The music retains a humming, industrial clatter throughout, the only track resembling a `normal' rock song tellingly being the opener, Cossacks Are. Even this, its queasy drumbeat like a basketball being bounced in a puddle, is hugely unnerving. The 9 tracks that follow are some of the most bizarre and scary you will hear all year, because frankly, no-one makes records like Scott Walker.

On that note, a warning: do not listen to this if you have a heart condition. Walker peppers tracks with immediate, terrifying discordant strings, his eerie baritone bellowing overhead. Even considering the sparse guitar licks and meat-punching (you read it right) that accompany his lyrics, Walker's voice may prove to many to be the most uneasy part of the album. Everything is sung in his now trademark mini-operatic waver. This combined with his vivid imagery and defiant non-music might sound like some unholy chaos, and to some degree it is, but it remains utterly unique throughout.

What compels Scott Walker to make such recordings is a mystery to me, and to be truthful, I don't want to know the answer. Whatever the reason, the result is an opaque, mind-blowing album, and even if he takes ten years to make the next one, chances are this'll still be lurking around your CD player come 2016.

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