Archive for the ‘Portishead’ Category
I know I’m one day late but I’m finallllly done. I hope you enjoy it.
Part 3 #26-50
Part 2 #51-75
Part 1 #76-100
Numbers 1 through 25:
#1 Ready For The Floor by Hot Chip (myspace/video)
Best dance song of the year? Best song too.
#2 Crimewave – Crystal Castles vs Health (Crystal Castles’ myspace/Health’s Myspace/video)
This version is miles better then the original.
#3 Little Bit by Lykke Li (myspace/live)
I’m not only a little bit in love with this.
#4 L.E.S. Artists by Santogold (myspace/video)
Santogold’s least creative but most accessible track.
#5 Hearts On Fire by Cut Copy (myspace/video)
Cut Copy has a ton of great tracks.
#6 Head Rolls Off by Frightened Rabbit (myspace/video)
“Jesus is just a Spanish boy’s name”
#7 White Winter Hymnal by The Fleet Foxes (myspace/video)
#26 on my top songs of 2007 list.
#8 M79 by Vampire Weekend(myspace/live)
The better of the two new songs.
#9 Graveyard Girl by M83 (myspace/video)
Without the poem, this could very well be #1.
#10 Unforgettable Season by Cut Copy (live)
Not the most danceable but my favorite.
#11 You Me Dancing by Los Campesinos! (myspace/video -ep version)
It takes long to get started but worth the wait.
#12 Magic Spells by Crystal Castles
This song is their most artistic/creative venture.
#13 Kim & Jessie by M83 (video)
Another great track off Saturdays=Youth.
#14 Skeng by The Bug ft. Killa P and Flowdan(myspace/video)
Best track off the amazing London Zoo.
#15 Machine Gun by Portishead (homepage/video)
Even if the song is simple, Beth Gibbons does wonders.
#16 Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend (video)
Number 4 of my 2007 list.
#17 These Few Presidents by Why? (myspace/live)
“Even if I haven’t seen you in years, yours is a funeral I’d fly to from anywhere” – had to break my rule for that line.
#18 Time To Pretend by MGMT (myspace/video)
It’ll be ironic if they have a coke habit.
#19 Kids by MGMT (video)
They do know how to make a decent pop song.
#20 The Twist by Frightened Rabbit (live)
Emotions of a simple dance, captured perfectly.
#21 Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk by Lightspeed Champion (myspace/live)
Everybody I know IS listening to crunk.
#22 Teenagers by Department of Eagles (myspace)
My favorite song off In Ear Park.
#23 Furr by Blitzen Trapper (myspace/live)
One of the better folk songs of the year.
#24 Lost Coastlines by Okkervil River (myspace/video)
Jonathan Meiburg vocals puts on the perfect touch.
#25 Street Flash by Animal Collective (myspace)
Anyone excited for Merriweather Post Pavilion? (We’ve heard the leaks)
I forgot to mention that these top songs are still very personal opinions despite trying to take as many suggestions of the rest of the writers. I’m not sure how people will respond to the list, numbering isn’t quite as important as inclusion. I like taking suggestions as there will be millions of tracks I likely missed. As is the goal with this list, 10-limit descriptions included.
#51 Creator by Santogold w/ Switch and Freq Nasty (myspace/video -unofficial was canceled?)
The intro is risky, brave and wildly effective.
#52 Crystal Stilts by Crystal Stilts (myspace)
A song should be good if it’s your band name.
#53 I Wish I Could Keep You by Little Pictures (myspace/live)
This song makes me wish I was a kid again.
#54 In The Kitchen by The Pomegranates (myspace/live -poor visual quality)
A song I want to play on the guitar.
#55 Never Miss A Beat by Kaiser Chiefs (homepage/video)
The kids on the street, are scary! Shiiet.
#56 Death To The Los Campesinos! By Los Campesinos! (myspace/video)
“I’ll be control-alt-deleting your face with no reservation”.
#57 Marry Me Annie by Matthew and The Arrogant Sea (myspace)
Hey Annie, I’m serious, MATAS is a great band.
#58 Whiite Fantaseee by Slim Twig (myspace)
How about an Asian fantaseee?
#59 Dance Dance Dance by Lykke Li (myspace/live with Bon Iver)
Lykke Li’s hips lie and she’s shy. I’m in love.
#60 Galaxy Of The Lost by Lightspeed Champion (myspace/video)
Emmy The Great makes this song gold. Weird video.
#61 Skinny Love by Bon Iver
Bon Iver should try BBW. Morbidly Obese Love anyone?
#62 Good Time by Brazilian Girls (myspace/video)
I just want to have a good time too.
#63 Can’t Shake It by Kate Miller-Heidke (myspace/video)
I can’t dance either though this song is danceable…
#64 New Soul by Yael Naim(homepage)
I’m a new ipod product with a new catchy song.
#65 Boneless by The Notwist (homepage)
Great song off a slightly disappointing album.
#66 Shadow Falls by Hello, Blue Roses (myspace/live)
Awesome duet, too bad they were bashed by Pitchfork.
#67 Get Better by Mates of State (myspace/video)
“Forget your politics for awhile”. 2008 was a tough year.
#68 Xavia by The Submarines (myspace)
The Submarines don’t let me down in this song.
#69 Home Sweet Home by Those Dancing Days (myspace/video)
A perfect holiday song.
#70 Not Your Savior by Peasant (myspace)
Peasant keeps it honest, leave him alone.
#71 Call It A Ritual by Wolf Parade (myspace)
I enjoy Spencer Krug’s metaphorical writing.
#72 Black Rice by Women (myspace/live)
Best Song that ends in a whimper.
#73 The Rip by Portishead (homepage/video)
#74 That’s Not My Name by The Tings Tings (myspace/video)
Wait..what is her name again?
#75 Gila by Beach House (myspace/live)
5. Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life
Many Fucked Up fans were disillusioned by how many rules of punk rock were broken with this album. While the vocals still sound as dirty as ever and the energy is still there, the songs are much longer than punk songs are supposed to be, the guitars are massively layered, atmospheric, and the entire album seems drenched in reverb. The record somewhat echoes early Sparta material, but with a more bizarre, jagged approach. From the first jolting scream to the drawn out feedback closing the album, «The Chemistry of Common Life is one of the most engaging listens of the year.
Fucked Up – Son the Father
4. The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath
The Mars Volta are the most well known act in the world of intense progressive rock, and with this album the band has renewed its title as king. Bedlam surely is not a major departure from anything they’ve released previously, but it is the most intense encapsulation of the band’s abilities. Almost as if to apologize for the droning, anti-climactic nature of Amputechture, this album is relentless from start to finish, with a momentum that barely takes a breath for the entire 75 minute assault.
The Mars Volta – Metatron
3. Beast – s/t
This Montreal band has been touring with You Say Party! We Say Die! on a relatively unsuccessful tour that seemed endless up until now, but with this new record they have finally broken out. Falling somewhere between Nine Inch Nails, RATM, Portishead, and Muse – it’s Alternative, Hip Hop and Industrial, all tied together by the intense and all encompassing voice of Betty Bonifassi. Though one or two tracks on the album drag on, it’s strength is in powerful epics like Fingerprints and Devil. A must-listen of 2008.
Beast – Fingerprints
2. Portishead – Third
It seems like every album we`re so priviliged to get from this band is more incredible than the last (sadly Portishead does not adhere to the “album every two years” rule). But this isn`t 90s trip-hop anymore, this is 21st century Portishead. Songs like Machine Gun are darker and more haunting than ever before, but others like The Rip are some of the most beautiful songs ever written in the world of alternative genres. This album blends both jarring and pretty sounds like few records I have ever heard in my life.
Portishead – Machine Gun
1. Brazilian Girls – New York City
Behold what I would argue is not only the best experimental/alternative album of 2008, but the best record of the year, period. Exotic, intense, beautiful, sexy, bizarre, and mindblowing. It`s hard to put to words what this album does to you when you listen to it, but you may be a different person for listening all the way through just once. An incredible live act, and an equally impressive studio band, Brazilian Girls are exactly the kind of boost the alternative world needs in this unprecedented oversaturation of bands lobbying for our attention.
Brazilian Girls – Nouveau Americain
Last year’s list was a major success for us, despite being a tiny blog at the time. I’ve had a chance to listen to many more albums this year though I’ve still missed a few that I’ve yet to listen to (it really is impossible).
With a brand new name in hand this week, it’s time to release our yearly top albums of ’08 list though we may be late to the game.
#20 Girl Talk – Feed The Animals
Original Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I think this album warrants any argument you want to give it (or any price you want to pay for it would be fair). Honestly for me, it contains some of the worst songs ever but remixed in entertaining fashion that makes it enjoyable for both actual fans of the music included and people like me who enjoys the older tracks. Honestly it’s really just a random DJ mix but done incredibly well for 14 tracks at 4 minutes each
#19 Portishead – Third
Original Rating: 4.25 out of 5
I probably would’ve left this off my top 20 but the other writers have spoken. I was unsure about this album, I think it was going to an album I would forget and not listen to and that’s exactly what happened. Beth Gibbons has an amazing voice and Machine Gun will be on the best tracks of the year. I still feel like this album is a bit hit or miss, it’s definitely unique and stands on its own so there is merit to having it included in the top albums of the year discussion, I just happen to be one who disagrees that some of the music doesn’t work quite as well.
Machine Gun by Portishead
#18 Cut Copy – In Ghosts Colours
Rating: 4 out of 5
If you looked at previous scores, you’ll realize that 4 out of 5 is on the low side compared to other albums. I’ve got a good explanation. At first I wasn’t as impressed as many of my fellow bloggers and various other critics. I think this album takes time to grow and reach it’s full potential and this was 4 months or so after the initial review. It’s kind of hard to believe an electro album as a grower but In Ghost Colours is exactly that, there’s much to absorb in the initial listens and attention is diverted from the great moments at first. Top to bottom though this is a great album and I’m willing to admit my mistake.
Far Away by Cut Copy
Unforgettable Season by Cut Copy
#17 Pomegranates – Everything Is Alive
Original Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In my original review, I went on a rant on how people are scared of the word “Emo” and are willing to dismiss it off the bat. The Pomegranates aren’t full on emo but emotive indie rock would be a proper term to classify their music. With two lead singers they have arguably one of the better balances in indie, despite not many people hearing as much about them. I’ve seen some of the WORST reviews given to this band (not exactly bad reviews but actually poorly written ones). With a mix of keys and awesome guitar work, this album is definitely deserving of whatever praise its given despite being under the radar. This album is just way too good not to include it on this list.
In The Kitchen by Pomegranates
Appreciations by Pomegranates
With/Whom by Pomegranates
#16 She & Him – Volume One
Original Rating: 4.5 out of 5
At first, I felt like I was overrating this album but perseverance prevailed after writing the initial review and I’ve become a big fan of Zooey Deschanel’s songwriting and singing talent (not that’s she not hot or anything). While pop country/folk isn’t the most immediate genre that I would recall to liking Zooey makes the genre likable with romantic ballads about the various men in her life. It’s almost surprising at first how good this record actually is but it has won over quite a few people and if you’ve seen her live, you’ll see exactly how genuine her talent is. (She’s got a voice that rivals many established female vocalists).
Sentimental Heart by She and Him
Why Don’t You Let Me Stay Here by She and Him
#15 Those Dancing Days – In Our Space Hero Suits
Original Rating: 4.75 out of 5
I always have a spot for pure pop and usually one or two albums sneak into the end of the year lists but this all-girl group out of Sweden has released a solid album top to bottom with great singing from Linnea Jonsson. She really steals the show on tracks like Hitten and Home Sweet Home which features some singing in her foreign language. I’d actually like to hear what she could offer in a non-English song. Some pop albums are just undeniably good though I guess with indie records it’s customary to disregard these types of albums, it seems not as many people are finding out about this album due to this shyness. I do go back and forth on where this album belongs but I absolutely love it.
Hitten by Those Dancing Days
Space Hero Suits by Those Dancing Days
#14 Walkmen – You & Me
Original Rating: 4.75 out of 5
This was my first exposure to the Walkmen, which while difficult to admit, I’m glad I finally gave them a shot. The problem with this album (hardly any) is that I keep forgetting how good it really is. It’s an amazing subtle album that has its emotions wrapped into tiny crevices. I almost forgot to include it in my top 20 and sometimes I find it difficult to go back to which is why they may be lower on the list then you’d list. There are more then a few amazing tracks though but no real stand outs.
Canadian Girl by The Walkmen
In The New Year by The Walkmen
#13 Chad Van Gaalen – Soft Airplane
Original Rating: 4.25 out of 5
I’ll admit that the album score for this album is a little low but the album still has some flaws. However, I would qualify them a good flaws since it had to do with VanGaalen over experimenting in some sections of this album, so there really is no argument that this album isn’t great (I’m looking at you Now Magazine). VanGaalen experiments with a variety methods using some electronic elements in TMNT and his singing and writing is top notch. You probably wouldn’t know it but VanGaalen records this in his basement and he makes it sound like he’s in some expensive recording studio. Maybe he’s just super talented? He also creates the artwork to his own videos in addition to to the artwork on his album, showing us just how inhuman he actually is.
Bare Feet on Wet Grip Tape by Chad VanGaalen
Rabid Bits of Time by Chad VanGaalen
#12 Wolf Parade – At Mt. Zoomer
Original Rating: 4.75 out of 5
The best duo vocalists in indie rock, period. A Wolf Parade record is always a schizophrenic affair with Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, they teamed up on super track Kissing The Beehive, however the lead up to grand finale is as good as you’ll find anywhere. I think the main problem with this record is that their first record was out of this world amazing that any album would be hard to top it. I am lamenting the fact that I was still on crutches when they came into town… The album itself is much less accessible then their predecessor but it explores more elements that the band didn’t show off on Apologies to the Queen Marry but bringing more of what they brought on their great side projects (Sunset Rubdow, Handsome Furs etc).
Fine Young Cannibals by Wolf Parade
Call It A Ritual by Wolf Parade
#11 Thao With the Get Down Stay Down – We Brave Bee Stings And All
Original Rating: 5 out of 5
When I first heard Beat (Health, Life and Fire), I instantly fell in love with Thao Nguyen and her backing band the Get Down Stay Down and it’s hard not to. She’s has an instant charm where she sings about kid and being an adult finding herself. I may have been overly too excited at first about this album but it does hold up strongly as Thao becomes one of my favorite singer-song writers. I really can’t say enough about her, she conveys duel emotions strong/weak, assertive/hesistant, strong and confidence and weak and shy all at the same moment. It really gives her an edge over many artists within the same genre.
Beat (Health, Life and Fire) by Thao Nguyen With The Get Down Stay Down
Geography by Thao Nguyen With The Get Down Stay Down
I’ll give a disclaimer right off the bat, I have not listened to any other Portishead album and while they’ve been out since 1991 it’s hard to know about a band that had their last release when I was just 8. I was still into the Backstreet Boys or whatever mainstream stuff they played.
I decided to check this album due to strong reviews, early pre-record release hype and a track that was just off the charts sick in “Machine Gun”. The album wasn’t far from expectations as I was kind of expecting something weird and probably causing an outer-body experience as if I was high…maybe drugs would make this album 10x better?
There are really very few comparisons I can make, I think my knowledge is limited on the subject but the atmosphere feels a little bit like Burial’s Untrue where there’s more of a dark/eerie spine-tingling atmosphere created with the music coupled with Beth Gibbons sincere voice.
I know this music is pretty darn good but sometimes it’s just I don’t feel like I like it as much. It has more to do with style rather then actual substance so it’s a personal preference (or my brain) that I won’t enjoy this album as much. The elements are great, it’s a great electronica album from every sense of the word and while there isn’t anything I could change, the line between best and great is quite thin. Like there were rumblings that “The Rip” should be one of the best songs of the year but it didn’t quite win me over until the 5th listen and even then I’m not sure I would recommend that to the masses.
Definitely an album that has artwork written all over it but it’s not for everyone (though that’s not a bad thing). I really don’t know how this album will be for me for a few months from now…maybe I’ll go back to it and say “Wow I lowballed them” or I’ll just forget it and I’d be happy with the review.
I’d like to give this album a top score but hey remember it’s just a blog after all and it’s quite possible that the only people that take us seriously is ourselves
Rating: 4.25 out of 5.