Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

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Brad
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Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Brad » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:19 pm

Welcome to the round 1.13 of Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019!

Vote for your favorite album in each match-up.
Remember, anyone can vote as long as the voter has heard both albums.

Good-spirited comments are encouraged, but not absolutely necessary.
Deadline = June 25th at 10am EST.

Here's a link to the bracket for the entire tournament:
http://www.bracketmaker.com/tlist.cfm?t ... Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019

Match-ups:
1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty vs. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah vs. Pink Floyd - Animals
3. Anne Clark - Changing Places vs. Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
4. Alabama 3 - Exile On Coldharbour Lane vs. Neil Diamond - Hot August Night


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StevieFan13
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by StevieFan13 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:49 pm

Running on Empty
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Changing Places
Exit on Coldharbour Lane
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand - Sir Duke (1976)

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Jirin » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:40 pm

Crocodiles 87 - Running On Empty 78
Animals 90 - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 83
Changing Places 92 - Everything’s Alright Forever 85
Exile On Coldharbour Lane 82 - Hot August Night 60

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by bonnielaurel » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:39 pm

Jackson Browne - Running on Empty
Pink Floyd - Animals
Anne Clark - Changing Places
Neil Diamond - Hot August Night
They give awards for that music? I thought just ear plugs. (Woody Allen in Annie Hall)

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by DaveC » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:20 pm

1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty vs. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah vs. Pink Floyd - Animals
3. Anne Clark - Changing Places vs. Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
4. Alabama 3 - Exile On Coldharbour Lane vs. Neil Diamond - Hot August Night

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by madzong » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:41 pm

Crocodiles
Animals
Everything's Alright Together
Exit On Coldharbour Lane

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Rdwdbob » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:00 pm

JACKSON BROWNE - RUNNING ON EMPTY
PINK FLOYD - ANIMALS
ANNE CLARK - CHANGING PLACES
NEIL DIAMOND - HOT AUGUST NIGHT

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by FrankLotion » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:37 pm

1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
3. Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
4. Neil Diamond - Hot August Night

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by CupOfDreams » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:12 am

Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
Pink Floyd - Animals
Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
Alabama 3 - Exit On Coldharbour Lane

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by PlasticRam » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:22 am

1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty vs. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
I feel like that

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Romain
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Romain » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:16 pm

1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty
2. Pink Floyd - Animals
3. Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
4. Neil Diamond - Hot August Night[/color]

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Honorio
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Honorio » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:57 pm



1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty (1977) vs. 4. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles (1980)
7. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (2005) vs. 2. Pink Floyd - Animals (1977)
6. Anne Clark - Changing Places (1983) vs. 5. The Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever (1992)
8. Alabama 3 - Exile On Coldharbour Lane (1997) vs. 3. Neil Diamond - Hot August Night (1972)

Favourite song from every album:
Rosie | Rescue | Over and Over Again (Lost and Found) | Dogs | Sleeper in Metropolis | Does This Hurt? | Woke Up This Morning | Solitary Man

Favourite song of the week: Rosie

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by hectorthebat » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:39 pm

1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
3. Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
4. Neil Diamond - Hot August Night

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Safetycat » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:08 am

4. Running on Empty < 3. Crocodiles
5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah < 1. Animals
8. Changing Places < 7. Everything's Alright Forever
2. Exile On Coldharbour Lane > 6. Hot August Night
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Listyguy » Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:27 pm

1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty vs. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah vs. Pink Floyd - Animals

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Bang Jan » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:58 pm



5 | Jackson Browne | Running on Empty
1 | Echo and the Bunnymen | Crocodiles

7 | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
3 | Pink Floyd | Animals

8 | Anne Clark | Changing Places
2 | Boo Radleys | Everything's Alright Forever

6 | Alabama 3 | Exile On Coldharbour Lane
4 | Neil Diamond | Hot August Night

Favourite song of the week: Echo and the Bunnymen | Rescue
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Rob » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:11 pm

8. Neil Diamond – Hot August Night
Warning: I really don’t like this album and this is not a nice review. Skip if you’re not in for such a thing.
Neil Diamond has long been an object of scorn for music critics and up until now I thought that was all a little unfair. I mean, I’ve never particularly cared for Diamond, but I always thought he made mostly unoffensive, tuneful music. My mother is somewhat of a fan, although she only listened to his greatest hits, so these were the ones I knew. Not something I would put on myself, but there is far worse out.

So now I have heard Hot August Night twice and am suddenly confronted with the real badness of Neil Diamond. This is because this concert only contained some of the hits (and missed a few) and has quite a lot of his album tracks. And these songs are awful. The writing especially is atrocious. From ridiculous rhymes to horrible subjects and clumsy metaphors. Now Neil Diamond became famous as a lyricist for others, before becoming a performer himself, but I never quite thought he was great as a writer. I am a Believer (not on this album) is a rare case were everything clicks, but something like I am… I Said, which is close to a masterpiece, just falls flat when he starts feeling sad that his chair can’t hear him or when he compares himself to the frog prince. Much of these lyrics are in a way him talking to chairs and frog princes never seem far away.

There is also the performance of the songs themselves to take into account and they are as atrocious as much of his writing. Rarely have I heard a live performance from someone who sounds so full of himself, while almost begging the audience to love him as much as he does himself. It’s not that he has a bad singing voice; not at all. It is that there is nothing natural about his delivery. He always overemotes. This way he even ruins the few songs that I do like. Solitary Man, which contains some actual good writing, is brought with a huge sense of spectacle of a man whose throwing a party to celebrate his loneliness with the whole city. Red Red Wine, already murdered by Simply Red, is even more obnoxious here. Sweet Caroline is the only song that survives with its charms intact, but that is not enough to make up for the song that follows, the lowlight among lowlights Porcupine Pie (the stuff of nightmares).

And no, even Porcupine Pie isn’t the worst thing here. The final 9 minute track is inexplicable. It is already called Soolaimon/ Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, a title only the best prog rock band (or Sufjan Stevens) might get away with. Neil Diamond starts spouting some of the silliest lyrics conceived by men with the import of an ecstatic priest raptured by the Lord himself. He starts shouting as Little Richard without that guy’s sense of fun and humor. And if you think Diamond couldn’t be more full of himself he suddenly stops halfway and goes all Ghandi on the audience by talking about uniting the rich and poor and all the races… How? With that song really? What is happening here? Really, the last track on this album is the closest I have ever come with finding the film The Room in music form. At least it is hilariously bad, which can’t be said about much of this.

Luckily, I liked all the other seven albums here.

7. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
I wasn’t paying attention then, but apparently this band got a lot of hype around the time because they decided to self-release their music. Reviews from back than made them out to be a big deal, but they already seem to fade from our collective memory, perhaps because they didn’t have a follow-up that really connected. A shame, because you don’t have to focus on marketing to appreciate this self-titled debut. What you do need to be able to appreciate is the voice of Alec Ounsworth, who I can’t for the life of me consider a good singer in any way (not even a Bob Dylan or Tom Waits way), but somehow he is so bad that it actually becomes part of the appeal again. He also makes this band seem more then yet another mid-2000’s indie band, as their sound otherwise is pretty average, yet well-executed. The songs are good and more I can’t ask, though save Neil Diamond the competition this week is better.


6. Pink Floyd – Animals
Before Animals Pink Floyd made three albums I deeply adore: Meddle, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. They closed their amazing seventies with Animals and The Wall. I divide these five albums into these two groups for a reason. In the first group of three Pink Floyd perfected the sound they were working towards. They made spacey, beautiful music with complex and appealing, long compositions. There was a lot of angst in the lyrics, but it was all very relatable. Especially The Dark Side of the Moon knows how to bring existential panic in a grandiose yet also grounded way.

Then we got to phase two of the seventies with Animals and The Wall. I never listened to these two as much as the former three, yes even Meddle. The music is as good as always and especially The Wall looked for new musical avenues. Animals is sonically mostly an extension of the previous albums, although it sounds more dark and moody. The reason I have never embraced these latter two albums to do with how Pink Floyd approached the subject matter. Suddenly Roger Waters decided to get not just very heavy handed (which they always were and that’s fine), but in a very simplistic way. I just don’t find the metaphor humans as either sheep, dogs or pigs all that interesting, let alone appealing, just as that the metaphor of a self-important rock star who builds a literal wall around himself speaks much to me. The poetry of Wish You Were Here or the everyday dread of The Dark Side of the Moon are so much richer and deeper than what sounds to me a little too much like an angry teenager’s misguided vision as you find on Animals and The Wall.

No, this doesn’t make Animals a bad album. Musically there is still a lot to enjoy and many passages are purely instrumental anyway. Nothing Floyd did in the seventies is remotely bad, but Animals is clearly my least favorite album of theirs of the decade.

5. The Boo Radleys – Everything’s Alright Forever
Indeed, everything here’s alright and although I don’t know much about eternity, this album might just as well be alright forever. Let’s be optimistic. But is it more than alright? It kind of is. This one came out when shoegaze was peaking and it it’s fuzzy and warm guitars that feel like they hit you like a big wave are rather typical of the style. After bands like Ride and My Bloody Valentine had already made their most famous works I can see why this album would seem late to the party, but luckily The Boo Radleys brought gifts and drinks with them to that party. The album is consistent, with some strong melodies and appealing guitar work. I also like the Spanish flavor on the aptly titled opener Spaniard. Maybe if they experimented more with the shoegaze style in other genres like that one might have made this a real classic?

4. Jackson Browne – Running on Empty
In the world of singer songwriters, Jackson Browne is one of the slow burners. His songs tend to sound a little too soft at first listen, but if you stick around and play them a few more times you suddenly find a beautiful melody and some good lyrics and before you know it you get swept away. Browne makes this kind of stuff sound easy to make.

So, listening to Running on Empty just twice is not sufficient, but I think I got his style down now and I could award it the patience that it requires. Besides I already knew two/ three songs here: of course the title track and The Load-Out/ Stay. That first one has become a personal favorite driving song over the years and The Load-Out has one of the better lyrics of the life of a rock group with roadies in tow. The highlight is of course the moment that song suddenly turns into Stay. These two tracks shouldn’t be heard separate. Their combination is one of the sweetest moments of seventies rock history.

3. Alabama 3 – Exile on Coldharbour Lane
Apparently these guys are only famous for delivering the song Woke Up This Morning to The Sopranos as an opening theme. I never saw even a second of The Sopranos so I didn’t have any expectations going in. To make things more difficult this audience kept me readjusting my expectations with every new song. This is a strange hybrid between electronic music, country, pub rock and samples. Sometimes it is difficult to quite pinpoint which of these styles are active at the time. The lyrics range from the sincere to extremely ironic. Again, good luck figuring out when they are in which mode.

This kept things fresh. For it’s complete hour long running time this album kept me engaged, just because I wanted to find out what would happen next. Even better, pretty much every song proved worthwhile, because this isn’t a mere style experiment, but a very consistent package of good music, sharp writing and a sense of both seriousness and fun that is in great balance. It makes you feel that being in this band is a hoot.

2. Echo and the Bunnymen – Crocodiles
Ah yes, our obligatory weekly new-wave/ post-punk record of the early eighties. This time yet another band I have painfully ignored up until now, even though they have a good group name and tend to photograph themselves in appealing locations for their cover art. It always looked like atmospheric music, but does it sound like that too?

Hmm, ‘atmospheric’ isn’t quite the first word that I think of when hearing Echo and his Bunnymen. This is real post-punk, so it is moody, but it is moodiness with clear sense of swing. There is always a bass to keep you wanting to jump up and down like a bunny man. This is actually one of the best albums in the style I have heard yet, with a great set of songs and a drive that won’t let up. For some reason I found Pride to be a particularly strong song.

1. Anne Clark – Changing Places
1983? Seriously, Anne Clark made this album in 1983? I mean, the synthesizers are very much from its time, but the way Anne Clark mixes very modern poetry with pop music is something that I expect more from maybe twenty years later. Sure, there was Patti Smith, but she was dedicated to a sound that was far more consciously arty. At times, Anne Clark sounds like she might hit the dance floor, still reciting her complex rhymes. I didn’t know someone had beaten Kate Tempest at her own game decades earlier. In fact, Anne Clark sounds so much in both words and tone of voice that she and Kate Tempest could (and should) be related.

Yes, during some of the earlier songs the minimal synths sound dated, but it is a problem I can overlook because of the great writing and the stunning attack of Clark’s delivery (she almost can pose as a rapper at times). And after the first three songs the synths develop in a different direction, from more dance-oriented to a moody atmospheric background for poetry. A lot of it is political, but Clark changes things up frequently, so there is also room for the slow dance seduction excitement of All Night Party of the more personal closer The Last Emotion.

I’d never heard of her before. Great discovery of someone who sounds ahead of her time and should be reappraised. Also, in two rounds she could go against St. Vincent, which is a funny match-up (guess why).


A simple overview of my votes:

1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty vs. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah vs. Pink Floyd - Animals
3. Anne Clark - Changing Places vs. Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
4. Alabama 3 - Exile On Coldharbour Lane vs. Neil Diamond - Hot August Night

Brad
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Brad » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:40 pm

My picks:
1. Jackson Browne - Running on Empty vs. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah vs. Pink Floyd - Animals
3. Anne Clark - Changing Places vs. Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever
4. Alabama 3 - Exile On Coldharbour Lane vs. Neil Diamond - Hot August Night

Thanks!

Brad
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Brad » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:49 am

About 12 hours left to vote!

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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by jamieW » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:35 am

Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
Pink Floyd - Animals
Anne Clark - Changing Places

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Akhenaten
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Akhenaten » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:16 pm

Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles
Pink Floyd - Animals
Anne Clark - Changing Places
Alabama 3 - Exile On Coldharbour Lane
I was faced with a choice at a difficult age. Would I write a book? Or should I take to the stage? But in the back of my head I heard distant feet. Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat.

Brad
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Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.13

Post by Brad » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:05 pm

19 total voters this week:
Akhenaten
Bang Jan
bonnielaurel
Brad
CupOfDreams
DaveC
FrankLotion
hectorthebat
Honorio
jamieW
Jirin
Listyguy
madzong
PlasticRam
Rdwdbob
Rob
Romain
Safetycat
StevieFan13

Winners:
1. Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles over Jackson Browne - Running on Empty 11-8
2. Pink Floyd - Animals over Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 15-3
3. Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever over Anne Clark - Changing Places 9-8
4. Alabama 3 - Exile On Coldharbour Lane over Neil Diamond - Hot August Night 9-7

Round 1.14 up next!

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