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Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:01 pm
by Brad
Welcome to the round 1.15 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 = July 9th at 10am EST.
**Note - there will likely be a delay next week as I will be on vacation and accessing the site remotely.**

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. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm vs. U2 - Boy
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella vs. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe vs. St. Vincent - Marry Me
4. Loscil - Submers vs. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen


Blow your tuneless trumpet
The choice is yours!

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:00 pm
by FrankLotion
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
2. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. St. Vincent - Marry Me
4. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:06 pm
by Rdwdbob
U2 - BOY
TODD TERJE - IT'S ALBUM TIME
ST. VINCENT - MARRY ME

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:41 pm
by Rdwdbob
KADHJA BONET - CHILDQUEEN

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:59 pm
by DaveC
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm vs. U2 - Boy
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella vs. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe vs. St. Vincent - Marry Me
4. Loscil - Submers vs. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:26 pm
by Jirin
Boy 87 - Silent Alarm 83
Songs For Drella 94 - It’s Album Time 87
Childqueen 83 - Submers 68

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:21 pm
by hectorthebat
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
2. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. St. Vincent - Marry Me
4. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:10 am
by Romain
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella
3. Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:46 pm
by jamieW
U2 - Boy
Todd Terje - It's Album Time
Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe
Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen

Favorite album I couldn't vote for: Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella (Loscil was also a nice find, though.)

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:01 pm
by Honorio


3. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (2005) vs. 2. U2 - Boy (1980)
1. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs for Drella (1990) vs. 5. Todd Terje - It's Album Time (2014)
7. Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe (1980) vs. 6. St. Vincent - Marry Me (2007)
8. Loscil - Submers (2002) vs. 4. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen (2018)

Favourite song from every album:
This Modern Love | Stories for Boys | Hello It's Me | Johnny and Mary | The Expanding Universe | Marry Me | Mute | Delphine

Favourite song of the week: Johnny and Mary

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:20 am
by madzong
Silent Alarm
Songs For Drella

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:27 pm
by Gillingham
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella vs. Todd Terje - It's Album Time

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:36 pm
by antonius
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:32 pm
by PlasticRam
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm vs. U2 - Boy
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella vs. Todd Terje - It's Album Time

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:42 pm
by acroamor
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
2. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. St. Vincent - Marry Me

I think I might have nominated Marry Me a few years back? Not certain, but happy to see it here once more.

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:37 am
by Listyguy
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm vs. U2 - Boy
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella vs. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe vs. St. Vincent - Marry Me

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:20 am
by Safetycat
2. Silent Alarm > 5. Boy
1. Songs For Drella > 4. It's Album Time
7. The Expanding Universe < 3. Marry Me
8. Submers < 6. Childqueen

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:48 am
by Rob
acroamor wrote: I think I might have nominated Marry Me a few years back? Not certain, but happy to see it here once more.
I remember Actor a couple of years ago, although you may be thinking of another year.

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:04 pm
by acroamor
Rob wrote:
acroamor wrote: I think I might have nominated Marry Me a few years back? Not certain, but happy to see it here once more.
I remember Actor a couple of years ago, although you may be thinking of another year.
I checked and I think it was the year after Actor, and it got out the very first round. Glad to see it's faring better now!

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:26 pm
by Brad
My picks:

1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm vs. U2 - Boy
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella vs. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe vs. St. Vincent - Marry Me
4. Loscil - Submers vs. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen

Thanks!

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:45 pm
by Rob
8. Laurie Spiegel – The Expanding Universe
This must have been an ambitious project in its time, as ambitious as its title. She certainly wasn’t the first electronic composers, but her approach was unique. Nonetheless, I found it hard to really appreciate the album with modern ears. The first track is the best, as it reminds me of a more expansive take on early video game music. After that it just becomes more stale, slow and frankly boring. Believe it or not, but for me the 28 minute title track, this album’s claim to fame, was my least favorite here. It reminds me of the ambient tracks Brian Eno was experimenting with at the time, but whereas Eno’s best work well as both background music, but also as surprisingly layered and emotional works, Spiegel’s track devolved into clear background music for me. There just wasn’t much to focus on and it didn’t strike me as particularly beautiful either.

I didn’t hear all the bonus track on the massive expanded edition on Spotify, but of the ones I heard I found a lot of them better than the actual album tracks. She plays a lot more with moods on these.

7. U2 – Boy
I must have heard this one before, but outside I Will Follow I couldn’t remember anything about it. Although it is very much a U2 album already, it is the least U2 they have ever been. Bono’s persona is already fully formed – how could it not? -, but otherwise this sounds more like an average post-punk album like a lot that were made in the early eighties.

Since roughly 75% of those early 80’s post-punk records have appeared in this year’s Moderately Acclaimed, I can’t help but compare. This is not up to the records of The Sound or Echo & the Bunnymen. In fact, it is one of the least interesting records of the genre I came across. It lacks something. Only I Will Follow and The Ocean rise above ‘okay’. The other songs don’t leave a mark or grab me. In the future the band moved towards a sound that was far more their own, not in the least thanks to The Edge, whose guitar play would be more recognizable in albums to come. The drama would become bigger. Soon already we got the terrifying Sunday Bloody Sunday. There is no hint of that here yet.

With all these post-punk albums I’ve heard the last months I’m surprised this one does so well with critics, while for example The Sound gets mostly ignored. Sometimes it helps to be made by a band that would become one of the biggest in the world.

6. St. Vincent – Marry Me
In some ways St. Vincent’s music has developed a lot since Marry Me, on the other hand a lot stayed the same. I seem to be the only one who thinks this, but to me St. Vincent makes very uneven albums (Actor to me is the only consistent one; although somehow I still haven’t heard Strange Mercy; and I guess the rework MassEducation is consistent in that it is all bad to me).
The trend started with Marry Me, which fires of with a misfire name Now, Now, although immediately I notice I’m in the minority for thinking that is a lesser song as it is the only one that ranks on AM, albeit as a bubbler. Here a potentially good song gets muddled by too many production ideas and sound effects. And really, that summarizes lesser St. Vincent songs. And that must be were I differ from her admires, but to me her work can sound a little too fussy, at once too labored over and still too unfinished.

But then there are the songs that do work and they are great. Jesus Saves, I Spend is as great as the title. In Your Lips Are Red she uses her endless production techniques to build towards a giddy celebration. All My Stars Aligned and The Apocalypse Song are cosmic. Paris Is Burning starts out as one of her weaker tracks, but slowly becomes one of her best. I know a lot of people like Why Me Whorry a lot and it certainly is on the good side, but it seems a bit to classic in its sound for this album, making it a bit of an anticlimax.

5. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
Remember that rock music used to be the main music that young people danced to? That was the fifties and sixties. Before my time and I want to stress it because I have a feeling nobody thinks of rock music as danceable anymore. I mean, we have a type of music that is called ‘dance’ and that has I think completely changed the way how we think about party-ready music. That ‘dance’ music is mostly formed through influences of electronic and hip hop.

But here I am, the weird one out of my generation, always feeling that rock music is better to dance to than actual ‘dance’ music. For a very small moment in the mid-00’s a few bands seemed to try to recapture the danceable essence of music. Most popular among critics is Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut. And then there is Silent Alarm by Bloc Party.

How conscious they were of making this a dance album I can’t say, but it is all I can think about when hearing this. In contrast to Franz Ferdinand, more arena-like power rock, Bloc Party seems to be inspired by the hottest thing in Moderately Acclaimed 2019: early eighties post-rock. Their bass is not as heavy as their forbearers, but they at least evoke the illusion they are. Lyrically they are more of their time, with a focus on anxiety, but this is not a lyrics album. This is about whipping basses, rhythmic drums and propelling guitars. Most songs make me want to move my feet around and soon my body follows. The two most famous tracks, Helicopter and Banquet, are the best, but I also really like Price of Gasoline, with its key role for drums. The other tracks are not quite as astounding, though they are fine, and that keeps it from being a masterpiece. Still, it serves a function that more albums would be welcome to serve.

4. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
I remember when this came out that it was championed by a few forummers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Nassim a big fan? Despite this I ignored it, because I thought it wasn’t my thing, even if I found the album cover appealing. I should have payed more mind to that cover, as the music has a similar appeal.

Right, I’m not a dance music man, unless it is dance rock (see above), but still I enjoyed this a lot. There is a sense of fun and a playfulness that appeals to me. Sometimes I find electronic dance music a little dead on the emotional front, but not this: this is pure joy – and not just the song Oh Joy. Although am I weird for liking the offbeat Svensk Sås the most?

3. Loscil – Submers
It’s a bit unfair to Laurie Spiegel, considering the twenty years of age difference, but when I talk about how her album doesn’t quite work for me, I find the opposite in Submers. This is ambient music done at peak level for me. It seems non-intrusive and certainly doesn’t draw attention to itself, but it changes the complete atmosphere in the room. There is a nautical theme going on here (apparently all tracks are named after submarines) and when I listen to it I feel indeed completely submerged under water. Deep water, as if I sank to the darkest depths of the ocean. It’s slightly threatening, but also oddly comforting. It is silent, mysterious and awe-inspiring. Certainly one of the best ambient albums I have heard yet. Sadly, it has a strong competitor in this poll.

2. Kadhja Bonet – Childqueen
The last of my nominations that still had to appear and it was of course the winning nomination for Moderately Acclaimed Album of 2018. This is one of my favorite releases of that year, a soft and soothing balm in music form and sometimes a little more.

The more I listen to it, the more I see the influences of soul on this album. At first I thought of it as dream pop, as the ethereal, soft-focus quality of the instrument and vocals reminded me more of say Beach House and Cocteau Twins than Aretha Franklin and her colleagues. But maybe because I listened to some Minnie Riperton since then I’ve come more around to the idea that Childqueen is something of a dream soul album (I notice the term psychedelic soul used a lot for this, but this doesn’t strike me as all that psychedelic). I did always notice the funk influences on Mother Maybe – perhaps my favorite track here – which is also a little harder than anything else here.

Anyway, regardless of genre, this is some beautiful music. And she is only at the start of her career. I wonder where her dreamlike vocals and guitar will take her.

1. Lou Reed & John Cale – Songs for Drella
I had a real Lou Reed phase in 2013, but never extended it beyond New York, so missed the album he released right after that one, despite being a classic. That one is of course his new collaboration with John Cale, Songs for Drella. The death of mutual friend Andy Warhol, made Cale and Reed set aside their apparently huge differences to record a tribute to nicknamed Drella. And what a tribute it is.

This is one of the best narrative albums I have ever seen. Sure, a little knowledge of Andy Warhol’s life story is needed to really get the most out of it (and I would not call my personal familiarity with the Warhol biography as anything more than ‘a little knowledge), but if you do, you’ll find that in these relatively short songs we get a rich portrait of a difficult, but influential man. Reed and Cale are not the types to make Warhol into a saint, but it is exactly their treatment of Warhol as a human being that makes him all the more saint-like.

The music is very sparse and minimalist, but really striking to me. Cale could be baroque, Reed could be glam or rough. This isn’t anything of this. Very tasteful, yet also spontaneous enough. Does it fit the man whose most famous work is a collection of Campbell soup can photo’s? I don’t know, but the music carries the music well. Both Reed and Cale talk more than they sing, but still their voices hardly ever sounded lovelier.

This might just have become my favorite Reed album after Berlin (I don’t know enough about solo Cale to talk about that).

A simple overview of my votes:

1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm vs. U2 - Boy
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella vs. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe vs. St. Vincent - Marry Me
4. Loscil - Submers vs. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:35 pm
by Brad
I will be unable to compile results this week so will have to delay deadline until next week. New deadline will be 10am June 16th. Sorry for this - hope it doesn’t screw anything up!

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:56 pm
by Bang Jan


7 | Bloc Party | Silent Alarm
3 | U2 | Boy

1 | Lou Reed/John Cale | Songs For Drella
2 | Todd Terje | It's Album Time

5 | Laurie Spiegel | The Expanding Universe
4 | St. Vincent | Marry Me

8 | Loscil | Submers
6 | Kadhja Bonet | Childqueen

Favourite song of the week: Todd Terje | Johnny and Mary

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:31 am
by Rob
Brad wrote:I will be unable to compile results this week so will have to delay deadline until next week. New deadline will be 10am June 16th. Sorry for this - hope it doesn’t screw anything up!
Does that also mean that the deadline for round 1.16 is June 23rd?

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:27 pm
by Rdwdbob
Rob wrote:
Brad wrote:I will be unable to compile results this week so will have to delay deadline until next week. New deadline will be 10am June 16th. Sorry for this - hope it doesn’t screw anything up!
Does that also mean that the deadline for round 1.16 is June 23rd?
July 23rd?

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:37 am
by Rob
Nah, I wanted a year to listen to the last round. These albums need some time to sink in.

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:10 pm
by Rdwdbob
:text-goodpost:
Rob wrote:Nah, I wanted a year to listen to the last round. These albums need some time to sink in.

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:49 am
by Brad
Brad wrote:I will be unable to compile results this week so will have to delay deadline until next week. New deadline will be 10am July 16th. Sorry for this - hope it doesn’t screw anything up!

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:56 pm
by Nassim
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
2. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
3. Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe
4. Loscil - Submers

Re: Moderately Acclaimed Albums 2019 - Round 1.15

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:13 pm
by Brad
19 total voters this round:
acroamor
antonius
Bang Jan
Brad
DaveC
FrankLotion
Gillingham
hectorthebat
Honorio
jamieW
Jirin
Listyguy
madzong
Nassim
PlasticRam
Rdwdbob
Rob
Romain
Safetycat

Winners:
1. U2 - Boy over Bloc Party - Silent Alarm 9-8
2. Lou Reed/John Cale - Songs For Drella over Todd Terje - It's Album Time 11-8
3. St. Vincent - Marry Me over Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe 11-3
4. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen over Loscil - Submers 11-1

Round 1.16 up next!