Biggest Fan - The Album Edition - 13. Four Tet - FabricLive.59

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spiritualized
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Biggest Fan - The Album Edition - 13. Four Tet - FabricLive.59

Post by spiritualized »

Hello to all and welcome to this brand new game, heavily influenced by Rob's very popular Biggest Fan.

The principles are roughly the same : on the back of the All Time Album List held by Holden in October 2020, the 71 participants voted for their favorite albums EVER.
Some of these albums, when the list was compiled, received only a single vote. That makes up a huge pool of discoveries (4995 to be precise) which are just waiting for you to listen to.

So every week or so, you will be presented with one album, randomly picked in the pool. I'll attempt to give you some background, stats and reviews from RYM. I will also contact the nominator to get their opinion about why the album is such a hit for them.

Listen to it in full and come back here with a rating from 1 to 10 and hopefully a few words on what you thought of it.
Just like Biggest Fan, the aim is not to listen to everything, but rather to send you on a road to discover an album that your fellow forumers absolutely love.


1. Toy Love - Toy Love EP : 7.480 (10 votes) [Brad]
2. Pretty Things - Parachute : 7.110 (10) [Zombeels]
3. Mavis Staples - If All I Was Was Black : 6.920 (10) [antonius]
4. James - Laid : 6.842 (12) [Zombeels]
5. Hood - Cold House : 6.830 (12) [CupOfDreams]
6. Graham Coxon - Love Travels at Illegal Speeds : 6.681 (11) [Toni]
7. KRS-One - KRS-One : 6.400 (12) [schaefer.tk]
8. Soul Asylum - Made To Be Broken : 6.225 (12) [Brad]
9. Cybotron - Enter : 6.145 (11) [Moonbeam]
10. Rush - Fly By Night : 5.971 (12) [Brad]
11. MUNA - About U : 5.345 (11) [votingbloc]
12. Schoolhouse Rock! - Science Rock : 3.922 (9) [prosecutorgodot]
Last edited by spiritualized on Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:35 pm, edited 51 times in total.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Schüttelbirne »

spiritualized wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:02 pm PPS : how does one make a link to a Spotify Album ?
I can only speak for my version, maybe there's different ones:

1. Next to the heart, there's three dots. Click on them and you'll get the option "Share". There you'll find "Copy album link" (or something similar). Do that.

2. Put the link in the text field. It looks like this: https://open.spotify.com/album/4f9GmceF ... Ws4UNMyEJg

Delete everything after (including) the question mark and the "s" from http.

3. Use the brackets [spotifyalbum] around the link.

Then it looks like this:

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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Holden »

So, can we count on this every Monday consistently? No big deal if it's not consistent but I think that many people would prefer that. On that note, a reminder that you can make and save drafts to prepare them, then they are only a click away when you want to put them out!
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

Holden wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:24 pm So, can we count on this every Monday consistently? No big deal if it's not consistent but I think that many people would prefer that. On that note, a reminder that you can make and save drafts to prepare them, then they are only a click away when you want to put them out!
Yes that’s the plan !
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Holden »

spiritualized wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:18 pm
Holden wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:24 pm So, can we count on this every Monday consistently? No big deal if it's not consistent but I think that many people would prefer that. On that note, a reminder that you can make and save drafts to prepare them, then they are only a click away when you want to put them out!
Yes that’s the plan !
Awesome, super excited for this!!! Hopefully one of my six albums will be chosen but the odds aren't great...
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by styrofoamboots »

Question for spiritualized--
I tend to rate from 4-10 since there's really not enough music that I dislike for a 1-10 scale to really work well. For example, the distinction between a 2/20 and a 3/10 would be basically arbitrary to me. However, I see that this game is on a 10 point scale. Should I just give my rating from 4-10, or should I try to normalize by "translating" to a 10 point scale? That might mean something like this:

4 becomes a 1/10 or 2/10
5 becomes a 3/10 or 4/10
6 becomes a 5/10 or 6/10
7 = 7/10
8 = 8/10
9 = 9/10
10 = 10/10
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Hymie »

styrofoamboots wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:34 am I tend to rate from 4-10 since there's really not enough music that I dislike for a 1-10 scale to really work well.
Oh, there's enough music that you dislike for it to work well. You just haven't heard much of it yet.

How about this hit from 1959?

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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by styrofoamboots »

Hood - Cold House

5/10

Hmm, pretty unique blend of genres. The slowcore elements were nice, but the glitch stuff didn't do much for me (especially the last track, it was kind of irritating). The atmosphere of this album is really well-suited to the end of fall and start of winter, even if it got a bit dull at times.
Last edited by styrofoamboots on Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by styrofoamboots »

Hymie wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:53 am
styrofoamboots wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:34 am I tend to rate from 4-10 since there's really not enough music that I dislike for a 1-10 scale to really work well.
Oh, there's enough music that you dislike for it to work well. You just haven't heard much of it yet.

How about this hit from 1959?
Idk, really wasn't that bad. I joined a music forum because I like most music.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Holden »

1. Hood - Cold House (2001)

What a great album to start out on! So many influences can be heard, from shoegaze to Radiohead to others I can't even name. Great album! I'm going to give it an 8!
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

styrofoamboots wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:34 am Question for spiritualized--
I tend to rate from 4-10 since there's really not enough music that I dislike for a 1-10 scale to really work well. For example, the distinction between a 2/20 and a 3/10 would be basically arbitrary to me. However, I see that this game is on a 10 point scale. Should I just give my rating from 4-10, or should I try to normalize by "translating" to a 10 point scale? That might mean something like this:

4 becomes a 1/10 or 2/10
5 becomes a 3/10 or 4/10
6 becomes a 5/10 or 6/10
7 = 7/10
8 = 8/10
9 = 9/10
10 = 10/10
Hello Styrofoamboots, it's up to you, I'll take whatever you want as a rating.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

Hymie wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:53 am
styrofoamboots wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:34 am I tend to rate from 4-10 since there's really not enough music that I dislike for a 1-10 scale to really work well.
Oh, there's enough music that you dislike for it to work well. You just haven't heard much of it yet.

Hymie, you always struck me as a singles/songs person, but maybe I'm wrong ? Will you participate in this game ?
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

1. Hood - Cold House (2001) - 7/10

Great discovery and an album fit for the onset of this dreary 2020 winter.

A full year after Kid A, the Leeds band (formed in 1990 by the two Adams brothers) returned for a third strike on Domino records in their bleak, electronica influenced post-rock. Whilst some songs are taking their influence directly from Kid A (You Show No Emotion at All - This Is What We Do To Sell Out), I can hear Bark Psychosis (Hex era) everywhere - sparse, echoey drums and ethereal guitars. The singing isn't great, but one wouldn't expect a soprano in a post-rock band.

"I Can't Find My Brittle Youth" veers towards a more structured, typical indie rock song (great bassline) and provides a bit of relief from the melancholy of the first half.
The inclusion of rappers Doseone and Why? (from cLOUDDEAD fame) on some of the songs doesn't work too well. It's original but too much out of place in the genre and style Hood is aiming at.

Solid album - no wonder it took the 44th spot on the best post-rock albums in Paste's list and 14th on Fact.

Choice cuts : You Show No Emotion at All, I Can't Find My Brittle Youth
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Rob »

Great to see this happen. I'll probably give each album a few spins (unless I really dislike it), so I won't vote at the start of a week, but I'm happy to start with this.

Can you share the spreadsheet with just the albums that are eligible here? If for no other reason that I want to check which albums got a solo vote by me, with which I'm going to terrorize you all here.
spiritualized wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:02 pm PS : if you can think of a better title for this game, I'm all ears ! And any suggestions to make the game more enjoyable are welcome with open arms
Since these two games share the same concept I think it only fitting they have the same name. I'll change the titles of my topics (at least the last few ones for now) to Biggest Fan Songs, just for clarity.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Hymie »

spiritualized wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:50 am
Hymie wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:53 am
styrofoamboots wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:34 am I tend to rate from 4-10 since there's really not enough music that I dislike for a 1-10 scale to really work well.
Oh, there's enough music that you dislike for it to work well. You just haven't heard much of it yet.

Hymie, you always struck me as a singles/songs person, but maybe I'm wrong ? Will you participate in this game ?
I am a songs person, hardly ever listen to an album. I'd only participate if an album from before the 1980s comes up. Anything like what's there now would be too much of a chore for me to suffer through.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Holden »

Rob wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:05 am Great to see this happen. I'll probably give each album a few spins (unless I really dislike it), so I won't vote at the start of a week, but I'm happy to start with this.

Can you share the spreadsheet with just the albums that are eligible here? If for no other reason that I want to check which albums got a solo vote by me, with which I'm going to terrorize you all here.
spiritualized wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:02 pm PS : if you can think of a better title for this game, I'm all ears ! And any suggestions to make the game more enjoyable are welcome with open arms
Since these two games share the same concept I think it only fitting they have the same name. I'll change the titles of my topics (at least the last few ones for now) to Biggest Fan Songs, just for clarity.
You have 18! Here is the spreadsheet. spiritualized, this is a different copy than the one you have.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Henry »

Thanks for sharing the spreadsheet. I plan top provide you with a PM regarding a few suggested corrections for the albums on the list that I voted for.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Rob »

Holden wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:27 pm You have 18! Here is the spreadsheet. spiritualized, this is a different copy than the one you have.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
Thanks. Spiritualized already shared his version with me. And he himself has the most entries!

Although a lot of that list is indeed obscure, I'm surprised to see how many classics still only got 1 vote. There are more Acclaimed Music ranking albums than I'd imagined, including some rather shocking candidates. We will get to them once I'm sure.

Finally, it seems that just like with the song list Prince is once again the big player here, again courtesy of Moonbeam nominating almost his complete output, although there is also a lot Todd Rundgren thanks to Henry.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by acroamor »

Looking at that spreadsheet now, I see a ton that would have made my list if I'd been able to finish it properly as a top 500 or 1000. Among those I see right now

2814 - Birth of a New Day
A Silver Mt. Zion - He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corners of Our Rooms
Azealia Banks - Broke with Expensive Taste (and likely many more from the past decade)
Colin Blunstone - One Year
Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
Oval - 94 Diskont
Prefuse 73 - Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives
Sum 41 - All Killer, No Filler
The Magnetic Fields - The Charm of the Highway Strip
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Madzong »

1. Hood - Cold House (2001) 5/10

I found the glitch pop elements annoying. I would have rated it higher if it wasn’t for that!
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by FrankLotion »

1. Hood - Cold House (2001) - 8/10

I'll echo what others have said that this was a great album to start with! It does have kind of an icy feel to it but it's also very bold and odd at times. I wouldn't accuse them of phoning it in on any of these songs, they sound very intricate and well considered.

I can see what people are saying with the Kid A comparison but as I was listening to it I also kept getting reminded of The Notwist, mostly in the vocals.

There wasn't really anything in particular I disliked about this, I think there were just some songs that paled in comparison to others for me.

Favorite Tracks: They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here, You Show No Emotion At All, Enemy of Time, You're Worth the Whole World
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by FrankLotion »

By the way, thanks for doing this Spiritualized! I was excited about this idea for a thread so I'm glad we can use it to get to know each other's deep cuts.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Schüttelbirne »

I'm not really good at writing, but I'm only gonna improve it by doing it, so don't take this too seriously.

1 | Hood | Cold House | 2001

Sometimes the sunset doesn't want to be photographed

Looking at the covers for different Hood albums and also at the cover arts for Richard Adams‘s current project The Declining Winter, one can‘t help but notice the predominant theme of nature photography, very often involving trees. These photos depict nature in a way that seems rather lonely. If there‘s sign of people it‘s mostly electric wires or a glimpse at rooftops; the sky is mostly cloudy and gray or it‘s evening. These observations do not fit all of their cover arts, but a lot of them. However, Cold House is specific in a different way. It does depict a gray sky, a mountain in the background and a lot of trees. There‘s also a house or what looks like a house to be seen, but it‘s not clear. It‘s blurry and seems like an out-of-focus polaroid picture was crumpled up, strechted out again, but behind a glass plate and then photographed. The mood it exhibits is even lonelier than that of the other covers; it‘s bleak and desolate.

I do like thinking about the album cover, because it‘s supposed to represent the sound of the album you‘re going to hear in visual form (or at least I think it‘s supposed to do that). The track list also contributes to a cold, wintery feel: „Branches Bare“ and „Lines Low Frozen to the Ground“ obviously reflect the winter, as does the album title; other titles exhibit a cold feeling, like „You Show No Emotion at All“ or „I Can‘t Find My Brittle Youth“. It all does its best to seem incredibly bleak.

But does the music reflect that? To start, a few words about the band: Hood is quintessentially a 90‘s project. They released four albums in that decade and two in the 2000s, but those were seen as a diversion from an established style, even if it was a welcome diversion, in the case of Cold House. In this interview from the current year the Adams Brothers talk extensively about their creative process and their craft, particularly regarding Cold House. Richard Adams says that he‘s resorted to describing Hood as sounding like Radiohead because that‘s a name many people are familiar with, but he also says he doesn‘t really like them. I can understand why the sound of the album reminds people of Kid A and The Notwist, but I‘m not sure I agree. They certainly combine indie rock with electronic elements but the way they do this is completely different.

„They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here“ begins with scrapes and glitches, but to counteract that it also features a pleasantly bowed cello. Chris Adams isn‘t exactly the greatest vocalist (and he‘s certainly aware of that), but his subdued way of singing the lyrics emphasises their meaning: „There‘s coldness in this sky/The last thing you ever wanted/Was for the love to die“. The vocals decline into whispers with only the cello consistently by their side to the end of the track. This track already shows the elegant tapestry of electronic and acoustic sounds Hood is able to weave on this album.

The next track shows a lot of emotion despite being titled „You Show No Emotion at All“ (that‘s a silly pun, but it‘s also true). The lyrics here are very nice; they‘re not dripping with metaphors, but rather calmly diagnose a certain state of quiet desparation. The line „Because you‘re innocent, I know that you won‘t survive“ is echoed in the final line „Will we survive? I know we will.“ It‘s a hope that keeps the lyrics from falling into sorrowful navel-gazing. Sometimes the text feels like a collage with different lines that don‘t seem to belong to each other, but putting them next to each other gives them a new meaning.
Andrew Staveley‘s trumpet adds a nice touch here. I always feel like brass is a very warm instrument and it does fulfill that function here. Electronics often tend to be rather sterile, while trumpet and cello are instruments that have a very „friendly“ sound. That mixture makes for a very nice listen.

Regarding mixture: In „Branches Bare“ they add hip hop vocals into the outro which integrates rather well. Most of the songs feature a long outro, something I don‘t particularly enjoy (think Sufjan Stevens‘s The Ascension this year), but the outros here actually add something positive to the song and remain an essential part of it. In this way I‘m reminded of the huge instrumental climaxes Sigur Rós does pretty well.

The strong electronic glitches at the start of „The Winter Hit Hard“ are brought together with increasingly heavier percussion, a flute melody that occassionally surfaces and C. Adam‘s vocals, which creates a wonderful soundscape to get lost in. Might be my favorite track on this album.

„I Can‘t Find My Brittle Youth“ takes a step back from the heavy electronics on the previous track (they mostly start in the end) and focuses on a guitar, bass and great drumwork. Lyrically it‘s on the weaker side of the album; it‘s one of those „You will die, so seize the moment“ things that‘s been around for thousands of years. That‘s not particularly bad and I‘m not holding it against them. It is however, a weaker song.

The next song „This Is What We Do to Sell Out(s) is very heavy on the electronic effects again, starting with a bunch of them and having them take the primary role in the instrumentation.

The lyrics on „Lines Low Frozen to the Ground“ do start with negative attributes, „coldest sea“, „tear-stained words“, „carry this weight“, but the resolution remains hopeful: „There‘s places in this world […] where you can be free“.
An album I‘m a bit reminded of is 22, A Million (one of my favorite albums ever), which mixes the sparse folk-y tunes of earlier Bon Iver with autotune and electronic effects creating an unique effect. The resolution of that album is to accept the hardships coming one‘s way. The resolution of the final song here, „You‘re Worth the Whole World“ comes with the final words: „I feel so / Loved“. Doesn‘t seem so bleak after all.

Best tracks: „They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here“, „You Show No Emotion at All“, „The Winter Hit Hard“, „You‘re Worth the Whole World“


7/10

Note: This is right between a 7 and an 8, but I'm only giving out round numbers, so I went with a 7 this time. Maybe I will update it at a later date.


Also, many thanks to spiritualized for running this.
I had a look at the albums from my album list and was surprised at finding King Crimson's Islands there. I didn't expect that.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by DaveC »

1. Hood - Cold House (2001): 7/10

Favourite track: Branches Bare
Least favourite track: This is what we do to Sell Out(s)

A good start for this game. I haven't heard Hood before and to my ears they don't sound like anyone else. The album starts well but then slumps somewhat with tracks 6-8 being rather weak before recovering with the closing track being one of the best on the album.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

Schuttelbirne,

You shouldn't feel like this - I really enjoyed your review, thoughtful, detailed, great stuff.
I hope you'll carry on sharing your views :)
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by CupOfDreams »

Honored to have the first album! Been a crazy, busy week for me but I will try and comment more tomorrow evening.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Brad »

1. Hood - Cold House (2001): 6.5

Thanks!
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Rob »

Not quite post-rock, ambient, slowcore, glitchy electronica, Kid A or Sigúr Ros, although all comparisons are earned. Cold House is best described, as Schüttelbirne already noted, by it's album art and also by it's title. It's a cold album, but in an inviting way perhaps familiar to people who like the winter months. I happen to be one of those people so I felt right at home here.

It is an easy album to like, but also one I didn't end up having strong feelings for. It opens quite strong with They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here (is this the most post-rock song title ever?), but from the second track on it settles into an easy sound that doesn't draw much attention, despite never going full ambient. It's pleasant, but even while listening with full attention I sometimes forgot that I was in fact listening to an album. The band is obviously very talented, but for me they didn't make an album that really sticks. In contrast to Madzong I thought the glitch elements were the highlight. It set the album a little apart, what it really needs.

But just when I feel that the album is completely floating out of my grasp we get the final song: You're Worth the Whole World. And that is exactly what I ordered. I find that one very moving and even though the sound is in line with what came before, something about it grabs me much more than the previous tracks. If nothing else, I'm glad for the appearance of this album here thanks to this song, even if it won't completely elevate the overall score.
6/10
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by CupOfDreams »

Hood - Cold House (2001) - 8.5

I seem to have many albums I am the sole fan of. Some I can vividly recall how I discovered them, others are more vague. Being in the 40+ age group that can usually be broken to my pre or post internet days. Buying albums pre-internet was a bit of a crapshoot, but it was always an event. Post-Internet made discovery easier in many ways as you had so much music at your fingertips. However with so much music now available, artists usually didn't get much time to make a favorable impression.

I can't pinpoint the date I discovered Hood, although I have listened to them for quite some time. In the late 90s, early 00s I was really into slowcore, post-rock, dreampop, lo-fi and anything slightly off the beaten path. Artists like Disco Inferno, Swans, Bark Psychosis, Tortoise, Stereolab, Low, Bedhead, Guided By Voices, Spiritualized were among favorites as I entered the internet age. I'm sure Hood popped up as a similar artist. I liked what I heard and dug a little deeper. Looking at my scrobbles over the last 7 years, Hood comes in at 131 with Cold House being my favorite release.

Not really good at writing reviews, but I know what I like. Cold House manages to mix a lot of elements and genres I like without it feeling like merely a tribute. It even adds an element (glitch) that usually doesn't work for me. Some have made a winter analogy, which is understandable, but it doesn't feel cold. More like being wrapped in a warm blanket staring out the window as changing leaves slowly fall to the ground. It's a music that allows you to drift, to wander. Sometimes you don't need that jolt.

I really love the flow of this album with one exception: This Is What We Do to Sell Out(s). This is the one song where the glitches tend to overwhelm rather than enhance. So it's not perfect. But I usually skip Revolution 9 too.

Favorites: They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here, You Show No Emotion at All, Branches Bare, The Winter Hit Hard, The River Curls Around the Town, You're Worth the Whole World
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

Rehousing this part of the thread to keep the first post tidy


Image

1. Hood - Cold House (2001)
Nominated by CupofDreams (#333)
Genre : Post-Rock, Slowcore
AM ranking : bubbling under
RYM ranking : # 331 for 2001 (1528 ratings)

A review from a fan (RYM)
entenduintransit Jan 10 2018

This album feels like it is decidedly not post-rock OR slowcore, but I digress...

I'm in Florida right now, for a week, before heading back to the snowy tundra that is central New York in January, and I think I would have been better off listening to this in that climate. This album is... frosty. It's a weird word to put it, but, the sounds here kind of bring out a different wintry feel. The glitchy aspects make me think of the thin layer of frost that accumulates on a windshield when it's not been snowing out, but it's still super cold. The airy guitars such as on "The River Curls Around the Town" feel like slowly falling snow, while moments on "The Winter Hit Hard" feels more like a blizzard. There are moments here that feel like a hot cocoa by the fireplace, or the knowing feeling of stepping out the door and that cold rush hitting your face and your breath rising into your field of view.

I like music that vivifies my senses.

Also listen to : (a few recommendations if you like this...)
Envy - Insomniac Doze
lowercase - The Going Away Present
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

Image

2. James - Laid (1993)
Nominated by Zombeels (#31)
Genre : Alternative Rock - Indie Pop
Length : 13 tracks, 55:36

AM ranking : Unranked
Artist Ranking : #1201
RYM ranking : #120 for 1993, #4,411 overall (1410 ratings @ 3.68 / 5.0)
256.9k unique listeners and 1.7m scrobbles on last.fm

Choice cuts : Sometimes, Say Something, Laid



James' Biography (from Allmusic)

As one of the first groups to be dubbed "the next Smiths," James became an institution on the British alternative music scene during the '80s and '90s with their pleasant folk-pop. Early in their career, James were praised by their idol Morrissey, which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. The group was pegged as second-rate Smiths, yet continued to tour and record, eventually gaining a sizable following. In the late '80s, James, like many of their British peers, became involved in the acid house-inspired "baggy" scene and recorded the baggy-inspired "Sit Down," which became their breakthrough hit. Shortly after "Sit Down," James became more experimental, culminating in a collaboration with Brian Eno that resulted in their biggest American album, Laid, in 1993. James took four years to follow Laid, by which time their audience had returned to a cult following.


A review from a fan (RYM)
p_q - Nov 16, 2018

One of the pleasing things about James is that they never really seemed to be a smaller part of a larger scene. Sure, every now and then they would release a single that would chime with the times, and sometimes that would equate to a big hit, such as when “Sit Down” briefly made them a ‘baggy’ act, or when “She’s a Star” made them look like Britpop’s knowing Uncles. The thing is, James have only ever been James, following where their muse led, heading up a sub-genre of just one act. This has resulted in periods where they enjoyed media support, when hit singles were plentiful, and others where they seemed as far away from the pulse of pop culture as it was possible to get. 1993’s Laid caught them at the point where they were enjoying significant success on the album charts (it was their third gold album in a row), with Brian Eno on production duties, and is arguably their finest hour.

One of the best things about Laid is that it doesn’t sound like James were chasing the youth market. There seems to have been an understanding within the band that a large portion of their fanbase were in their late 20s, edging into their early 30s, giving the song writing trio of Tim Booth, Larry Gott and Jim Glennie the scope to deliver more mature lyrical themes and subtler textures than the likes of saySuede or Blur were exploring at the time. With its supple sonics, Laid drips with quality, it’s subsequent durability confirming that James had higher concerns than just appearing on the front of the NME and shifting product. Hell, they even pay subtle tribute to Leonard Cohen on the cover.

Listening back to Laid 25 years after its release, it’s startling how well it has aged compared to so much British guitar music from the era. Laid is a soothing balm for sorrows, intelligent music for those of us with an ear for catchy tunes and great lyrics, but want to avoid predictable cliches. At least half of the thirteen tracks on Laid would have been huge hit singles if the world was a fair and just place, but it isn’t. The opening five tracks alone are worth the cost of the album, but in truth there’s absolutely nothing on Laid that could be classed as filler, and the title track in particular is one of the best songs of the 90s, with its suggestive lyrics and addictive drum pattern.

Quite why Laid failed to make James one of the biggest bands of the 90s is something that continues to confuse me, but then again most of what passed for British guitar music in that decade confused me, so perhaps that’s no great surprise. Perhaps in years to come both the band and the album will finally receive the recognition that they deserve.
Last edited by spiritualized on Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Madzong »

2. James - Laid (1993) 8.5/10

The singles fr this album are great. I especially love
"Sometimes" which is one of the most heart aching songs I have ever heard.

If any album should be ‘ranked’ this is one of them.

Brian Eno’s production is excellent also - kind of reminds me of some of the work he did with U2 at their best.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Rob »

I only know the title track, but that one is awesome. Definitely an album I'm willing to try out!
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Honorio »

1. Hood - Cold House (2001) - 7/10
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Holden »

2. James - Laid (1993) - 7/10

Two incredibly solid albums right away! Great choice, Zombeels!
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Listyguy »

Laid - 7/10
I tend to enjoy jangle pop and indie pop a lot, so I was definitely looking forward to this album. And it's got plenty of songs that I enjoyed: "Sometimes," "One of Three," and "Say Something" were probably my three favorites.

Cold House - 7/10
There's definitely a Kid A influence here, but I don't think the band is trying to copy Radiohead either. The somber, wintry mood of the album stands out to me as being one of the album's strongest features. I definitely hear some Midwest Emo in this album too.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Holden »

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

Here is a document showing how many albums each person has left, and the probability of your album being chosen next. I'll keep updating it as this goes on.

Some fun facts from the starting stats:
8 forumers (spiritualized, bonnielaurel, Moonbeam, M24, nicolas, Henry, sonofsamiam, and Brad) have more unique albums than the other 63 combined!

Emerald is the only ballot that has no unique albums, while Bang Jan and Jdizzle83 both have one.

spiritualized has more albums than 33 others combined.

Additionally I have included a weekly update system, this system contains numbers that total to 1000, meaning that if we drew 1000 albums, that is how many would be that persons on each respective week, so you can see how the odds move.
"The better a singer's voice, the harder it is to believe what they're saying."
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

Holden wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:30 pm https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

Here is a document showing how many albums each person has left, and the probability of your album being chosen next. I'll keep updating it as this goes on.

Some fun facts from the starting stats:
8 forumers (spiritualized, bonnielaurel, Moonbeam, M24, nicolas, Henry, sonofsamiam, and Brad) have more unique albums than the other 63 combined!

Emerald is the only ballot that has no unique albums, while Bang Jan and Jdizzle83 both have one.

spiritualized has more albums than 33 others combined.

Additionally I have included a weekly update system, this system contains numbers that total to 1000, meaning that if we drew 1000 albums, that is how many would be that persons on each respective week, so you can see how the odds move.
Nice going Holden,
Great tool to have a snapshot of how the game progresses :) I guess me and bonnielaurel will be the Hymie and Zombeels of the Album Edition !
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by mileswide »

Rummaging through the list, these stood out as being:

Almost included by me:
Interpol - El Pintor (just missed my top 50 of last decade)
Ibibio Sound Machine - Doko Mien (made my top 10 of last year)
The Beautiful South - Welcome to the Beautiful South (actually was in my preliminary AT ballot)
The Go-Betweens - Liberty Belle & the Black Diamond (another of my dearest discoveries from this year's MAA)
Beverley Knight - Who I Am (one of the first albums I bought, nearly worth including for the singles and Bestseller Mystery alone)
The Saints - (I'm) Stranded (should be recognised as one of the key punk LPs, would likely make an expanded list of mine)

My most unexpected Biggest Fans
Ludus - The Seduction & Jesca Hoop - Hunting My Dress (I found these through 2020's Unacclaimed and 2019's MAA, didn't the respective nominators even vote for these in this poll? The answer being clearly "No mileswide, that's why they're on the spreadsheet, dumbass")
Shibusashirazu [渋さ知らズ] - Shibuboshi [渋星] (I thought the Fantano factor might earn it some plaudits, it did so on RYM and AOTY where I'd happened upon it)
Bobbie Gentry - The Delta Sweete (I know Mercury Rev's tribute was a modest success on last year's EOY poll, just anticipated some trickle-down from that)

And so to what is a stellar start to another surefire treasure chest of a game, thanks for organising it, spiritualized!

Hood - Cold House 7.1 (my #17 top ranked album of 2001)

My highlights (in descending order of preference): The Winter Hit Hard, The River Curls around the Town, Bare Branches
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by FrankLotion »

2. James - Laid (1993) - 7/10

I thought this was pretty enjoyable, the lyrics are thoughtful and Brian Eno's production give the songs a little punch even when it slows down. Also I always liked that title track a lot but I never knew what it was called or who recorded it!

With that said, this album was a bit too long for me given how slow tempo some of the tracks were, so I tended to gravitate towards the more upbeat moments.

Favorite Tracks: Sometimes, Say Something, Laid
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Brad »

2. James - Laid (1993): 6.5

Thanks!
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Rob »

mileswide wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:26 pm Ludus - The Seduction & Jesca Hoop - Hunting My Dress (I found these through 2020's Unacclaimed and 2019's MAA, didn't the respective nominators even vote for these in this poll? The answer being clearly "No mileswide, that's why they're on the spreadsheet, dumbass".
I actually nominated Hunting My Dress for MAA last year. It almost made my list, but dropped off when I decided the cut-off point would be 250. To be fair, as much as I really like Hunting My Dress I don't return to it half as often as Memories Are Now (which did make my list and is one of my 18 entries in this game) and I probably should have chosen that one as my Jesca Hoop pick for MAA.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by styrofoamboots »

James - Laid (1993)

I was worried that this would be kind of dull based on the first track and, admittedly, the cover. However, it picked up a bit from "Sometimes" onwards. The title track is definitely the best-- I had the same moment of recognition as FrankLotion. All in all, not bad, but nothing all that special. The 55-minute runtime hurt more than it helped, I think.

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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Nassim »

mileswide wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:26 pm Rummaging through the list, these stood out as being:

My most unexpected Biggest Fans
Mine are from artists that got an album in our top 1000, I'm especially surprised that System of a Down first album didn't get at least one other vote ! South of Heaven by Slayer is also a surprise as well as, to a lesser extend, Pink by Four Tet.
Didn't expect the 2 Smog albums to make the list either, or Icky Mettle because if you believe Pitchfork that's a 90s indie stone cold classic.
And there are a bunch of albums I would have a hard time defending if they made it to the game ;)

The ones not from my list I'm most surprised to see getting only 1 vote would include :
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Street Survivors
Tricky - Pre-Millenium Tension
The Chills - Kaleidoscope World
Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar & Holy Wood
Air - 10,000Hz Legend
Pavement - Terror Twilight (guessed right away who the vote was from)
Run-D.M.C. - King of Rock
Best Coast - Crazy for You (used to be in my list)
Ghost - Meliora (the highest album on RYM that got only 1 vote ? )
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

And those I almost voted for :
GAS - Narkopop
Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line (one of the very first reviews I wrote for indiepoprock, back when I did that)
Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven

I stopped at albums that at least got a top 200 votes though, there are more than 3500 more to browse !
Stars of the Lid - And Their Refinement of the Decline
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Honorio »

2. James - Laid (1993) 6/10
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by mileswide »

Rob wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:27 am To be fair, as much as I really like Hunting My Dress I don't return to it half as often as Memories Are Now
I'll have to seek that one out (or see if it crops up here)! The only other album of hers I know is Stonechild and, while it doesn't measure up to HMD, it has some jewels, not least Outside of Eden.
Nassim wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:34 pm South of Heaven by Slayer is also a surprise as well as...AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
I can't say I share that feeling of shock that a metal band and hard rock group didn't get second votes for albums beyond the pantheon, Led Zep and Sabbath are the only 'heavy' bands I'd be sure would gain multiple votes for 2 LPs on the forum.

Dirty Deeds almost missed the cut completely, I originally had Let There Be Rock but I swapped it at the last minute as I couldn't personally justify having 2 ACϟDC albums on such a short list. I'd rank South of Heaven 2nd out of 3 Slayer albums I know (sandwiched between Raining and Abyss), so it may well avoid the fate of Biggest Fan in 2023!
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by mileswide »

James - Laid 5.7 (my #19 for 1993)
My highlight: Laid

This months highlights ranked:
Laid
The Winter Hit Hard
The River Curls around the Town
Bare Branches
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by Schüttelbirne »

2. James - Laid: 6/10
Highlights: "Knuckle Too Far", "Five-O"

I meant to write something about this after listening to it again, but instead I listened to a two-and-a-half-hour Free Jazz live album. Priorities, I guess.
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by spiritualized »

And we continue with a peek into the depths of the 90s, this time with Hip-Hop, brought to you by schaefer.tk

Image


3. KRS-One - KRS-One (1995)
Nominated by schaefer.tk (#410)
Genre : East Coast Hip Hop, Conscious Hip Hop, Boom Bap, Hardcore Hip Hop (#111 in the RYM East Coast Hip Hop chart)
Length : 14 tracks, 65:49

AM ranking : Unranked
Artist Ranking : #2764
RYM ranking : #122 for 1995, #4,046 overall (976 ratings @ 3.68 / 5.0)
122.2k unique listeners and 671.6k scrobbles on last.fm

Choice cuts : MC's Act Like They Don't Know, Rappaz R. N. Dainja



Biography (from last.fm)

KRS-One (born Lawrence Parker on August 20, 1965 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York) is an American hip-hop MC. Over his career he has been known by several pseudonyms, including Kris Parker, KRS One, KRS-ONE (as given at his site), The Blastmaster and The Teacha. KRS-One is an acronym for "Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everybody". KRS-One is a significant figure in the hip hop community and is often referenced in works by other hip hop artists and critics as being the 'essence' of an MC and one of the greatest to ever hold the mic.

KRS-One, originally a member of the hip hop crew Boogie Down Productions, is known for setting the path for both hardcore rap and socially conscious political rap.


A review from a fan (RYM)
diction - Feb 10 2009

One of the most impressive things about KRS-One is how consistent his discography is, the rappers that have a 7th album that is this good are of a rare breed, it's like he didn't know how to be wack (wtf happened tho). Return of the Boom Bap showed rappers how to rap and how to make a classic late in your career, and KRS-One is definitely a worthy follow up to it. The production is mostly handled by KRS this time around, but he does get the help of DJ Premier (3 beats), Diamond D (2 beats) and Showbiz (1) to patch things up. The production on the whole is some great east coast "boom bap" but it's not quite as impressive as the beats on his previous album. If KRS was criticized for being too preachy on "Edutainment", I wonder why people don't do it for this album because he really is a lot more on this one but that's what makes him great after all. He's not called the teacher for nothing, it's because he teaches and yeah that's preachy. Who cares tho, the guy brings much skills and what he raps about is actually interesting. It's hard to compare his performance with his other albums, it's not quite his best but it's great and it's KRS so it's definitely an album where you should learn all the lyrics. I'd recommend this excellent album to fans of KRS-One and mid-90's east coast, it's damn near essential if you are.
If you like this, also listen to :

Redman - Muddy Waters
Organized Konfusion - Stress: The Extinction Agenda
The Beatnuts - The Beatnuts
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Re: Biggest Fan - The Album Edition

Post by DaveC »

2. James - Laid (1993): 7/10

Favourite track: Five-O
Least favourite track: Low Low Low

13 admirably written and well crafted tracks - I might say too well crafted if that didn't sound irrational. No filler - Hooray. This has grown on me over multiple listens, but it does tiptoe very close to the black hole of blandness.
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