Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (Moanin)

More jazz that sounds awesome, but again I don't know enough about jazz to talk about it well. Allmusic says it's 'Hard bop' which may or may not have been a reaction to cool jazz that is louder and more extraverted with more prominent drums.

Magazine - real life

Real Life is interesting in the way it combines the vocal patterns of rougher early post punk bands like Wire and The Jam and adds more polished synth heavy pop production to it.

Various Artists - Woodstock

I think I listened to the right thing here. A lot of great performances here, but not really built cohesively as an album. More focused on trying to capture the history than a listening experience. I'd rather listen to artists' individual sets.

The Waterboys - This Is The Sea

This might be the first time I've liked a Waterboys album. I like the mix of influences from alternative, folk, with bluesy saxophone and the poppy finish. The moody atmosphere of the songs highlights the emotional songwriting.

Winner: Art Blakey
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Anyone know a good source to find Public Image Ltd - Album?
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Count Basie - Basie/The Atomic Mr Basie/The Complete Atomic Basie

Big band isn't my favorite style of jazz, but this is one of the better executions of it I've ever heard.

Miles Davis - Miles Ahead-

Miles Ahead is more my speed as far as jazz goes. Cool jazz with experimentation and lots of improvisation.

Public Image Ltd - Album/Compact Disc/Cassette

Not sure what to make of this one. Aesthetically it sounds a lot like other Public Image Ltd stuff, but it seems to be trying to incorporate more mainstream rock guitar and vocal melodies. It just doesn't come together well.

The Pretty Things - S.F. Sorrow

S.F. Sorrow I already know I like because it was in Moderate, had I realized it was also in this game I would have moved this matchup to the front and done them both at the same time. That probably gives the album an advantage. The folky guitar picking but in the space of 60s psychedelia just works really uniquely well.

Winner: Miles Davis
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Roy Harper - Lifemask

My first introduction to Roy Harper was through his late career album Man & Myth, and everything else I've heard has the same epic emotional folk anthems. Lifemask which is the followup to Stormcock sounds similar to Stormcock with maybe not as high highs, but a few of the tracks are just breathtaking. His vocals have a wailing timbre underscored by melancholy, understated virtuosic guitar.

The Cars - The Cars

Formulaic pop rock with a few good hooks. Hollow synths and packed emotion.

Blumfeld - L’Etat Et Moi

Sounds kind of like Sonic Youth but with a happier singer who sings in German. Neat.

The Loud Family - The Tape Of Only Linda

Whether it be Loud Family or Game Theory, Scott Miller albums always seem to be full of noisy, chaotic distorted pop. It's good but doesn't expand much on Plants and Rocks And Birds And Other things or reach its heights.

Winner: Roy Harper
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Just realized Supertramp - Breakfast In America was on the list twice.

I can't find a link to the list as it appeared before the update when I built the draw, but Let Love In got in last, so I'll go with the album that appears right after it: Future - DS2.
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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I listened to a bit of Breakfast In America before realizing it was a duplicate. Still think "Not much of a girlfriend, I never seem to get a lot" is one of the cringiest lyrics in music history.

Future - DS2

One of the songs has the lyrics "Keep that mask on" over and over. Kind of a funny song to listen to now knowing it came out in 2015 when it meant something much more metaphorical. This is a good album with some compelling atmospheres, though some of the autotune is jarring. Kinda repetitive and mostly about the standard 'hoes and bitches' rap topics, but a good listen.

Sonny Sharrock - Guitar

Free jazz with a great musician dueting with himself, what's not to like?

The Slits - Trapped Animal

You never know what to expect from albums that come after decades long layoffs. In terms of the melodies and the reggae inspired rhythms it sounds a lot like their earlier material and those aspects work well. The production leaves a lot to be desired, with occasional bursts of autotune and not a lot of energy. Lyrics are a bit on the nose, just coming out and saying things plainly that would normally be told colorfully through metaphor.

The Cramps - Songs The Lord Taught Us

A violent garage rock assault, just straight thrashy aggressive fun. If it were more polished, the song structures and vocal patterns remind me of 50s rock.

Winner: Sonny Sharrock
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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N.E.R.D - In Search of…

Intriguing album. I didn't know this was a Pharrell project. Blends some hip hop sensibilities with influences from blues, classic rock, alternative and grunge very successfully. The grooves are imminent and smooth, combining the positives of multiple genres and the sound of the 90s. If anything the vocals are the album's weak link.

The For Carnation - The For Carnation

Quiet creeping lo-fi reminding me a little of Low. Hints of Radiohead influence in the guitar melodies but stripped way down.

Aphex Twin - Syro

I've never been into Aphex Twin just because his music sounds mechanical and emotionless to me. This doesn't do much to change my opinion. Well mixed and technically solid electronic loops with no emotional handles. Like it was written by a robot.

The Weeknd - House of Balloons

Another band I've just never really been into. They're not bad or anything, they just never draw me in. It's competent R&B with some interesting moods but some of the melodies seem disjointed and abrupt. Reading some blurbs and reviews about it a lot of people focus on the lyrics about seedy nightclub encounters. I'm just not impressed by that. Music has been there, done that ten times better.

Winner: N.E.R.D.
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Jirin wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:34 pm N.E.R.D - In Search of…

Intriguing album. I didn't know this was a Pharrell project. Blends some hip hop sensibilities with influences from blues, classic rock, alternative and grunge very successfully. The grooves are imminent and smooth, combining the positives of multiple genres and the sound of the 90s. If anything the vocals are the album's weak link.
Did you listen to the 2001 version (with electronic backing) or the 2002 version (with live instruments backing) ?
I think only the 2002 one is on Spotify, but I like the 2001 better. I think only Lapdance sounds better on the 2002 version (well, possibly Rockstar too but I heard the Jason Nevins remix so often playing SSX 3 that this is the definitive version for me)
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Nassim wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 9:10 am
Jirin wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:34 pm N.E.R.D - In Search of…

Intriguing album. I didn't know this was a Pharrell project. Blends some hip hop sensibilities with influences from blues, classic rock, alternative and grunge very successfully. The grooves are imminent and smooth, combining the positives of multiple genres and the sound of the 90s. If anything the vocals are the album's weak link.
Did you listen to the 2001 version (with electronic backing) or the 2002 version (with live instruments backing) ?
I think only the 2002 one is on Spotify, but I like the 2001 better. I think only Lapdance sounds better on the 2002 version (well, possibly Rockstar too but I heard the Jason Nevins remix so often playing SSX 3 that this is the definitive version for me)
2002 version. From what I read it’s considered better.
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Double Trouble - Texas Flood

Stevie Ray Vaughan is a name I associate with people into really technical guitar playing. His music is full of great old school blues riffs and brimming with energy. He's also the kind of singer who feels like the sum of his influences. Walk into a New Orleans bar where this music is playing it'd be heaven, but not as much made for recorded album home listening.

Mos Def - Black On Both Sides

Solid rap album, fun and socially conscious over loops, good wordplay and flow.

Philip Glass - Einstein on the Beach

Horray, a three plus hour long minimalist opera. More so than his album oriented work this feels more like an experimental music theory class than music designed to be viscerally enjoyed. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you're into, but it makes it super hard to get through otherwise, especially if you're listening to it while doing other things that require some degree of mental focus. I feel obligated to hear the whole three hours if I'm going to treat it like an entry to a competition I'm the only judge for, but not sure I can. The goal of the music is to be intellectually interesting, not so much to be pleasurable. And it succeeds.

Stiff Little Fingers - Inflammable Material

Fun raw old school punk. Power chords, simple melodies yelled, and charisma, that's all you need.

Winner: Mos Def
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Genesis - Selling England By The Pound

Genesis has a reputation of being ambitious to the point of being overwrought. A lot of the album sounds good, but a lot of the time I can't help but think it'd work better if the compositions were a little simpler. Both the music and the lyrics sound like they're designed around being perceived as important. You wonder if Phil Collins even sees music as something associated with pleasure. All theory no feeling, trying hard to associate himself with literary greatness instead of just writing something honest, and it makes some of the lyrics cringey. Overcomplicating every measure well past the point of diminishing returns.

Budd Powell - The Amazing Bud Powell

More solid jazz. It soundy good.

The Smiths - Rank

Nice collection of Smiths live tracks. Not much to say about this one. I like them cause I like the albums the songs came from.

Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs

Madcap Laughs feels disjointed and unfinished. Like they started to write some good songs then published the first take.

Winner: Budd Powell
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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The Replacements - Hootenanny

Hootenanny seems to have the roughness and fun of Let It Be but with less fully realized songwriting. It seems to drastically bounce between completely different styles but most of the songs work pretty well.

Rihanna - Anti

There are some pop stars that when I listen to them I'd think their songs would sound really good if they were acoustic. If they just turned the computers off, played the songs on instruments singing directly into a microphone with no manipulation. Especially with the vocals, even when the melodies sound good the abrupt stopping and starting of tones is distracting. Overpolished music is emotionless music, and computerized music has seams that are just jarring. But they're perfectly good, well written and performed pop songs. I just wish I could hear an Unplugged version of it.

Ray Charles - The Genius of Ray Charles

Nice relaxing set of pop songs with jazzy backing.

The Roots - How I Got Over

The Roots have always seemed to me like one of those soft hitting rap bands not aimed at rap audiences. Maybe why they got that Late Night job. I think Game Theory cracked my top 20 in its year and I saw them opening for Erykah Badu that year. The album is soul and blues influenced and more relaxed and less aggressive than you expect from the genre. Although it's weird as hell to hear a Joanna Newsom sample in a rap album.

Winner: The Roots
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Beyonce - Beyonce

Beyonce is a much better listen than some of the other recent pop albums in this game. All the singing sounds like the actual human voices of people who are talented singers. A lot of these songs I've already heard as singles. Just solid catchy pop songs from a talented performer. The lyrics are personal, powerful and sexually charged, and you're always drawn in by the charisma even when the song itself isn't that great.

Tom Waits - Alice

I'm a huge Tom Waits fan to the point he has three albums in my top ten, but for whatever reason Alice is the Tom Waits album I haven't liked in the past. It's got the same eccentricities as other Tom Waits album but for whatever reason sounds more grating and annoying than it usually does. Same ingredients without the same chemical reaction. Maybe because the instrumental parts don't match the grungy, gritty tone of his vocals as well.

Mount Eerie - Wind’s Poem

Wind's Poem is a minimalist lofi more like Sauna than his later A Crow Looked At Me. Quiet textures slowly building on themselves rather than traditional song structure, reminding me a little of Fennesz.

The Verve - A Storm In Heaven

A Storm In Heaven has some of the similar echoeyness of their later more famous work but without the crisp hooky melodies attached. Quieter and slower, the vocals kind of fade solemnly into the ambiance. it's an enjoyable if far less distinctive listen.g

Winner: Mount Eerie (Close between Mount Eerie and Beyonce).
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Liz Phair - Funstyle

Exile in Guyville has been a mainstay in my top 100 for a long time. But she may be in the unfortunate group of singers who sounded unique because their songs were a little bit off key. So when she got better at singing it made her sound less distinctive. Funstyle is a pretty big oddity, particularly with Bollywood, which awkwardly mimics hip hop record industry takedowns. The album has some strong melodies and the oddly soothing Bang! Bang!, then And He Slayed Her which feels like a throwback to the Exile style, but then also has a bunch of awkward meta-skits with clips of people criticizing her which sound like she's trying to do her version of the skits on 80s hip hop albums. She swings between hip hop, indie and pop styles with a vocal style that only makes sense for the more indie style because it has delicacy and sharpness without the extraverted expressiveness of more pop oriented styles.

Built To Spill - There’s Nothing Wrong With Love

Built To Spill is pretty generic indie lo-fi. It's enjoyable, but nothing about it stands out much. They sound like Pavement with a little harder guitar, but none of the songwriting is varied enough for the album not to sound like one long jaded indie blob.

Dusty Springfield - A Girl Called Dusty/Stay Awhile - I Only Want To Be With You

This is what I wish pop music still sounded like. Just fun, catchy, energetic songs with the real, raw sound that can only be generated by real humans playing real instruments and recording those sounds exactly as the instrument and human voices produced them.

The version of this I listened to was Stay Awhile on Spotify which I assume is just the US version.

Lucinda Williams - Happy Woman Blues

Happy Woman Blues sounds more bluegrass than her later work. Particularly I Lost It, which is an earlier much more fast paced version of the same song from a more famous period of her career. She was always a great singer. At this point in her career she's singing more inside the lines and hasn't quite figured out the emotional urgency of her later work.

Winner: Dusty Springfield
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Just realized Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder got in twice, so it gets replaced with next one after Future - DS2, Diana Ross - Diana.
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Diana Ross - Diana

Strong collection of R&B pop songs. A couple songs I recognized but didn't know they were from her.

Johnny Burnette - Johnny Burnette and the Rock n Roll Trio

Solid but heavily packaged and formulaic 50s rock.

SZA - Ctrl

Some pretty decent new school R&B. It doesn't have very strong melodies or hooks and suffers some from the staccato abruptness of computer adjusted notes. I don't know how that became the norm for pop music, cutting off the trailing note or drum hit so abruptly, changing so abruptly from one exact note to the next it's jarring. Rigid melodies that frequently consist of the same note repeated eight or so times.

Count Basie - Count Basie Swings

Solid big band jazz, but one of those that seems like it'd work better live than packaged as a recording. Joe Williams' vocals bring a personality that complements the band perfectly.

Winner: Diana Ross
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Jirin wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:31 pm Johnny Burnette - Johnny Burnette and the Rock n Roll Trio

Solid but heavily packaged and formulaic 50s rock.
The Johnny Burnette Trio album is anything but formulaic 50s rock. They were one of the most unique rock acts of the decade, and this album is one of the most prized 1950s albums by collectors. A near mint copy would sell these days for over $2,000. The last real good copy sold on Discogs went for $2619.
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Jirin wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:31 pm Diana Ross - Diana

Strong collection of R&B pop songs. A couple songs I recognized but didn't know they were from her.

Winner: Diana Ross
Diana is such a good album! I was shocked to find how much I liked it. An essential listen, IMO.
"The better a singer's voice, the harder it is to believe what they're saying."
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Hymie wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:12 am
Jirin wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:31 pm Johnny Burnette - Johnny Burnette and the Rock n Roll Trio

Solid but heavily packaged and formulaic 50s rock.
The Johnny Burnette Trio album is anything but formulaic 50s rock. They were one of the most unique rock acts of the decade, and this album is one of the most prized 1950s albums by collectors. A near mint copy would sell these days for over $2,000. The last real good copy sold on Discogs went for $2619.
To each his own. Maybe I should give it another listen but it doesn't stand out from all the other 50s rock to me.

I think any album people like would sell for a lot to collectors if it were really difficult to get. But since I have it on Spotify there's no scarcity bias for me.
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Jirin wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:04 pm I think any album people like would sell for a lot to collectors if it were really difficult to get. But since I have it on Spotify there's no scarcity bias for me.
It's not about the music being hard to get, it's about having an original copy of the item. There are VERY FEW 1950s Rock albums that are worth as much as the Burnette. Maybe none. They were not very popular in their era so an original copy of the album is hard to find, and almost impossible to find in near mint condition.
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Hymie wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:49 pm
Jirin wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:04 pm I think any album people like would sell for a lot to collectors if it were really difficult to get. But since I have it on Spotify there's no scarcity bias for me.
It's not about the music being hard to get, it's about having an original copy of the item. There are VERY FEW 1950s Rock albums that are worth as much as the Burnette. Maybe none. They were not very popular in their era so an original copy of the album is hard to find, and almost impossible to find in near mint condition.
That's fine, it's just not an argument of quality in and of itself, just an argument of supply relative to demand. I'll give it a second listen to see if my opinion changes.
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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I listened to it again and compared it to some other 50s rock. I stand by the statement that it has the same compostion, chord structure and vocal melodies as the other popular rock of the time. But the guitar does stand out a bit more.
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Jirin wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:29 pm I listened to it again and compared it to some other 50s rock. I stand by the statement that it has the same compostion, chord structure and vocal melodies as the other popular rock of the time. But the guitar does stand out a bit more.
Composition, chord structure and melodies come from songwriters, not artists. Most of the best Burnette Trio songs were written and done first by other acts. What makes them different is the vocal style and the guitar. The wild and frantic style of the music. Check out these 2 versions of the same song. They have the same Composition, chord structure and melody, but don't sound at all like each other.

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You make some good points, but they have a lot more bearing on my respect for the musician than they do on my assessment on that particular recorded work.
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Free - Fire and Water- (1970)

One of the best examples of 1970s blues rock I've ever heard. I'm surprised I haven't heard of this band until now. They may not have the memorable hooks of more famous bands (Other than the obvious All Right Now) but they are such great blues rock meat and potatoes you'd think they'd have lasting popularity anyway.

Kings of Leon - Youth and Young Manhood

I find this one more interesting than the other Kings and Leon albums in this game cause it's rawer and more energetic. The southern rock/garage rock feel that's played down in later more polished albums give them a fresher, funner sound than I'm used to hearing from them.

Bjork - Telegram

Telegram is a remix album of Post that a lot of people treat as a separate release because of how extensively the tracks were rearranged. It sounds good but the experiments can also be a bit hit or miss.

Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters At Newport 1960-

Can't go wrong with a live Muddy Waters performance, and one of his most classic ones.

Winner: Free. It's a shame Muddy Waters was matched up with it because they both would have won any of the last few.
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Ravi Shankar - Three Ragas- (1956)

I'm a fan of Shankar's stuff he did with George Harrison but I'm not familiar with his pure classical stuff. I like the raga style, I don't have any basis to compare it to other ragas but it sounds really good. Maybe one of the favorites to win this game.

The Incredible String Band - The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter- (1968)

A beautiful folk album with obvious influences on bands like Zeppelin and obvious influences from the Indian-influenced Beatles songs like Within You Without You. Another one I'm surprised given its history that I've never heard of before. And that is really unfortunate to be put up against Three Ragas. It's different from the American folk at the time, less old timey storytelling and politicking and more quirky tongue in cheek cleverness.

LL Cool J - Radio

This has the cadence and rhythm of what you'd expect from 80s rap but vocals are a little harder and more aggressive like later rap. Works well.

FKA Twigs - LP1-

FKA Twigs are one of the best of the newest wave of indie, and MAGDALENE was one of the best albums released its year. LP1 sounds similar but without the memorable hooks MAGDALENE has.


Winner: Ravi Shankar (In one of the strongest fields in the last several matchups, nothing lower than an 8.6).

I thought I remembered Saxophone Colossus and it turns out it was in the first one of these I did three years ago. It actually made it to round 2 and lost to Public Enemy. So I replaced it with the next one down from Diana, Supergrass - I Should Coco. (I have already heard Nick of Time).

The Band - Moondog Matinee

The Band covers a bunch of 50s R&B songs. The album seems to have a poor reputation, but it's not bad at all. It doesn't necessarily play to the band's strengths but there's no problem with it. Talented musicians playing classic songs.

The Afhgan Whigs - Gentlemen

Afghan Whigs are one of the best modern old school rock bands, I haven't gone all that deep into their catalog. They're really good at guitar riffs that drive the mood of the song. They could use a more charismatic vocalist.

Supergrass - I Should Coco

Cool British power pop. Really fun to listen to. Most of the reading I've found about them on the Internet complains they aren't held in as high regard as other big British 90's rock bands. I'm not sure I'd place them as high but I appreciate they aren't as self serious.

Pearl Jam - Vs.

It can be tough to classify Pearl Jam's mid 90s work. A band that rebelled against music videos in an era where the music video was the biggest promotional mechanism. Arena rock from a band associated with the grunge movement. Solid catchy guitar driven rock melodies that aren't quite trying to fit in the same category as the band is primarily associated with. Overall it's a good album but not all that memorable.

Winner: The Afghan Whigs
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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T. Rex - The Slider

Electric Warrior is one of the highly rated 70s rock albums I just plain do not get. The Slider is the same, there's not technically anything wrong with it, it just strikes no chord with me at all. The whole attitude is like 'Cool in a way that I do not find cool in the slightest'. Maybe that's just my reaction to the whole glam thing.

The Rolling Stones - Out Of Our Heads

Stones sound like for most of the album they hadn't discovered their identity yet. Or maybe it was through Satisfaction that they did. The vocals sound a lot like what I'm used to from Aftermath but the rhythm sounds more R&B influenced or even like the Beatles. They've even got Beatles hairstyles on the cover.

Anais Mitchell - Hymns For The Exiled

I've never heard anything Anais Mitchell did before Hadestown and her theatrically dramatic storytelling inclinations. Her vocal talent and tenderness has always been there but wasn't quite striking a chord with her songwriting yet.

2Pac - All Eyez On Me

I heard the hits off this album on MTV just when I first started watching it. All that time I was listening to it with the N word censored. Sounds like very different songs now. 2Pac has more melodic tendencies than a lot of other rappers out there and he's more partying less gangster so he's more accessible to pop audiences than some other 90s rap acts. Good album.

Winner: Rolling Stones
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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John Coltrane - My Favorite things is another one that accidentally got in that was already 'Discovered' the first time I did the game. Going down the list, the first one down I haven't heard is Marilyn Manson, but that shock value serial abuser doesn't deserve the Spotify click, so next after him is The Mamas and the Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears.

Common - Be

Smooth indie rap with excellent flow.

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley-

Really good classic bluesy rock and roll album. Compared to some of the other 50s rock I've listened to for this game, it's driven just by naturally great rhythm and musicianship rather than vocal gimmicks.

MC5 - Back in the USA

Solid 70s fun guitar rock.

The Mamas and the Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears

60s pop music with the iconic style of vocal harmonies of the era. Nice catchy collection of songs with the schoolyard kind of lyrics.

Winner: Bo Diddley
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Mary Margaret O’Hara - Apartment Hunting

It's a little weird that her only album other than Miss America is a soundtrack to a Hugh Grant movie 14 years after the fact. It's actually quite good, but more songwriter style with styles ranging from jazzy to country and doesn't remind me much of Miss America.

Pulp - We Love Life

On the other end of their career from the first Pulp album in this game. A collaboration with Scott Walker, it sounds different from anything else I've heard from Pulp. The softer more open soundscapes make me think of Urban Hymns, if the Verve singer didn't hit notes as well. It suits their style, even if it's not as memorable as what they do on Different Class.

Traffic - Mr Fantasy

Out of all the 60s bands my father pushed on me when I first got into classic rock, Traffic probably resonated with me the least. They're okay, solid musicianship, but their writing just never seems to go anywhere that interests me much.

Bert Jansch - Jack Orion-

Bert Jansch was introduced to me when he opened for Neil Young, and since I've tried to push him on the forum via music discovery games. This one is a beautiful album of simple folk that reminds me a little of a more stripped down less hyper literate Townes Van Zandt.

Winner: Bert Jansch
Jirin
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Roxy Music - Viva!

I've heard all their albums that were released at the point this live album was released so none of it is new to me.

Placebo - Without You I’m Nothing

When I was 15 and wandering outward from the music played on MTV for the first time I remember thinking "A friend in need's a friend indeed, a friend with weed is better" was a really cool line and loved the song. But I don't think I ever actually bought the album or heard it in full. Hearing it with fresh ears a couple decades later, musically it doesn't stand out much from the post grunge fare of the late 90s with some Sonic Youth-style guitar riffs mixed in, except maybe better than average songwriting for the style.

Arvo Part - Collage

I'm a fan of Arvo Part from Tabula Rasa and De Profundis. In this case I'm finding it hard to figure out if I'm listening to the right thing because Spotify has lots of combinations of various different compositions and the AllMusic entry doesn't have a proper track list. Perfectly good minimalist classical music, I don't know enough about it to comment too heavily.

Chic - C’Est Chic

Classic funk sound.

Winner: Chic

Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth

A beautiful downplayed saxophone driven progressive jazz album.

Neneh Cherry - Homebrew

The previous Neneh Cherry albums I've heard are Raw Like Sushi and Blank Project, two very different styles. This one seems to have a bit of both, one track with trappings of old school hip hop and the next having spiritually charged R&B. As a whole it works really well, if it's lacking the hooks the other two albums I mentioned have.

Spoon - They Want My Soul

Spoon never quite hit on the kind of success they found in the early 00s. They went the way of a lot of classic rock bands where they stopped evolving their style, but instead of looking for fresh inspiration or honing their craft spent several years of their career trying to mimic their best selves.

My Morning Jacket - At Dawn

BONNAROOOOO!

At Dawn reminds me of the elements of what they accomplished with Z. Indie rock songs with spacey arena-like guitar. They show signs of hitting their stride but the album isn't as memorable as their later work. It has a slower, more Fleet Foxes-esque vibe to it.

Winner: Oliver Nelson
Jirin
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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The Beta Band - The Three EP’s

An interesting record in that it falls generally somewhere between late 90s British pop and early 00s indie but with some more unconventional melodies. The second branches more into Radiohead/Cornershop territory. The third is more like 00s lofi indie style.

The Soft Boys - Underwater Moonlight

Seems like a combination of early 80s punk pop and some 60s Britpop harmonizing. Some great hooks like 'I Want To Destroy You'. Overall a fun album. Kind of unnecessarily long.

Jane’s Addiction - Strays

Sounds like the classic Jane's Addiction albums except with no standout singles.

Ike and Tina Turner - River Deep - Mountain High

A collection of pithy love songs elevated by Turner's powerful voice and raw energy. Michael Buble's cover of Save The Last Dance For Me is one of the songs that Clear Channel cruelly tortured me with through the years I spent most of my work hours in retail stores, so I have a Pavlovian aversion to it, even though this version is actually good. (And incidentally, changing "I won't forget who's taking me home" to "Don't forget who's taking you home" changes the singer from sounding like a loyal lover to a jealous controlling lover). But that's not Turner's fault, any more than I can blame Joni Mitchell for the version of Big Yellow Taxi I was subjected to. Overall, the songs themselves aren't that interesting but the performance is incredible.

Winner: The Beta Band
Jirin
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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I think I actually heard Love Symbol Album as part of the Moderate game two years ago. Next on the list would be Sonny Rollins - The Bridge, which is fitting because Saxophone Colossus got booted from the game for remembering I had already heard it.

Sonny Rollins - The Bridge-

It soundy good. Allmusic calls it 'Hard bop' but you can hear some free jazz in it too.

New Order - Brotherhood

Sounds pretty much the same as the other 80s New Order albums but without the memorable hooks.

Laura Nyro - Angel In The Dark

I didn't know Laura Nyro was still performing this late. A nice peaceful stroll through Laura Nyro's classic style.

David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name

This is a really interesting album, one of the more unique I've come across in this game. Wandering, brooding tone with haunting CSNY-like harmonies.

Winner: Sonny Rollins

That brings me 3/4 of the way through the 41h round with 48 out of the 64 winners settled. So far the favorites are probably Nearly God and Three Rajas.
Jirin
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Beck - Stereopathetic Soulmanure

The thrashy, junky version of Beck from the beginning. Like a rougher Mellow Gold. I like it. Although very uneven.

Them - The Angry Young Them-

I've never heard Them before except for Mystic Eyes and Gloria both being used in episodes of Sopranos, and didn't know Van Morrison was in a band before going solo. Pretty awesome picky, bluesy rock music. Van Morrison's singing style perfectly suits and elevates the instrumentals. A few of the songs kind of close off his voice in a way that doesn't suit him, like they're written more for a Mick Jagger style voice than Van Morrison. But I can imagine this harsher style of guitar on some of Van Morrison's solo hits and I'd like to hear that version. (I can just pretend Van Morrison hasn't spent his last two years whining about lockdowns and cancel culture so I can still like him. Just say he's gone senile in his old age.) It's a bit weird hearing Go On Home Baby, being so familiar with Sloop John B. Like The Beach Boys used the song as a basis but didn't like any of the lyrics.

Peter Doherty - Grace/Wastelands

Post-maturation Libertines? It's always a crapshoot guessing what artists known for harshness and rawness are going to mature into. Whether they settle into a tamer version of their younger self, whether they sink into vanilla singer songwriteriness, focus more on raw musicianship or just branch out and explore whatever other genres suit their fancy. This one seems somewhere between the first two.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Will The Circle Be Unbroken

Twangy country with a bluegrass flavor. Good album, way longer than it needs to be.

Winner: Them
Jirin
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Guns N Roses - Use Your Illusion II

A few of their classics are on this one and they get super political. I have mixed feelings on their Knockin on Heaven's Door cover, because I love the guitar components but think all the added 'Hey, hey hey yeah's are extraneous and detract from the song. Good album overall, great guitar, but I think compared to their early work it's not raw enough and the melodies are a bit too melo.

Public Enemy - He Got Game

Soundtracks inherently aren't going to be well paced. Good songs but never reaches the heights of their classic albums.

Youssou N’Dour - Immigres/Bitim Rew

An interesting album that sounds both like Afropop and like Latin, but poppy enough to be accessible.

Andrew Hill - Point Of Departure- (1965)

Another great avant garde jazz album I'd never heard of. Jazz is doing really well in this game, not cause I'm suddenly discovering I like it better than rock, but because it's the genre I had most under explored.

Winner: Andrew Hill
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Pixies - Beneath the Eyrie

I didn't know Pixies were still making new albums. Compared to other artists I've listened to for this game that had rougher music decades ago, their new music has much more of an identity. You can recognize the kind of bass lines they did for their early work, and something about it reminds me of the Foo Fighters. It sounds good and might be their best work outside their classic album style, but I'm not sure Frank Black has the vocal charisma for straight rock.

Flamin Groovies - Teenage Head

Teenage Head immediately hearkens early 70s era Stones, but more focused on the southern bluesy feel and a little less on hard hitting rock hooks. There's also some Stooges influence. Comparing this album to albums like Exile on Main St and Sticky Fingers underscores the effect of having singable hooks on how memorable an album is. Technically Teenage Head is every bit as good, but without the singability it'll never rank nearly as high.

De La Soul - De La Soul Is Dead

Solid classic rap from the era that's just a lot of fun. I ended up having to listen to this on Youtube with ads, and it's kind of funny that whenever an ad came on, for a period I first thought I was listening to a skit in the album. I'm not sure if that's a testament to the tone of the skits or to the ridiculousness of the ads.

Queen - Sheer Heart Attack

I have heretically never been a fan of Queen. I find them overproduced and histrionic and the operatic backing vocals sound mechanistic to me. This does nothing to change my views.

Winner: Flamin Groovies
Jirin
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Patti Smith - Gone Again

Patti Smith's Horses is in my top five albums of all time and top by a woman. I haven't gotten as much into her other albums that don't have quite as hard an edge, but I respect she's created her own style of poetic punk instead of following trends or becoming a monument to her early years. Good album, beautiful lyrics.

Outkast - Southernplaylisticadillacmuzik

Outkast's voices sound different this early in their career. They've already got the more playfully melodic and atmospheric approach that makes them unique from other rap.

The Upsetters - The Good, The Bad, and the Upsetters

Good reggae album. I'm not a huge reggae fan but like the best Bob Marley stuff and already have Super Ape in my rotation. This one doesn't quite stand out enough for me to get into it.

D’Angelo - Brown Sugar

I miss this 90s sexy R&B vibe. Before the record industry decided as a whole that all R&B must be rapped over sometime around 1998. The Cruisin' cover on the album is pretty good.

Winner: Outkast
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Tina Turner - Private Dancer

Good catchy songs driven by singer charisma. I didn't know where "I can't stand the rain" from the Missy Elliot song came from. It works better in the context of this song.

Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island

Sounds very similar to In The Airplane Over The Sea in terms of melody, lyrics and the simple guitar grooves. The emotional tone of the album is also pretty much the same.

Stina Nordenstam - The World Is Saved

I think it was a Moderate game that introduced me to And She Closed Her Eyes quite a while ago. The World Is Saved came 12 years later and appears to be her last album. It reminds me more of Juana Molina than anyone else. She has the soft, vulnerable vocals only more strummy, less elaborate arrangements. Kind of like if Juana Molina sang for Big Thief's guitarist.

Weather Report - Heavy Weather

I'm not nearly into this kind of jazz as I am the free jazz, hard bop and avant garde stuff. I appreciate their musical talent but the product feels a bit canned.

Winner: Tina Turner

Wayne Shorter - Native Dancer

I had this one down as being by Milton Nascimento, then it only came up for Wayne Shorter and it turns out it's 'Featuring Milton Nascimento'. This one seems like a Brazilian influenced jazz fusion album. I'm not totally against jazz fusion but whenever I hear it, it just sounds like jazz has been neutered. The version of jazz designed for 60 year olds to relax to a nice dinner. Lilia is a more interesting song that appears later in the album and the parts that show off the latin influence a bit more are good.

Albert King - Born Under A Bad Sign

Great blues album filled with standards.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - The Message-

Not sure what to expect from the album credited as one of the earliest if not the earliest seminal rap album. It's more modern in technique than I expected. And more of it has R&B style singing than I expected.

Kiss - Destroyer

Out of all the albums in this game it's the one I have lowest expectations for, but by the rules I made up, it has to get in. Gimmick rock for people in their 50s and 60s trying to recover the feeling they had when they were teenagers.

Winner: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
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Re: Jirin’s Discovery and Review Tournament 2

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Jirin wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:39 am Tina Turner - Private Dancer

Good catchy songs driven by singer charisma. I didn't know where "I can't stand the rain" from the Missy Elliot song came from. It works better in the context of this song.
It's from Ann Peebles, actually. The Tina Turner version is a cover, but Elliot used the original. Not an unknown song I'd say, as it ranks on AM at #340.
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