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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 1:02 am 
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Day 88
Jan Lisiecki – Chopin Etudes


I’m going to go out on a limb and predict... solo piano.

Pros:
- Impressive pianist playing impressive compositions.
- Pleasant to play in the background while focusing on other things, or to really focus on specific pieces.

Cons:
- Solo instrument work I find very difficult to focus on for long periods of time, and well... there’s an hour of it.

Highlight: Perhaps I have a flair for the dramatic, but “Etude in B Minor” (track 22) caught my ear with its immediacy and energy.

Perhaps my biggest gripe here is this feels more music to be studied than anything that would really elicit an emotional reaction in me. It’s definitely good and impressive though.

Overall Score: 7/10

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: April 4th, 2017, 10:48 pm 
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Day 88
John Prine's - John Prine


Top let me substitute this album for the long compilation by the same artist that he had on his chart.
Name's familiar. Can't recall any songs, though.

Pros:
- Palatable Folk that leans toward an older Country sound. I can't stand newer Country, but this reminds me of Willie Nelson, who I don't mind.
- I liked the fiddle peppered in here and there.
- John's got a decent voice.

Cons:
- Nothing really jumped out at me musically or lyrically. It was all pretty boring.
- No real drum presence. A simple beat here and there.

Highlight - "Pretty Good" was pretty good. Reminded me of Neil Young. Great keys, guitar lead, drums, vocals. This was the one standout song of the lot.

Overall Score: 5/10


Coming up next...
Day 89
Former Thieves' The Language That We Speak and Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: April 5th, 2017, 3:39 am 
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Day 89
Former Thieves – The Language That We Speak

???

Pros:
- High energy, constantly pounding rhythm section
- The guitar riffing on some of the tracks was pretty cool
- Short and sweet.

Cons:
- The screaming vocals got pretty monotonous, and just had an annoying ‘peaked microphone’ sound to them.
- Every track kind of seemed like a variation on the same shtick, even across the short runtime I got tired of it pretty fast.

Highlight: “Pacemaker Trendsetter”

It was alright. Not really doing anything that’s personally too exciting.

Overall Score: 4/10

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: April 30th, 2017, 5:42 pm 
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Day 89
Simon & Garfunkel's - Sound of Silence


Have heard. Long ago. Fond memories and such.

Pros:
- The feeeel man. Oddly minor feeling major keys (although there a few minor keyed songs. Probably due to the fantastically unique harmonization coupled with the simple (save technical tracks like "Anji") but dynamic guitar.
- Exploitive instruments. They sort of do their own thing, making this feel like a not...pop album.
- Great classic feel, closer to The Beatles circa late '50s/early '60s than The Stones.
- Really no complaints with the song writing other than one thing. Songs were all musically and lyrically solid....except for...

Cons:
- The endings were garbage. Why would you case out....ever. ESPECIALLY on such a short pop-format song.

Highlight - "The Sound of Silence" has always been a fav of mine whilst listening to oldies stations. ("Somewhere They Can't Find Me" is a close second, though....man was that a great song.)

Overall Score: 8/10


Coming up next...
Day 90
Flea's Helen Burns and Flobots The Circle in the Square

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: April 30th, 2017, 6:28 pm 
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Day 90
Flea's Helen Burns and Flobots The Circle in the Square
Circle Gets the Square: A Hollywood Squares Story

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: April 30th, 2017, 8:04 pm 
(soothzayer)
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:P Moving across the country and then 1st week of work was crazy, Jaron. Back to a normal schedule now. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: May 2nd, 2017, 12:37 pm 
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Day 90
Flea – Helen Burns


The bass player from RHCP? Some sort of funk then?

Pros:
- “333” completely caught me off guard, I was kind of flabbergasted the whole way through. “THIS is Flea?”
- “Pedestal of Infamy” is a neat psychedelic flute jam.
- “A Little Bit Of Sanity” centers around some sweet bass and keyboard arpeggios
- “333 Revisited” builds from a dramatic trumpet intro into downright electronica. The last few minutes get really eerie.
- “Lovelovelove” is kind of ambient for its first half before a choir (possibly of children?) comes in and a powerful drum beat carries the album out.

Cons:
- “Helen Burns” was kind of... normal considering what surrounds it. And yet it’s the title track... it wasn’t bad but it’s just a random piano ballad that doesn’t really go anywhere. Maybe I’m missing the point.
- Some of the ideas could have been more developed. I’m finding myself quite disappointed this is Flea’s only solo release.

Highlight: “333” had the element of surprise going for it, but it’s actually Fuzzy Bunny cool. The way it opens with an extended Crimson-esque bass and trumpet noodling section while a very quiet beat progressively accelerates, before giving away to a synth and... (what I think is guitar but could very well be like a distorted trumpet) freakout for the rest of the track. Cool outro too.

Okay WOW that was not at all what I was expecting and actually pretty good. I’m not even really sure how to classify this other than ‘experimental’. Really cool.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: May 2nd, 2017, 9:05 pm 
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Day 90
Flobots' - The Circle In the Square


I've heard these dude's music at some point. I don't remember when or why...

Pros:
- Assuming there is a black vocalist and a white vocalist (and I'll refer to them as such henceforth), the black dude had a decent flow.
- The music was dece...in a hippie jam band turned hip hop sort of way.

Cons:
- Leftist whining throughout. All complaints... No solutions, other than vague hooks stating "peace in the middle east". Really, really, really did not like what these dudes had to say.
- I really don't like white rappers, I think. Eminem is great, but other than that, they usually annoy me. The White dude sounded like a less whiny Fred Durst.
- Eventually the music became pretty bland. Nothing I hadn't heard from the hippie jam band bar scene back in the day. There was lots of copy cat-raquel stuff. Stuff that reminded me of 311, Bob Marley, Limp Bizkit, Local H, Saul Williams and such.

Overall Score: 3/10

The lyrical content is the most useless guttertripe I have ever heard. These dudes think they are so enlightened and cool. Unfortunately for them, those can't co-exist....

Coming up next...
Day 91
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Soundtrack From the Motion Picture) and Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2017, 5:03 am 
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Day 91
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Motion Picture Soundtrack)


I watched the film a couple weeks back in preparation for this. It was very good but I couldn't really focus on the soundtrack all that much due to the gripping visuals and story. I do remember a masterful use of tension.

Pros:
- Wonderfully subtle and creepy with gradual builds into nightmarish NIN-style freakouts. Listening to this in one sitting is like a recurring nightmare with no end in sight.
- The ambient parts are a bonechilling night, filled with pianos and melodic percussion.
- The dramatic parts are synth porn with terrifying industrial beats.
- Supports the film extremely well and subtly.

Cons:
- My absolute biggest gripe with this is I don't really think it was worth listening to it on its own without the movie. It's very good, there's no denying that, but it was composed to support the movie and does it so subtly that you almost don't even notice it for most of the runtime. I guess I'm saying I would rather re-watch the movie than ever listen to this on its own.
- With the above in mind, the length is absolutely paralyzing. Putting this soundtrack on is a COMMITMENT. Eventually it wears thin, not from a lack of quality, but from overexposure. The build from tension into terror is way less effective when I've already experienced it ten times over the past couple hours.

Highlight: Difficult to pick a highlight since I (understandably) only gave this a once-thru. "Oraculum" was a track that stuck out though, the repeating frantic percussion, piano, violin.... I was on edge for the whole length.

I'm rating this only on its own merits, without regard for how it supports the movie.

The ultimate prognosis is good; but I'd rather just watch the movie.

Overall Score: 6/10

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: May 7th, 2017, 5:44 pm 
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Day 91
Nine Inch Nails' - The Downward Spiral


Second fav NIN album. Second to The Fragile.

Pros:
- This album has the aggressiveness of Broken toward the beginning, but later on foreshadows the intricate layering of future work.
- This is what I consider Trent's most industrial work.
- Favs are "March of the Pigs" (so aggressive), "Ruiner" has that fantastically distorted guitar solo, "A Warm Place" foreshadows the beautiful composition of TF (and is the perfect lead in to my fav track). "The Downward Spiral" is a great 180 halfway through type of track. The singles are classics and great, too.
- Trent has a way with writing such simple lyrics.

Cons:
- Not a fan of "Heresy". Wasn't ever, really. The tongue-in-cheek delivery doesn't really soften the blow of the lyrics.


Highlight: "Eraser" continues to be my favorite NIN track to this day. It is sooooo industrial, yet so palatable. It is so atmospheric, but the drums keep it tangible. It's so simple in lyrics and format but so deep and layered, too. This is, in my ears, a perfect song.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Trent is genius status, and this album is proof.

Coming up next...
Day 92
Periphery's Periphery (Instrumental) and Weezer's Weezer (Blue)

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: May 10th, 2017, 9:41 pm 
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Day 92
Periphery – Periphery (Instrumental)


Okay this cover SCREAMS progressive metal.

Pros:
- It’s like a Dream Theater solo that goes on for the entire album.
- Impressive technical skill on display.
- Some cool IDM-influenced moments like the track “Jetpacks Was Yes”
- Ambient moments to give a breather from the heavier and more technical stuff.

Cons:
- It’s like a Dream Theater solo that goes on for the entire album.
- Sometimes the uh.... djenting got a little headache inducing, like on “Letter Experiment”
- At some point it stops being impressive and just becomes monotonous. Listening to this gradually became a chore across the runtime.

Highlight: “Jetpacks Was Yes”

This feels like music made for the people who play this type of music.

Overall Score: 4.5/10

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: May 24th, 2017, 6:32 pm 
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Day 92
Weezer's - Weezer (Blue)


Was the 3rd album I ever asked for, after Beck's Odelay and Rage Against the Machine's Evil Empire.

Pros:
- It has a huge nostalgic value for me.
- It wasn't a part of The Seattle Scene and I'm ok with that.
- Superb songwriting. The music is great pop rock done lo fi. The lyrics are funny and not funny but sincere and nerdy.

Cons:
- The drummer always underwhelmed me. Like, I respect Dingo Starr, Mag White, etc. but this drummer (save the frisbee video) doesn't serve his purpose to the full potential.


Highlight: Started off "Sweater Song" but has been "Say It Ain't So for 15 years now. Great song that went on to be covered by great bands. Catchy as catchy can be. You can't help but sing along.

Overall Score: 9/10

Will always be my fav Weezer album. Would love to see them live.

Coming up next...
Day 93
Omar Rodriguez Lopez's Old Money and Weezer's Weezer (White)

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: May 24th, 2017, 6:47 pm 
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Day 93
Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Old Money


Hey it's the Mars Volta guy who is in every other album on this list!

Pros:
- Sounded a lot like an instrumental version of TMV, for obvious reasons.
- Chaotic, frantic, and occasionally sprawling instrumentals.
- A few lower tempo spots to shake things up here and there, looking at tracks like "Private Fortunes"
- Strong conclusion to the album in "Old Money"

Cons:
- Some of the tracks got a little too dissonant and out there for me. "Trilateral Commission" jumps to mind as an example.
- Through the album and track titles clearly there was some sort of concept about the very old and wealthy people that run the world, but I didn't really get any of that coming across in the music.

Highlight: "Population Council's Wet Dream" was insanely chaotic, the kind of track that has your attention racing back and forth between both channels trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Reminded me of "Happy Family" from King Crimson's Lizard in that respect (though they have little in common musically).

Ultimately this was a good record, but I think it was too indulgent for its own good, found myself losing interest in a few spots.

Overall Score: 6/10

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: July 2nd, 2017, 6:51 pm 
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Day 93
Weezer's - Weezer (White)


Haven't really listened to a full Weezer album after....red, maybe? Kinda gave up.

Pros:
- They still have it. They sound like the same band, for sure and the songwriting is still there.
- I like rock and roll. This is rock and roll.
- Rivers vocals haven't gotten worse over time. He's still a beast.

Cons:
- Man. After all these years, there is not much going on in the evolution of their sound. I mean...it's still good, but dang dood.

Overall Score: 6.5/10

I'll probably listen to this again at some point, to see if anything grows on me.

Coming up next...
Day 94
Opeth's Damnation and ELO's Out of the Blue

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: July 3rd, 2017, 7:36 pm 
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Day 94
Opeth - Damnation


Opeth... Opeth.... Opeth...
Why do I know this name? The cover looks like black metal anyhow, I'm certain it will be some flavor of metal.

Pros:
- If you replaced the vocalist with Steven Wilson, you could have told me this was Porcupine Tree and I'd have believed you.
- The vocalist is better than Steven Wilson. Wee bit more expressive haha.
- Atmospheric, clear, sprawling... just very nice sounding music. Love the guitars here of course.
- Dig the pace and length of the album/tracks here.

Cons:
- Where this album fell short in a big way for me is... most of the tracks are really barely distinguishable from eachother at all.
- The ending sequence of “Ending Credits” and “Weakness” felt rather weak to me.

Highlight: “Closure”

Ok. Not black metal. Hardly could be called metal at all, actually. Progressive rock I guess?

Good but not all that memorable.

Overall Score: 6/10

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: November 6th, 2017, 9:31 pm 
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Day 95
Mitch Hedberg - Mitch All Together


Never heard of him.

Pros:
- Great delivery
- Some funny jokes
- Observational Seinfeldian humor.

Cons:
- His ‘stream of consciousness’ style resulted in a lot of one-liner jokes that didn’t really go anywhere or relate to anything else.
- The live audience’s tendency to laugh after literally everything he said just made me feel like I was dealing with a laughtrack. Got sick of hearing it haha.

Highlight: “Bed and Breakfast” the whole train of thought from Ireland, to Subway, to ducks, was really just brilliant.

This is cheating! This isn’t even music!

It was funny at times though.

Overall Score: not music/10

------

Day 96
Metallica - ...And Justice For All


I’ve heard every Metallica album up to and including the black album, but my Metallica phase was EONS ago so I barely remember them.

Pros:
- When Kirk gets the chance to unleash and just shred, it’s an amazing time.
- Heavy rhythm section makes for totally overbearing music.
- Really nice clean sections here and there.
- Love the double kick bass drum.

Cons:
- Did they forget to record the bass guitar?
- I don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels like in general there is way more thrashing than shredding on this album. Thrashing just grows monotonous for me. I’m here to hear these guys play not listen to Hetfield shout.

Highlight: Could it be anything other than “One”? The extended clean intro, wonderful solos, that machine-gun riff...

Not my favourite Metallica album, but pretty good, and One is probably my favourite song of theirs.

Overall Score: 6/10

------

Day 97
Mariah Carey – Daydream


I think I’ve heard a few of her songs? She kind of sounds out of breath all the time right?

Pros:
- She does have a nice voice, I’ll give her that.
- Sometimes there’s some pleasant piano here and there.

Cons:
- Feel like Mariah overdoes it when she sings, just flying all over the place on every note.
- Generic glossy instrumentals, snore.

Highlight: “Daydream Interlude”

It was a lot like Boyz II Men, but a fair bit more bearable. Still, I don’t think I like R&B.

Overall Score: 3/10

------

Day 98
Antemasque – Antemasque


Wait, Omar AND Cedric? So this is like... The Mars Volta with Flea then? Or is it At The Drive-In?

Pros:
- TMV and Flea do their best Rush impression, including rapid fire intricate drumming and infectious basslines.
- Fast, forward-moving songs with a ton of energy.
- Very easy to pick out the drums in the mix, which is good, because they’re probably the best thing going on here.
- Some changes of pace in “Drown All Your Witches” and “Providence”

Cons:
- What the hell happened to Cedric’s voice? Part of why I made the Rush comparison earlier is it almost sounds like he’s trying to do a Geddy Lee impression on half of this album, and like... rough grungey voice on the rest..

Highlight: “In The Lurch”... very Closure In Moscow

Pretty solid, short and sweet.

Overall Score: 6/10


------

Day 99
Washed Out – Life of Leisure

IDK. SECOND LAST!

Pros:
- Bite-sized.
- Good vibes and catchy.

Cons:
- Kind of a vaporwave aesthetic going on here. This isn’t vaporwave but I get a similar feeling from it in the production. The feeling is mostly boredom.
- Feels like the tracks kind of just end abruptly

It alright.

Overall Score: 5/10

------

Day 100
Buckethead – Colma


Last one. Heard Crime Slunk Scene from this guy before and always wanted to check out more, but he’s got such an intimidating discography.

Pros:
- Softer acoustic stylings with prominent drums.
- Just C O M F Y.
- Heartfelt. Just look at song titles like “For Mom”, “Watching The Boats With My Dad”, the beautiful tones contained within... and try not to feel sentimental!

Cons:
- A little forgettable.
- No big WOW track like “Soothsayer”

Overall Score: 6/10

-----------

Just figured I would go ahead and post the rest of these! It’s been.... a lot longer than 100 Days, but I figured this required some closure.

And for sake of comparison, here’s what my chart looks like currently. Much has changed!

https://i.imgur.com/1VQDV7r.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: November 6th, 2017, 10:02 pm 
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Congrats on finishing! Was neat.

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: November 7th, 2017, 7:24 am 
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Good work guys, I'm ready for Top 100 Songs (in order)!

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: November 7th, 2017, 1:45 pm 
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To tell the truth I've been done for a while now, I just decided that when Spiro hadn't posted in several months that he either had no time (understandably) or interest for finishing that I may as well post the rest of mine.

Here are all the ratings compiled in one place as my standards for albums and my individual thoughts on many of them changed with time and revisits.

https://rateyourmusic.com/collection/Th ... challenge/

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Good work guys, I'm ready for Top 100 Songs (in order)!


Oh, you want my top 100 songs of all time currently? That would be pretty tough.

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 Post subject: Re: Top vs Spiro - 100 Album Challenge
PostPosted: November 7th, 2017, 3:57 pm 
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Topsummoner wrote:
Day 96
Metallica - ...And Justice For All


I’ve heard every Metallica album up to and including the black album, but my Metallica phase was EONS ago so I barely remember them.

Pros:
- When Kirk gets the chance to unleash and just shred, it’s an amazing time.
- Heavy rhythm section makes for totally overbearing music.
- Really nice clean sections here and there.
- Love the double kick bass drum.

Cons:
- Did they forget to record the bass guitar?
- I don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels like in general there is way more thrashing than shredding on this album. Thrashing just grows monotonous for me. I’m here to hear these guys play not listen to Hetfield shout.

Highlight: Could it be anything other than “One”? The extended clean intro, wonderful solos, that machine-gun riff...

Not my favourite Metallica album, but pretty good, and One is probably my favourite song of theirs.

Overall Score: 6/10


They didn't forget the bass, but as Cliff had just died and the new bassist had come in, he didn't really have a voice in the final production and so the bass was way lower in the mix than it should have been.

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