Recent comments

  • Favorite albums of 2016 (so far)   4 weeks 20 hours ago

    Slow year for music so far, it feels like. I still have hope for a lot of hidden gems to surface later.

    I had the pleasure of seeing Suuns live at a festival this weekend. I didn't know anything about them before the show, but they were certainly one of the stand-outs. Their music is hard to pin down, it borrows elements from various genres in a way I haven't quite seen before.

  • Favorite albums of 2016 (so far)   4 weeks 20 hours ago

    Finally a bold one!!! :)

  • THE GREATEST MUSICAL WORKS OF ALL TIME   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Thank you for your advice. Do you like more Gibbons or Byrd?

  • THE GREATEST MUSICAL WORKS OF ALL TIME   4 weeks 1 day ago

    There's an excellent recording of the complete viol music by a viol consort called Phantasm. I like enjoy them just as much, if not more so, than his keyboard works.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 2 days ago

    The comments above were getting too bunched up along the side of the page, so Ill say here that (even though I never thought I would spend my time doing so) I'm going to post an analysis of The Beatles' Revolver in the near future which should act as "catch-all" to this never-ending discussion -- a completion of my answers of sorts (one would hope...probably wishful thinking...).

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 2 days ago

    You copied and pasted the wrong comments. I was referring to many others. Here's one for example:

    "Looking at your comment and your list of greatest albums (which features very few easy-going and happy albums), I get the impression that Revolver is so far up in the easy-going happy range that it's just not that interesting to you. I agree with most of what you're saying about Forever Changes and its evocative spaced-out emotional sound, but Revolver is just as good and even better. If you don't dismiss the content based on the complex (and mostly irrelevant) historical context, Revolver is enjoyable as a personal, spaced-out, evocative and complete album with a happy vision. The emotional depth and musical significance of the album are only there if you're willing to go along with their happy vision as much as Forever Changes' dread and doom. Of course you don't have to embrace it, but that doesn't make Revolver any less good.

    There would be no Rock music as we know it today if Revolver was never released, and that's not because of dumb luck. Beatlemania was a hilarious thing that made the Beatles the most famous artists on earth. But unlike nearly all other world-famous stars, the Beatles invented a prototype for the rock album that invents and amplifies some of rock music's best characteristics:

    - Reconstructing and fusing different methods of songwriting in order to get original material with original effect. They continued this thread with their subsequent albums but Revolver is the only LP where this quality is consistently visible and successful. Besides setting a great example for innovation as major world-class artists (which influenced everybody, including Holger Czukay, Bruce Springsteen and Robert Fripp), this is one of the trickiest things to do in the context of mainstream music, and everybody else is trying to pull it off one way or another, but nobody (except Rolling Stones and Prince, I guess) came close to the level of Beatles in this aspect.

    - Use of studio and painstaking mixing methods to gain maximum effect from songwriting, arranging and improvisation for a unified powerful sound. Like Zappa but in a different context with different methods for different results.

    - All-encompassing fusion with all sorts of music from all around the world (from classical to raga to tape loops to soul to anything). This is one of the qualities that gives rock music an advantage over classical and jazz music (not to imply that it's exclusive to rock, but it's much more evident in both mainstream and avant-garde rock compared to classical and jazz music). Revolver is one of the earliest, most influential and most diverse albums to have this quality."

    ....

    You wrote in your final comment that "I am very familiar with Revolver and already know the answer". I just realized we posted a couple dozen comments on this and you "already know the answer".

    I'm out. Peace.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 2 days ago

    Nope, that's a misinterpretation and it's not what I originally intended to say.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 2 days ago

    Re: Can be sad about many things/in different ways ... Of course. I didn't question that at all.

    What is so unique about The Beatles convincing-ness of their emotional expressions?

    Are there any artists songs from any album on my entire "greatest albums" list you can name that they are better than at conveying a particular emotional expression (that the other artist has also conveyed) ?

    So it appears by your dismissal of my point that it makes no difference for you if one piece of music affects you more than another?

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 2 days ago

    You wrote:

    "I think part of their charm, specially on Revolver, comes directly from the fact that the four Beatles and George Martin are not trying to address complicated social/political/philosophical issues. This album genuinely feels like a bunch of kids playing together in the playground and having the time of their lives. This kind of pure energy and creativity is very rare and very pleasing to hear, and the album as a whole is highly inspiring and uplifting . I wish there were more albums like this. Sgt. Pepper (concept album with no concept) and Abbey Road (high-tech patchwork) sound forced and boring compared to Revolver. The fact that those two albums are often called the Beatles' best work might be the main reason that the Beatles look more overrated everyday. As far as I'm concerned, Revolver and the White Album are their masterpieces and they're one of the greatest rock bands -and the greatest pop band- ever."

    "Revolver is usually an enjoyable listen, regardless of my mood. Same goes for all the other albums in the top 25. I don't think this is necessarily the best way to list the greatest albums, it's just the way that makes the most sense to me.

    About Revolver: if you've got nothing against pop music, it's obvious to see that it's one of the pinnacles of pop songwriting, arrangement and expression. It's really hard to find another band who can come up with a song that feels as lazy as I'm Only Sleeping, as melancholic as Eleanor Rigby, as compassionate as Love You To and Here, There and Everywhere and do it with the 3-minute catchy-pop-song limitations. They perfected easy-listening pop music with Revolver and took it to its limit with The Beatles."

    "Revolver is obviously waaaay more influential than Cyclops (or my beloved Underwater Moonlight, for that matter)
    - Not only Revolver is conceptually more varied, its songs succeed in expressing a vast array of different emotions while being both easy (name one Revolver song that's not catchy) and highly original (string quartet, tape loops, backward guitar, unusual chord progressions, Indian music... all of them in one freaking pop album)"

    ...

    Unless I missed it during my copy and paste, you vaguely touched upon our current topic then (that's not a criticism because I don't think we were discussing the same topic as we are now). Regardless, it's not a big deal; I am very familiar with Revolver and already know the answer. If you think its emotional expressions and ability to evoke concepts are among the heights of rock history, then I guess I'm just not sure how you could come to that conclusion, unless one is comparing it only to the standards of the Beatles earliest work or The Monkees or something, and ignoring Bob Dylan and all the masterpieces that came after (and all the classical and jazz masterpieces before and after). Maybe your review will someday expand upon how this could be. I think it's a very tough case to make though and I would be shocked if you were able to do so in any sort of convincing manner (and with a straight face), with all the artists that have come before and after that were far more expressive of their emotions (and all the nuances, dimensions within them) and far more talented at expressing them (vocally, instrumentally, compositionally) (evocative concepts/musical environments too).

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 2 days ago

    It's a careful consideration in relation to other albums that I've heard. How have I drawn this conclusion? You have to wait until I write a complete review about it. It won't happen anytime soon because it should be a really long analysis on the various different factors that made Revolver one of the most innovative, influential and significant albums of all time. Plus, anybody who knows just a little bit of music theory can easily see how far the album is from your average pop album, and pretty much everybody who listens to albums loves the thing. It's not like it's an obscure avant-garde This Heat album that most people haven't even heard yet. I'd rather spend my time (if I find enough time to review albums... it might never happen) on the more obscure and/or polarizing albums that I love. Revolver is the most obvious masterpiece in the rock canon.

    Meanwhile, I remember that I made many points regarding Revolver's significance during our last argument about the album on my Greatest Albums Ever comment section. Feel free to go there and read those again (or for the first time... it seemed like you didn't read them at all because you addressed none of them). I stand by all of them and they're the basis of what I'll write if I ever write a Revolver review.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 2 days ago

    They're completely convincing as far as emotional expression/impression/whatever goes. They're very unique at that as well. As far as comparisons go, one song's happy/sad/whatever is always different from another song's happy/sad/whatever and that's the whole point. No one has forced me (and you too, hopefully) to pick one sad song as the sad song that's the saddest song of all sad songs lol. You can be sad/happy in many different ways about many different things, right?

    Anyway, you can argue about what adjectives you'd use to describe Revolver songs all you want but I can't respond to that because then we'd be arguing about air.

  • THE GREATEST MUSICAL WORKS OF ALL TIME   4 weeks 2 days ago

    I listen to many keyboard works of Byrd. They are all amazing.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 2 days ago

    To Seanseansean: After revisiting Remain in Light (well worth doing), I decided its not quite optimistic enough. Their two 7.3+ albums are still possibilities though.

  • THE GREATEST MUSICAL WORKS OF ALL TIME   4 weeks 2 days ago

    Have you heard any of William Byrd's works for viol consort? If you like Die Kunst der Fuge you will probably like them as well.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    For instance, Good Day Sunshine is emotionally expressing the sensation of "happy go lucky" (its vocal is happy and carefree, bouncy rhythm section, elated harmonic cadence, etc). For No One is, emotionally expressing the sensation of "heartbroken love" (downtrodden, contemplative vocal, timid, slower rhythm, etc). Do you find these express such emotions in a more impactful way than most/all artists ever? (or any of the other songs).

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    I don't think it makes any sense to compare films, books, paintings and albums with the same criteria and on the same scale. Since Revolver is an album, let's limit the question to albums. In my opinion, Revolver is in the top 50 albums that I've heard for sure.

    What does it do emotionally? I can't understand this question because I have no idea what exactly "doing things emotionally" means to you as a person. It's a completely vague question.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Ive very thoroughly answered your question above, really, and I have an entire article devoted to that answer. I also broke down each part of it into definitions to further explain what I mean. What is it about my answer(s) you found that didnt actually answer your question?

    You just said Revolver is one of the most emotionally and conceptually significant works in the history of art, so I am curious as to how you've drawn this conclusion, if its a careful consideration in relation to other works of art across history or if its just "a hunch" or whatever.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    You want me to compare the "emotional depth" on Revolver and Aeroplane? That depends on how you define "emotional depth" and what you consider the right tool to measure it. That's why I asked my unanswered questions in the first place. So, again, what's "emotional depth" and how do you measure it?

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    What are the many things Revolver has to say and which of those stand out in music history to a similar degree that Aeroplane's compassion/empathy/heartbreak/awe/religious-experience-like conviction/overwhelmed elation do? Or, if it's simpler to think with, which are said/expressed in a way that is among the greatest of such expressions in the history of art?

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Revolver is a group effort with a vast array of experiments and modes of expression. Aeroplane is a highly poetic singer/songwriter album that's focused on a melancholic subject matter. one . IMO both are masterpieces but it's obvious that they go in very different directions with totally different goals in mind. As far as their concepts go, I'd give a slight advantage to Revolver because it has many more things to say (always through the music, rarely through the lyrics alone) and it's more open to interpretation. With Aeroplane you basically get the same specific thing every time. That being said, Oh Comely is the best song either band ever recorded.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Ok, what does it do emotionally that is more amazing than most/all works of art ever? What does it do conceptually that is more amazing than most/all works of art ever?

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Yes.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Also, re: above where you wrote about their concepts being universal ... That's not the point. The point is that they address those concepts with very little depth. With love/heartbreak, how do they compare to, say, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea? To claim that each are addressing the situation with the same conviction, and intensity and nuance of emotional expression, and conceptual depth (not that you are), would be ridiculous. The Beatles weren't even trying to do so anyway. They were mainly trying to make fun, catchy songs, and as their career went on, they would mainly do so while embellishing them with novelty experiments.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Re: Fun House ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

    Re: Revolver ... I wrote what I wrote, plus an entire page on my criteria. If you really think Revolver fits that to a masterful degree than that's difficult to argue against, as its an opinion that is very hard to grasp for someone use to the likes of Michelangelo, Beethoven, Mahler, Bach, John Coltrane, Mingus, Welles, Tarkovsky, etc, filling those shoes. Addition to that, it appears by your questions that you might not fully understand my criteria (not that you're obligated to or something). If there's a fundamental misunderstanding about what Im talking about, we're not going to get anywhere.

    For me to go further would require revisiting the album and examining it in further detail and taking notes and so forth, and I just find the album pretty much a waste of time when I could just be listening to what I really want to listen to, so I don't know why I would do that -- and it really doesn't seem like it should be necessary for me to point out things like: "See here, this guitar chord on Taxman is much less exciting than it should've been in order to make the song more rhythmically exciting. If George/Lennon would've struck down with more energy and intensity to get the song moving... and... "You've Really Got Me" is a good example ... blah blah blah ... Or much later on, the Arcade Fire did such and such, notice how the DBs hyperactive rhythms supercharge the songs into blah blah blah" ... Though this might be smart to do one of these days, I just don't feel like spending a couple hours with Revolver at all.

    I've never known anyone else that has argued that Revolver has some sort of great emotional/conceptual significance/depth to it -- or at least people that have heard a lot of music. I've heard several people claim it is "timeless" and has lots of replay value because the songs are so catchy, and that Tomorrow Never Knows is the greatest song ever made. And I've heard many people claim it is something like the most influential album ever, etc. But, this is a new one for me. I've never known anyone to listen to it for its overwhelming emotional/conceptual depth.

    Maybe I misunderstand you too, but, are you seriously claiming that Revolver is one of the most emotionally and conceptually significant works of art ever created?

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Ok, your perspective makes sense, even though we don't agree on the Beatles (which is nothing new so no big deal).