My album reviews

JukeBoxHeroJukeBoxHero Headliner
edited July 2010 in History of Rock
I thought I write some reviews to practice my writing and get criticism on my style. I do not include a rating at the end of my reviews because to be honest I suck at rating albums that way and that is not the reason why I read reviews. The first album I will review, although it has been reviewed many times, at least 6 times on this website, will be Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures.

Joy Division-Unknown Pleasures


Joy Division is one of those bands that can make a ridiculously simple song that gives off a great number of emotions ranging from anger, to sadness, to excitement. Disorder is one such tune as we're introduced to what will be common elements on the album, catchy drum beats, airy guitar lines, the constant pulsing bass lines of Peter Hook, and the ever haunting presence of Ian Curtis.

The albums starts off relatively light with Disorder. Sure lyrically it's quite dark but musically it feels almost happy in some ways. It doesn't stay that way for long as Day of the Lords begin. The slow ominous drone of the songs that Day of the Lords started continues up until Shadowplay. There is a feeling of waiting, and waiting, for some certain dark fate that is going to befall the band. Insight and She Lost Control in particular gives off images of a factory town at night where everything feels hopeless and there's no one willing to help.

Shadowplay starts with the same dark drone as the previous songs, but Bernard Sumner changes that with a quick barrage of power chords. The song musically still have a dark feeling to it but it goes from a drone to a more pulsating number with Ian Curtis singing more confidently here than he does on the other tracks(barring Interzone). Wilderness goes on to having the same vibe, keeping the up beat feeling of Disorder and Shadowplay. Interzone is quite a change from the other tunes, it's more straight forward, up beat punk tune while still having the dark feeling of the other tunes. Although all the tunes are fantastic, Interzone ends up being my favorite for the energy the band has here.

I remember nothing, the album closer goes back to the drone feeling of the middle section of tunes, but it feels much angrier than the other tunes, and have the imagery of being in an unregulated factory at night time. Simply haunting, and a bit creepier than the other tunes for me because of the deep, dark tone of Peter Hook's bass line that is the foundation of the song. It continue the dark, angry feeling until the end of the track with the sound of distant glass breaking.

Unknown Pleasures is one of those really great albums that I really think is flawless. Why? Well in all honesty to take away one element and add another would rob the album of it's darkness. To add another song would overstay the album welcome and to end on Interzone would feel lacking. For the people who haven't listen to this album, I would recommend getting it as soon as you find the time to, for the rest of us, well we have our opinions already.

Comments

  • neckermanncjneckermanncj Washed Up
    edited June 2010
    make sure you don't post and numerical scores because it forces people to actually read the review! ;)
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited June 2010
    nice review... let's get some numbers going in here. 10/10.
  • Rocket2RussiaRocket2Russia Road Warrior
    edited June 2010
    Nice review man! Looking forward to some more of 'em.
  • a21schizoidmana21schizoidman Prog-nosticator
    edited June 2010
    i too enjoyed the review, can't wait to see what else you write about
  • TheRollingBonesTheRollingBones Headliner
    edited June 2010
    Good review dude! All these reviews starting up again make me want to do some more. Now all I need is more motivation...
  • JukeBoxHeroJukeBoxHero Headliner
    edited June 2010
    Thanks guys, I was thinking my next two albums(this time I'll keep writing, it won't be like the A Farewell to Kings review) would be an Alcest album and Veruca Salt's American Thighs.
  • JukeBoxHeroJukeBoxHero Headliner
    edited July 2010
    This was not the one I had in mind to review next but I'm slinking away from doing this and I want to keep doing this so next review is...

    [CENTER]
    Silversun Pickups-Carnavas[/CENTER]
    Silversun Pickups is a great band for how well they walk the line of alternative while implanting a pop sensibility in all their songs(and solo recorded cover I know of). Pikul leans toward the alternative side while Swoon dips into the poppier aspect of the Pickups. Carnavas is the best blend of both the pop and alternative sides of the Pickups that define them so well.

    Carnavas begins with the powerful but rather detached opener Melatonin. It starts and end to a consistent stream of eight notes.Brian and Nikki are both emotional and yet monotonous as they sing about apathy of a couple crash and burning out on drugs. Like Disorder from Unknown Pleasures Melatonin it's a good indicator of what to come throughout the album. Steady bass and guitar lines that are catchy, grooving, somewhat unique drumming, light synth and occasional bursts of noise provide by guitar and synthesizor. All combined to make rather catchy pop songs.

    Well Thought Out Twinkles is a change from the detachment of Melatonin. There is anger and excitement underlining this song. This is where Brian Aubert also begins to really display his skills for making catchy and cool guitar lines in the intro and during his noisy, shoegaze like solo towards the end of the piece. Checkered Floor is a more laid back tune, catchy but lacks the bite of Well Thought Out Twinkles. The album begin alternate between the two type of tunes talked about, the quiet more drawn out pieces that has more focus on keyboard (Checkered Floor, Rusted Wheel) with the tunes that are more guitar oriented(Lazy Eye, Well Thought Twinkles, Future Foe Scenarios).

    The album closes on Common Reactor which is one of the best tunes on the album. Interesting lyrically and is rather rather happy and poppy at times for talking about an unstoppable, sorry end. It's a really synthesise orient piece that really makes the song with the noise and light happy synth tones. It really feels like the band gave it their all in the song to produce a reaction of being satisfied yet feeling slightly wrong enough to want to listen to it again and again.


    [CENTER] Musician Highlight:Joe Lester[/CENTER]

    All the musicians are equally important to the sound. Brian provides an unique lead(emotional with a sarcastic overtone), smooth sliding, vibrato filled guitar lines, and fun memorable noisy guitar solos. Nikki Monninger creates bouncy, catchy bass lines that cause noticable tension on songs, and provide a nervous, rather innocent voice that when combine with Brian's make really pleasing vocal harmonies. Chris does a great job holding the band together with his grooving drumming that vary slightly from the typical drum patterns that a typical alt drummer(or drummer in general) would play. The final band member that fills out the sound is the keyboardist Joe Lester. His playing is subtle and often not talked about from what I've seen but it's fantastic when given close attention. Lester is an important part of the Pickups sound in making songs sound eery and interesting with his light happy synths.(Melatonin wouldn't be half the song without the echoing keyboard part Lester plays). Joe also provides the other half of the noise that Brian can't pull off or too occupy in the guitar part to do. Listen to Common Reactor, it's one of the best example of the qualities I mentioned about Lester's playing.

    [CENTER]
    Recommended sampling before listening to Carnavas
    [/CENTER]
    Casual listeners/Guitar Orient Guys:Well Thought Twinkles, Lazy Eye, Future Foe Scenarios(I would recommend that order).
    Deeper Cuts/Best Tunes:Common Reactor,Rusted Wheel, Little Lovers So Polite

    Myspace link to the full album for sampling overall.

    If you guys would like to rec albums for me to review I'll do them, it will keep me from being lazy about this stuff.
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited July 2010
    quality review and quality album, sir.
  • JukeBoxHeroJukeBoxHero Headliner
    edited July 2010
    Thank you man, I hope you didn't see the typos I made. :o
  • clashcityrocker10clashcityrocker10 Headliner
    edited July 2010
    I'm liking the reviews and the albums so far. Keep up the good work.

    I'm thinking of doing a weekly album review so that my writing doesn't go to **** before I get to college. Thoughts, anyone?
  • neckermanncjneckermanncj Washed Up
    edited July 2010
    do a Talking Heads album!
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