Posts tagged pink floyd

Music Pick of the Day – Archive (part 4 of 4)

 Archive – Controlling Crowds I-IV

Music Pick of the Day - Archive: Controlling Crowds

The Empty Bottle
Quiet Time
Razed to the Ground

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You could say this is a worthy sequel to Archive’s masterpiece “You All Look The Same To Me”. It is a concept album, only it’s not a 70s progressive rock throwback, it’s modern and proud. And it’s far more ambitious. Consequently, it’s less accessible. Not perfect, it has its misses, but regardless, this is a monumental achievement.
A complex concept double album, it all mixes together and flows with purpose, an attempt of something like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” for this generation. Sometimes the material is Archive’s most accessible, sometimes their most ‘out there’. Controlling Crowds has many creative highs, and a few lows. Archive is pushing boundaries here, their own boundaries and the boundaries of music.
They did bring back their rapper… BUT, holy shit, it’s actually quite good this time. I’m not kidding! I don’t like rap at all, but the underlying song is creative and the vibe actually fits in well with the rest of the album (check out Quiet Time). On songs like Pills and The Empty Bottle they find a perfect mix of Electronica with Rock sensibility. Despite any flaws, this double album is amazing, and cements Archive as one of the most creative forces in music today.

My favorite Archive albums are still “Londinium” and “You All Look The Same To Me”

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Music Pick of the Day – Archive (part 2 of 4)

Archive – You All Look the Same to Me

Music Pick of the Day - Archive: You All Look The Same To Me

Finding It So Hard

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Archive completely reinvented themselves with this album, you won’t believe this is from the same musicians as Londinium. Which would be really upsetting, because their Trip Hop sound was so well executed and influential; until… you hear this! Wow Wow. This album is even better. Genius. Beautiful. Mesmerizing.
The album begins with “Again”, one of the coolest songs ever recorded. Yeah it’s over 16 minutes, but it’s worth it. Listen to it in full and don’t skip through, you’ll ruin the deliberate buildup. Let yourself absorb it and follow the journey as it slowly develops. Everything about the song is stellar, except maybe the lyrics. But who cares? This is something special; starting off with organs, acoustic guitar and harmonica, the subtle textures, the progression, the production, even the singing.
This is electronic infused 70’s progressive guitar rock. Female lounge singer is out. Rapper is out [thank you god]. Male rock singer is in. If this album was simply released as Pink Floyd’s latest work in the new millennium it would received unlimited publicity heralding the return of the gods. Archive has mastered a totally different sound and has surpassed themselves here.
(btw, this is their third album, I skipped reviewing Archive’s second album “Take My Head” because… well, they lost their way there and it’s mostly painful and embarrassing, don’t bother with it.)

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Music Pick of the Day – Catherine Wheel

Catherine Wheel – Adam and Eve

Music Pick of the Day - Catherine Wheel

Future Boy
Phantom of the American Mother
Here Comes The Fat Controller

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This album changed me. It changed my taste in music.
I loved loved Catherine Wheel’s 1995 grunge heavy metal album “Happy Days” when I was 15. I listened to it all the time, turned it up loud, and fed off its pounding energy. I was so excited when I heard in early 1997 that Catherine Wheel has a new album coming. I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t wait. Then “Adam and Eve” came out and… I was disappointed. So disappointed. Just so surprised to hear them so stripped down and bare. What is this sissy shit? You know, I thought I was about to bite into a sloppy chili cheeseburger with bacon and onion rings only to discover that I just bit into a warm goat cheese sandwich on wheat toast with beansprouts and eggplant. WTF?? Very startling and upsetting for an aggressive 16 year old. I listened to it just once, put it on my shelf and didn’t touch the cd for 3 years. I wasn’t alone with that opinion, many of the newer fans weren’t into it, and the label was upset, ultimately dropping the band and letting the album go out of print quickly.

3 years later, I picked it up again for some reason at the much more mature age of 19 and discovered maybe the most beautiful thing I ever heard. My god. This album is stripped away and about pulling back the layers and getting somewhere authentic. I can now tell that Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden” were big inspirations. I heard the song “Future Boy” and I was stopped cold. You understand the meaning of the song just from the production mixing, when the rising swirl of insanity and noise disappears into a singer alone with his acoustic guitar. I wanted to learn how to play this song on guitar. I’d been playing guitar for 3 years at this point, but it was this song that got me to turn off the distortion and learn chords beyond metal power chords. This started my journey through acoustic rock. And I was suddenly sad to realize that creating one of the most beautiful works of all time earned this band the reward of being dropped from their label and having their album go out of print to fade into obscurity.
Although they did add one radio friendly song at the last minute; “Delicious” is a cool song, just out of place here.
If this album didn’t exist there never would have been any Coldplay. Listen to Coldplay’s first record “Parachutes”. It’s a watered down attempt at “Adam and Eve”. But props to Coldplay, they were so much better when they tried to pull off Catherine Wheel than when they tried to pull off U2.

[B-sides and Video after the break]

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