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Old 05-11-2012, 09:28 PM   #166
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I'd say the exact opposite. Are You Experienced is so good (re: stacked with classic songs) it makes most albums look bad. It's not his most cohesive, but come on. Electric Ladyland used to be my least favorite, but now I love it; the production is absolutely remarkable. Really mindblowing stuff for the time. Axis is really good, just a little light. "Worst."
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #167
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Best: LCD Soundsystem (and if you want to be a picky bastard and say the album as a whole doesn't count because the second disc is previously released material, I will argue that the first disc is the best set of anything he's ever done)

Worst: This Is Happening (been there, done that. I quite like "I Can Change" though.)


Depeche Mode
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:40 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by BigMacPhisto
Best: LCD Soundsystem (and if you want to be a picky bastard and say the album as a whole doesn't count because the second disc is previously released material, I will argue that the first disc is the best set of anything he's ever done)

Worst: This Is Happening (been there, done that. I quite like "I Can Change" though.)
I literally couldn't possibly disagree with you more.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:44 PM   #169
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I agree with cobbler.

Wait... wtf
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:23 AM   #170
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Objectively speaking, was he privy to their recording process and psychological profile to any greater degree than the rest of us? Of course not. He's a rock critic, not a rock producer, and he did not sit in on those sessions.

He spun the negative attributes that he perceived in a positive manner and slapped on a grade. I saw similar negative attributes and interpreted them at face value. For you to infer a degree of intelligence based upon the way one interprets a subjective observation is absurd by definition, and I'm a little bit offended.

There is absolutely nothing about Brighten The Corners that represents a departure for the band, so I chose to interpret it the way I did. It's a fine record, it's a great collection of songs, but it's not revolutionary. It's a great band doing what they do, and little more (again, maturation? Christgau would say so). And I don't hear inspiration inherent in the songwriting of Terror Twilight. I have no idea whether they were actually inspired, and neither does Christgau.

I use labels like "uninspired" because, whatever their implications, it makes for more interesting discussion than merely assigning something a grade or rank.
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Not that I give a damn about Pavement, but why is Christgau's opinion of any consequence here? He's a great writer, but ultimately just another pretentious critic.

Anyway, do we have a new artist yet? How about Elton John?
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Christgau likes Pavement.

Laz likes Pavement.

Therefore, his opinions can be taken as objective fact.
First off Christgau isn't some asshole off the street. While he's certainly not the final word on anything, he's been writing for legit publications since the late 60's, and is totally up to date on indie rock, world music, hip hop, etc. his main blind spots are electronica (to an extent) and Brit Pop. Known as "the dean" of Rick criticism, he's probably the most respected living music writer. iYup's "some pretentious critic" is disingenuous; the guy's a real fan with eclectic taste, even if he can snark as well as any Pitchforker.

Anyway, LM your main criticism of Brighten is that it isn't a departure, just Pavement doing what they do best. Ok, so what? Was Exile On Main Street much of a departure from Sticky Fingers? Or The White Album? Or Document? Katy Lied?

Chart the progression from Slanted all the way to a gorgeous, Pumpkins-esque track like Old To Begin, or the Equivel/spacey vibe of Blue Hawaiian, or the wooziness of Tranport Is Arranged. If none of it sounds too groundbreaking, it may be due to Wowee Zowee throwing in every sound but the kitchen sink. Anything after that is going to sound restrained. For me, it's the most drugged-out, hallucinatory, dreamy, gauzy, etc. of their albums. Maybe you don't like that, I don't know. But sounding lazy ain't actually being lazy. And I'd argue that SM takes more great solos on here than on any other album of his career.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:30 AM   #171
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Agree with LM that Are You Experienced is stacked with hits, but for me that doesn't make it the best album. I'd have to go with Electric Ladyland, because it really aims for something big, and pulls it off.

Worst...do the posthumous releases count?
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:51 AM   #172
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Best: Violator, easily. It's got the strongest set of songs, with really imaginative and fresh production.

Worst: A Broken Frame. Not one song I like on that one. Just plain dull.

The Clash
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:35 AM   #173
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This community on the whole seems afflicted by some strange sort of anti-critical reverse-elitism syndrome.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:49 AM   #174
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Best Summerjam Stephen's Record: Illinois
Worst Suffering Suppertime Record: The Age Of Adz
Really? I know most didn't love Adz as much as I did, but not even better than A Sun Came? Come on.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:54 AM   #175
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First off Christgau isn't some asshole off the street. While he's certainly not the final word on anything, he's been writing for legit publications since the late 60's, and is totally up to date on indie rock, world music, hip hop, etc. his main blind spots are electronica (to an extent) and Brit Pop. Known as "the dean" of Rick criticism, he's probably the most respected living music writer. iYup's "some pretentious critic" is disingenuous; the guy's a real fan with eclectic taste, even if he can snark as well as any Pitchforker.
Like I said, I respect the guy as a writer, and his experience is certainly worth something. He does, however, certainly have a self-righteous, self-congratulatory streak as well. And it just simply is not convincing when you to try to use him as a buttress for your opinions because he is just one voice in a sea of experienced critics.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by Joey788

Best: Violator, easily. It's got the strongest set of songs, with really imaginative and fresh production.

Worst: A Broken Frame. Not one song I like on that one. Just plain dull.

The Clash
Well. Worst is definitely combat rock. Outside of "straight to hell," I never have any desire to hear anything else off it because the singles were a) ok at best to begin with and b) it depresses me that they're almost the only clash I'll ever hear when I'm stuck listening to the radio. Even as a slightly bloated triple album, Sandinista has way too much good stuff to be called their worst, give em enough rope doesn't have anything bad on it (but is also a little light on the absolutely amazing), and we don't even speak of cut the crap. Or we can speak of t long enough to say "this is England" was good, but then the rest must be promptly forgotten it ever existed. so absolutely combat rock for the worst.

As for best, it's hard not to say London calling. That album is almost perfection. That album would be perfection if it didn't include lover's rock. But I can't totally discount the self-titled, even if we use it in its original, single-less non-American version form. Words really don't describe how much love I have for that album, and I think I could even be as hyperbolic as to call my first time hearing it some sort of life-changing experience. I tend to roll my eyes when people say they wouldn't be who they are today without [insert album title here] because I'm normally too cynical for that kind of talk. But if I were ever going to say that about any album, it would be that one. It makes me a bit suspicious then to think I might be considering it as their best from a nostalgia, time and place, sort of deal rather than on any actual musical merits. If I constructed a combination of both versions of the self-titled I'd place that ideal track listing up against London Calling in terms of a favorite based on music rather than simple affection, but that doesn't really count now, does it?
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #177
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Really? I know most didn't love Adz as much as I did, but not even better than A Sun Came? Come on.
I'm a big fan of Adz as well. I admire the boldness of vision and willingness to step away from an established formula. I'd argue Seven Swans for his best, though, with Michigan a close second.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:34 PM   #178
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For The Clash, there's no way Combat Rock is worse than Cut The Crap.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:15 PM   #179
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For The Clash, there's no way Combat Rock is worse than Cut The Crap.
Hey! I said we don't mention that. Lalalalala it does not exist. I don't care if there's a song called "we are the clash.". That's not fooling anyone.

I have to admit, I've never even been able to listen to the entire thing. I've tried, just to be able to say I've lived through the awful that is that album, but it's too painful. There is so much nonsense going on in every single song, the synths are out of control, and the over-driven guitar sound that seems to be the only instance of guitars I've detected on the few songs I have made it through, is so over-used and same-sounding. Words. So. Bad. Everything about it. So. Fucking. Bad. Except for "this is England.". My initial reaction to that being on some best of was what why who was responsible for acknowledging that album exists (also, still hadn't heard much off it at the time), but it isn't bad.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:44 PM   #180
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Really? I know most didn't love Adz as much as I did, but not even better than A Sun Came? Come on.
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I'm a big fan of Adz as well. I admire the boldness of vision and willingness to step away from an established formula.
I love Adz as well.
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