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Mike [profile] has commented on 40 tracks.
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Time Out From The World  performed by Goldfrapp  2005
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Am i the only one disappointed Goldfrapp by now almost completely abandoned their "Felt Mountain"-style and are now solely winding down on the glam-electro route? Anyway, "Time Out From The World" could easily have been on the first album, it sounds like a follow up to "Pilots": Gently flowing, nocturnal in texture, floating through a vast open space with delicate electronica and synths building up to a lush finale with an orchestral armada of strings. Despite the electronics it still has this late-60s-John-Barry feeling all over it.

from Supernature, available on CD (Mute)




  28 Sep 05 ·robert[o]: I doubt you're "only one" who wishes Goldfrapp lingered a tad longer on the slopes of Felt Mountain, but I really feel they made the right choice. "Felt Mountain II - The Sequel" would have been really anticlimactic. The Thin White Duchess, @ his height in the 1970's, had the right impulse - once you've got a trope right; move onwards! A great song tip though, and I would give a shout towards "Let It Take You" likewise. It sounds like John Barry arranging a weird Prince song circa "Purple Rain".
  28 Sep 05 ·Mike: You're definitely not the only one, Efti ,and there is one more just here. To me, each successive album has contained fewer magically beautiful tracks than the last, the jump "onwards" into material I find uninteresting being accelerated hugely with the new disc. Robert, the evidence suggests that the choice appears to have been the right one when assessed on the basis of commercial success, but artistically I personally think it a shame they chose to concentrate so much on the "T-Rex with synths material". However I'll return to the new record again in a while and see if it grates less on me...
  29 Sep 05 ·eftimihn: Thanks for the song recommendation, Robert. Well, i wouldn't have asked for just another Felt Mountain, but maybe for a slower transition towards their new sound, for keeping that magical feel of such stellar song such as "Pilots" or "Utopia". And "Supernature" feels rather "Black Cherry II" to me, so to me they really haven't moved on from there now either. But i know it's always a topic of debate, the "sticking to their style" vs. "changing/progressing from album to album" thing basically. I mean, did anyone complain The Smiths didn't move on to, say, synth pop? Did anyone complain Kraftwerk using electronics for 30 years? I don't know, i like electronic music a lot, but with Goldfrapp i just feel it's a loss such a gifted arranger like Will Gregory with all the right influences, carrying a Morricone/Barry style into a new contemporary sound, is now so firmly into synths and electronics...
  29 Sep 05 ·robert[o]: You have some very valid points - I just don't agree that they apply here. A band/artist need not radically change styles release to release, but I stand by my previous statement when you get it right, move on. "Felt Mountain" got it really, really right. In retrospect, I see the shift for that group as correct move artistically. Likewise, I see "Supernature" not so much as "Black Cherry II", but as the logical fulfillment of the shift that that record, now clearly a transitional LP, suggested. I would also say that "Supernature" is a stronger record than "Black Cherry" on pretty much every front (save perhaps the lack of anything as utterly exquisite "Black Cherry's" title track - which I believe is the group's best song to date.) Now I happen to like the obvious points of reference for "Supernature" - glam rock and electro - as much as I do Italian soundtracks. (All three genres do much the same for me - create their own sonic environments, that play with the contents of my skull.) And if Goldfrapp's next LP is "Supernature II", I will complain loudly - (but I hope/suspect Allison and Will are smarter than that.) And @ the risk of fueling further controversy, many a great band/artist has run a great sound/trope/idea/etc. into the floorboards. (See: The Pixies, The Ramones, The Cocteau Twins, (my beloved) T. Rex and, sadly, The Smiths (post "The Queen is Dead") and Kraftwerk (post "Computer World").) Many of the artists I love best - Bowie, Gainsbourg, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Siouxsie, Wire, The Fall, Broadcast - all remake/remodel themselves every so often. Sometimes said exercise fails - but seem, to me, to create a sense of artistic vitality within the work of said bands/artists. (And "Supernature" feels, to me, thick with that very vitality.) Also let's not fall prey to the reverse snobbery that the commercial success of this LP means it is therefore an inferior piece of work artistically. Remember so much of what this forum champions - Bacharach, Nancy and Lee, Serge, Dusty, etc. - was squarely middle of the road pop music. It makes me very, very happy that people are actually hearing/buying sexy, smart, pop music w/more that a little sense of darkness to it, rather than bland, processed, obvious crap that dominates the charts.
That was Yesterday  performed by Foreigner  1984
Recommended by Mike [profile]

One of the best classics of the Foreigner back catalogue which I know has so many adherents here at musical taste. A superbly emotional track with a great chord sequence and a mainly synth-based backing.

from Agent Provocateur



  05 Dec 05 ·delicado: amazing - I knew this recommendation was from you even before I saw your name! So, no 'cold as ice'?
  05 Dec 05 ·Mike: "Cold as Ice" is a great number, too, of course, you're quite right. Watch out for more recommendations soon!
Stumbliní In  performed by Suzi Quatro  1979
Recommended by TippyCanoe [profile]

it grooves...soft rock style

from If You Knew Suzi (RSO RS-1 3044)



  11 Dec 05 ·Mike: 1979 seems very late for a Suzie Quatro record but I remember enjoying "Devil's Gate Drive" at some point during the early 70's. When I grew up slightly, I seem to remember being offended by her political views, if I remember correctly.
Vicious  performed by Lou Reed  1971
Recommended by Gwendolyn [profile]

This happy-tuned song has that up-beat sound of the late sixties/ early seventies. Although Lou Reed doesnt have the best singing voice, he makes up for it with quality lyrics... much like Bob Dylan. Great guitar in this one.

from The Best of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground



  29 Nov 05 ·n-jeff: It's on Lou Reed's "Transformer" LP so that would be 1971, I think. Not that it probably wasn't written before then. And possibly the coolest LP Rick Wakeman played on. If you only know this song from the greatest hits you should check out Transformer itself, a quality record. In fact all the Velvets LP's individually, including 1969 and everything Reed did solo up to, say, 1975.
  11 Dec 05 ·Mike: The coolest LP Rick Wakeman played on (apart from the Six Wives of Henry VIII and the Yes oevre, of course) - Hunky Dory.
  20 Dec 11 ·schlick: Transformer was released in 1972, and Rick Wakeman played on Lou\'s first solo album released earlier in that year, not on Transformer, just wanted to clear things up.
Open Door  performed by Genesis  1980
Recommended by Mike [profile]

It is hard to imagine a more musically wistful verse than that of this song. The swelling chorus augments it perfectly and very dramatically. This B side from the "Duke" era is surely one of Mike Rutherford's best songs, and one of the highlights of the post-Gabriel Genesis for those who appreciate the band's slower numbers.


available on CD - Genesis Archive Vol 2



  15 May 06 ·makebusy7: Um, that song was a throwaway no matter how you slice it
  15 May 06 ·Mike: It's all about musical taste, really, although even if it was not to my taste, I would find it hard to put together an argument for it as a throwaway.
  19 Nov 06 ·mrtanner: I think this is an absolutely beautiful track!
  20 Nov 06 ·Mike: Oh yes, it's quite special...glad someone else appreciates it!
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