Overrated Albums

December 10, 2009

Hey Everyone and welcome to the first “Music as Art” blog! Today we’ll be talking about overrated albums.

 1.  Dirty Projectors- Bitte Orca- Ok, so this album came out earlier this year with rave reviews about the constant changing pop perfection that is the basis for the band’s sound. But it seems like its all too much. If you examine the amount of change in Dave Longstreth’s divisive voice and in the tonal control of the album  (as it progresses), you’ll see that the band tries to perfect their sound too much while at the same time trying to give their audience too much detail . Bitte Orca sounds congested with too much of the same strained detail. I’ll be interested when they can change their sound a little bit.

2. MC5-Kick Out the Jams– If you want the best review of this album read Lester Bangs’: Its spot on:

      “About a month ago the MC-5 received a cover article in Rolling Stone proclaiming them the New Sensation, a group to break all barriers, kick out all jams, “total energy thing,” etc. etc. etc. Never mind that they came on like a bunch of 16 year old punks on a meth power trip—these boys, so the line ran, could play their guitars like John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders played sax!Well, the album is out now and we can all judge for ourselves. For my money they come on more like Blue Cheer than Trane and Sanders, but then my money has already gone for a copy of this ridiculous, overbearing, pretentious album; and maybe that’s the idea, isn’t it?(Rolling Stone Magazine -April 5, 1969)

…I couldn’t agree more, the album does have this overbearing power in attitude and sound. If Bitte Orca had too much detail, this doesn’t have enough. Its a whirlwind of poorly played intrumentation and screams. For wanting to “liberate” their audience, the MC5’s music is a worn down, blunt sword only trying to do the job; they’re stabbing and missing.

The Smiths- The Queen Is Dead- I’m not going to argue that this album isn’t good, because it is. I’m only arguing against many critics who put it as the best Smith’s album…..have they ever heard Strangways, Here We Come? Its a classic album waiting to happen! No one can deny “Girlfriend in a Coma” or “Lastnight, I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me.” Out of all 4 Smiths albums I would rate them in order from best to worst as follows: “Strangeways…”, “Meat Is Murder”, “The Queen is Dead”, “The Smiths”.

To Be Continued….


One Response to “Overrated Albums”

  1. Cold Cuts Says:

    Spot on! Kick Out the Jams was one of the most disappointing experiences I’ve had with music. I think it has something to do with the “soundtrack” phenomenon. It happened to me with T.Rex, too. It goes like this…watching a great movie and in the background are snippets of songs…the songs sound so incredible when matched with visually lush scenes or moments of drama or tension…you rush out and buy the musician’s album…excited to hear what other delights await…only to be disappointed. I’ve even had it happen with (please forgive me) Bowie (i.e. the climactic scene at the movie theater in Inglorious Bastards).
    Once again Lester Bangs nailed it.
    Great start Jeff!

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