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Friday, September 30, 2005

#772 - To Bring You My Love, PJ Harvey

"Released as Harvey was breaking into the mainstream, To Bring You My Love is that rare album where an artist with tons of potential rises to the occasion and, instead of getting swallowed by the MTV machine, delivers a challenging and successful work. "Down By the Water" is just about the best single of the '90s -- inscrutable, groovy and creepy as all hell." (real music guide)

#771 - No Code, Pearl Jam

"Although Pearl Jam seemed to be getting better and more versatile with each LP, it was around the time of this 1996 album that the group began to fall out of rotation on commercial radio. Not that it mattered to them: they had just recorded one of their best records, and it was dark, eloquent and heavy. Listen to "Off He Goes" or "Smile" for evidence of this." (real music guide)

#770 - Our Endless Numbered Days, Iron & Wine

"The endearing lo-fi hiss of Sam Beam's debut may be gone, but the quality of his songs is not -- the tracks here are just as intimate and memorable as anything he's done in the past. The slight fingerpicking and subtle harmonies work with his Spartan sense of accompaniment, creating a lyrical and melodic oasis." (real music guide) (Blogger's note: This album has quickly become one of my all-time favorites.)

#769 - Blind Man's Zoo, 10,000 Maniacs

"A captivating piece to bid adieu to the 80s, this record encompasses a transition for the Maniacs. Here, Natalie Merchant's folksie roots begin to emerge so much more than in "In my tribe" and of course, the rythm here is altogether different to the mainstream music of that time, thus this record was a small college hit." (amazon listener review)

#768 - 69 Love Songs, The Magnetic Fields

"As the sprawling magnitude of its cheeky title suggests, 69 Love Songs is Stephin Merritt's most ambitious as well as most fully realized work to date, a three-disc epic of classically chiseled pop songs that explore both the promise and pitfalls of modern romance through the jaundiced eye of an irredeemable misanthrope." (allmusic guide) (Disc 2, Disc 3)

#767 - Stand Up, Dave Matthews Band

"Don't let the headless CGI dancer on the cover fool you. While Stand Up has a more organic feel than 2001's radio-ready Everyday, it is hardly an invocation for carefree days spent twirling on the grass. Instead it is a call to arms that carries over much of the insurrectionary spirit the Dave Matthews Band brought to 2004's Vote For Change Tour. Matthews, sounding rawer than ever, swerves between optimism and angst." (amazon editorial review)

#766 - Odessa, The Bee Gees

"This double album masterwork showcases the Bee Gees at their eccentric 1960s best: epic historical themes, epic melancholic ballads, epic group harmonies, and epic orchestral instrumentals -- even the groovy, country rocking "Marley Purt Drive" is epic. "Sound of Love" is worthy of its title and even today retains the power to send shivers down your spine." (real music guide)


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