February 28, 2005

February 24, 2005

I'm an accountant (or controller), which means that I love numbers and figures. So I'm impatiently awaiting new updates at Audioscrobbler, so I can check the development in my "Top Artists" list.

However, at Last.FM you have the possibility to "view all artists you've submitted and associated play counts". So this morning I copied the data to Excel and started analyzing and comparing it to the "Top 50 Artists" information generated by Audioscrobbler 21 February.

Totally I've played 1209 songs by 134 artists, which is an average slightly above 9 songs per artist. 17 artists are only represented by 1 song, but 40 artists have had tracks played 10 times or more.

1) Doves (+5 positions ; +63 tracks played)
2) Interpol (+1 ; + 31)
3) Pink Floyd (-2 ; +14)
4) Kent (-2 ; +4)
5) Bloc Party (New Entry ; +40)
6) Neil Young (-1 ; +6)
7) Ian Broudie (-3 ; +0)
8) The Jesus and Mary Chain (-1 ; +4)
9) Semisonic (-1 ; +3)
10) The Beach Boys (+10 ; +14)

Beware - these artists are "aiming" at a top 10 ranking:
The Smiths, The Stills and The Arcade Fire.

I will try to update the top 10 when the "tracks played" reach 2000.
New album added to my CD-Collection (CD's purchased in 2005):
The Arcade Fire: Funeral

Finally, FINALLY! Yesterday the hyped, much talked about and critically acclaimed debut album by The Arcade Fire was added to my collection. Ordered it a long time ago and despite it was released in Denmark mid-January it didn't arrive until last night.

I have previously listened to several (downloaded) songs, which left a really good impression (especially Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)), but I'm obviously looking forward to hearing the album as a whole. Will post some comments when I've listened to it 8-10 times.

February 23, 2005

Interpol: Antics

After "over" playing Take You on a Cruise the past few days, it was a logic choice to take a much needed closer look at the bands second album.

Unfortunately it's a rather bumpy ride listening through the album. Or maybe a "downhill glide" is a more fitting/accurate description. The album starts out with four brilliant songs, which make you start believing that you're listening to a potential classic.

Sadly there is a noticeable drop in the quality of the songs on the last half of the album. Not that those songs are bad, but they just leave you disappointed. The band should blame itself, because expectations had to be high after the opening four tracks.
Best songs:
1) Take You on a Cruise
2) Evil
3) Next Exit

February 22, 2005

Obviously yesterday was primarily spent listening to Some Cities by Doves. But I also gave Silent Alarm by Bloc Party a proper listen on my way home.

What did I think of the albums then?

Well the first impressions were mixed, because neither album made me scream "wow","ye-ha" or anything similar for that matter. However I should recall that my rendezvous' with the other Doves albums weren't love at first sight either, because they both took quite a while to get used to/like. Today they are among my favourite albums, so I'm actually very positive and feel certain that Some Cities and I are in "the beginning of a beautiful friendship!"

Since Silent Alarm is their debut it's (very) logically my first encounter with Bloc Party. So unlike Doves I don't have any idea if the album will grow on me, or if it's doomed for a permanent spot in the back of the archive. So stay tuned for more comments.

Despite listening to those two albums a lot yesterday, the "over" played track of the day was Taking You On a Cruise by Interpol. For some odd reason (it's probably just because it's a brilliant song, which really isn't that odd) I'm totally fascinated by that song. A love to last forever? Time will tell I guess!

February 21, 2005

Finally there's been an update, so these are (my) Top 10 Artists at Audioscrobbler (as per 21 February 2005):

1) Pink Floyd (New entry)
2) Kent (2)
3) Interpol (9)
4) Ian Broudie (1)
5) Neil Young (3)
6) Doves (New entry)
7) The Jesus and Mary Chain (4)
8) Semisonic (8)
9) The Beatles (5)
10) Angie Aparo (6)

Expected more and bigger changes though I guess a new no. 1 compared to the last update on 15 February has to be considered a big change - nicht wahr?
New albums added to my CD-Collection:
Bloc Party: Silent Alarm
Doves: Some Cities

I will definitely play both albums a lot the next few days/weeks, but I've especially been looking forward to the Doves album (probably the second best band in the world).

First listen sounded promising, but will post more comments as soon as I've become more familiar with the album.

February 18, 2005

A-Ha: Scoundrel Days

I remember that when the album was released in 1986 I quickly judged it as "bad", because it did not contain the obvious hit songs as Hunting High and Low. However it didn't take long for me to change my mind, because it was clear to anyone that the band had matured in a very positive way since their debut album.
Today Scoundrel Days works a whole lot better than the first album and to me is a clear-cut pick as their best album.
I have two complaints/questions concerning the album though. Why was Alan Tarney asked to produce, because on too many occasions Morten Harket sounds like Cliff Richard (this definitely is no accolade)? And why was the horrible Cry Wolf ever included?
Best songs:
1) The Swing of Things
2) Scoundrel Days
3) Manhattan Skyline

Neil Young: After The Gold Rush

On 21 January 2005 I wrote that I was looking forward to getting more familiar with this album. Since then I've probably listened to it a dozen times and have grown into loving it. It's easy to hate his thin, fragile voice, but the songwriting is unbelievable, which makes this a highly recommendable album. Simply explained this is just one of those albums that seem to get 5% better each time you listen to it!
Best songs (forcing myself to pick 3 even though the album consists of 11 brilliant songs!):
1) Birds
2) Only Love Can Break Your Heart
3) After The Gold Rush

February 17, 2005

(My) Top 10 Artists at Audioscrobbler (as per 15 February 2005):

1) Ian Broudie
2) Kent
3) Neil Young
4) The Jesus And Mary Chain
5) The Beatles
6) New Order + Angie Aparo
8) Semisonic
9) Grandaddy + Fountains of Wayne + Interpol + Belle and Sebastian

It would be very nice with more frequent updates at Audioscrobbler, but since it's a free service who am I to complain? Will post my Top 10 the next time it's updated, because I expect quite a few changes!?

And since today's topic seems to be Top Lists, this is my Media Player Top 5 as per this morning:

1) OMD: Of All The Thing We've Made
2) Grandaddy: Now It's On
3) Fans Of Kate: Tape 23
4) OMD: The Romance Of the Telescope
5) The Smiths: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Bullets (Play Count is rising fast):
Kent: Max 500
Depeche Mode: Halo
Neil Young: Birds
The Killers: All These Things That I've Done
Prefab Sprout: When Love Breaks Down
Television: Marquee Moon
Semisonic: El Matador
The Rolling Stones: She's a Rainbow

February 16, 2005

Television: Marquee Moon

This album by Television is ranked as the 26th best of all time at Acclaimed Music and 25th at Rate Your Music, so obviously I've been tempted to check it out. So I bought the album a couple of weeks back and finally yesterday I listened to it twice in the office and this morning it was my morning entertainment in the car.

Still a little too early to tell if it's really that influential rock masterpiece that everybody claims it is (I need more listens), though the first impressions are very positive. No matter what I definitely won't hesitate to recommend the title track - it is 10:40 long and absolutely fantastic!

February 15, 2005

Ian Broudie: Tales Told

As a long time fan of The Lightning Seeds, it was obvious that I had to buy the solo-album (and debut!) by their front man and mastermind Ian Broudie. Though the album doesn't really sound like "The Seeds" at all, it's still a very, very fine album and definitely doesn't give you the impression that it's a collection of "leftovers".
11 nice (but short) songs with a more acoustic sound than we're used to hearing from the band, makes this a listening pleasure, though it wouldn't have hurt if the album had lasted a little longer than 34 minutes!
Best songs (actually difficult to pick three songs):
1) Tales Told
2) Smoke Rings
3) Always Knocking

February 14, 2005

Really fascinated by Audioscrobbler and constantly checking my profile. Obviously it will be even more interesting as the number of tracks played increases, but right now Ian Broudie is the "top artist".
Kent: Best Of

Today's pick is not exactly an official release, but instead a "self-designed", "home-cocked" 16 tracks "Best Of Kent" album. Downloaded the new single "Max 500" Friday evening and have listened to it over and over again since then. Unfortunately this is not one of the best songs by the band, but still a pretty good effort. Anyway - who could hate any song by the best band in the world?
Crossing my fingers and hoping that they will visit Denmark this year! And of course still very much looking forward to the new album in March.
Best songs:
All of them!! But these are the tracks on the album (all are in Swedish, because the English versions are downright horrible):
1) Max 500
2) VinterNoll2
3) 747
4) Beskyddaren
5) Chans
6) Dom Andra
7) En Himmelsk Drog
8) Istället För Ljud
9) Kr�m (Saa N�ra Faar Ingen Gaa)
10) Kungen �r D�d
11) Om Du Var H�r
12) P�rlor
13) Saker Man Ser
14) Socker
15) Sp�kstad
16) Sundance Kid

February 11, 2005

New Order: Substance 1987

The past month (since turning 36) I've started more and more to listen to music from my teenage years. Don't know if it's some kind of mid-life crisis I'm going through, or if I'm just having another nostalgic trip back to the 80's?
New Order was the first band I ever saw live, way back in 1984. Only remember that they played Temptation and Love Will Tear Us Apart, and that the sun was shining. But I guess seeing this band wasn't the worst concert "debut" imaginable?
Substance is a remarkable collection of songs, which definitely have aged beautifully!
Best songs:
1) True Faith
2) Bizarre Love Triangle
3) Ceremony (Doesn't this one sound a bit like their 1993 single "Regret"?)

New album added to my CD-Collection:
Ian Broudie: Tales Told

February 10, 2005

Geneva: Further

Going through my CD's last night I found the debut album by Geneva. Since it's been quite a while since the last time I listened to it, I decided that it might be a good idea to bring it with me in the car this morning. Nothing spectacular at all, but overall a pretty decent album.
Best songs:
1) Tranquillizer (standout track - a brilliant song)
2) Into the Blue
3) No One Speaks

February 9, 2005

Some picks from my recent "compilation":

Moby: Lift Me Up
Maybe Eminem doesn't like Moby, but I must admit I do. And the new single sure make me look even more forward to the new album.

Doves: Black and White Town
This is not there best single release so far, but still a nice "appetizer" from the upcoming album.

The Radio Dept.: Lost and Found
Every song I've heard so far by this Swedish band is just great. So the album "Lesser Matters" has been added to the wish list!

I'm currently listening to "Darklands" by The Jesus and Mary Chain. The one big problem about this nostalgic trip I'm currently experiencing is that it becomes more and more obvious that I'm getting terribly old. 18 years had gone since the release of "Darklands". It's a cliché, but it sure seems like it was yesterday!

February 8, 2005

Checked the play count on my Media Player. This is the top 5 as per today:

1) OMD: Of All The Things We've Made (16 counts)
2) Jeff Buckley: Hallelujah (13)
3) Grandaddy: Now It's On (13)
4) OMD: The Romance Of The Telescope (12)
5) The Smiths: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (12)

Look forward to a monthly update ;-)
Steve Winwood: Roll With It

To be honest I wanted to listen to Refugees Of The Heart, but somehow managed to pick the wrong album off the shelf. Not a bad one this 1988 album (especially the horn arrangements are pretty OK), but I still prefer some of his other releases.
Best songs:
1) Don't You Know What The Night Can Do?
2) Holding On
3) The Morning Side

February 7, 2005

Idlewild: Love Steals Us From Loneliness

Heard this song for the first time Saturday evening and feel in love immediately. I've probably listened to it 50 times since then and hopefully the single is an indication of how good the album is going to be! Best song (of those I've heard) of 2005 so far!

New albums added to my CD-Collection:
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation
Television: Marquee Moon
Portishead: Dummy
Grandaddy: The Sophtware Slump
The Jesus And Mary Chain: Psychocandy
The Jesus And Mary Chain: Darklands
Joy Division: Substance 1977 - 1980

February 4, 2005

New Order: Low-Life

This is undoubtedly the best New Order album. Still recall the plastic bag you received when buying the album way back in 1985. Has stood the test of time perfectly and still sounds amazingly fresh though you can (and always could) easily claim that Bernard Sumner can't sing.
Best songs:
1) Elegia
2) The Perfect Kiss
3) Subculture

February 3, 2005

Depeche Mode: Violator

I've never been a fan of Depeche Mode and for the past many years I've described them as the most overrated band in the world. Fans! Come on! Be honest. Don't tell me that the band have released just one decent song for 15 years (OK - I admit to liking "It's No Good")!!
But 15 years ago Depeche Mode released the excellent "Violator", which features some of the best songs ever recorded by the band (though the horrible and overplayed "Personal Jesus" isn't among them). Unfortunately they haven't reached those "heights" again, so to me this album stands very much alone in the Depeche Mode "universe".
Best songs:
1) Enjoy The Silence
2) Halo
3) Policy Of Truth

February 1, 2005

Currently I'm driving in a rented car, while the other one gets the front screen fixed. Unfortunately the rented one doesn't have a CD player, which means I have to listen to the Radio instead.

Suddenly I remember why I had a CD player installed in my car. The Radio Stations play terrible, terrible music, which means that I spend more time focused on searching for another and hopefully better Radio Station than I do on driving.

In the end my effort was rewarded and had the pleasure of listening to the last 2 minutes of Enjoy The Silence, by Depeche Mode. A wonderful song, but I'm still very much looking forward to getting my car back!