Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yeah it took some time, cuz it's a lot...

The new Flaming Lips reviews are starting to pour in. Allmusic have thrown their ever-optimistic two cents into the pile. You have to love them. They find good things to say about just about everyone. Even the Vines' new album, roundly dismissed by other folks, allmusic said, "feels like the Vines may still regain the momentum they had earlier in their career." Though it is your one stop shop for pretty much every record known to man -- especially if you're disproportionately obsessed with a particular sub-genre, like, say power-pop or something -- it's sometimes hard to get a good feel of just how good a record is. For example, you might only be able to find one Mayflies USA review on Pitchfork but all four on allmusic, including their best, Walking In A Straight Line. Of course, the fact that this particular record received four stars does not mean that it is on par with other four star records, such as Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or is a better record than Neil Young's self-titled debut. In this sense, the volume of reviews hurts.

But for the voracious music consumer, there is nothing finer than having a web of thousands of reviews that exalt traits like "production with lots of character", "pop instincts", "insidious hooks", and, of course, "the double backbeat". In the past couple weeks alone, allmusic has added a number of entries to my ever-expanding wish list (quickly rising to the top of the list is The Possibilities' Way Out). The more you dig through the site, the more a wonder it becomes. Their staff is so well-versed in pretty much every style of pop music that they can cover everything from a newly rereleased early Them LP to the brand new smash from Ashlee Simpson with equal enthusiasm and attention to detail. It's all relative on allmusic, and, so long as you understand that, it's the best site around.

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