Sunday, 23 November 2008

A sidenote

I actually enjoyed writing that review earlier, though i was insanely tired after getting up at 7am for an MRI scan and felt the effects because my vocabulary was not just shoddy but shitty, if i'm fair.

Still, I've set up a NEW BLOG, SHOCK HORROR, which is devoted to music-y type stuff.

It can be found 

Music, happenings, dr pepper.

Two current addictions that must primarily be addressed. Aren't kitkat chunky peanut butter bars amazing, actually amazing. By far the best chocolate bar on the market. If i had to make a top five of chocolate bars, which obviously i do, i'd do this...

1.Kitkat Peanut Butter
2. Galaxy Caramel 
3. Cadbury's Fruit and Nut
4. Ripple
5. Crunchie

Also, i've got addicted to Dr Pepper. It is the best tasting soft drink there is, it tastes exactly like battenb(u/e)rg cake which i hate, which makes my loving of it all the more spectacular, magical, special. Yesterday i got TWELVE cans of it from Sainsbury's for £3, genius. 

GO AND BUY THE MIGHTY BOOK OF BOOSH. just needed to get that in there. This is really becoming quite the ridiculous blog post.

The main function of this post however is to pander to my journalistic qualities (lack of). I'm going to, for your pleasure, review the album 'Pinkerton' by Weezer.

Pinkerton was released in 1996 to a wave of poor reviews and apathy in respect to the band. It was considered a far more dark and troubled album than their first self titled album that was easy to listen to, fun nerdy rock and generally good natured. The album has been described by the band's lead singer in the following glowing words:

"It's a hideous record... It was such a hugely painful mistake that happened in front of hundreds of thousands of people and continues to happen on a grander and grander scale and just won't go away. It's like getting really drunk at a party and spilling your guts in front of everyone and feeling incredibly great and cathartic about it, and then waking up the next morning and realizing what a complete fool you made of yourself".

So generally, it's not got the easiest ride, but for me it is by far the best album ever released by Weezer and is probably one of the greatest five albums that I have ever listened to. What makes the album so good for me is the fact that it is edgy; some of the lyrics make you cringe, some make you laugh, and some can really make you empathise with the life of the stereotypical American teenager who is unpopular, unloved, unwilling to change, and most people have felt like this at some time so they can understand where Rivers Cuomo (the lead singer is coming from).

Here are the songs from the album, and some comments. Each song is hyperlinked so you can give it a listen. To listen look for the player on the top right of the page and click play.

"Tired of Sex" – 3:01   (just click play on the top right)
 This song is probably the best first song on an album. This is a pretty big statement considering Can't Stand Me Now is the first song on The Libertines and Black Mirror is the first on Neon Bible. The guitar solo is fantastic, Rivers sounds great, there's so much anguish. Yeah, the lyrics are a little pretentious in the sense that are we really supposed to feel pity for a guy that has lots of sex but can't find the 'one', but still, it's fantastic. 10/10

A really heavy Weezer song. What I like about this is that the guitar riffs are so loud and heavy and complicated, the drums are smashing away, but you can still hear the meaning in the lyrics, the high pitched falsetto works really well, but the best bit is that the lead singing and the backing vocals just sound fantastic together but sound like they haven't been over-produced and still sound like garage music. It's not a song with tonnes of meaning though, it's also not the best song on the album by quite a bit. 7.5/10

This song picks off where Getchoo stops, but then the pace slows and the guitar and drum take a back seat. The drums, especially the use of the cymbals are really well thought out. The lyrics are really impressive, the story of people who are together but have no reason to be together apart from wanting to be with someone. The song is a permanent crescendo, the guitars become more screechy as the song progresses, the singing sounds anguished and powerful. It's quite a 'nice' song though, not overly adventurous. 8/10

I know I said this album was a lot darker, but this could very easily have been on the blue album. It's a fantastic song, the lyrics are brilliant, full of fun, energetic stuff. It's catchy, simple but effective, and the guitar riff half way through that leads to a crescendo followed by River's coming in with another verse is one of my favourite moments of the album. 9.5/10

When the piano intro is met with a loud power chord on guitar this song kicks off. It's the story of how Rivers fell in love with a fan from Japan who he never met but always thought about after she sent him a letter. The short's a little disturbing "i wonder what clothes you wear to school/i wonder how you decorate your room/ i wonder how you touch yourself and curse myself for being across the sea" etc... but if you can put that to one have probably the most complete song on the album. It's well structured, the guitar riffs are in no way textbook, the vocals are full of emotion and the end of the song takes a completely new turn and finishs with perhaps the single best minute of a weezer song! 9.5/10

The opening verse is a typical Weezer parody, with Rivers poking a bit of fun at himself. The song starts of slowly, the verse isn't emphatic or particularly inventive, the chorus is a bit heavier, but the guitar is probably more subdued on this song than any of the first five songs on the album. The song does pick up some pace though and it is generally really catchy even if it doesn't have the most inventive lyrics. The solitary guitar solo is all-right, nothing special either, but the interesting thing about this song is that even though there is no single fantastic moment and i've actually been rather critical of some elements of it, if it is considered wholistically, it really does work and provides perhaps the most catchy chorus on the album. 8/10

El Scorcho is a tough song to review. It starts of as a pretty obvious joke, to me it seems like a bit of a take on people who talk ridiculously and act cool. The song is a little bit of a comedy though, Rivers' voice has none of the emotion, it's just taking the piss a bit. However, when the song kicks off and the tempo rises, the whole thing is transformed. The verse meant nothing and was a joke, but the chorus if entirely separated from the rest of the song is probably the most interesting/exciting/emotion-filled of the album. 9/10

An annoying song to be frank. The verse is my favourite verse on the album and the first 45 seconds until the chorus kicks in is fantastic, my problem is the chorus. "I'm dumb she's a lesbian" is when the song just turns a bit shambolic, which is a pity because when the next verse comes in my ears prick up again and the lyrics are brilliant in each verse. 10/10 in parts 4/10 in others, so an average gives us 7/10, but i really think this is the weakest song on the album.

Thank God that this song comes after Pink Triangle. The song is fantastic, complete, lyrically fantastic, powerful and inventive. The guitar is back to it's best on the album, River's lyrics are typically nerdy and Weezerish, the lyrics are just brilliant though "i'm a burning candle/ you're a gentle moth/ teaching me to lick a little bit kinder". Probably my favourite song on the album and I wouldn't change a thing.

Another 'nice' song. It's acoustic, Rivers sings melodically and shows that he's not just a whiney vocalist but actually has a real talent. It's a bit odd because the rest of the album is totally different, but it works well as a final song and is a simple, pleasant way to finish off. 9/10

So that's a quick review of every song on the album. The thing is, not every song scores exceedingly highly, but no album is perfect. What is brilliant though is the general feeling that the album gives off, it forces you into the mind of the band and their lives and is really very personal. The guitar riffs throughout are really under-rated and there's so much about this album that is just pure, honest music and in a world where that doesn't really exist very often it is really welcome.


So...i've seemingly become a pretentious reviewer. Let's see how long this phase of my blogging lasts, i give it one more review ever....

Monday, 10 November 2008

Another way to die, and another few things.

Isn't another way to die a great bond theme? I love it, everyone else hates it, i think it's edgy, unusual, and i like Jack White so it works. 

Bond is great, i don't get why people say it's not as good as casino royale or why they say there is no character development. Ok, Dominic Greene is like a watered down Le Chiffre, and about half the cinema seemed very lost with the plot, but if you pay attention it is amazing, and the turmoil of it all and the darkness of both Craig and Kurylenko is amazing, and Judi Dench does a great job as always. Go see it!

Things with me are good at the minute. I'm being worked hard as always but enjoying myself as well. I had a friend up from London last weekend and it was great, and then I went down and stayed with her in London the next day so that was really fun, it's great to just hang out with someone who understands and knows everything about you already, though it's true that my oxford friends are getting to that stage with me now.

I'm venturing up to Liverpool soon as well to see a really good friend, don't know what to expect of liverpool, on one hand i'm slightly blinded by Boris Johnson's criticisms but i think it'll be great fun, it's a party city.

I'm a bit disappointed in the election in the sense that i though McCain was a lot more competent than people gave him credit for in the debates, and he made some really good arguments about Obama voting yes on energy bills that gave billions to oil companies when McCain vehemently opposed it. At the end of the day though nobody can doubt that McCain wasn't himself in the run up to the election, and it seems the Republican party had too much say in his campaign, i mean Palin was a hardline right-winger that just didn't make sense when you try and run a campaign as a maverick, and you need someone who has at least got the ingenuity to go a few rounds with Biden, and she just couldn't deliver.

Also, towards the end when I realised that regardless of who won the presidency the senate and house would be largely democrat, it made sense for Obama to win, because in an economic crisis to have gridlock is that last thing america needs, as it is witnessing now, and at least Obama will have a mandate. In saying that though, i'm intrigued to see where Obama is going to get all this money to give everyone basic health insurance, i just don't think his sums add up and he has caused so much hope and belief that surely some people are going to be disappointed. 

Ammm....what else.. i'm looking into vac schemes at the minute, i think i'm going to apply for schemes at Linklaters, A&O, Baker and Mckenzie, Slaughter and May, Lovell's and then a smaller firm and an american firm (i know B&M are american based but they don't really act like one).

Yeah, so that's that. My knee is still fooked up, but i've got an MRI scan booked now, though it is when i'm in liverpool so that doesn't really work...ah well. I hope you're fine as well. I wonder who you are though. Well, goodbye. Maybe i'll write a poem soon, i probably won't though because there's no time ever.