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  • Queen survey

    28 Sep 2006, 13:34

    I'm finally going to do one of these questionnaire things that everybody on Last.fm seems to enjoy so much.

    Choose an artist: Queen

    Favorite track: Drowse

    Least favorite track: We Are the Champions

    Happy song: Tough choice, I guess Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon always brings a smile to my face.

    Sad song: All Dead, All Dead or My Melancholy Blues... oh wait, Mother Love, because Freddie died before finishing it and Brian sings the last verse.

    If a song had to be played when you entered the room, it would be: Fight From The Inside, so damn funky.

    First song you heard: Most likely Radio Ga Ga when I was 3 years old.

    Last song you listened to: Fight From The Inside

    Best album: Any of their first 6 albums really - a toss up between Sheer Heart Attack and News Of The World.

    Worst album: I'm not a big fan of Jazz and The Miracle has its flaws.

    Best live song: Whenever they played Dragon Attack live it was awesome.

    Song that describes you: Can't decide.

    Song for your funeral: Too morbid a question.

    Most overrated song: We Are The Champions is not a great song and I wish people would stop going on about Bohemian Rhapsody.

    Most underrated song: All the songs sung by Brian or Roger, notably Drowse and Tenement Funster.

    Song you wish you wrote: Drowse.

    Random song: Father to Son.
  • Binaural: my review

    29 Abr 2006, 14:58

    Let's start out by saying that Binaural is my favourite Pearl Jam album (so far). I haven't heard the new one yet, but what I have heard sounds awesome so far.

    So, why is it my favourite PJ album? It's hard to explain. Binaural is an album that takes a lot of time and a lot of listens to get into, even demands it, but it rewards that time spent very well.

    At first the songs don't seem to flow too well, they come across as a bit random, but for me they eventually formed into a really gorgeous listening experience that really reaches into me. Here's track by track:

    1. Breakerfall 8/10
    A powerful rocker that starts things off with a bang, short and sweet. Full of energy, and I love the double-octave harmonies through the verse. Great title/lyric too.

    2. Gods' Dice 7/10
    Not quite as engaging as Breakerfall, but keeping up the early theme on this album of fast rockers and a nice catchy chorus.

    3. Evacuation 6/10
    Maybe the weakest song on the album, this finishes up the opening barrage of three short, fast rock songs. It regains a bit of extra points for the ending, which has superb screaming vocals from Eddie, which are just plain cool.

    4. Light Years 8/10
    This is about as close Pearl Jam get to a ballad, and it's absolutely beautiful. A sad tale of losing a friend and wishing you'd had a bit more time with them. Eddie's on lyric-writing form here.

    5. Nothing As It Seems 7/10
    Another slower song to follow Light Years, this one comes across as more downbeat. I personally really dislike the verses in this song, and the detuned guitars can be jarring, but the chorus is one of the most gorgeous the band have ever done.

    6. Thin Air 8/10
    Okay, here comes the super-powerful middle section of the album which is just one stunning track after another. This is a wonderful little acoustic ditty that has a melody which you can't believe nobody has come up with before. Great stuff.

    7. Insignificance 9/10
    Back to the heavier stuff now, this is a song that took me a while to appreciate. Eventually I realised it's just a pop song smothered in distortion, and a very good one. The chorus "BOMBS! Dropping DOWN!..." is so unbelievably catchy, and the stop-start riffs are perfection. Again, the lyrics are stunning.

    8. Of The Girl 10/10
    My personal favourite song off the album, and my favourite Pearl Jam song. One of the most beautiful pieces of songwriting I've ever heard, very laid back yet at the same time really intense. The resolution of the chorus brings this together in a way that can bring tears.

    9. Grievance 8/10
    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. A heavy song similar to Insignificance, driving and powerful and again has lyrics that you can't help but be wowed by.

    10. Rival 9/10
    A groovy, slow rocker in 6/8 that (again) has a terrifically catchy melody and guitar riffs. Dealing with the topic of guns in schools, it really resonates on every level and is very funky to boot. Eddie's voice is in good form here.

    11. Sleight Of Hand 6/10
    Not my favourite song, it's one of those weirder experimental ones, but it works fairly well. Like Nothing As It Seems, the verses are a bit unmelodic and jarring, but the chorus brings it together beautifully.

    12. Soon Forget 9/10
    A little song with Eddie on the ukelele. Absolute genius, love it. It's about people like Bill Gates.

    13. Parting Ways 7/10
    A slower, ballad-like piece to finish off. It's not my favourite song but it works well. The string section is what makes this especially notable as it's arranged very well.

    There you go. I would also say this album has the best cover art of any Pearl Jam album so far. Give this album the time it deserves and you won't regret it.
  • My musical mojo appears to be returning!

    13 Sep 2005, 14:55

    Since getting into this Audioscrobbling business it appears my love for music has reared it head and appeared once again. Even if much of the time I'm just playing tracks to try and get my "most listened artists" numbers to reflect my current moods!

    Anyway, I head a fantastic Led Zeppelin song on the radio as I woke up the other morning. I love it when that happens, just as you're regaining conciousness a gorgeous song begins playing and you seem to listen to it all the more closely and (more often than not) fall in love with it. It happened to me with Queen's 'A Winter's Tale' many years ago, and before then that song didn't interest me much.

    Anyway, the song was 'Fool In The Rain', and lying there listening to it I would have sworn it was an early Elton John song, until the DJ said Led Zep when it had finished. A very funky piano-based song, and I guess I must have been really groggy to mistake Robert Plant's voice for old Reggie's.

    That song is now going on my "Songs Of The Moment" CD for September '05.

    My sister has been trying to get me to listen to Do Me Bad Things and I finally got around to it. Hasn't captivated me, but hold my interest enough to keep listening and give them a chance. I would describe them so far as the Scissor Sisters meets The White Stripes. I quite like 'What's Hideous', that was a single I believe.

    I've also started listening to a little bit of Tool and Nine Inch Nails again. I love NIN's last single 'Only'.So it seems right now I'm into funky-rock stuff that's a little quirky and leaning towards dark, and certainly not in the Red Hot Chili Peppers style.

    What the hell happened to them? Isn't it ironic that now they're putting out their blandest, most uninspiring music, they're also the most successful they've ever been? Makes you sick!
  • Do you know who sung this?

    2 Sep 2005, 18:11

    Sheer Heart Attack is one of my favourite songs, always shocks people when I play it to them. But I was wondering how many people knew who sung it? I found out a while back and was quite surprised at the answer, so just thought I'd share it with anybody who didn't know.

    For the longest time I thought it was Roger singing, with a little bit of Freddie. As it turns out it's actually Freddie doing an impression of Roger! Brian May himself spoke about this a while back on his official site. When you really listen you can just about tell. God, that man's voice was versatile.

    I just thought that was fascinating.
  • Blast those "Greatest Hits" albums!

    30 Ago 2005, 22:12

    I need to vent this, because it's been building up in me for years.

    Why oh why do so many Queen fans know only the songs off the Greatest Hits albums? Looking here on last.fm I see the list of the top tracks that people listen to and right up there at the top is Bohemian Rhapsody, and underneath it for almost the entire rest of the page is nothing but singles taken off the Greatest Hits albums.

    Don't get me wrong, the Greatest Hits are a good starting point for getting into any band's music, especially a band as diverse as Queen - it's how I discovered more of their music myself - but so many people and even fans don't seem to go past them.

    It really bothers me when I find someone who also likes Queen (and believe me, I don't find many even though they are all out there) and ask what their favourite song or album is. I think 100% of the time the answer has been a song that was a single or Greatest Hits. "Don't you have any of their albums?" I ask. "What albums?"

    My God. What these people are missing out on. The same situation doesn't happen with The Beatles, ask someone their favourite song and you can get a huge variety of answers, many people even citing b-sides like Don't Let Me Down as their favourite. Everyone knows every Beatles song - Queen have just officially overtaken them recently as the biggest selling and most popular group in the UK, so why is it such a different story?

    Queen's Greatest Hits albums are not at all representative of what Queen's real musical output was. Yes, the Greatest Hits show a good degree of diversity in the styles and genres, but they don't give the real gems that were the album tracks. The wonderful compositions that were the songs Freddie did not sing. The daring and very successful attempts (for the most part) to experiment and try new styles.

    So here I am providing a quick starter course for Queen fans new and old and also casual, who still haven't gotten past the Greatest Hits.

    For simply astounding song writing and gorgeous melodies without any overblown excessive silliness listen to:
    Drowse
    '39
    Long Away
    Dear Friends
    Tenement Funster

    For out-and-out hard rock, edging towards varying styles of metal and even punk listen to:
    Sheer Heart Attack
    Stone Cold Crazy
    Modern Times Rock 'N' Roll

    For funk-rock written well ahead of it's time listen to:
    Fight From The Inside
    Dragon Attack

    For fun and craziness listen to:
    Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon
    In the Lap of the Gods
    The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke
    I'm in Love With My Car

    And to hear where The Smashing Pumpkins got a good deal of their early sound and influence from listen to:
    Father to Son

    Rant over!
  • My friends attempt to turn me on to different music

    27 Ago 2005, 15:09

    I'm in a musical rut, find myself going back time and time again to artists such as Queen and Pearl Jam that I've been listening to for years now.

    However, my friend Scott says Bright Eyes are someone I should really listen to and I will really connect with. He says nobody else is writing songs like this guy is, and the lyrics are spot on to what millions of 20-something's are feeling. I listen - but I don't get it.

    Don't get me wrong, the lyrics are pretty astounding, but where's the musical aspect of it? And why can't I get over this guy's whiney, slightly warbling voice. I'm going to keep trying to listen though. My friend Scott played me Road to Joy and that wasn't too bad. But why is he so taken with this music when there's so little music actually to it?!