Digitization Finds #06 — Short Blurbs on Albums We’ve Yet To Cover
We’ll use this and another article to wrap up 11 albums we’ve yet to cover. A short one-to-two paragraph description and assessment, followed by a spot on the rankings, will be offered for each album.
Architecture in Helsinki’s “Fingers Crossed”
The 2000s were an innovative period for music, especially towards the middle-to-end of the decade. The White Stripes, Sufjan Stevens, Aesop Rock, LCD Soundsystem, Flying Lotus, Subtle, and artists of numerous other genres released albums with unique sounds. Architecture in Helsinki’s “Fingers Crossed”, on it’s best tracks, nails the indie rock with numerous other influences style of music common at this time.
Indie folk, psychedelic, neo-pop, and outside influences, with falsetto and female vocals, help create an album that’s not only unique, but actually pretty good. The lyrics are fitting and mostly well-written as well. Here’s an example from “Scissor Paper Rock”:
If you’re seeking repair,
For figure eights in the ice in your stare,
Seven stories we’re climbing tonight,
So if you’re angry about the fact that it’s red,
I’ll change it to white.
Sneaking looks at you sleeping around,
At you grass stained and runk on the ground,
So we’re taking you down with the scissor, paper, rock again
It’s a bit of an acquired taste album due to the minimalism and falsetto. Give it a couple of listens — it’s worth it!
Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s “G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!” (2021)
Love the idea of instrumental and ambient music but wish there was more traditional rock music sounds? This band might be perfect for you. Long, drawn-out jams with heavily distorted guitars are the centerpiece of this band’s work. This album holds its own against the better works in their library and is definitely worth a listen!
GZA’s “Liquid Swords” (1995)
East coast street life, chess, samurai battles, and a bit of shit-talking. It’s the essential elements of the a Wu Tang Clan and in a lot of ways, this album succeeds at being one of the most Wu Tang Clan albums out there. Intelligent lyrics, quality beats / instrumentals, thematic coherence, flow and delivery that is spot on, and very few tracks that are below “great”.
This album is a must-own for fans of 90s East Coast hip hop, especially fans of lyrics written a quite bit more intelligently than the popular contemporaries of the time.
Mogwai’s “As The Love Continues” (2021)
In the late 90s and early 00s, my taste in music began evolving into something more well-formed instead of just trying to scrounge up tolerable music from grunge and industrial releases. Exposure to ambient, trip hop, drum & bass, and not easily-classifiable artists like Tom Waits and Frank Zappa, expanded the scope of new music I was willing to check out. I also had quite a few friends who were musicians, mostly all in rock bands. The intersection of my taste in music and suggestions from musicians who’d been exposed to more than typical late 90s and early 00s rock music fare yielded many great recommendations. Mogwai was one of them.
In less than a minute into a listen, this was easily identifiable as Mogwai. Somber music but with less edge and more energy than a typical Godspeed You! Black Emperor album. Long, sweeping sections broken up by passages more in-line with other instrumental post-rock music. Nothing ultra-complex, but every track feels adequately full. It’s another quality release of our current decade and definitely one to check out if you’re into post-rock instrumental music!
Yann Tiersen’s “Kerber” (2021)
This is yet another release by gifted composer Yann Tiersen — a name that’s definitely not a household one but is a well-revered one throughout the soundtrack composer realm. Beautiful soundscapes and masterful piano work come together to create an interesting ambient album. It’s perfect as background music or for a more careful listen. Definitely check it out!
- Tori Amos — “Little Earthquakes” (1992)
- Tom Waits — “Real Gone”(2004)
- Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Murder Ballads” (1996)
- Sufjan Stevens — “Illinois” (2005)
- Aesop Rock — “Labor Days” (2001)
- GZA — “Liquid Swords” (1995)
- Leonard Cohen — “You Want it Darker” (2016)
- Stereolab — “Emperor Tomato Ketchup” (1996)
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor — “G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!” (2021)
- Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Ghosteen” (2019)
- Mogwai’s “As The Love Continues” (2021)
- Yann Tiersen — “Kerber” (2021)
- LCD Soundsystem — “Sound of Silver” (2007)
- Architecture in Helsinki — “Fingers Crossed” (2004)