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Reviews

Music reviews of bands and artists from Rockhaq

Album Review: Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
10
7 months ago

Album Review: Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

By  •  Reviews

Animal Collective are not for the faint of heart. This is especially true regarding the experimental pop groups’ two most recent albums, in which they heavily indulged in some of their most left-field whims. 2016’s Painting With took their multi-layered vocal style to disorientingly elaborate heights, whilst 2018’s Tangerine Reef mellowed in slow and arguably somewhat stiff ambience. Both of these records were received with predictable ambivalence, despite personally holding some fondness for elements of them. However, there’s no doubting that Animal Collective are at their best when they restrain themselves. Or at least, when they’re able to focus their experimental tendencies into crafting great pieces of music. Ten years ago this month, Animal Collective released an album that perfected that approach. An album that followed in the footsteps of other experimental pop legends like the Beatles and (especially) the Beach Boys to produce something as beautiful as it is innovative. That album was Merriweather Post Pavilion.
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Album Review: The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
8
8 months ago

Album Review: The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

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In their review of A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, the latest album from Manchester pop-rock giants The 1975, NME dubbed it “the millennial answer to OK Computer”. At first, this claim seemed shockingly audacious, if not borderline sacrilege. How dare you equate an album – let alone an album by The 1975 – to arguably the greatest record of the ‘90s? To be fair, my experience with The 1975 had been rather limited. I’d come across their big hits and not thought much of them. Sure, there was a punky attitude that I guess could be appealing, but I couldn’t find much beneath the surface to appreciate. Now, however, they’re being compared to Radiohead and receiving perfect scores left, right and centre. Clearly, it was finally time for me to give them a chance.
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Album Review: Can – Future Days
10
9 months ago

Album Review: Can – Future Days

At the bottom of the bed of sensuous purple that backdrops the cover to Can’s 1973 album Future Days is one of the ancient Chinese ‘I Ching’ symbols. Traditionally used as a way of telling the future, its inclusion is by no means a coincidence. Title aside, the similarities to Can’s discography are prescient.
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Album Review: The Beatles – The White Album
9
9 months ago

Album Review: The Beatles – The White Album

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Where to start with The White Album? Even ignoring its historical significance, the sheer quantity of music it contains makes writing about it an unwieldy task. Consisting of 30 tracks clocking in at over 93 minutes altogether, The White Album is The Beatles’ longest by a significant margin. The word ‘sprawling’ might as well have been invented to describe this record.
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Album Review: Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion
8
10 months ago

Album Review: Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion

Pop music, in recent years, has become slightly disillusioned to the masses. A whole article could be taken up explaining how streaming and other technological advances have led to the increase of talentless artists creeping into the charts and the consciousness of the masses. While this may hold some truth, it’s an extremely cynical world view. In many ways, Pop music is better now than it ever has been. It’s become such a broad term that myriad artists and genres fall into its scope. Naysayers may argue that truly original and worthwhile Pop music is dead. 2015’s Emotion is an album that refutes this claim.
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Album Reviews: Brian Eno – Ambient 1, 2, 4
9.7
10 months ago

Album Reviews: Brian Eno – Ambient 1, 2, 4

In the pantheon of rock icons, there remains no one as singular or influential as Brian Eno. His career is one that would have been chronicled on terracotta pots a couple of centuries ago. It serves my purpose just to mention a couple of the artists he’s improved due to either his presence or production: Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads, David Byrne, Nico, U2, Laurie Anderson, Genesis, Paul Simon and many more. His run of four rock albums from 1974-77, is an unrivalled one in regards to innovation. But after this run came his greatest left-turn yet: Ambient.
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Album Review: Beck – Midnite Vultures
9
10 months ago

Album Review: Beck – Midnite Vultures

“Hipster” is defined as a person who follows the latest trends that are usually out of the cultural mainstream. More recently, the term has become more and more ironic- as if those who identify as a Hipster are doing it in a hipster way. Granted, it’s a difficult logic to follow. The very act of being a hipster is even more hipster than ever. In 1999, the term had been around for a while, the earliest I know of it in music is on Orange Juice’s 1982 song Untitled Melody.
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Album Review: David Byrne – Look Into the Eyeball
10
10 months ago

Album Review: David Byrne – Look Into the Eyeball

Before you go into this review looking for a objective, neutral and fair evaluation of one of David Byrne’s late-career albums, an album you’ve probably never heard of but are willing to read a decent appraisal of, in a fashion that lays out the facts bare and for all to see so that you, the reader, can form your own opinion as to whether to listen to it based on the review – before you’ve done all that, be warned:
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Album Review: Suede – The Blue Hour
8
11 months ago

Album Review: Suede – The Blue Hour

By  •  Reviews

Ever since reforming in 2010, ’90s legends Suede have been on an absolute roll. After re-establishing their place in the alt-rock scene with 2013’s Bloodsports, the band then moved slightly left field for 2016’s Night Thoughts, resulting in their most acclaimed album since 1994’s Dog Man Star. Now Suede are back to complete their comeback triptych with The Blue Hour. During its promotion, the band hinted this record would be an even deeper dive into their experimental side, embracing their typically dark themes with extra indulgence. Given the success this formula brought Night Thoughts, it was an exciting prospect. Few bands have been so consistently great this late in their career. Could Suede make the hat-trick?
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Album Review: Pet Shop Boys – Behaviour
10
11 months ago

Album Review: Pet Shop Boys – Behaviour

“It’s about the problem of being monogamous; wanting to be in a loving and monogamous relationship but being tempted away from it.” In a 1990 interview regarding their latest single So Hard, Neil Tennant just happened to fall on the best description of their latest album in the process.
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