Daily Archives: January 28, 2009

25. The Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds”

Sometimes the universal adulation for an album is so unrelenting that I eventually buckle under and buy the thing. This album is one such item. If I were playing the Rich List and was given the “greatest albums of all time as voted by ____ magazine”, I’d pick this first (unless it was a shooting mag, in which case I’d probably go for something by Ted Nugent).

beach-boys-pet_soundsThe kudos for this opus seems to spring from its ahead of its time status. Well, I don’t live in 1966, and indeed reside in a world of stereo sound, samplers, effect pedals and the like. As such, don’t see what all the fuss is about.

There are a couple of catchy, well-written pop songs on here like Wouldn’t it Be Nice and God Only Knows. Most of the remainder of the album leaves me cold and a little bored. And Sloop John B is just horrible!

Ultimately I like my sugary pop a little more energetic and haphazard. This thing sounds like it was recorded, shined, polished and then shined again. Alas, it appears I am a Philistine… (or ahead of my time?)

File under: Good for credibility, but not the CD player.

24. Basement Jaxx – “Kish Kash”

Here we go with the first 3-peat appearance by an artist (i.e. three albums in a row).

I am still a little unsure how to deal with multiple reviews of works by the same band. Should I revisit my previous discussion points? Or assume you’ve read the earlier reviews? Treat each album purely on its own merits (i.e. as if the others did not exist)? This last option, while admirable, is rather difficult and also not reflective of how the CD-buying/listening caper works.

basement-jaxx-kish-kashSo I listened to this release with preconceptions and trepidation. While still impressed with their #2, I was concerned that the band had gone a bit soppy. As such, this album needed to do something special to impress. And it did.

The band headed down a new, exciting road on this release. Their sound got grimier, funkier and more soulful (not necessarily all at the same time).
The vocoder has been put aside on most tracks and the guest vocalists add much more diversity.

It all sounds like a much more interesting party with surprise attendees grabbing the mic (and random instruments) and having a ball. Supersonic is a spectacular number that I wouldn’t have picked as a Jaxx tune. That’s what you want from a 3rd album.

File under: Funky fun