Find Me On:
As someone who’s never been all in on Kanye (his stuff is generally hit-or-miss with me, and I thought MBDTN was a bit overrated) I think I can explain – he’s one of the biggest popular music stars in the world, and yet he’s not afraid to take massive chances with his music, make people uncomfortable and push musical boundaries. In this way, sites like Stereogum and people like me and most of the rest of the pompous music-obsessed crowd respect him – even if he generally comes across as an insecure dude who tries to overcompensate for this insecurity with displays of extreme egotism and douchebaggery.
These two songs are PERFECT examples of this: they lack any catchy (or even discernable) melody, don’t have a hook to grab onto, and are lyrically abrasive – all things that would destroy a pop song and push someone to the fringes of the music scene – and yet he can get away with it and does. These songs are phenomenal and make me much more excited about his upcoming release than I’ve been about any of his stuff since 808′s (another great example of an artist unafraid to take a total left turn, fanbase be damned, to pursue a weird muse. Totally underrated album).
TL;DR Sites like Stereogum and the people who read them respect Kanye for his risk-taking, experimental music that succeeds despite how abrasive it, and he, can be.
In that case, you should pay attention to what the commenters are saying too. They’ve (we’ve) made some valid points.
Dance Yrself Clean is in my top 3… potatos potahtos. I love the quiet to loud drop – so much build up.
*”Yeah (Crass Version”
Wait, I forgot “Home!” HHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This list is TAILOR MADE for my bitching. “North American Scum” – one of their worst songs – at number three?! No “Thrills,” “Tribulations,” “Yeah Yeah Yeah” or “Get Innocuous?!”
With that said, still a pretty good list. But yeah, if you could make those changes, that would be great.
Yea I was trying to figure that out too… and then I didn’t and posted a sarcastic response to the perceived sarcasm instead. What a tangled web we weave.
Hannah Hunt… now if we were talking Graceless vs. Humiliation that’d be a different story.
Calling it now – most underrated song of the year is “Slipped.” Also, Humiliation is one of the best things they’ve done. I said it at the PM and I’ll say it here – this will join their last four as my favorite National album (always changes depending on which one is on at any given moment).
I KNOW! It’s so annoying when people have opinions about things – especially when those opinions are different than mine. It’s like, get with it people! God people can be so dumb and opinionated.
I listened to this one all day at work. Literally. ALL DAY. When a coworker came over to ask me a question I’d get all pissy because they didn’t understand that I was trying to ABSORB A NEW NATIONAL ALBUM. With that said, I was decidedly underwhelmed the first few spins. It sounded like a meeker version of Boxer at first. But at some point, probably when I put it on in my car and turned it up, things really opened up. The melodies are more intricate and the hooks are buried deeper into the songs. In this way, it reminds me more of Alligator, but with a polished sheen instead of Alligator’s rough-around-the-edges boozefest. It’s a phenomenal record, no doubt – one that fits perfectly into The National’s stellar canon and will surely be, at many points and depending on my mood, my favorite National album. That can be said about everything they’ve recorded since Sad Songs, which is a good thing.
Yea – I used the buffer “slightly” because I’m going back and forth about the faster songs. I think it depends on my mood (aka if I’m cruising in my car and turning it up I’m definitely feeling them more). It’s all context baby.
No mention of Hannah Hunt, the absolute best track on this album?! I totally agree with this PM – a great album that’s only (slightly) hindered by the frantic moments.
Guys. GUYZ. This album is going to be so good. Between Kurt Vile, James Blake, Savages, Vampire Weekend, and The National, my brainmeat is overloading on great music.
I do. I believe I mentioned that. Also ‘You In Reverse.’
Funny and weird analogy. I always thought that it was one of Martsch’s best pure, unfettered melodies. That minor chord when he says “Where the starrrrs…” is killer. I’d like to think that he played it, realized it was great without the flourishes, noise and layered guitars they usually add in, and just left it as is. Just a great, nostalgia-y song for late-night drives. Or the letter thing.
Also, “The Weather” is one of my favorite BTS songs ever. A dud? A DUD?! DO MY OPINIONS COUNT FOR NOTHING AROUND HERE?! Oh, they don’t? Nevermind.
Clicked on the link. Immediately saw “Ancient Melodies…” and “You in Reverse.” Knew I’d be very displeased with this list.
This is some kick ass shit, but is anyone else having a problem playing the even numbered songs?
I won’t downvote you like the others just because we disagree, but that’s a lot of certainty in such an opinionated sentence. I’d give it a few more spins. Maybe it’ll grow on you like it did for me (I thought it was noisy and lacking melodies at first, but it cleared up with more listens), maybe it won’t – but my guess is that either way it won’t be regarded as a ‘dud.’
For some reason I found this album a bit harder to get into than other Cox/Deerhunter releases – when I finally did, though, it was glorious.
I think the only thing missing, the thing that really made HD stand out IMO as Cox’s best so far, are the songs on HD that conjure an incredible sense of nostalgia. Songs like “Desire Lines,”He Would Have Laughed,” and especially “Helicopter” are perfect examples of this. Granted, they’re obviously a totally different style than Cox was going for on Monomania, but they’re the ones I find myself returning to the most.
My god yes. In fact, it should’ve been his Record Day release.
I disagree with two fundamental things in this review:
1) The suggestion that Greenwald’s point and Carney’s points were the same. Greenwald was arguing that rock bands “don’t want to be big anymore” because there’s not as much of an artistic payoff, while Carney’s argument was that bands DO want to be big, but the general population’s tastes have gotten so bad that you’d have to make really shitty music to get there. Two sides of the same coin I guess. Greenwald gives credit to both the musicians, who want to maintain artistic integrity, and fans, who are compartmentalized but still looking for things that maintain artistic integrity. Carney’s statements seemed a bit more condescending with regards to fans – that musicians want to be successful, but general fans are too dumb to know a good thing when they hear it, so what’s the point in trying?
2) A more general, subjective disagreement that I’m sure a lot of you will refute; I think Bankrupt! is better than Wolfgang.
Hey, these guys are pretty good.
“90-Mile Water Fall” and “Thirsty,” both from SSFDL, could’ve been on this list. It seems dumb to just write-off everything they did before Alligator as “not-as-good.”
On a similar note, this is not a great list.