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The TV Tropes Album Exchange Club:

 301 Meta Four, Mon, 1st Nov '10 10:38:51 PM from riding the wave
AXTUCE MUN AXTE INCAL
Here is the other wiki's list of the track order for the Relient K album.

My prior experience with the band's output is that, musically, they're very consistently middle-of-the-road. They're never bad, but there's nothing at all distinctive about their style or songwriting. (Well, their lyrics are alright-to-good, but I generally value good music over good lyrics.) Even so, there's a few songs by them I do like.

On my first listen, this album does nothing to dissuade me from my prior evaluation of them. "Sahara" and "Savannah" were good, and they were the only tracks that stuck out. It was only a few hours ago, and I've already forgotten what all the other songs were like.
@Zudak: Yes, that's why. Still my mistake smile

Ok, so here's my take on Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding

Track 1 - It sounds like the artist got some DNB, some alternative electronic sci-fi music and mashed them together randomly for the most part. This track doesn't have a main theme, it sounds really confusing and random. For me.

Track 2 - Some kind of melody, at last. But here's that dreaded DNB kicks in again... (I don't like DNB...) And the track is completely ruined now.

Track 3 - I just don't like these random rhytmic sounds. I just don't. This track consists of nothing else. It has a great title though, a title which would deserve better content. The nightmarish "vocals" also don't help much.

Track 4 - It has some 8-bit videogame music vibe to it, but it's drowned out by the random noise in the foreground. There is a part where it moves forward though, and that I could appreciate. The rest of the track is just... bad.

Track 5 - The same scheme, but the background melody is even more skeletal.

Track 6 - It tries to create a haunting and mysterious atmosphere, and here, the random noises don't disturb me much. Sadly, the track never progresses beyond its initial stage, and this means that there is no real payoff in the long run. Still one of the better tracks on this.

Track 7 - Distorted, random, horrible sounds with a distant accordion-like sound in the background. Later, there are some sci-fi noises. Not much is resembling composed music here. Added bonus: early era videogame sound effects! Yaay!

Track 8 - The first words we hear on the album, and it's strange, but I like this track. I like weird, when it's done right. And in this case, it's pretty entertaining. I still don't like the rhythm section though...

Track 9 - I don't like DNB.

Track 10 - Again, the track has a cool name, but I don't like the track itself.

Track 11 - Nothing new here.

Track 12 - Even more chaotic than the others, if that's possible. Also, not a good thing.

Track 13 - Starts off hauntingly and mysteriously. And keeps this tone until the very end. No development, it's almost like an interlude preceding the last track...

Track 14 - ... which is just like the other ones.

Overall, I can't say that I consider the tracks on this album... music. Maybe it's me, but I don't like this random mishmash of sounds. I like random, if it's done right, but I really didn't like it on this album. I won't keep it, not even for background music, because the crazy rhythm-noises annoy me...

I don't like DNB. I know that this is not a DNB album, but it has touches of it, so it's enough for me not to like it.

YMMV of course smile
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
 303 Saeglopur, Tue, 2nd Nov '10 4:58:33 AM from Various places in the UK
Resident Hipster
Okay, this post will serve as a place to put my comments on all the albums I've missed. I'll edit it as I go, but I'll make a new post with a more detailed analysis for Relient K. So, here goes nothing, it's album binge time!

Ben Frost - Theory Of Machines: I've actually thoroughly enjoyed this album. A bit on the short side, but it's pretty, starkly beautiful stuff. I particularly enjoyed the first and last tracks - Forgetting You Is Like Breathing Water is probably one of the most gorgeous tracks I've heard as a result of this album club. It does have more than a hint of early Sigur Ros about it when the strings come in, though, which is probably why I've enjoyed it so much. Definitely one to keep.

Girl Talk - Feed The Animals: Okay, so this is fun as hell. I'm having a great time playing Spot The Sample. I particularly enjoyed the samples from Gronlandic Edit by Of Montreal, and Ready For The Floor by Hot Chip. I'm also quite liking how it's basically just one long song. I didn't look at Grooveshark from track 3, only to discover at the next break that I was on track 9. Awesome. EDIT: Okay, so, track 13? Sampling In Between Days by The Cure, followed by freakin' Soulja Boy?!??! Are you shitting me?! In conclusion - and I thought the JAMs were brazen in their sampling. Sweet baby Jesus, I don't think I heard a single beat or riff that wasn't cribbed from somewhere else. HOWEVER - I don't care, because it was hella fun. I guess I'm just in the mood for something light-hearted and not too serious today.

Billy Talent - Billy Talent: Punk-Rock. Umm, don't really know what to say about it. Compared to the precious little else I've listened to of that genre, it compares favourably. The songs were quite well written in terms of chords and structure, and as expected it was energetic. The singer's voice was actually quite good when he wasn't screaming like a loon. All in all, very accomplished and well performed. But, for all that, it just didn't do anything for me on an emotional level. It didn't make me feel or think anything. To use a slightly trite turn of phrase, it felt like it didn't let me in. I was just a guy listening to it, I didn't feel wrapped up in it, I didn't identify with it or even feel particularly enthused by it. I guess that whatever vein of emotion it's trying to tap into, I'm clearly lacking in it.

Venetian Snares - Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding: I can definitely see why people like this. It's utterly mad, and yet at the same time quite intricate. It's like musical Kerplunk; it looks like a mess, but it's very delicately balanced and moving one little part of it would cause the whole thing to collapse in on itself. However, I have the same issue with this as I do with Autechre. Sure, it's incredibly well constructed and the use of electronics is mind boggling, but that's just it - it's so clearly just electronics. The best electronica remains, at its core, a human project with a living, beating human heart. This is just well built machinery. Incredibly well built, but machinery nonetheless. I will, however, stick my neck out and say that Aaron might prove me wrong on that front.

edited 2nd Nov '10 7:39:27 AM by Saeglopur

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Relient K - Forget and Not Slow Down

Track 1 - Upbeat, catchy, although a little too radio-friendly for my tastes. Hey, I'm liking this!

Track 2 - Nice riffs at the beginning, but the rest of the track is too generic, nothing stands out. But I still like the instrumental sound of the album and the vocals too. Lack of innovation aside, it's still a great listen.

Track 3 - Not as good as the preceding ones, but still nice.

Track 4 - A mellow, slow interlude of some sort. Not really worth analysing...

Track 5 - Similar to Track 1, and I like this.

Track 6 - An interlude again, cut it out already!

Track 7 - Great instrumental part, atmospheric vocals, as a whole, it's a great track. It's maybe even better than Track 1.

Track 8 - The change of tempo doesn't do good for this track, it somehow doesn't sound right. Still a decent listen, but this album already had way better.

Track 9 - Another killer opening (reminded me of the band Lostprophets). Sadly, the rest of the track is not my type of song. Even the vocals sound off often times, and I don't like the chorus either. It's trying to sound like classic rock or something, but I for one don't like classic rock to begin with, and even if if I did I wouldn't like this attempt at imitating it.

Track 10 - Interlude again (sigh). sad

Track 11 - Unremarkable, really. I want at least one more impressive track, guys. This is not it.

Track 12 - Another interlude, for the love of '''GOD''', stop it already!!!

Track 13 - Blah, it's a total miss for me. It's forced, the lyrics are cheesy, the chorus is just... no, with ridiculous vocals.

Track 14 - Even worse than the previous one. Come on!

Track 15 - But no, this track is a direct continuation of the previous one...

Track 16 - I was really looking forward to this, since I just love the album Ocean Eyes by Owl City, and the vocalist is featured here. So let's see: Instrumentally, it's nice, vocally it's great (I love Owl City after all). Overall, it sounds like a mediocre Owl City track, which by this album's standards is a... good thing.

Overall, I liked this album, despite the fact that from Track 10 to 16 there was only one good song. I like this type of cheery, upbeat music, but I have to say that Owl City does this better with their Ocean Eyes album. But not bad, I'll definitely keep some tracks from it.

YMMV.
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
[up][up] "The singer's voice was actually quite good when he wasn't screaming like a loon"

Haha, my thoughts exactly about Billy Talent evil grin
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
 306 Saeglopur, Tue, 2nd Nov '10 8:50:50 AM from Various places in the UK
Resident Hipster
Okay. Track-by-track of Relient K - Forget And Not Slow Down

Track 1 - Forget And Not Slow Down. The singer's voice is nowhere near as annoying as I imagined it might be. There is a certain sound about the guy's voice and the guitar style that does suggest that they've graduated beyond the stereotypical 'Christian Rock' sound, but still kept elements of where they've come from in their style. For some reason I was reminded slightly of Feeder.
Track 2 - I Don't Need A Soul. Hmm, the piano makes an appearance. Sparingly. Not too bad actually. Not particularly interesting either, but quite engaging and, dare I say it, catchy.
Track 3 - Candlelight. Ooh, jangly. I'm getting echoes of the kind of 60s-west-coast-revivalism espoused by The Thrills and The Coral. Ooh, electric organ! Is that a Rhodes by any chance?
Track 4 - Flare. Ooh, I quite like this, even though it's only a 1-minute outro. Lyrics are a tad trite though.
Track 5 - Part Of It. Okay, so this track sounds very familiar already. I get the sense that after 11 more tracks I'm going to be very bored.
Track 6 - Outro. Completely missed this. *Listens again*. Hardly surprising. One thing I have noticed - he really sounds like Ben Gibbard on those high notes.
Track 7 - Therapy. More electric piano in the intro, and the normal piano makes a re-appearance in the front of the mix. Songs are beginning to blur into each other. Quiet verse, tinkly piano, BIG FAT DRUM FILL, LOOOUUUDD CHOORRRUUUSSS, add vocal harmonies a third above, repeat. Also, explicit reference to the G-Man for the first time. Not that I have anything against that, just interesting to point out.
Track 8 - Over It. Ugh. This is drastically ungood. That laid back drum beat, the piano... this is starting to sound dangerously close to The Fray or *shudder* Daniel Powter territory. However... nice use of the Tenor Sax at the end there, apropos of nothing.
Track 9 - Sahara. This is more like it! Much better. For the verse anyway. Chorus is a bit over-earnest. But it pounds the previous track into the dirt.
Track 10 - Oasis. Ooooooooh. Niceness. Harmonies be awesome. Aww, it's a short one. Too Good to Last indeed.
Track 11 - Savannah. Nice rhythms. Would be nice if the drums and guitars did something a bit different though - this is somewhat improved by the introduction of the extra percussion. So yeah this is all going quite nicely wait WHAT?? NOOO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! This track was something a bit different and a nice break, but now you've gone and hidden those nice afrobeat rhythms under same-ol'-guitars and one-third-above-harmonies! BOOOOO! No amount of hokey shakers and guitar effects will salvage this now sad
Track 12 - Baby. Now them's some tasty power chords. Ah, it's just an outro again. Too Good to Last. Again.
Track 13 - If You Believe Me. Ho hum. More of the same. Shouty vocals in the chorus. For the lulz?
Track 14 - This Is The End. IF ONLY IT WERE. Oh come on vocalist, at least sing something different to the piano line. BOOM LOUD CHORDS OUTTA NOWHERE. Oh well, at least that brought the energy levels above 'yawnsome' for a minute or so. For all my slating of it, it's mostly just because I'm bored, not because it's genuinely bad. It's just nothing special or different.
Track 15 - (If You Want It). Why is this in a seperate track? It's just an extension of the previous track but less angry and with strings! You're allowed to write songs over 5 minutes long, friend! It's called Epic Rocking! It would've made your album a bit more interesting! BUT NO!
Track 16 - Terminals. Bonus track time! Programmed and produced by the guy from Owl City. Oh dear lord. You can tell as well. Bedroom synths ahoy! Oh how sickeningly twee. IT JUST SOUNDS LIKE AN OWL CITY SONG! Which in turn, of course, sounds like a mediocre Postal Service tribute band. Which brings us full circle from my comments on track 6, I guess.

En Conclusion: Meh, meh, meh. It started okay, got a bit boring, got a bit better in the middle, then dropped off again and got very boring. I wish I could come up with some more consructive criticism, but I can't. It was perfectly listenable, but just trundled by in a blur of 3rd-apart-harmonies, piano led verses and LOUD CHORUSES. With the exception of Oasis, which even though it was under a minute long, was the undoubted highlight of the album. And the less said about the last track, the better. 5/10 at best, probably less.

edited 2nd Nov '10 8:56:29 AM by Saeglopur

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 307 Spa´n Sun, Tue, 2nd Nov '10 2:22:09 PM from Somewhere Beyond Here
Laugh it off, everybody
Allow me to sum up my opinion of Reliant K, and all their albums (this one included).

I do. not. like. Reliant K.
I spread my wings and I learn how to fly....
The best electronica remains, at its core, a human project with a living, beating human heart. This is just well built machinery. Incredibly well built, but machinery nonetheless. I will, however, stick my neck out and say that Aaron might prove me wrong on that front.

Try the one with Hungarian title, My Downfall, or Winter in the Belly of a Snake, then. Those are the other VS albums I like, because they are a bit different from his typical style.

edited 2nd Nov '10 8:06:15 PM by Zudak

 
 309 Meta Four, Tue, 2nd Nov '10 8:34:59 PM from riding the wave
AXTUCE MUN AXTE INCAL
the stereotypical 'Christian Rock' sound
Now I'm curious as to what you mean by that.
 310 Solstace, Tue, 2nd Nov '10 8:47:16 PM from the Second Viennese School
Hexachordal Combinatorial
"Stereotypical Christian Rock", to me, has always tried to sound heavy without actually sounding heavy.

Currently listening to the Reliant K album.

edited 2nd Nov '10 8:47:32 PM by Solstace

There is an actual "christian rock" album I like, and that is Comatose by Skillet. Anyone heard it? Opinions?
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
 312 Saeglopur, Wed, 3rd Nov '10 3:28:10 AM from Various places in the UK
Resident Hipster
^^ Yep, that pretty much sums it up. It's a kind of deliberately innoffensive rock that tries very hard to be epic and sincere and emotional but fails on all counts. Because, usually, it's also trying to be worshipful and easy to sing along with at the same time, and just ends up sounding a bit dull.

edited 3rd Nov '10 3:28:19 AM by Saeglopur

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Boiled and Mashed
@ Spain Sun: I hope you listened to the album just in case your opinion was tainted.

As for my opinion of the album; it makes good background music. Sure, it's middle of the line and incredibly inoffensive, but that's not always a bad thing either. This won't become one of my favorite bands, but if they started playing on the radio, I wouldn't turn them off (unless they were overplayed, but that's another story). Still, there was a hook, there was a catch, the songs were put together well enough. It's fine. That's all it needs to be sometimes.
Video Game Census. Please contribute.
 314 Solstace, Wed, 3rd Nov '10 11:49:15 AM from the Second Viennese School
Hexachordal Combinatorial
The highlights of the album, for me, were all of the songs labeled "Outro". The rest of the album was fine. At times, it sounded almost like the Plain White T's. I probably won't keep the album, but it was refreshingly normal.

edited 3rd Nov '10 11:49:26 AM by Solstace

 315 Spa´n Sun, Wed, 3rd Nov '10 1:18:21 PM from Somewhere Beyond Here
Laugh it off, everybody
arks: Yeah, I sat through it.

I deleted it off my computer soon after, no offense to the person who recommended it, I just really don't like Reliant K.
I spread my wings and I learn how to fly....
 316 Meta Four, Wed, 3rd Nov '10 6:23:22 PM from riding the wave
AXTUCE MUN AXTE INCAL
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. It's a kind of deliberately innoffensive rock that tries very hard to be epic and sincere and emotional but fails on all counts. Because, usually, it's also trying to be worshipful and easy to sing along with at the same time, and just ends up sounding a bit dull.
Ah, like Casting Crowns or Third Day?

You know, Relient K actually used to be kind of edgy. Like, on their very first album. (Also, the song they did for the Happy Christmas Vol 3 compilation.) Then they lost it on the very next one.
 317 Solstace, Wed, 3rd Nov '10 6:40:42 PM from the Second Viennese School
Hexachordal Combinatorial
Well, I think I have finally decided on my next album rec.

The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monae.
 318 Saeglopur, Wed, 3rd Nov '10 6:50:44 PM from Various places in the UK
Resident Hipster
^ A choice I am very enthused about and willing to listen to, as I've heard amazing things about that album.

My choice for round two will probably be Battles - Mirrored, but let's get my round one choice over with first, eh?

^^ Never heard of either of those bands. I was more thinking Y Friday and Delirious. *Shudders*.

edited 3rd Nov '10 6:55:44 PM by Saeglopur

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So we're starting to throw out suggestions for the next round? I didn't take part the first time 'round, but it sounds like an interesting way to find new tunes. I think I'd like to suggest either Titus Andronicus's The Monitor or Guided By Voices' Bee Thousand.

Edit: The Monitor all the way, for sure.

edited 3rd Nov '10 10:21:35 PM by KurtMcAllister

 
 320 Meta Four, Wed, 3rd Nov '10 6:57:22 PM from riding the wave
AXTUCE MUN AXTE INCAL
^^Dangit, I like Mezzamorphis.

Three sigs in a row from the same album. What are the odds?

edited 3rd Nov '10 6:58:49 PM by MetaFour

 321 Saeglopur, Wed, 3rd Nov '10 7:08:41 PM from Various places in the UK
Resident Hipster
^ The odds are apparently nowhere near as high as one might imagine. Probably roughly equivalent to the following fraction - (n ¸ H)/x, where n = Alternative Music Fans, H = Hipsters, and x = total TV Tropes Forumites.

I dunno, I'm tipsy and I don't do maths.
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Battles - Mirrored

ahaha you magnificent troll
 
Boiled and Mashed
Okay, it's time for the last album of the first round. This is, of course Owen Pallet - Heartland suggested by our amazing founder Saeglopur. I PMed him a little while back asking for the links and he gave me this Grooveshark link (which I had to type out by hand, so if it doesn't work, bug Sae for the real thing). On Saturday night or Sunday morning, we will start round two.

Speaking of Round 2, keep suggesting albums (unless you've already decided on your round two pick), and possibly trying to get your friends in on the action. In my mind somewhere from 10-15 regulars would be ideal for a club like this, so there's still plenty more room.

Albums suggested so far:

  1. Zagar - Local Broadcast
  2. cLOUDDEAD - cLOUDDEAD
  3. Robin and Linda Williams - Devil of a Dream
  4. Esem - Scateren
  5. Woven Hand - Mosaic
  6. Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid
  7. Battles - Mirrored
  8. Titus Andrunicus - The Monitor

edited 8th Jan '12 7:41:58 PM by MetaFour

Video Game Census. Please contribute.
 324 Saeglopur, Thu, 4th Nov '10 3:01:01 AM from Various places in the UK
Resident Hipster
Okay, a couple of things:

Firstly, in the Grooveshark playlist, just order the tracks by 'Album' and they should be in the right order from the tracklisting.

Secondly, a brief explanation of the concept behind the album

The album is set in a fantasy world called Spectrum, created by Owen, and of which he is the God, variously referred to by his name or as 'The Singer', 'The Author', 'The Storyteller' etc. The main character is a violent farmer called Lewis with whom Owen is infatuated, and therefore is used by Owen as a kind of 'hero', basically getting him to do anything and everything. To start with, Lewis is happy to do this, but after a series of events convinces him that he's not getting anything out of this arrangement and that Owen is using him for his own ends, he goes to 'the Heartland', climbs the holy Mt. Alpentine, and STABS OWEN IN THE FACE. Which he then kinda regrets. The End.

Basically, it's the nerdiest concept album ever. Except for his previous one, which was based on the eight schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons. Enjoy.

edited 4th Nov '10 3:24:25 AM by Saeglopur

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Owen Pallett - Heartland

A fun note: I have a favorite album titled Heartland, but that one is by Client. Anyways, on to the track by track:

Track 1 - I found this genre/style really weird. The beginning is just slowly weird, but the end is completely and utterly insane, but somehow still sounds harmonic. I can't really regard this as listenable music though, its too concept album... -y.

Track 2 - Interesting chords at the beginning, but the vocal is not strong enough. The middle is dramatic, and it still sounds like a concept album, which it is, but I only like concept albums, if they consist of separately listenable tracks.

Track 3 - Interlude, not much to analyse on that.

Track 4 - Somehow reminds me of Depeche Mode, and I could listen to this separately too, at last. It's slow and unremarkable for me though.

Track 5 - This album is really not my cup of tea...

Ok, so there's no point in continuing the track by track analysis of this. It follows a dramatic structure, and I don't like dramatic albums. None of the tracks got me hooked, none of them was remarkable in any way for me. So this whole thing is a miss for me, sorry about that...
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
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