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Reply #150 posted 08/26/12 4:12am

smoothcriminal
12

Moonbeam said:

108. George Winston - December

Simply put, this album is sacred. December does not fit too comfortably with the rest of my musical collection full of pop, funk, glam and post-punk. Nevertheless, it is absolutely one of my most cherished albums, not only for the content but also for what it has come to mean throughout my life.

Like most other George Winston efforts, December features his evocative piano playing and nothing else. Really, there is nothing else needed to add any more magic to these songs than what is already present. With a brilliant understanding of timing, volume and silence, George Winston creates a wonderful assortment of moods and atmospheres that capture the essence of the holiday season in America. While only a few of the songs touch on Christian themes, the entire album is graced with such a profund sanctity that it plays like a proper hymnal.

While the appeal of December is universal, its effect is also deeply personal for me. December is interwined so deeply in my core that it's difficult for me to envision a world without it. I grew up in Southeastern Michigan, and while my family did not have much in the way of traditions, we always celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with my grandmother, and this album was always there as the soundtrack. So it is that "Joy" takes me back to baking Christmas cookies at her house and "Peace" makes me recall the dorky game my brother and I used to play where we would compete to see who was caught looking at the other when the solitary chords came in. It was there as I was learning to play piano and greatly influenced my style of play, giving me years upon years of enjoyment and release that only playing an instrument can manage. It was there for countless hours of study during high school, college and graduate school. And it was there when I needed inspiration for a piece to play at my father's funeral (The "Pachelbel Kanon") and my grandmother's seven months later ("Some Children See Him").

I have since moved to Sydney, Australia, where Christmas typically finds residents hiding from the heat. And while winter days can get cold here, there is no wintry magic. There isn't the opportunity to stand outside at night in awe of the long, gray shadows stretching out from barren trees over the smooth, snowy, moonlit landscape, but hearing the "Night" suite reminds me just how that feels. My wife had never seen snow before I met her, but it was a real treat to see the childlike wonder in her eyes as she witnessed her first snowstorm and visited the world's largest Christmas store in Frankenmuth. And so it is with the dancing piano keys of Winston's version of "Carol of the Bells" that this vivid imagery rushes back from my memory.

If I had to sum up everything that music means to me and demonstrate its capacity, I would probably rattle off a lengthy diatribe of hyperbole after hyperbole, as I tend to do in many of my album reviews (such as this one). I'd be much better served to just provide this music as an example. Essentially, December isn't so much just an album, but a physical representation of everything I hold near and dear.

clapping Excellent post. Thank you.

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Reply #151 posted 08/26/12 4:13am

smoothcriminal
12

112) Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full

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Reply #152 posted 08/26/12 4:17am

Emancipation89

113. Clare Fischer - Blues Trilogy



[Edited 8/26/12 4:23am]

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Reply #153 posted 08/26/12 4:20am

smoothcriminal
12

^^ATTENTION: ALL UNNUMBERED POSTS WILL BE IGNORED

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Reply #154 posted 08/26/12 4:22am

Emancipation89

smoothcriminal12 said:

^^ATTENTION: ALL UNNUMBERED POSTS WILL BE IGNORED

Fixed^_^!!!

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Reply #155 posted 08/26/12 4:25am

smoothcriminal
12

Emancipation89 said:

smoothcriminal12 said:

^^ATTENTION: ALL UNNUMBERED POSTS WILL BE IGNORED

Fixed^_^!!!

biggrin Thanks!

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Reply #156 posted 08/26/12 4:34am

Moonbeam

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114. The Sound - Jeopardy

As post-punk produced such a large number of bands, it is easy to understand why many have slipped through the cracks of the public's collective consciousness. The best of these (The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division/New Order, Magazine, Echo and the Bunnymen, etc.) succeeded in combining the genre's flair for experimental tinkering with capable and vibrant songwriting, and were rewarded with a number of hits to ensure decent mainstream exposure. Listening to an album like Jeopardy, it strikes me that The Sound certainly belong in that same territory. Moreover, while most of the more celebrated torchbearers of the genre took some time to find their stride, Jeopardy indicates that The Sound come fully formed. It stands as an unjustly obscure testament to one of the most versatile and capable acts of the 1980s.

The most notable thing about Jeopardy is Adrian Borland's immense talent. He imbues each song with wonderfully rich vocal texture while his guitars shred with visceral urgency. This sound is complemented by Michael Dudley's minimal, stark percussion, Graham Green's trademark prominent post-punk bass lines and Bi Marshall's economic use of synthesizers that provide just enough frost to create a chillingly inviting atmosphere. Perhaps most importantly, Borland's knack for crafting powerful, memorable melodies help to make this an album of 11 songs as opposed to mere mood pieces, and these songs serve as perfect vehicles for the sense of teetering on the edge that populates a large part of the album's lyrical subject matter. The unnerving "I Can't Escape Myself" is a perfect appetizer, as its moody verses begin with sparse drumming, an ominous bass and eerie vibrating synths building the tension incrementally before the song explodes in a mass of wails and shrieking guitars. Most of the time, Borland recognizes that the source of his woes are internal, whether they be general anxiety ("Hour of Need"), questioning his faith ("Jeopardy") or problems with communication ("Words Fail Me"). This could make the album a rather sober affair, but there is a palpable sense of belief and compassion that bursts forth in tracks like "Heartland" and "Missiles" that makes it more well-rounded.

The sequencing of the album also is one of its strong points. About half of the tracks meander through slower, darker moods, while the other half are rockier, peppier affairs. These tend to alternate in the sequencing, allowing each track its own sort of identity and chance to shine. So it is that "Heartland" streaks through the speakers as a wonderful rumble in between the nervy opener and the hollow darkness of "Hour of Need", and following the peppy thrills of "Words Fail Me", the brilliant, righteous anger of "Missiles" with synthesizers mimicking their sound and Borland in full wail really finds its mark. Little makes my hair stand on end like the increasingly exasperated and pleading queries of "Who the hell make those missiles?!", and its placement in the album allows it to be a real highlight. "Heyday" kickstarts the second side with riotous fun and "Resistance" offers a boost of energy between the eerie "Night Versus Day" and solemn "Unwritten Law". In effect, the album feels like a balanced journey through a wide array of emotions.

Jeopardy stands as one of the most promising and impressive debuts that I have ever heard. Nonetheless, the album (and the band in general) never found a wide audience, which is a real shame, as this is deeply evocative, intelligent, instantly gratifying, beautiful, messy, accessible and challenging music. From the Lion's Mouth adds another great chapter to the Sound story, but I'm left scouring ebay for a copy of either album for less than $100. A band with such vitality deserves a far better fate than to be relegated to such obscurity, but I suppose mainstream success matters even in a genre like post-punk.

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #157 posted 08/26/12 5:14am

xLiberiangirl

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115: Coldplay- A Rush Of Blood To The Head

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Reply #158 posted 08/26/12 5:26am

aardvark15

116: R. Kelly - 12 Play

[img:$uid]http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5embmvTRu1qakkiuo1_cover.jpg[/img:$uid]

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Reply #159 posted 08/26/12 7:08am

mjscarousal

117. The Jacksons- Destiny


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Reply #160 posted 08/26/12 7:32am

Unholyalliance

118. Kylie Minogue - Fever

I think that a lot of her albums are great, but, imo, this one definitely takes the cake as being up there as one of her best.

[Edited 8/26/12 7:33am]

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Reply #161 posted 08/26/12 7:33am

MattyJam

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119. GUNS N ROSES - APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

[Edited 8/26/12 7:34am]

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Reply #162 posted 08/26/12 7:47am

Unholyalliance

*reread the rules.

=/

[Edited 8/26/12 7:55am]

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Reply #163 posted 08/26/12 8:23am

smoothcriminal
12

120) Common - Like Water For Chocolate

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Reply #164 posted 08/26/12 8:34am

LiveToTell86

121) Midnight Oil - Diesel And Dust

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Reply #165 posted 08/26/12 9:02am

aardvark15

122: John Carpenter- Halloween Soundtrack

[img:$uid]http://filmtracks.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/halloween.jpg[/img:$uid]

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Reply #166 posted 08/26/12 9:22am

Alej

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123. Want One, Rufus Wainwright.

[img:$uid]http://www.hmv.ca/images/Music/450/49/4961/496157.jpg[/img:$uid]

The orger formerly known as theodore
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Reply #167 posted 08/26/12 9:30am

smoothcriminal
12

Alej is back. smile

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Reply #168 posted 08/26/12 10:45am

Gunsnhalen

124. Patti Smith- Horses

Pistols sounded like "Fuck off," wheras The Clash sounded like "Fuck Off, but here's why.."- Thedigitialgardener

All music is shit music and no music is real- gunsnhalen

Datdonkeydick- Asherfierce

Gary Hunts Album Isn't That Good- Soulalive
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Reply #169 posted 08/26/12 11:19am

Emancipation89

125. Billy Joel - 52nd Street music

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Reply #170 posted 08/26/12 12:06pm

Alej

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smoothcriminal12 said:

Alej is back. smile

Only for a day. lol

The orger formerly known as theodore
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Reply #171 posted 08/26/12 12:15pm

mjscarousal

126. The Stylistics- The Stylistics


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Reply #172 posted 08/26/12 12:22pm

smoothcriminal
12

Alej said:

smoothcriminal12 said:

Alej is back. smile

Only for a day. lol

lol Where have you been anyways?

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Reply #173 posted 08/26/12 12:34pm

duccichucka

Awww shiet....it's nummer #127!

[img:$uid]http://www.free.../img:$uid]Embrya

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Reply #174 posted 08/26/12 12:37pm

dreamfactory31
3

128. Rapture - Anita Baker (1986)

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Reply #175 posted 08/26/12 12:38pm

xLiberiangirl

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can't believe anyone named this..

129: Pink Floyd- The Dark Side Of The Moon

[Edited 8/26/12 12:38pm]

[Edited 8/26/12 12:38pm]

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Reply #176 posted 08/26/12 12:40pm

LiveToTell86

130) Donald Fagen - The Nightfly

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Reply #177 posted 08/26/12 12:45pm

Unholyalliance

131) Justice - †

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Reply #178 posted 08/26/12 12:52pm

aardvark15

132: Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston

[img:$uid]http://ionenewsone.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/whitney-houston-album.jpg[/img:$uid]

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Reply #179 posted 08/26/12 1:09pm

duccichucka

All you hoodrats and Beckies, listen up; I got nummer #133!

[img:$uid]http://www.free.../img:$uid]Pinkerton

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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > The Org's 500 *non-Prince* albums you MUST hear before you die List