January 19 Reviews / What albums have grown on you?

You know the routine. Feel free to comment on any of my reviews (this week or whenever). Gab about whatever. It's all good.

A reader (thanks, Ronnie!) suggested the topic for the week, which is a good one. What are some albums that really took their time to grown on you? Everyone has the albums that hit them immediately, but what about the ones that take their time sinking in?

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Well, Ok computer took a time to stick, but when it did... that record was inside my stereo for two years in a row.
100th window by Massive Attack is an album that bored me to death the first times I heard it but then it grew and there's seasons in the year I come back to it alot.

For me it would have to be "And the glass handed kites" by Mew.

First time I heard it I thought it was bit of a mess, but after multiple listens it really is a great album, one of my favourites from last year.

Oh man, the Stars of the Lid's record The Ballasted Orchestra. I bought it on double LP simply for the lovely cover art (ah to be young w/disposable income) and was utterly bored by it on first listen. Probably didn't put it on again for about another year, but then, for uncertain reasons, I found myself listening to it often and finally realizing that I actually really adored it. Spent the next couple years getting really into drone stuff, all from a record I brought for its art that took a year to grow on me!

'I can hear the heart beating as one' by Yo La Tengo took an age for me to 'get into'. Now it's probably my fave by them and in my top 20 of all time.

Strangely enough, I feel almost the exact opposite about "Yoshimi" by The Flaming Lips. The first time I heard it, I really enjoyed it. As time progressed, though, I found myself caring less and less about it and haven't listened to it in years. Hey, maybe that's another topic idea right there...

I really enjoy that Tuma record as well. I picked it up a couple years back after seeing it on your year-end list Mike. Really great stuff.

Mike, I love The River but I think Hard Again is his masterpiece (less americana and more original). It's ambient music for the great plains. Gorgeous

scott tuma's the river keeps getting better and better everytime I go back to it. An American masterpiece!

Strange as it may sound I had a difficult time on my first listen to The Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi" album but after repeated and long expositions to it its now one of the albums I listen to the most.

wow! Great new index layout!!
*sorry for being off topic*


I find I usually dislike all 'good' albums the first time I hear them. Then they grow on me and it's easy listening from there. The albums I love instantaneously are the ones that don't have lasting power. Does that make sense?

Ah, the wonderful world of coding for IE for PC. What a total piece of crap browser that one is. Got the problems fixed (it rendered perfectly in both Safari and Firefox, imagine that) on the front page, so it should be showing up correctly now.

Sorry to dump on IE, but as a web developer (both for my real job and for this site), that browser consistently frustrates me.

Hey, the main page (almostcool.org) isn't working as well, it keeps sending me to a yellow-white page.

Dangit! Thanks a bunch for mentioning the article archive page and how it wasn't working. I didn't even notice that. For some reason, it's still not listing things properly (in terms of month added), but the archived article links should at least be working now.

Oh, another album that grew on me is Squarepusher's "Music Is Rotted One Note." The first time I heard that album, I was like "WTF" (based on hearing his past drill n bass discs). Then, over time, it started to sink in and become a little more clear. It's still not my favorite album of his, but I definitely like it a lot more now than the first time I heard it.

Just wanted to mention that the "Article Archive" doesn't seem to be working correctly... the previous posts are listed but none of them seem to link correctly.

Also, has anyone heard the new Ryoji Ikeda album, "Dataplex"? This guy is doing some pretty ridiculous minimal glitch stuff.

I'm going to have to agree with some of the others and say Isis. It's really the same with any type of "metal." It took me much more time to really apreciate Isis, the Blood Brothers, Converge, Neurosis, Mastodon, etc. than it did with most other music. I'm very picky when it comes to metal, but Isis was my first trip into this genre and when I started to realize that they were a heavy version of Sigur Ros, it clicked. Once you have a starting point with an unfamiliar genre, you can usually find a few other bands. If you like Isis, you'll like the last two or three Neurosis records. If you like Neurosis, you'll probably like Leviathan by Mastodon, etc.

Thanks for your suggestion David. I have actually thought about covering some more mainstream things (I used to, as you'll see if you look through the archives), but lately I've found that I'd much rather give the press to smaller artists. Franz Ferdinand and Gorillaz get reviewed by everyone, and although I could add my opinion to the fray, I have a limited amount of time I can spend doing this, so I'd prefer to review lesser-knowns (in large part).

As the years have passed, I've found that my interests have generally skewed to the more obscure side of things as well, and this site has definitely reflected that. I'll try to get to some things if I have a chance, but will probably keep writing reviews about smaller stuff as well...

that judith juillerat album "soliloquy" you reviewed a while ago has really grown on me, nice stuff.

Githead - "Profile"
Shalabi Effect - "Unfortunately"
Sam Shalabi - "Osama"
Sunn O))) - "Black One"
Super Furry Animals - "Love Kraft" (thought this was quite week when I irst heard, but have re-visited it a few times recently, and it's growing slowly)
Tortoise - "Standards" (their poorest album has a lot going for it now)

Supersilent's "6" took a long time to grow on me. I bought it based on Pitchfork's review, and it just never did much for me until one day, everything fell into place and clicked.

Have you considered reviewing any albums that are just a bit commercially known? I consider my self a music geek but out of the last 40 or 50 albums that you have covered i only recognized about 3 artists. Down the list there are also some names i know just because i'm icelandic, like Skuli Sverrisson.
I know it's your site and I have nothing against you reviewing unknown artists but I would also like to hear your opinion on some of the most aclamied commercial albums, like the Gorillaz album, M.I.A., Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, DangerDoom...etc.
Having said all that I like this site and think you are a talented critic, I just think your choice of records to review is a bit to deep down in the underground.

Recently, it was The National...who's album, for the most part, has the best tracks later in the tracklist, like Abel, Baby I'm Fine and Mr. November. So for awhile when I'd put it in, I thought it was good but not wow. I find myself listening to it more and more.

Also Wolf Parade had to grow on me. The hype machine and comparing them to The Arcade Fire was so intense I thought there was no way they could live up to the hype. I would hear a track on random every once in awhile and think it was ok. Then I don't know, one day I played the whole thing and wow. I think this is another album that's a grower because again the best tracks are in the lower half (Shine A Light, I'll Believe in Anything).

Everything Ecstatic by Four Tet.

Loveless by My Bloody Valentine.
I mentioned this one a couple of weeks ago (I forget about what), but it took me seven years to actually discover the beauty of this album, especially those first three notes whacked on those muffled drums.

As for ISIS, Kristian, I totally agree with you on Oceanic. I've been listening to ISIS since their first EP and Oceanic is still difficult for me to make through (mainly because of the pointless 2 and 3 minute tracks right in the middle). Panopticon is actually my favourite album of theirs...it is just an amazing album all the way through.

I would also like to mention a band called Charles Atlas. Ive you havent checked this band out then go to their website. They have a full album to download. Get an album from a truly underrated band here:

A couple of weeks ago, almostcool mentioned that post-rock was becoming very derivative and uninspiring, and another reader mentioned the Port-Royal album "Flares". I decided to buy it and listened to it. I thought it was pretty boring until one night i put it on as i was reading and started thoroughly enjoying it. It is an eclectic and unique album. The more i listen to it the more things i here. It is the perfect headphones album

i did not know anything from and about "dead can dance". recently, i bought their best-of "wake" because it was quite cheap (12 €, double-cd).
i listened to it and thought: "damn! ethnco-crap!"
however after ten or twenty listens i now like it... :-) now there is no mixtape without dead can dance...

Most recently: Isis' Panopticon and especially Oceanic took forever for me to really appreciate, mostly because I was rather new to the entire "metal" genre. At first, while I enjoyed the instrumentation immensely, the vocals really put me off, resulting in me eventually dismissing the band as a missed opportunity. Upon giving them another chance, the vocals fell more into place, so now I can't really imagine their songs without them at all.

Clearly, TNT by Tortoise. I remember buying it after reading various recommendations, coming home, inserting it into the CD Player, and thinking : "What the hell have I bought??". I then put it away for 3 weeks.

3 Weeks laters, thinking that I had bought the record, and that it therefore deserved a second chance, I put it in the CD Player again. Surprise suprise... I remembered every single track.I thought there was definitely something here, and it has remained one of my favorites ever since.

Lambchop's "Is A Woman" was my introduction with the band and needed quite some to time to fully appreciate. It was actually their marvellous video of the title track that got me interested in the band. At first I thought the music was rather boring but after watching the video many times the music started to grow on me. I decided to buy the album and basically the same thing happened. I put on the album because of the title track and thought the rest of the songs were good but a little bit boring. But after repeated listens the whole album started to breath on its own and there was a sense of beauty unravelling underneath the sparse and almost impenetrable sound. Now itís my favourite record of 2002.

I understand your experience with the new Broken Social Scene completely. The sound is very cacophonious. But especially the last couple of tracks on the album made me want to listen to it repeatedly.

Most recently (2005), I'd have to say that the album that grew on me the most was "The Milk Of Human Kindness" by Caribou. On first listen, I thought it was kinda boring, but then it really started to resonate with me after awhile, climbing clear up my year-end list.

I had sorta the same experience with the new Broken Social Scene, which threw me off guard more than anything when I first heard it. There are so many layers to the release, though, that I just kept unwrapping them the more that I listened to it.

A couple older albums that didn't hit me on first listen were "Perfect From Now On" by Built To Spill and "Murder Ballads" by Nick Cave.

The funny thing about both of those albums is that I got copies of them to review when I was writing for my college newspaper. After one listen each, I decided that I didn't want to review them and gave them to other writers, who then in turn listened to them and decided they didn't like them (in turn handing them back to me). In each case, I listened to the respective album again and wondered what the hell I'd missed the first time. I guess my brain just isn't quite tuned in sometimes...