Jan 26 Reviews / What albums have faded?

Another week of random stuff, although the new releases are starting to filter in and slowly take over the slack from the stuff I missed last year.

The topic for discussion this week is... What are some albums that you enjoyed a lot when you first heard them, but you rarely have the urge to listen to them anymore?

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PandaMcElroy
probably as a result of playing them out, and in no way a fault of the artist, i would have to say that when these albums first came out i listened to them for months straight, but they haven't seen play time in a while: FISCHERSPOONER odyssey, MIA arular, OUTHUD let us never speak of it again. this is not to say these will never be played again...its just not the right time right now.
and albums that have really stood the test of time: NMH aeroplane over the sea, CAT POWER you are free, THE MICROPHONES the glow, pt.2, ELLIOT SMITH s/t, XIU XIU knife play, BRAZZAVILLE rough on pockmarked cheecks, RADIOHEAD ok computer, INTERPOL turn on the bright lights, NICK CRAKE five leaves left. so i guess the lesson learned here for me is that the fun, more danceble music is great, yet fades more easily when not partying or feeling over-enthusiastic about life. and the more introverted, "downer" music has a more timeless quality. maybe?

Neil
gawd, to listen to every single album from a to z would take months (2000+ and counting)
plus, I don't know if I could cope with 10 full CDs of Pan Sonic, which I would if I was going alphabetical/chronilogical --
then again, perhaps if I listened to them A-Z by title. that would be more fun and interesting

Marshall
I'm really going to try to make this work at least once. Of course you have to listen to new cds that you buy which will eat into your listening time with the a to z project, but there isn't really anything that can be done about that.

I just have to say...it's hard to say when I would have gotten around to listening to the second Fiona Apple album if I hadn't started this little project, but goddammit that's a great album.

Bubbachups
Yes, I've always found it to be a great idea to listen to everything from A to Z! I've heard from several people before who try to do this every year. That's a little over ambitious for my liking and almost impossible if you have a big collection, but I've also been thinking about doing this as a one off. It's such a crazy idea that I like it.

And about that pill. Why don't you come over to the Netherlands, we have all kinds of pills and other "stuff" that will most certainly keep you going all day long. Not recommended though. ;-)

almostcool
Dang Marshall, that's a great idea. I have a rather massive collection at this point in my life, and I'm sort of to the point that like you, it's harder and harder to find anything to trade in, yet I haven't listened to some of the things in my collection for quite some time. I think that like you, I need to sit down and just start listening to my albums from the start to the end and see what happens in between.

I'm sure that I'll probably discover a few things that haven't aged quite as well as I would have liked them to and they'll possibly go into the trade pile, but I'd bet that I'll also rediscover some things and wonder why I hadn't listened to them more instead of pulling the same things off the shelf time after time.

The crazy thing is that it's true that there's no way to listen to everything in a large collection on a regular basis. Once you get up into the five hundred albums or more collection and higher, you'd have to theoretically listen to at least two things a day and it would still take about a year to hear everything.

Can someone please invent a pill that allows me to have full energy on one hour of sleep a night?

Marshall
I've gotten to the point where I have completely exhausted the possibility of finding something I can take to trade in. That used to be one of my biggest joys...taking in a stack of four or five records and coming out with some new ones, but those days are gone. This leaves me with the problem of having quite a few records that I refuse to trade in.

I just counted my records last week...just so I could know for sure just how many I have. Here's the breakdown: 615 full length albums, 76 EPs, and 14 mostly imported singles...all actual albums...nothing burned. Not too bad for being 24 I'd like to think.

Here's the thing, I will never be able to listen to all of these albums on a regular basis, there are just too many and plus I probably buy on average one or two albums a week. Now I haven't listened to Kid A or Oceanic by Isis in well over a year, but that in no way reflects any type of disatisfaction with these records. They're absolutely amazing, but for some reason or another, just haven't found their way into my stereo.

I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately and have come up with what I feel is the best possible solution: I'm listening to my entire record collection in alphabetical order (the organization of record collections might be another potential topic). I'm starting with the new Acid House Kings (fucking amazing) and the goal is to not stop until I get to Zykos. In doing this, I'm also committed to listening to each album all the way through because I usually just pop a disc in and hit play and then five or six songs in, change the disc.

Doing this reminds me of why I've decided to keep these records. I'm just about done with the A bands and should start on the B's in a few days. This has already been one of the best ideas I've had. I'm listening to and genuinely enjoying some music that I haven't listened to in years. Will it be possible to actually complete this project? Maybe, maybe not, but I'm having a great time of it so far.

Michael
Have to totally disagree with (most of) the things said about Sigur Ros on this post. I can go back to them time and time again and find something different each time . Also, i think they have to be experienced live to truly understand what they are all
about.

I have not listened to "The Bends" by Radiohead for over 5 years. It was (and still is) an amzing album but i listened to it far too much. I would also like to think my musical tastes progress in the same manner as Radiohead's ever evolving sound.

mr.pantuflas
Some albums that struck lightning and then faded as quick as they came are: The Strokes "room on fire", Wilco "Yankee...", Add N to (x) "loud like nature" (altough i still consider it a fun album when shows up in shuffle mode), Menomena "I am the fun blame monster", Architecture in Helsinki "Fingers Crossed"...

Bubbachups
I rarely listen to any record that I own for longer than two years. Even my all time favourites I only listen to about 4 times a year.

The Soft Bulletin was also one of my favourite records back then but I wouldn't listen to it very quickly today. I think it's about three years since I listened to it for the last time. Neon Golden gets played about 1 time each year. Great record but there's nothing left to discover for me in that record. And that's the most important thing for me. When there's nothing left to discover then usually I'm off. Some researches have suggested that the most enjoyment from music comes when you expect something to happen and then it does. Fulfilment of expectations. For me it's the exact opposite.

Now that I think of it. I haven't listened to any Tindersticks album in maybe two years. Now that's even a big surprise for myself as I'm supposed to be a big fan of their music.

therese
I can understand what it is about Sigur Ros that everyone likes and it seems that it would appeal to me 'cause it has all the ingredients that I look for in a band but it just ends up a bit lame and I can't really put my finger on it. Maybe it's the melodrama, maybe it's the overt attempt at mystery, maybe it's just that annoying voice or maybe I've just been spoiled with the other giants that they're standing on the shoulders of (Talk Talk's laughing stock, The Verve's A storm in heaven, Slowdive's Pygmalion, Spiritualized's Pure Phase, Cocteau Twins). Sorry to push the buttons, but it's just my personal taste.

Alex
An accompanying topic should be:Artists/albums that have really stood the test of time.

Ryan
Faded = Cinematic Orchestra "Every Day," The Notwist "Neon Golden," The Flaming Lips "The Soft Bulletin" (was never a fan of "Yoshimi"), Broken Social Scene " You Forgot It In People," Wilco "Summer Teeth" & "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," PJ Harvey "Is This Desire?," to name a few.

Re: Sigur Ros - If they would have stopped at "AB" they'd be canonized like MBV, and sooner or later, "AB" would sit next to "Loveless" in the pantheon of great albums awaiting a follow-up. Instead, we got that follow-up, and I think it's a pretty solid album. I've always wondered why "( )" is so often maligned (several of my favorite SR tracks are on that album); maybe it's becuase of the unrealistically high expectations left by its predecessor. "Takk" on the other hand... meh.

Re: Autechre - I've recently come to the conclusion that "Confield" is my favorite Ae album. As much as I enjoy their early material, I find myself coming back to their albums/EPs like "LP5," "EP7," and "Confield" more frequently. In fact, now that I think about it, I should give their newest material ("Draft 7:30" and "Untilted") another listen.

almostcool
Seems that Sigur Ros has really taken over the discussion. Some very good points on both sides, and I now feel like I have to add my opinion, just for the heck of it.

To be honest, I rarely, rarely listen to () (kissing sausages is my nickname for it). I really enjoyed it when it came out, but I probably haven't sat down and played it for well over a year now. I liked Takk... the same way, as it introduced some new wrinkles into their sound, but again admit to not having played it in awhile.

However, I have to disagree on "Aegitis Byrjun." I still listen to this album, and while some of the songs sound a slight bit more melodramatic than the first time I heard it, I still enjoy it immensely. "Olsen Olsen" still might be my favorite song by the group and although they drift into schmaltzy territory at times, I really don't mind it. It's sorta the same way that the Cocteau Twins drift into similar territory. It's still good, and while to some people it might veer into new age, heck, it still gets to me.

Oh, and Broken Social Scene still gets lots and lots of play from me (especially "You Forgot It In People"). Arcade Fire, not so much, but BSS, heck yeah.

peter
To be honest, I have never made it all the way through () by Sigur ros. It honestly is a dull album.

But I think the problem with Sigur ros (at least for me) is that they are so draining. They are so over the top, dripping with in you face emotion that it just looses meaning after awhile.

It's not bad. Why else would I still own all of their albums? It's just too much. Critically, they were never going to live up to AB again, and I don't think it would have been the best move to quit right after the release of AB, but, well, maybe they should have. I might have a different opinion of otherwise.

Lynne
Love seeing your reviews show up on DJ Martian's blog.
I have to agree with the comments on Arcade Fire and BBS as they are well over for me, for now, as well as Explosions In The Sky and Four Tet "Rounds". I really wore Rounds out for quite a long time.

Chris
Obviously, I never listen to any of my 311 from college anymore...they've long since gone to the used store. Along with Nirvana.

I never pull out any Squarepusher discs. In fact I just made a best-of Squarepusher for my Ipod.

Never pull out any Orb CD's. Not even for random play in the Ipod. Ditto Orbital.

I agree with Autechre. If I listen to them I go back to the old stuff. While the new stuff is good and interesting. It's just, sad to say, not something you want to sit around and listen to. It's too abrasive to read to etc etc..

And in response to the Sigur Ros postings working through this thread. I couldn't disagree more that all their stuff sounds the same. Anyone that says AB, () or Takk sound alike, simply aren't listening. AB and Takk have some commonalities, with Takk becoming more focused in its structures, length of tracks as well as being much heavier in spots ala Glosoli and Sæglópur. And () doesn't sound like AB or Takk.

And comparing to Enya? Come on.

Fred
There's a lot of stuff in my large CD collection that I did really enjoy at first but don't listen to anymore. But one album spring to my mind : Rêver Mieux by Daniel Bélanger. That guy is huge where I'm from (Québec) and that album received high praises (he is our local Beck). On first listens I did genuilly enjoy it. But it's a rare case of an album getting worse each time you listen to it.

I have to agree with other posts here about Sigur Ros. I can't stand AE anymore, although i think () and Takk are still pretty good.

And as for "The Soft Bulletin", it's funny because I was actually listening to it when I read the posts below. But I have to admit that I did'nt listen to it for a year or two before that point.

As I said before, I'm from Quebec and I speak mainly french (so sorry for my english). So if you like to discover stuff in other languages, I highly recommand you all the albums by Jean Leloup ("L'amour est sans pitié", "Le Dôme", "Les Fourmis", "La Vallée des réputations"...). Try also stuff made by Phillipe Katerine, Têtes Raides and Noir Désir (the singer of this band is actually in jail for murdering is wife, but that french band made really really good albums over the last 15 years : try "des visages, des figures" and "666.667 club" first).

sam
I couldn't really disagree more about the sigur ros comments there. i think ( ) was a beautiful follow up to AB which was different in many ways and i love takk too. I saw them play at somerset house for the first time in the summer which was great and then saw them again in brixton in november which was even better, so i booked tickets for a show in march

Neil
Albums I haven't listened to in a long while, and probably won't for a long time...although having said that, they've all been brought back to mind!...

Add N To (X) - "Add Insult to Injury"
Belly - "Star"
The Boo Radleys - "Giant Steps"
Depeche Mode - "Black Celebration" (I haven't bought anything after "Songs Of Faith And Devotion")
Gumball - "Special Kiss"
Happy Mondays - "Bummed" (I hated "Pills, Thrills...")
Mercury Rev - "All Is Dream" (a.k.a. Deserter's Songs Volume 2)
Nirvana - "Nevermind" (despite the continued deification of this album, it has dated all-too-quickly - perhaps a case of over-familiarity)
The Orb - "Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld"
Bonnie Prince Billy - "Ease Down The Road" (his new one with Tortoise is nifty, though)
Scorn - "Evanescence"
Ultravox (I know!!, I'm 37) - "Vienna" (must be about 20 years since I played any of this)

peter
Therese...I am beginning to agree with you about the wunder-kids from Iceland. Sigur ros has taken their toll on me, simply because they keep releasing the same record every time. AB is still a fantastic album, but everything post-AB just falters, I feel.

Enya? Maybe a stretch, in my opinion, but Sigur ros in general has lost their luster.

Plus, if you've never seen them, see Sigur ros once. If you've seen them once, stop. I have paid to see them three times and the intensity is just gone after the first time (granted, I also saw them on their first US tour, so no one there had any clue as to what was going happen). Sigur ros also ruined concerts in general for me, because of that first show. Nothing has been able to compare to that release. C'est la vie.

therese
all of the sigur ros records just sound way too gooey and new agey to me now. They're headed to the Enya bin of rock history in my opinion.

Alex
I find I buy so much stuff that I have like a natural rotation, to the point that even albums I love don't get enough airtime.
But the couple of albums I acknowledge that I don't need to hear anymore are: BSS - You Forgot it in People (haven't even listened to the new one) and Arcade Fire - Funeral.
Oh and about Autechre: not that I don't listen to the older stuff anymore, but I'm listening to Chiastic Slide and later much more than the older stuff.

peter
I got hooked on Atmosphere in college. Pretty much bought all of their albums, but now, can barely make it through a single album without skipping at least 10-15 songs (keep in mind that their albums seem to run in the 16-20 song range).

Cedars by Clearlake I loved when it came out, and now never pull from the shelves.

And I agree with you on the Notwist. Neon Golden seems to have a good listen every like three to four months, and then I am good.

The strange thing is I had, until recently, written off Sunny Day Real Estate, old gybe!, Bjork, Massive Attack and Low, thinking I was never going to listen to them again. Well, I am now, and I am sorry that I never did listen to them. I've also rediscovered Built to Spill.

peter t
I can foil the comment on "The soft Bulletin - Flamin Lips" and maybe "Neon Golden - Notwist" (though I do enjoy it on occasions - esp when driving with friends) but in no way can I understand Teresa's view on "Mutations - Beck" - This is an everlasting break-up album! I can't get enough of the feeling of inserting the CD and "cold brains" launches.

I loved "The Mix - Kraftwerk" when I first got it but fell off it. Isn't as engaging anymore

Teresa
i used to love beck mutations. i can't hear anything on that album anymore.

almostcool
This will probably be sacrilege to some people, but I'm going to have to say that "The Soft Bulletin" by The Flaming Lips is something that I very, very rarely listen to anymore. I loved it when it came out and saw them live and even had a sock puppet on my hand singing along with them, but I doubt I've listened to that album in the past 2 years. Even when the songs pop up in shuffle on my iPod, I usually skip past them, I don't know why...

Another artist I rarely have the urge to hear is Autechre in general. I still really enjoy and listen to both "Incunabula" and "Amber," but their newer releases just haven't had the staying power that their first discs have for some reason. Again, just weird taste I suppose.

Lastly, one more disc I don't listen to very often (which is weird considering it topped my list one year) is "Neon Golden" by The Notwist. I'm not sure if it's because they haven't really done anything since then (not including the 13 & God project) or what, but I never have the urge to plop the CD in the player and spin it.