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I buy a lot of CDs. And I live under the misconception that people care about my opinions. And I like to catalog things. Therefore I've decided to keep track of all the CDs I buy and what I think of them.

Thursday, February 24, 2005 :::

The Beekeeper by Tori Amos

Why I bought it: I used to be a wee bit obsessed with Tori.

What I think about it: I'm not ashamed of my former Tori obsession. Her first three CDs were literally genius. Even the three following that were pretty darned good, if not as daring. But then something curious happened: She released a live CD, a best-of set, and a boring covers record. To say she was spinning her wheels would be an understatement. Then she released a live DVD, where she actually bleeped out the dirty words in her songs. And her last two CDs of original material make her sound more like a first-rate lounge singer than the angry grunting seemingly-insane piano pounder I was used to. Musical experimentation is mostly gone, replaced by soft-rock drums and overdubbed harmonies that would seem very comfortable on your mother's favorite radio station. Even her new single entitled "Sleeps with Butterflies" sounds more like an embarassing self-parody of everything everyone has ever made fun of her for. It's sad because almost everything that made her fresh and original 15 years ago is seemingly gone. I guess it happens to everyone eventually. Genius tends to burn out quickly and she had a longer run than most. Ugh, even the cover is bad bad bad. I'm being a little unfair. I just have really high expectations for all of my past obsessions. Sorry Tori, no offense really, your old CDs will still always rank among my favorites. Maybe you just needs a new producer.

Song(s) worth a listen: Goodbye Pisces ; Hoochie Woman ; The Beekeeper ; Sweet the Sting ; The Power of Orange Knickers ; Marys of the Sea

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 8:24 PM :: #

Digital Ash in a Digital Urn & I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning by Bright Eyes

Why I bought it: He got lotsa hype.

What I think about it: For someone who has been getting so much hype in the press, both of the new Bright Eyes CDs are pretty underwhelming. I'm Wide Awake is supposed to be the accoustic CD, while Digital Ash is supposed to be the electronic CD (which means there are some drums and the occassional electric guitar). They aren't that different actually; both are peppered with a few good songs, but none of them are truly great. Both CDs would be infinitely better if I could stand the guy's voice, though. I'm sure he likes to think of his voice as sounding wounded and vulnerable in that down-trodden indie-singer kind of way, but really it's just sounds affected and forced, as if he's intentionally trying to sound wounded and vulnerable. It doesn't really come off as genuine. But there are some good songs; and if you threw out the bad ones and mashed the good ones together into one 12-song CD and made him re-record all his singing parts with a solid/professional timbre, then you'd really have something. He's good with melody and great with lyrics and that's way ahead of most overhyped musicians. I'm keeping them both, so that's saying something.

Song(s) worth a listen: Arc of Time ; Take it Easy ; I Believe in Symmetry ; Landlocked Blues ; Road to Joy

Listen at amazon.

::: posted by dan at 8:09 PM :: #


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