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Professor

Library CD Roulette #3

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This is my third time doing this little column. You already knew that with the ‘#3’ in the title. You’d really think that I’d have a formula and stick to it. But no. I forget to explain the ‘rules’ in the first one, remember in the second and now break them in the third. Very uninteresting reasoning too. I was at the library, got called into work, grabbed several CDs off the shelving chart blindly. I have no idea what is in the bag sitting on the floor next to me. This should be interesting.

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Whip It Soundtrack by Various Artist

Release Date - 2009

Run Time - 58:29

Cover Art - Movie Poster

Reason for Rental - It was on top of the soundtrack pile.

Listening Experience - I like soundtracks. I think they are a great way to hear new artists all at once. Like the song on the soundtrack, check out their own album. I don’t think I would ever buy a soundtrack mind you, but they are always listenable. This soundtrack? I was not a fan. Going in, I knew three people on the soundtrack (.38 Special, Dolly Parton & The Ramones). Coming out, I only liked two. This soundtrack never had a theme and kept switching genres. I don’t like trance. I don’t really care for rap. I don’t care for whatever The Chordettes did to “Lollipop”. And I would be remiss to not make fun of the band name Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Seriously, who thought that was a good name?

Score - This was never going to be a buy. At best it could have been a listen, but it is just pass. In fact, pass on everybody on here except Dolly & The Ramones.

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The Golden Hour by Firewater

Release Date - 2008

Run Time - 53:49

Cover Art - Very Yellow

Reason for Rental - Shelving Cart Grab

Listening Experience - To be honest, I cannot remember much. When I finished the CD, I put iTunes on random and six songs later, I cannot remember Firewater very well. However, what I am left with is a hatred for the lead singer Tod A. I do not know the man, but all I could think of when I heard his voice was “this guy just sounds like a douchebag”. I am a big vocal guy. I hate Rush because I cannot stand Getty Lee’s vocals even tho I know they are great musicians. So, Firewater could be the reincarnated spirits of Bach, Hendrix & Johnny Cash and I would still not be a fan with Tod A. on vocals.

Score - If you can get past bad vocals, go ahead and give it a shot. If vocals matter to you, steer clear.

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Scars on Broadway by Scars on Broadway

Release Date - 2008

Run Time - 44:57

Cover Art - Bad

Reason for Rental - Shelving Cart Grab

Listening Experience - “Hey, I know that guy” was the first thought I had. Turns out, Scars on Broadway is a band made up of the drummer & guitarist/vocalist of System of a Down. Not the main singer, Serj Tankian,, but rather Daron Malakian who started to sing more on the Hypnotize/Mesmerize albums. I am a fan of System of a Down and enjoyed Malakian’s lead vocals on the aforementioned albums. As such, I enjoyed this album quite a bit. It doesn’t have the same energy as SOAD, but a few songs (Serious, Stoner-Hate, Chemicals) are catchy and memorable. Nothing is bad, some is filler that works in context of the entire album, and it is never boring.

Score - Purchase. Even with the SAOD-lite feeling at times, the album is still an enjoyable listen.

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Stubbs the Zombie Soundtrack by Various Artist

Release Date - 2005

Run Time - 38:19

Cover Art - Retro

Reason for Rental - Shelving Cart Grab

Listening Experience - Before I started listening, I looked at the tracks listing and saw it was all covers of standard ‘oldies’. After google search, it turns out that this is a soundtrack to a video game of the same name. Cannot say I have listened to a game soundtrack before, so this should be fun.

And it wasn’t. I think covers are a tricky thing to begin with. Sound too much like the orginal (Death Cab For Cutie’s “Earth Angel” or Ben Kweller’s “Lollipop”) and it all seems pointless. Sound too radically different (The Raveonettes’ “My Boyfriend’s Back or The Dandy Warhols’ “All I Have To Do Is Dream”) and it is unappealing. What is really sad is that normally I can find 1-3 songs I like on cover albums. I found nothing here.

Score - Turn on your radio and tune in the oldies station. It’ll be better for you.

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Light & Magic by Ladytron

Release Date - 2002

Run Time - 59:28

Cover Art - I got nothing.

Reason for Rental - Shelving Cart Grab

Listening Experience - I was debating on if I should review this. This album, and really this band in general, is outside my realm. I don’t really go for electronica. It all seems over stylized and over produced. Add it a dash of “it all sounds the same” and you get me not caring. As with anything, exceptions can exist. I almost thought this would be one of them. The album starts out with promise. The first two songs were a pleasant surprise and I became more interested in the rest of the album. Three songs later and I was now waiting for the end. I’ll be honest, I barely listened to the last few songs.

Score - Spinach. It has its fans, I am just not one of them. If you are Popeye, give it a shot.

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There's some stuff I like on Light & Magic (Seventeen, Evil), but it's easily their worst album. I think Witching Hour is miles better.

That said, they don't really do much to change your mind if you're not already a fan of the genre.

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