March Music Challenge

 

Week 9 – Tuesday 26th Feb – Monday 4th Mar

Mike Oldfield – Hergest Ridge

I had heard of Mike Oldfield before, enough so that I had an idea of what I was getting myself into here.  Oddly enough, I had no recollection of when and how I had first heard of him, excepting the fact that the first thing I heard of him was the odious ‘Moonlight Shadow‘, a song that haunts me to this day. But at some point he stopped being the ‘moonlight shadow’ guy and came to be associated with other things.

I have a suspicion that a Mike Oldfield album is sent to you at random when one signs up to be a pretentious asshole, along with a William Gass novel, the desire to be a commuter-cyclist, and the craving for a food that the 90% of the rest of the world finds unpalatable (mine might be Durian).  I must have signed up for this at some point in the past.

Anyway, after a few days of listening to this album I had the realization that I could not remember a single piece from it. Try as I might, all that came to memory was the opening piece of ‘Tubular Bells’. When I tried to get myself excited about listening to this album, I would just remember ‘Tubular Bells’.

 

Week 10 – Tuesday 5th Mar – Monday 11th Mar

Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express

I wasn’t exactly sure if I was going to put this album on here. I listened to some Kraftwerk last year, and I really didnt’t want this year to be just a repeat of last year. It was only the fact that the recommendation for this album came from a completely different person that I decided to go with it, because if Kraftwerk is getting that much press, they must be worth listening to.

Nope. There really aren’t two ways about this. These guys did not do here what the managed with ‘Computer World’. That makes since considering that this is an older album, but it doesn’t really fix the fact that I do not want to listen to this. I still find myself with bits of ‘Computer World’ in my head as i am just going about my day (it doesn’t help that between my house and the gym there is a computer repair shop called ‘Computer World’).

I wouldn’t say its a bad album. I found myself enjoying bits and pieces of it as I listened. However, I pretty much forget this album shortly after listening to it.

 

Week 11 – Tuesday 12th Mar – Monday 18th Mar

AC/DC – Back to Black

I’m not sure I get it.

Sure, some of the songs on here are great, and famous by consequence. But some of this really blends together. Without the vocals, could anyone really tell ‘give a dog a bone’ from ‘have a drink on me’? I would wager not. The vocalist is truly iconic, but the rest of the music would just sound like generic hard rock.

Honestly, I’ll just have to pass on this one.

 

Week 12 – Tuesday 19th Mar – Monday 25th Mar

Tune Yards – WHOKILL

Years ago I had a friend who would just consume music. She would apparently spend her nights just trolling the internet for new music, which was only weird when you considered that she had no ambition to make music herself. But she would never really discover bands but just singular songs from bands. She was the human equivalent to a hits station. I once asked her about this (using another band as a conversation hinge) and she looked at me and said ‘I doubt they produced anything worth hearing’.

The song she found from Tune Yards was ‘bizness’ and I found it particularly enthralling. Enoguh so to put the whole album on my ‘to listen to’ list. About a year later, I was with another friend when the very same song came on, and he declared the whole album to have been the best of the year.

And yet, for some reason I just sat on the thing, never having actually listened to it till now.  The album well and truly is damn good, it checks all the boxes of things I like in music. The sound is unique, the songs are distinguishable, and the album as a whole seems cohesive. I could see someone complaining about the voice of the singer, but for me it wasn’t a problem. Hell, it was part of the charm.

Why wasn’t I listening to this years ago?

 

Week 13 – Tuesday 26th Mar – Monday 1st Apr

deadmau5 – 4×4=12

I think I liked the first song. After that, I started to wonder why anyone would listen to this. Just kind of obnoxious. It’s the musical equivalent of when you discovered Sriracha, put it on everything including your fucking smoothies for a week, and then realized that you had really gone to far. I found it hard to listen to the whole way through. At some point I would just have to turn it off, and over the course of the week I found it really hard to listen to the whole things in a single sitting.

That’s definitely not a ringing endorsement.

There was actually a second song I kind of liked from this album, but the rest of the album was kind of too obnoxious for me to find it with ease.

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