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bogwitch

The Ultimate Unloved CD Review Project (an occassional series)

To amuse myself (and to have something to post, even though I doubt anyone besides quinara will actually be interested and even then) I have decided to try and get more value out of my CD collection by listening to and reviewing all those CDs I have that are just languishing there unplayed and unloved; who knows there may be some hidden gems just waiting for me to be bothered to find them! After all Spotify managed to get me to engage with a couple of Echo & the Bunnymen albums I didn’t get into the first time round (I missed out on some great songs, what was I doing????), so it could work!

Some words of caution. As my collection leans heavily into Rock/Alternative/Indie these reviews will obviously cover these genres, but there may still be some tentative forays into others. There might also be some embarrassing surprises that will erode my cool a bit (though not as many as there would have been if I had been reviewing my vinyl...). :)

I will try and review a fairly well known* album (er…when I can) and one less so each time. I am not going to review albums I like/liked and know well, nor will I include soundtracks, compilations, greatest hits and live albums (not that I am much of a fan of those). I will also horrifically date myself.

* 'Well known' is a relative term, of course.

Here we go.



KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope (EMI, 2004)
I’m surprised this album is quite as old as it is, but in this case I am not sure quite why I own it or what it was exactly that made me think I wanted it, as I know exactly zero KT Tunstall songs. I have never played it either (though I think it was a fairly recent charity shop purchase, so it hasn’t been ignored quite that long).
The album starts with the mediocre Other Side of the World, which is pleasant enough but lacks any great originality. Better is the next track Another Place to Fall, which manages to deliver a bit more edge. I actually quite like Under the Weather for its um raininess, although it’s the shock pleasure of being caught in a brisk shower when you know you have a nice warm fire to return to rather than the gritty, persistent drizzle that pervades the work of say, The Verve or the first Editors album, which is fine in and of itself, but is possibly a bit chirpy for my taste!
By the time I reach Suddenly, I See, I realise that I do know one song, but not one that would have got me particularly interested in a whole album, so that remains a mystery.
In all the album is a bit cheery and simplistic for me, I can pretty much say that it’s just a style that I will just never get into however many times I listen. This is a good album; it’s just not good for me.
Standout new to me track: Under the Weather
Score: 5 out of 10



Verve, A Storm in Heaven (Hut, 1993)
Keeping with the rain theme then, this one is a lot more promising. I have a soft spot for The Verve; Urban Hymns is a great album and I like A Northern Soul quite a lot too and I only got this one fairly recently because I thought I had better have it. However, it got a bit lost in collection and hasn’t really been listened to.
Hmm. This album is very much of its time and reflects a band that hasn’t really found its confidence or its niche. It’s very shoegazey; Star Sail displays the classic shoegaze symptoms of mumbling vocals over a tsunami of crunchy guitar effects, while Slide Away sounds like classic James without the wit. So far so good then; the album might be dated, but I am a bit, so to me these aren’t flaws. They aren’t great songs though, so perhaps there is better to come…
I was quite enjoying The Sun, The Sea - until the saxophone came honking in towards the end to ruin the track like someone let a flatulent goose into the studio. Queue skip button. The next three tracks are pretty samey shoegaze without a lot of personality, then there’s the Indian-flavoured Butterfly, which is by far the best song on the album and it chugs away nicely under until the sax intrudes again, although not as badly as before; such a shame! Kula Shaker did a similar thing better though.
There’s little on this album that stands out particularly to me, but as a kind of white noise, it works and I shall be putting A Storm in Heaven into my writing playlist with Suede and Slowdive for when I actually do some writing.
Standout new to me track: Butterfly (until the saxophone comes in)
Score: 7 out of 10



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You know something? I don't think I would have the least clue how to review an album.

It probably doesn't help that I never seem to listen to music these days. ;(

Whi-ich is what happens when all your CDs are in storage.

The jury is still out on whether I know.


See, it wasn't so hard to post, now, was it?

That KT Tunstall track lasted 46 seconds on my playing; I can't quite believe you made it all the way through an album.

My general feeling has always been that I hate the Verve, but that may only be Urban Hymns which used to be played every now and then in my mum's car. Don't get me started. This track is quite pleasant really, and a lot less cheese. It would work quite well in a sandbox-style urban RPG, in the vein of Grand Theft Auto but probably without all the organised crime, and a bit more driving through dunes to get to the next quest location. I would play that game.

Yeah, KT Tunstall is so beige. What possessed me?

Maybe the quest is to fight that crime? With dragons and a beach buggy.


I honestly don't know. You'll be on Taylor Swift next...

I think the challenge would have to be a bit more existential, unless this is the part two-thirds of the way through where you've got a lot of mopping up to do and more puzzles than action violence. Though there would definitely be dragons. Maybe metaphorical ones.

I doubt I would that far.

Fight the apocalypse with dragons and a beach buggy?

Fight the apocalypse with dragons and a beach buggy?

I think that's a bit too climactic; it needs to be more about the journey... There's stories of dragons around the coastline and you're sure it's just a myth, but then your brother goes missing and you end up embroiled in local folklore and craft beer festivals that have a slightly sinister edge.

ETA: Sort of like a Point Horror novel.

Edited at 2015-03-30 08:57 pm (UTC)

Oh. Maybe you could get the wheels of the car stuck in the sand and the tide is coming in. Like what my dad did in France.

That sounds ideal for a nice cutscene of reminiscence, with (un)helpful mermaids. Then it would be basically like this:


Yeah, I can it now - mermaids just pissing themselves laughing to the Frenchy-style nostalgia pop (which is very nice).

I don't think I'd be brave enough to go through my cds, much less tell people what they are! I have weird tastes and it wasn't any better when I was younger.

*whispers* I have a Gareth Gates cd...

I have bought some rubbish. Gareth Gates won't be making an appearance though.

This is a really cool idea. Mind if I steal the idea and give it a shot this summer? I have about 200 cds I never listen to.

Go for it!

I have at least as many. They all deserve at least one listen through!

My CD library is filled with Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett - and a Jim Croce's Greatest hits I can't get rid of but still can't bring myself to play - that was the album I brought when Jack was in hospice because I knew he hated the new age spa stuff they were playing.

If they floats your boat, then so what?!

I don't blame him, new age spa stuff drives me to distraction. I assume they have no melodies as they are supposed to be some kind of white noise to relax you, but I keep looking for the tune and it slowly drives me nuts!

CDs -- you know, I never bother with those anymore? Can't remember when I last put one on...

KT Tunstall - not my bag. The Verve - I've got some of their stuff. I seem to remember I liked most of it.

Hello there! Sorry I haven't been around (spent most of my time bemoaning my life on Facebook). What have I missed?

Day to day, I don't really bother with CDs because I use Spotify or MP3s in the car, but it's still cheaper to pick up CDs in charity shops and rip them to MP3. I like to have a physical copy just in case!

The KT Tunstall is a real puzzle. I just can't figure out why I bought it. At least it was very cheap.

You haven't missed much around here. All that's happened to me is getting a new kitchen.

So why aren't your posts showing up on my Friends Page anymore? Did you disown me? I miss you!

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