Jason Keil

The Cribs: Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever

As amazing as the British indie music scene has been in the past, how is anyone supposed to decide between The Futureheads, Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, and The Cribs?  As much as I listened carefully to every note to The Cribs' major label debut Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever, I honestly cannot tell this group's album apart from any of the other condescending, menacing, and assertive post-punk cock rock band's output that sensationalist UK music journalists try to persuade London hipsters to buy.

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Crowded House: Time on Earth

This album ranks high along with the band's late 80's and early 90's efforts, bolstered by the producing efforts of Steve Lillywhite and the guitar of Johnny Marr on several tracks.

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Aqueduct: Or Give Me Death

Aqueduct's follow-up, Or Give Me Death, feels like Terry has grown up a little bit.  Instead of opening with keyboards and a drum machine, he begins with acoustic guitar and solemn piano for "Lying in the Bed I've Made," where he talks about singing sorry songs to amuse himself, feeling remorse toward himself and women he has wronged throughout the years.

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Brian Eno: 77 Million Paintings

The point Eno is trying to make is that music and art are meant to be captured in the moment, but whether that comes across as genius or pretentiousness is entirely up to the eye of the beholder.

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The Decemberists: The Crane Wife

It would be easy to file The Crane Wife under progressive-revivalists, since the eclectic instrumentals, swirling keyboards, and storybook lyrics make it feel like an early Genesis album, however The Crane Wife is a courageous, defiant, and whimsical record that commands your attention, and your intimidation.

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Robert Pollard: Normal Happiness

While GBV was indeed a legendary band, the coverage and mystery surrounding the event seemed highly unlikely for a band that reached its peak with audiences in 1994. However, the aftermath had critics and the faithful alike scratching their heads and wondering, “What direction will Pollard take with his solo career?” The answer is very simply, “More of the same.”

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The Rapture: Pieces of the People We Love

The Rapture always seemed ahead of the second New Wave, and this album, with two tracks produced by Danger Mouse (somebody has to teach them to be cool), shows them moving away from snagging riffs away from the Talking Heads and graduating to the funk and hip-hop of the Tom Tom Club.

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