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Music Club

Jens Moller —

Every week at lunch time Tuesdays, Music Club meets in Room 119 to talk about everything and anything audible. This week Music Club invited everyone (staff and students) to write “mini reviews” around 50 to 150 words about any album of their choice.

In no particular order, here are some of our thoughts and feelings about the albums we looked at…

The Dark Delight by Dynazty (2020, Heavy Metal)

The Dark Delight, released in 2020 is everything that a modern heavy metal album is meant to be. I’m looking at you, Human II Nature. The Dark Delight stands out for competent singing, and brilliant instrumentals. These guys were clearly inspired by Nightwish. Unlike Nightwish, they are competent. One of the best things about this album is the fact it uses symphonic sounds instead of some knockoff videogame synthetic sound, and thus the music vibes well. This album is what 99% of power metal wishes it were. Heartless Madness is the best track on the album. Starting with a single theme, it holds that thread and takes it to make a well constructed tapestry -- a work of art -- instead of wannabe’s with a guitar (Nightwish.) Other tracks to look out for are Phantom of the Opera and Hologram.

98.12.28Otokotachi No Wakare by Fishmans (1999, Dream Pop)

After being together for 12 years and recording multiple studio albums, 98.12.28 is the huge culmination of what this Japanese dream pop band had to offer. It is a 2 hour live album of their last performance before sadly their lead singer died, and this is just a wonderful experience. The idea of 98.12.28 was that it was going to be a final send-off, but little did they know what would happen to their lead just a few months later. Throughout the live album, they touch on every aspect of the band's styles, from reggae and dub to psychedelia. They improve on all fronts on these redone tracks, and it’s something about the atmosphere that just adds to the feel. Shinji Shato gives the performance of a lifetime with some of the most breathtaking vocal ranges I have ever heard. The song Night Cruising is defined by Shato’s vocals over some impeccable reverb, In The Flight is a sorrow song with some great instrumentation, and how can I not forget the centerpiece and 40 minute closing track, Long Season. This song is probably some of the most impressive music ever, with amazing twists and turns and never fails to interest me the least.

Pinkerton by Weezer (1996, Alt Rock)

This album I had to get used to, as it didn't sound too good the first time. I heard the drums are very overpowering of everything else in the album and in my personal opinion didn't blend to well with everything else but some songs did stick out such as the good life which has a good part where there is a build up of instruments but then the heavy drums do come in and make it worse in my opinion and another song was butterfly because it is a nice chill song. One thing I did notice about the album was that all the songs were about his personal relationship life and seemed somewhat personal to him.

Reboot.exe by albie (2020, LoFi)

Reboot.exe is a lofi album made by popular youtuber “albie” but formerly known as sleightlymusical. This album was made during the pandemic and during a time where he was struggling due to a controversy but after this album dropped in 2021 this artist gained support from around the world and was well received by the public. I like this album due to it being an instrumental so I can appreciate all the instruments. The percussion was amazing, the saxophone was smooth and the strings were soothing to hear and when they all came together it was a lofi masterpiece. But the point of this album was to say sorry about his controversy and more about his life such as nai nai which is about his grandma or thank you, i’m sorry which is the artist trying to say sorry for anyone they hurt with their controversy with the music. I know this artist is a talented musician due to his other music and this one is his best work in my opinion but since this is lofi not enough people listen to it, so if you want to hear this go onto the youtube channel called albie.

Legends Never Die by Juice WRLD (2020, Hip hop, every song is explicit)

After Juice’s death in 2019, thousands of unfinished songs remained locked away from fans. However, in 2020 we got the first taste of what we have lost with his passing. Legends Never Die was an amalgamation of unique melodies combined with Juice’s amazing voice and play of words. All connected around the source of substance abuse and depression. Giving an almost eerie feel to the album with Juice’s passing from an overdose. However, this does not drain from the upbeat and melodic vibe which is always present. Almost every song is a hit from the relaxing “acoustic righteous” to the motivational collaboration with Marshmallow in “Come and Go''. Every song is so different yet still has the same melodic feel. It's something that really can’t be described by words and needs to be experienced and not to mention the fact that despite the mature material over half of the top 10 charts was secured by juice in this album. A feat only obtained by Micheal Jackson and Drake. 

Butterfly 3000 by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (2021, Electronica, one explicit song)

This new addition to the King Gizzard discography of 18 albums is yet another shift in sound and musical direction by band leader Stu Mackenzie. Change in musical direction isn’t new for King Gizzard who have covered a wide range of genres including everything from 2019’s Infest the Rats Nest heavy metal, to 2015’s Jazz Fusion inspired Quarters!. This new album sees yet another genre explored in the form of synth-based electronica. All songs were written in major keys giving the record a very happy uplifting feel. The first track “Yours” welcomes you to a dreamy spaced-out soundscape covered in flowing arpeggiated chords and lyrics that transport you through the new world the band creates throughout this album. Track 6 “Catching Smoke” is yet another strong lyrical and musical piece that builds upon the already established base and theme the band has been crafting throughout the record. Butterfly 3000 is a welcome change of pace to the past few releases. However, by the end of the record the concept has been well and truly cooked. The record misses what could have been some much-needed change of tone keeping to the major key “happy” feel of the record where darker moments are needed.

Self Titled by Weezer (2016, Alt Rock, one explicit song)

Weezer’s white album was released in 2016, and is often considered one of their best albums. Upon release it was met with positive reviews, unlike Pinkerton which was met poorly and over time grew a cult following, becoming one of their best albums. White has a beach theme, and features more piano than their other albums. Highlights for me include ‘LA Girlz’, which has a beach boys meets electric guitar sound, Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori, which captures your attention with the key change in the chorus, and King of the World, which has a cheerful sound and heartfelt lyrics about our main character doing anything for his love. Bonus tracks include ‘Friend of a Friend’ and ‘Prom Night’ which are both bangers. Wind in our sail really shows the beach theme and is also very good. California Girls and Jacked up are songs I don’t listen to often.

Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull (1972, Prog Rock)

Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick is a concept album released in March 1972. The album started as separate songs, but the band then created musical interludes to join everything together. As a result, Thick as a Brick is a continuous piece that took up both sides of the record.Tull frontman, Ian Anderson, was inspired by the humour of Monty Python in creating the album as well as the back story whereby the lyrics were written by eight-year-old genius Gerald Bostock. The album was presented as a full newspaper named the St. Cleve Chronicle, full of outrageous stories. The album draws on Anderson's childhood and looks at society from the eight-year-old Gerald's perspective. Thick brings in instruments such as flute, harpsichord, lute, violin, and xylophone. I love the album as it takes you on a journey from song to song, but prepares you for each through musical interlude.

SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo (2021, Pop, some explicit songs - clean versions available)

You’d be forgiven for not knowing who Olivia Rodrigo is if you haven’t listened to pop radio in the last year, or if you’ve never seen the show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”. Now might be the time to get with the programme though, as she stands to be the next big household name alongside Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, or Lorde. Rodrigo’s debut SOUR is a fairly dramatic break-up album, especially apparent in songs like Traitor and Deja Vu, so if a glimpse into the heartbreaking love life of a teenage superstar isn’t your cup of tea maybe this album isn’t for you. However, beyond that SOUR is full of masterfully crafted and produced songs, which will have you humming the melodies in your car. Songs to look out for are Drivers License, Deja Vu, Good 4 U, and Jealousy, Jealousy.

Music Has The Right To Children by Boards of Canada (1998, Electronica)

I hold this album very close to my heart for many reasons. It takes me to a cold, dark and still place that I enjoy being present in. It’s like the world is going fast, but time is very still. Released in 1998, and first listened to when I was 13 (~2005). I felt captivated by the distinctive retro synths, drum beats, odd timings and unusual samples. Boards of Canada are Scottish, so when I listen to their music, I feel isolated and primal in the wilderness of the barren Scottish Highlands.

I have mild chromesthesia (audio-to-visual synesthesia), and particular sounds and pitches from BoC will sometimes cause involuntary episodes of audio-to-visual sensations; in particular, pale greens, blue and orange hues. Boards of Canada is definitely a food that feeds my hungry condition. They boast many genres, including downtempo, electronica, trip-hop and psychedelia. Favorite songs: Happy Cycling, Roygbiv and Aquarius.

Some of these albums do contain the odd piece of profanity - they have been marked as explicit so please consider this before playing them to other people or even yourself!

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more reviews in the future! Remember - this is all subjective - there is no such thing as a cool taste in music. You are welcome to agree or disagree via email (jens.moller@obhs.school.nz).