My Current Mood in a Picture

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Trawling my CD Collection Part 1

I have a few CDs I bought recently, and I will review them for your blog-reading pleasure as I go along.

The theme of today's reviews is "Angry Young Man Music". This is a generally misunderstood field of music, since many, after the dawn of Emo music, have lost the true meaning of what it means to be a young man who is angry, now thinking it means not having enough money for an iPod, or being dumped by your girlfriend for being a whiney bitch who is hardly a man at all. Usually a Young Man, who may or may not be angry, buys or downloads music albums for their ability to inspire awe, wonder, and understanding in their souls. Or they like it because they like loud music that bugs their parents.

The first CD I will review is Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols.

This album is one of the chief discoveries of my youth. Not only is it loud, and angry, but it has an actual heart to it. Johnny Rotten doesn't tell you why he's angry, he yells it at you, attacking British sentimentalism and nostalgia in the face of conservative government. From "Holidays in the Sun" to "God Save the Queen" to "Anarchy in the U.K.", it is a solid album of Punk era classics. One of the tracks, "Bodies", is a song about abortions that is sure to offend everyone, and contains at least three "F-words". This should not mean you should turn down the volume for this track, for what is the point of The Sex Pistols if you can't play them loud on your stereo? Loud playing is not recommended on iPods, because you'll make yourself deaf. I give this album Ten "Unplugged Sid Vicious Bass Guitars" out of Ten.

WHY IT'S GOOD: This is the ultimate Punk album, alongside The Clash's London Calling record, it's one you have to own if you're an angry young man who wants to experience the Punk phenomenon first-hand. It's way better than this new "Emo" crap that claims to be Punk, and is best enjoyed played on a stereo cranked to 11.

The second album in this series of reviews is Nirvana's Nevermind, an album from the early 1990s that truly fits the "Angry Young Man" criteria.

Nevermind, unlike The Sex Pistols's "Never Mind the Bollocks", is an album less about anarchy and more about the collective unrest in a generation's spirits, hence, "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the opening track that made Kurt Cobain a star. The album cover is probably more famous than the music on the actual album nowadays, but the music should not be ignored. Can't understand the lyrics? Few people could. The point was more about the feelings that the music evokes rather than the lyrics, which are more an accessory to Nirvana's grunge sound. This album's worth as music has been debated from everybody from established music critics to blokes like my twin brother, who probably only hates it because I like it, however, its endurance as an album cannot be ignored in influence. This album also contains tracks like "Lithium", "In Bloom" and "Something in the Way" (Something in the Way contains a hidden track after a long period of silence on some CD pressings, called "Endless, Nameless", which is definitely meant to be played loud), which genuinely express Cobain's inner torment and angry young man cred. I give it 8 "Swimming Babies" out of 10, I take away two points for the commercial exploitation of Kurt Cobain that this album led to.

* * * * *

Well, that's the first part of "Trawling my CD Collection", which hopefully turns out to be an enjoyable and enlightening series of reviews about CDs I own. Next time, we explore "Muse: What Is the Big Deal?", as I review two albums by the band Muse, which brought the band in question significant scorn and acclaim in mixed baskets.

- Jacob Martin
AKA "Jake of All Trades"

1 comment:

JK said...

Dude, you're not old enough to use the phrase "of my youth" ! ;)

That said, excellent choices for the galvanizing music for several generations... I would rank the Clash above Sex Pistols, but either one will always be ranked as the #1 key to Cobain and others being able to do what they had to do...

Great blog!