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Old 31-01-2005, 15:48   #1
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Most vitriolic music critic in the UK?....

Andy Gill of The Independent gets my vote. Here's 2 from last week.

Album: Athlete
Tourist, PARLOPHONE
By Andy Gill
Published : 28 January 2005


My, but this is rubbish. The kind of rubbish a record company might put their weight behind if they were trying to emulate the success of their most profitable contemporary acts (Coldhead and Radioplay), without risking the possibility of difficult, potentially uncommercial "new directions" a few albums down the line. No chance of that with the dullard Athlete, a combo apparently bereft of either original ideas or, by the sound of it, record collections that extend beyond the standard Keaneplay template. There seem to be no musical ambitions whatsoever in evidence on Tourist, whose glum piano ballads could have been plotted according to some evil business plan every bit as damaging to pop culture as anything Simon Cowell has cooked up. It's the kind of music the CIA might use to break the will of Latin American druglords, full of the bogus emotional lip-service that characterises so much of today's self-pitying sixth-form "serious" rock music. Never are Athlete's protestations of desire and heartbreak desire remotely convincing; they sound like the rote bleatings of someone who'd quite like to be considered deep and sensitive - full of self-infatuated first-person-singulars mooning over thinly sketched objects of desire who exist only to mirror the songwriter's one true love (himself). Please make it stop, someone.

1 star out of 5

Album: Feeder
Pushing the Senses, ECHO
By Andy Gill
Published : 28 January 2005


Feeder's fifth album opens with the great guitar and vocal fanfare of "Feeling a Moment", resembling the Mancunian festival stalwarts James at their most anthemic. The songwriter/front man Grant Nicholas might even be addressing a festival crowd when he sings, "How do you feel when there's no sun? And how will you be when rain clouds come?" - but no, it's just another exercise in the kind of exaggerated melancholy in which Athlete traffic, another bout of gloom and insipid uplift for the self-pity generation. This is confirmed several times in tracks such as "Bitter Glass" ("So what are you saying/ You've got nothing to live for") and "Tumble and Fall" ("We tumble and fall/ Together we crawl"), the latter aptly featuring backing vocals from Travis on a song using rainfall as a metaphor for misery. Feeder's former drummer Jon Lee did actually commit suicide, so they have more justification than most to indulge their melancholy. Several tracks could be commentaries on the grieving process, healing songs, most notably "Frequency", whose subject is "lying awake on top of silver clouds, sending love back down". But even allowing for the couple of songs ("Pilgrim Soul" and the title track) that seek to "fight the undertow" of dark, suicidal emotions through a more spirited, energetic sound, Pushing the Senses is essentially another meditation on misery.

2 stars out of 5

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You'd have to be pretty unhappy reading those if you'd put a lot of effort into your music. From what I've read of these 2 bands, whilst not claiming to be cutting edge or innovative, they seem decent enough people and I'm not sure they deserve this sort of venal outpouring.

Without it turning into a band-bashing thread - do critics sometimes forget that they're writing about people, or am I going soft in my dotage?
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Old 31-01-2005, 15:51   #2
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Wasn't it Andy Gill who was spot-on about The Libertines' album a while back (said summat like crap shambling skiffle)?
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Old 31-01-2005, 16:02   #3
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You must be getting old

He can go over the top but I don;t think he actually slags the people themselves off more the music the are making and the reasons for them doing so. Anyway he can gwrite postive reviews as his 5 star review of the new Low album proves http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/m...p?story=602891
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Old 31-01-2005, 16:05   #4
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I thought the new Low album was pretty average, but I've not yet managed to get through any entire Feeder LP without switching off, and the Athlete single makes me want to vomit, so maybe he has a point?
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Old 31-01-2005, 16:07   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
I thought the new Low album was pretty average, but I've not yet managed to get through any entire Feeder LP without switching off, and the Athlete single makes me want to vomit, so maybe he has a point?
I can't comment on the Low album as i'm waiting for it to arrive from Amazon but personal taste aside I don't have a problem with Gill's reviews. I'd rather have someone who vents his spleen like he does than read the nonsene NME spouts out.
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Old 31-01-2005, 16:09   #6
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No doubt he does rate some stuff (and gives the excellent new Rilo Kiley album 5 out of 5), but he seems to direct more personal vitriol at what he sees as "poor" albums. What does concern me is that much of what he berates acts like Athlete and Feeder for are based on assumptions (lines like "There seem to be no musical ambitions whatsoever in evidence on Tourist, whose glum piano ballads could have been plotted according to some evil business plan every bit as damaging to pop culture as anything Simon Cowell has cooked up") without any evidence of actually having asked the bands themselves and, as such, comes across as a bit too clever-clever.

As the saying goes: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't do either, criticise".

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Old 31-01-2005, 16:12   #7
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That sails dangerously close to saying 'if you're not a musician yourself, you can't have an opinion on music' though, doesn't it?
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Old 31-01-2005, 16:12   #8
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Who wrote the Kid A review for Melody Maker? That was a fine piece of vitriol...
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Old 31-01-2005, 16:45   #9
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Having heard the feeder and Athlete albums i'm behind him 100%.

Has he reviewed any Keane?

Last edited by Mr Majestik; 31-01-2005 at 16:46.
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Old 31-01-2005, 16:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Majestik
Having heard the feeder and Athlete albums i'm behind him 100%.

Has he reviewed any Keane?
Yep he gave the album 2 out of 5

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/m...p?story=518815

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Keane began as a quartet but have shrunk to a trio of piano, voice and drums. The lack of any breadth of instrumental colour ultimately damages their chances of living up to the hype that's been building around the band. Hopes and Fears suggests that Keane are aiming for the same maudlin audience as Travis and Coldplay; song after song focuses on separation, the drifting apart of relationships, adolescent alienation and other pop staples. On a few tracks like "Sunshine" there's a Brian Wilson- like edge to Tom Chaplin's tenor, which otherwise recalls pomp-rockers from Freddie Mercury to Starsailor's James Walsh. More often, the clarity of Chaplin's high register brings to mind A-ha's Morten Harket - except that Keane would kill for such memorable melodies. It doesn't help that the two best tunes, "Everybody's Changing" and "This is the Last Time", leave the rest of album sounding decidedly flat. This matters: as Coldplay and Radiohead have shown, there are vast audiences for this sort of melancholy self-absorption, just waiting to be snagged by a heartbreaking melody or a gut-wrenching hook - the very elements in short supply here. Musically it's all neatly crafted, if rather drab; but there's something stifling about the album. There's no joy, no anger, no elation - and even the despair seems affected.
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Old 31-01-2005, 17:44   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
That sails dangerously close to saying 'if you're not a musician yourself, you can't have an opinion on music' though, doesn't it?
Yep that is the crappest rebuttal to criticism you can pull out and I'm surprised that Radiohead would even use it.
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Old 31-01-2005, 17:49   #12
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I normally wouldn't, but Gill seems on a personal mission to berate anyone overly harshly for not meeting his exacting standards.
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Old 31-01-2005, 17:51   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiohead
...do critics sometimes forget that they're writing about people, or am I going soft in my dotage?
I feel the same with any kind of review. Mostly, critics are trying to get a laugh by being cruel and have no concern for the feelings of the people who work hard at this stuff. It's also true of a lot of people on this forum who say things like "I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than watch that rubbish".
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Old 31-01-2005, 17:52   #14
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Never really rated Feeder or Athlete either.

The Others debut album is good though and I didn't expect to like that one.

Last edited by jmdomain; 31-01-2005 at 17:56.
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Old 31-01-2005, 17:55   #15
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His Keane review pretty much sums up what I think of them.
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Old 31-01-2005, 18:01   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmdomain

The Others debut album is good though and I didn't expect to like that one.
See, I think that's awful!
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Old 31-01-2005, 18:04   #17
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I guess you have to be a young urchin to appreciate it.

There's elements of The Clash, Squeeze, New Order and Jesus and Mary Chain in their prime on the album.

'Lackey' and 'Stan Bowles' are terrific songs. Better than The Ordinary Boys but that doesn't take much doing.

Urchin rock, rocks, but not Razorlight. They're gash.

Last edited by jmdomain; 31-01-2005 at 18:12.
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Old 31-01-2005, 18:07   #18
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Lou's tip of the day - never name yourself after a film starring Nicole Kidman - see the failure of 'Days of Thunder' for further proof.
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Old 31-01-2005, 19:11   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
Lou's tip of the day - never name yourself after a film starring Nicole Kidman - see the failure of 'Days of Thunder' for further proof.
You mean like this ?

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Old 31-01-2005, 19:19   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmdomain
I guess you have to be a young urchin to appreciate it.
I'm turning into my dad.










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