Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Words Gone Wild

If you're here for Forgery News, you have to realize: "Ralph" is about more than forging antiquities (although, these days, not much more). I promise there will be more about the forging scandal as it develops. Meanwhile...

I enjoy reading Uncut, the British music magazine. I get all a lot of information about new music from them, because for some reason the Brits have way better taste than we do in music. Plus, it comes with a CD glued to the cover that always contains some usually at least decent and occasionally mind-boggling music.

Nevertheless, their recent issue with the listing of 2004's top 60 albums contained some prose that I could only describe as, uh, overripe. Check out some of these phrases and tell me what you think.

HARD TO IMAGINE: "bleakly corrosive yet strangely uplifting" (#6, Mark Lanegan Band)

??? AWARD (winner): "sad but livid perfection" (#9, American Music Club)

ADJECTIVE OVERLOAD: "sharp-dressed quartet's precise guitars and jagged rhythmic angles, flushed with arthouse swagger" (#10, Franz Ferdinand)

OVERDOING IT: "songs possessed of a terrible, haunted beauty that made him sound like a prophet whose long unheeded warnings of doom had now come all too horribly true" (#11, Tom Waits)

OVER MY HEAD: "UK 2-step, glitch-house and the hypersyncopation of Nu R&B" (#15, Junior Boys)

HARD TO IMAGINE II: "woozy netherworld" (#16, REM)

ADJECTIVE OVERLOAD: "goosebump-inducing quasi-religious fire of strings, choir, and hillbilly banjo" (#24, Sufjan Stevens)

??? AWARD (honorable mention): "arresting style of mutant grime-pop" (#25, Dizzee Rascal)

HARD TO IMAGINE III: "mystical trip into an eerie neverland of joyful bohemian blues" (#26, Devendra Banhart)

PSEUDO-CRITICAL JARGON ALERT: "his vocals are clearly indebted to early Bolan" (#26, Devendra Banhart)

ADJECTIVE OVERLOAD: "defiant agit-rock blitz of angry, clattering riffs" (#29, Steve Earle)

BEST LINE: "Bono doesn't do intimate, so even a song about his dying father sounds like it's being broadcast through a megaphone" (#35, U2)

HARD TO IMAGINE IV: "sumptuous soundtrack to self-loathing" (#38, The Czars)

??? AWARD (runner up): "thrillingly morbid" (#40, Interpol)

NOT MANY OF THOSE (winner): "pop's most famous Icelander" (#41, Bjork)

ADJECTIVE OVERLOAD: "stirring set of scuffed Latino rhythms, high-noon hymns and creepy piano interludes" (#42, Giant Sand)

??? AWARD (honorable mention): "a thrilling, compulsive niche" (#46, Secret Machines)

ADJECTIVE OVERLOAD: "ragged-but-jangling guitars and scuffed-up vocals of this delightfully scruffy, home-made, semi-acoustic affair" (#53, Paul Westerberg)

NOT MANY OF THOSE (runner-up): "the finest young British female singer-songwriter to emerge over the last 12 months" (#60 Polly Paulusma)

In case you were wondering, their Album of the Year was Brian Wilson, "Smile." My son agrees. I don't.

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