Monthly Archives: June 2011

Worst Albums Of All Time: MGMT – ‘Congratulations’

The thing with difficult follow ups is that you can’t want them to be difficult. Elliott Smith didn’t create a persona for himself as a troubled artist, he really was one – as he so aptly demonstrated with the aid of a butcher’s knife in late 2003. You can’t want to be depressingly artistic and troubled: it just has to happen. And that’s how MGMT’s second album feels to me: a concentrated effort to release a difficult yet artistically rewarding second album. One that may not be appreciated in its own time, but will become a cult classic somewhere down the line. Yet by consciously striving for something that can only be achieved accidentally, they have created a mess that fails from both a creative and a populist point of view. So let’s start with their first album (putting aside the album of demos they released as “The Management” in … Read more

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5 Lead Guitarists That Don’t Suck

Musical showmanship is often the antithesis of good music. More often than not, guitar wankery sounds absolutely horrible and is used to cover up sub standard songwriting. I’m talking about people like Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan, even people like Eric Clapton. That stuff is the worst. It’s like a shit pie: you can dress it up to look appealing on the outside, but a quick bite and you’ll find a solid core of excrement. To paraphrase the movie The Commitments: there’s nothing worse than listening to a band where the musicians are enjoying themselves more than the audience. Every now and then though, I find myself rather enjoying the odd bit of guitar noodling. Often it’s when it’s used to compliment the songwriting: it adds to the overall picture rather than obscuring it with audio fireworks. The type of lead guitarists whose riffs are interesting: they are as well … Read more

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