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Let Me Explain Something to You...
11/03/09 at 06:09 PM by Chris Fallon
Do all bands, managers and publicists expect every album review to be full of praise and positive marks that label it the "best album of the year"? That's the feeling I get whenever I write a review for any album that's under 80% on the ol' scorecard.

Example: Raditude. The score is hardly a representation of my feelings for Weezer or the album itself. Do people even read anymore? Skimming is all fine and dandy, but don't just glance over it, be shocked by the numerical score and come up with your assessment of what I think.

Each reviewer here spends a lot of time writing these reviews, listening to both good & horrible albums, and hoping to get a fair word out on what their opinion/critique is.

There are certainly exceptions for when a low score matches my sentiment (Bowling for Soup, Plain White T's), but why give an album high marks that doesn't deserve to be called creative, long-lasting or worthy of any true distinguishing high grades? That doesn't necessarily make the album suck, it just isn't on the same plane as album's that spend more time on themselves over making party-rock.

In my eyes, Raditude will be an album I listen to on shuffle ... Thrice will be one I listen to as a whole. See the difference? Doesn't mean I hate the album, it's just not cohesive enough to sit with anyone. Subtle differences that people seem to always fail to recognize when I write. Just... read the damn thing and try to put your own personal bias on the shelf for a few short moments and see where I'm coming from.

I stand by the assertion that the score itself means far less than what I actually write. Hopefully you can think like that from now on, too.
Tags: raditude, weezer, reviews, investigation, proper reading
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I Like You and You Should Read This
11/03/09 at 06:18 AM by Chris Fallon
Finished my reviews for Weezer and This Time Next Year. Always hard for me to give Weezer a low score seeing how long I have adored their music, but Raditude is just a "filler" album: it's fun and pleasant but warrants no critical points for doing anything worthy of true merit. This Time Next Year just loses steam over time. I absolutely loved it back in August when I first received it, but as the months go by, there's just much better pop-punk being made. Still enjoy the album, just not as much as I initially did.

Expect reviews for the following this week (and weekend): Nothington (whoo!), The Larry Arms (yeah!), Strung Out (finally!), Dead To Me (meh!), Dashboard Confessional (not sure yet!), We Shot the Moon (not bad!) and Anchor Down (pretty good!) (plus two others from punk bands not many are familiar with outside of, say, Canada).

Excited to pick up the Foo Fighters' deluxe edition of their greatest hits comp. I really just want the DVD that comes with it since I already own all the albums. "Wheels" has become one of my favorite songs of the year. In terms of favorite singles... I think Weezer will win that. I'm still madly in love with "If You're Wondering if I Want You To (I Want You To)." It's fucking addicting as hell.

Gonna be working hard on getting my meathooks on Joey Cape's album here in the coming weeks. That's my goal for the month. Can I do it? Yes. Yes, I can. I am Chris Fallon damn it.

Oh, and in case you were curious... I cannot decide which album I am looking forward to most in 2010: Jimmy Eat World, Butch Walker or The Gaslight Anthem. How in the name of fuck can I choose between those three?! If 2010 is half as good as 2009, I'll be satisfied. My current top 10 for 2009 is almost narrowed down... give me another month. I can't figure out where to put a few selections. I just love some of these albums like they are my children.

Listen to Adam Carolla's podcast. I love that man and his rationale. I'd like to have a beer with him one day. Dan Patrick can come, too. As long as he brings Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison.

Here's to Philadelphia ousting the Yankees (probably won't happen) and to the Seahawks salvaging what's left of that sinking ship season they are struggling in. I miss the Sonics.

It is cold here. I think I should warm myself up with some Curb Your Enthusiasm and a blanket before sleep... or what little of it I get. Goodnight CFaithful.
Tags: random, reviews, update, weezer, this time next year, joey cape, 2010
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What to Look Forward To
10/22/09 at 03:21 AM by Chris Fallon
2009 has been a busy year for my ear canals. How in the blazes am I expected to choose a favorite?! IMPOSSIBLE! My top ten is going to switch hundreds of times before I settle. Lucero may be my top pick, but Thrice and Rx Bandits are hanging in there, too. Propagandhi is still a dark horse contender.

Now that the year is reaching its end, I don't have too many albums left to be excited for. Sure, the Lawrence Arms and NOFX are releasing nifty EPs, but as for full-lengths, there are only a couple more coming out I want to listen to.

Joey Cape (obviously!), Motion City Soundtrack, Dead to Me, Weezer (even though "I'm Your Daddy" is one of the worst songs I've heard from them) and even Dashboard Confessional. I'm not as excited for Say Anything as I would have been four years ago, but I'll admit "Hate Everyone" has grown on me with every listen. The "rapper in the Lexus" part always gets me.

I'll be reviewing Weezer and DC once I hear them. I'm one of the biggest Weezer nerds/defenders in the world, so you'll be getting a very honest opinion from a harsh critic. I think they might be the only band I have every recorded song of... at least I think I do.

Now all I have to do is sort my end-of-the-year list and see what to look forward to in 2010. I think Jimmy Eat World will be topping my "most anticipated" list. Seriously, could they ever do anything wrong?

Answer: never.
Tags: 2009, anticipation, weezer, year-end, jimmy eat world
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Recommendations: September 21, 2008
09/21/08 at 02:26 AM by Chris Fallon
I haven't done one of these in a while, so I'm going to keep it simple.

Music Recommendation
Weezer - Pinkerton

Let's face it: this album gets recommended a lot but for very good reason. I went through my Weezer catalog this week to refresh my mind on just exactly why I fell in love with this band so hard back in the day. While they remain in my top ten simply due to their infectious melodies and incredibly interesting and somewhat complex structures here, this album might be in my top five albums ever. Why? First off, the dark tone reels me in; one of my favorite things about pop music is the moodiness, the mystery, the dark undertones some bands bring to it. The topics Rivers covers here are also wildly unorthodox and, above all, confessional on a level not many pop bands bring. "Tired of Sex" and "Butterfly" begin and end the album in an entirely self-confessional way, still an album that stands on its own 12 years later. BUY IT!

Music Recommendation
Wheatus - Suck Fony

This is a bit of an obscire release to many, and while I'm sure "Teenage Dirtbag" is the only Wheatus song you even know, this re-release of their poorly promoted 2003 album, Hand Over Your Loved Ones (with an all-too-obvious jab at their former label in the new title), it has some exceptionally wicked pop gems here. "Lemonade" is a nice reflective break-up track, "American in Amsterdam" is simply a blast and "The Song That I Wrote When You Dissed Me" is infectious and smarmy. They even do a great job covering Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" - Brenden Brown's unique vocals really emphasize the melodies here. You might be surprised how good at writing great pop hooks Wheatus is (yep, they are still making music) ... but this album is a great example of underappreciated stuff that should have and could have been big. BUY IT!

I also highly suggest watching some professional football tomorrow. Two games that are sure to be fun early-season matches go on tomorrow: Pittsburgh at Philadelphia (I'm a McNabb supporter) and Dallas at Green Bay (lifelong Packers fan here) in the evening. Being a Seahawks fan, they are playing the Rams at home and - weather permitting - should be an easy one, despite all the injuries we have been plagued with.

Keep an eye on the stands for my girlfriend ... I should be going to that game. Stupid job...
Tags: recommendations, weezer, wheatus, sunday, football
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