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Josh Hurst

Wolf Parade-- Apologies to the Queen Mary

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For the third time in as many months, Sufjan Stevens' Illinois has losts its title of Best Reviewed Album of 2005... at least temporarily. Earlier this year, Soof was dethroned by both the New Pornographers and Kanye West, but regained his crown in just a matter of days. Now, it appears that Wolf Parade's new disc, Apologies to the Queen Mary, has taken the throne. No telling how long it'll last, but dang-- this thing is getting some tremendous reviews.

Guess that means I should hear it... can anyone here vouch for its quality?

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They opened for Arcade Fire here in Seattle, and I thought they were fantastic. I can't wait to hear the album. Furiously energetic, creative, all over the map, like a collision of Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, and Franz Ferdinand.

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Kyle   

I was waiting for a thread to pop up on this album. I have to admit I was sucked in by the GLOWING reviews and I actually bought the album without hearing a single note. I also have to admit I bought into the hype: Isaac Brock produces, part of the whole Montreal "scene", connections to Arcade Fire.

I'm not sure if it's as good as the hype but it's pretty good. On my first listen I was a bit disappointed. I just didn't think it lived up to the hype. However, it has gotten better with every listen and it sounds great shuffled into my ipod. They stand out in that format. It bears similarities to Talking Heads and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah as well as Modest Mouse. There were no lyrics in the liner notes so I can't speak to the quality of the lyrics. Did I mention they have two singers who alternate songs. It makes for an interesting dynamic. Their voices are distinct enough to stand apart but are close enough to make the songs sound cohesive.

I recommend listening to it first if at all possible, maybe a couple of times through if that is possible.

Edited by Kyle

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opus   

A couple of MP3s can be downloaded here. Right now, I think I'm of the same mind as Anders. It's decent enough stuff, but I'm not seeing any reason for the hype.

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They opened for Arcade Fire last night here. I didn't really catch the wave, if there was one. It got close to interesting a couple of times, but it was just okay for me.

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Guest thom_jurek   
Guest thom_jurek

Live they were good. The record is like..."where's the beef?" If this is the best record of the yar it was a bad year and I don't think it was a bad year at ALL.

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Anders   

When I saw them open for The Arcade Fire, they didn't really do anything for me. They were fine, but I wasn't particularly impressed. I find it hard to believe that this is the best reviewed album of the year, but I know one of my friends absolutely loves them.

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Kyle   

After about three weeks with the album it is most assuredly not the best album of the year. However, it is good. When I purchased it I was expected to be floored like I was after the hype machine told me to buy Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights and Funeral by arts and faith darlings the Arcade Fire. Since the Wolf Parade did not instantly floor me, I was disappointed. After giving it some time, I'm enjoying the album much more. It is a very, very solid rock album. It stands apart from traditional rock ventures. There is a sense of adventure to the album that I enjoy. Shuffled into my playlists, it sounds even better. If I could do it all over again I would still buy the album. For me it's the opposite of the new Sigur Ros (in more ways than one, thats for sure): progressive enjoyment as opposed to a progressive feeling of "I'll listen to it every other month".

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Kyle   

This album keeps getting better and better. It's not like it's the best album of 2005 or anything, but I have a strong feeling that I'll be listening to it regularly five years down the road. It is angular, creative, and aggressive rock. Compared to those Artic Monkey's I keep hearing so much about, this is the greatest thing ever.

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Greg P   
Compared to those Artic Monkey's I keep hearing so much about, ....

The most overrated album in recent memory, IMO. (NME called it one of the five best brit rock albums ever! :blink: ) I'm totally not getting it.

I heard a couple songs prior the U.S. release and then listened to the album straight thru about a half dozen times on the AOL listening channel a while back. Very unspectacular. There have been numerous comparisons to the Strokes' debut, which I happen to think is far more memorable than "Whatever People Say..."

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Anders   
Compared to those Artic Monkey's I keep hearing so much about, ....

The most overrated album in recent memory, IMO. (NME called it one of the five best brit rock albums ever! :blink: ) I'm totally not getting it.

I heard a couple songs prior the U.S. release and then listened to the album straight thru about a half dozen times on the AOL listening channel a while back. Very unspectacular. There have been numerous comparisons to the Strokes' debut, which I happen to think is far more memorable than "Whatever People Say..."

Ok, I firstly want to go on the record of saying that I got Wolf Parade's album at Christmas time and now think it's fantastic, despite my initial reaction to their live performance (I guess they were just overshadowed by The Arcade Fire). It's definitely one of my top 10 albums of 2005.

Secondly, while I wouldn't go so far as to say it's better than Is This It?, I've been LOVING The Artic Monkeys album; thus far it's my favourite album of 2006. But then again, I love drunken lad music. The Monkeys' debut has some of the best (if not particularly profound) lyrics I've heard in ages...but perhaps this is a discussion for a different thread.

Edited by Anders

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Kyle   

My bad. I only mentioned the Arctic Monkey's to bring out the effect of hype on music. Honestly, I haven't heard enough of the Arctic Monkey's to make a legitimate evaluation of their music. But if you listened to the British music press as gospel truth you would think Arctic Monkey was the return of Jesus Christ. No album can be as good as their making it sound.

It's just that hype is such a fickle friend. I bought Wolf Parade off the hype. Because of the hype I had it pegged as one of the greatest albums later. I imagined it ascending to heights that it couldn't possibly reach. When it didn't reach those heights, I felt disappointed and I was more negative towards the album than I would have - all because of the hype. Now that the hype has died and I've given the album room to breath and speak for itself, it has become something special. Yet, to complete the circle, I never would have listened to it in the first place

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Anders   

I there's a lesson in here somewhere. Let us all take everything the British music media (and NME in particular) says with about 10 pounds of salt. ;)

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Greg P   
I imagined it ascending to heights that it couldn't possibly reach. When it didn't reach those heights, I felt disappointed and I was more negative towards the album than I would have - all because of the hype.
After hearing all the hype, i finally read the age of the guys in the band and knew right away it wasn't actually gonna be as "brilliant" as they claimed. Of course it isn't brillaint. But the real letdown for me is the want of a fresh musical idea or compelling melody, anywhere. I like the stream of consciousness vocal delivery and the general punk-ass attitude, but what else is there?

The Strokes', "Is This It", is an album that i approached in a similar manner. Read the hype, took the age of the band into account and gave it a courtesy spin. While i found no revelations, the album was jam-packed with memorable tunes, very cool riffs and some unexpected melodic turns... AND i still listen to the danged thing five years after the fact!

Sorry for the diversion

Edited by coltrane

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Persona   

Just listened to this straight through for the first time and am floored. It is a rip-it-to-shreads, raw rock album. I've not heard of the band before this week (sorry I somehow missed this thread). A friend made me a copy of the disc and I threw it into my iPod. Well, dang. I'm going to go buy it now. It sure is one strange and furious CD. It's kind of like a David Byrne 2.0 or something; it's a wonderful update on a very old idea.

If you listen really closely in "Modern World" you can hear some very cool string plucks, and a grand piano underneath. I love the layered sound on that track. I also love the heavy old analogue keyboard sound that's all over the different tracks.

Cool stuff. I don't buy as much music as everyone else here so I don't have a Top 10 list for last year or anything. In my opinion it wouldn't beat out Funeral, and for that matter it wouldn't beat out Plans, but I think it could easily sit just behind them on a shelf somewhere.

-s.

PS Note to Peter: You are a Talking Heads fan even if you don't know it. Being such a huge DA fan, and from the era we both love most (Alarma), it automatically makes you a Talking Heads fan. Anyway, if you get a chance check this recording out sometime.

Edited by stef

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I'm definitely with Kyle on this; I got it based on hype, thought it was okay at first listen (though nothing super), and my appreciation has grown tremendously since. It's still not my favorite album of 2005 or anything, but it's a winner that'll keep me coming back for more.

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stef wrote:

: PS Note to Peter: You are a Talking Heads fan even if you don't know it. Being such a huge DA fan, and from

: the era we both love most (Alarma), it automatically makes you a Talking Heads fan.

Heh. When Stop Making Sense was re-issued for its 15th anniversary, I sat there in the theatre thinking, "Wow, NOW I understand Daniel Amos a WHOLE lot better!" :) I have never acquired any other Talking Heads albums, but I do have the SMS soundtrack. (I also have that album The Heads put out, No Talking Just Head or whatever it was called.)

: Anyway, if you get a chance check this recording out sometime.

If it comes to my library, definitely!

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Kyle   

For those intersted Wolf Parade side project Sunset Rubdown is getting rave reviews. I listened to samples from it and it sounds good. I'll probably download it sometime next week.

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