Round 2 – Group 12
Pidgeon-holed into some poppy rotation
Covering Slim’s breakthrough albums, 2005’s Curtain Call is the rapper’s first compilation album. Ha, the irony of mocking pop acts whilst becoming one himself. Sure, some of these tracks pushed pop into a new edgy direction but remain pop nonetheless. There are some big hitters here, Stan, Cleaning Out My Closet, Real Slim Shady plus some of his chart collaborations like Guilty Conscience (with Dr. Dre) and the club beat rap of Shake That with Nate Dogg (don’t forget the ‘double g’).
On the whole I find his studio albums much more captivating than this compilation but there’s still enough quality here to just about see off Goldfinger and secure second place in this group.
Amused To Death has those dark passages similar to The Wall but doesn’t use them anywhere near as effectively as that Floyd classic. This album is too busy, too sample-heavy which slows down the action much too frequently.
Is it fair to call this album a poorer rehash of The Wall?
In places the album does get pretty good, especially the tracks with soaring guitar solos like What God Whats Part 3 but despite its powerful (albeit, slightly confusing) messages, it doesn’t retain the same level of engagement throughout that The Wall seems to somehow command.
Anti-establishment. Anti-war. Anti-Religion(?) Anti-capitalism(?) What’s with all the monkey noises? Amused To Death remains a brave prog-rock melting pot of angst, depicting Roger’s far reaching opinions on the above themes. An album that you can occasionally listen to and enjoy but nowhere near a classic and easily bettered by the other three albums here.
These are the words of Captain Blunt
Blunt went slightly more upbeat with his 3rd album Some Kind Of Trouble. Blunt summised that the best way to follow those first two superb albums (Back To Bedlam & All The Lost Souls) is to take a slightly different approach and that pays off hansomly here.
The record sounds gorgeous instrumentally and features some clinically good stuff such as Heart Of Gold, These Are The Words and the superb Best Laid Plans.
Elsewhere tracks like So Far Gone, I’ll Be Your Man and Stay The Night dramatically lower the intensity compared against anything on those first two albums. This is way more cheery. A cracking little album, easily taking top spot in this group.
Ska’d for life
Goldfinger’s time in the sun during that American Pie era comedy was well deserved on the evidence of second studio album Hang-Ups (which remains the only Goldfinger album I’ve actually ever listened to).
It’s a bit of a spunky little album with plenty of punk angst and a couple of ‘fuck-you!’s. But also crucially, it contains some well delivered rock songs and memorable highlights like 20c Goodbye and Carlita. Including plenty of brass segments, layered throughout and between the guitar rock, makes this possibly my most favourite Ska punk album (although that’s not much praise, as I usually find Ska punk to be pathetically devoid of any genuine musicality). This though, is a good little album which was only just bettered by Slim’s big hitting greatest hits compilation.