Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 26

Lots of "Bl-" albums!

Black Sabbath - Vol. 4
XTC - Black Sea
Bob Mould - Black Sheets of Rain
Caravan - Blind Dog at St. Dunstan's
Blind Faith - Blind Faith
Eels - Blinking Lights and Other Revelations

Sabbath's 4th album has the misfortune of having one of the worst album covers of all time, as well as two horrid songs (Changes and FX, which isn't even a song, it's just noise effects...get it?) but the rest of the record is Sabbath's typically bludgeoning and brilliant blend of metal (how's that for alliteration?). XTC's album may just be my favorite record they ever made, even more than Skylarking. Of particular note are two of the most brilliant tracks that were buried as album tracks, no less, "Towers of London" and "No Language In Our Lungs." Bob Mould's debut album is also my favorite of his, although the length of the songs (they all clock in at 4 to 7 minutes) grates after a while. Caravan's album is past their early-1970s peak, but is still enjoyable and a perfect example of their quirky take on prog rock in an album-long suite. Blind Faith's one and only album is still a supergroup masterpiece and it's very wistful to think what direction Clapton and Winwood could've gone in had the band not split up due to outside pressures after only one record. Finally, Eels' double-album masterpiece runs the gamut of every style Mark Everett ever tried his hand at, and is equally uplifting, depressing, joyous, mournful, and everything in between. Incredibly emotionally evocative and a towering achievement.

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