MOVIE REVIEW: Pink Floyd – Live At Pompeii (1972)

“Cloudless every day you fall upon my waking eyes, inciting and inviting me to rise…”
~  Pink Floyd, Echoes (1971)

On March 7th, I will be unveiling the March review block. This review block will be 5 reviews (2 in the first week, one every following week) and will contain some of the worst kids films I’ve seen. I figured that before I dove into the cesspool I’d take a nice relaxing swim in the pond of masterpieces (see what I did there?).

In 1971, Pink Floyd released their 6th studio album, “Meddle”. That album brought classics like “One Of These Days” and the 23-minute-long epic “Echoes” to the world, and began Pink Floyd’s ascension into one of the greatest bands of all time. Although the album received poor commercial success in America, the album is now of Pink Floyd’s most famous, well-known, and highly regarded.

That very same year, on October 4th, Pink Floyd and director Adrian Maben began to shoot a film that would capture the raw essence and power that Pink Floyd conveyed, in their musicianship and music alike. That film would be released as “Pink Floyd – Live At Pompeii” in 1972.

Filmed across a span of 3 days in October 1971, with additional footage being shot 14 months later at a TV studio in Paris, “Live At Pompeii” contains some of Pink Floyd’s live staples from the time period, like “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” and “Echoes”. However, there is no audience at the amphitheater where Floyd is playing; only the camera crew, and the film’s audience.

In 1974, the film was reissued with additional footage shot during the recording of “The Dark Side Of The Moon”, to lukewarm reception. The film received minor release and recognition after that, until 2003, when “Live At Pompeii – The Director’s Cut” was released. Now, I haven’t seen this cut; however, I’ve heard that the film was ruined due to crappy CGI and the addition of unnecessary footage. (Once I have bought the film itself, I will review the director’s cut of the film.)

I heard the album for “Live At Pompeii” a few days ago, and loved it. I found the film online (thank you, r/pinkfloyd), sat down, watched it, and, well…it’s all below in the review.

***REVIEW STARTS HERE***

Firstly, I want to mention that this film’s 45th anniversary will be in September. Kind of hard to believe that the film is that old, but it manages to bring the use of bluescreen into the mix surprisingly well. For 1972, the “effects” in the film (fire cutting to a scene from Roger Waters, or Roger and David overlaid onto clips during Echoes Part I) hold up really, really well.

The film opens with a few panoramic shots of Pompeii and the amphitheater itself, set to a strange piece of audio, then cutting to a far-away shot of Floyd and the crew setting up the instruments and equipment. 4 minutes later, the film officially begins, with “Echoes Part I”. This performance of the first 11 minutes of “Echoes” is easily one of the highlights in the entire discography of Pink Floyd. Rarely when a band performs live, do they encapsulate the feeling and intense beauty of the original studo recording of said song. This is an example of when they do. Maben’s 360 degree shots of the band and their equipment, interlaced with clips of statues in Pompeii, compliments the intense nature of the song itself. This was the only segment I’d seen of the film prior to the removal of any trace of the film on YouTube last year after the release of The Early Years boxset.

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The band plays Echoes Part I. David Gilmour is on guitar, Nick Mason on drums, Roger Waters on bass, and Rick Wright on organ.

Up next is “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”, an experimental track from 1969’s “Ummagumma” . Roger Waters is the main man on this masterpiece, performing the eerie vocals. Combined with shots of mosaics and volcanoes erupting, Roger whispers and screams his way through the 5-minute piece. One of my favorite parts of the film, having been my first time hearing the song, although I was aware of it prior to viewing the film.

pompeii2.PNGRoger screaming into the mic during “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”. The scene flashes by with shots of erupting volcanoes and disturbing mosaics. David Gilmour also provides instrumental vocals during this scene.

The third segment of the film, “A Saucerful Of Secrets”, is a full group effort, performing the title track to the 1968 album of the same name. Roger beats on large drums (not bongos), and later a gong, David plays slide guitar, Nick plays a hypnotizing mantra on drums, and Rick plays a very nice organ piece near the end. All of these piece combined make a loud, rambunctious, and hypnotizing track. David closes out the song with the piece “Celestial Voices”, an instrumental vocal section. “A Saucerful Of Secrets” is my favorite segment in the film, and is easily one of the best live tracks of all time in my book.

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The iconic shot of Roger, just after hitting the gong, during “A Saucerful Of Secrets”.

pompeii4.PNGDavid singing “Celestial Voices” during “A Saucerful Of Secrets”. The original album track features a chorus; the band improvised and had David provide vocals instead. My preference is of David’s vocals, honestly.

After that, we cut to “One Of These Days”, the creepy instrumental from “Meddle”. This segment focuses on Nick Mason, the drummer, for a few reasons. The first reason being that the piece is primarily his piece, but also due to the fact that all of the remaining footage of the band was lost. This is unfortunate, but Maben is able to work around this by incorporating footage filmed in the Paris studio as well as editing the Mason footage to make it stand out from the repetition of the other clips in the segment. “One Of These Days” is one of my favorite all-time Pink Floyd songs, and I feel that it is represented…well, not poorly, but definitely lackluster. Unlike the “Meddle” version of this track, the song sounds very jammed together and uncoordinated. Maybe that’s just the non-remastered audio showing its age. This isn’t to say it’s not a bad performance, it certainly isn’t. However, I feel like it could’ve been executed better.

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Nick Mason playing drums during “One Of These Days”. His section of the footage is the only intact portion of the segment, although David can be seen to the left when Maben films from the side of Mason. He also loses a drumstick near the end of the song and retrieves another without missing a beat.

Up next we have “Set The Controls For The Heart Of Sun”, from “A Saucerful Of Secrets”. Another Roger Waters-centric piece, instead of being filmed in Pompeii, this track was filmed during the Paris trip in 1972. A psychedelic venture, this song has been extended for the film, by an additional 4 minutes. This was my first time hearing “Set The Controls”, so it was definitely a great experience, especially since I’m a huge Waters fan.

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Roger singing “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”. Instead of being performed at Pompeii, this was the first performance to be recorded in Paris.

As our second-to-last song, we have “Mademoiselle Nobs”, the only live performance of Meddle’s “Seamus”, a song where David Gilmour performs alongside a dog. This track is named as such due to the person at the Paris studio, Madona Bouglione,  who provided her dog, aptly named “Nobs” to perform “vocals” on this track. Instead of David actually singing for this track, he instead plays harmonica. I don’t really know what to say about this one, to be honest. It’s a dog howling into a mic while the band performs.

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Rick Wright holds the mic up to Nobs as the song finishes. Roger can be seen on bass, and David is obscured by Nobs, although he is playing on harmonica.

Lastly, we have “Echoes Part II”, the conclusion to “Echoes” and the film. Covering the last 13 minutes of the song and film, the footage is spliced between the group in their standard formation at the amphitheater, the Paris studio footage, and the group walking around Boscoreale, with shots of volcanic mud thrown into the mix as well. I will admit this about the track; it is definitely lesser than “Part I”, I’ll just say that. Once again, not saying it sucks, but compared to the epic that “Part I” was, the quality isn’t as high-brow. Nevertheless, the track is still amazing, showcasing the band in a group effort yet again, with David and Rick’s vocals closing out the track and the film itself.

pompeii8.PNGYet another iconic shot from the film, the entire band poses near Boscoreale, Italy, next to volcanic mud pits, which are producing the smoke seen obscuring Roger at the bottom.

***REVIEW STOPS HERE***

So, all together, how did I like the film? Well, to put it bluntly; it changed my freaking life. This film kept a smile of awe and joy on my face the entire way through, giving me excitement and invigoration, seeing my favorite band performing some of their greatest songs, all together in a perfect blend of fate and majesty. This film can be looked at as no less than a work of art and piece of film and music history. This was groundbreaking.

There has been no concert film like it since. There never will be a concert film like it ever again. It’s as simple as that.

If you wish to view the film, I cannot provide any direct links online; however, the film is available on video streaming sites such as Vimeo, as any trace of the film was removed from YouTube after the Pink Floyd estate issued the film in surround sound with The Early Years boxset.

I highly recommend that if you are a fan of Pink Floyd, especially their “pre-Dark Side” material, that you check this film out. It is a key part of Pink Floyd’s history.

I give “Pink Floyd – Live At Pompeii” a 10/10, for being one of the most artistic, beautiful, and intricate films I’ve seen to date, and for being such a masterful representation of Pink Floyd in their early days.

THE 2017 SPECIAL REVIEW: Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side Of The Moon” (1973)

Introduction.
————————————————————————–
50 years ago, in 1967, Pink Floyd released their debut album, “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”. The album became popular amongst college stoners, but it didn’t amount to anything until later (Rolling Stone placed the album on their Top 500 Albums Of All Time list in 2003). 1968 brought “A Saucerful Of Secrets”, producing the hit song “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”. 1969’s “Ummagumma” was a half-studio, half-live album, and was very overlooked, same with “More”, the soundtrack to the film of the same name.

1970 was the year where Pink Floyd managed to make the scene after nearly 4 years. On February 2nd, 1970, Pink Floyd released “Atom Heart Mother”, with its 23-minute-long opening track. The album managed to get some recognition, and is now one of Pink Floyd’s most beloved albums among hardcore fans, like myself. 1971 further grew their reputation with Meddle, which brought “One Of These Days” and “Echoes”, two VERY amazing songs. 1972 brought the underwhelming “Obscured By Clouds”, but then, as well all know, 1973…
————————————————————————–
“I’ve been mad for ****ing years, absolutely years.”

I’m sure I’m not singular when I say Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side Of The Moon” is one of the greatest, if not THE GREATEST, album(s) of all time. The album broke and created chart records (15 consecutive years on the Billboard charts, from 1973 to 1988). It revolutionized progressive rock and music altogether. It put Pink Floyd into the mainstream, making them one of the most famous and beloved groups of all time.

Although the record only lasts 42 minutes, all 9 of its musical tracks (subtracting the quiet, spoken-word introduction) manage to segue together, and fall into place perfectly, thanks to engineer Alan Parsons, who would later go on to form The Alan Parsons Project.

So, I’m not going to stall any longer, let us commence into the track-by-track review of “The Dark Side Of The Moon”.

———-REVIEW STARTS HERE———————————————
(I’ll be returning to my classic track-by-track format for this review to provide more insight. I feel it’s only fitting for one of my favorites.)

#1 – Speak To Me
“I’ve been mad for ****ing years, absolutely years.”

This track isn’t actually really a song; it’s more of an album opener that manages to tease some of the album in the process. No score given because, well, it’s not truly a song.

#2 – Breathe
“Run, rabbit, run, dig that hole, forget the sun. When at last the work is done, don’t sit down, it’s time to dig another one.”

Oh my God, right off the BAT, BABY! RIGHT OFF THE BAT, we get thrown into one of the best songs on the album and of all time. Yet another example of Pink Floyd’s ability to create beautifully dark songs, “Breathe” is one of the few songs that can actually provoke tears from me. Honestly. A freakin’ metal head who loves Slayer and Pantera can actually be moved with a 2-minute song. But, hey, with lyrics like “All you live, and all you fly, but only if you ride the tide”, you can’t admit that this song about life and death isn’t dementedly beautiful.

#3 – On The Run
(Instrumental)

Hmm, time for an underrated gem. “On The Run” is what I imagine driving through Hell must sound like. Devious laughs, multiple unrecognizable noises, and sounds of footsteps running and breathing. Pretty eerie and creepy, and is also probably one of Pink Floyd’s best instrumentals. There’s not really much else to say about it.

#4 – Time
“Ticking away, the moments that make up a dull day, you fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way.”

OKAY, HERE WE GO. Probably Pink Floyd’s best non-23-minute song, “Time” is another one of the beautiful songs that this album has to offer. Describing the line between life and death, and how you should spend your time wisely, “Time” also has an ending song, “Breathe (Reprise)”, which has my favorite lyric of all time: “Far away, across the field, tolling on the iron bell. Calls the faithful to their knees, in a softly spoken magic spell.”

#5 – The Great Gig In The Sky
(Instrumental unless you want to count the incessant screaming)

Alright, alright. I actually love this song. The vocals are just screams and…I guess, hums? I don’t know exactly what to call them. The voice behind these vocals is Clare Torry, a British singer.

This song used to be my “let it out” song, but you know, then I moved on to metal, and it changed. However, I still absolutely LOVE this song. It’s beautiful, and I originally had an idea to sync up the songs on this album with a season of Dragon Ball Z (pretty much an AMV but not a load of cringe and that actually correlated sophisticated meaning) and this song would’ve had the perfect synchronization.

#6 – Money
“Money, get away, get a good job with more pay and you’re okay.”

Money. Money is one of those songs that you really love at first, but then the radio plays it too much and you grow an intolerance to the song. Money is one of those examples, but that’s not to say it isn’t a great song. Definitely one of the more rambunctious songs on the record, it’s also one of the few songs where Pink Floyd decided to salt their lyrics with some language (“Don’t give me that do goody good bull****”).

#7 – Us And Them
“Forward he cried, from the rear, and the front rank died. The general sat, and the lines on that map moved from side to side.”

This song is one of my favorites of all time. YET ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL YET DEPRESSING SONG, “Us And Them” tells the story of a soldier, his time in the war, and then his life after the war. The song also describes how “it can’t be helped, but there’s a lot of it about”, referring to death and war. The mystic lyrics are most likely left to be interpreted by the listener, and I applaud Floyd for making this song that way. Marvelous song.

#8 – Any Colour You Like
(Instrumental track)

Yet another instrumental, “Any Colour You Like” is one of the weaker tracks on the album. Mostly focusing on synthesizer and guitar, I like it, but not too much. Really empty and dragging to me. Not much else to say about it, to be honest.

#9 – Brain Damage
“The lunatic is on the grass…The lunatic is on the grass.”

We’re officially nearing the conclusion of our album. Brain Damage is one of Floyd’s best songs, and one of their creepiest too. Peter Watts’ (the father of actress Naomi Watts) laugh gives the song and album some of its creepiest material, as well as discussion about lobotomy (“You raise the blade, you make the change. You rearrange me ’till I’m sane”) and mental illness (“And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes, I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon”), “Brain Damage” is one of the best tracks in Floyd’s catalog and of all time, in my opinion. It is also Part 1 to…

#10 – Eclipse
“All that you touch, all that you see, all that you taste, all you feel.”

The final track on the album, and Part 2 to “Brain Damage”, “Eclipse” just may be the greatest album finisher of all time. A loud and ascending orchestration, powerful lyrics, correlation of symbols (“Everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon”), and just simply wonderful music. I love it, just like the rest of this album.

“Brain Damage” and “Eclipse” are often merged in live sets and on radio stations, but on most vinyl and CD pressings, the tracks still remain separate. I never understood that especially how the songs go together so well.

—————-REVIEW STOPS HERE—————————————-

So, that’s the track-by-track portion of the review. But what did I think of the full album? Well, as you might’ve guessed by now, I love it. “The Dark Side Of The Moon” constantly fights for the spot to be my #1 favorite album of all time.  Pink Floyd fans, especially hardcore ones like myself, can tell you that as amazing as their other albums are, “The Dark Side Of The Moon” always comes out on top, simply because it’s not just a treasure as a PF album, but as a piece of history in life and music themselves.

If you have not already, I highly recommend checking out this album. It’s an amazing work of art and craftsmanship, never to be replicated or replaced. I’ll be leaving the link for Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, and YouTube for this album below.

I give Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side Of The Moon” (1973) a 11/10, for being quite possibly the greatest album in history.
(AND YES, I am serious about that 11.)

Spotify: Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon
iTunes: Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon (2011 Remastered)
Google Play: Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon
YouTube: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Playlist by Pink Floyd)

GAME REVIEW: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002) (And A Very Important Update)

(IMPORTANT UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM!)

Man, I love The Elder Scrolls. It’s quite possibly the best modern day game franchise. Initially started in 1994 with Bethesda Softworks’ “The Elder Scrolls: Arena” for MS-DOS, TES has evolved into a popular modern open-world RPG series that receives explicit critical acclaim. Although most people associate “Skyrim”, the 5th game in the series, with bringing The Elder Scrolls into prominent view,  the game that actually started this hype, was 2002’s “Morrowind”.

Released on May 1st, 2002, Morrowind takes place on the island of Vvardenfell, in the province of Morrrowind, which itself is located in Tamriel, the vast land that the 5 games in the series has explored. Two slaves, yourself, and a Dunmer named Jiub, are dropped off of the Imperial Prison ship at Seyda Neen, the “gateway” to Morrowind. After introducing yourself and choosing your race and other assorted things about yourself, you are directed to Balmora to meet Caius Cosades. From here, it’s pretty much do as you please. You’ll find caves, side-quests, weapons, villages, forts, etc. It’s extremely vast.

I first fully came across Morrowind last year while looking for games to play on the computer. Having found a website that supplied .ISO files for PC games, “Morrowind” was one that peaked my interest. I had obviously been aware of 2011’s “Skyrim”, as both of my parents had played the game, and it was common talk amongst nerds anyway. At the time, I wasn’t allowed to play Skyrim, so I figured, since Morrowind had a lower age rating (which was T, instead of Skyrim’s M), I’d consult with my parents and ask if I could, seeing as how my father had played through both Skyrim and Oblivion. He looked it over, and gave me the go-ahead. That was February 9th, 2016. One year later, and I’m still only about 3% into the full game. IT IS THAT MASSIVE.

The game is probably one of the best I’ve played, due to its sprawling, beautiful (very surprising for graphics of 2002’s time) world, it’s incredible soundtrack, the amazing NPCs, and the awesome weapons. But, the game, especially compared to Skyrim, has some MAJOR flaws.

Firstly, the combat system of vanilla (or the base game with zero mods installed) Morrowind is god-awful. At the time, Morrowind’s RNG-based (meaning hits on enemies could register and deal damage or they’d miss and not register) combat system was considered revolutionary; now it’s considered straight-up annoying and honestly pretty retarded. Another problem is the fact that when you run, a lot of your stamina is used; your character walks EXTREMELY SLOW in Morrowind, so unless you manage to conjure up a spell that manages to give you nearly infinite stamina, you’re going to be resting quite a lot.

Next, some of these enemies are some of the worst in gaming history, specifically the Cliff Racers.  These annoying little turds are flying dinosaur-esque bird monsters that will chase you if you get even 50 miles into their peripheral vision, plus, they deal a pretty hefty amount of damage, they’re hard to kill, and they’re mostly in packs.

However, this isn’t to say Morrowind isn’t an amazing game. I simply have to overlook the game’s flaws, because, at the time, these were considered revolutionary and amazing. I really shouldn’t compare it to Skyrim because these are technically two different games.

So, all in all, Morrowind may have its flaws, but it’s probably one of my favorite games of all time. I’m going to try to finish the main quest by the end of 2017, or maybe by the game’s 15th anniversary on May 1st. Hopefully.

If you’re a fan of games like Skyrim and Oblivion, or just open-world RPGs in general. I highly recommend Morrowind. It’s one of the best stories of all time, one of the best soundtracks of all time, one of the best GAMES of all time. No questions asked.

I give The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002) a 9/10, for being one of my favorite games of all time, but for having major flaws that can easily kill enjoyment.
———–READ BELOW FOR UPDATE—————————————–

Hey all! It’s Gabe again. Sorry for the lack of posts since my Top 10 back in January. School’s been pretty heavy recently but I’ve managed to schedule out my load of work and get it done in a timely manner, thus giving me more free time. I kinda wanted to whip us this review on a whim because I’ve been on an Elder Scrolls kick since I started playing Skyrim about two weeks ago. I’ve got some really great posts coming out, and even a two-in-one review special!

Regarding DBCember, that block will pretty much be released periodically throughout the year at this point; it’s been two months since my Broly review, so me and Blaze (Culture Shock) are just going to release them once they’re written; mine will be dubbed “DBCember: The Lost Episodes”, not sure about his yet.

Some upcoming reviews, some still need to be screened:
1. Sing! and Storks (2016) – The Double Cringe Special
2. Teen Titans Go! Season 1 (2013) (for everything that is holy, stay away from this horrible show)
3. Top 10 Metal Songs
4. Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle
5. Why “The Dark Side Of The Moon” Is My Favorite Album Of All Time
6. Alien (1979)
7. DBCember – The Lost Episodes: Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ (2015)
8. Dragon Ball Fusions (2016) (Nintendo 3DS)
…and more.

Gabe’s Top 10s: My Top 10 Favorite Albums Of All Time (End Of 2016 Edition)

“This is the end…beautiful friend. This is end…my only friend, the end.”

Hello, all! 2016 was not a good year for music in any use of the term, from famous and beloved artists like David Bowie, Greg Lake, and Prince passing away, to…Justin Bieber snubbing Bowie at the Grammys. Nevertheless, my musical tastes have definitely evolved from what they used to be last year. It was a very awakening year for me and music together. So, I decided to compile a list of my favorite albums for the time being, including some albums I first got the chance to hear in 2016.

I want to close the year out with 2 posts: this one, and “My Top 10 Songs I First Heard In 2016”. That list is for individual songs and already available. This one is for albums. Let’s get started, but first, some honorable mentions.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Cruising With Ruben And The Jets by The Mothers Of Invention (1968)
Mr. Wonderful by Fleetwood Mac (1968)
Absolutely Free by The Mothers Of Invention (1967)
Hardwired….To Self Destruct by Metallica (2016)
Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd (1970)
Meddle by Pink Floyd (1971)
Queen II by Queen (1974)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles (1967)
The Monkees by The Monkees (1965)
The Great Southern Trendkill by Pantera (1996)
Freak Out! by The Mothers Of Invention (1966)
The Wall by Pink Floyd (1979)
Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins (1995)
Californication by The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1999)
…and way, way, way too many more to count!

#10 – Lumpy Gravy by Frank Zappa (1968)

The first ever solo album by Zappa is truly a psychedelic and edited wonder. 30 minutes of pure artistic vision (including some pretty disturbing audio dub-ins that I’ve incorporated into my films and music), this album is not for everyone. But I love it. The album contains multiple segments of music, intertwined by “The Piano People”, a recording technique Zappa took advantage of when he found out that if you talked next to piano strings, the sound would resonate. This created an effect on the audio itself and made it sound like the people talking were in your head, at least for me, anyway. Trippy.

#9 – A Rush Of Blood To The Head by Coldplay (2002)

Well, where do I start with this? This 2002 album by Coldplay made them worldwide stars, and even brought with it some of the greatest music I’ve ever heard. Songs like “In My Place”, “Politik”, “Warning Sign”, and “The Scientist” make this album a truly invigorating listen. I first heard this album in the summer of 2016, after a friend requested me to review it for this very blog. It was my last review for 4 MONTHS. Not that the album has anything to do with that, but, you know.

#8 – Aqualung by Jethro Tull (1971)

Wow. I don’t really know what to say about this one. I guess all I can say is that “Aqualung” is another one of those albums where I feel obliged to listen to it in it’s entirety. “Aqualung”, “Cross-Eyed Mary”, and “Mother Goose” are my favorite tracks on the album, and yes, I do listen to them in order most of the time. And yeah, now, I don’t really listen to the full album anymore, but it’s still a masterpiece.

#7 – Blood Sugar Sex Magik by The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991)

I remember the days when I felt disturbed hearing swear words. I remember the day where I first had “the talk”. And I will ALWAYS remember the day I realized how explicit the RHCP were. My God, this album. They do not hold back on these lyrics, my friends (“Wake up, m***********, and smell the slime” from The Power Of Equality), and compared to their radio efforts (songs like “Under The Bridge” and “Give It Away”), songs like “If You Have To Ask” and “I Could Have Lied” are swear-filled to the bone (the latter, not so much). Still have yet to listen to “Suck My Kiss” and “Sir Psycho Sexy” considering how filthy I heard they were (with both of those titles, things may go in a direction that nobody wants). Heard everything else though. And I thought it was excellent.

#6 – Jesus Christ Superstar by Various Artists (1970)

Unconventional, yes. Controversial, even more so. Extremely well put together and performed? Of course. This production put on in 1970 by Andrew Lloyd Webber, about the last days of Jesus Christ, features Ian Gillan of Deep Purple in the lead role as Jesus Christ. This entire album is truly amazing, and it sorta put me on the rock music front and pushed me inches closer into liking rock music in general. And this has been on my favorite albums list since I was 7 years old. Wonderful.

#5 – The Doors by The Doors (1967)

“The day destroys the night. Night divides the day.” These lyrics open one of music’s greatest records. Jim Morrison’s expertly, eerily crafted debut album for “The Doors” opened a new gateway for rock and roll, showing that even the craziest of people can put out something brilliant. The album’s entire first side is incredible, while Side 2’s only really amazing track is the 12-minute hellfire of “The End”, a song I’ve found expresses me pretty well. Personal favorites are “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”, “Alabama Song”, “Soul Kitchen”, “Light My Fire”, and of course “The End”.

#4 –  A Night At The Opera by Queen (1975)

Yeah, we’re not doing Queen II for once, woooooo. This album, Queen’s 4th, is probably recognized by many people, as it IS the album with the infamous “Bohemian Rhapsody”. But that’s not why I love this album. I love this album, because Freddie Mercury utilizes the band’s newfound capabilities, with each band member having either written or performed vocals on at least one song (RT = “I’m In Love With My Car”, BM = “’39”, JD = “You’re My Best Friend”, and FM obviously = “Bohemian Rhapsody), firing back at their manager that they’d broken away from (“Death On Two Legs”), etc. Overall, an amazing work.

#3 – The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd (1973)

Could any list from a prog rock fan of their favorite albums not include this album? Well, if you asked me from 1 year ago, he’d say yes. But me today? No, it cannot. This incredible work from Pink Floyd is an album that exhibits beauty and music in the same 42-minute timespan, with gems such as “Us And Them”, “Time”, “On The Run”, “Breathe”, “The Great Gig In The Sky”, “Brain Damage/Eclipse”, and “Money”, there’s really nowhere to go wrong on this album. It really is the definition of art in musical form.

#2 – Gish by The Smashing Pumpkins (1991)

Alright, shun me if you want. I am nearly topping the list off with The Smashing Pumpkins’ debut album and not Mellon Collie. Released in 1991, “Gish” contains some of the Pumpkins’ greatest ever songs, like “Siva”, “Rhinoceros”, and “I Am One”, to name a few. The album does not actually feature any work from the band’s guitarist and bassist, James Iha, and D’arcy Wretzky, respectively, instead having Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin taking over for the instruments themselves.

#1 – We’re Only In It For The Money by The Mothers Of Invention (1968)

If you’ve been paying attention to my blog at all this year, this should come as no surprise.

During Frank Zappa’s tenure in New York City, he managed to create 4 incredible albums; 1967’s “Absolutely Free”, 1968’s “Lumpy Gravy”, 1969’s “Uncle Meat”, and, of course, 1968’s “We’re Only In It For The Money”.

Unlike “Aqualung”, this album is pretty much ESSENTIAL to be listened to in full. All the tracks segue into one another and some have intertwining story lines (the little girl with the “creeps” in Concentration Moon, who is killed in Mom and Dad).

While most denounce Zappa’s works for being “weird” and “disturbing”, this album breaks away from those common features and instead provides intellectual music. However, yes, there is the occasional weird bit. Like “The Chrome-Plated Megaphone Of Destiny”, which, according to the liner notes, is according to a certain novel…

Overall, “We’re Only In It For The Money” opened up a path for me in music history. The path down Frank Zappa’s wonderful discography. And I am thankful for the late Zappa and his band The Mothers for making this work of art masterpiece.

Happy Holidays!

Hello, readers! Today, is Christmas Eve! Of 2016…WHERE DID THIS YEAR GO?

This has been an amazing year for me and this blog, as I’ve expanded from being a guy who did reviews on music exclusively, to a guy who reviews just about anything. My blog also turned 2 years old back in June.

I hope all of you enjoyed 2016, despite having its downsides, it was an all-around great year, or at least for me. I just wanted to make this post to let you all know that I’m wishing the happiest, most festive Holidays you can imagine!

12 DAYS OF CRINGEMAS: DAY 12: Frozen (2013)

(Warning: The following review contains content not suitable for audiences under the age of 13. Sexual jokes and offensive jokes are contained in this review. Discretion is advised.)

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CRINGEMAS, REVIEWS CAME POURING IIIIIIIIIIIIN.
CRAPPY DISNEY MOVIE
PROG ROCK TURNED COMMERCIAL
BRITISH BOY BANDS SINGING
REALLY AWFUL DANCING
JACKIE CHAN RIPOFF
COMPILATION ALBUM OF LIVE TRACKS FROM A GOOD BAND
MITOCHLORIANS. THAT’S ALL I’M GONNA SAY.
HARD DECISIONS
MUSTACHE FACED SPIES
UNFUNNY WOMEN WITH SOME GHOSTS
TWO KIDS, AN ANDROID, AND A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT…

*drumroll*

AND. A. BOY. WITH. A. CG. DRA-GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

Finally. We’re done. We’re at the end!

3 years ago…I saw this film and enjoyed it. Day by day, week by week, month by month, I quickly came to find out that this film was one of the worst films I’d ever laid eyes on. I had been attending physical therapy at the time for a muscle-related problem, and this establishment wasn’t exactly your standard office. It was…to say the least, more or less intended for younger children. All around an all-ages children’s office, but most definitely tailored for the younger ones. And they loved to promote Frozen at this place. It, to say the least, ruined the film for me and I can’t go back and look at this film the same way.

Forget intros, let’s get this done with, shall we?

**REVIEW STARTS HERE**
I can’t seem to express how angry this film makes me. When I first saw this film, it was a small standard Disney flick that really only had “Let It Go” (let the noose go, I’ll tell you) as its backing point. 3 years later and Disney is still shoving this film down our throats, producing new merchandise each and every month. I’m STILL encountering Frozen media at stores, and it’s getting to a point of unnecessary things. I swear to Baby Jesus that I saw a freaking Frozen microwave. WHAT LITTLE KID…USES THEIR OWN GOD-DANG MICROWAVE?! WHAT LITTLE KID USES A MICROWAVE?! I HAVE FRIENDS WHO DON’T EVEN OPERATE MICROWAVES THEMSELVES! But, anyway, I’ll save the rest of that dump for after the film.

We all know how Disney is renowned for pretty much having some of the best musical soundtracks in film out there. You’ve got Lion King, Little Mermaid (a bit of a stretch IMO), Pocahontas, Aladdin, etc. They make excellent soundtracks for MANY of their films. This film? Not one of them. I can’t describe the rape my ears experience when I hear any piece of this album’s soundtrack. “Let It Go”? Like I said, let the noose go. “For The First Time In Forever”? Who are you? That one French girl who was locked up for 25 years in the 19th century?  “Love Is An Open Door”? Yeah, and love is also a little drug called Rohypnol. “In Summer”? In summer, you’ll melt. End of story.

The film itself is a BLATANT rip-off of The Lion King, all the way down to the ending. You’ve got the main character who has one problem or another and is forced to run away (Simba thinks he’s responsible for the death of the father, thus being shunned by Scar and putting himself in exile), you’ve got the comic relief that makes you cringe (Olaf, meet your dopplegangers Timon and Pumbaa), you’ve got the song about letting stuff go (come up to my face and tell me Let It Go is not Elsa’s Hakuna Matata). It’s obvious. And I later came to learn about some of this film’s…innuendo.

I don’t really get Disney’s obsession with penises, honestly. You’ve got the one on the VHS cover of “The Little Mermaid” (AND WE OWN THAT EXACT TAPE IT MAKES ME PROUD), you’ve got the priest in The Little Mermaid with the bulge in his pants while he’s reciting the marriage stuff (rewatch it, but not on Blu-Ray. They removed it on Blu-Ray if I recall), and in this film you’ve got a joke about size. What joke am I referring to, exactly? There’s a scene where Kristoff (boy, you be looking scruffier than 1984 James Hetfield) pretty much interrogates Anna (girl, you be hooking up with guys faster than you meet them) about Hans. He goes through all of these questions, until he gets to…foot…size? Whaaaat.
Any innocent child will just take this as a funny joke that he wants to know what kind of shoes he wears. To parents, teens, and people with any sense of humor like mine, it’s a blatant penis joke. You know how? Anna replies with “Foot size doesn’t matter”. *insert laughing gif here.* Wow, Disney. A FAMILY COMPANY. When Little Jimmy starts asking his parents what Daddy’s shoe size is, Mommy’s gonna have a really interesting answer.

But, wow. I really avoided plot. Let’s get with that, I guess.

The film opens with a group of stereotypical ice miners (they all look the same according to Disney) and a young boy and his reindeer (OH CRAP IS THAT FRED CLAUS MY BOY). This young boy is actually the aforementioned Kristoff, who is an orphan boy who aspires to be like the ice miners, even attempting to mine the ice with his own pickaxe (no comment, let’s continue).

Two sisters, Anna and Elsa (no introduction needed, My God, people), are up at 5 AM using Elsa’s snow powers to create snow in their castle’s foyer (if you DO need an introduction, Elsa is going to be Queen of Arendelle, where they live, while Anna will be the princess, hence, the palace), and creating a fake snowman friend named Olaf (he’s not living yet, we still have 45 minutes of humanity). However, the fun and games are interrupted when Anna is knocked out and nearly killed after Elsa strikes her head with an ice blast (Oh, we got a little DBZ in here. FRIEZAAAAAAAAAAA). She is taken to a group of rock trolls who can use their magic to help her, while Kristoff and his pet reindeer Sven watch on.

After Anna is healed, Mr. and Mrs. Exposition are told to seal away Elsa’s powers by sealing Elsa away…in her room. Insert obligatory Evil Containment Wave/Mafuba joke here. Over the years, Elsa stays in her room forever, leading to the palace being a pretty desolate wasteland, especially after Elsa and Anna are orphaned after their parents die in a boat crash (SEE, SEE! EXPOSITION! THEY WERE THERE FOR EXPOSITION!). Elsa’s exile from the outside world also results in Anna’s exclusion, seeing as how no one is allowed to leave or enter.

This is where the now-infamous “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” comes in (typing those words, I felt like a piece of me died inside). And (in my Angry Grandpa voice) LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. I hate this freakin’ song with every fiber of my being. “okay, bye.” BYE FELICIA. Oh yeah, and by the time Elsa is 18, her ENTIRE room is filled with ice. H-how is she not freezing to death?! AND BE-FORE you start telling me that it’s a cartoon and real-life logic doesn’t apply, I don’t believe in that. There is absolutely no reason for this not to apply. But besides that, let’s continue.

It’s now 3 years later, and Elsa is about to be crowned as Queen of Arendelle.  We also learn that Kristoff and Sven are here. The grossest thing in the film is in this scene, btw. Kristoff loses all brain cells and begins acting like Sven and asks the reindeer to share his carrot with him. THE CARROT WAS ALREADY IN HIS MOUTH FOR A GOOD 3 SECONDS AND IS COVERED IN SALIVA. THIS DUDE STILL EATS IT ANYWAY. WHY.

Then…Anna gets her own song sequence about being reintroduced to society, “First Time In Forever”. Oh yeah, and another innuendo pops up here. Well, more of a double entendre, to be honest. But, let me recite to you this quote. *ahem* “Why have a ballroom with no balls?” I’m snickering as I’m writing this. YOU KNOOOOWWWW DISNEY PUT THAT IN THERE INTENTIONALLY. Yeah, I’m sure she’d love to see some balls after being cooped up in that castle for 15 years and nobody to take out her pubescent frustrations on. And not the disco kind. She dreams of meeting her dream man at this coronation ceremony, and it just so happens that she “does”. Enter Hans. No last name given. He’s here to witness the coronation ceremony too, but he’s also here on other terms…more on that later.

When Anna bumps into Hans at the party afterwards, the two spend the evening talking and eventually singing (GOD DOES EVERY GOD-FORSAKEN CHARACTER IN THIS MOVIE HAVE A SONG?!), a song called “Love Is An Open Door”, which I joked about earlier in the review. At the end of this song, Hans ACTUALLY PROPOSES TO ANNA DESPITE HAVING ONLY MET HER LESS THAN 24 HOURS AGO.

Anna goes to Elsa, asking her to bless their marriage. Elsa objects, telling Anna that you don’t marry people that you just met, which is the first piece of logic in this film and the first time I don’t hate Elsa as a character. THANK YOU FOR EDUCATING YOUR IDIOT SISTER. Anna pretty much breaks down mentally and steals Elsa’s precious glove needed to protect her powers. Elsa begins uncontrollably  shooting Ki blast-er, I mean ICE blasts around the palace, where there are men, women, and CHILDREN. HIDE YO KIDS. HIDE YO WIFE. AND HIDE YO HUSBAND CUZ SHE FREEZING EVERYBODY OUT HERE.

After being ashamed of her powers, she runs away from the kingdom, creating her own ice castle in the mountains. “Let It Go” plays here. No more words. Moving on.

Anna attempts to go after Elsa herself, leaving Hans with the kingdom himself. (It was at this moment that Anna realized she screwed up (for lack of the original word in the meme).) Her horse abandons her in the freezing snow, but she finds a shop/sauna in the middle of nowhere. Declining the sauna trip with the sexually-ambiguous shop owner, she runs into Kristoff at the shop, who tags along for the ride.

Alright, this review is getting deeper than the crap the film put itself in, so let’s summarize things now, shall we? The pair run into a forest affected by Elsa’s ice powers, as well as Olaf. He’s given a nose and also sings a song about wishing to see summer. Too bad, buddy, you’re gonna get melted before that happens LOL.

Olaf leads the two to Elsa’s castle, and Anna attempts to confront Elsa about her problems, but she gets struck in the heart by another ice blast on accident. GOD…DANG IT, ELSA. FOR REAL?! GOD, YOU SEEM TO HAVE A REAL VENDETTA AGAINST ANNA, AND THAT’S TRUTH. Elsa then creates A GIANT SNOW/ICE MONSTER. Go back to WarCraft, snow monster. Didn’t they make an expansion on WCIII about this guy?

Kristoff escapes with Anna, Olaf, and Sven, and takes her to the rock trolls again, who are ACTUALLY Kristoff’s new family. Good LORD, what is with the strange families everyone in this film seems to have?! They put on a song about how the two should get married-WAIT A MINUTE WE JUST GOT OVER THIS. REALLY MOVIE!? But, to be honest, these trolls…they straight up roast this man over here. They pick on his social awkwardness, his hair color, his pet reindeer, etc. But then they throw any cred they had in this scene out the window…because, yeah, I’ll admit, this scene actually didn’t make me want to bash my head into the table watching it. BUT THEN THEY ATTEMPT TO FORCE THEM INTO MARRIAGE. Anna ends up getting her entire head of hair turned white, and it is revealed by the head troll that Anna’s “frozen heart” can only be healed by an act of true love.

At the same time, Hans and his men approach Elsa’s castle, ready to kill her. Yeah. Forgot to mention this, Hans’ master plan is actually revealed, and it’s also revealed that he’s the film’s villain. He reveals to Anna back in Arendelle after Elsa is captured and Anna nearly dies in his arms that he only came here to kill Elsa, say that Elsa killed Anna, and return Arendelle to its rightful way. YOU GOT CATFISHED, ANNA. BOOM!

Elsa, using her ice powers, breaks out of her handcuffs and destroys her cell with ice, opening a gaping hole in the wall allowing her to escape. Olaf breaks into Anna’s room to help her escape, with Anna nearing death by the minute. Kristoff returns to find Anna frozen like an ice sculpture (I call it, “The Red-Head Idiot Who Tried To Help Her Sociopath Sister”), while Elsa cries over her frozen body, which is standing, blue, icy, and fear is in the face. WELL, GIRL, IF YOU NEVER SHOT HER IN THE HEART WITH YOUR OVERLY DRAMATIC SONG SEQUENCE, YOU WOULDN’T BE IN THIS MESS!

Her tears, apparently, are an act of true love, and it melts Anna back to life (HOW DOES THAT WORK?!), and also returns the entire land back into summer. Hans is arrested, Olaf has a permanent snow cloud that allows him to live (“This is the happiest day of my life…but it also seems to be my last.” I LAUGHED AT THAT LINE, OKAY? SIMPLY BECAUSE HE ACCEPTS DEATH SO NONCHALANTLY) in summer, Kristoff receives a new sleigh from Anna after losing his earlier in the film when it was lost in a canyon, and Elsa is finally able to control her powers. Oh yeah, and since this was so inevitable, Anna and Kristoff are now a couple. FIN. WE’RE DONE.

**REVIEW STOPS HERE**

God, I hate this movie, I hate this movie, I HATE THIS MOVIE! Although the film has some few and far between perks (the animation and the voice acting), I can’t excuse this 90-minute waste of time with only two good things compared to the dozen bad ones. The music, the story, the humor, OH GOD, THE HUMOR. I ENJOY Disney movies, don’t get me wrong. But, this film was not only ruined by the sheer amounts of bullcrap merchandising that is still plaguing the world today, but I’ve also come to realize just how…CRINGEWORTHY this whole movie is. I can’t seem to find the enjoyment I found when I first saw this film. If you enjoyed it, or had children who enjoyed it, good for you. But for me? And for anyone else who can’t seem to stand annoying Disney flicks like this? I can’t go near it without feeling disgust.

And with that, I conclude the 12 Days Of Cringemas. Thank you, all, for tagging along with me on this strange adventure. Time for me to go back to reviewing good things…that is, until January 1st. Then we’ll have to talk about a specific bird that specializes in baby delivery. Of course, I’ll also be hosting DBCember until our block is done (delays are in effect at the moment due to scheduling conflicts and the like, but don’t worry, we haven’t abandoned it. I will be linking all of Blaze’s (Culture Shock) reviews in a later post after the block is done (so early January, 8th or 9th) so that you have an attempt to see them afterwards. All subsequent posts will be linked, however), but, let’s hold off on a lot of the bad stuff.

Bonus review on Christmas for “LEGO Frozen: Northern Lights”. Expect a couple delays on the release date, I didn’t really plan ahead.

I give “Frozen” (2013) a 3/10, for being a fitting conclusion to the bullcrap adventure of the 12 Days Of Cringemas, a repetitive and annoying Disney film, and another entry in my list of Disney films I didn’t enjoy.

Everyone, have a Merry Christmas/Kwanzaa/Boxing Day/Hanukkah/any other festive holiday this time of year, and a Happy New Year!

DBCember: Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan (1993)

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, BUDDY! Now we’re onto my favorite of them all! If “Tree Of Might”, “Return Of Cooler”, “History Of Trunks” were amazing, this one is a masterpiece.

Next to Turles, Broly was the 2nd Saiyan-race villain introduced in the films. However, unlike Turles, Broly had the ability to go Super Saiyan. So…at the time, this made him special. Remember, this was before everyone and their dog could go Super Saiyan. It was a special transformation that took time and effort to reach. Not…what Goten did…still mad about that.

Now, at the time of this film’s release, there really weren’t any villains that people remembered or thoroughly enjoyed all the way. Garlic Jr. was so lackluster enough that he got his own crappy filler (meaning that it wasn’t created by Akira Toriyama, the author) arc in the series (ONLY UPSIDE TO THAT ARC WAS KRILLIN’S HOT GIRLFRIEND. OTHERWISE IT SUCKED). Turles was a good villain, but he only got one film. Cooler, eh…was just trying to be like his brother, Android 13 was Android 18 on PMS days, Lord Slug was cool…so maybe he was an exception, and who even remembers Dr. Wheelio?! However…Broly made so much of an impact, that there are actually fans of the series petitioning for Broly to return in Dragon Ball Super, the currently airing anime.

Anyway, let’s get into it!

**REVIEW STARTS HERE**

The film opens with a dialogue that is simply intimidating. “The South Galaxy has been shattered…by a Super Saiyan.” We then cut to North Kai, or King Kai, one of Goku’s friends/mentors, telepathically warning Goku about the situation, asking him to come to his planet quickly. However, Goku is currently with his wife, Chi-Chi, trying to get their son, Gohan, enrolled into a prestigious school. This scene…is actually extremely funny. Goku is sorta like a small child who has no patience for things in this scene.

So…in the middle of the conference, Goku up and leaves Chi Chi to deal with it herself, tending to King Kai.  While Goku’s friends, including Vegeta, are having a picnic, a ship lands out of nowhere, with a Saiyan named Paragus stepping out, telling Vegeta that he is the rightful prince of the Saiyans. He follows them to another planet, after being warned by Goku as he tags along that there is yet another Super Saiyan, but this time, a new form named Legendary Super Saiyan. On this planet, they meet Paragus’ son, Broly. To save some time, let’s just cut to the chase as you already know Broly is the obvious LSSJ.

We get some background on why Broly has a strange necklace and also some non-canon lore about him too. We find out that Broly was born the same time as Goku, and grew a vendetta against him because…Goku wouldn’t stop crying. Wow, Broly. THAT is your motivation? Anyway, we also learn that Paragus and Broly survived the explosion of Planet Vegeta when Frieza destroyed it because he had a power that allowed the two to live. Wh-what?!

Anyway, Broly’s powers got out of hand and Paragus found a strange necklace-like object to put around Broly’s neck to make him obey Paragus’ commands. In his transformation to a Legendary Super Saiyan, however, the necklace is made null, and Broly wreaks havoc on the group, until Goku is able to put an end to the tyranny of Broly on the planet they’ve arrived on.  That was a summary of the plot that turned out horrible because I have writer’s block right now. It’s enough information, though.

I want to mention something about Broly’s transformation scene. The song. The song that plays is the 1996 track “10s” by Pantera. Safe to say, I heard the song originally here and wanted to find it out for myself. Here I am, 3 months later, and it’s easily my favorite song of all time. Dragon Ball Z made me a Pantera fan. Not only that, but the scene itself is absolutely AWESOME. Broly goes from being this slightly-buff, adolescent looking boy, to a buff, grey-ish-haired guy as a Super Saiyan, and then to A STEROIDED OUT DEMON MONSTER WHO IS 8 FEET TALL AND HAS MUSCLES THE SIZE OF A CAR AS A LEGENDARY SUPER SAIYAN.

Vegeta also gets a prime role in this film, but is unfortunately reduced to pretty much being terrified once Broly transforms and he realizes he stands no chance. Really sad for Vegeta fans like me, because he’s an amazing warrior who isn’t afraid to back down from a fight. And here…he DOES back down from a fight, he lets his son Trunks (YES, THE FUTURE TRUNKS FROM HISTORY OF TRUNKS IS IN THIS FILM) battle for him (who is also incredibly strong).

I really, really like Broly, too. He’s not my favorite villain, but he’s another terrifying Saiyan, and those are always awesome.

**REVIEW STOPS HERE**

Overall, I absolutely love  “Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan”. However, I can’t say the same for the film’s 2 sequels, one of which I’ve already covered (Bio-Broly, for the 12 Days Of Cringemas). However, we’ll get to both of those…otherwise, highly recommended that you check this one out if you are/know a fan of Dragon Ball. Great film.

I give “Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan” (1993) a 10/10, for being an incredible entry in the Dragon Ball film franchise.

12 DAYS OF CRINGEMAS: DAY 11: Pink Floyd’s “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason”(1987)

(Shorter review ahead, just a heads up.)
On the eleventh day of cringemas

Reviews came pouring in
Prog rock gone commercial
British boy bands singing
Really awful dancing
Jackie Chan ripoff
Compilation album of live tracks from a good band
Mitochlorians. That’s all I’m gonna say.
Hard decisions
Mustache faced spies
Unfunny women with some ghosts
Two kids, an android, and a science experiment
And a boy with a CG dragon…

Never thought I’d say a Pink Floyd album was cringeworthy. In 1983, after the release of the band’s album “The Final Cut”, original member and co-founder of the band Roger Waters departed from Pink Floyd to embark on a solo career. It would later turn out that Waters was holding the creativity and passion of the group’s progressive rock era on albums such as “The Dark Side Of The Moon” and “Animals”, as the next 2 albums were not only mixed reviews recipients, but have also found themselves under a lot of flack.

So, let’s not hold back. Let’s get started.

**REVIEW STARTS HERE**

As you may know, I adore Pink Floyd, and they’re probably one of my favorite groups in HISTORY. Their albums “The Wall”, “The Dark Side Of The Moon”, “Animals”, “Atom Heart Mother”, “Meddle”, and “The Division Bell” are easily in my Top 30 albums. However…1987’s “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason” is not. But why? After releasing amazing album after amazing album, with a dud being this album’s predecessor “The Final Cut”, why couldn’t they recover?

Well, as you may not know, I often credit Roger Waters as being the best member of the group and also as the main creative genius of the group. After all, he was the guy who came up with the entire story of “The Wall”. So, after the group had their falling-out with Waters, and eventually a lawsuit filed against the remaining members using the Pink Floyd name, the remaining three members, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright (RIP), got together and threw together this surprisingly awful album.

Although “Learning To Fly” is now a fan-favorite among Floyd fans, I feel that this album was too…80s for PF. These guys were innovative and different, and now they’re beginning to be commercial and similar to every other rock band.

Everybody knows that Pink Floyd specializes in instrumentals. A lot of their instrumentals are incredible, like “One Of These Days” for example (unless you want to count the one speech bit), or “On The Run”. The instrumentals on this album drag on and are incredibly boring.

I really don’t know what else to say, to be honest. All I can really say is that Roger Waters was holding the creativity of this band together, and his departure broke the band as we know it. However, the follow-up album, 1994’s “The Division Bell”, was actually pretty good.

**REVIEW STOPS HERE**

All in all, Pink Floyd’s “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason”  is a very lackluster album from an excellently profiled band. In my opinion, the group definitely could’ve shown more musical talent on this record, similar to their amazing work from the 1970s.

I give Pink Floyd’s “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason” (1987) a 5/10, for being a strangely lackluster album from one of my favorite groups of all time.

Gabe’s Top 10s: The Top 10 Songs I First Heard In 2016

Hi, everyone. Well. It’s officially the LAST DAY of 2016. Christmas has passed and I hope all those who celebrated had a wonderful weekend with family and friends. 2016 has of course brought with it some pros and cons, especially in the music world. Many deaths of respected and praised musicians (most recently being Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt and George Michael of Wham!), new music from artists who haven’t released in years, like Metallica, Meat Loaf, and Megadeth, to name a few. Of course I also had a wonderful year with music, being introduced to new songs, artists and albums every month. So, today, I’m here to cover the song aspect of my adventures. This is “The Top 10 Songs I First Heard In 2016”.

On January 2nd, I’ll be releasing the counterpart to this post, “My Top 10 Favorite Albums Of All Time (End Of 2016 Edition)”.

Rules are kinda lenient, as I am able to count songs I knew of or heard for a bit once or twice on the radio before 2016. So, honorable mention time!

HONORABLE MENTIONS
War Ensemble by Slayer (1990, from Season In The Abyss)
The Great Gig In The Sky by Pink Floyd (1973, from The Dark Side Of The Moon)
Cha-La-Head-Cha-La by Hironobu Kageyama (1989, from Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection)
Break On Through (To The Other Side) by The Doors (1967, from The Doors)
Celebration Of The Lizard by The Doors (1968/2003, from Waiting For The Sun)
One Of These Days by Pink Floyd (1971, from Meddle)
Perfect by The Smashing Pumpkins (1998, from Ava Adore)
Breaking The Girl by The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991, from Blood Sugar Sex Magik)
Politik, In My Place, The Scientist and Warning Sign by Coldplay (2002, from A Rush Of Blood To The Head)
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult (1976, from Agents Of Fortune)
Yellow by Coldplay (2000, from Parachutes)
Slaughtered by Pantera (1994, from Far Beyond Driven)
(Theme From) The Monkees, I’m A Believer, and Last Train To Clarksville by The Monkees (1966, from The Monkees (Last Train To Clarksville and (Theme From) The Monkees), 1967, from More Of The Monkees (I’m A Believer)
…and way too many more to count!

#10 – 1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins (1995, from Melon Collie And The Infinite Sadness)
“Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time.”

To start off our list, the beginning of my appreciation for alternative rock. I first heard this song about six months ago while on YouTube watching music videos for 90s alt rock songs (if I recall, the video I was on at the time was Beck’s Loser when I saw this in the sidebar). It is truly one of those beautifully weird songs, telling the story of a group of partying, rebellious, and rowdy teenagers in 1979.

#9 – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by REM (1987, from Document)
“That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds, and snakes, an aeroplane, Lenny Bruce is not afraid.”

Before September of this year, I hated REM. I thought they were an annoying group who really had no talent at all. I heard this song and I was proven wrong. A fast-paced (REALLY FAST PACED) track detailing pretty much random nouns and such to create a song about the end of the world. Never has a song about apocalypse been so happy.

#8 – Lonely Little Girl by The Mothers Of Invention (1968, from We’re Only In It For The Money)
“You’re a lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely little girl.”

If you’ve read my “We’re Only In It For The Money” review, you’d know that I think this is quite possibly Frank Zappa’s best track of all time. Overdubbing, incredible instrumentation, and more all combined into an amazing 1-minute artwork. Not much else to say to be honest.

#7 – The End by The Doors (1967, from The Doors)
“This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end, my only friend, the end.”

Man, what a great track .This nearly-12-minute epic is easily my favorite Doors song of all time. It’s so demented, twisted, filthy, and haunting. With lyrics like “All the children are insane, waiting for the summer rain, yeah”, “The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on”, “Father (yes son?) I want to kill you, Mother, I want to…*screams*”, etc, the track chills you to the bone with some pretty mature overtones in the process.

#6 – Rhinoceros by The Smashing Pumpkins (1991, from Gish)
“Open your eyes, to these must I lie?”

Summer 2016 did manage to open me up to a bunch of alt. rock artists, with Smashing Pumpkins having already been mentioned in the #10 spot. However…I do think that their 1991 debut album “Gish” is easily their best album, with songs like “Siva”, “I Am One”, and, of course, “Rhinoceros”. This 5 1/2 minute long song is probably one of the most…beautifully depressing songs of all time. Plus, Billy Corgan’s ghostly vocals along with the guitar work of  James Iha, the drumming of Jimmy Chamberlin, and the bass of D’arcy Wreztky, all mix together to create a wonderful listening experience.

#5 – Us and Them by Pink Floyd (1973, from The Dark Side Of The Moon)
“Forward he cried,  from the rear, and the front rank died. The General sat, and the lines on the map moved from side to side.”

Of course, I had to put a Pink Floyd song on here. Seeing as how I had never heard “The Dark Side Of The Moon” before 2016, it was very hard picking out 1 track out of the 8 that I adore (Any Colour You Like and Speak To Me are eh, especially considering Speak To Me is more or less an opening track with no real audio). And as you can see, I picked the war-themed “Us And Them”. This song is so…beautiful, to say the least. The lyrics, the chorus, oh God, the chorus.  Well, listen, it was either this or “Time”. And this is obviously the superior choice.

#4 – Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode (1990, from Violator)
“All I ever wanted, all I ever needed, is here in my arms.”

If I ever had to make the claim that I was emo, I would say this is the most-fitting song to describe it. This 1990 classic by Depeche Mode was one of the few songs I’ve heard on the radio that I later carried with me throughout the year. And yes, as you can tell with its Top 5 placement, it is easily one of my favorite songs of all time. The instrumentation is amazing, Martin Gore’s voice is eerie and inviting, and overall the track is an awesome listen.

#3 –  10s by Pantera (1996, from The Great Southern Trendkill)
“My foes…They can’t destroy my body…Colliding slow….like life itself…”

I first heard this song in “Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan”, as I said in the film’s respective review, and I love it. Compared to a majority of Pantera’s louder tracks (like “Slaughtered” or “The Great Southern Trendkill”), this song takes things a couple decibels lower. No screaming, no ear-raping shred-solos, just Phil Anselmo’s gritty voice and Dimebag Darrell’s incredible guitar work.

#2 – What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? by REM (1994, from Monster)
“What’s the frequency, Kenneth, is your Benzedrine, uh-huh.”

As stated earlier, I used to absolutely hate REM. And I don’t even know why. This opening track from 1994’s “Monster” goes to show that on even the most lackluster albums, there can be an incredible stand-out track. It’s loud, it’s wonderful, it’s strange. Sounds like a great track to me. 

#1 – The Great Southern Trendkill by Pantera (1996, from The Great Southern Trendkill)
“If I was God, you’d sell your soul to the Great Southern Trendkill, that’s right, The Great Southern Trendkill, **** yeah!”

Hard to believe I’m topping the list with a song I first heard one week ago. This loud and screaming track by metal group Pantera on their 1996 album of the same name is easily one of my favorite songs of all time.

This track focuses more on backstabbing the mainstream media, and I really like it for doing that. Now I do have to leave a disclaimer here; if you are going to listen to this song, there is loud screaming, swear words, etc. It’s not a children’s song. The song is complex, loud, and interesting, to say the least.