The Smiley Smile Message Board

Non Smiley Smile Stuff => General Music Discussion => Topic started by: KDS on January 29, 2016, 06:03:02 AM



Title: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: KDS on January 29, 2016, 06:03:02 AM
Has anyone here every purchased an album that you were really looking forward to hearing?

The first time, you listened to it, it didn't move you.  Gave it another try, and still nothing?  And, you still keep trying to listen to it, thinking the whole time "this should be great," but it isn't?

I have one.  Queen were one of the first rock bands I really became fanatic about.  I was in the 6th grade when Freddie Mercury died, and like many my age, I was somewhat introduced to the greatness of Queen via Wayne's World.  From there, I listened to my father's Queen CDs, watched some the VHS tapes, got to know the catalog, the members, the bio, etc.

I was ecstatic when Brian May and Roger Taylor relaunched the band as Queen + Paul Rodgers in 2005.  Granted, he's not Freddie, but I'm a fan of Free and Bad Company.  I got the live album, and saw them in person in 2006, and it was amazing. 

I was even more excited when they announced a brand new album in 2008 - The Cosmos Rocks.  I thought, the voice of Bad Company, with the histronics and legendary backing vocals of Queen, with that signature Brian May red special guitar.   Sign me up. 

I got the album, and pushed play.  And I heard a fairly generic set of OK rock songs. 

I know it can take three listens to really get a feel for an album, so I listened a few more times.  Still, nothing. 

Fast forward to 2016, last week, I was looking for an album to listen to, and took this one off the shelf.  Maybe it aged better than I expected. 

Nope.  I listened to 14 OK to decent, but fairly generic songs.  I could hardly tell Brian and Roger were on it at all.  Did Brian even plug in the red special in the studio?  No real magic.  Nothing really memorable. 

I really really wanted to like this, with three music legends, but sadly, not at all. 

Anyone else?


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: the captain on January 29, 2016, 06:17:54 AM
I like this topic and I'll have something substantive to add to it later. But first, just kudos on the topic. I think it's totally natural--inevitable, even--that sometimes things just don't click. When it's a generally well-regarded album, it can be even worse. We see it in the main forum here with favorites like Love You, when a person can really be jumped on for not joining the party. And often it's "you don't get it." Sometimes, we DO get it. We DO want to join the party, like the album. And ... it just doesn't hit home.

So, anyway, I'll give it some thought and try to come up with one or more examples of my own.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: KDS on January 29, 2016, 06:22:08 AM
Thanks, Captain.

This was inspired by some posters on the BW Forum who said that they tried to listen to NPP multiple times, but just couldn't get into it. 

I would add Beach Boys - Love You, as I'm one of those who is not all in on the album.  I'm kind of in the middle.   I think there's some really good songs on it.  But, as a full album, I rank it in the bottom five of BB studio efforts. 


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: JK on January 29, 2016, 07:07:45 AM
This was bought for me, as an album I could not afford to be without.
Try as I might, I cannot for the life of me see what the fuss is all about.
Sorry, Ovi, sorry everyone...   

(http://cdn3.pitchfork.com/albums/19217/homepage_large.5d2966f4.jpg)


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Douchepool on January 29, 2016, 09:14:24 AM
Emperor Tomato Ketchup by Stereolab comes to mind. It's a good album, but it's not the be all of Stereolab releases in my opinion; I find it heavily overrated. It sounds like a band that didn't know whether to keep with their more krautrockish/post-rock leanings or evolve into more postmodern sounding stuff. Dots and Loops remedied this, of course.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: KDS on January 29, 2016, 09:51:42 AM
I feel I haven't listened to it enough times to really judge.

But, I'm still struggling to get into the new Iron Maiden album - The Book of Souls.

This album was ranked the #1 album of 2015 by Classic Rock magazine.

If only listened to it from start to finish twice, and I've listened to several songs multiple times.  Other than the opener If Eternity Should Fail, nothing is really landing to be. 

This is a very progressive metal album, and sometimes it takes longer for me to absorb the longer songs, so I think I still need to give it two or three full listens. 


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on January 29, 2016, 10:14:46 AM
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco

Widely considered to be one of the best albums of the 21st Century, liked by all sort of people whose tastes I respect and admire. I would love to love this album and maybe some day I will. But so far, after repeated listens, it hasn't worked its magic on me.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: the captain on January 29, 2016, 10:16:37 AM
Pink Floyd, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. As I kid, I was mostly aware of Pink Floyd from The Wall, which was recent enough in my formative musical years that my nine-years-older sister liked it contemporaneously, I saw the movie and heard the album, etc. I liked that (and still kind-of do). I got older and learned Dark Side. I was there for the late '80 MTV-era stuff. Eventually I wanted to dig into the catalogue, and did so with Piper, among others.

I was not impressed.

Later I got into the mythology around "the crazy genius" type, regardless of genre. Thelonious Monk, Captain Beefheart, Brian Wilson, whatever. It's a powerful myth that I think still drives a kind of listener. So I heard about Barrett and revisited Piper (and checked out The Madcap Laughs). Still nothing.

Every few years--including right now, as I'm typing--I check it out again. After all, opinions change. If I were a political candidate, my opponents would call me a flip-flopper and debate moderators would confront me with my earlier self to shame me. But I'm shameless, damnit. However, I still just don't like Piper Or Syd Barrett in general. Or, frankly, Pink Floyd, for the most part.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: the captain on January 29, 2016, 10:17:39 AM
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco

Widely considered to be one of the best albums of the 21st Century, liked by all sort of people whose tastes I respect and admire. I would love to love this album and maybe some day I will. But so far, after repeated listens, it hasn't worked its magic on me.

I think it's a good album, but not a great one, and frankly is probably better loved because of its back-story than anything else. Wilco has had three or four better albums, if you ask me. Did you ask me? Dangit, you didn't ask me!


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on January 29, 2016, 10:23:56 AM
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco

Widely considered to be one of the best albums of the 21st Century, liked by all sort of people whose tastes I respect and admire. I would love to love this album and maybe some day I will. But so far, after repeated listens, it hasn't worked its magic on me.

I think it's a good album, but not a great one, and frankly is probably better loved because of its back-story than anything else. Wilco has had three or four better albums, if you ask me. Did you ask me? Dangit, you didn't ask me!

Haha. Let's just say the question was implied.

Interesting point about "backstory." I also have problems getting through Exile on Main Street, another album with a legendary story behind it, and would much prefer listening to several other Stones albums (I love the less revered Aftermath and Satanic Majesties, for instance). Yet Exile is frequently named as at least one of the best Stones albums. I like lots of the songs on it but I have a hard time with it as an album.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: KDS on January 29, 2016, 10:24:43 AM
Pink Floyd, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. As I kid, I was mostly aware of Pink Floyd from The Wall, which was recent enough in my formative musical years that my nine-years-older sister liked it contemporaneously, I saw the movie and heard the album, etc. I liked that (and still kind-of do). I got older and learned Dark Side. I was there for the late '80 MTV-era stuff. Eventually I wanted to dig into the catalogue, and did so with Piper, among others.

I was not impressed.

Later I got into the mythology around "the crazy genius" type, regardless of genre. Thelonious Monk, Captain Beefheart, Brian Wilson, whatever. It's a powerful myth that I think still drives a kind of listener. So I heard about Barrett and revisited Piper (and checked out The Madcap Laughs). Still nothing.

Every few years--including right now, as I'm typing--I check it out again. After all, opinions change. If I were a political candidate, my opponents would call me a flip-flopper and debate moderators would confront me with my earlier self to shame me. But I'm shameless, damnit. However, I still just don't like Piper Or Syd Barrett in general. Or, frankly, Pink Floyd, for the most part.

Floyd is my favorite band of all time, but I'll admit that I think the Syd Barrett era is a little overrated.  I like Piper, and the early singles, but it's far from my favorite Floyd material.  

Some of the material on Syd's solo albums is almost unlistenable.  


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on January 29, 2016, 10:58:22 AM
MC5 - Kick Out The Jams ... When I used to read Creem magazine in the early/mid-1970's, this album was frequently praised and credited as a precursor to heavy metal, punk, and other genre. At the time the album was out of print, but I was able to find it in an import bin at a record store for big bucks. The first two songs on the album, "Ramblin' Rose" and "Kick Out The jams" lived up to the reputation, but after those two songs, for me anyway, the album disappointed. Yes, the attitude was there and the guitars were everywhere, but I found the songs to be lacking, and frankly, just a lot of noise. I did give another MC5 album, Back In The USA, a chance and enjoyed that one a lot more.

Lou Reed - Berlin ... Lou Reed was another artist I got into via Creem magazine. I was on a little Lou Reed roll, purchasing Transformer and then Lou Reed Live and enjoying them very much. I read that Berlin was a great album and found it in a bargain bin for $1.99. I could barely get through it. I like "Sad Song" a lot, but I think the Lou Reed Live version of "Oh Jim" is superior to the studio version. I guess I just don't "get " Berlin, and I'm still surprised at the critical praise it gets. Lou even toured Berlin in 2007. I might have to give it another try.

The Butts Band - Hear And Now ... After The Doors broke up, Robby Krieger and John Densmore formed The Butts Band with lead singer Jess Roden, and released a decent album in 1974. It was by no means a great album, but it had some nice Robby tunes and distinctive vocals from Jess Roden. At least the band showed potential. However, in 1975, the second Butts Band album, Hear And Now, came out and it was terrible. Jess Roden was gone, other members were replaced, and the result was so disappointing. I don't think there's a good song on the album. It's hard to believe a project that involved Robby Krieger and John Densmore could be so underwhelming. I tried listening to it recently... and couldn't.

With the exception of Pacific Ocean Blue and Youngblood, ALL of The Beach Boys' solo albums. But that's for a different thread, I think...


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: the captain on January 29, 2016, 11:23:22 AM

With the exception of Pacific Ocean Blue and Youngblood, ALL of The Beach Boys' solo albums. But that's for a different thread, I think...

(Or not; sometimes the general music forum is the place to avoid most of the lunacy...) I actually feel this way about POB, as you may know by now. (It occurs to me how long I've been talking to some of you!) It's not like I want to be some outsider on this. As I said in the 2016 thread, I want to like every album, ideally. I wish they were all great. There's no satisfaction in disliking something. It's easy. But POB ... I don't really like it. I think it's really solid, sure. It sounds good, it's not as if it were in any way incompetent or anything. Just doesn't touch me much at all. Sometimes I really like this or that song, but a lot of the time it's like one or two long songs to me. Just dull. No emotional connection at all.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: KDS on January 29, 2016, 11:25:43 AM

With the exception of Pacific Ocean Blue and Youngblood, ALL of The Beach Boys' solo albums. But that's for a different thread, I think...

(Or not; sometimes the general music forum is the place to avoid most of the lunacy...) I actually feel this way about POB, as you may know by now. (It occurs to me how long I've been talking to some of you!) It's not like I want to be some outsider on this. As I said in the 2016 thread, I want to like every album, ideally. I wish they were all great. There's no satisfaction in disliking something. It's easy. But POB ... I don't really like it. I think it's really solid, sure. It sounds good, it's not as if it were in any way incompetent or anything. Just doesn't touch me much at all. Sometimes I really like this or that song, but a lot of the time it's like one or two long songs to me. Just dull. No emotional connection at all.

I like Pacific Ocean Blue, but I don't consider it the masterpiece that many others on the board do. 


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Ovi on January 29, 2016, 12:15:25 PM
I must've listened to Van Halen's debut about 10-15 times. Still think only 2 songs are really great.

Also, AC/DC's Back in Black and Highway to Hell, Joni Mitchell's Blue, Beck's Sea Change, Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks (except for 3-4 songs that I think really are masterpieces), Yes' Fragile (I acknowledge the talent, just not my thing) and all Smiths albums.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on January 29, 2016, 12:46:14 PM
Ovi mentioned Dylan; the last four Dylan albums were very...trying. I liked Modern Times, but the next four - Together Through Life, Christmas In The Heart, Tempest, and Shadows In The Night were not of my liking. I didn't even buy Shadows Of The Night (though I heard it). To compound things, Dylan performs several of his new album cuts in concert, so, consequently, I kind of avoided his shows after seeing him every year for a few years. I'm glad Bob is still producing new albums, and I WANT to like them, but...


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: alf wiedersehen on January 29, 2016, 01:30:39 PM
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco

Widely considered to be one of the best albums of the 21st Century, liked by all sort of people whose tastes I respect and admire. I would love to love this album and maybe some day I will. But so far, after repeated listens, it hasn't worked its magic on me.

Do you have trouble getting through the whole thing, or are you not taken with any of the songs? I can see how the former could happen, but I think there's some great songs on there. I particularly love "Jesus, etc."

In any case, I prefer Summerteeth.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: the captain on January 29, 2016, 04:35:40 PM
Ovi mentioned Dylan; the last four Dylan albums were very...trying. I liked Modern Times, but the next four - Together Through Life, Christmas In The Heart, Tempest, and Shadows In The Night were not of my liking. I didn't even buy Shadows Of The Night (though I heard it). To compound things, Dylan performs several of his new album cuts in concert, so, consequently, I kind of avoided his shows after seeing him every year for a few years. I'm glad Bob is still producing new albums, and I WANT to like them, but...

I LOVED Modern Times. And after liking Time Out of Mind and really, really, really loving Love And Theft (which I think is among the best 5-10 Dylan albums ever), I really expected we'd have some sort of brilliant end-of-career run. But I almost agree with you, SJS. I was OK with Together Through Life, finding a few great songs and ... more songs. Christmas? Meh. I'm not into it in general, though it was sort of fun, I guess. And this past year, I found things to like in the standards album, but I certainly didn't go back to it as the year went on. Instead I found myself gravitating toward Joanna Newsom, Vince Staples, Kendrick Lamar, Grimes. I just stopped listening to it after a couple early-year (enjoying) listens.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: krabklaw on January 29, 2016, 08:12:59 PM
Trout Mask Replica, although I can't honestly say I tried that hard. I don't think I could get a through a single song without thinking how disjointed and garbage it all sounds to me. The "singing"is absurd. That's supposed to be the genius of it I guess? Andy Partridge, who is one of my musical gods, says it's his favorite album, so I thought I would have to like it, right? Oh how wrong I was. Although I can hear some Beefheart influence in XTC's music, it never runs off the rails like this album. Godspeed to all those who love it so. I don't wish to offend.

The critical love for Van Dyke Parks' 'Song Cycle' also baffles me.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Alan Smith on January 29, 2016, 11:03:14 PM
Ovi mentioned Dylan; the last four Dylan albums were very...trying. I liked Modern Times, but the next four - Together Through Life, Christmas In The Heart, Tempest, and Shadows In The Night were not of my liking. I didn't even buy Shadows Of The Night (though I heard it). To compound things, Dylan performs several of his new album cuts in concert, so, consequently, I kind of avoided his shows after seeing him every year for a few years. I'm glad Bob is still producing new albums, and I WANT to like them, but...

That's a shame re the gigs because while, yes, he performed recent material, he was on fire on the Tempest tour - the band were smoking and the stage/set design was amazing, a real experience imo.

But I say this as a relatively recent Dylan convertee who didn't "get" Dylan until I turned 38 or somethin'.

The Albums I don't get are Led Zepplin, I, II, III, IV and the other two.  I've really tried, I get the feeling I'm missing out on something.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Please delete my account on January 30, 2016, 05:46:57 AM
Pet Shop Boys' Release

I really like all their other albums but however attentive I am to this frog it refuses to turn into a prince.

ETA: also The Rhythm of the Saints by Paul Simon.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: JK on January 30, 2016, 01:24:22 PM
Trout Mask Replica, although I can't honestly say I tried that hard. I don't think I could get a through a single song without thinking how disjointed and garbage it all sounds to me. The "singing"is absurd. That's supposed to be the genius of it I guess? Andy Partridge, who is one of my musical gods, says it's his favorite album, so I thought I would have to like it, right? Oh how wrong I was. Although I can hear some Beefheart influence in XTC's music, it never runs off the rails like this album. Godspeed to all those who love it so. I don't wish to offend.

Musically, Trout Mask is one of the tightest albums ever committed to wax. The Magic Band could reproduce every one of those tracks literally note for note. Beefheart's vocals are often all over the place because he refused to wear headphones and depended on leakage through the studio window to hear what the band was doing! I love that album to bits. Of course you're absolutely within your rights not to like it. :=)   


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: the captain on January 30, 2016, 02:27:27 PM
I agree with john k.

My advice for people who don't like and are trying to "get" Trout Mask is, stop it. Don't think about it. If you just listen the way you would a blues album, it almost all makes sense. Don't worry that this guitar and that guitar are in different time signatures. Don't worry that it's a three-, not a four-, phrase line or whatever. Just don't worry about it. Just listen to it.

And of course if you're into wordplay, I think Beefheart has TONS to offer there. One of the more clever, funny, lyricists we've had.

All of that, of course, is subject to taste. If at some point you still don't like it, don't sweat it and stop trying. Why waste your life re-trying things you don't like?


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: yonderhillside on January 30, 2016, 06:33:37 PM
Any critically acclaimed album by, including, but not limited to, U2, Arcade Fire, Rod Stewart (still trying with his early stuff), Jackson 5, Van Der Graaf Generator, as well as all contemporary, modern music.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Alan Smith on January 30, 2016, 11:31:36 PM
"In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel is a hallowed album I struggle with.

King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. One - as brief as it, is on my all time top X.  Additionally, Two Headed Boy is pretty amazing stuff.  The rest tho', is a challenge.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: yonderhillside on January 31, 2016, 06:56:49 PM
"In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel is a hallowed album I struggle with.

King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. One - as brief as it, is on my all time top X.  Additionally, Two Headed Boy is pretty amazing stuff.  The rest tho', is a challenge.

This shakes me, cold. I'm one of those who believes this the modern classic it deserves to be. The over-all tone of the album, including the brilliant songs you listed, have an old-worldly, almost other-worldly, primordial, feel to them. Appalachian folksong meets neo-classical, post-modern alienation and boredom. Supposedly, as well as seemingly, thought up in a dream-state a la spiritual possession via an, albeit unconfirmed, survivor of the Holocaust. Haunting, yet simultaneously joyful and life-affirming. 'Tis a good listen, indeed.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Mike Garneau on February 23, 2016, 07:18:56 PM
Kiss / Hot In The Shade. Still hate it.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: JK on February 24, 2016, 04:07:30 AM
Pink Floyd, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. As I kid, I was mostly aware of Pink Floyd from The Wall, which was recent enough in my formative musical years that my nine-years-older sister liked it contemporaneously, I saw the movie and heard the album, etc. I liked that (and still kind-of do). I got older and learned Dark Side. I was there for the late '80 MTV-era stuff. Eventually I wanted to dig into the catalogue, and did so with Piper, among others.

I was not impressed.

Later I got into the mythology around "the crazy genius" type, regardless of genre. Thelonious Monk, Captain Beefheart, Brian Wilson, whatever. It's a powerful myth that I think still drives a kind of listener. So I heard about Barrett and revisited Piper (and checked out The Madcap Laughs). Still nothing.

Every few years--including right now, as I'm typing--I check it out again. After all, opinions change. If I were a political candidate, my opponents would call me a flip-flopper and debate moderators would confront me with my earlier self to shame me. But I'm shameless, damnit. However, I still just don't like Piper Or Syd Barrett in general. Or, frankly, Pink Floyd, for the most part.

I'm sure a lot depends on when you jump into a band's career. I was aware of Pink Floyd from late 1966 onwards, and the Barrett era means a lot to me. The period immediately following Syd's departure has a sadness to it that later listeners most probably miss. (This same sadness returns on Wish You Were Here.)

These days I'm battling my aversion to Roger Waters and discovering the brilliance of many of the later tracks. That said, The Wall for me is just that----a wall. :hat   


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: Smilin Ed H on February 26, 2016, 10:13:24 AM
Tubular Bells. Had three copies over the years and have given it many a try, but apart from the Exorcist bit, it does nothing for me.


Title: Re: Albums You Tried Really Hard to Like
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on July 09, 2018, 09:29:02 AM
I don't rmbr trying to like album. Trends, universal positive reviews don't influence to re-listen to album to like it.