Showing posts with label poets of the fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poets of the fall. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

the top 50 best songs of 2018

The tagline that I've always had with this list is that it's the hardest to make, but let me qualify it: it's the one that easily requires the most work. And considering this is the year where I reviewed more albums than ever before, you'd think for the sheer volume of material this would be excruciating to assemble...

But in truth, this top 50 list actually fell out pretty quickly, at least with respect to the volume of music I've consumed. It still takes a lot of refinement to go through the best songs of any given year, but the truth about 2018 was that for as many songs as I loved, most of them were concentrated onto specific albums, which might lead to a slightly less diverse list as a whole. And if there was a year where my qualification that I can only put up to three songs from any given album on this list was tested... yeah, it was here. And yet even with that qualification, this list is kind of all over the place - little more hip-hop heavy than previous years and we'll get into why on my final list - and I'll freely admit there isn't quite as much metal or electronic music I'd prefer, but I needed to be honest with this one. Keep in mind songs from albums I covered on the Trailing Edge are eligible, and that if you don't see any songs from an album I loved earlier this year, there's no guarantee it won't show up on a different list - some albums don't put out the best individual songs and vice-versa. 

But no more wasting time, let's get this started!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

video review: 'ultraviolet' by poets of the fall

Well, this was awesome. Yeah, definitely want to hear more of this, although maybe a bit more metal next time? Please?

Anyway, either Ron Gallo or Eric Church up next, stay tuned!

album review: 'ultraviolet' by poets of the fall

You know, I could rattle off a pretty impressive list of disappointing events in 2016, but if we're just to confine it to music, the last Poets Of The Fall album would be up there.

And no, I'm not going to mince words with this: Poets of the Fall were one of the most strikingly potent alternative rock and metal groups to break out of the 2000s with multiple albums I'd rank as among the best of their respective years... and yet in 2016, it didn't work. And for once it was strikingly easy to point to the cause of it all: not Marko Saaresto's delivery or the band's increasingly dalliances with atmospheric pop rock, but the introduction of a new producer who seemed to grasp the basics of a Poets of the Fall sound but none of the subtleties, leading to a glitch in the alchemy that gave us possibly their most underwhelming project to date. Don't get me wrong, there were songs that worked off of Clearview and it was still good, but this is a band that delivers magnificence, and merely good does not cut it in my books. 

But I had hope for this one, folks, I did. For one they had brought the production back in house and while buzz was indicating the wild experimentation that has characterized their 2010s work was still in swing, I've been of the belief that this band has a better grasp on genre blending than most - hell, I absolutely adored their biggest pop pivot on Jealous Gods, and if they were going to keep going in that direction, I had to hope they'd stick the landing. So, what did we get on Ultraviolet?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

video review: 'clearview' by poets of the fall

...yeah, it's a good record, but man, I wish I liked this a lot more. Why couldn't they have just kept the production in house like every other time before, they could have saved this...

Eh, whatever. Next up, time to see what all the fuss is about surrounding Solange, so stay tuned!

album review: 'clearview' by poets of the fall

If you've been following me since 2014, you should all know how much I've been looking forward to this record.

But for those of you who haven't, and might not otherwise be familiar with this band, let me add a little bit of context. Coming out of the alternative metal scene in the mid-2000s, Poets of the Fall is a Finnish band that immediately made a lot of impact for me thanks to a melodic focus, strikingly well written lyrics, and arguably one of the most versatile and expressive singers in the genre courtesy of Marko Saaresto. Their first four records might not have always been consistent, but you could at least count on at least three or four songs that kicked all amounts of ass, and would be frontrunners for some of my favourites in that given year - never quite as immediately abrasive as their contemporaries, but their knack for hooks and power ballads made them favourites of mine all the same.

And yet in 2014 things seemed to be changing. For one, coming after the damn near untouchable Temple Of Thought in 2012 there was a marked shift in direction towards more experimental pop sounds, which was a bold move. It's probably their most polarizing record - although for me it didn't shy away from any of their strengths and remained pretty damn kickass, landing on my list for my favourite records of 2014. But I'll admit I was going into their newest album Clearview with no real view into it, or any idea where the band would take their sound next. Would they continue down a pop path, venture back to alternative rock and metal, or do something unexpected altogether?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

the top 25 best albums of 2014 (VIDEO)

And that's it for me for 2014! The last of the lists, probably one of the more controversial ones, but hey, it's what you get.

I want to thank all of you for sticking with me this long - if it wasn't for you crazy cats, I wouldn't have gotten this far or I probably would have spent my time elsewhere long ago. As it is, let's keep up the hustle, and I hope to see you all with more album reviews, Billboard BREAKDOWN, and maybe something new in that new year. Stay tuned!

the top 25 best albums of 2014

And now, the final list, the most important and likely the most hotly debated selection, the top 25 albums of 2014. Some of these entries you will recognize as they've been acclaimed by plenty of publications already, but there are a few surprises here that definitely need their due consideration.

One thing to preface this list: while I have seen many year-end lists, these are all my personal choices based upon what stuck with me the most this year. And to qualify, they have to be one of the 210 albums I reviewed in full this year. And believe me, this list had a few painful cuts, but I'd prefer to keep this list smaller and respect the cream of the crop rather than reward albums that might not deserve the same acclaim.

But enough, wasting time, let's get this started!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

the top 50 best songs of 2014 (part ii: 25-1) (VIDEO)

And there's part two. One last list to come, stay tuned!

the top 50 best songs of 2014

And now onto the third list, and by far one of the hardest to make. This year I discussed 210 albums and from there I had just under 700 songs that I considered eligible for this list. From there, the task of narrowing it down and ranking them was excruciatingly difficult, because I want to make sure this list was of the best of the best, and even with that I had to make some painful cuts. And once again, keep in mind these are not the hits. We have singles and deep cuts here, from artists who are defiantly mainstream to those lodged deep in the underground. And one more thing: for a song to land on this list, it has to have been released from an album I reviewed this year. If it was just a single, it doesn't cut it - but on a contrary note, if the single dropped last year or even the year before and the album was only released now... well, it qualifies in my books.

But enough wasting time, let's get this started with...

Friday, September 19, 2014

video review: 'jealous gods' by poets of the fall

Dear god, this album kicked all amounts of ass. Epic and yet accessible and somehow making it all work, it's easily one of the best of the year. GO GET IT ALREADY.

Okay, next up - finally - is U2. Stay tuned!

album review: 'jealous gods' by poets of the fall

There are some bands that when you look through their discography or their charting singles, you wonder why on God's green earth they became famous. Because even bucking the trends of the time, even without a catchy or interesting song or even good song to their name, there are acts that will somehow rise to the top of the charts. And then five years later people will look back on that time and wonder why the hell these guys became popular.

And then there's the opposite case. A musical act that for all intents and purposes should have been huge - maybe the trends were on their side, maybe they had infinitely catchy hooks, maybe they just made awesome music - and yet for no discernible reason, they never blew up in the mainstream the way they should. And we're going to be talking about one of those bands today, the Finnish alternative rock act Poets of the Fall. These guys released their first album Signs of Life in 2005 and ever since then have been releasing record after record of quality music that pretty much encapsulated everything I liked about alternative rock and metal. They had a great melodic focus and the instrumental heft to back it up, they wrote fantastic, hook-driven songs with introspective and emotionally compelling lyrics, and lead vocalist Marko Saaresto had one of the most compelling and expressive voices in the genre, a rich liquid baritone capable both of grit and melody.

So why didn't Poets of the Fall become huge in the US? Well, I've got a few ideas, the first being that the band opted for a more sophisticated and melodic presence when alt rock and metal of the time was going in the exact opposite direction. And with the decline of mainstream rock radio, I'm not surprised that Poets Of The Fall never blew up beyond their home country. The other thing - and this is coming from a fan of the band that thinks they've never really made a bad album - is that Poets Of The Fall didn't really make consistent albums. Their early output, especially their third album Revolution Roulette, was pretty uneven as the band worked to strike a balance between gorgeous melodic ballads and their more hard-edged material. 

But in 2012, the band seemed to finally hit that sweet spot with Temple of Thought, a strikingly potent release that fused their melodic focus with sweeping heaviness that made the album one of the best of the year. So you can bet I was hotly anticipating their newest record Jealous Gods - so how is it?