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fraz "fraz" (Canada)

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We Are the Same
We Are the Same
Price: CDN$ 7.93
14 used & new from CDN$ 5.95

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite - not their best, April 14 2009
This review is from: We Are the Same (Audio CD)
Let me start by saying I'm a huge Hip fan and have been since the late 1980s. I own all their albums and have seen them live many times over the years. The Tragically Hip are a great Canadian rock band who aren't afraid to experiment sonically (sometimes with mixed results) but are at their best when they write and record catchy rock songs. This is exactly what's missing on "We Are The Same" - memorable, radio-friendly tunes. I'm not asking for the Hip to continually mimic past successes like "Up To Here" or "Fully Completely". Without creative growth and artistic experimentation bands can stagnate and become little more than circus acts. But "We Are The Same" sounds too much like middle-aged Hip hot mush.
I eagerly anticipated this new release, and really wanted to like it, especially since I found their last album, "World Container" a much-needed return to form for the Kingston boys, after a string of mediocre releases since 2000's "Music @ Work". I've listened to "We Are The Same" almost continually since getting it because I'm aware that new Hip releases often need several listens to fully appreciate. A couple of songs might slowly "catch on" with me, namely "Coffee Girl" and "Queen of the Furrows", but I can tell this is a Hip album that won't get much rotation in my CD player.
It's not that the songs are particularly bad, it's more that they're bland. This is the "Cream of Wheat" in the Hip's canon. It's difficult to distinguish one song from another - there's a sameness to the sound of all of them which provides the album with musical continuity, but there is a lack of punchy songs which stand out and have that stay-in-your-head quality which characterize the best Hip work. The first single "Love Is a First" falls short, and I can't see any of the other songs qualifying as "must-haves" on anyone's iPod. The songs lack strong melodies and hooks and I think Gord Downie's been given too much free rein to experiment with his poetry which ultimately weakens the songwriting.
The good news for Hip fans who are unhappy with a current release is to simply wait a couple of years - The Hip can be counted on for another album at regular intervals. And there's always their live shows to look forward to - these can be among the best rock experiences one can have. (In my opinion, if you want professional, objective, and insightful music reviews, the best place to get them is at [...]. They have a very good review of this album (3 out of 5 stars) here: [...].)

World Container
World Container
Price: CDN$ 11.68
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.48

4.0 out of 5 stars "One day I'll make some honest rock 'n roll....", Jan. 26 2007
This review is from: World Container (Audio CD)
...And honest rock 'n roll it is! While The Tragically Hip's last three albums could be described as "spotty" or "uneven" and in my mind their weakest efforts, "World Container" is a return to form. I won't pretend this album is as good as "Up to Here" or "Fully Completely", but it ranks well among their other 1990s output. The sound is raw and clear and the lyrics are engaging. One of the things I like about The Hip is that while their songs don't always immediately grab you on first listen, you're rewarded with memorable rock and roll that stands the test of time (if not the charts) after a few spins of the disc. I thinks it's interesting (and great) that there isn't complete consensus among reviewers here regarding the best songs on this album. My favourites in order are, "Fly", "Family Band", "Yer Not The Ocean", "In View", and "World Container". If you're a Hip fan who has been disappointed in their recent work, "World Container" should restore your faith in Canada's greatest rock group. Buy the album and I'll see you at the concert.

Face Dances (Remst)
Face Dances (Remst)
Price: CDN$ 12.41
27 used & new from CDN$ 5.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The "new" Who - you won't recognize them, Oct. 15 2006
This review is from: Face Dances (Remst) (Audio CD)
"Face Dances" (1981) was a much anticipated album by The Who. Fans and observers were very anxious to hear their first release in three years, mainly because this album would introduce a new member to the group: Kenney Jones was selected to replace the late, great Keith Moon on the drums. This was a controversial selection - Roger Daltrey did not want Jones as their drummer but Pete Townshend insisted. This was the new Who, for a new decade, with a new drummer and a new sound. Hope and expectations were high. Unfortunately, it just didn't work. Kenney Jones is a competent drummer, but he was not the right choice for The Who. His straightforward style just didn't measure up for a band who's sound relied on the frenetic energy and wildness of Keith Moon's drumming. More importantly, Pete Townshend's songs here are off the mark. With the exception of the solid top-10 pop-rock hit "You Better You Bet", this collection is uneven, erratic, flat, and sometimes bizarre. It seems that while trying to update The Who for the 1980s and explore new musical directions, Pete Townshend abandoned the core sound which made the band so great. The album sounds like a band which has lost its direction while grasping for relevance in its third decade. There are a few interesting moments (lyrically and sonically) here and there, particularly on the tracks "Don't Let Go The Coat", "Daily Records", and "Another Tricky Day", but this is faint praise for a usually praise-worthy band. "Face Dances" is more of a death knell than a re-birth.

It's Hard
It's Hard
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 62.25
8 used & new from CDN$ 25.36

2.0 out of 5 stars "It's Soft" - The Who's weakest album, Oct. 13 2006
This review is from: It's Hard (Audio CD)
Sadly, The Who's "final" album ("Endless Wire" changes this in 2006) is a failure. The Who's usual power, passion, and vision are absent from this 1982 offering which sounds muddy, poorly produced, hastily assembled, and rudderless. Yes, part of the problem is Kenney Jones (the late Keith Moon's replacement on drums)- he proved to be the wrong drummer for the group. But most of the songs here just aren't that good. Pete Townshend had written and used his best songs on his solo albums of this period ("Empty Glass" - 1980 and "All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes" - 1982). The Who albums in the 1980s got stuck with Townshend's mostly uninspired leftovers. He just didn't like The Who anymore (beyond the financial rewards the group still gave him) and it shows in his songwriting and commitment to the band. Still, "It's Hard" has a few good tracks: "Eminence Front", "I've Known No War", and "Cry If You Want" (the latter getting new life on The Who's 2006 World Tour) are the best from this otherwise forgettable assemblage. If you took the best songs from "Face Dances" (1981) and "It's Hard" (1982) you would have a very good record. As it stands, these albums are the weakest efforts from an otherwise mighty rock and roll band.

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