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Thursday, August 11, 2011

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead -- Source Tags & Codes

I once wrote a post titled Pitchfork Sucks to highlight the ridiculousness of that website's reviews, especially their use of hyperbole. I particularly picked on reviewer Chris Dahlen's ridiculous zero out of ten review for Travis Morrison's Travistan album. If that was a zero, what is a ten, according to Pitchfork?

"Source Tags & Codes will take you in, rip you to shreds, piece you together, lick your wounds clean, and send you back into the world with a concurrent sense of loss and hope. And you will never, ever be the same." -- Pitchfork Reviewer, Matt LeMay, in his ten out of ten review for ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's Source Tags & Codes
Screw you, Pitchfork! You suck! This album is about as middle of the road as you can get. The vocals are completely unremarkable, and trust me, that is a NICE interpretation of their quality. The instruments sound a little sloppy. The parts aren't particularly difficult for a novice. I can't really understand a lot of the lyrics on listening, but when I read them in the booklet they just seem like your average undergrad poetry class output, though the booklet does have pretty cool artwork, I guess.
In the end, I'm just left with muddy blah. I certainly wouldn't describe this album as bad, it just isn't anything special. Here is the most lauded song from the album, "Another Morning Stoner" which is okay, I guess.

If you get a ten on Pitchfork, surely every other mainline reviewer will go along with it. The thing is, who is talking about Source Tags & Codes today? Does anyone actually care about this album? Is anyone actually passionate about it today? I'm not trying to insult ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead here. The review wasn't their fault. I'm just saying, isn't it a little suspect that on Pitchfork's 200 best albums of the decade, this shows up all the way back at 100? Were there 99 tens in front of it? No, of course not. The ridiculous hype had just died down.
Sorry, to turn this review into an unrelated bashfest. I think only two other reviews will even mention that website. Unfortunately one of those will be the next one a do. I just get really angry when websites get really pompous.
The Nicsperiment, the best blog on the system, and the saviour and redeemer of the entire Internet.
Oh, and this rock album is okay, but every single time I try to get into it, I just find myself getting bored. The only way I was definitively not the same was that I was 45-minutes older. Oh well...

2002 Interscope
1. It Was There That I Saw You 4:02
2. Another Morning Stoner 4:33
3. Baudelaire 4:16
4. Homage 3:29
5. How Near How Far 4:00
6. Heart in the Hand of the Matter 4:48
7. Monsoon 5:53
8. Days of Being Wild 3:27
9. Relative Ways 4:03
10. After the Laughter 1:15
11. Source Tags and Codes 6:08

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