Below you will find the primary reviews library for my music collection, sorted artist by artist into their respective discography breakdowns. The below catalogue only considers artists for whom I've collected the complete discography, or enough of one to deem myself suitably knowledged of their works. Where appropriate, various solo/side projects and other related releases are also included within the respective artist pages. If you're wondering where all the various other random music or more truncated collections I own go, head down to the Miscellaneous Reviews section instead.
For ease of browsing/listing, the artists have been categorised below based roughly on the personal resonance and importance they hold for me. There isn't any kind of scientific measurement to which artist gets lumped into what class, it's largely based on gut feeling and how I feel like they've contributed to my life in music over the years. Therefore I would say don't take the classifications too seriously - and certainly don't think that anything going into the "lower" categories isn't worth your time! Every artist here is one that has provided hours and hours of great music worth delving into; there's just a difference between the music that made me and the music I've gotten some kicks out of over the years, so to say.
The individual albums have been rated on a scale from 1 to 10. A summary of the ratings can be found on Ratings page.
This list as it stands represents but a ripple of the music I own (you can find links to my full collection on the About page) but this page will be constantly updated as and when enough reviews are amassed per artist.
In this house we stan these people. Or to put it less quaintly, these are the artists that have had the greatest personal impact on me - and continue to do so, constantly. This section doesn't that many artists because I am trying to prove a point here: these (intentionally limited number of) acts are for me the greatest of all time, the musicians who I've latched onto with my very being and who have been responsible for introducing me to entire worlds of music that would leave ripples throughout my listening habits. This is the music that defines me, this is the hapless fanboy zone. Beware of gushing praise.
|Manic Street Preachers||The iconic Welsh masters of rock anthems, literary references and deep wistfulness. Includes solo album pages and a CD singles section.|
|The National||Intricately detailed and intensely introspective melancholy. Includes sections for side projects.|
|R.E.M.||From college rock heroes to the definitive US alternative rock stars. Includes a CD singles section.|
The second category consists of artists who I love dearly, simple as that. This is incredibly resonant music that has shaped my tastes and which goes on to have a great effect on me, even as the years pile up - the difference between these acts and the ones above is simply that these artists haven't been quite as influential for me. You could, however, still consider these artists the core of my taste - and as a rough ballpark method of categorisation, they've all released one of the rare 10/10 albums.
|Arcade Fire||The band that defined indie rock for the new millenium.|
|Bright Eyes||One of the iconic, genre-setting indie singer/songwriters. Includes all of Oberst's various side projects, too.|
|Kate Bush||The influential and quintessential art pop auteur.|
|Guillemots||Lushly arranged, vividly composed art pop full of magic and imagination.|
The artists listed below are ones whose discographies are - for the most part - full of excellent music, the occasional stumble nonwithstanding. With many of these acts I've had a truly obsessive phase where I have spent countless hours listening to them non-stop, and which since has normalised into a general love and appreciation; with some there's a continued appreciation around a particular period of their work and the rest of their music is a bonus. The common denominator is that for at least one point of their career, I have as much fondness towards these artists as I have for any of the ones listed in the first two classes; but one thing or another places them just one notch below.
|CMX||The tangled and twisted Finnish prog-flaunting rock legends.|
|John Frusciante||The Chili Pepper guitarist's wildly productive solo career. Includes side projects like Ataxia and the Josh Klinghoffer collab LP.|
|Kent||"Sweden's greatest rock band". From angsty teens to stadium superstars and later synth-rockers.|
|Radiohead||They revolutionised modern rock as we know it - and are a pretty good band in general!|
As in the saying about lightnings rarely striking twice in the same place. These artists have released a truly spectacular album or two, which inspired me to take the plunge deeper into their back catalogues (or follow them further) - only to retrospectively find out they never quite lived up to those highlights. The reasons for that are as varied as the artists and even though the promise set up by their best albums was perhaps never fully lived up to, there's still something in those other albums that have kept me engaged at least to some degree. Or I just kept buying albums in hopes they'd eventually deliver again.
|The Ark||Bright and loud glam rock with a turn-of-millennium twist from Sweden.|
|Lady Gaga||The dramatic flair of the 2000s most exciting pop star.|
|The Shins||Indie pop melodic mastercraft.|
In a nutshell: I like these artists. They've done good albums, some great songs along the way, may have even made it to my Top Albums of the Year lists once or twice. That's where the story ends. For one reason or another I've accrued their albums to the point that they're here rather than in the one-offs section, but the deeper connection mostly isn't there. It's not them, it's me - but I do appreciate them enough to collect their works.
|Bat for Lashes||Natasha Khan's mystical and conceptual art pop world.|
|Noah and the Whale||Tragic and romantic folk pop songs from a band who could never catch a break.|
Some projects don't last for more than one or two albums. In such cases we are technically talking about complete discographies, but from a nerdy writer's perspective it means there's little that I can say about the artist overall that isn't already covered by the usual contextual parts of the reviews - there's little room for a deeper, summarising analysis when there's only a few items to consider. I've therefore split these artists into their own section, giving them their own artist pages but without introductionary speeches etc on the proviso that anything I'd say in the opening paragraphs will be included in the main reviews anyway.
|Afternoons||A band with a truly troubled history and their one successful release.|
|Blossoms||Not the UK landfill indie act, but a Finnish party rock group of the same name.|
|Fields||The dramatic and epic-reaching one album wonder from the mid-late 00s UK rock scene.|
|Grammatics||Another one-album set of young hopefuls from the 00s UK glory days, with theatricality and drama.|
|Kirahvi Nimeltä Tuike||Young Finns with a unique vision and a single album to their name.|
|Magenta Skycode||A short-lived side project centered around epic, soaring anthems.|
|Prologue||Finnish indie pop act who made a promising EP and then vanished.|
|Squirrelhouse||Indie rock hopefuls who sadly didn't get their time in the sun.|
|Studio Killers||The virtual pop experience.|
Sometimes I've ended up reviewing individual albums on other websites for artists who will eventually have a page here. Rather than keep these away until whenever it is that I tackle them here, I've stashed them below in their bare skeletal states. The reviews haven't been contextualised for a full discography sweep and they may change later down the line, but for now the points stand.
|Depeche Mode||Pain and suffering in various tempos: the gloomiest of synth pop.|
|Janelle Monáe||The ambitious genre-blending visionnaire full of wild concepts.|