Mini-reviews of 2013 albums

Album: Stoker soundtrack
Thoughts: Two amazing tracks, and a beautiful score by Clint Marshall, can’t wait to see the dvd in July! If you are thinking of getting hold of this disc, I would seriously recommend buying the songs seperately, as the soundtrack has dialogue by the actors mixed with the music, which is slightly annoying.
Summer Wine - Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
Becomes the Color - Emily Wells
4 out of 5

Album: Bling Ring soundtrack
Thoughts: I think I prefer Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, and Somewhere soundtracks.
Bling Ring I don’t like all the musicians, quite different style to S Coppola's other soundtracks, so is an album I’ll pick out a few.
A good chance Brian Reitzell score tracks(Cotton Candy, Dans Beat, & Bling Ring Suite) will be my taste, which haven’t been released as audio on youtube.
Favorites so far:
Ouroboros - Oneohtrix Point Never
Freeze - Klaus Schulze
Locomotion - Plastikman
Halleluwah - Can
Avicii - Levels
Bankrupt - Phoenix (the end of the track is the best part)
3.5 out of 5

Album: Ice On The Dune - Empire of the Sun
Thoughts: It’s an ok sophomore LP, and does grow on you on repeat listening. Even though it lacks a prominent single like Walking On A Dream (2008), the new release does have a number of pretty good tracks. You can currently stream the new album for a limited time only here.
Favorite tracks: LUX, DNA, Old Flavours, I’ll be around, Keep a watch, Alive.
3.5 out of 5

Album: A - Agnetha Faltskog
Thoughts: The lyrics are boring and cliche, and the music is not even close to the level of ABBA. I can’t understand why she would tarnish her legacy with this forgettable new album. Hated it.
No liked tracks
1 out of 5

Album: The Ballad of Boogie Christ - Joseph Arthur
Thoughts: The album is a little too obsessed with religious connotations for me to really get into the lyrics. Couple of stand-outs:
Saint of Impossible Causes
All The Old Heroes
3 out of 5

Album: Immunity - Jon Hopkins
Thoughts: I quite liked the tracks Open Eye Signal, Immunity, and Form by Firelight. For me, on his latest record, a bit too many techno beats, yet also beautiful ambient sprinkled in. I prefer his earlier work. It will be interesting to follow which movies he will do score for in future.
3 out of 5

Album: Once I Was an Eagle - Laura Marling
Thoughts: To me, the strongest part of Laura Marling’s latest album are the lyrics, which have a timeless quality. A positive is it can be listened to as one long song, and has the feel of a complete album. While I’m not personally enthralled by her voice, which for me lacks a bit of variation and passion, she is definitely one of best contemporary singer-songwriters in the UK. For the patient listener a rewarding experience, even though she circles around the artist-having-trouble-with-being-in-a relationship-dilemma a bit too often. Perhaps reading the lyrics while you listen is the best way to go about it. There’s even an interlude instrumental mid album, in case you find it heavy-going. However, part of me feels some of this material would be better suited as a collection of poems instead.
Favorite lyrics: “Undine you live for the sea, you cannot you cannot, love me”
“I look at people here in this city and wonder if they're lonely
or like me they're not content to live as things are meant to be”
“My vote was never counted, so who upon this earth knows what it is that I believe?”
Master Hunter
Where Can I Go
Pray For Me
You Know
When Were You Happy
Little Bird
3.5 out of 5

Album: Extended Play - Fleetwood Mac
Thoughts: For a while, I was undecided whether I liked this 17 minute EP, or not. The more I listen, the more I feel drawn to it.
Miss Fantasy
Sad Angel
4 out of 5

Album: After Dark 2
Thoughts: A compilation of dreamy music, some new, some older. Cherry, and Warm in the Winter, both I shared last year, are the stand-outs. But other than those, there is a lot of weak new stuff on here that I only wanted to listen to once. My favorites of the new material are Into Eternity – Farah, and Redheads Feel More Pain - Glass Candy
I still haven't listened to Symmetry - Heart of Darkness, or The Magician - Mike Simonetti, so maybe those would change my verdict.
2.5 out of 5

Heard any of these albums yet? Which new music are you listening to? Share your opinions in the comments. I'll have a review of The National's new album up this weekend.


  1. Oh I love Stoker soundtrack, especially track "Uncle Charlie". So far definitely my favorite movie soundtrack of the year.

    1. @Sati: I like that soundtrack too, hopefully I'll enjoy the movie as well.

  2. I love the soundtrack to Stoker as I also love the new After Dark 2 compilation. The Fleetwood Mac EP was OK though I'm trying to find the soundtrack to The Bling Ring. Plus, I'm thinking of going back to writing about music again as I want to do a best of half-year report on the best albums of 2013 so far through mini-reviews as opposed to full reviews right now. Especially as I'm thinking about writing a whole new batch of NIN reviews in anticipation for the new album this coming September as there is no one more knowledgeable about NIN than I am.

    1. @thevoid99: After Dark 2 compilation and Bling Ring soundtrack I had mixed feelings about, there are strong tracks, though there's quite a bit on both I didn't care for.

      I noticed you've started your music blog up again, I'm a NIN newbie, realize the band means a hell of a lot to you.

      I'm working on a mid-year list, I'll have a top 30 songs of 2013 posted in the next few weeks-includes that new NIN single Came Back Haunted.

    2. Well, I do have some old stuff from that I'm going to re-post and do some re-edits including a beginner's guide to NIN. Many of which was written four years ago when the band was about to come to an end... for a while. Do you know where I can find a 320 kps MP3 version of The Bling Ring soundtrack? I know there's stuff I'm not going to like but I need it as a Sofia Coppola completist.

    3. @thevoid99: A beginners guide to NIN, I like the sound of that.

      Sorry, I don’t know, I listened to most of Bling Ring soundtrack on youtube. 3-4 of the tracks I still haven’t heard yet. I’m waiting for those on spotify.

  3. Great stuff. I need to check some of these out. Look forward to hearing what you think of STOKER. It's proved divisive, but I really loved it, and "Summer Wine" is brilliantly used.

    1. @Alex Ramon: Thanks! I don't usually review albums like this. Should have a mini-review of Stoker up end of July, glad you enjoyed it.
      You asked, and I'll be skipping that mixtape blog-a-thon by Fandango Groovers. Instead I'm having fun with polls on letterboxd.

  4. Interesting group of albums. I like The Bling Ring soundtrack and Laura Marling's new album, but I haven't listened to all of these. After Dark 2 looks promising, so I'll definitely check it out.

    1. @Josh: I felt there were quite a few mediocre tracks on After Dark 2, but maybe you'll feel differently, who knows.

      If you want to see ranking of my favorite albums of 2013, go here:

  5. Out of these, I have only listened to the Stoker and Bling Ring soundtracks. Both are quite good and really do a great job reflecting the films themselves. I remember that Oneohtrix Point Never track in The Bling Ring but didn't know that was who it was. Pretty cool.

    1. Eric @ The Warning Sign: Not my favorite S Coppola soundtrack, though it has its moments.
      Oneohtrix Point Never sounds a bit like Lost in Translation soundtrack, which is likely why I dug it.

  6. After Dark 2 disappointed me. Besides Cherry and the other Chromatics tracks, the others were well produced but didn't hit me. Also, I find Glass Candy's music hard to like because of the lead singer's voice. I just don't think it fits many of their songs and it ruins a great beat.
    I fell in love with Summer Wine when I heard it in Stoker.
    Also, can't wait to see The Bling Ring and then check out the soundtrack. I love the soundtracks from Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation, which is my favorite film of all time so far.
    I am now getting into Fleetwood Mac. What a great band. The EP was pretty good too.
    I didn't enjoy Laura Marling's album as much as I though I would. Like her previous work more. Anyway, still a great singer-songwriter.
    Keep up the good work.

    1. @Cristi B: Yeah, After Dark 2 was a bit uneven, some good stuff, but also quite a lot of weak material I thought.
      I haven’t listen to all of Glass Candy’s stuff, the vocal is not for everyone, I love WARM IN THE WINTER, and quite liked Redheads Feel More Pain. If you like dream pop, I compiled a tracklist, which, for me, is better than After Dark 2:

      Lost in Translation is amazing, in my top 25 films of all time, and if I made a top 10 soundtracks list, Sofia Coppola would take several spaces on that.
      Nice to meet someone who appreciates Fleetwood Mac too. I haven’t been listening to Laura Marling’s album since it was released, so I doubt it will be in my year end top 10.
      Last but not least, thank you :)


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