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BMRA-Round 1-Dirt vs. Fashion Nugget

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Which One?

Poll ended at Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:55 pm

Dirt
16
80%
Fashion Nugget
4
20%
 
Total votes : 20

BMRA-Round 1-Dirt vs. Fashion Nugget

Postby PlayingWithFire » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:55 pm

Yeah, Shoe-in, I know

Alice In Chain's Dirt
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Review by Steve Huey

Dirt is Alice in Chains' major artistic statement and the closest they ever came to recording a flat-out masterpiece. It's a primal, sickening howl from the depths of Layne Staley's heroin addiction, and one of the most harrowing concept albums ever recorded. Not every song on Dirt is explicitly about heroin, but Jerry Cantrell's solo-written contributions (nearly half the album) effectively maintain the thematic coherence -- nearly every song is imbued with the morbidity, self-disgust, and/or resignation of a self-aware yet powerless addict. Cantrell's technically limited but inventive guitar work is by turns explosive, textured, and queasily disorienting, keeping the listener off balance with atonal riffs and off-kilter time signatures. Staley's stark confessional lyrics are similarly effective, and consistently miserable. Sometimes he's just numb and apathetic, totally desensitized to the outside world; sometimes his self-justifications betray a shockingly casual amorality; his moments of self-recognition are permeated by despair and suicidal self-loathing. Even given its subject matter, Dirt is monstrously bleak, closely resembling the cracked, haunted landscape of its cover art. The album holds out little hope for its protagonists (aside from the much-needed survival story of "Rooster," a tribute to Cantrell's Vietnam-vet father), but in the end, it's redeemed by the honesty of its self-revelation and the sharp focus of its music. [Some versions of Dirt feature "Down in a Hole" as the next-to-last track rather than the fourth.]

Cake's Fashion Nugget
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Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Sounding like a suburban, melodic white-funk-injected version of King Missile's performance art/standup comedy, "The Distance" became a novelty hit in the fall of 1996, sending Cake's second album, Fashion Nugget, to platinum status. Certainly, "The Distance" was the only reason Fashion Nugget went platinum, because the remainder of the album is too collegiate and arcane for mainstream music tastes. It isn't because it's obscure or intellectual -- it's because the band is smirking. An "ironic" cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is the key to the album, sending the signal that Cake consider themselves above everyone else, and nothing is too insignificant to make fun of. And that wouldn't necessarily have been a problem if they had the wit or musical skills that would make their music either funny or listenable. Instead, they wallow in sophomoric jokes that rely on self-consciously elaborate wordplay. Occasionally, their blend of collegiate musical styles -- funk, hip-hop, alternative rock -- makes the music easy to digest in small doses, such as "The Distance," but it isn't varied enough to prevent the album from becoming tedious.
Last edited by PlayingWithFire on Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby PlayingWithFire » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:57 pm

Down in a hole, feeling so small
Down in a hole, losing my soul
I'd like to fly,
But my wings have been so denied


And I'm in a good mood since my least favorite BIG band in Nine Inch Nails is out in the first round to Weezer :-D
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Postby Coppermine » Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:24 pm

I have to admit it; I'm a Cake fan. The included review is pretty critical and probably not too far off, and Alice In Chains for all intents and purposes is a superior band. But I enjoy Cake's "ironic" interpretation of "I Will Survive."
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:25 pm

Alice In Chains better crush Cake.
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Postby acsguitar » Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:58 am

Dirt is one of the best hard rock albums ever ;-D
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Postby BritSox » Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:13 am

acsguitar wrote:Dirt is one of the best hard rock albums ever ;-D


Meh, i found it pretty grim and depressing.
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Postby 1337_Dude » Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:49 pm

BritSox wrote:
acsguitar wrote:Dirt is one of the best hard rock albums ever ;-D


Meh, i found it pretty grim and depressing.

It is pretty grim and depressing. AiC's lyrics were never the most uplifting in the world, but Layne's lyrics were based on his life, which was also pretty grim and depressing.

I don't think that really takes away from the greatness of the album.
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Postby The Artful Dodger » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:27 pm

1337_Dude wrote:
BritSox wrote:
acsguitar wrote:Dirt is one of the best hard rock albums ever ;-D


Meh, i found it pretty grim and depressing.

It is pretty grim and depressing. AiC's lyrics were never the most uplifting in the world, but Layne's lyrics were based on his life, which was also pretty grim and depressing.

I don't think that really takes away from the greatness of the album.


Agreed. Some of the best music out there isn't all that life-affirming and Alice in Chains was one of those bands and Dirt was one of those albums that put a human face on depression.

I never understood Cake and so, voted for Dirt.
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Postby zepfan » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:22 pm

Are you happy?
I am, man
Content and fully aware


Who says AIC didn't have happy lyrics? ;-7 Anyway, Dirt by a longshot.
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Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:50 pm

Cake is always fun to listen to, but no match for Staley and Co. Dirt may be the single finest grunge album I've ever listened to.
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