Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals

Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals
Alain DuPuis, June 2019

Marilyn Manson is a band that has long been misunderstood, and largely by design. I will never forget when Antichrist Superstar came out in the mid 90’s and caused a minor moral panic. Who was this weirdo group fronted by an angry, satanic, cat-murdering, rib-removing maniac musician?! Even my parents knew who Marilyn Manson was. The clever marketing almost backfired when the band ended up being disallowed from playing shows in certain cities. I never admitted as much to my rather conservative religious parents, but I LOVED that shit. It’s been years since I visited any Marilyn Manson content, so I figured it was time to dust off the old CD player.

Now, on to the review. Mechanical Animals came out in 1998, the third release for the group. On the cover of the album, an androgenous nude(?) Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) stood there like some weird alien. Did that generate a lot of hype? Yep, you bet it did. It also reinforced the notion that he is a brilliant frontman, willing to deliver his vocals flamboyantly, and unafraid.

Mechanical Animals debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, the group’s first album to do so, which meant like it or not, they were a band you had to take seriously.

I chose this album because I think it will probably serve as a good entry point for people who only know of the negative press and the hype. This album came with a number of great singles such as Dope Show, and Rock is Dead, but there are songs that never hit the radio that I think are worthy of a listen.

Check back in a month to see what the other guys thought of Mechanical Animals, and dont forget to leave us a comment, a Tweet, a like on Facebook. Hell, we even reply to emails.

Mechanical Animals Wiki

Mechanical Animals on iTunes

Mechanical Animals on Spotify

Fun fact:

Mechanical Animals is the middle of three concept albums that take the listener on a journey through the mind of “The Worm”, the main protagonist in the plot line, and a semi-autobiographical representation of Manson himself. He is a flawed and tragic anti-hero and self-realized sage that tries to save the world only to find the world doesn’t want to be saved. This consumes him with rage and disgust and transforms him into the destructive and oppressive Antichrist Superstar. The weird thing about this concept is that it’s meant to be played in reverse order, starting with the 1999 album Holy Wood and ending with Antichrist Superstar.

Review of Florence + the machine: Lungs

Please read and listen to Scott Gregory’s pick  Florence + the machine: Lungs  before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
2.6

Review of Florence + the machine: Lungs

Sonic Collective member Scott Gregory landed on Florence + the machine’s Lungs album for us to review for May 2019. This album is adored by many and there is no doubt that Florence has immense talent. What we wanted to know though was if this album stands up to the test of time and can stand alone as a complete album. We all admitted that though none of us had listened to much of Florence + the machine in the past that we were all very excited to listen to this release that is nearing 10 years old.

We had differing opinions of this album and we have to admit it felt out of most of our comfort zones. That being said we can offer our expertise and look at this as objectively as possible to determine if this is the type of album that you might want to add to your collection. A few things to listen for in this podcast are:

  • How dealing with learning disorders and cutting out the alcohol saved Florence’s career
  • What statement by Scott Gregory stunned Scott Coates
  • Does she live up to the comparison to Kate Bush, Sinead O’connor, Bjork, PJ Harvey?

Join us and listen to our thoughts and tidbits of information on this recently loved album. Does it stand the test of time? When would you listen to this? Hear what we think and let us know your thoughts.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Scott Coates
Overall opinion: 2
Would I recommend?: 2
Influenced my tastes: 2

Darren Scott
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 2

Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 2
Influenced my tastes: 2

Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 3

Review of Massive Attack: Mezzanine

Please read and listen to Scott Coates pick  Massive Attack: Mezzanine  before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
3.4

Review of Massive Attack: Mezzanine

This April 2019 selection by Sonic Collective member Scott Coates was this album made most famous for the amount of movie and TV soundtracks you hear their songs a part of. We all had to admit that the quality of the production for this electronic, ambient masterpiece stirs creative visualizations within all the tracks. It is literally hard to listen to this album and not picture a movie or TV scene. Though our scores below may not look spectacular this definitely deserves the respect it has garnered over these many years. Massive Attack is actually touring again and playing this album in its entirety and adding new mixes and visuals. Listen to this review and learn all these points below and more:

  • What Amy Winehouse and Madonna have in common with Massive Attack.
  • What two artists from the late 80s and early 90s Darren thought mashed together sounded similar to Massive Attack on this album.
  • What Massive Attack’s relationship at the time of creating this album had to do with the final output.

Join us and listen to our thoughts and tidbits of information on this classic electronic album. Does it stand the test of time? When would you listen to this? Hear what we think and let us know your thoughts.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Scott Coates
Overall opinion: 3.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 3.5

Darren Scott
Overall opinion: 3.5
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 3

Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 3.5
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 2

Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: N/A
Would I recommend?: N/A
Influenced my tastes: N/A

Florence + the Machine: Lungs


Florence + the Machine: Lungs
Scott Gregory, May 2019

Hello all you Sonic Collectivists and welcome to our pick for May, 2019. I’m Scott G, and I clearly remember the very first time I heard this month’s artist. In 2010, Florence and the Machine appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, singing Dog Days Are Over and You Got the Love, and I was like “OH.MY.GOD. Who is this woman?” One of the biggest compliments I think I can give a musician is “I’ve never heard anything like this before” and that was certainly the case here.

The songs she sang were off the groups recently released album “Lungs” and after a couple plays, I settled into the habit of pulling the singles out and adding them to my play lists and not really thinking of the album as a whole. Well, the time’s come to do what the collective does best and dig in and experience the album as a whole. Reading up, it sounded like Florence had a very long, very winding road to land to the sound she landed on for this debut album. I’m going to be watching for whether this represents a culmination of those effort, or does she sound like she’s still exploring even within the bounds of the album.

Some picks really polarize the group, and I’m very curious how this will go with them and you. Does that “wow” factor hold up now that there’s been a decade of listening to her and imitators work in this space, or are these albums’ dog days over and it’s all old hat. Check back with us at the end of the month to see what the group thinks “Lungs” by Florence and the Machine, and be sure to share your thoughts with us as well. This has been Scott G on behalf of the Sonic Collective, see you then.

Lungs on Spotify
Lungs on Apple Music
Lungs Wikipedia page
Florence and the Machine website

Massive Attack: Mezzanine


Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Scott Coates, April 2019

I’ve been listening to a fair bit of funky, jazzy, electronica lately: The Brand New Heavies, Chemical Brothers, Morcheeba and a few others. While thinking of similar bands, Massive Attack came to mind. I’d listened to their Blue Lines release a few times but hadn’t listened to this month’s pick, Mezzanine. Upon giving it a listen I realized there are a lot of tracks that I’ve heard before, namely Angel which was on the Snatch soundtrack and Safe from Harm which was featured on The Insider soundtrack. Some of my mixed chillout albums also have Massive Attack tracks on them. 

Mezzanine is the third studio album by the Bristol, England, released on 20 April 1998. It took a long time to make and band members pushed themselves in various new directions, often finishing songs, then tearing them apart and almost starting again from scratch. It features many samples, ranging from Isaac Hayes to The Cure. In 2003, the album was ranked number 412 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It faired very well in the UK, entering the charts at #1 but didn’t do as well in North America, peaking at 51 in Canada and 60 in the US.

This is a potentially dark exploration, but one I’m looking forward to and I hope you enjoy doing so as well. Settle in to a relaxing spot and give it a roll.

Links
Mezzanine on Spotify

Mezzanine on Apple Music

Mezzanine Wikipedia page

Massive Attack website

Massive Attack fan page

Review of Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City

Please read and listen to Darren Scott pick  Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City  before reading and listening to our reviews below. Quick Summary: 
  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
4

Review of Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City

For March 2019 Sonic member Darren Scott picked Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. This was his second album but his first big studio album. It was important to know when listening to GKMC that it is a concept album that tells the story of Kendrick as a youthful K.Dot on the streets of Compton. You will hear more in our review and we’ve added some links below that will expend on the details of our review and rediscovery of this album but a few things you will learn in this review are:

  • What the M.A.A.D. acronym stands for.
  • Who Lamar saw get shot when he was 8 years old.
  • Why you should go to the 420 Premium Market if you are in Calgary (or your local legal cannabis dispensary) and pick up some San Raphael Tangerine Dream cannabis 
  • That at least 1 in 4 white Canadian dudes music tastes does not include this Lamar album

Join us and listen to how we dissect this album and how a recent album is already known as being a major influence.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Darren Scott
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Gregory
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Coates:
Overall opinion: 2.5
Would I recommend?: 3
Influenced my tastes: 1

If you’d like to understand the story being told on the album and the suggested best order to listen to it check out this great article at Noisey.

The Narrative Guide To Kendrick Lamar’s ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’

Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City


Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Darren Scott, March 2019
Listen to why I picked this Kendrick Lamar album. It is actually more like a film. The album was meant to be played in order and tells the story of a young Kendrick on the streets of L.A.  Does the influence stand up, does the album still sound relevant? Listen for yourself and then join us at the beginning of next month for our review.

Links
Wikipedia
iTunes
Spotify

Review of Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

Please read and listen to Scott Gregory’s pick for Fleetwood Mac: Rumours before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’: 10 Things You Didn’t Know: Rolling Stone

The story behind Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’: Timeout.com

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
4.8

Review of Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

For February 2019 Sonic member Alain Dupuis picked this popular soft rock album. He had not really heard it before. Will he like it, will the album stand the test of time? Give a listen and let us know. If you haven’t heard the back story of this album, you really must. We’ve added some links below that will expend on the details of our review and rediscovery of this album but a few things you will learn in this review are:

  • Who slept with a lighting guy?
  • There is a song on this album that was covered in the 90s that Scott G claims rocks hard!
  • The two song clips that start this review are FU songs to the opposite writer.

Join us and listen to how we dissect this album and how it stands up like a champ.

The Sonic Collective



Our Individual Review Scores


Alain DuPuis:

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Gregory:

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Scott Coates:

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Darren Scott:

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Fleetwood Mac: Rumors

Rumors – Fleetwood Mac

Alain DuPuis, February, 2019
Greetings, fellow audiophiles. It’s Alain, back with another Sonic Collective pick for the month of February 2019, and I’ve been thinking about this one for a long while now.

Rumors by Fleetwood Mac, released in early 1977, is the band’s eleventh studio album. It spawned a number of singles including Go Your Own WayDreams, and Don’t Stop, several of which I’m sure you’ve heard either on the radio or out in the wild at least a few times.

What attracted me to Rumors were the rumors around the making of Rumors. See, I’ve had this longstanding theory that the best music is made when the artists are in emotional distress. Good music is rarely bred from contentment. And while Rumors was being created, nobody in the band was content…

Fleetwood Mac’s line-up at the time consisted of Lindsey Buckingham (guitars and vocals), Mick Fleetwood (drums), Christine McVie (keyboards/vocals), John McVie (bass), and Stevie Nicks (vocals). Prior to working on Rumors, things went sour between the McVies and after eight years of marriage, they called it quits, all but ceasing to communicate with each other – except to discuss musical matters. Meanwhile, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were having an on-again / off-again relationship that led them to frequent and heated fights. The duo’s arguments stopped only when they worked on songs together. Mic Fleetwood was dealing with dark times of his own, having learned that his wife, the mother of his two children, was having an affair with his best friend.  While all this was going on, the press who had picked up an interest in the band, frequently wrote false reports about both present and past members.

With rumors inescapably swirling internally between band members, as well as outside of the band thanks to shoddy journalism and a growing fan base eager for salacious news, Fleetwood Mac was faced with trying times – Rumors was the result, filled with songs deep and personal, full of angst, pain, resentment, and introspection – or so I hear.

It must be pretty good since the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry, an honour only bestowed to “culturally, historically, or artistically significant” recordings. One prominent member of the band was even cited as saying it was the most important album they ever made.

Stevie Nicks has suggested that Fleetwood Mac created the best music when in the worst shape. Lindsay Buckingham said the tensions between band members informed the recording process and led to “the whole being more than the sum of the parts”.

I haven’t given the album a listen yet, but having heard rumors of its backstory, I’ve been eagerly awaiting my turn to pick so we can dive in and see if my previously stated theory holds true – Is the best music made when the artists are at their worst?

Check back at the end of the month to hear our reviews

Review of ABBA: Arrival

Please read and listen to Scott Gregory’s pick for ABBA: Arrival  before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

Our Individual Review Scores
Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 3
Influenced my tastes: 3
Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 3
Scott Coates:
Overall opinion: 2.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 2
Darren Scott:
Overall opinion: 2
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 2