Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The Cutout Bins and Memory Lane

There's a very cool article over at Pitchfork talking about the glut of 90s-era CDs to be found in used record bins. It's pretty funny and fairly accurate, too.

I feel pretty vindicated, because there's a lot of stuff in there that I remember people loving while I was in college that just sounded like total crap to me (Possum Dixon, I'm looking at you; and howdy there, Frente)… it's good to see that yep, it was all overhyped, and I'm not the only one who looks back and feels a sort of cultural hangover at the thought of some of that wretched garbage. And I also agree with their assessment that some common bargain-bin CDs (Sugar's Beaster and File Under Easy Listening, the Breeders' Last Splash) are actually pretty good albums.

I'm not sure what to make of their red-flag treatment of R.E.M.'s Monster; yes, it's nowhere near as good as the stuff they made in their prime. And yes, I can't even make it through the album without skipping half of the songs. But it's not a total failure- I'd say it's a little better than Automatic for the People (at least Monster has a spine)and far, far better than anything they've done since. "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" rocks the house.

The resulting Metafilter thread is an interesting mix of insight and bile.

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