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October 03, 2003

Zagat's Music Guide

The Zagat people have issued their first Music Guide, which lists the top 1000 albums of all time, according to those surveyed. Crowded House's eponymous first album made the list:

Exhibit A on how to do pop music" was "sprung on an
unsuspecting public" by "frontman Neil Finn who proved
to be a most sensitive songwriter", as well as a
"gorgeous vocalist", on this "brilliantly assembled"
"debut from the Splint Enz splinter group"; "complex
lyrics" "counterpoint" "melodic" keyboards with
"clever" "twists and drops" to "capture something
pure" on this "marvelous" disc--"Beatlesque is a valid
description."

Out of a score of 30:
Overall 26
Songwriting 26
Musicianship 25
Production 24

I'm pleased, and yet I'm vaguely appalled. I must confess I have used Zagat for finding restaurants, I suppose a music guide from them should be equally useful. But what do you think?

Yours, &c., LC | 02:48 PM | Music | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Zagat's so tied with restaurants I agree, it must be strange to go to them for music. I have to take a look at that list. I enjoy Crowded House too - what's your favorite track?

Posted by: stef at October 3, 2003 03:19 PM

I like people *love* to make lists. :)

Posted by: Mike at October 3, 2003 03:20 PM

Errr, I *think* people... Woops.

Posted by: Mike at October 3, 2003 03:22 PM

Frankly, I couldn't care less as to what "10,656 participating listeners" deem to be music I should listen to. But then again, I'm a snob. These so-called experts "own a whopping average of 516 albums." Oh, pleeeeeease.

Posted by: mrw at October 4, 2003 01:24 AM

Ah yes, my favorite musically-minded crankpot weighs in. Yeah, I, own a few more than that, although my tastes by your account are somewhat questionable. ;)

I think what bothers me is that this guide, it's different from reading a review that makes you want to go out and buy the album, or hearing from a friend who tells you to check it out or makes you a compilation of a band's stuff. Or even better, hearing a song on the radio that just drives you into the store to get it, wanting more. I've been slow to do it, but I finally found a used copy of the new Fountains of Wayne album, just based on hearing "Stacy's Mom" on the radio. There's nothing like blasting a great song in the car.

This guide aims to be as serendipitous as that recommendation from a friend, a taste guide that's more genuine than having an album pushed on you from the record company or the radio, because the word is coming from regular people. (In fact, I now recall getting word about this guide and having the chance to participate.)

And yet, I have this feeling that the guide in a way kinda sucks that experience away from you, removes the spontaneity of going into a record shop thinking, "Hey, I should just take a chance and listen to this band." Of course that can get a little expensive when some albums do it for you and others don't (hence going the downloading route) but at least you feel like you're actively exploring your musical sensibilities, instead of following a big road sign. I just think that it's better to go on the un- or less-marked side road and see where it takes you. You can only get so lost - although that can be a matter of friendly debate if your path takes you to falling for the hair metal-pop bands of the 80s. ;)

Then again, if the guide does get more people into Crowded House, I can't really say that's a bad thing.

Posted by: LadyCrumpet at October 4, 2003 05:09 AM

Stef - glad to meet another Crowdie fan. There are so many good songs, it's hard to choose -"Don't Dream It's Over," "Something So Strong," "When You Come," "Love This Life," "Fall at Your Feet," "Weather With You," "Distant Sun," "She Will Have Her Way", "Taking the Rest of the Day Off." (oops, going into Neil solo territory)

I tend to love the lush, soaring songs, but the albums are all really good anyway (says this completely unbiased fan). Of course, if I must choose, it's the live track leading into "Sister Madly" on the bonus disc for the greatest hits album - the boys stole my heart forever when they included my inane audience chatter. I literally ran around the room hyperventilating when I realized it was me. Uh, not to be vain or anything - just preening a bit, you understand. ;)

Posted by: LadyCrumpet at October 4, 2003 05:42 AM

Zagat is evil. Period.

Posted by: PS at October 4, 2003 02:56 PM