The Slush Pile, or a continuing series of albums I won’t review

I’ve done it before.

In order to determine whether I want to expend the calories to review an album, I have to listen to it in part or on whole. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want to spend time subjecting myself to an album where I end up having no opinion about it. Having no opinion about something is worse than having a negative opinion about it. At least with the latter, there’s fodder from which to write.

At times, I end up spinning an album from an artist I like, thinking I’ll feature it but ending up with the dreaded lack of opinion. And I could have spent that time listening to something I do like.

So I’m going to make the Slush Pile an occassional review round-up. I may not have an opinion about something I encounter, but it still leaves some sort of impression.

Vaquero, Vaquero

I actually spent a good few weeks spinning this album. I saw Vaquero back in 2003 at SXSW and loved their showcase. It took some time before the band recorded a full-length album, and it’s available only in the States through CDBaby. I bought it, listened to it and wondered what got lost between the stage and the studio. It’s not a bad album, but it’s not as powerful as I thought it could be.


Founding member Moyo Satake had a distinctive playing style that gave NIRGILIS’ first two albums an avant-garde rough edge. The mix of dance beats and guitars presaged the resurgence of New Wave without actually mimicing any ’80s band. But Moyo left the group, and the remaining quartet got signed to Sony. I thought something would be lost without his keyboard flourishes, and Boy confirmed my suspicions. NIRGILIS now sound like YUKI rejects.

YUKI, Wave

YUKI has always kind of struck me as an indie rock dilettante. Sure, she’s cool enough to enlist Higurashi Aiha, Don from Zoobombs and Great3 for her albums, but she doesn’t step out of her mainstream environs. The first few bars of the first few tracks of Wave didn’t seem to display even the slightest dip into the indie world as her first two albums. Long-time fans probably won’t mind, but since I’m a dilettante where my appreciation of YUKI is concerned, I’m not stepping out of my environs either.

LISA, God Sista

I’ve stated my opinion on the effects of LISA’s departure from m-flo many, many times, and my attention to either of them has waned after m-flo released Beat Space Nine. The few times I did listen to God Sista left me with the impression she was stretching out significantly than her previous three studio albums. (I never listened to the covers album.) But it wasn’t enough to reel me back in.

UA, Nephews

Only because I wanted to concentrate more on cure jazz.

Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped

You can read better expert opinion about Sonic Youth in MOJO, Uncut, Q or (if you can stomach all that bad writing) Pitchfork. I feel no need to duplicate the effort.

Zero 7, The Garden

Kind of like wallpaper after a while.