Friday, April 1, 2011

98 The Hard Way: EPs - The final list.

So it's a day later than what I had anticipated it taking, but it's done. Each of the EPs I'd given at least a 3.5 star rating (7.6/10 in terms of rating I'll be using on here) has been reviewed and ranked - hell, even a couple of late comers have made their way in here. So of course that means that it's time for a summary post - the top 20 EPs of 1998 and some reflection on how this month went (usually there'd be a mix CD to go with it, but that'll have to wait until my main computer is better)

So, without further adieu....

The Top 20 EPs of 1998, According to Me at Least

20: Third Eye Foundation / v/vm - Split #1 (FatCat) 

19: The Gloria Record - The Gloria Record (Crank!)
18: Boredoms - Super Roots 7 (Warner Music Japan)
17: The Day of Man as Man - The Day of Man as Man (Ricecontrol)
16: Super Furry Animals: Ice Hockey Hair (Creation)
15: Art of Fighting - The Very Strange Year (Half a Cow)
14: Ganger - With Tongues Twisting Words (Domino)
13: Coil - Spring Equinox: Moon's Milk or Under an Unquiet Skull (Eskaton)
12: Bästard~Tiersen - Bästard~Tiersen (Ici d'ailleurs)
11: Modest Mouse - Neverending Math Equation (Sub Pop)
10: The Legendary Pink Dots - The Pre-Millennial Single (Soleilmoon)
09: Clinic - Monkey on Your Back (Aladdin's Cave of Golf)
08: Fridge - Kinoshita Terasaka (Go! Beat)
07: Modest Mouse and 764-HERO - Whenever You See Fit (Up/Suicide Squeeze)
06: Lifter Puller - The Entertainment and Arts (Threatening Letters)
05: Fridge - Orko (Output)
04: Penfold - Amateurs and Professionals (MilliGram)
03: Coil - Autumn Equinox: Amethyst Deceivers (Eskaton)
02: The Dillinger Escape Plan - Under the Running Board (Relapse)
01: Belle and Sebastian - This Is Just a Modern Rock Song (Jeepster)

Other Observations

The whole process of revisiting and reviewing these releases has made me realize a few things, namely that my gut reactions are far more generous than I'd anticipated. I started this off with the following subsets

-29 releases at the 3.5 star level
-32 releases at the 4 star level
-9 releases at the 4.5 star level
-7 releases at the 5 star level

After this month those releases now fall as such:

-4 releases at the 2.5 star level
-7 releases at the 3 star level
-24 releases at the 3.5 star level
-27 releases at the 4 star level
-9 releases at the 4.5 star level
-6 releases at the 5 star level

All in all, of the 77 releases I started with 24 wound up falling by at least a half star vs 4 that wound up going up that much. So if the pattern holds when I get to albums, I'll have one underestimated release for every 6 that I was overly kind to on first pass, not counting the ones that stayed within their initial rating but wound up much lower in that subset than I'd have assumed on first pass. That's a bit of a damning figure, but it's also the reason that I decided to go about this process in such a painstaking manner - my gut is unreliable. Depending when I listened to an album, what mood I was in, whether I heard it on headphones or on speakers, whether I was fully engrossed in other things at the time and only got a rough idea of the release's make up, all kinds of other variables, my perception was skewed. More often than not it was skewed in the album's favor.

This affects the way I'm going to approach the albums when I get to that - in a week or so, depending on the state of my PC . Basically, I'm not going to do the sort of in depth review process I did here. That game plan worked for EPs because, by virtue of their length, I could easily tackle multiple listens to anywhere from 2 to 8 in a day complete with reviews for each one. Albums are more problematic in that regard, really if I expected to properly relisten to and review each of the albums I've rated 3.5 stars and above..well, we'd be here for a long time. So here's the game plan for albums, revised and ribbed for your pleasure:

3.5 Star Albums - I'll give each of these one extra listen. If the stand out as deserving of a more in depth revisit, I'll review them. If not they'll just get a brief blurb.

4 Star Albums - Each of these will get two extra listens. Once again, if the inspiration fairy hits me over the head I'll do reviews but it won't be for every single one (though probably more frequent than for the 3.5 star releases).

4.5 and 5 Star Albums - These will all get the in depth treatment, even if I find myself dropping them down to the lower tiers. Probably wind up eating, breathing and sleeping the particular albums for a couple of days each.

That seems a bit more manageable, especially since the 3.5 and 4 star albums make up about 90% of this section and enforcing a strict limit on how often I revisit them will certainly help make
sure I can finish this up by year's end.

UP NEXT: 1998 in Country and Rock singles. Expect the first post in this series sometime tonight or early tomorrow

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