Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No. 365: Louder Than Bombs

Band: The Smiths
Album: Louder Than Bombs
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: A compilation of singles and hits, "Louder Than Bombs" was an American album meant almost solely for American audiences. It has the same jangle and moping that you expect from the Smiths, with specific highs on the second half.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: It's still the Smiths and you still know what you're getting.
Best song: "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" is amazing
Worst song: "London" isn't great, but it is short.
Is it awesome?: It's not bad. They're not a bad band.

I've compared the Smiths to R.E.M. before and this record has a real R.E.M. guitar sound. I think I've mentioned that the Smiths are growing on me, but "Louder Then Bombs" has furthered the cause. A mostly singles compilation, the record is full of good stuff.

The second and third sides of the album are particularly great. From the short, sweet "William, It Was Really Nothing" to the amazing instrumental of "Oscillate Wildly," that section is really good. Later, on side four comes "This Night Has Opened My Eyes," another stunner.

Some of the songs run together, as I couldn't really differentiate between the end of "Sheila Take a Bow" and the beginning of "Shoplifters of the World Unite." Really, though, that could just be me.

I may become a Smiths convert yet.

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