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Negatively Charged
Here goes the flipside - CDs that I regretted buying. And yeah... I'm not a fan of downloading music for free. I paid for all these CDs, and now I either have to sell them back, or find someplace to store them.

Worst CDs for the First Quarter of 2010

1. Peter Gabriel "Scratch My Back"

I love Peter Gabriel. Or scratch that... I love Peter Gabriel in the eighties and nineties. I loved his post-Genesis stuff, and "So" changed my life. Then why does he suck for the last ten years? Ok, ok, I kind of liked "Up", and some of his soundtrack work has been cute. But his smart idea for this CD was to cover other people's music. WITHOUT DRUMS. That's right... he has sucked out any life of these tunes. The power of David Bowie's "Heroes". Here it is a plodding dirge. The bounce and humor of Paul Simon's "Boy In The Bubble" is unrecognizable. And this CD made me like Radiohead and Arcade Fire a little less after hearing Gabriel's version. Peter, Peter, Peter... please come back to me. Or stop making music completely. I beg you.

2. The White Stripes "Under The Great White Northern Lights"

I like the White Stripes. Or I *did*. Maybe too much water has gone under the bridge. After falling in love with the Raconteurs, and his interplay and joy playing against Brendan Benson - after being challenged by the Dead Weather and delighted by Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose" - maybe I've grown tired of the limited tonality of the guitar-and-drum gimmick. It doesn't help that his live concert has muddy sound and a mediocre set list, in my opinion. The tour was cancelled because Meg White went a little crazy. As you'd expect anybody would do hanging around Jack White. This CD is a memento of a failed concert, and I predict will be the last recording of the White Stripes as a band.

3. OK Go "Of The Blue Color Of The Sky"

What videos! And the first CD was cute, in a power pop kind of way. I had high hopes this band would be another Rooney or Wheatus. Instead, all of their songs are instantly forgettable. Plus, the CD is saddled with a pretentious tie-in to an obscure 1876 parapsychology book. The concept album idea doesn't hold up, and the only thing we are left with is a collection of limp songs.

4. Charlotte Gainsbourg "IRM"

I like Charlotte Gainsbourg as an actress. I liked "Antichrist" a lot more than Master Thor did. And this CD is ok. At least, it's much better to my ear than "5:55", due to the lavish production by Beck. And that's where my problem lies. Instead of making stunning music by himself, Beck is wasting his talent and wasting his time by creating boring lifeless techno for an actress with a middling voice. Which brings me to...

5. Broken Bells "Broken Bells"

I love Danger Mouse... both his solo stuff as well as his collaboration with Cee-Lo Green as "Gnarls Barkley". And I love James Mercer and the Shins, especially "Oh, Inverted World". So, I assumed I'd love the combination. No? No. It's a stale CD that actually feels like too *much* work went into it. It's like I can hear them calculating. There's no space in this CD... it's like they're playing music AT me instead of FOR me. I don't know what they intended with this CD, but I will pretend it never happened.

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Possibly more than most of the music lovers I know, you NEED a music server, or at least an NAS device to store music files on. One risk of first impressions is that sometimes they don't last. I have a huge list of stuff I hated early on that grew on me with age (see, that explains that moss growing from certain body parts). Check out the Soloos Music Server, or the Logitech Squeezebox. If you store your music as digital files, it's still there to revisit later. The other big plus is that the hardware to decode CDs is getting better, and a lot of digital music sounds better when played back from lossless files on hard drives than from those silver discs (unless you've got something like a DCS Scarlatti, but who pays $65K for a single disk player?).

I dunno - I feel kind of burned lately. I bought a whole bunch of music on iTunes, and now the program is telling me the 'file is not found'. I'm gonna have to spend a whole bunch of time trying to find a backup on my multiple hard drives. Who has the time? Instead, I can go to my CD library and find the physical item and play it. That is... if it's not scratched... and if I can *find* the CD...

The file is likely exactly where it should be on your computer, and iTunes' link to it broke. A simple matter of directing it along the correct path should suffice.

Argh - I hate it when I click "add folder" and then iTunes adds a duplicate copy of every song.

depending on the number of songs missing, you can either 1) try to play that file, routing to your file manually 2) open the file manually, thus adding it to iTunes, and then deleting the old broken link or 3) convert your purchases to MP3 or what have you, stripping out the need for iTunes altogether.

Problem: iTunes broke my music
Solution: Don't use iTunes

That's exactly why NAS attached to a music server is the way to go. Most NAS units are RAID arrays, so if one drive dies, a redundant drive still has the data. iTunes is Satan, just for reference. The resolution of the data files is lower unless you specify you want the very best, and it has portability issues as well. If you buy the CD and copy onto NAS, your data should last longer, be more accessible, easier to find, and less vulnerable to the whims of Jobs & Co. Take another look, especially at the Soloos. It ain't cheap, but it displays album art, all the song info, and files your music in nearly any way you might want.

Serge Gainsbourg > Charlotte Gainsbourg
she's alright, but Daddy's got game.

Have you heard the new Frightened Rabbit? I'm sure you'll like that :)

I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

I liked the Gabriel album (and OK Go), but I am with you on the Gainsbourg CD. I guess I am one of the few who thinks Danger Mouse is WAY over rated.

unwanted cd's make great giant sequins. You could wear 'em with your new shirt!

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