madonna: ray of lights vs. smashing pumpkins: adore vs. depeche mode: ultra vs. tori amos: from the choirgirl hotel vs. roland orzabal: tomcats screaming outside vs.

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Poll Closing Date: Friday, 15 December 2017 00:00 (in 3 weeks)

aka my favorite microgenre, late-'90s early-'00s albums on which established pop and/or rock acts dip their toes in e l e c t r o n i c texture

(ultra included bc it feels like it's in conversation with these albums i.e. significantly more continuous and built on top of loops than their previous records) (ray of light included even though madonna had already been conversant with house on "vogue" and most of erotica, ray of light just feels of this moment) (passengers felt more appropriate here than either zooropa or pop but others may disagree) (up is probably the most tenuous inclusion here)

i know there are more of these and i feel bad only including the fraction that came immediately to mind this morning so pls add

madonna: ray of light
smashing pumpkins: adore
tori amos: from the choirgirl hotel
depeche mode: ultra
passengers: original soundtracks 1
roland orzabal: tomcats screaming outside
r.e.m.: up
other (pls specify)


ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:35 (five days ago) Permalink

lmao at me typing "ray of lights" in the title. it's an extremely minor error but can a mod fix?

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:36 (five days ago) Permalink

From the Choirgirl Hotel and ROL are my favorites.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:37 (five days ago) Permalink

lol that Orzabal album. I had no idea it existed.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:37 (five days ago) Permalink

it's extremely awesome. one of the tracks rips off orbital's "the girl with the sun in her head"

roland orbital

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:38 (five days ago) Permalink

hearing tomcats for the first time this morning is also the reason i started this thread

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:39 (five days ago) Permalink

If you're looking to make a list, you need U2's Pop, Herbie Hancock's Future 2 Future, Butthole Surfers' Weird Revolution

"the fgti incident?" (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:42 (five days ago) Permalink

i almost included pop! as explained above

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:43 (five days ago) Permalink

Ultra doesn't feel like it's in conversation with these albums at all. It's a great album though, and the one that I voted for.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:43 (five days ago) Permalink

i figured ppl would disagree with me there so fine!

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:44 (five days ago) Permalink

2nd or 3rd tier I guess in terms of popularity but I'd add Neil Finn's Try Whistling This

Simon H., Monday, 13 November 2017 16:45 (five days ago) Permalink

Up and Adore definitely feel like they come from the same kind of place, though. To me, at least.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:46 (five days ago) Permalink

it's extremely awesome. one of the tracks rips off orbital's "the girl with the sun in her head"

OK I'm going to have to listen to this now.

Gavin, Leeds, Monday, 13 November 2017 16:47 (five days ago) Permalink

you are missing ...

...

...

***************bush**************** the science of things*********************

marcos, Monday, 13 November 2017 16:49 (five days ago) Permalink

I love Madonna's mom-at-the-rave abandon here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AX55nr-Hxw

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:49 (five days ago) Permalink

At least half of these are from 1998 right? Another one that fits from that year is PJ Harvey's Is This Desire?, I'd probably vote for that. From the ones on the list, I'd have to go with Choirgirl Hotel, I revisited it a while back and really liked it.

Gavin, Leeds, Monday, 13 November 2017 16:51 (five days ago) Permalink

99.9ºF

willem, Monday, 13 November 2017 16:51 (five days ago) Permalink

I'm a huge Tears For Fears fan, but don't have any use for that Orzabal solo album.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:52 (five days ago) Permalink

you are missing ...

...

...

***************bush**************** the science of things*********************

― marcos, Monday, November 13, 2017 9:49 AM (three minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i relistened to that and imo for the most part it's just a shitty bush record

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:53 (five days ago) Permalink

I'm a huge Tears For Fears fan, but don't have any use for that Orzabal solo album.

― Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, November 13, 2017 9:52 AM (one minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

good for you friend

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:53 (five days ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'd say 1997-2001 was the prime period for this sort of thing of existing bands experimenting with electronic textures and even elements of prog, in a way. A whole number of later bands would then become influenced by that approach.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:56 (five days ago) Permalink

Rob Halford's 2wo record(s?).

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:56 (five days ago) Permalink

wondering if Bowie's 'Earthling' belongs here

omar little, Monday, 13 November 2017 16:56 (five days ago) Permalink

^^^ that's a good one

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:57 (five days ago) Permalink

Okay, there was only one 2wo record. I couldn't remember for sure.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:58 (five days ago) Permalink

imo for the most part it's just a shitty bush record

yea it is bad

marcos, Monday, 13 November 2017 16:59 (five days ago) Permalink

99.9ºF

― willem, Monday, November 13, 2017 10:51 AM (five minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Similar in content/intent but it's about half a decade older than the albums mentioned here so not sure if it would count.

Fresh Toast (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 November 2017 16:59 (five days ago) Permalink

Reznor seemed like he might go in this direction when he released 'Perfect Drug' between albums but he pulled back the reins a bit.

Fresh Toast (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:01 (five days ago) Permalink

Vega's album is Froom sticking his hurdy gurdy keyboards over standard acoustic singer-songwriter stuff; it doesn't belong in this category. If it belongs, then so do the Froom-produced Richard Thompson albums.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:02 (five days ago) Permalink

Also, can I just say: ctrl+f 'electronica', 0 results itt. Shameful.

Fresh Toast (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:03 (five days ago) Permalink

Feel like Garbage are relevant here in some way.

Gavin, Leeds, Monday, 13 November 2017 17:03 (five days ago) Permalink

Eh, that first Garbage album went pretty heavy on the electronics before going heavy on the electronics was cool. This thread seems reserved for the bandwagon jumpers.

Fresh Toast (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:05 (five days ago) Permalink

version 2.0 seems like the essence of the late-90s rock-electronica sound

marcos, Monday, 13 November 2017 17:09 (five days ago) Permalink

and I might rank it higher than almost every album on Brad's list.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:09 (five days ago) Permalink

this is definitely From the Choirgirl Hotel, so great

I think Pop fits a bit more directly than Original Soundtracks 1 but both are relevant

sort of weird that there isn't a NIN album that lines up with this vibe perfectly

ufo, Monday, 13 November 2017 17:11 (five days ago) Permalink

version 2.0 seems like the essence of the late-90s rock-electronica sound

― marcos, Monday, November 13, 2017 10:09 AM (two minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

lol i nearly included it, but didn't bc of the reasons old lunch stated

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:12 (five days ago) Permalink

yea it is bad

― marcos, Monday, November 13, 2017 9:59 AM (thirteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i mean i think "spacetravel" is def one of the few good bush songs but that's them pretending to be catherine wheel; the only songs on the record that seem aligned with this trend at all is "chemicals between us" and parts of "altered states"; otherwise it's a cleaner razorblade suitcase with worse songs

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:15 (five days ago) Permalink

UNKLE : Never Never Land.

dropped all pretence of hip hop for electronica.

mark e, Monday, 13 November 2017 17:17 (five days ago) Permalink

Everything But The Girl's 'Walking Wounded' should probably count here and an interesting example given its reasonable success both artistically and commercially (in the UK at least) from an act people weren't really expecting that from.

nashwan, Monday, 13 November 2017 17:37 (five days ago) Permalink

^ yes

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:39 (five days ago) Permalink

Ooh, I know one: Girls Against Boys - Freak*on*ica (gaaaag)

Home of the Ill-Considered Gravy Spigot (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:43 (five days ago) Permalink

Haaa, from Wikipedia:

In his retrospective review, Ned Raggett of AllMusic wrote that Freak*on*ica was "practically a joke, sounding more like a commercial band attempting to cover Girls Against Boys than the group itself."

Home of the Ill-Considered Gravy Spigot (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:44 (five days ago) Permalink

still no mention of radiohead/ok computer.
surely that would be of relevance here ?

mark e, Monday, 13 November 2017 17:45 (five days ago) Permalink

the big Canadian one was The Tea Party's Transmission ('97)

Simon H., Monday, 13 November 2017 17:45 (five days ago) Permalink

Ooh, I know one: Girls Against Boys - Freak*on*ica (gaaaag)

― Home of the Ill-Considered Gravy Spigot (Old Lunch), Monday, November 13, 2017 10:43 AM (seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this album is Actually Good but i figured no one would vote for it, so i left it out

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:52 (five days ago) Permalink

Everything But The Girl's 'Walking Wounded' should probably count here and an interesting example given its reasonable success both artistically and commercially (in the UK at least) from an act people weren't really expecting that from.

― nashwan, Monday, November 13, 2017 10:37 AM (fourteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

can't believe i forgot this one

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 13 November 2017 17:52 (five days ago) Permalink

Yes, absolutely Walking Wounded ... I don't think anyone was expecting them to head in that direction. The title track was one of my favourite singles of '96, even though it wasn't as big a hit as 'Wrong' or 'Missing' ...

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 13 November 2017 18:00 (five days ago) Permalink

I like Up a lot, I return to it more than I do the "peak" era REM stuff, mostly cause it's an hourlong sigh with almost no respite from the malaise (see also the Manics' TiMTTMY which *almost* works for this thread but the newly folded in electronic elements are just accents)

Simon H., Monday, 13 November 2017 18:00 (five days ago) Permalink

I'm relistening to Transmission right now and these hooks are so deeply embedded in my memories of early adolescence that I earnestly can't tell if this album is any good or not

Simon H., Monday, 13 November 2017 18:04 (five days ago) Permalink

Eh, that first Garbage album went pretty heavy on the electronics before going heavy on the electronics was cool. This thread seems reserved for the bandwagon jumpers.

― Fresh Toast (Old Lunch), Monday, November 13, 2017 5:05 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yeah that's fair.

Agreed on the mentions Walking Wounded, that's a great album (that I somehow only heard this year).

Gavin, Leeds, Monday, 13 November 2017 18:10 (five days ago) Permalink

yep. feel like the Beta Band's "Dog's Got a Bone" was a touchstone for a lot of this stuff too

the intentional phallusy (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 13:55 (four days ago) Permalink

Better Than Ezra - How Does Your Garden Grow?

MarkoP, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 14:25 (four days ago) Permalink

hey brad - posted this on another thread but wanted to make sure you saw it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vx3wCAWJSk

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 15:26 (four days ago) Permalink

Rickie Lee Jones' 'Ghostyhead' belongs here too. Oddly seems a more natural fit for her than many others who dabbled in this and would have liked to see her do more in this vein.

Dan Worsley, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 15:38 (four days ago) Permalink

Rickie Lee Jones' 'Ghostyhead' belongs here too. Oddly seems a more natural fit for her than many others who dabbled in this and would have liked to see her do more in this vein.

― Dan Worsley, Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:38 AM (nine minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

aw hell yeah i am listening to this record when i get home

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 15:48 (four days ago) Permalink

Beth Orton's Superpinkymandy seems like this whole scenario in reverse, wherein she began with the "engagement with electronica" approach and then abruptly moved to a folk pop sound.

doug watson, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 16:10 (four days ago) Permalink

A distinguishing feature of Ghostyhead for me is that Rickie used the “going electronica” manoeuvre to give full rein to a certain beatnik spontaneity that had been part of her stylistic make up from the beginning. For me the shifts in songwriting and performance are probably more essential to what makes that album fascinating than the album’s laurel canyon trip hop production, though that’s pretty interesting and largely successfully as well.

Tim F, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 16:38 (four days ago) Permalink

I think the Cure songs that best fit the thread are Wrong Number and their cover of World In My Eyes.

LeRooLeRoo, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 21:18 (four days ago) Permalink

an electronic RLJ album is totally expected

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 21:23 (four days ago) Permalink

I think the Cure songs that best fit the thread are Wrong Number and their cover of World In My Eyes.

I was thinking Mixed Up.

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 21:39 (four days ago) Permalink

Mixed Up is not a part of this trend any more than “W.F.L” or “Fool’s Gold” are.

Tim F, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 21:47 (four days ago) Permalink

I don't think The Cure is part of this at all, really.

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 21:48 (four days ago) Permalink

would Chromatics fit into this? going from a punk lo-fi style band into an Italo-disco style act.

omar little, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 21:51 (four days ago) Permalink

bands that change their sound completely like that are kind of a different thing, i think. i associate this period with one album detours.

brimstead, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 01:27 (three days ago) Permalink

i think there might be one person left from the og chromatics? it's almost like maybe the band broke up but johnny jewel wanted to still use the name? it is a cool band name.

brimstead, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 01:28 (three days ago) Permalink

madonna interview Tim posted was great, thanks Tim

flopson, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 01:29 (three days ago) Permalink

The thread specified late 90's - early 00's. To my ears, Wong Number ('97) and World in My Eyes ('98) have that electronic texture that was being used at the time. Also More Than This and A Sign From God. (x-post)

LeRooLeRoo, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 01:44 (three days ago) Permalink

13 by Blur, right? At least a few of the tracks seem to go down this path, plus produced by Orbit

Also, Medazzaland by Duran Duran seemed distinctly informed by electronica, even though they've also been synthy

Vinnie, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 01:59 (three days ago) Permalink

always been*

Vinnie, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 01:59 (three days ago) Permalink

Guys it’s simple: if the stylistic development has no conceivable relationship to quote unquote “electronica” then it is not part of this thread.

Tim F, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 03:54 (three days ago) Permalink

Chromatic definitely don’t count.

Tim F, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 03:55 (three days ago) Permalink

wanted to like Ghostyhead a lot more than I actually did.

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 06:32 (three days ago) Permalink

Chromatics are the best part of a decade too late?

It's not really a coincidence that the vast majority of the records in the original post are from the same year, and a general sense that the a lot of the defining musical narratives of the 90s had played themselves out by 1998. With a lot of these records you get a sense of artists spinning around trying to work out what to do next. Once again it's Ray of Light that feels like the most sure-footed step here.

A lot of this general malaise feels embodied in UNKLE's 'Psyence Fiction' but that obviously isn't within the remit of this thread.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 08:40 (three days ago) Permalink

iirc Madonna had a few other producers in mind for Ray of Light before or at least in addition to William Orbit so think she was spinning around as much as anyone - but the album does a good job of sounding like it was always meant to sound I guess.

nashwan, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:51 (three days ago) Permalink

oh shit here's one i completely forgot about: twilight as played by the twilight singers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwS4Rby2Re0

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:35 (three days ago) Permalink

yesssss good call

Simon H., Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:37 (three days ago) Permalink

Kid A is a bit too late to qualify (it's really the first of a particular kind of 00s record rather than a late 90s phenomenon),

we don't really need to talk about radiohead any more than we already have obv but surely kid a is a part of this phenomenon, "rock band explores electronica" was the overwhelming press narrative w/ this album and i think predecessors like u2, pumpkins, and rem who had already dabbled with electronica possibly allowed for the success of something like kid a, it was such a common arc for a band at that time

marcos, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:58 (three days ago) Permalink

And in a sense, what the artists were really engaging with was the uncertainty of what it meant to be modern and "alternative" in the late nineties, which you could boil down to appearing on the cover of Spin with slightly oddball make-up and ensuring that your music felt like it could soundtrack that cover photo

ha this is amazing. otm.

marcos, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:00 (three days ago) Permalink

i agree with the people who have suggested that the "talk show host" remix on the romeo + juliet soundtrack has more to do with this thread than kid a

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:24 (three days ago) Permalink

though technically one of the options in the poll is "too late to qualify" (the orzabal record is from 2002, it just sounds like it was recorded in 1998)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxkYMCA104o

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:26 (three days ago) Permalink

actually it's from 2001. sorry, that's an extremely misleading youtube embed

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:27 (three days ago) Permalink

^^^ i really love this record now

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:33 (three days ago) Permalink

i agree with the people who have suggested that the "talk show host" remix on the romeo + juliet soundtrack has more to do with this thread than kid a

― ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, November 15, 2017 4:24 PM (forty minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I don't. The approach of Kid A isn't distinct, it's part of the same continuum.

Also, if Guerrilla doesn't fit (it does) then Madonna and Depeche Mode sure as hell don't.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 17:09 (three days ago) Permalink

ok thanks turrican

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 17:12 (three days ago) Permalink

you know who really started this trend was the beatles maaan

marcos, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 17:14 (three days ago) Permalink

but anyways i am so grateful for this thread because it got me browsing through the 1998-2002 spin archives on google books https://books.google.com/books?id=NhMpG7hKAr0C&source=gbs_navlinks_s

marcos, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 17:15 (three days ago) Permalink

the first Natalie Imburglia album would definitely qualify as "token electronica sounds" in places

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 19:04 (three days ago) Permalink

the vein of albums brad is identifying are generally referencing mainstream forms of electronic music; Radiohead were/are more interested in the Warp catalogue and austere early electronic music

Simon H., Wednesday, 15 November 2017 19:08 (three days ago) Permalink

Basically, if it doesn't sound like it could have been on a split single with Republica, move on.

(I realize I've torpedoed my Cure argument here.)

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 19:15 (three days ago) Permalink

x-post:

'Everything In Its Right Place' and 'Hope' feel like they both come from near enough the same place to me.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 19:21 (three days ago) Permalink

y/n: Moby is the mirror image of this phenomenon

crüt, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 19:25 (three days ago) Permalink

Animal Rights already mentioned upthread

the first Natalie Imburglia album would definitely qualify as "token electronica sounds" in places

as opposed to all her earlier work? it's not like she was Laura Imbruglia previously

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 21:19 (three days ago) Permalink

does supposed former infatuation junkie work? i'm on the fence

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 21:47 (three days ago) Permalink

also i revisited pop for this and it's really astounding how "miami" derails the whole thing

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 21:57 (three days ago) Permalink

another one of U2's geography lesson songs that faceplants a bit (New York, Elvis Presley and America, Elvis Ate America, The Hands That Built America)

omar little, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 22:02 (three days ago) Permalink

though i actually mostly like all of those except for the last one

omar little, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 22:03 (three days ago) Permalink

Miami placement is OK if you think of that as side 2.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 22:04 (three days ago) Permalink

as opposed to the middle track on side C?

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 22:20 (three days ago) Permalink

That works, too.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 22:24 (three days ago) Permalink

'Miami', 'The Playboy Mansion' and 'If You Wear That Velvet Dress' back-to-back just kills the album, IMO.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 16 November 2017 07:03 (two days ago) Permalink


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