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Old 28-05-2020, 09:57 PM   #1
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Arrow TiBB Album Club: 2020 Edition! [Album #22: "Heaven & Hell" by Ava Max]


Alright, so I have no idea how popular this will even be but that's alright because the previous edition only lasted for eight albums anyway... but here's how this will work.

Each week, a participating member will nominate an album - released in 2020 - for TiBB to evaluate over the course of the week. Ideally we'll be choosing major releases so as not to alienate people who just really don't care about Anna Calvi or whomever. Since we're on the cusp of a major pop release at midnight tonight, it only makes sense that the club opens with Chromatica by Lady Gaga.

So, starting from midnight tonight any member can - until next Thursday - reply in the thread with discussions about the album, favourite tracks, how it stands compared to previous albums, etc... I'm obviously not going to tell you what you can and can't post about but I will ask for one thing: a score out of ten. At the end of the listening week, I'll add up all of the scores, divide it by the number of scores multiplied by ten, and work out a percentage from that - pretty much how the scoring system works for Metacritic. A score is the only essential requirement from anyone wishing to take part, but please back up your score with reasoning so this can be a little bit more of an interesting thread than a string of meaningless numbers! Oh and by score out of ten, I am lenient with halves and other decimal placings. If you really want to fine-tune the minutiae of your score between a 7.4 and 7.3, then go ahead babe!

I'm not under any delusions; I fully expect this to have peaks and troughs because TiBB cannot feasibly care as much about a week of Christine and the Queens as much as they'll care about a week of Gaga/Katy/Kesha/Britney/Rihanna etc, but as long as we can get a good dollop of 5-10 scores per album, the game can theoretically keep going until we die in 2021 from the third Corona wave! Anyone is welcome to participate, new or not.

I would ask that people judge albums fairly based on personal enjoyment, and don't seek to just...poo on stuff that is enjoyed by members you dislike... but I am fully aware of what TiBB is and is capable of, so, I'll set that little stillborn idea down the River Ganges and wish it well.

I'll update the OP with a Spotify link for the album currently under scrutiny.

----------------------------------------------

Album 1 — Lady Gaga - Chromatica — Score: 83 (29/5-4/6) - 17 reviews
Album 2 — The Weeknd - After Hours — Score: 68 (5/6-11/6) - 9 reviews
Album 3 — Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters — Score: 82 (12/6-18/6) - 11 reviews
Album 4 — The 1975 - Notes on a Conditional Form — Score: 53 (19/6-25/6) - 4 reviews
Album 5 — Haim - Women In Music Pt. III — Score: 74 (26/6-2/7) - 8 reviews
Album 6 — Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure? — Score: 87 (3/7-9/7) - 9 reviews
Album 7 — Soccer Mommy - Color Theory — Score: 79 (10/7-16/7) - 6 reviews
Album 8 — Tame Impala - The Slow Rush — Score: 71 (17/7-23/7) - 5 reviews
Album 9 — Taylor Swift - folklore — Score: 69 (24/7-30/7) - 9 reviews
Album 10 — Grimes - Miss Anthropocene — Score: 90 (31/7-6/8) - 6 reviews
Album 11 — La Roux - Supervision — Score: 77 (7/8-13/8) - 4 reviews
Album 12 — Perfume Genius - Set My Heart On Fire Immediately — Score: 91 (14/8-20/8) - 4 reviews
Album 13 — Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher — Score: 93 (21/8-27/8) - 4 reviews
Album 14 — Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia — Score: 85 (28/8-3/9) - 4 reviews
Album 15 — Katy Perry - Smile — Score: 45 (4/9-10/9) - 4 reviews
Album 16 — Purity Ring - Womb — Score: 68 (11/9-17/9) - 4 reviews
Album 17 — Declan McKenna - Zeros — Score: 67 (18/9-24/9) - 6 reviews
Album 18 — Chloe x Halle - Ungodly Hour — Score: 78 (25/9-1/10) - 4 reviews
Album 19 — Róisín Murphy - Róisín Machine — Score: 88 (2/10-8/10) - 4 reviews
Album 20 — Kiesza - Crave — Score: 73 (9/10-15/10) - 3 reviews
Album 21 — beabadoobee - Fake it Flowers — Score: 72 (16/10-22/10) - 3 reviews
Album 22 — Ava Max - Heaven and Hell — Score: tbd (23/10-29/10)



----------------------------------------------

Scoring system:
100-81: Universal acclaim
80-71: TiBB enjoyed it quite a lot
70-61: A strong showing
60-51: Very mixed results, indicating either "nobody cared about this album" or "everybody cared about this album in contrasting ways"
50-41: A very lukewarm score, barely worth considering
40-31: TiBB did not like this album
30-21: TiBB wish this album did not exist
20-0: TiBB will not recover from this mistake
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You're giving me a million reasons about a million reasons

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What kind of ugly scum?

Last edited by Shaun; 25-10-2020 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 29-05-2020, 12:49 PM   #2
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Link for this week's record is now in the OP, so get listening and submit a score for it by next Thursday! For the first few weeks I'll pick the albums myself before opening them up to suggestions, just to make sure we cover some of the biggest releases of 2020 before plowing ahead with anything newer.

I'm thinking Fiona Apple, Dua Lipa, The Weeknd and The 1975 will be the next four.
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You're giving me a million reasons about a million reasons

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What kind of ugly scum?
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Old 29-05-2020, 12:53 PM   #3
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I'm gonna give it another detailed listen before making my final first impression judgments
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Old 29-05-2020, 12:56 PM   #4
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I’ll get to work over the weekend!
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Old 29-05-2020, 12:57 PM   #5
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7/10

Her best since Born This Way without a doubt, a much more cohesive and flowing album with some of the best songs of ber career (Alice, Babylon) and I wouldn’t call any song outright bad.

On the other hand, some songs just scream filler and because there are no ballads a lot of songs end up sounding similar.

Last edited by Daniel.; 29-05-2020 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 29-05-2020, 01:23 PM   #6
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9/10
A solid and cohesive album. Very exciting to listen, every track just feels so epic. It's a nice and fun distraction from the chaos if the world around us. I love that she created a whole world and aesthetic around this project it just adds to the fun.

Best: Alice, Rain On Me, Sour Candy, Replay, Sine from above and Babylon
Worst: Free Woman and Plastic Woman
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Old 29-05-2020, 01:23 PM   #7
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I’ll do this at some point!
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Old 29-05-2020, 03:27 PM   #8
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Havent had chance to listen to most of the songs so far but why is sine spelt wrong?
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Old 29-05-2020, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Havent had chance to listen to most of the songs so far but why is sine spelt wrong?
It isn’t
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Old 29-05-2020, 03:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strictly Jake View Post
Havent had chance to listen to most of the songs so far but why is sine spelt wrong?
Sine as in sine wave
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Old 29-05-2020, 04:34 PM   #11
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okay so after another listen my current ranking is...

1. Alice (euphoric, amazing, one of her best ever)
2. Babylon (sounds like Countess Luanne, iconic, amazing, madonna vibes)
3. Free Woman (a great beat, catchy chorus, just an all round boppy song)
4. Rain On Me (loved it from first listen, fits into the album so well)
5. Plastic Doll (the production is very carly rae jepson, I think its the most interesting on the album)
6. 911 (I love the lower beat on this track, it gives such 2009 demo type vibes but I love it)
7. Sine From Above (I wasnt sure at first but its such a 1999/2000 euroclub banger)
8. Stupid Love (even though its this far down I still love it, I think because its older its not as fresh as the rest right now)
9. Enigma (I find this one interesting, its a great song)
10. 1000 Doves (a nice song and I love the chorus beat, but its not a standout for me)
11. Fun Tonight (I like how its a sad song masked over a beat, its very 'Dancing On My Own')
12. Replay (I dont know how I feel about this one.. the jingling keys noise in the left ear during the chorus is distracting)
13. Sour Candy (just not a huge fan, didnt need to be a feature)

Its too early to say where it stands with her other albums. Definitely better than Joanne for sure, i'd even say its one of her strongest up there with Born This Way. We'll have to wait and see how time treats it.

9/10
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Old 29-05-2020, 05:03 PM   #12
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Good tier: Enigma, Sour Candy, 911
Great tier: Fun Tonight, Stupid Love
Amazing tier: Free Woman, Rain on Me, Plastic Doll, Alice, Sine From Above
Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique tier: Replay, 1000 Doves, Babylon

As others have said, it's one of her most cohesive albums, and it's one that manages to stick to a distinct, fully-realised concept without collapsing under the weight of itself. I actually really like the interludes ('Chromatica I' in particular is epic af and put me in mind of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which isn't something I can say about most pop albums) and I love how the album mixes space opera camp with Eurotrash with 90s house to create an instantly-recognisable Lady Gaga feel without retreading anything that she's done before. A 9/10 it is.
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Old 29-05-2020, 05:43 PM   #13
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Honestly, most the songs sounded the same. I’d imagine I’d love all the singles that she releases from it, but I can’t listen to the album again. Proper headache inducing.

4/10 because Alice and Sine From Above gave it an ounce of variety and I liked that.
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Old 29-05-2020, 06:01 PM   #14
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*feels safe to post now Withano has*

Yeah I didn't dislike the album, it started out pretty fun but by the middle it was feeling very repetitive which carried on until the end. Also as with all her albums I can't help but hold them to TFM's standard which she frustratingly fails to live up to with every release.

5/10
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Old 29-05-2020, 06:04 PM   #15
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Fetch the bolt cutters next girls?
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Old 29-05-2020, 06:55 PM   #16
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Gonna give it a few more listens before I give my final verdict

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*feels safe to post now Withano has*

Yeah I didn't dislike the album, it started out pretty fun but by the middle it was feeling very repetitive which carried on until the end. Also as with all her albums I can't help but hold them to TFM's standard which she frustratingly fails to live up to with every release.

5/10
In her defence, you could easily make 8 track EP’s out of BTW/AP/Joanne/Chromatica which would be on TFM’s level, it’s just the extra songs that bog it down. If TFM was a full 12-15 track album it wouldn’t be as highly regarded as it is imo
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Old 29-05-2020, 08:21 PM   #17
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Let me start by saying that the elton collab is EVIL and needs to be thrown into a volcano... just absolutely terrible. As for the other collabs ROM is great but sour candy feels kind of pointless and didn’t really need to be a collab. I’m kinda sad that the chromatica interludes also feel pointless like if they were longer and... better :/ they would have been a really cute addition but in their current state they’re just silly filler. The only other gripe i have is the robotic vocals that feature on quite a few tracks (they kind of spoil alice in particular) are annoying. There are quite a few filler/genuinely bad tracks too and they sound like they could have been on the fame. I just think they add nothing and drag the album down because of how **** they are but i guess there’s room for everybody let’s just say that. Having said all that i think it’s easily the best album of her entire career and has many GORGEOUS songs to fall in love with :kissyface:

Kill it before it lays eggs: sine from above

Shoulda stayed in the drafts: chromatica interludes, fun tonight, 911, plastic doll

Did everybody try these tracks? I thought these tracks were lovely: stupid love, rain on me, free woman, sour candy, babylon

Best: alice, enigma, replay, 1000 doves


8/10

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Old 29-05-2020, 09:46 PM   #18
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I hope this works the same way as metacritic in that some people’s reviews carry more weight than others
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Old 29-05-2020, 09:49 PM   #19
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I was wanting to join this game and I also really like the 1975 and the weeknd so I will take part and listen to TIBBs selections. Based on what I’ve heard so far I am not at all a fan of this album but I will give it a go and listen all the way through (so help me) and be objective, maybe I’ll like it

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Old 29-05-2020, 09:57 PM   #20
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I predict that Douglas will break the scale and give Chromatica a 12 out of 10
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Old 30-05-2020, 02:27 AM   #21
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Chromatica Review

Gaga’s musical career has been a bit rocky since Born This Way, to say the least. Artpop was a mismanaged, disjointed mess with none of the ideas really “sticking”. The jazz collaboration with Tony Bennett was great for appealing to the over sixties crowd yet alienated her core fan base even further. 2016’s Joanne stripped things back and, whilst received well enough, still left most yearning for a return to her pop routes. Fast forward four years and Chromatica has landed.

The first impression one gets is that Gaga’s latest offering is vastly different to what she’s released previously. The first interlude merges into album opener Alice beautifully and the tone for the next 40 minutes or so is set; Gaga’s striking vocals intertwined with polished, pumping house beats. Dare I say, Alice might just be one of her best tracks yet. It’s so unlike anything she’s released up to this point, yet you’d never have guessed so; she sounds as focused as she ever has done. It’s really quite something and a world away from second track and lead single Stupid Love. That’s not to say the latter isn’t good - Its 80’s inspired hook is still as catchy as it was from when it was first released and it was a perfect choice for the lead. However, compared to Alice and indeed, the rest of the album, it can’t help but feel a tad out of place.

Rain on Me steers things back to the more dance-orientated route and this continues with obligatory empowerment themed Free Woman; The former in particular is a summer track dripping with replay-ability, helped by its “earworm” nature.

Further into the album, Enigma showcases once again Gaga’s strong vocals over an even stronger hook. Things only improve with Replay - producers BURNS and Benjamin Rice work their magic and the end result is a spectacularly twangy piece of pop.

Not everything is perfect, however. Fun Tonight feels a bit lost after such a strong opening. 911, whilst catchy, harkens back to her days of “The Fame” with amped up auto tune and a simplistic beat. Plastic Doll finds itself on the filler side of things with a fine enough chorus and some not-so-good verses. Sour Candy is something of a missed opportunity - The best parts of the track are those featuring just Gaga, but at only 2:38 minutes long and a strong presence of featured Kpop group BLACKPINK, those moments are few and far between.

Things close off with the third interlude, followed by Sine From Above. A soft EDM inspired track, it’s easy to see the influence Ryan Tedder and Axwell have had as songwriter and producer, respectively. It’s all a bit of a cringe from start to finish, with Elton John’s unexpected (and unnecessary) feature and the random last 40 or so seconds of drum and bass, for whatever reason. Camp but strong Europop-inspired 1000 Doves puts things right again before we hit the last of the album with Babylon. It’s cliché to say that “the best was saved ‘till last”, but Babylon is a fantastic 80’s styled throwback to Madonna’s Vogue/Bowie’s Fame. The instrumental is as euphoric as they come and Gaga once again feels right at home with yet another style at her feet.

As a package, Chromatica is Gaga’s most cohesive vision to date. It’s not perfect, but for the first time in years, her vision and concept has come together.

Average/Mixed: Sine From Above, Sour Candy
Good: Free Woman, Fun Tonight, 911, Plastic Doll
Great: Stupid Love, Rain On Me, Enigma, 1000 Doves
Amazing: Alice, Replay, Babylon

Album Rating: 9/10
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Old 30-05-2020, 03:14 PM   #22
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Changed my score because of that HORRIBLE middle section of fun tonight/911/plastic doll

I just can’t get over it girls

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Old 30-05-2020, 03:42 PM   #23
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911 is a fav
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Old 30-05-2020, 03:45 PM   #24
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Actually nvm they’re kinda growing on me now
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Old 30-05-2020, 03:45 PM   #25
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Quote:
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911 is a fav
Trash
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