Tom Waits - Rain Dogs - Well I guess the album finally clicked for me to find it somewhat enjoyable (years ago I listened to about 10 of his albums and hated all of them). I like Tom Waits voice and he is actually a decent songwriter and despite the wacky arrangement, he has a good sense of melodies. Although my earlier complaints of monotony still stand but ultimately a solid album. 11/15
XTC - Black Sea - OK after repeat listen, I like the album (I think listening to the album with all the bonus tracks at the end of the album instead of in the middle of the album which earlier rerelease of the album have improved things significantly). Sgt Rock and General and majors and are pop masterpiece. No Language in our Lungs is also an excellent song with some interesting and creative guitar playing. The rest of the album are solid enough songs to make it a 11/15 album. Although Nihilon still blows
XTC - Skylarking - Yeah it's an excellent album and every single song is good. However I'm just not hearing a 15/15 masterpiece that this album is apparently is (at least to John Mc). There's really a lack of dramatic contrast or exceptional melodies to really stand out above any other well-written pop album. every single song is really really good but I only think one song is particularly great. Dear God is my favourite which I'm not too sure why everyone on this board seemed to think it's a weaker XTC track unless people are put out . It certainly has a dramatic arc and varying intensity that most XTC songs lack and it's probably the stronger sets of melody of their entire career. Still a convincing 12/15
XTC - Apple Venus Part 1 - The album got off to a pretty bad opener but really it's the second best album of their career. Interesting usage of string instruments and solid songwriting. 12/15
Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand - I really really want to like this album. Just looking at the time length of the songs and the description of them attempting to write songs that sound like "Beatle's demo". I expected a collection of compact catchy pop songs (with crap recording). Instead it only really kinda achieved that mark about 1/3 of the time as the songwriting isn't exactly consistent from beginning to end.
Neutral Milk Hotel - Aeroplane - I'm probably somewhere in between George Starostin and John MC with this album. IT's a good album with an interesting vocalist. However the album seems kinda frontloaded. 11/15
Elvis Costello - Trust - Pretty bad bland hookless album outside the opening track Clubland 7/15