Category Archives: Pick of the Geek

Pick of the Geek – R.E.M. Monster

Pilloried on release – essentially for not being their previous album, 1992’s epochal Automatic for the People – Monster was often dismissed as a stadium band trying to catch the wave of grunge.  Nowadays, that accusation sounds hilariously off-base.  The musical trademarks of grunge –

Pick of the Geek – St Vincent’ St Vincent

If you’re going to release a self-titled album that isn’t a debut, people will expect it to say something about you.  Annie Clark’s fourth album under the name St Vincent certainly feels like someone coming into their own – it’s shinier, more confident and brasher

Pick of the Geek – An Experiment in Love

Hilary Mantel’s biggest strength as a novelist is her ability to embrace contradictions, so it’s hard to say anything about one of her books without noting that it could easily be seen the other way. Her historical novels have the settings and page counts of

Pick of the Geek – The Cremator

A Slovak Jew working in Czech Prague, Juraj Herz was an outsider even among the glorious misfits who populated the cinema scene of Communist-era Czechoslovakia. Nothing he ever did was predictable, so when he decided to address his history as an inmate of Ravensbrück concentration

Pick of the Geek – Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool

So who’s fully digested the new Radiohead album? Trick question: Radiohead haven’t been in the business of making immediately digestible albums since 1993 or thereabouts. But even if this review is doomed never to dive to the bottom of A Moon Shaped Pool, there’s still

Pick of the Geek – Eyedea & Abilities E&A

Hip Hop has a terrible reputation due in no small part to the tip of the derivative mainstream or more pointedly its gangster deviations. As is ever the case with any genre, the true visage can only be gazed upon when you dip your toe

Pick of the Geek – Beach Boys Surf’s Up

Pet Sounds is, of course, perfect, but sometimes albums can be great in their imperfections.  Case in point: 1971’s Surf’s Up, one of a series of Beach Boys albums designed to cannibalise the remnants of chief songwriter Brian Wilson’s enormous, unreleased project Smile.  The album

Pick of the Geek – Jenny Lewis The Voyager

Jenny Lewis has had some sort of a life – child actress, cult indie-rock frontwoman, solo singer-songwriter – and every messy moment of it is alchemised into beautiful art on this 2014 album.  If her debut solo album Rabbit Fur Coat seemed to be a

Pick of the Geek – Kelis Kaleidoscope

Before her milkshake caused impromptu gatherings at yards across the world, Kelis made her debut with this 2000 album, produced and chiefly written by the then-little-known duo of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo.  Kaleidoscope is obviously of a piece with the late-90s hip-hop and R&B

Pick of the Geek – The Magic Finger

To the Gregg family, hunting is just plain fun. To the girl who lives next door, it’s just plain horrible. She tries to be polite. She tries to talk them out of it, but the Greggs only laugh at her. Then one day the Greggs