Top Ten Albums on Which Allmusic and Laut.de Disagree

Martin_Canine
AllMusic is a well known American music review website, while laut.de is a famous German one. Although they mostly agree on classic records, the websites often have differing views, especially when it comes to pop music. Their approach is too different: AllMusic judges mainly by entertainment value, and judges within a musical style and an artist's discography, while laut.de has bias towards certain genres or artists, and usually doesn't have a very high opinion on music that follows certain structures. AllMusic ratings have a higher average, and they rarely give really bad ratings, while laut.de often go for their lowest rating even when the review is not entirely negative.
Despite both sites having a five star rating system (although AllMusic also has half stars, which laut.de doesn't), the meaning is different. So this is more about the essence of their reviews rather than the mere rating.

The Top Ten

1 From Under the Cork Tree - Fall Out Boy

My opinion:
"From Under the Cork Tree" is a great emo album that features everything that makes the genre. Yes, the songs are often filled with sorrow, but it's delivered with a cynical sense of humor that often equals gallows laughter. Patrick Stump is a great vocalist, whose voice could as well be used for blues or jazz, and the songs are all poppy and catchy.
4 out of 5 stars from me. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic's opinion (4.5 stars):
Fall Out Boy's emo rock with a nod to early 2000s pop punk has the full palette of emotions, cynism and heartbreak but with a point beyond delivering mere clichés.

Laut.de's opinion (2 stars):
The album contains forgettable pop punk that has been heard before, and while the production is good, nobody will remember this rather uncreative outcome. - Martin_Canine

2 Rebirth - Lil Wayne

My opinion:
I never got the hate for rap rock. Or for Weezy. Wayne is capable of some sick word play and puns and has this wonderfully raspy voice. It sure helps if you see this album as hip hop with rock elements rather than the other way around. It wasn't made by a rocker, but a rapper. And for what it is, it's pure fun. It's anarchic, chaotic and unpredictable. In one moment, Wayne seems to celebrate a 90s punk vibe, then he suddenly shifts to 80s synth rock, all within the context of hip hop of course. I'll go with laut.de in this case and give it a 4 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic's opinion (2 stars):
Lil Wayne fails to deliver rock music and has no idea of how to get an organic, gripping sound out of a guitar. While he is good at hip hop, he lacks basic understanding of how this new genre works.

Laut.de's opinion (4 stars):
Lil Wayne's shrieking, roaring voice rides the powerful, energetic rock instrumentals as he sings and raps absolute lyrical insanity. It was complemented how Wayne managed to go on full throttle and had the freedom to try out whatever came to his mind, and the reviewer admitted to have had the record stuck on replay for weeks. - Martin_Canine

3 Paris - Paris Hilton

My opinion:
I have no idea what AllMusic was on when writing this review. I have barely seen them as enthusiastic, not even on their 5 star albums. They seemed to have had maximum fun with this record, and I'm glad for them they did.
I on the other hand thought it was average. Forget it's Hilton who sung this, it's about the music, not the person. The record has a bunch of well produced pop songs, but they sound mostly like outtakes from other, bigger stars. They are solid, yet never stand out. Not once. Hilton stays within her comfort zone vocal-wise, which is not unpleasant but not outstanding either.
So in conclusion, its main quality is not being bad - it's however in no way any memorable.
2.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4.5 stars):
It's one of the most irresistible and entertaining pop pleasures of all time, and equivalent to "Blondie, Madonna and Gwen Stefani" (original quote). It's light hearted fun with perfect production and balanced moods, and finds its own identity.

Laut.de (2 stars):
The album is solidly produced and Hilton has gathered a variety of people who know how to write quality mainstream music, but it lacks heart and soul, and is simply a merchandise product of a woman who brings little personality into the product. - Martin_Canine

4 Bangerz - Miley Cyrus

My opinion:
Now I see in this record what AllMusic saw in Paris Hilton's. It's an irresistible, catchy and overall well executed pop record that contains everything the pop world has to offer. Songs like "FU" and "Wrecking Ball" show that Cyrus indeed can sing and bring in a soulful vibe, other songs, like "Love Money Party" or "Do My Thang" embrace modern hip hop sounds - and it works. "Adore You" and "Drive" are fine RnB tunes and "4� - 4" even contains country elements. In other terms: it has everything you could want from a pop album, and it's done done well. Cyrus wrote some - not all - of the songs on top. And surprisingly, it's not even as much a "bad girl" album, lyrically it stays within the average pop territories of profanity and sex.
4.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (3.5 stars):
It's perfect pop bliss with a variety of influences, from country to RnB, that has Miley as a popstar to take seriously in the meantime.

Laut.de (1 star):
Again, another singer puts on the bad girl image to sell more records. - Martin_Canine

5 Dark Horse - Nickelback

My opinion:
Maybe you need to be American to understand for Nickelback, but to me, this is a great rock album. Like, really great. When they want to have a good time, they go all out, with immediately hard hitting riffs, powerful vocals and melodies that immediately leave an impression. Also lyrically they know what to deliver: they make parties and sex sound like lots of fun, and that's exactly what they are supposed to be (songs about sex are NOT misogynic, actually, it's the opposite). However, they also add depths to their slower tracks: fear of being alone is a topic, so is enjoying your life to the fullest as it is short. There's even a very honest song about drug abuse on the record.
4.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (1.5 stars):
A horrible, vulgar and misogynic mess of an album that is a sign of pure shallowness and tastelessness.

Laut.de (3 stars):
Nickelback play rock really good and are professionals at their genre. Their party anthems rock heavily and give a great vibe, and their soft ballads really show they know how it's done. It was however criticized the album is not homogenous and sounds like two different bands created it. Fun fact: they gave special thoughts on individual tracks, among the ones they praised were "S.E.X.", "Next Go Round" and "Something in Your Mouth", which AllMusic called misogynic and vulgar. - Martin_Canine

This is a very good hard rock-ish album (mostly hard rock vibe) and I like several songs on it - I am not crazy about grunge and post-grunge, and this explains why I prefer this album over some others by them.
There are great riffs and very good vocals on this album. Eh lyrics to one of the songs are vulgar but nowhere near pop or rap lyrics about sex. Misogynic? No. If lyrics to this album are horrible, vulgar and misogynic, so are most of the lyrics in hard rock - AC/DC, Whitesnake, Kiss, Motley Crew, and many more.
I think AllMusic didn't get the change in the style the band made.
My fave song is Burn It to the Ground, a great hard rock song - hard rock as we know it.
2nd best music is to "Something in Your Mouth" (eh, lyrics aren't the best but riffs are great, and the song is with high energy).
Production of the album is very good (Mutt Lange).
My rating: 4/5 (and I am not even their fan). - Metal_Treasure

6 M A N I A - Fall Out Boy

My opinion:
Obviously, your opinion on this album depends on whether you liked Fall Out Boy before. AllMusic loved their emo pop, laut.de hated it. Now, the latter embraced the different sound, the other thought they lost what made them good.
To me, it's not even such a drastic shift. Ever since "Save Rock & Roll" they reduced the emo sound more and more and interpolated more retro rock, pop, soul and electro into the music. Now this is a logical next step. And as such, it's done well: the lyrics are awesome, the instrumentals are varied and Stump barely sounded as soulful before.
4 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (2.5 stars):
Fall Out Boy have no idea how to properly deliver electro pop and come off as old men chasing modern trends, without quite understanding them, plus it's pretty lengthy.

Laut.de (4 stars):
It's their first positive review of a Fall Out Boy album. They praised the variety on the record, and how they perfectly managed to combine experimentalism with pop appeal - all with great vocals by Patrick Stump. - Martin_Canine

7 Exile in Guyville - Liz Phair

My opinion:
"Exile in Guyville" is a masterpiece of feminist rock. With a minimalistic and completely honest performance, Phair proudly embraces her sexual desires, but also her mistakes and sometimes digs deep into how her character keeps her from living how she'd like to. The thing that Phair does here is reminding us of what so many forget these days: sex is part of us. Liz Phair is a very sexual person, but she's far deeper and more complex than that. She has her sorrows, and often her fear of having a relationship that goes beyond the physical pleasure is getting in the way of her getting to know real love.
Ultimately, it's all about HER feelings, and that's what makes this a feminist album. Because, believe it or not, there are women who have fun making out with guys, when it's to their condition.
5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (5 stars):
The album contains no holds barred clever lyrics that are deeply written, and performed and crafted with a minimalistic lo-fi sound that ranges from folk to hard rock, and has maximum quality throughout the entire tracklist.

Laut.de (3 stars):
In a retrospective review about a reissue, the album was positively reviewed for its lyricism and Phair's honest vocal delivery, yes, but it was also noted how dated it sounds, and how its musical approach didn't really sound as gripping today, and not as relevant. - Martin_Canine

8 Zeiten ändern dich - Bushido

AllMusic (4 stars):
Bushido's album that was released along his (lackluster) biopic of the same name, isn't a soundtrack, but a great studio album that shows Bushido being at ease with being Germany's number one hardcore rapper (addition from my side: he's the most successful rapper in Germany ever, not just hardcore hip hop).

Laut.de (2 stars):
Bushido lost his bite, and became a pop star of the media whose polished and pseudo-emotional style of rapping and producing has nothing in common with his hard and rough street rap origins, and appeals mostly to kids and teens who want to feel tough. - Martin_Canine

My opinion:
Rapper-producer Bushido is pretty much hit or miss. In the early 2000s, he was extremely inventive and kind of created the blueprint for every German rapper and hip hop producer, his uber violent image combared with migrant culture and his use of soundtrack samples and drum kits can be found on most German rap albums nowadays. But then he started repeating himself, and around the turn of the century, he felt kind of lost. At first, he tried to became poppier, tamer. He collaborated with schlager singers from the 70s and comedians, and wanted to be more inspirational than edgy - it was often horrible. Then he did the opposite and became completely radical and controversial, threatening politicians and making terrorist punchlines. It was much better and really atmospheric, but completely over the top. Right now, he's back to his original street rap style and it fits him best.
"Zeiten ändern dich" is the best album of his pop phase. It has some decent jams, and not a ...more - Martin_Canine

9 No Fixed Address - Nickelback

My opinion:
It's really lame and uninspired. They reduced the amount of rock and tripled that of pop. The thing is: Nickelback don't know how to make interesting pop. They essentially make rock without the rock, and interpolate some electronic effects. The outcome is a Nickelback album without any energy or anything remotely fun, but containing a Flo Rida guest verse.
2 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (3.5 stars):
Kroeger knows how to keep Nickelback relevant by altering their style to a more electronica based pop rock piece that sounds fresher and more mature than before, and is the best Nickelback ever sounded.

Laut.de (1 star):
A lifeless, passionless try at stadium rock delivered completely without any slight glance of wit or energy - even the slower ballads sound completely uninspired. Fun fact: in this review they again praised "Something in Your Mouth" and "Next Go Round", saying that on here, Nickelback are far from such "jewels" ("Juwelen"). - Martin_Canine

10 American Life - Madonna

My opinion:
This is one of my ultimate favorite albums by one of my ultimate favorite artists. While on music, she used the mix of electronica and folk to create a disco vibe, on here it's pretty much the opposite: the sound is completely experimental and hardly dancable, although both AllMusic and laut.de called it club oriented. Instead, it's highlighting her poetry and political messages, at a time where a lot of horrible things were going on in the world, and only occasionally allows the beat to be in the spotlight over the singer. All of the song structures are unusual, and the combination of extremely distorted synths and organic sounds wasn't heard again with such ambition until Kanye unleashed his beautiful dark twisted fantasy.
5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (2.5 stars):
Madonna and Mirwais mix acoustic and electro club bangers, social commentary and introverted mediation, and it often doesn't work because it's constantly switching between extremes, and sometimes comes out as awkward.

Laut.de (4 stars):
Highlighting single tracks, their review basically consists of continuous praise of Mirwais' production and soundscapes, and how the songs develop from minimalistic to electronic overkills. Their review is focused less on the lyrical content of social commentary (they briefly criticize the decision of not airing the title track's music video to be respectful of the troops, though), but more on the musical approach and composition. - Martin_Canine

The Contenders

11 19 - Adele

My opinion:
Adele is hands down the greatest singer-songwriter of her generation. Her soul vocals are mind blowing and equals those of the great divas, and her songwriting craft is pure poetry that could grant her a spot in the olymp of music lyricists. She shows all this on her debut album, also it's admittedly not as strong as her two follow up records. She was still trying to find a personality of her own and it lacks songs that hit you at full power.
3.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4 stars):
Adele is an enchanting singer-songwriter whose blues, folk and soul leaves listeners in awe, as her voice and musicality is simply magical.

Laut.de (2 stars):
The tracklist feels completely random and weird, the production is at times terrible in its mixing, and at parts it's straightforward boring. Adele was praised as a singer, but the producer was harshly criticized for his entire job. - Martin_Canine

12 Good Girl Gone Bad - Rihanna

My opinion:
If there's one problem with this record it's that Rihanna didn't write any of the material herself, while on later albums she was at least writing on some of her tracks. However there were people writing this and they did a good job. Disco stompers, pop rock, RnB ballads or electro pop, you find pretty much everything on here you might want from a fun pop album, and just like AllMusic stated, all 12 songs could have been singles.
4.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4.5 stars):
The music on "Good Girl Gone Bad" is like a collection of what pop has to offer in 2007, with each of the 12 tracks having hit potential.

Laut.de (1 star):
Rihanna's album consists entirely of tiring clichés and features lackluster after lackluster with nothing slightly inventive or original in the tracklist. - Martin_Canine

13 Herzeleid - Rammstein

My opinion:
Rammstein were indeed very challenging at their time, and their music still is at times, although they established themselves so much thst everybody knows their intention. They dig deep into the psyche of deeply disturbed people on their debut, and so songs about incest, killing sprees and necrophilia can be found on here, but covered in wordings that could have come from a classic poet of the 18th century. The sound they created, including Lindemann's trademark vocals and the mix of heavy rock and eurodance was something unheard and groundbreaking as well.
5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (3 stars):
Rammstein aren't really inventive annd stick to the classic ingredients, but they somehow mix the synth pop and metal (their wording, not mine) up in a way it becomes radio friendly while it usually wouldn't be. It doesn't vary much, but it's brutal and big.

Laut.de (5 stars):
In a retrospective review on their "Milestones" list, they noted how the Rammstein record was historical as it brought a movement that only existed in the underground to mainstream attention, and challenged every radio listener with their sound, image and especially their controversial yet very artful lyrics, sparking nationwide discussions and even making international impact.

Now, their reviews are both positive, but really, how different can the same music be received? Radio friendly vs. absolutely challenging.
Now, AllMusic, I generally like you and especially your pop reviews but you write by far the worst and most superficial Rammstein reviews. Ever. - Martin_Canine

14 Rebel Heart - Madonna

My opinion:
I love Madonna like little other artists, she constantly managed to reinvent herself and she interpolated sounds and styles into her pop music that weren't heard except for in underground or avantgarde circles. However, in the 2010s, she kind of run out of energy and creativity. Sadly. At first, "MDMA" was pretty much just a collection of what sounded like leftovers from other, more modern pop artists' albums of the early 2010s, and had her chasing trends without much personality of her own, and "Rebel Heart" is just the same for mid-2000s pop. In direct comparison to other artists who make similar music, it's just not as memorable or inventive. There's no twist to the formula as she usually added on her earlier albums. But it's solid.
2.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4 stars):
On "Rebel Heart", Madonna offers a humane mix of modern sounds and nostalgic flashbacks, light hearted pop bliss and taboo breaking, the album leaving her usual need for control behind, allowing Madonna to mix her past style with the present.

Laut.de (2 stars):
The many collaborations on the album let Madonna sound cheap, and two thirds of the album are exchangable or even straightfoward horrible. One direct quote (translated): "In the end, musically she sounds more like the bitch of Usher than the icon she actually is." - Martin_Canine

15 Ich und meine Maske - Sido

AllMusic (4 stars):
Sido moves away from the boundaries of street centered hardcore hip hop in favor of a much more diverse style with different approaches. While it does have its fair amount of adult oriented content, it also has funnier songs as well as serious ones, next to his usual formula. Oh, and for some reasons they think "Augen auf" is about Sido being a bad role model.

Laut.de (2 stars):
Sido turns into a sell out whose once edgy and entertainingly vulgar approach becomes completely tame. Also musically, the productions are far on the pop side of hip hop. They think Sido has lost his bite and has become commercial. But at least they know that "Augen auf" is about child neglect. - Martin_Canine

My opinion:
It is true that with this album Sido lost his edge. And AllMusic got a bit of a wrong ides about Sido: he was never a gangsta rapper, he was more like Eminem in that he had lots of shock value humor unheard back then, and what he delivers on here would barely be seen as adult oriented on here (just because it has some sex).
HOWEVER, I think Sido actually improved with this record. The poppy beats suit him very much and actually make his style more balanced (the bagpipe on "Strip für mich", the synth pop of "Carmen" and the funky vibe of "Halt dein Maul" are more exciting than the same old dark beats), and he's really funny when putting on his humorous side (e.g. on the title track where he becomes schizophrenic through his mask), and if he wants to, he actually get pretty dark and conscious - "Augen auf" is a clever take on child neglect that actually offers an opinion, and "Danke", which is a prayer in which Sido, who came across as pretty blasphemic in the past ...more - Martin_Canine

16 More Life - Drake

My opinion:
Actually, both websites are right.
My first Drake album was "If You're Reading This It's Too Late", and when I heard it, I was mesmerized. The emotionally driven lyrics, the melodious hybrid of rapping and singing and the drowzy, echoing beat work was unlike everything I heard. I'd immediately give it 5 stars and name it one of the best albums of the year. However, the more albums you listen to by him, the more it wears off. They all follow the exact same concept, and while I was never disappointed, I was never surprised either. The second Drake album is more of the stuff you wanted, but by the third time you kind of wish he'd experiment a bit. I don't know why "More Life" is called a playlist. The only difference is that it wasn't available on CD as announced but solely for download, but it feels just like other efforts. Its quality is the best possible, and if this was my first Drake album, I'd probably give it 5 stars, but since I heard several of his albums ...more - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (2.5 stars):
There are only a few highlights on which Drake's emotions spark through, especially the slower jams. But most of the 22 songs are boring and repetitive, with Drake delivering what he always delivered, again and again. He's also a better RnB singer than rapper.

Laut.de (4 stars):
After a few missteps (they call "Views" a lackluster and noted that while "What a Time To Be Alive" was really good, it's all owed to Future with Drake sounding more like a guest artist) Drake goes back to his old quality. The tracks are full of energy, he disses, croons and delivers a journey through his entire current life. - Martin_Canine

17 Take Care - Drake

For my opinion, see "More Life". Although it was released early in his career, I heard it after I knew three other of his albums. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4 stars):
Drake delivers an introspective, bleak record on which his skillful croonings sre complemented by the atmospheric productions by 40 that perfectly set the tone.

Laut.de (2 stars):
While Drake surely can rap, has great rhymes and knows how to flow well, but he's also completely monotonous and often sounds like a "toothless Lil Wayne" (NOTE: they actually like Lil Wayne, the criticism is more that he's a copycat rather than that Wayne is bad), a lack of variety which makes the songs often sound overlong.
I need to note that on laut.de, you can see which staff member wrote the review, and this review was not written by the same guy who would later review most of Drake's discography, and usually positively. - Martin_Canine

18 Folklore - Nelly Furtado

My opinion:
Nelly Furtado can barely be compared to other pop stars. She's got too much personality of her own, and much like P! nk, she comes from singer-songwriter circles and just somehow happened to enter the mainstream in a big way. "Folklore" is her least poppy effort, with the main focus on poetry and hardcrafted music whose main focus lies on different folk-ish plug instruments and drums. Its greatest strength is how honest and how little calculated it sounds. Although it wad created after the success of her debut, it has the feel of an early work unspoiled by mainstream expectation. The rock balkad "Try" is more reminiscent of 90s indie rock than 2000s pop, and "Explode" is shockingly authentic in its description of teenage issues, never falling into teen angst territory.
5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (3 stars):
As the album cover suggests, which shows the same premise as her debut but in a much bleaker fashion, Nelly Furtado leaves her positive, girly roots behind and moves on to a darker, more melancholic tone. However, for the most part, it doesn't work as she is too much concerned around herself and her own inner feelings, and therefore forgets the world around her, which makes the album sound like a diary.

Laut.de (4 stars):
As the album cover suggests, which shows the same premise as her debut but in a much bleaker fashion, Nelly Furtado leaves her positive girly roots behind and moves on to a darker, more melancholic tone. And for the most parts it works, as Furtado delivers high quality introspective music that never comes off as sobby or whiny but is authentically devoted to the darker sides of her life.

It's funny how both sites commented on the similarity of the album covers. I never noticed that before. - Martin_Canine

19 Mi Plan - Nelly Furtado

My opinion:
I often call "The Ride" Nelly Furtado's first misstep, but actually, this came first. How comes I forgot this? Well, mostly because it's not as frustrating as her 2017 effort. "Mi Plan" is solid Latin pop that has been done better and worse by other artists. The problem I generally have when big artists record such music is that the Spanish language is often used as a gimmick to get the summer vibe around, and if you compare it to early Shakira, whose music was folk in Spanish, you'll notice how unnatural it sounds in comparison. "Mi Plan" doesn't have high musical ambitions as we know from Furtado, but it's solid. But "The Ride" DOES have high ambitions, and can't get them across properly. For a summer party, "Mi Plan" is a decent album, but from Furtado I expect music that has soul and that I can soak in.

2.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4 stars):
"Mi Plan", Furtado's first Spanish language album, has her going back to a style that she embraced before her superstar breakthrough with "Loose", but adding the more rhythmic addition of its predecessor. It was complemented that the album draws more inspiration from spiritualism and other cultures, but still has the mass appeal known from superstars.

Laut.de (2 stars):
"Mi Plan" feels more like a calculated summer hit record than an album exploring Latin roots, the production, combining flamenco guitars with RnB beats, aim for spreading a light hearted vibe that can be played on the beach, rather than fulfilling an artistic vision. It feels more like a gimmick, and unfortunately Nelly Furtado sounds more like an average pop star, while so far she has always been outstanding. - Martin_Canine

20 Vespertine - Bjork

My opinion:
Those who may have seen my list containing my hundred favorite songs of all time, might have seen I selected "Pagan Poetry" to be on it, next to two other Björk songs from other albums. But it's also by far the greatest song on the record. Maybe because it isn't as intimate and introverted as AllMusic praises - after all, it has her strongest and most expressive singing. The album's in no way bad - there isn't really a bad Björk album - but it's just not as exciting as most of her other effort. To me, it's not as magical as AllMusic says, but also not as hard to digest as laut.de suggests. It's a collection of neat, icy soundscapes with many details and sensual singing, that is done well nit not outstanding in her hugely ambitious discography

3.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4.5 stars):
"Vespertine" is an intimate and quiet masterpiece that has Björk inviting us to her most introspective ideas, with many little details making the record prove that such subtle albums can be just as compelling as extroverted ones.

Laut.de (3 stars):
In her ambition to completely abandon any conventional structure, Björk lacks any common thread and comes off as very forced and difficult to listen to. She goes way too far in trying to be artful and far from mainstream. - Martin_Canine

21 Medulla - Bjork

My opinion:
Björk's almost acapella record is very bionic, dynamic, rough and impulsive, and that's something I really appreciate. It uses the voice as naturally as possible, not limited to singing or speaking. It's however her most bizarre record, and her hardest to access. While songs like "Oceania" or "Where is the Line" are Björk as we klow her from "Homogenic", but in acapella, I just can't listen to the puzzling sound collage of "Ancestors" - surprisingly the only song with an instrument. It really depends on your personal taste, but as far as I enjoy its ambition, I can't really enjoy the music itself.
3 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4 stars):
"Medúlla"'s variety of sounds that come entirely from the human body makes it a very tribal and impulsive album that often uses vocals in unexpected ways and uses rough rhythms and choirs to create a fascinating sound.

Laut.de (2 stars):
Björk's increasing experimentalism reached a level where she goes a thin line between genius and madness, and on "Medúlla", she often crosses the line and gets really hard to enjoy. - Martin_Canine

22 Biophilia - Bjork

My opinion:
"Biophilia" is an atmospheric record that manages to create much out of little. Electronic and bionic elements fuse into each other, forming thrilling sounds and moods that barely become loud, but feel very alive. They appear to have a beat and breath of their own, finding their own pace without becoming static or predictible.

4.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4 stars):
Although it feels like a soundtrack to her multimedial project exploring technology, science, nature and music, the songs on the album all cleverly capture their respective themes, in a way that the soundscapes of the songs make us see the pictures that should go along with the music.

Laut.de (2 stars):
Although Björk was never an artist that went for any mainstream convention, "Biophilia" reaches a new level of confusion and weirdness that conventional structures are "like water in the desert". It's so hard to digest that even her most hardcore fans will not all be able to enjoy it. - Martin_Canine

23 Infinity On High - Fall Out Boy

My opinion:
Pretty much the same that made "From Under the Cork Tree" such a good emo album goes for "Infinity on High" as well, just on a bigger and better scale. The dramatic is more dramatic, the cynical more cynical and the catchy is catchier. It's a record where each track could have become a genre classic, and that while homogenous still has numerous individual highlights. In emo music, subtlety is not exactly a quality sign, and Fall Out Boy let it all out in the most gripping over-the-top way.
5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (3.5 stars)

Laut.de (2 stars)

See "From Under the Cork Tree". - Martin_Canine

24 Folie À Deux - Fall Out Boy

My opinion:
To me, "Folie à Deux" sounds a bit like they were running out of ideas and became repetitive. It was a continuous increase in quality, creativity and emo appeal from "Take This To Your Grave" (3.5) to "From Under the Cork Tree" (4) to "Infinity on High" (5), but now it feels they're back at the start. The sound, emotions and premises are there, but what it lacks are the earworms and the degree of intensity.

3.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4 stars)

Laut.de (2 stars)

See "From Under the Cork Tree" - Martin_Canine

25 Save Rock and Roll - Fall Out Boy

My opinion:
After "Folie à Deux" was decent but not a worthy follow up to the genre masterpiece that is "Infinity on High", it was clear Fall Out Boy needed something new and great. Their change in style wasn't radical though: it's still a largely emo based album, but with more soul, orchestra, electronic drums and Courtney Love added. The earworms are back, and so is the impact.
4 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (3.5 stars)

Laut.de (2 stars)

See "From Under the Cork Tree", although AllMusic also noticed they interpolated more modern elements. - Martin_Canine

26 American Beauty / American Psycho - Fall Out Boy

My opinion:
"American Beauty / American Psycho", titled after two movie classics from around the turn of the century, pretty much continues where "Save Rock and Roll" left off. Just with more actual rock n roll elements. It's equal in terms of quality and expands the musical horizon of Fall Out Boy even further - and anything that references "The Munsters" can't be bad. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (3.5 stars)

Laut.de (1 star)

See my own reply to my "From Under the Cork Tree" comment. - Martin_Canine

27 America's Sweetheart - Courtney Love

My opinion:
In a way, "American Sweetheart" is the best Hole album, despite being by Love alone.
It has all the edge and rough feminist emotion of a "Pretty on the Inside", but it's better structured, more thought out. It's pure punk in its feel, message and delivery, with shredding riffs and anarchic vocals, but it's more accessible and addicting. The original Hole albums can be heard as a whole (no pun intended) when you're in an aggressive mood; but barely do I get the urge to listen to individual songs - but on here, I can do both.

4.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (2.5 stars):
Love is mostly famous for her persona rather than her musical output and has a hard time finding a well working musical identity on her solo album, trying to recreate the rock'n'roll of early 90s grunge but with the polished production of late 90s pop rock.

Laut.de (4 stars):
Courtney Love is just as great on her own as she was with Hole in the 90s (NOTE: laut.de LOVES Hole). It's an action packed, anarchic and deeply feminist record that has the lyrics, the edge and the rough vocals to deliver amazing riot grrrl music. - Martin_Canine

28 Nobody's Daughter - Hole

My opinion:
Well... Courtney Love has the same problem Liz Phair had with her later work. All the ingredients that made her great in the first place are there, but it lacks the oomph. It's too polished, too predictible and too little adventurous to live up to its full potential. It's nevertheless a nice and decent rock album, but without the punk rock that made Love so daring.

3 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (2 stars):
Comparing Courtney Love to "Sunset Boulevard" main character Norma Desmond, this album is described as a failed attempt of Love to establish herself as a hard edged rock star, but never quite manages to do thar. They quite often call the album a "product" and the billing the album as a "Hole" record as a sell out move.

Laut.de (4 stars):
Courtney Love doesn't need her formee band members to deliver great rock music. It's on a bigger scale than the other records by the group, and the greater ambitions, the mix of huge alt rock riffs and vulgarness, and softer more melodic parts absolutely fit the style of the group and is really well executed. - Martin_Canine

29 Chokmah - Nena

I unfortunately can't write an opinion on this record, as I haven't heard it. The CD is out of print, it's not available on iTunes, and not uploaded to YouTube. It's in a box containing one album I already own and a live album though. Maybe I'll get that release unless it's sold out soon.

I initially wanted to also add her 2005 double album "Willst du mit mir gehn? " by her, which was rated 4 on AllMusic and 2 on laut.de, but I figured their reviews are essentially the same. One disc contains average synth pop, the other is more adventurous and experimental. Now AM was more captivated by the latter, laut more bothered by the first. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (4 stars):
Even though the album is very downbeat and a bit too much advanced, the songs are individually great. Nena discovers a new more experimental style that rather resembles Björk or Radiohead than her previous effort, interpolating oriental elements and being much more mediative.

Laut.de (2 stars):
Nena's effort, while well produced, comes out as dull and boring, and is much too preachy at parts with her spiritual lyricism. She offers little new, and says little of redeeming value. - Martin_Canine

30 Humanoid - Tokio Hotel

My opinion:
"Humanoid" is a worthy follow up to "Zimmer 483"/"Scream", in the respect that it expands on the emo ideas but maturing. Unlike its predecessor, which is one of the ultimate teen angst albums of all time, it has more musical than lyrical ambitions. Yes, it's simple, but it still experiments more, and flirts with the idea of making it a more electronic record, but just slightly adds some elements.The title track is much more punk-ish than usual, "Hey You" much more anthemic, "Noise" has this flute midi, "Pain of Love" is much more stomping, yet all of them keep the band's original emo feel (NOTE: they were the first of only very very very very very few emo artists to hit the German market, it wasn't such a big scene as in the US).
4.5 out of 5. - Martin_Canine

AllMusic (3 stars):
Although they deliver nothing but essentials and towards the end quality decreases, their pop rock works out well for what it is, delivering many introverted earworms with wailing vocals.

Laut.de (1 star):
There are no earworms on the album at all and Kaulitz's vocals are beyond terrible, barely hitting any notes. It's just horribly executed - except for "Dogs Unleashed", which was commented on negatively by AllMusic, but positively highlighted by laut.de.

NOTE: AllMusic... just stop comparing every German band to Rammstein. First you compared country rock stars The BossHoss to them, now emo rockers Tokio Hotel. They aren't even remotely similar in sound (Neue Deutsche Härte & emo), importance (biggest and one of the most acclaimed band of the country & heavily polarizing pop rock stars) and target group (music and poetry lovers & misfits). Not in the slightest. - Martin_Canine

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