Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

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KingLouieLouie76
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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 12 May 2018, 20:18

No love for "Money Makes Me Crazy" or am I the only one who has at times listened to that nonstop over the years? I believe that's an often overlooked and underrated song from that era.
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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by aldamasta » 14 May 2018, 21:26

I was in love with Money Makes Me Crazy when I first listened to it. If it happens to shuffle through my tunes, I still enjoy hearing it. It just doesn't compare to Colours for me, as I feel Colours is endlessly endearing (showed best perhaps through the version Damon did with Electric Wave Bureau for the Broken soundtrack!) It is criminal that Colours wasn't on the album, and I could definitely seeing it being a single, especially since Good Song was (and I love Good Song too!) I'm glad that we got at least a couple of live recordings of it. If my memory serves, the version performed in Dublin is just lovely. Shame Some Glad Morning couldn't have seen the light in the setlist, too!

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by tom_cas1 » 15 May 2018, 17:58

Money Makes Me Crazy doesn't grab me like it once did. Still a good song but I wouldn't want it on the album. I seem to remember a very good remix too which I thought was better than the original. I forget the name. Does anyone remember? Deepest Darkest Devon Remix or something like that. Anyone?

EDIT: Yes, Money Makes Me Crazy (Deepest Darkest Devon Mix). I can't seem to find it on YouTube though.
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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by dparrott » 16 May 2018, 02:56

Colors and MMMC could have been better if more developed. Yet more babbling half lyrics.

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by AdvertBreak » 22 May 2018, 15:13

Title: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Answer: Yes.

(Even though Crazy Beat needs different lyrics, and also needs moving)

(And really there should be more of a Moroccan influence on the album but minor quibbles)

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by Forever Low Man » 24 May 2018, 02:08

blurop4 wrote:Hmm, not one I typically turn to, but listening to it now. I am not sure the album as a whole is underrated. I definitely enjoyed it when it came out and saw it live a few times.

Like most Blur albums it contains an obvious massive hit/brilliant song in Out of Time, which is right up there with, if not better than Tender, Lonesome Street, Beetlebum, The Universal, For Tomorrow, etc. On his solo tour he played this on the piano and I was just blown away, what a song. Also, sounds great with the Syrian Orchestra.

It also has a bunch of other very strong songs that show off Damon's great songwriting and the band's creativity in arrangements - Ambulance, Battery, Good Song, Sweet Song. Again, no real drop-off in quality.

That's 5 very strong songs or better, plus a couple I am fine w/ in Moroccan People's and Gene by Gene as pleasant filler.

However, I hear a few major weaknesses.
- the middle of the album kind of drags. On the Way to the Club and Brothers/Sisters are very similar tempo plus on the slow side and it gets even slower with Caravan. That's 12 minutes of slow and slower before it picks back up.
- the punky songs, Crazy Beat and We've Got a File, are definitely the worst punky songs on any Blur album. Bugman, BLUREMI, Chinese Bombs, Song 2, Globe Alone, Bank Holiday, and so forth are infinitely better. Listen to Chinese Bombs and then put on Think Tank. They gave it their best shot, but the guitar tones, the drum sound, the distortion, etc. are tinny and terrible.
- the instrumental, Jets, has some cool elements, but it's too long and repetitive. Before the sax solo, it reminds me of French Song w/o the awesome accelerando. I'd rather listen to Theme from Retro, some of the interludes on 13, the Debt Collector, or Intermission. Those are all beloved Blur instrumentals.

Other thoughts:
- the drum sound is a little on the programmed side, which is a great sound for dance-y songs, but nothing to dance to here. I do really enjoy the additional percussion on certain songs. It creates a cool atmosphere.
- lots of folks cite Alex's bass playing on this one. It's fine here, but I think it's his least interesting bass playing. It's more prominent, but it's a lot simpler and driving. I think his bass playing on the other albums is as out there as anyone in a good, and he is a totally underrated bass player. Heck, even Graham put him on bass in his dream band! I love his bass playing, but it's like he had to anchor the songs more since Graham was gone.
- oh the guitars! Damon's playing is solid on several songs and surprisingly good in a few places, but it's the creativity, the tones, the effects, the unique sounds, the ability to make it sing. Listen to Battery then listen to the rest. Worlds apart.
- Song selection. Too many strong songs left off. At least 5 or 6 that could have made a big difference.
- The 3 Graham songs all belong. In particular, the Outsider, is brilliant! Better than most on the album.
- Me White Noise, too good for a hidden track
- What about songs like "1" and Sir Elton John's Cock? Both would have been great fits.
- Damon's singing is great on this one it must be said

How about Think Tank reimagined (kind of like folks have done w/Leisure)?
Ambulance
Out of Time
1
Good Song
The Outsider
Sir Elton John's Cock
Me White Noise
Some Glad Morning
Morricone
Moroccan People
Sweet Song
Gene by Gene
Battery in Your Leg
On the Way to the Club is the best song on the album what are you talking about
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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by AdvertBreak » 25 May 2018, 21:53

I disagree with a lot of blurop4's comment but the one that strikes out the most is "there's nothing to dance to here".

Uh?? Gene by Gene? Bowls Club? Crazy Beat (yes)? even the "mid-tempo" shockers OTWTCB and Brothers and Sisters, both of which have a slightly smoky funk thing going on. I think the word is 'seductive'. If you squint you could compare those two to minimal techno in terms of its danceability.

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 26 May 2018, 15:52

I agree with Forever Low Man.... "On the Way to the Club" is the one song I always listen to more than once. It also sounded so amazing live and again I just imagine how that particular track would sound like featuring Graham on guitar! Then to me that is immediately followed by "Ambulance".....
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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by Rubi » 27 May 2018, 21:30

It is an underrated masterpiece, in my opinion. I think the fact that it lacked a couple of radio hits, factored with Graham's departure and the relatively long break kind of alienated many old fans. Hence, the album never really got the attention it deserved. But to me it's a brilliant album, filled with many gems. Ambulance, Out of Time, Good Song, Caravan and Sweet Song are some of the best songs Damon's ever written.

The only tracks I'm unsure of are Crazy Beat, We've Got a File on You, and Gene by Gene. They're not as good as the rest, and seem kind of out of place.

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by Neal Zeal » 28 May 2018, 12:05

Well, it looks like Think Tank fared very well critically with a score of 83 (interpreted as 'universal acclaim') on Metacritic which compiles reviews from established music magazines/websites and newspapers. http://www.metacritic.com/music/think-tank/blur" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
So, one could argue that it certainly wasn't under-rated by the critics. I think journalists tend to award extra points for albums which are a little unusual (for the artist) and are less concerned about the quality of the melodies.
Personally, I think it contains 4 brilliant songs (Out of Time, Ambulance, Sweet Song and Battery), another 3 or 4 pretty good ones (We've got a file, Caravan, Way to club) and the rest are just a bit boring, dull or irritating.
Special mention for Crazy Beat, though, which is Blur's worst song, and quite possibly the worst song of all time!
So a mixed bag really but the four beauties are worth the admission price alone.
'Money' is a fun song, too.
Last edited by Neal Zeal on 28 May 2018, 19:38, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by Sledge Hammer » 28 May 2018, 14:36

Agree with most said, but I don't mind Crazy Beat for one of Blur's trademark jump around song's, Gene By Gene is far worse, so awful, Fatboy produced that and Crazy Beat, get out the door fatty! :lol:
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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by bugman » 28 May 2018, 14:52

am i the only one who don't hate crazy beat ? yes, it's weakest track on tt, but worst song from blur discography ? NO WAY

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by blurop4 » 29 May 2018, 01:30

AdvertBreak wrote:I disagree with a lot of blurop4's comment but the one that strikes out the most is "there's nothing to dance to here".

Uh?? Gene by Gene? Bowls Club? Crazy Beat (yes)? even the "mid-tempo" shockers OTWTCB and Brothers and Sisters, both of which have a slightly smoky funk thing going on. I think the word is 'seductive'. If you squint you could compare those two to minimal techno in terms of its danceability.
I would agree that some of these songs (although I see Crazy Beat as more punk-y than dance-y) are a little funky and definitely seductive, but I am not feeling them as being super-dance-y. The tempos and the beats are good, but don't really get me bopping along!

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by blurop4 » 29 May 2018, 01:35

Forever Low Man wrote: On the Way to the Club is the best song on the album what are you talking about
We'll have to disagree on that one! I would rate Out of Time, BIYL, Sweet Song, Good Song, and Ambulance higher.

For what it's worth, I wasn't criticizing the song so much as as I was the broader sequence of songs in the middle of the album with On the Way..., Brothers & Sisters, Caravan, etc. I would rate On the Way higher than both of those as well as We've Got a File and some others.

It's good to hear other perspectives on these songs, I am always open to listening to them with a fresh perspective.

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Re: Is Think Tank an underrated masterpiece?

Post by blurop4 » 29 May 2018, 01:39

bugman wrote:am i the only one who don't hate crazy beat ? yes, it's weakest track on tt, but worst song from blur discography ? NO WAY
I concur, Blur definitely has worse songs than Crazy Beat...Badgeman Brown, Berserk, Garden Central, the cover of Substitute, others I can't think of right now.

I think Crazy Beat really suffers though when compared to their other amazing rock out songs like Song 2, Bugman, Bank Holiday, Globe Alone, Advert, Coping, etc. As a guitarist I really dislike the guitar tones/sounds on Crazy Beat in particular.

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