How'd/Why'd this happen?

Text messages, circa December 2018...

Hef: 2019 resolutions? CB: Maybe ride bike. You? Hef: A and B and C and D and listen to 52 records "in entirety" and X and Y and Z. CB: How about this: you and I EACH need to listen to 52 records which the OTHER guy tells us to listen to. Hef: Okay. CB: Okay.

What else?

There was a different layout here when things were in progress. We kept the data in a Google Sheet, kept the code on GitHub and hosted the site on Heroku.

We crunched some numbers.

Who cares?

No one.

Off | OnOff | On
Week Record Hef rates it but CB rates it
52 Polvo In Prism 2009 10/10
51 Castor Tracking Sounds Alone 1998 5/10 10/10
Hef sez "Musically I enjoyed most of this album. If they had a different lead singer, this would’ve scored a 7, maybe higher. As is, it is a 5."
50 Ringo Deathstarr Pure Mood 2015 5/10 7/10
Hef sez "Pretty decent album from group clearly influenced by Smashing Pumpkins & The Cranberries (both of which I’m ok with). Liked “Stare at the Sun” & “Acid Tongue” best. Didn’t care for “Show me the Truth of Your Love” and how a lot of the songs started the same with soft female vocals before changing to male lead."
49 New Order Low-Life 1985 9/10 9/10
Hef sez "This is in a virtual tie w/ Technique for my favorite New Order offering. Love Vigilantes opening makes me think of Love Me Do by The Beatles and is a great opener. The Perfect Kiss is my favorite song by the band and the album continues to be solid throughout the remaining tracks, with Sub-Culture being especially noteworthy. I not only listened to it multiple times, I revisited other New Order albums as well."
48 The Sea and Cake Car Alarm 2008 8/10 7/10
Hef sez "I enjoyed the The Sea & Cake offering (Car Alarm) too. Solid throughout and I played it about 4-5 times."
47 Naked Raygun Jettison 1988 8/10 7/10
Hef sez "Happily dove right in to this assignment. A great time for this type of sound & I remembered a lot of the songs. “Soldiers Requiem”, “When the Walls Come Down”, and “Walk in Cold” are as solid an opening trio of tunes as any you can find. The title track is my least favorite, but the album bounces back with gems like “Blight” and “Hammerhead”."
46 Hammer No More the Fingers Looking for Bruce 2009 7/10 7/10
Hef sez "listened & thought it was ok. Found myself listening again...and again. Overall a solid 7/10. 👍: shutterbug, concrete 👎: radiation, nitro"
45 Flipper Gone Fishin' 1984 6/10 8/10
Hef sez "I appreciate, but was never all-in on Flipper. Still true. Best part is how the music influenced godfathers of grunge. (And reading about great album fold-outs, spinner games 😂). Faves: in Life My Friends, Sacrifice)"
44 Girlpool What Chaos Is Imaginary 2019 2/10 7/10
Hef sez "This is, in my mind the official soundtrack of shopping in a candle or lotion store. God awful. “Swamp and Bay” didn’t totally suck."
43 Prince Dirty Mind 1979 5/10 7/10
Hef sez "I was never really into the title track, and that hasn’t changed. “When you were Mine” & “Do it all Night” are a nice tandem. “Head” highlights rest of album, which made me think of Pete (slap bass) and old Casio keyboards."
42 Shiner Lula Divinia 1997 6/10 10/10
Hef sez "Faves: My Life as a Housewife, Jim’s Lanent, Cake"
41 Mastodon Once More 'Round the Sun 2014 5/10 7/10
Hef sez "Consistently just ok throughout. My favorite is, appropriately enough, “Halloween.""
40 The Zombies Odessey and Oracle 1968 8/10 6/10
Hef sez "I’m guessing the lukewarm reception this release got in ‘68 was just due to the Beatles being everywhere. I loved it. 8/10 w/ one of the weak spots bring the best known hit; “Time of the Season”. (I love the DMB version, however.). My favorite was the opening track."
39 Saves the Day Daybreak 2011 5/10 8/10
Hef sez "It takes a pair to kick an album off w/ an almost-eleven minute song. Odd thing is the song is good, and one of my favorites. Also liked the more brief offerings that followed such as Let it All Go & Living Without Love. Didn’t care for Undress Me. Band reminded me, probably just because of lead singer’s voice - of an all-grown-up version of Nerf Herder."
38 Elliott Smith Figure 8 2000 7/10 9/10
Hef sez "Great: Son of Sam, Junk Bond Trader. Good: several, including L.A. Bad: Everything Means Nothing to Me - which is terrible, although in retrospect that may have been intentional. I haven’t heard everything he’s recorded, but this may be my favorite album of his."
37 Burning Airlines Mission: Control! 1999 8/10 8/10
Hef sez "Had not heard a single note prior to this assignment. Loved it! 8/10 w/ favorite being Wheaton Calling and least favorite being the very next track, Pacific 231. Will likely delve into some JawBox next, because why not?"
36 Van Halen Van Halen II 1979 5/10 7/10
Hef sez "You’re No Good 👍 Beautiful Girls 👍 Spanish Fly 👎 Bottoms Up 👎"
35 The Wrens The Meadowlands 2003 7/10 10/10
Hef sez "This one surprised me a bit, as I actually ended up liking it - a lot. 7/10 w/ the run from “She Sends Kisses” to “Faster Gun” being excellent."
34 Snail Mail Lush 2018 5/10 8/10
Hef sez "This had an early Cranberries feel to it. Lindsey has a nice voice, but she never gave me the explosion of raw emotion or jump in range/volume that Dolores used so well. Because of that, a lot of songs seemed just a tad bland. Still, this isn’t a Cranberries record, is it? As is, a decent debut - could’ve been so much better with just a few tweaks in production (cymbal work actually covered up her voice more than once). 5/10 w/ favorites bring the 1st three tracks (Pristine, Speaking Terms, Heat Wave)."
33 Giants Chair Prefabylon 2019 7/10 10/10
Hef sez "I liked it - listened to it 4+ times. Can’t really review because it’s not on Spotify anymore, though. Will have to check out the band’s releases from the late 90s."
32 Steely Dan Aja 1977 7/10 7/10
Hef sez "Really not a bad track in this short release. “Black Cow,” “Deacon Blues”, “Josie”, & of course “Peg,” which is a masterpiece, are my faves. Least favorite is title track."
31 Butthole Surfers Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac 1984 5/10 8/10
Hef sez "In all honesty, here’s a band I wanted to like more than I ever truly did. They had a great name. Their album artwork was always solid. Yet I listened to their stuff selectively & intermittently at best. This album, for me is a typical offering from the band. Some (“Concubine”) are damn near unlistenable. Some (“Woly Boly,” “Mexican Caravan”) are pretty damn good. “Lady Sniff” is one that teenage and middle age Hefs agree upon - a timeless anthem/verbal middle finger set to music."
30 Houston Bottom of the Curve 2003 5/10 10/10
Hef sez "This one started strong but went downhill after first 3 tracks. “I’m a Girl” was the point of no return, although a few tracks after that attempted to redeem the album, they failed and their titles weren’t memorable. “The Lousy Picture I Took” is awful, and an appropriate way to close this way too long offering."
29 The Jicks Wig Out at Jagbags 2014 7/10 8/10
Hef sez "This is a prime example of the sum being greater than the parts. Each song, on its own is just ok. The album, works well when played through."
28 Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy 1973 5/10 7/10
Hef sez "It’s Zep, so there’s that. It’s not my favorite Zep album though. 5/10 imo - but could be just due to overexposure of songs like D’yer Mak’er."
27 The Dismemberment Plan Emergency & I 1999 4/10 9/10
Hef sez "Liked Memory Machine & Spider in the Snow ok, though."
26 The Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Out 1959 4/10 6/10
Hef sez "‘Take Five’ best of bunch."
25 The Clash Give 'Em Enough Rope 1978 6/10 7/10
Hef sez "An ok Clash record is better than most good records. Highlights: English Civil War, Julie, Stay Free (my favorite)."
24 Year of the Rabbit Year of the Rabbit 2003 5/10 8/10
Hef sez "5/10 w/ Strange Eyes, Vaporize, & Say Goodbye being pretty good."
23 Sonic Youth Sonic Nurse 2004 6/10 8/10
Hef sez "6/10 w/ faves being Stones, Dripping Down, & Pattern Recognition. I also like Kim’s vocals on ...Hand Cream, where she sounds like a female version of Violent Femmes front man."
22 Roma 79 Cardinal Star 2014 3/10 8/10
Hef sez "I have a lot to say about it, but I’m drinking. So - it’s total crap."
21 Squirrel Bait Skag Heaven 1987 4/10 7/10
Hef sez "I’d heard a lot of this previously. Didn’t enjoy much this go-round, though. “Tape from California” is ok."
20 Wilco Star Wars 2015 6/7/10 7/10
Hef sez "Liked EKG right off the bat, then hated it when it turned into 7 minute long cycle. Then I realized I had it on repeat and it was not Wilco’s fault. So, like EKG, Random Name Generator, and King of You."
19 Son Volt Okemah and the Melody of Riot 2005 7/10 8/10
Hef sez "Didn’t think I’d like it, but was wrong. Favorites include: Bandages & Scars, Medication (esp 🎸 work), and 6 string belief. Didn’t care for Jet Pilot."
18 Lenny Kravitz Are You Gonna Go My Way 1993 5/10 8/10
Hef sez "Opening track kicks you in the head and grabs your attention, but then Lenny apologizes repeatedly and lullabies you to sleep. “Just Be A Woman” is awful, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” is classic, and if you don’t dig “Sugar” we can’t be friends."
17 Mission of Burma Signals, Calls, and Marches 1981 6/10 7/10
Hef sez "Favorites: Academy Fight Song, This is not a Photograph"
16 Beck Colors 2017 7/10 7/10
Hef sez "I’d heard the single, obviously, but never listened to the album until this week. Then I listened to it several times and wondered why Beck’s stuff wasn’t in my musical rotation more. 7/10 with favorites being: Seventh Heaven, I’m So Free, and yes, Up All Night."
15 Chavez Ride the Fader 1996 3/10 10/10
Hef sez "I listened twice because I couldn’t remember anything after 1st listen. After second listen I just remember roller coaster start. 3/10 and thinking of revoking your music listening license."
14 Television Marquee Moon 1977 5/6/10 8/10
Hef sez "Favorites: See no Evil, Friction"
13 American Football American Football 2019 9/10
Hef sez "I listened to it in entirety 3×. Still walked away feeling like each song just bled into the next indistinguishably."
12 The Magic Gang The Magic Gang 2018 8/10 8/10
Hef sez "I was more than pleasantly surprised by how solid this album was all around. Great pick. Faves: Your Love, I’ll Show You, and Fade Away- but entire release is good (8/10 if I did such things)."
11 fIREHOSE Flyin' the Flannel 1991 9/10
Hef sez "Solid, mellow-ish alt-funk that was underrated then and still holds up. I’d never heard the entire album before. I’m not sure who was singing on first track, but the delivery, to me, was very Johnny Rotten circa P.I.L’s “album,” which isn’t a bad thing. Oddly couldn’t find P.I.L. listed as an influence of the band (Hüsker Dü was though)."
10 ZZ Top Tres Hombres 1973 6/10
Hef sez "nice change of pace from recent assignments. Bluesy 🎸 always nice. Listened to it a few times through."
9 Tame Impala Currents 2015 8/10
Hef sez "Ok. Mellow and maybe too much spatial effects w/ voice. A lot of the songs felt similar to one another & at times I felt as if I was listening to piped music outside a Kohl’s dressing room. First track was best."
8 Sunny Day Real Estate LP2 1995 8/10
Hef sez "paste, undercooked rice, stubbing my toe, paper cuts - all things more bearable than this album. It seems they possibly enjoyed some Smashing Pumpkins offerings back in the day and gave it a go just for the hell of it, despite their lack of talent. Producer should be criminally charged."
7 Phoenix It's Never Been Like That 2006 7/10
Hef sez "Really liked this one. Reminded me of an older Gomez release. Faves: Napoleon Says & Rally."
6 Gang of Four Entertainment! 1979 7/10
Hef sez "My initial thoughts were that the album is exactly what a punk album should be. Stripped down, basic, at times seemingly recorded with the smallest of budgets. Often the lyrics and guitar alternate while the bass-centric pulse continues. The heavily political lyrics were no surprise. My favorites were “Damaged Goods” & “At Home He’s a Tourist.”"
5 Riddle of Steel 1985 2007 9/10
Hef sez "Would bet band would list Meat Puppets as an influence if asked. Solid record."
4 Journey Escape 1981 5/10
Hef sez "A pleasant stroll through the well-known hits (including the way overplayed, even still, Open Arms) but the remaining songs were fairly unremarkable. The album, as a whole, was meant to be sliced up for playlist purposes."
3 Big Star #1 Record 1972 5 or 6/10 9/10
Hef sez "#1 is lukewarm for me. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. 5/6 range. It’s my least favorite of the three assignments thus far"
2 Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 2007 7.1/10 7/10
Hef sez "This is a band I generally like, but often forget about. I absolutely hated “The Ghost if you Lingers” due to the repetitive keyboard throughout. It angered me. “The Underdog”was great and had an early Billy Joel feel to it. Also liked 1st track and “Eddie’s Raga” a lot."
1 Beastie Boys Ill Communication 1994 6/10
Hef sez "My faves are Sure Shot, Sabrosa (Phish feel) & Root Down (that bass)."
Week Record CB rates it
52 White Reaper You Deserve Love 2019 7/10
CB sez "Band name sounds like they should be death metal, but this is good-time music. They had me at "head wee-ind." Faves: Might Be Right, Eggplant. "She'll be stealing my heart somehow." 👍"
51 Teenage Wrist Chrome Neon Jesus 2018 6/10
CB sez "Listenable spacerock, a little overproduced for my preference. This band would function nicely as opener for a 30 Seconds to Mars show, and the most heavily-vaped people would probably not even notice the bands on stage had changed."
50 Men at Work Cargo 1983 6/10
CB sez "I had this on and KJ walked in and said (I'm paraphrasing) "What the fuck is this shit?" I said "It's Men at Work. People like it." I sort of did. "Overkill" is all-time great. Guitar sound is Pure 1983™, the way nature intended. I don't know if people are born with a Colin Hay tolerance or if it needs to be built up. I wasn't born with it."
49 Mice Parade Mice Parade 2007 8/10
CB sez "Good record, interesting and complex. The right combination of weird and accessible. Fave track: Snow. Double Dolphins is a real trip."
48 Adele 21 2011 2.1/10
CB sez "These songs are all terrible and it's a little baffling that so many people like this so much. Listening to this made me angry, but I was shoveling snow at the time, so that's probably why."
47 Public Image Ltd. Album 1986 7/10
CB sez "Forgot how strange this was for PiL, more metal than Metal Box. I like listening to this a lot, and wouldn't hesitate to put it on the stereo if I had people over that I wanted to stay around, whereas usually I would play music in order to get people to leave."
46 The Smithereens Blow Up 1991 4/10
CB sez "Green Thoughts was a great record (as I recall? Been awhile), but this one sounds a little like an unremarkable band having run out of fresh ideas. Now and Then and If You Want the Sun are pretty good. Top of the Pops is okay."
45 The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? 1967 7/10
CB sez "Older than I am, this is still sick shit. Faves: Fire, Third Stone."
44 R.E.M. Monster 1994 8/10
CB sez "R.E.M. were REALLY—like, historically—good, then they Out of Timed and Automatic for the Peopled and suddenly weren't so good, then someone dropped a Pixies cassette on a sidewalk and they found it, and then they made this really good record. Actually, it was sort of exciting if you lived through it. Faves: Tongue, You."
43 Boston Boston 1976 7/10
CB sez "Heard almost this whole damn thing many, many times on classic rock radio. For that genre, this is pretty much peerless."
42 Crowded House Woodface 1991 7/10
CB sez "This is high-quality Australian soft rock. I liked Whispers and Moans a lot."
41 The Beatles Abbey Road 1969 9/10
CB sez "From 'Love Me Do' to this in 6 years is brain-melting. Pros: Oh Darling, Because, Something, drums on The End, guitars on The End. Cons: Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Octopus's Garden (the possessive songs)."
40 Man Man On Oni Pond 2013 3/10
CB sez "This didn't do much for me but I can imagine it might appeal if I had a waxed mustache and drank really complicated coffee drinks."
39 Live Throwing Copper 1994 6/10
CB sez "Some of this is boring, but beginning 1:30 of White, Discussion = 10. I Alone = 7. Overall album = 6. Btw, Lakini's Juice = 300."
38 Joywave How Do You Feel Now? 2015 5/10
CB sez "This seems like not best- or worst- but medium-case scenario for "What will music be like in the future?" Robots will probably really dig on this someday. "In Clover" is good. "Speed of Light" is real good."
37 Otis Grand, Debbie Davies & Anson Funderburgh Grand Union 1998 4/10
CB sez "I could imagine spending a weekend drunk in Memphis then coming home and finding this CD in my suitcase, unable to recollect how or why I have it. I presume there are three guitarists but I can't tell that it isn't one guy just playing three different guitars."
36 Grandaddy The Sophtware Slump 2000 6/10
CB sez "This is pretty good; I'd listen to any of their records, no prob. Not crazy about the vocals. Fave: Household Appliance."
35 The Raconteurs Help Us Stranger 2019 8/10
CB sez "Cool band, great sound, solid record. Fave: Sunday Driver."
34 Army Navy Army Navy 2008 6/10
CB sez "This is okay. Some of this sounds like late-period R.E.M. Singer sounds so much like the Superchunk guy I had to look it up and see if it was him. Faves: Dark as Days, Golden Pony."
33 Blondie Autoamerican 1980 3/10
CB sez "This record is all over the place. You can tell they had lots of ideas, but most of them are bad ones. Fave: T-Birds, although the version I listened to tacked on Call Me, which would be the clear winner."
32 Counting Crows August and Everything After 1993 2/10
CB sez "So dull it should have been packaged in khaki pants and a polo shirt."
31 The New Pornographers Mass Romantic 2000 7/10
CB sez "These Canucks do nice work. If you asked me who their influences are I'd say "all of them" but after a minute or two I might just say "Supertramp." Faves: Jackie, Occupant, Execution Day."
30 The Replacements Tim 1985 9/10
CB sez "Rare instance where band goes to major label, makes best record. All killer, no filler."
29 Son Little New Magic 2017 6/10
CB sez "Not bad for the genre. Starts out pretty well, heats up in second half. Fave: The Middle."
28 The Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky 1982 4/10
CB sez "Pretty conventional record from one of England's finest prog rock bands. One of England's prog rock bands, anyway. First two tracks are a 10, then the record devolves. Amazing that this went platinum."
27 Meat Puppets Dusty Notes 2019 5/10
CB sez "So they added a keyboard player. That sort of makes things worse, but the songwriting is still solid. Best track is Vampyr's by far. Also really liked On."
26 Catfish and the Bottlemen The Balance 2019 7/10
CB sez "Solid rock. Faves: 2all, Sidetrack."
25 Billy Joel The Stranger 1977 5/10
CB sez "He’s at the peak of his powers here. First three tracks are gold, the rest of the record falls off a bit. I could do with less accordion (i.e. none)."
24 Hootie & the Blowfish Cracked Rear View 1994 3/10
CB sez "Musical mac and cheese: harmless, uncomplicated, bland. Maybe it’s good when hungover. Not surprised if there are people who were kids when this came out who would not change the channel or press ‘skip’ when this comes on today; they let it ride, like I’d do with Little River Band."
23 ABC How to Be a ... Zillionaire! 1985 3/10
CB sez "15 Story Halo and A-Z were pretty weird. And the rest is kind of terrible."
22 The Interrupters Fight the Good Fight 2018 3/10
CB sez "We’re still making ska?"
21 Dave Matthews Band Stand Up 2005 3/10
CB sez "I didn’t dislike this as much as I thought I would. I liked Dreamgirl and American Baby, but maybe that’s just because of familiarity. Then the rest was hard to listen to."
20 The Black Keys El Camino 2011 6/10
CB sez "This rocks pretty hard. If you like White Stripes I bet you’d like these guys. Fave tracks Sister and Stop Stop."
19 U2 Achtung Baby 1991 6/10
CB sez "I kinda thought I’d only listen to the first 3 or 4 U2 records anymore, but this is good enough to go into the rotation. There are a handful of songs here I’m still permanently tired of. Really love The Fly though."
18 Cage the Elephant Social Cues 2019 4/10
CB sez "Not explicitly terrible, just pretty generic. No spark. I couldn’t get into this."
17 The Mysteries of Life Come Clean 1998 7/10
CB sez "Some of this is really really good. Some is boring, but Come Clean and Maya + Luna are gold."
16 Nirvana Nevermind 1991 9/10
CB sez "Still fresh 30 years on. Foretells even greater heights to come on In Utero (10/10). (Bleach maybe a 6 or 7.) Fave tracks Teen Spirit, Breed, Lounge Act."
15 Seven Mary Three American Standard 1995 3/10
CB sez "I remember a couple of these songs well. We used to go on the regular to Heartland in South Bend to see this alt-rock cover band do Plush, Evenflow, Cherub Rock, etc. And Cumbersome, every goddamn time. When I’d hear that opening riff, I’d immediately head to the bar way, way, WAY in the back for a refill, even though they had waitresses doing a regular circuit."
14 The Housemartins The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death 1987 5/10
CB sez "Had not heard this before. Strong nostalgia for sounds of this era. Reminded me of…Madness? Elvis C? Aztec Camera? But lesser. Sure as hell better than Fatboy Slim records that came after, though. Faves: Light is Always Green, Johannesburg."
13 The Decemberists The Crane Wife 2006 7/10
CB sez "I thought this would be kinda wimpy. Sometimes it was, which is okay, but sometimes it was pretty tough, Perfect Crime is a tight little number. When the War Came is really dope. I will keep listening to this."
12 John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton 1966 6/10
CB sez "If English blues is your genre, this is probably about as good as it gets. Getting Eric Clapton to play on this record was pretty good idea. Still sounds really good 50 years on. Fave track is Hideaway."
11 The Police Ghost in the Machine 1981 10/10
CB sez "I’d call it a “modern” classic, but it’s almost 40 years old. Still sounds fresh to me, though. First three tracks are A+. Last three tracks might be even better."
10 Postmodern Jukebox Emoji Antique 2015 1/10
CB sez "This probably should not exist. The only silver lining to this novelty act ruining good songs is that they are also ruining some really bad songs. An equal-opportunity destroyer."
9 John Mellencamp Human Wheels 1993 5/10
CB sez "This is not bad for mid-period Mellencamp. One song ripped off his own song Cherry Bomb. Junior is a pretty cool track. What If I Came Knocking is a 10. Some other songs are kind of dumb. Seems about right."
8 Eels The Deconstruction 2018 4/10
CB sez "This guy sort of seems like a sad sack. Which I usually like. I couldn’t really get into this. The uptempo songs are okay. I like the sounds more on the Hombre Loco you recommended."
7 Kool & the Gang Emergency 1984 2/10
CB sez "This is not very good. I guess I dislike Misled the least. Bad Woman and You Are the One are unlistenable. I also listened to their records from ’69, ’72, ’79, and ’96. Those are all better than this and some are even not all that bad. This was not a good era for these guys."
6 The 1975 The 1975 2013 4/10
CB sez "Some of this is a little catchy. I like it when they really lean in on their accents. Reminds of a little of Phoenix, with less of the charm."
5 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense [Special New Edition] 1999 (1984) 7/10
CB sez "Great record but I kept wishing I was watching the movie."
4 Warren Zevon The Wind 2003 5/10
CB sez "I think the story of recording it is better than the sounds, but I like last track (had heard Eddie Vedder cover it) and Boss's lead gtr on track 2."
3 Florence + the Machine How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful 2015 4/10
CB sez "I started out not liking this, I don't like her voice. Music is okay. Last 3 tracks though are really good."
2 Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Texas Flood 1983 5/10
CB sez "I like the ones where he doesn’t sing best like testify, rude mood. Good licks. "
1 Boogie Down Productions By All Means Necessary 1988 3/10
CB sez "I've made a huge mistake."