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Top Customer Reviews
Their first album, maybe out of some kind of nostalgia of mine, is still my favourite record. It's so pure and simple and unadorned. It's like Kind of Blue for me--I can listen to it over and over and I'm always impressed.
That said, this is my 2nd favourite of their records. Something about it is just fantastic, just really fantastic. The rockin' beginning is so great. It's a great album. It's really super great. I loved it a lot. They have deftly avoided becoming a Neu! tribute band. (Here's where I have to hand in my snob badge: I hadn't even heard of Neu! until Astralwerks rereleased their albums--and I'm a Kraftwerk fan from way back in the day! so bully for me.)
I think it's cool that Tortoise are on Warp in the UK. I like Warp music a lot.
A really great thing to look for if you've been enjoying Tortoise but don't just want to fall into the old trip of just buying their many side projects (Pullman, Sea & Cake, etc.) would be to check out FREEFORM's new album Audiotourist, which is just amazing, mixing classical Chinese and Vietnamese instruments and field recordings with a Tortoise-stye syncopation and sort of gentle, Mouse on Mars style electronics. Really good, and a bit less well-known. (I'm thinking why just go on and plug Stereolab and whoever else, when it's pretty obvious you've heard of them if you're looking at reviews of Tortoise albums...)
The strange democratic thing that makes these reviews kind of fun is that it's a good place to connect sounds, like amateur musicology. That's my take at least.
Actually, I was very disappointed with this album when it first came out. Being an enthusiastic fan of "Millions Now Living..." and "TNT", I believed that Tortoise had lost their epic and experimental flair. Well, give it a little while to find its way into your happy place - I'm a believer now. The virtue of Tortoise's past records was all of the divergent paths that the band tried on for size. Whether it was the pastoral sonic poetry of "I Set My Face to the Hillside" or the floating "Glass Museum", Tortoise seemed to have a real flair for a sort of meditative instrumental rock.
Well, "Standards" is a vastly different affair. On the whole, the sound is extremely focused, as close to a truly conventional album as Tortoise has ever come. Also, I'd say there's a bit more emphasis on American music styles, a la free-form Jazz, Funk, R&B, etc. However, the songs also tell a clearer story this time around. I know that sounds pretentious, but it wasn't until I realized that that I was able to relish this album.
On the whole, it's hilarious that some people hate this music (the people who listen to this music) so much that they have to completely trash it because of the people who listen to it. I personally bought this because of my love for Tortoise's back catalogue. I suspect Tortoise is just a group of guys who enjoy making music, just like any other hard-working band. So judge them based on their records...that being said, given time, this stands strong with the rest of their work.
Standards has all of Tortoises' quickiness and dilusion of past albums, with some organic textures almost making this sound more like a non-electric sounding band yet incorporating electronic sounds. You dig. If you listen closely, there are beautiful melodies here, interspersed with a rhythm section that just keeps getting better.
If this was 1976, this would've been praised as a "masterpiece". Now it is 2002 and it should be regarded as one. It is ashame that punk rock with all of its honesty and heart took the rock field 25 years before a band like Tortoise realized that there is heart and honesty in any rock music you do, and have it carry over in what should've been another great scene in the mid 1970's. Instead what you had was electronica doing its own thing, rock music doing its own thing. Why?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a big fan of the first era of tortoise, but this went to be traded at the used store pretty quick. His and the Lazarus box set really are more remixed sounding releases. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Shawn Sic
I first heard a review of this CD and samples of the songs on National Public Radio's "All Songs Considered". I wanted to have the entire CD. Read morePublished 21 months ago by P. PARSON
This is Tortoise's most adventurous album. It is also perhaps the first of theirs to have distilled a cohesive sound from their array of influences. Read morePublished on December 10, 2011 by R. Perkins
Life was different for me 10 years ago. Funny, I had no idea I was rediscovering Standards on its 10-year anniversary. Going out was new. Pussy on a regular basis was new. Read morePublished on June 7, 2011 by Harold Valentine
Though not as emotionally resonant as their masterwork TNT, this live-electro sounds easily like the most impressive experimenting the group had ever gotten into.Published on May 17, 2009 by IRate
After buying this album and then reading some of the reviews, I felt compelled to write something.
Some people are so over-analytical and so worried/obsessed with... Read more
Tortoise, that post-rock (prog rock) minimalist, electro-jazz fusion crew who defy all labelling (I'm certain many fans would object to some of the labels I just used, some of them... Read morePublished on April 11, 2007 by Mark Eremite
I don't really write a lot of reviews on here. I just don't feel the need to give people my takes on what makes something good and what doesn't. Read morePublished on April 1, 2004
This was the first Tortoise album I was introduced to. Right away, it was catchy and different. It took about 3 full listens, but the album truly grows on you and I highly... Read morePublished on March 8, 2003 by steve