Fred O'Brien

Statsioxide: Our First 150 Reviews in Numbers

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Reviews make a lot more sense when they can be put into context. After passing 150 albums reviewed we thought it was high time to look at some statistics.

Paul Marchesani: ‘I always knew my music was connected in some way.’

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‘I was always a visual music creator. After a while it just kind of snapped like hey, this is a universe. This can be a world.’

The ’80s According to Stewart Lee

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FRED 16.04.02018 The most miserable man in comedy has five favourite albums from everyone’s least favourite decade. Who could turn down a trip through ’80s music in a Stewart Lee devotee vehicle? Don’t answer that.      Stewart Lee is a fat British comedian known for his unfunny routines and holding audiences in contempt. As… Read more »

Dylan Seeger: ‘Albums take you on a journey that 4-minute singles will never replicate.’

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‘Once you learn how to edit your ideas and be critical of your own work, it’s very possible to create a great record alone.’

World On Fire: the Music of Fallout 3

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Fred 11.08.02017 This is part of a series of articles in which we reflect on video game soundtracks. The pieces examine the musical content of the score and analyse the effects it has on the game. Fallout 3 is a unique beast, something taken for granted sometimes. Generally — though not quite universally — adored, the game occupies… Read more »

The Rise and Rise of Audiobooks

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FRED 14.06.02017 Answering a demand we barely notice is there, the growth of audiobooks seems unstoppable. They are filling the silences that litter our days, redeeming commutes, menial work, and empty evenings.      Last week, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) released the 2016 sales figures for audiobooks, and things are looking rosy. There has been… Read more »

Keep Playing: the Fire at the Heart of Whiplash

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FRED 09.06.02017 Monster or not, Terence Fletcher gets into our heads because we recognise him in ourselves and understand his value. In the world of Whiplash, the forgotten are those cowed by failure.     Whiplash hit — and shot — plenty of nerves when it was released in 2014. It lit up the year’s film awards… Read more »

Gorillaz Go 1-D

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FRED 12.05.02017     When is a virtual band over? That’s been the question on my mind since listening to Humanz, an album that confirmed fears which had been lurking since Plastic Beach. Gorillaz don’t seem to be a thing anymore. Albums have their name on them, the gang get wheeled out for interviews, but I don’t hear them in the music…. Read more »

Be Here Now and Mr. Hyde

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FRED 14.10.02016 Oasis’s infamous 1997 mad fer it cocaine extravaganza, Be Here Now, was re-released today, joining last week’s documentary about the band’s early years—Supersonic. Both have generated press, which has got me thinking about the group. I have a lot of time for Oasis, which is fairly easy to get away with. I’m also quite fond of Be Here Now, which… Read more »

The DMCA Rabbit Hole

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FRED 27.06.02016     In the latest of an ongoing dialogue about revenue and copyright in the music industry, Big Name Musicians released a petition last week directed at the United States Congress. ‘THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT IS BROKEN AND NO LONGER WORKS FOR CONTENT CREATORS’ is the all-caps gist of their concern. A worthy and important… Read more »