In the opening credits of Casino Royale (2006), the line “You know my name” is played seven times instead of once to end the song. This is because the line was accidentally looped several times during the recording process, but all involved were stupid enough to miss the obvious.
Prince Rainier III (1923-2005) Rainier’s mother, Princess Charlotte, was actually illegitimate. Her father Louis II, getting older and with no legitimate children, legitimized her and made her his heir. She never took the throne, and in fact renounced her rights to her son, Rainier, the day before his 21st birthday. Rainier became the Sovereign Prince of Monaco upon the death of his grandfather in 1949. During WW2, Rainier served in the Free French Army. During the 40s and 50s he was in a long term relationship with the French film actress Gisele Pascal. Rainier’s sister, Princess Antoinette, wanted her own son to ascend to the throne, and spread rumors that Pascal was infertile. The rumors along with her treatment by the press and public ended their relationship. After the war Monaco, a country who made its money primarily as a gambling origin, was in crisis as wealthy Europeans found their funds diminished after the war. To restore Monaco’s treasury Rainier decided to promote Monaco as a tax haven, and he personally took control of SBM (the company who owns the Monte Carlo Casino, Opera, and Hostel de Paris) in 1964. Prince Albert still retains a large share of the company and profits from it today. Marriage: Everyone knows this one. Rainier married American film star Grace Kelly in 1956. Their marriage is rumored to have been turbulent. It is said that Grace struggled with adjusting to royal life, regretted ending her film career, and that Rainier had extramarital affairs. Her children have stated that though she was a loving mother, they spent more time with nannies than with their parents. Grace's dress is iconic, but here you go if you want to revisit some photos from that day. Rainier smoked up to 60 cigarettes per day, and in the last years of his life his health steadily declined. On March 8th, 2005 he entered the hospital for a lung infection and by the end of the month he was on a ventilator suffering from renal and heart failure. On March 31st he officially announced his son Albert, as regent, and on April 6th he died. The Constitution Monaco’s constitution stated that Monaco is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the hereditary princes of the Grimaldi. If the reigning prince were to die without leaving a male heir, Monaco, according to the treaty, would be incorporated into France. In 2002, realizing he had a 43 year old bachelor son, Rainier amended the constitution to allow the crown to pass to his daughters should Albert not marry. Grace, Princess of Monaco (1929-1982) Grace was born in Philadelphia to an affluent and influential family. Her father was an Olympian and a Democratic nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia and was appointed by President Roosevelt as National Director of Physical Fitness. Her mother taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania and coached women’s athletics at Penn. Her Uncle, George Kelly, was a Pulitzer prize winning dramatist, screenwriter, and director and used his influence to gain Grace admission to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Grace became one of the biggest movie stars of her generation. In 1955 she was sent to the Cannes Film Festival and invited to appear in photos with Prince Rainier. After a year-long courtship, they were married in 1956. Grace was not allowed to continue her acting career after her marriage. She instead devoted herself to her role as Princess, become heavily involved with the Red Cross of Monaco and the Rainbow Children Coalition. On September 13, 1982, Kelly was driving back to Monaco after spending time at her country home. During the drive she had a stroke, lost control of her vehicle, and drove off the mountainside. She died a day later. An article on their relationship Prince Albert II (b. 1958) Prince Albert is one of the wealthiest royals in the world with a net worth at more than $1B. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, studying political science, economics, music, and English literature, and completed his education with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He toured Europe in 1979 as part of the Amherst College Glee Club. Albert competed in the bobsleigh for five consecutive Winter Olympics on behalf of Monaco, and was their flag bearer at the 1988, 1994, and 1998 Olympics. He is also a judo black belt. He became Prince of Monaco when his father died in 2005. Marriage: Prior to his marriage his status as a bachelor was a hot topic of discussion. He was known to date well-known fashion models and actresses, however at age 53 had never married. It was rumored that Albert was gay, something he expressed great frustration with in the press. In 2006 he attended the opening ceremony of the Torino Olympics with South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. They were engaged in 2010, and married in 2011. There are rumors that Charlene tried to flee the country the day before their wedding. It is reported that the future bride, after discovering Albert may have fathered yet another child during their relationship, attempted to flee as many as three times before their wedding, however was always intercepted at the airport. It is also said she attempted to seek refuge at the South African embassy, and that officials in Monaco ended up hiding her passport so she could not leave the country. Moreover, during their wedding, Charlene openly cried at parts, and Prince Albert was caught on camera begging her to kiss him. Honestly, she looked pretty miserable the whole time. The palace has denied all of these claims. During their honeymoon, they stayed in separate hotels Here's everything you ever needed to know about their wedding Watch it Prince Albert is passionate about the environment and an avid sportsman. Prince Albert speaks French, English, German, and Italian. He speaks English with basically no accent thanks to his American mother. Illegitimate Children In 2005, the day before Prince Rainier died, Albert publicly acknowledged he had fathered a son out of wedlock. In 2006, he confirmed he had also fathered a daughter. These children were barred from the line of inheritance because of a 2002 constitutional amendment requiring an heir’s parents to be married. Alexandre (b. 2003) Alexandre’s mother (Nicole Coste) was a flight attendant for Air France and met Prince Albert when he was a passenger on a flight. He asked for her number, the beginning of a years-long affair. The relationship ended at the insistence of Prince Rainier. Albert visited Alexandre and Nicole often, however when he refused to acknowledge Alexandre publicly, Nicole sold an interview and pictures to the media. Albert was in mourning for his father and made no public comment, but later did acknowledge paternity. Alexandre and Nicole live in France at an estate given to them by Albert. Jazmin (b. 1992) Jazmin’s mother, Tamara, met Albert while working as a waitress. Albert knew of Jazmin and visited her, however did not acknowledge her publicly until she was in high school to protect her identity. In 2006 the French magazine Voici published photographs of Jazmin and her mother on a visit to Monaco, outing her as Albert’s daughter. She has attended events with Albert and Charlene, and is listed as a sponsor for her father’s royal foundation. An interview with Jazmin Princess Charlene (b. 1978) Born in Zimbabwe, Charlene’s family relocated to South Africa in 1989. She represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, finished fifth in the 4x100 meter relay. Albert and Charlene met at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monaco in 2000, however were not seen together until 2006. Charlene converted to Roman Catholicism for her wedding, and has learned French and Monegasque after her move to Monaco. She is an ambassador for the Special Olympics, patron of the South African Red Cross, and is passionate about sport. In recent news, she completed “the crossing” water bike challenge, a 180 kilometer water bike race for charity. An interview with Charlene and Albert on the 1st birthday of their twins Albert and Charlene have 2 children: Hereditary Prince Jacques *twin* (b. 2014) Princess Gabriella *twin* (b. 2014) Gabriella was born 2 minutes before her brother, however because of the constitution her brother will inherit the throne. They are super sweet together and you see them at events often. Princess Caroline of Hanover (b. 1957) Caroline is the eldest child of Rainier and Grace Kelly, however because of the constitution her brother, Albert, sits on the throne of Monaco. She served as de facto first lady of Monaco until the marriage of Albert and Charlene. Until the birth of her niece and nephew she was heir presumptive to the throne, although she had only held that title since 2005 after the change of the constitution to include female heirs. Caroline received her French baccalaureat in 1974, and received a degree in Philosophy from Sorbonne University. She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German, and Italian. Her hobbies include horseback riding, swimming, and skiing. Marriages:
Marriage 1: Philippe Junot
Married Phillippe, a Parisian banker, in 1978. The couple divorced in 1980 with no children.
Marriage 2: Stefano Casiraghi
Married Stefano in 1983, the sportsman heir to an Italian industrial fortune. The two had to marry in a civil ceremony rather than a religious ceremony because Caroline, a Catholic, was divorced. Caroline was 3 months pregnant at the time of their wedding. They have three children:
Note: The Casiraghi’s are all very beautiful and very fashionable but I don’t want to go much into them here because they are so far down the line of succession. They’re fun to follow for their fashion if you have the time to check them out.
Marriage 3: Prince Ernst August of Hanover
Married Ernst August, a Prince, in 1999. They have one daughter, Princess Alexandra. Caroline is thus a Princess twice-over, through her family and through her husband. She and Ernst August have been separated since 2009 however are still legally married, thus she retains the title of Princess Caroline of Hanover. Read about all of her weddings here See her speaking in English around 12:00 here Princess Stephanie (b. 1965) Stephanie was in the vehicle with her mother when Grace died. She suffered a fracture of the neck. She has studied classical dance and piano, and competed in gymnastics and horse riding. She interned at Christian Dior and debuted as a model in 1984. She has a swimwear and perfume line, and owns cafes and stores in both Monaco and Barcelona. She also has sold more than 2 million copies of her song, Ouragan, and sold 1.5M copies of her album Besoin. She recorded “In the Closet” with Michael Jackson, however is listed as “mystery girl” in the credits. Marriages/Relationships:
Marriage 1: Daniel Ducruet
Stephanie married her former body guard, Daniel Ducruet, in 1995. When Rainier learned of their relationship Daniel was not only still his employee, but had a pregnant girlfriend too. Stephanie gave birth to their two children “out of wedlock” because Rainier refused to grant permission for them to marry, however eventually relented. The two divorced a year later after Ducruet was photographed naked with a stripper. Read more They have two children:
Stephanie met elephant trainer (yeah, you read that right) when she presented him with the award for “best animal tamer” at the Monaco Circus Festival in 1997. Franco, a decade older than Stephanie, was married with two children at the time. Franco left his family for Stephanie, moving her and her three children into his circus caravan in Zurich. Marrying in 2001, their relationship lasted 18 months until their divorce. An interview with Stephanie in English in 1990 Why is he a Prince and not a King? From vogue: It goes back deep into the history of Monaco. Monaco has always been a tiny nation, and, for protection, allied itself with (or, at some points, was flat-out annexed by) big powerful countries, with big powerful rulers—aka kingdoms, or, a nation ruled by a king or queen. So Monaco’s rulers styled themselves as prince and princess. That, by definition, made the nation a principality, or one ruled by prince or princess. Regardless, Albert actually plays a bigger role in the day to day operations of the country than most of his European peers. Legislative power is divided between the Prince who initiates the laws, and the National Council who votes on them. Executive power is retained by the Prince, and he has full judiciary powers. Jewels See their tiara collection I think the Ocean Tiara, gifted to Charlene for her wedding, is particularly interesting. You either love it or you hate it. The Grimaldi Curse What do you think?
She was a Chinese prostitute who married a pirate and took over his fleet when he died. She ran her ships with an iron fist and took no shit and was super successful, to the point that the Chinese government sent out an armada to stop her. She kicked their asses and captured 63 of their ships. They fought for two years and even brought in Dutch and British ships before they gave up and offered amnesty to her and her 17,000 crewmen. She got to keep ALL of her loot, spent her later years running a brothel/casino and lived to be 69.
He was a WW2 Commando who served with distinction in a number of theaters, his exploits earned him the Military Cross. He was known as ‘Mad Jack’ by his men and his fellow officers for his ferociousness in combat. Unlike his more conventional peers his weapons of choice were not the traditional British fire arms of the period, instead he chose to rush in to combat with a fucking long bow, a fucking sword and his trusty bag pipes. In 1943 him and a corporal infiltrated a German held town in Sicily capturing 42 men and a mortar position. With only his bagpipes, sword and bow. When the war ended in 1945 after the dropping of the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, he was extremely disappointed and was quoted as saying “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.”
“I am the punishment of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me to you.” Only someone badass enough to know they are badass enough to say that can be considered the baddest ass in history.
Tank Man, of Tiananmen Square fame. We tend to think that you need an army at your back to be a badass, but when you’re a true badass you face the army in front of you even when there’s no one behind you.
*worked in military intelligence during WW2, the character of James Bond is supposed to be part based on him (Ian Fleming was his cousin.) About his war service (from wikipedia): Lee spent time with the Gurkhas of the 8th Indian Infantry Division during the Battle of Monte Cassino. -While spending some time on leave in Naples, Lee climbed Mount Vesuvius, which erupted three days later. – During the final assault on Monte Cassino, the squadron was based in San Angelo and Lee was nearly killed when one of the planes crashed on takeoff and he tripped over one of its live bombs. *played Count Dracula in a string of popular Hammer Horror films; a James Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun; Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man; Saruman in The Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit films; and Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. *released a Heavy metal album at the age of 88; has won awards for his metal music; the single he released in his 90th birthday made him the genre’s oldest performer; he had a song in the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2013 making him — at 91 — the living oldest performer to ever chart; released an EP earlier this year, at 92. If he’s not the world’s baddest ass, he might still be the worlds most interesting man.
I’ll always stand by Anne Boleyn – she manipulated an infamous king into turning away from his beloved religion, kill his supporters who objected (Cardinal Wolsey), and broke with the church to marry her. She’s usually seen as conniving, a witch and evil, but in a male dominated world she cut out her own path and went from low born to the queen of England. She’s such an interesting person in my opinion
Frederick the Great is one of the most underrated badasses in history. The guy took on Austria, France, Russia, Poland, Sweden, and a bunch of smaller German and Italian states and won with his tiny kingdom-Prussia. He turned a small obscure German state into the nation that would end up uniting Germany and guide it on its path to evoking the most powerful country on Earth…until WW1. He was also a very wise monarch. He was friends with Voltaire and passed reforms that helped out the serfs and Jews.
The Queen of the Iceni tribe of ancient celts, she led a ragtag army of Celtic tribes against the invading and highly organized roman army. She burnt Londonium (modern day London) to the ground and wiped out a decent portion of Roman forces. And, oh yeah, this is after the Romans came and ignored her rule, beat her up, and raped her two daughters. Boudicca didn’t mess around.
“On the morning of 7 August 1916, after a night of heavy shelling, the Germans began to overrun a portion of the line which included Jacka’s dug-out. Jacka had just completed a reconnaissance, and had gone to his dug-out when two Germans appeared at its entrance and rolled a bomb down the doorway, killing two of his men. Emerging from the dug-out, Jacka came upon a large number of Germans rounding up some forty Australians as prisoners. Only seven men from his platoon had recovered from the blast; rallying these few, he charged at the enemy. Heavy hand-to-hand fighting ensued, as the Australian prisoners turned on their captors. Every member of the platoon was wounded, including Jacka who was wounded seven times; including a bullet that passed through his body under his right shoulder, and two head wounds. Fifty Germans were captured and the line was retaken; Jacka was personally credited with killing between twelve and twenty Germans during the engagement.” And that was the second time he had done something like that. I suspect he was a terminator sent back to save some historically important grandfathers.
Second longest serving Senators in US History (representing Hawaii since it gained statehood in 1959) and a WWII vet with this remarkable story to tell: “On April 21, 1945, Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge near San Terenzo in Tuscany, Italy, called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most unyielding line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss. As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside the bunker fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving his own primed grenade reflexively “clenched in a fist that suddenly didn’t belong to me anymore.” Inouye’s horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. While the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye pried the live grenade from his useless right hand and transferred it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye tossed the grenade into the bunker and destroyed it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them to return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, “nobody called off the war!”
He was an American pilot during WWII. At the Battle of the Coral Sea, he shot down two Japanese Zeroes in an SBD Dauntless – a dive bomber – and rammed a third. Upon learning of this, the Navy transferred him to a fighter wing flying F4F Wildcats. Later, at the Battle of Santa Cruz, he became an “ace in a day”, shooting down seven Japanese planes in a single sortie. At least one of these kills was accomplished after running out of ammunition; he charged an enemy plane (which was also out of ammunition) head-on at low altitude and forced it to crash. He survived the war, as well.
16th Irish noblewoman, when she was a child her father (the chieftain of the Uí Mháille clan) refused to take her to sea and she cut off all her hair to embarrass him into taking her (her nickname means Bald Grainne). She was born at a time when the Tudor conquest of Ireland was picking up the pace. Throughout her life she was a pirate, she was leader of fighters, under her leadership castles and forts were taken and withstood sieges, she was a revolutionary and war-leader and when Elizabeth I captured her sons and brother, she came to the royal court and negotiated their release in Latin, as she spoke no English and Elizabeth spoke no Irish. Her life would seriously fill about ten books.
Audie Murphy, aka real life Captain America. He was 16 in 1942, weighing 110 pounds and standing 5’5″. He applied to both the Marines and Air Force, but was turned down by both, and eventually managed to get into the Army, where he passed out halfway through training but insisted on going to fight. He contracted malaria in Italy, but was still sent into France in 1944, where he found a German machine gun crew who pretended to surrender, then shot his best friend. Murphy flipped shit, killed everyone in the gun nest, then used their weaponry to kill every Nazi in a 100-yard radius. 6 months later, his company (down to 19 men out of the original 128) was tasked with defending a critical region in France. The Nazis showed up with a ton of guys, so Murphy and his men sent out their M-10’s, which didn’t do much. They were about to be overrun when the skinny short kid with malaria ran to one of the burning M-10’s, grabbed the machine gun, and started mowing down every enemy he could see. He kept going for an hour, until he ran out of bullets, then walked back to his men as the tank exploded behind him.
For starters, he was part of the D-Day invasion. That very day, he killed a squad of German soldiers and captured a half-track that was loaded with intelligence information. Quite a while later, he ran into 4 SS soldiers and killed all of them. However, one hit him with a phosphorous grenade, blinding him in one eye. He refused discharge, saying that as long as he could see through the scope, he had enough eyes. During the Battle of the Scheldt, Major single-handedly captured 93 German soldiers and was offered a Distinguished Conduct Medal. He refused, saying that the man awarding it, General Bernard Montgomery, was an incompetent, so any award from him was worthless. In the beginning of 1945, he was in a vehicle that struck a landmine. He broke both ankles, 4 ribs, and fractured 3 vertebrae. He still continued, refusing evacuation. In April of that year, his unit came upon the Dutch city of Zwolle. His commander asked for two volunteers for a reconnaissance mission. Major and his friend Willie volunteered. They were expected to go see how many German soldiers were in the town. Shortly into their mission, Willie was killed, and the plan changed. Major was out for blood. He went down the street guns blazing and throwing grenades while yelling in French to convince the Germans that the Canadians had sent their whole force into the town. He captured nearly one hundred German troops who went fleeing from their cover. Later that night, he came upon the Gestapo HQ and burned it to the ground. He barged into the SS HQ later that same night, killed 4, and ran the other 4 out of town. At 4:30 a. m. He discovered that the city belonged to the Dutch again, and the Germans had been run out. He received a Distinguished Conduct Medal for single-handedly liberating the town of Zwolle. But he still wasn’t done. In the Korean War, he was asked to lead a strike team of elite snipers to support an American division. He and his twenty men took the hill single-handedly and held it while nearly 20,000 Chinese soldiers attacked their position. He was ordered to retreat. Instead, he held the hill for three days until reinforcements arrived. For this action, he received a bar to his DCM.
While the story is probably embellished some, it’s still amazing. While on a fur trapping expedition, he was mauled by a grizzly bear, which he killed with some help, then passed out. Later, he woke up to find his party abandoned him and he had no equipment. So he cleaned his multiple wounds, used the bear’s skin as a bandage, and spent the next six weeks making it back to civilization. Along the way he fought off wolves, made his own raft to travel down a river, and with the help of natives sewed the bear skin in place to replace his own.
Witold Pilecki was a Polish soldier and resistance member who volunteered to get imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp in order to gather intelligence and escape. While in the camp, Pilecki organized a resistance movement and as early as 1941, informed the Western Allies of Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz atrocities. He escaped from the camp in 1943 after nearly 3 years of imprisonment.
To elaborate, he was a tiny guy that ran track for the US Olympic team in Germany. He got cleated up so bad by the other runners he was bleeding all over the place and he busted it down the final stretch, didn’t win but the crowd was going nuts for the guy so much so that hitler asked to shake his hand after the race. Plane gets shot down in ww2, survives longer a drift than anyone has ever survived while fighting off sharks. Washes ashore a Japanese prison camp, much badassery ensues here. Gets tortured for a couple years and after he’s released, this cat returns to japan to tell his torturer that he forgives him, the coward won’t meet him. This guy even died on the Fourth of July. Oh and some say he was actually the first to run a mile in under four minutes, in the sand.
If Commanding General of the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI, John J. Pershing was alive today, he would probably say the following on how to deal with suicide bombers and deter Islamic terrorists: further action can be taken once they blow themselves up; there is an effective substance that can deter these bombers. Its pork, and it will deny any Muslim extremist what they seek after death. During the Philippine Wars 1899-1913, we fought another Islamic terrorist group called the Moro’s, which were decisively quelled by John J. Pershing. One tactic he employed is said to have happened in 1911, when Pershing was serving as commander of a garrison. Following numerous Islamic terrorist attacks, Pershing captured fifty of the Moro’s, and used their religion against them. Forced to dig their own graves, the terrorists were all tied to posts, for execution by firing squad. American soldiers then brought in pigs, slaughtered them, and then coated their bullets with the blood and fat from the pigs. Pershing turned the tables, and terrorized these terrorists; he ensured they saw that once struck by the firing squad’s bullets, they would be contaminated with the pig’s blood. Even worse, their bodies would be dumped in a grave with a pig carcass, meaning that they could not enter Heaven, even if they were engaged in a Jihad. Pershing followed through with the operation. Forty-nine Moro’s were shot, their bodies dumped into the graves, and the dead pig carcasses and entrails poured all over them. The Fiftieth Moro was spared, and allowed to return to his camp, to spread the word to his fellow Jihadists what happened to the others. He must have made it clear what fate awaits any Jihadists caught by the Americans from that point forward, as it brought an end to terrorism in the Philippines for the next 50 years.
DanMemo News - June 16, 2020 - 3rd Anniversary Details!
Check out the DanMemo Discord for the live translations! Credit to Cyb in the Astraea Discord for making the information easily accessible in one channel! Before we go any further, a couple quick notes. - There are some minor spoilers for the story of the 3rd Anniversary event. This includes a rather vague summary of the story and character reveals. Wanted to give you that heads up. - We do have Unit Details. As per the usual, I will be giving my own evaluation of the units. You by no means have to place weight in my opinion of the units. I am in a Top 5 NA Familia and have played since Day 1. But that doesn't change that I have been VERY WRONG before, nor does it change that there are people who are significantly better at this game than I am. - Lastly, this is going to be LOOOONG. Just another heads up. Ok, let's get into it.
--- NEW COMBAT MECHANIC We need to talk about this new combat mechanic before we talk about the units, since multiple of them use it. (ADDITIONAL ACTIONS) You are going to see units that have abilities that read something like this. "& For 2 actions after this, additional effect of [Foe] Low Wind M.atk" There is now an "Additional Action Phase". The clarifying details they provided are below. - During the additional action phase, more than 1 character can act at once (via these additional actions) - The additional actions cannot be removed (like assist skills) - The additional actions do not increase the SA gauge - After using an SA / combination SA / countering, these additional actions will not be used. - The additional actions cannot be countered With those clarifications, I would expect to see this "Additional Phase" at the end of your turn and everyone's actions will all execute at relatively the same time. So basically, you use an ability that gives you extra actions on your next ability used. You use an ability, and then at the end of turn you get an extra whack/effect. --- NEW UNITS (Strap in) (Also, I didn't find and we didn't get clear translations for all of the units titles, so I am just going to make a couple of them up.) --- [Wind of Purity] Ryu Lion - Stat Block - She is the Free Unit for the Event - Get a copy for free, the bonds come from the event Special Arts:[Foes] Ultra Wind M. Atk with temp mag boost & [Allies] Mag and Wind DMG +40% for 3 turns. Skill 1 (29 MP): [Foes] Low Wind M.Atk & [self] Mag, Wind DMG +40% for 5 turns. Skill 2 (41 MP): [Foes] Hi Wind M. Atk with Ultra Uncounter. & [Foes] Str, Mag, Mag Res, Wind res -20% for 3 turns. Skill 3 (23 MP): [Foe] Hi Wind M. Atk with Ultra Pen & For 2 actions after this, additional effect of [Foe] Low Wind M.atk. Notable Passives: - Counters are wind elemental - Earth Res +25% - HP and MP 4% Regen every turn - Worm Killer (Free Units are normally a notch or two below decent. The same goes for our Best Girl here. [Fight me BeatHokage].) (She has a subpar stat block, and her skill pool is mediocre at best. A fairly Low Mag Stat and none of regular skills even have Temp Boost. So she is going to tickle at best.) (I could see her being used as a Sac Unit for Wind Teams that need her S2 but don't have a similar effect. But beyond that, she will at least be an easy for anyone to see/experience the new mechanic.) (Worm Killer will mean she can at least find some niche use in specific PvE events.) ---- [Scarlet Harnel] Alisa Lovell - Stat Block Special Arts:[Foes] Ultra Fire P. Atk with temp GREAT Str boost and Ultra crit. & [Allies] Str, Mag, Fire dmg +60% for 3 turns. Skill 1 (52 MP): [Foes] Fast Hi Fire P. Atk with Ultra Uncounter. & [Self] Str & Fire dmg +60% + [Foes] Fire Res -40% for 5 turns. Skill 2 (54 MP): [Foes] Super Fire P. Atk with temp Str boost and Ultra Crit. & [Allies] Critical Rate and Penetration Rate +30% for 3 turns. Skill 3 (31 MP): [Foe] Hi Fire P. Atk with Ultra Pen and temp GREAT str boost. Notable Passives: - Wind Res +35% - Counters are Fire elemental - Counter dmg +50% - Crit dmg + 15% - Worm Killer (Yeah... This is just the first unit. There are 5 more... and this is only Part 1 of the Anniversary event...) (Alise is an absolute monster. I don't know why WFS loves making Fire Units the strongest. But here they go again.) (Her S1 is one of the strongest single unit damage differentials we have seen. It is a Fast, Safe Hit that will cause her to deal effectively 160% more damage on her own, and also provide a substantial damage increase to the rest of your fire team. Even the mega-self buffers like Aisha and Bete, they only achieve a 140% boost and they are on Low Modifer Attacks that they are likely to get smacked up on. Now, we do have units that buff their damage and lower enemy resistances, but they aren't on the SAME ability. Or they are on non-damaging abilities like Ryu.) (OH LOOK, THERE'S MORE. Her S2 is going to hit RIDICULOUSLY hard and provides a straight damage consistency buff to the entire crew which she will get on her next use of S2. This WILL hurt more than you think. Especially with her stupid high STR stat.) (S3 is just a throw-in ST ability so she can be universally useful. SA is a powerful steroid to give units like Idol Aiz even more damage.) (Alise is strong. Scary Strong. The only thing that might hurt her, is her rather high mana costs. That won't matter for WarGames or Familia Rush. But it will be a constraint in RecordBuster or Seventh Zone. Other than that, she is a juggernaut.) ---- [Vyasa] Ardee Varma - Stat Block Special Arts: [Allies] For 4 turns, Agi, Dex +40%, and 50% HP regen. [Allies] Prevents Death if HP > 1%, if HP < 1% this buff is removed. Skill 1 (241 MP) : Fast Buff [Allies] Prevents death if HP > 1%, if HP < 1% this buff is removed. & [Allies] P.Res and M.Res +30%, 35% HP Regen for 4 turns. Skill 2 (32 MP) : [Allies] 30% heal. & [Foes] P. Res and M. Res -30%, Crit Rate and Pen Rate -40% for 2 turns. Skill 3 (39 MP): [Foe] Super Water P. Atk with Ultra Crit & Removes all str and mag buffs except assist skills Notable Passives: - 35% dmg reduction on guard - Fire res + 35% - HP and MP 5% regen every turn (We don't get BALANCED TYPE units very often. They are normally a bit awkward because their stats are just a bit awkward. The same is true here. Even more so. Ardee does Physical Damage on her S3, but loses a huge chunk of her P. Atk stat to inflate her Mag stat. This MIGHT make sense if she had a Modifier Style Heal. But since her Heal is just a flat percentage, rather than something like a MID heal, her Mag stat is completely waster. She doesn't even heal on counter, so that mag stat is doing LITERALLY nothing. Now, that doesn't mean she sucks. Good lord.) (Ok, her S1 costs 241 MP. Which means she is using this ability ONCE. MAYBE twice. That 5% HP/MP Regen will not be enough to cover this cost. It will be a "one-time" save that comes along with a pretty insane team buff. The ability is great in WarGames/ RecordBuste 120+ Difficult PvE / and more. It is a use and forget in WarGames, in everything else, I expect to use it once, and then extend the buff with Priestess/Haruhime.) (Goodbye Goblin Slayer. You aren't ever needed anymore. Seriously, this debuff is just better. Unless you are fighting with a Physical Based Dark Team, Ardee is going to be better in every other circumstance. Ardee covers both damage types, and her Crit/Pen debuffs are 10% over Goblin Slayer. No matter what, youa re going to want at least ONE copy of Ardee to use as a Sac in PvE events.) (I expect you will see some WarGames teams that feel unbeatable because of Ardee. But I don't see her as a MUST-HAVE MLB/MHA. She is good and you absolutely want and borderline need one copy to use her S2 for things like RecordBusteSeventh Zone.) --- [Modest Royal] Riveria Ljos Alf - Stat Block Special Arts: [Foe] Ultra Water M. Atk. +70% Skill DMG for every water dmg buff on self & removes all str and mag buffs on Foe except assist skills. Skill 1 (37 MP): Fast Buff [Self] SA Charge and Water DMG +100% for 4 turns & For the next 3 actions, additional effect of [Foe] Low water M.atk Skill 2 (55 MP):[Foe] Slow Hi Water M.atk with Ultra Crit with Temp Mag Boost. & [Self] Crit and Pen rate +50% for 1 turn. Skill 3 (32 MP):[Foe] Hi Water M. Atk with ultra Unguard. & [self] Mag and Dex +50% for 3 turns. Notable Passives: - Fire Res +35% - Counters are Water Elemental - Crit Damage +25% - Counter dmg +50% - Worm Killer (Good lord that kit is a lot. There is SO MUCH here. Where to start? Ok, let's start with ability order. Her normal "Cycle" is going to be 1-3-2-2-2-2. So let's take the abilities in that order and cap it off with the SA and final thoughts.) (*This is Probably the first unit that has the Self SA buff that doesn't feel like garbage. Yes, Idol Ais has it, but it is on her SA, so that doesn't count in this circumstance. Riveria is more than doubling her damage while also getting that 100% increase to SA charge. This is an insane self buff. The only question I have here. Is I am not sure on the exact "math" of the Additional Action of a Low Attack. She doesn't have a SUPER Damage modifer on any of her Skills. This is probably because she is going to be doing an "extra hit" because of her S1. I don't know if this is actually better or equivalent. *) (The other issue here is that I am 99.99% certain you won't be able to extend those actions to additional turns with units like Haru/Priestess. Which means that in order to "maintain" that extra damage. You are going to have to waste a turn reapplying her S1 to get the additional actions. Which, her S1 doesn't deal damage. So again, there is some BIG BRAIN math here to do on whether "losing a turn" to get the extra whack is worth it, compared to just spamming her S2.) - (This won't matter in Riv/Ottarl Recordbuster, where you will have to re-buff ANYWAY, but it will matter everywhere else.) (Her S3 is a considerable self-buff that puts her total self-buffs up to 150% in straight damage. Which is very considerable. Especially since this S3 is on a High-Damage mod and should have that additional whack on it from the S1. Follow that up with a great throughput buff on her S2. She should be dealing very VERY consistent high levels of damage) (Her SA is a big nuke. The StMag cleanse is basically meaningless, since you will want someone like Rogue Bell or NY Anya to consistently clear those off.) (Riveria LOOKS good. But if I sound confused about her actual effectiveness, it is because I am. I can't truly make a verdict on this unit because there is just a LOT of math here that is hard to determine. She needs to use all 3 of her abilities to be "online", compared to people like NY Bete that only need to use 1. That is a lot of "set-up" time. It may very well be worth it, but with this new mechanic and the interaction of that with the lower damage modifiers. It is hard for me to say exactly.) --- [Strong Back] Gareth Landrock
Special Arts: [Foes] Ultra Earth P. Atk with temp Str boost and Ultra Unguard. & [Allies] P Res and M res +50% for 4 turns. Skill 1 (187 MP): Fast Buff [Allies] Earth dmg +50% for 5 turns. & For the next 3 actions, additional effect of [75% chance to null a p. atk on allies, except for SA]. Skill 2 (54 MP): [Foes] Super Earth P. Atk with temp Str boost and Ultra Unguard. & [Allies] Removes all str and mag debuffs except assist skills. Skill 3 (27 MP): [Foe] Hi Earth P. Atk with Ultra Pen. & skill dmg +50% for every str buff on self. Notable Passives: - Counters are Earth Elemental - Thunder Res +35% - P res and M res +20% - Penetration Damage +15% - Worm Killer (Ehhhhhhhhhhhh. Gareth is... not that exciting. If each unit has a "budget", the majority of his was spent on his S1. Which, don't missunderstand, that Additional Effect will be absolute ASS in WarGames...... if you roll into a Physical Team. But he just doesn't DO much beyond that. The Team-Wide Earth Damage buff is nice. But it is JUST Earth Damage., He doesn't boost anything else at all.) (We saw some people running [Catty] Chloe to some success, although limited. Same with Halloween Bell. But both have fallen out of Meta pretty hard. Sure 75% is better than their 50%. But it doesn't even happen on his first action. With every team that isn't Stall (and even then...) just frontloading SO MUCH DAMAGE, and a lot of WarGame'sm matches being largely decided in the first turn, maybe the 2nd. I don't see Gareth getting the chance to have an actual impact. If his S1 provided something like P.Res and M.Res while also then giving him this additional effect. He might have a stronger home. But I see him finding a home in some super niche teams, and otherwise being an overall disappointment.) (I mean, even his SA isn't that exciting. 50% resistance is nice. But Ardee provides 30% on a basic skill. I can't recommend pulling for Gareth at ALL. Maybe get a copy on the idea of using his S1 as a Sac buff for Earth Teams. But beyond that, he just kinda seems bad. I could be wrong, of course.) --- [Celestial Libra] Astraea - Stat Block Assist Effect: [Allies] 30% HP regen, null 1x Phy. & Mag Atk. except for SAs (Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Well. She is really good. She is a WarGames Goddess if there ever was one. We are seeing more and more "mixed Damage" teams, and she gives you a null for each. Her HUGE Agi stat will contribute to the still Agi based Meta. She allows some solid AF frontline protection against basically any team you come up against, and allows you to have backline Nulls that will be even more protection. Yeah, she is pretty insane.) (As a note. She isn't a MUST HAVE for anything. You could absolutely still have a MURDEROUS WarGames team that doesn't include her. She doesn't do a TON for PvE events. Her HP Regen as an assist is the highest in the game by a WIDE margin. She is great, but not a MUST HAVE.) --- [Wise Prum] Finn Deimne - Stat Block Assist Effect: [Allies] SA charge gain +33%, Str, Mag, Agi, End, Dex +10% (On the other hand. Finn is an ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE MLB unit. I can not express enough how absolutely insane Finn is as a unit.) (Before this, Casino Syr was still the only assist that provided SA Charge Boost. And at MLB she provided 100% increase charge to a single unit. Even basically 2 years after she came out, Casino Syr is STILL used ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Having the SA Boost enables a ton of strategies in things like Familia Rush or Record Buster that just Aren't possible otherwise.) (Finn is literally just a drastically better Casino Syr. If you aren't using Sacs, you are getting 132% SA Charge every turn. Which beats out Syr by 32%. And even if you ARE using sacs. You are still going to get one 33% boost on the first Sac Unit. Which means, that while you are going to be getting 99% a turn from your units instead of 100%, you would need to go for 33 turns before Syr starts to give you more SA Charge than Finn. Which, I don't want to see the event that asks you to go for 40 turns.) (Even beyond that. Casino Syr ONLY provides the SA Boost. Finn also comes with a 10% Stat Boost in every category. Sure you might use something like Artemis for a larger STR buff. But you likely won't be getting better boosts in literally every stat.) (Finn is a MUST HAVE unit that you will need to MLB. He is the all-star unit of the event that will likely be used for 2+ years to come.) (Also, there is the very VERY real possibility, that him existing completely opens up new strategies. Currently, we just CAN'T get 3 SA's in Familia Rush. Even with units like Tiona that give themselves the 100% SA Charge buff, you still just BARELY come up short. Finn + Casino Syr + A SA Buff Unit, might mean 3 SAs in 7 turns is possible.) - (Looking at you, Riveria-Chan.) --- Banners - Banner #1 - Alise, Riveria, Finn - Banner #2 - Ardee, Gareth, Astraea (IMO. Banner 1 is about 50x Stronger than Banner 2.) Banners are going to have 2x Rate for 4★ Units Heroic Trials (Thankfully, they are throwing us a couple bones here as well....)
--- Quick College of Everything Actual Summary Image - (Dates are in JST, So it starts for most of the world on Thursday Evening, June 18) Thanks for reading and thanks for playing! Schwahn Find me on the DanMemo Discord or the Astraea Discord. - or on my Discord Server(I do my own creative content) or on my Twitter Account --- (Oh my sweet lord. That took 3 hours and is creeping up on 30,000 characters.) (I am ultimately pretty happy with the new units. I didn't really have a direct "wishlist" for the new event beyond something we hadn't seen before. I wanted to see something in a new design space, and the "Additional Actions" are exactly that.) (I am a bit concerned that this 3rd Anniversary is broken into THREE parts) (+1) (That is a LOT of events, and a LOT of units. They have historically pushed the envelope with the Anniversary units, and the Argonaut units are STILL relevant today. I am expecting very similar things with these units. I imagine that Alise is going to just be a staple unit for a LONG time. Finn as well. Ardee will always see use, at least as a Sac.) (I can only imagine what we are going to see in Part 2 and 3. Especially if we look at just how good the Part 2 Argonaut Units were.) (Regardless of all that. I am most excited to see the story of the Astraea Familia. Ryu has been my favorite since the very beginning of my introduction to the series. Her Story is one that is only vaguely told by herself, and hinted by others. This will be an absolutely incredible event. I am quite excited, and I hope all of you are as well.)
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
Why I feel Quantum of Solace is a better film than Skyfall
Despite the common consensus that Daniel Craig’s second outing is a weak entry in the series, I swear this film improves every time I watch it and is deserving of re-appraisal. Critically panned back in the day, and for mostly understandable reasons – Quantum of Solace had a troubled production in the midst of the 2007-08 Writer's Guild strike, that would result in the feature having the bare bones of a script and, according to Daniel Craig, leaving himself and the director to haphazardly pen scenes, in some cases on the day of shooting. Such a rushed affair does not bode well for a sequel to what is arguably the most perfect Bond of all-time, Casino Royale. And upon release, I remember leaving the cinema feeling confused and having a bit of a headache. Critics were correct to point out the at times incomprehensible editing choices and rapid cuts that made certain action set pieces feel like an epileptic fit. However, on this rewatch, I found it to be much less of an issue than originally thought and, at the risk of making everyone reading this groan with a cheap, A-Level Film Studies level insight, worked well to convey Bond’s fractured, relentless state of mind following the lingering trauma of Casino’s third-act. To begin to explain my delusional admiration for Quantum, for a film that had real problems in the writer's room, good god is this a much better script than Skyfall. Characters actually feel human and dialogue authentic – no cringeworthy, half-baked one liners in sight, no obnoxious, fourth-wall breaking references to past glories (yes I'm aware of the Goldfinger painted lady callback, but this works in the context of the scene and doesn’t feel out of place) and most notably, the relationship between Bond, his leading lady Camille and his lovably wry Kerim Bey-esque contact and friend, Mathis, believable and engaging. This does wonders for my investment in the piece and goes a long way to patch up what is admittedly a pretty skeletal plot. Like Casino, the film’s sparing use of dry humour is made all the more effective when it lands and never feels incongruous with the established gritty tone of the Craig timeline; something Sam Mendes would fail to grasp four years later. I was also impressed by Quantum's willingness as a mainstream movie to showcase a cynical, post-9/11 worldview on foreign policy, the oil industry and Western government officials casually getting in bed with terrorists and despots. Once again in the Craig era, the enemies are not goateed French bastards wishing to eradicate humankind and repopulate the earth exclusively with sexy models – it's sellout politicians enabling dictatorships and poverty profiteers. By depicting not only human relationships but also the nature of 21st century geopolitics in such an authentic light (as much as is possible within the escapist fantasy of Bond), this serves to make the stakes feel all the more real and further justify the harder-edged interpretation of the character and the world he inhabits. Despite this, Quantum never comes across as preachy – it simply treats the disillusioned reality of global affairs and entrenched corruption as a given. While Mark Kermode humourously viewed the film's relentless action as "teletubbies bouncing around in a padded cell", the meaninglessness of the violence struck me as intentional and if not, certainly worked on a thematic level. As M puts it, this is a broken Bond driven by "inconsolable rage", going apeshit and killing every lead; another body stacked up without consequence and bringing no solace, not even a quantum of the stuff, until the very end. And at this point in time, the concept of Bond "going rogue" was actually still fresh and exciting (fast-forward to the utter clusterfuck that was Spectre and I'm bloody well sick of his cavalier attitude to work). Dominic Greene may have been consigned to the dustbin of Bond villain history in popular culture, along with Kristatos and Jack Wade’s evil twin from The Living Daylights, and apparently not worthy of having his stock casting photo proudly blu-tacked to the wall of a crumbling Mi6 in a cheap effort to taunt Bond in Spectre, but I don't see why. Sure, he doesn't have some token physical disfigurement and his scheme to deprive Bolivia of its water resources isn't as fanciful as using a big bastard space laser to explode the world's nukes. His evil is one without bells and whistles or Roger Moore era camp – he's a sleazy, slippery little fucker without pomp, who deserved a belly-full of motor oil by the time the credits rolled. This I much prefer than the flamboyant, bleach-blonde and frankly misguided comic relief excuse for a villain we get in the following film. Quantum’s leading lady, Camille Montes, is easily the second most compelling Bond girl in the Craig era and she too carries her own personal demons – their relationship is one of mutual catharsis and an opportunity to ‘bond’, not over martinis or foie gras in a fancy casino, but rather discussing their dead, unavenged loved ones in a cold cave. In a way, it’s rather nice they don’t shag at the end, signifying he doesn’t view her as a disposable pleasure and has enough respect not to try it on. But to be fair, they do look very sweaty and smelly after that ferocious conflict in the desert hotel, so it would probably have been rude to assume sex was on the cards (if I were in her position, I’d want to get home, have a nice big bath, order a curry and watch a few episodes of Frasier before bed). It’s a shame they didn’t bring back Camille for future outings, as I would’ve loved to have seen her alongside Craig again, only this time joining forces in a legitimate mission. This is an extra disappointing pill to swallow considering they are bafflingly bringing back that walking piece of cardboard, Madeline Swann (no offence, Léa Seydoux) for No Time to Die – a woman who’s ‘deep’ emotional connection to Bond is entirely predicated on the fact he happened to shoot her dad in the leg with a machine gun in 2006. I mean seriously, Bond and Camille shared more chemistry in five minutes than Bond and Swann in the entirety of Spectre, ugh… Technically speaking, this film has some gorgeous visuals to admire when the camera very infrequently remains still, it features one of David Arnold’s best scores with some lush, sweeping orchestrals and the occasional ghostly callback to Vesper’s theme, and on a superficial level, Craig looks his absolute best as Bond here with some timeless sartorial choices, before they would start putting him in tiny, skin-tight suits in following adventures. There are some cool arty moments such as the Tosca shootout, that I felt elevated what could’ve been a pretty unremarkable sequence to, forgive the pun, operatic heights. Onto the bad, which I will keep short and sweet as everyone is already acutely aware of this film’s shortcomings and likes to overinflate. The theme song is a bag of shite and practically devoid of melody, the editing could’ve been a little more coherent at times, the bizarrely unsatisfying “I told you everything you wanted to know about Quantum but the audience probably won’t be interested, so let’s just skip over it” line, and the gunbarrel design looks like it was mocked up in Photoshop in two minutes and should have had its rightful place at the beginning. In my view, Quantum has aged like a fine wine but critics and many in the fan community were left cold upon release. Unfortunately, I would argue the wrong lessons were learned from these less favourable reactions and the following outing, Skyfall, would serve somewhat as a course correction for the series – swiftly undercutting the new lean, mean and down-to-earth tone for a cartoonish yet mopey pastiche of classic Bond.
Album of the Year 2019 #26: Men I Trust - Oncle Jazz
Hello everyone and welcome back to Album of the Year 2019, the yearly series where the users of indieheads talk their favorite albums of the year. Up today, simonthedlgger goes in-depth on the massive Oncle Jazz from Men I Trust. Artist:Men I Trust Album:Oncle Jazz https://preview.redd.it/8af3n1rzi0741.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6e1d4a18f7bb2aa4c7332be7e2042a41af87aa34 Listen: Bandcamp Spotify Youtube Apple Music Interlude I can’t believe the odds. It’s December 26th, my favorite holiday not named Halloween. A day of leftovers and familial decompression. Outside, the year is ending. Pine trees, some still webbed with lights, lay on sidewalks. Historically, December 26th is grey and cloudless. Cold, but not necessarily wintry. A void of a day, ideal for lounging and reflection. “Have a lay in,” says the universe. On December 26, it is constantly evening. And now, there is a playful bounce of synth, murmuring bass like a bear waking from a long nap ... a swell of brightness: “You’re listening to Oncle Jazz .” Allow yourself, listener, for seventy ephemeral, December 26th minutes, to be swept away in jazzy philosopop fantasy. All smiles, slide across the kitchen floor in your brand new socks, treat yo self to a warm beverage and snacks, nest in bed as opening titles fade like a path into the deep forest. I can only suggest you take that path. We’re about to Oncle Jazz. Background Men I Trust are a three piece indie pop band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The band was established by producemulti-instrumentalist Dragos Chiriac and bassist Jessy Caron in 2014. The pair released their self-titled debut that year, followed by Headroom in 2015, both of which featured numerous guest vocalists. After guitarist Emma Proulx became the permanent singer of Men I Trust, the band put out a series of successful singles from 2016 through early this year. After a few delays, Men I Trust released their third full length album and first as a trio on September 13, 2019. Review bysimonthedlgger
Men I Trust Radio
It’s easy to view Men I Trust as more “chill but danceable” Spotify recommendation-core. The formula is simple enough: breathy vocals over sustained synth, walking bass with jazz and/or R&B flavour, restrained rhythm section. Elevator music, if the elevator were taking you up to a Blockbusters/indie bookstore combo in the heart of Bushwick. Except, this is not our stop. Ours is an elevator ascending the Ivory Tower, granting us view of all Fantasia. Our elevator alights the lobby of the Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino, where Men I Trust and The Martini Police tradeoff headlining gigs. On closer inspection, Men I Trust’s music is neither simple nor restrained (though, production is artfully subdued throughout). It’s not even very relaxing, only enough to lull you into a vantage from which you feel comfortable enough to see yourself—perhaps for the first time—as something small within something very large, and to realize that largeness is contained within an even larger space, and so on until the mystery swallows you. (That is not to say Men I Trust do not have their utterly charming moments, i.e. the deliriously joyous sing-along opening of “Days go by and I still don't know how and why I still make my way without you, without you.”) On Oncle Jazz, Men I Trust plays timewarped pocket groove music, pulling together elements of modern pop, softrock, plenty of jazz (on show in their latest instrumental single, “Alright,”), and of course assorted lofi/synth/indie/sweet dreams pop, to make something distinctive, comforting but unnameable. Several interludes further expand the scope of the Oncle Jazz structure, from the absurd funk of “Slap Pie” to the smoking “Fiero GT," lest we forget the balletic mystery of closer “Poplar Tree," which would sound fitting over melancholy credits to a Miyazaki film. There’s a votive quality to the loop-like nature of the band’s arrangements, cycling frames that range in form from waves of Sega ambience to controlled yet driving beats which draw equally on the electronic and organic. So much happens within the confinements of these loops, yet every moment remains isolated, carefully placed. The songs sound like secrets, but not puzzles for the sake of puzzles: there is an answer to every riddle, a worthwhile conclusion. “We like to use a lot of repetitive movements in melodies and chord progressions to give the songs a prayer-like rhythm,” Dragos told Crack Magazine, describing the band’s desire to draw listeners deeper into their sonic narratives. The recurring musical movements are complemented by an economy of words the band often discusses:
“I will ... find the way in which I can concentrate [a thought’s] meaning, saying the most with the least words. It’s Bernstein’s idea of poetry and it’s also a necessary constraint inherent to the song genre,” Dragos told me. “Sometimes, these ideas end in Men I Trust songs.”
The band takes this minimalist approach to either ends of the spectrum, always leaving room for the listener to process and derive meaning. Compare the simplicity of “All Night” (“You wrap my feet in coloured blankets, so I stay here all night. You keep the one with many moons and stars, it’s always for my shoulders,”) to the stark poetry of “I Hope to be Around” (“I dream of my future, remote from time bounds, becoming myself without any end.”)
The clarity with which Men I Trust operates is evidenced not only in the deliberate arrangements and concise lyricism of Oncle Jazz, but the actual conception of the record. Initially delaying the album after touring prevented the trio from finishing, then calling an audible the night before Oncle Jazz was scheduled for upload to major streaming services, there is never a sense of hurry when discussing Men I Trust. Rather, tranquil precision. Achieving the ideal mix played a large part in the album’s prolonged incubation, with eight singles being remixed for their place among the 24 track album (several considerably so). The songs settle softly in the mix, warm pop rhythms bouncing off watery jazz. “I don’t think loud songs will give the best listening experience in years to come,” Chiriac told Billboard. I agree: Oncle Jazz invites you to absolutely bump the volume, clarifying the perfectly shaped bass tones and depth of reverb, the myriad details, without going deaf (fun fact, I did a write up on Angel Olsen’s All Mirrors for popheads, and the mixes on these two albums could not be further apart). On “Seven,” you can hear prospective lovers whispering across a dying campfire. The rustic “Pines” paints an immense but lonely landscape (“She moves like wind by deserted pines who stand tall, unstirred,”). After completing touring obligations, the band returned to Oncle Jazz. “When we spend too much time on the road, we miss being able to settle, to write and record without disturbance,” Dragos says over email. “Listening to a finished song, or album, is the most fun part of recording.” Recording for Oncle Jazz took place in the green quiet of rural Quebec, which no doubt influenced the hushed mix (they’ve described the album as consisting of all “winter songs,” which isn’t a bad description by any means, but the undeniable warmth of Oncle Jazz makes one wonder what a summery MIT album sounds like). “It put us in a really different creative mood ... there’s nothing to do outside of the house except for walking and thinking about music,” Proulx said (Billboard). Indeed, the band have frequently described how their music focuses on the ways individuals play a small role within the macroscopic natural world; this sense of humble realization is all over the record. When further pressed, the band typically says songs are simply about friends. The interplay of the cosmic and intimate is one of several unifying threads that elevate Oncle Jazz from a standard LP release to a greater musical movement. For, Oncle Jazz is its own radio station; at one point on the album, Emma clues the listener in: “You’re listening to Radio Men I Trust,” and I can’t help but responding, “Yes, I sure am,” every time. It’s a station wound in the layered textures of the Arturia Mellotron and Yamaha DX7; though, as with any decent station, there are a bevy of unexpected gifts.
My friend, you know, you had your time awhile..but I'm willing to give you mine.
Late in the Oncle Jazz sequencing comes “Something In Water” like a plaintive siren out of the mists, “In this land with no sea, hoping time forgot me, 'cause I don’t need your love, only your full weight on me.” Guitars take the forefront, a rarity on Oncle Jazz, especially the submerged acoustics and posthardcore/proggy chorus lead that surprises at 2:22. “Dorian” consists of brilliant world building by the Zora River, recalling dreams of C.R.E.A.M. and nights spent shooting the shit with friends outside the corner store. You’ve heard the chorus melody a million times since you were young, but, no, it’s a melody only Proulx could deliver, her voice resembling bells and woodwinds more than vocals. “Found Me” sounds like Nirvana. “Say Can You Hear” has that new wave drive. The groove of “Air” is otherworldly. A mildly brooding verse spills into the euphoric hook: “So I thought you could come over mine...some time. Our loneliness now gone.” As with many Men I Trust songs, “Air” does not fade out, but dances away.
My friend, you have a vivid quill.
Despite the inescapably dreamy qualities of Men I Trust’s oeuvre, there’s a decidedly grounded sense to their work, a desire for clarity -- the contrast brings yet another level to the listening experience, lyricism weaving between daydreaming and existential doubt. “I Hope To Be Around” plays with Platonist-Socratic concepts (“I hope to be around the day we grasp in truth the nature of mind befriending time, in truth,”), though the breadth of lyricism and philosophical ideology (J.S. Mill to Goethe) makes it clear all members contribute to the writing process, questioning many aspects of self-significance and morality. “For me, these contradictions make for a weird literary genre, at once positing the insignificance of humans and the god-like invulnerability of men and women of good. It’s horrifying and reassuring (the power of truth), sublime (greater than ourselves), and f---g funny,” I’m told. “It’s like watching a horror comedy. It’s a mix of emotions cancelling each other and it leaves me feeling like a blindfolded fool, puzzled with a donkey tail in his hand.” Read through a few Men I Trust songs, and at least one line will leave you handling a donkey tail of your own. Of course, all Men I Trust lyrics are refracted through Proulx’s mesmerizing vocals. A French speaker, she has described the English language as another instrument (I challenged myself not to use the word ‘ethereal’ in describing her voice. Or ‘gossamer.’ Or ‘gauzy,’ ‘gracile,’ or even ‘as a light rain.’ So, I will not.). Her instrument contains multitudes.
Men I Trust Lives
It’s a bit mystifying to reconcile the immaculate production behind Oncle Jazz and the band’s relentless, globe-spanning touring schedule, delays or not. Men I Trust’s fully realized sound on Oncle Jazz translates beautifully to the stage. “When we spend too much time working on recordings, especially on a long double album, we look forward to getting outside and touring,” they tell me. For Men I Trust, both playing live and recording are exciting paths to becoming better musicians, a thrilling prospect for fans. “The end results of both are especially rewarding.” Shortly before finishing this write up, I saw the band play a double header at Boston’s Royale and the Sinclair in Cambridge. Men I Trust played as a five piece, yet remained committed to the halcyon aesthetic: a t-shirt remained over the snare for the duration of the set, cymbals were chained, Emma’s vocals were so quiet you couldn’t hear her speak between songs -- even the roaring denouement of a guitar solo that closes “Seven” managed to melt faces without piercing ears. No, Men I Trust does not make simple, chill out music. They make music difficult to fully grasp, no matter how welcoming the sound, how natural the fit. Now, our time is at an end. Favorite Lyrics
I don't want to feel a world against our love. I don't want to grow old, a lone broken heart.
I'm happy my home found me, by which force I do not know. I found my home and it grows by me in beauty.
In a midway I stand where many stood only to come home again. Walking through these streets I know too well but my thoughts stray away.. I dream of my future, remote from time bounds, becoming myself without any end.
"I Hope To Be Around"
My friend, you have a vivid quill, a gift you need to use to feel alive. Those hands look like crooked roots. Pour them the right stuff and feel alive.
Do you prefer the single or album versions of songs such as “Seven” and “I Hope To Be Around”? Please elaborate :)
What do you think a “summer” Men I Trust album would sound like, and more generally, what aspects of their sound would you like to see expanded on moving forward?
What other fully independent bands should Indieheads be listening to in 2020?
Thank you to simonthedlgger for their sprawling write-up! Tune back tomorrow as NMHipsterTrash is scheduled to talk Surf Curse's Heaven Surrounds You. In the meantime, discuss today's album and its write-up in the comments below!
A full list of Mandela Effects that have affected me personally.
I have intentionally left out geography locations and flip flops. I posted this list about 8months ago but its dissapeared from my reddit app but still on if i go on the web page for some reason so this list is mainly for me to keep a record and share my experiences so far , enjoy :-) 1.) N.A.S.A. - North American Space Agency > National Aeronautics And Space Administration 2.) Dr Doolittle > Dr Dolittle 3.) Vasoline > Vaseline 4) SEAN William Scott > Seann William Scott 5.) Hellman's > Hellmann's 6.) Gravy GRANUALS > Granules 7.) Rizzla > Rizla 8.) Creation Of Adam - God's Hand Reaching Down > God's Hand Level With Adam's. 9.) Mona Lisa Not Smiling > Smiling 10.) Ford Logo - F has straight crosspoint > curl on crosspoint. 11.) 1 Moon Landing > 6 Moon Landing's 12.) Karma Sutra > Kama Sutra 13.) Macdonalds > McDonald's 14.) Lion's Can Roar > Lion's Can't Roar 15.) Lion's King Of The Jungle > Tiger's K.O.T.J. 16.) The Diary Of Anne Frank > Diary Of A Young Girl 17.) Statue Of Liberty - Ellis Island > Liberty Island 18.) Marshmellow > Marshmallow 19.) Mary Poppins - Spoonful Of Sugar HELPS The Medicine Go Down > MAKES The Medicine Go Down 20.) Capricorn Sign - A Goat > A Goat Fish 21.) Ford KIA > KI^ 22.) Phillips TV > Philips 23.) Little Tykes > Little Tikes 24.) nintendo > Nintendo 25.) Donna Summers > Donna Summer 26.) Doc Martins > Doc Martens 27.) Fabreeze > Febreze 28.) Large HALDRON Collider > Hadron 29.) TOBASCO sauce > Tabasco 30.) HILARY Clinton > Hillary 31.) Chilli > Chili 32.) SAMSUNG > SMSUNG 33.) iPhone > IPhone 34.) Hello Clarice > Good Morning Clarice 35.) E.T. - Opening Credits WHITE > Purple 36.) Goodfellas - Opening Credits WHITE > Red 37.) Wheatabix > Weetabix 38.) Rice CRISPIES > Rice Krispies 39.) Great Pyramid - 4 Sides > 8 Sides 40.) Great Pyramid - Centre > On The Right 41.) Stomach Where The Belly Button Is > Bottom Of Rib Cage 42.) Heart On Left > Left Centre 43.) Committed > Commited 44.) Dilemna > Dilemma 45.) Pajamas > Pyjamas 46.) Griffindor > Gryffindor 47.) T2 - JUDGEMENT Day > Judgment day 48.) I'll Huff And I'll Puff And I'll Blow Your House DOWN > Blow Your House In 49.) MIRROR ,Mirror On The Wall > Magic Mirror 50.) Who's The Fairest Of Them All > One Of All 51.) ' You Want The Truth, You Can't Handle The Truth ' > ' You Can't Handle The Truth ' 52.) Sherbert > Sherbet 53.) Buisness > Business 54.) Brussel Sprouts > Brussels Sprouts 55.) Anatomy - Small 1 Piece Liver > Large 2 Lobe Liver 56.) Bill Haley And The Comets > His Comets 57.) Tony The Tiger - Black Nose > Blue Nose 58.) Burma > Myanmar 59.) Film - Jupiter Rising > Jupiter Ascending 60.) Mr Moneybags > Rich Uncle Pennybags 61.) Monopoly - Monacle > No Monacle 62.) Chumbawumba > Chumbawamba 63.) Cruella Deville > Cruella De Vil 64.) ' Take my Strong Hand ' > ' Little Hand ' 65.) ' I See White People ' > ' I See Dead People ' 66.) Keenan & Kel > Kenan & Kel 67.) ' The Names Bond, James Bond ' > My names Bond, James Bond 68.) Seperate > Separate 69.) Lay-Z-Boy > La-Z-Boy 70.) Jim Carey > Jim Carrey 71.) Cadbury's > Cadbury 72.) Malteasers > Maltesers 73.) First Bond Film - Casino Royale > Dr No 74.) Easter Island Statues - No Hats > Hats 75.) Cindy Doll > Sindy Doll 76.) Laughing Cow - Gold Nose Ring and Gold Earrings > Cheese Wheel Earrings 77.) Carribean > Caribbean 78.) Thinker Statue - Hand On Head > On Chin 79.) Tweedledee & Tweedledum - Propellars On Hats > Tweedledum & Tweedledee - Flags On Hats 80.) Roy Schneider > Roy Scheider 81.) Julius Ceasar > Caesar 82.) Morpheus - ' What If I Told You ' > Not Said 83.) Shaggy's Adam's Apple > No Adam's Apple 84.) Phrase - ' For all Intensive Purposes ' > ' For All Intents And Purposes ' 86.) Beckon Call > Beck and Call 87.) Tender Hooks > Tenter Hooks 88.) Madeline McCann > Madeleine McCann 89.) Tumeric > Turmeric 90.) Iburofen > Ibuprofen 91.) Bud Lite > Bud Light 92.) Green Mile mouse - Mr Bojangles > Mr Jingles 93.) Spiderman > Spider-Man 94.) Amelia Earhardt > Amelia Earhart 95.) My True Love GAVE To Me > Sent to me 96.) Quote : ' That's Not A Knife, THIS Is A Knife > That's A Knife 97.) Phrase- Chomp At The Bit > Champ At The Bit 98.) Phrase - All The Range > All The Rage 99.) Whacky Races ' Catch The Pigeon ' > ' Stop The Pigeon ' 100.) Kit-Kat > Kit Kat 101.) Warewolf > Werewolf 102.) Wilderbeast > Wildbeest 103.) D.E.A. - Drug Enforcement Agency > Drug Enforcement Administration 104.) Jackson 5 - 5 Members > 7 Members 105.) Term - Card Shark > Card Sharp 106.) Song Lyrics : ' What Is Love, BABY Don't Hurt Me > Lady Don't Hurt Me 107.) Song Lyrics : ' I'm A Barbie Girl, In A Barbie World > The Barbie World 108.) Oliver : ' Please Sir, CAN I HAVE some more > I want some more 109.) Nikolai Tesla > Nikola Tesla 110.) Erwin Schröedinger > Schrödinger 111.) Hanna Barberra > Hanna-Barbera 112.) Frankenstein - ' HE'S Alive ' > It's Alive 113.) Glenfell Tower > Grenfell Tower 114.) Donald Duck - Neck Kerchief > Red Bow Tie 115.) Ficus Plant > Ficus Tree 116.) Margerine > Margarine 117.) Barbeque > Barbecue 118.) Daylight Savings Time > Daylight Saving Time 119.) Sweets - Tootie Frooties > Tootie Fruities 120.) TV Show - Barbaar The Elephant > Babar The Elephant 121.) Cat Food - Whiskers > Whiskas 122.) Klu Klux Klan > Ku Klux Klan 123.) Baron Trump > Barron Trump 124.) Inspector Gadget - Mustache > No Mustache 125.) Henry VIII - Holding Turkey Leg > Not Holding Turkey Leg 126.) Guinness Book Of Records > Guinness World Records 127.) Plane Engines under wing > Engines In Front Of Wing 128.) Dracula - ' I Want To Suck Your Blood ' > Never Said 129.) Scooby Doo - ' We Would Of Gotten Away With It Too, If It Weren't For Those Meddling Kids ' > Never Said 130.) Toys R Us > Toys (Reverse R) Us 131.) Song Lyric : ' RIDING In A One Horse Open Sleigh ' > Gliding In A One Horse .... 132.) Song Lyrics : ' 3 Little Birds, Sat On My Window ' > ' ... Birds , Pitched By My Doorstep ' 133.) Song Title - Country Roads > (Take Me Home) Country Roads 134.) ' MERRY Christmas To All And To All A Good Night ' > Happy Christmas To All.... 135.) The Grinch Who Stole Christmas > How The Grinch Stole Christmas 136.) Forrest Gump - ' I MAY Not Be A Smart Man, But I Know What Love Is ' > I'm Not A Smart Man.. 137.) Meatloaf > Meat Loaf 138.) Barbara Streisand > Barbra Streisand 139.) Tinkerbell > Tinker Bell 140.) Grease Lightning > Greased Lightnin' 141.) WE'RE Gonna Need A Bigger Boat > You're 142.) Selsum Blue > Selsun Blue 143.) Song Lyrics : ' You've Been STRUCK By A Smooth Criminal ' > ' ... Hit By A Smooth Criminal ' 144.) Robert Deniro > Robert De Niro 145.) Mother Theresa > Mother Teresa 146.) Cadbury's CREAM Egg > Creme Egg 147.) Absolute Vodka > Absolut Vodka 148.) Song Lyrics : ' How Deep Is Your Love, I Really NEED TO KNOW ' > ' ... Mean To Learn ' 149.) Innoculate > Inoculate 150.) Harry Houdini Died Whilst Performing A Magic Trick > Appendicitus In Hospital 151.) Gobstoppers > Gobstopper 152.) Zapruder Film Originally In Black And White > Doesn't Exist 153.) J.F.K. - 4 Seater - 6 Seater 154.) An Interview With A Vampire > ..The Vampire 155.) Michaelangelo > Michelangelo 156.) Cheez Itz > Cheez It 157.) King Tut's Mask - 1 Snake > 2 Snakes 158.) King Tut - 12yr Old When He Died > 19yrs 159.) Jimmy Saville > Savile 160.) Bruce Lee Shot Dead On Set > Died In Hospital With Cerebral Edema 161.) WW1 : 1914 - 1919 > 1914 - 1919 162.) CD+R > Never Existed 163.) Barrack Obama > Barack Obama 164.) Macintosh > McIntosh 165.) Seasame Street > Sesame Street 166.) Big Bird All Yellow > Orange Legs, White Fringe 167.) Jungle Book - ' I Couldn't Be Fonder Of My New Home ' > ' I Couldn't Be Found Of My Home ' 168.) Alex The Kidd > Alex Kidd In Miracle World 169.) Acknowledgement > Acknowledgment 170.) Dan Ackroyd > Dan Aykroyd 171.) Courtney Cox > Courteney Cox 172.) Film Title : They Live ! > They Live 173.) Alfa Romero > Alfa Romeo 174.) Tumeric > Turmeric 175.) Doughnuts > Donuts 176.) Toby Maguire > Tobey Maguire 177.) Moby Dick > Moby-Dick 178.) Brylcream > Brylcreem 179.) Heart The Size Of 1 Fist > 2 Fists 180.) Movie Title : Fists Of Fury > Fist Of Fury 181.) Willy Wonka's Hat - Purple > Brown 182.) Willy Wonka Quote : ' You Do know What Happened To The BOY Who Got Everything He Ever Wanted, Don't You? ' > ' Don’t forget what happened to the MAN who suddenly got everything he wanted. ' 183.) Life IS Like A Box Of Chocolates > Life WAS Like A Box Of Chocolates 184.) Advisor > Adviser 185.) Cheverolet > Chevrolet 186.) Worcester Sauce > Worcestershire Sauce 187.) Objects In The Mirror MAYBE Closer Than They Appear > .... Are Closer Than They Appear 188.) Betty Eggleton > Eagleton 189.) Airdree > Airdrea 190.) Bubbalicious > Bubblicious 191.) Song Lyrics : ' Don't BREAK My Heart, My Achy Breaky Heart ' > Don't tell My Heart ....... 192.) Film Title : Stockade > Cadence 193.) Allah akbar > Allahu Akbar 194.) Latoya Jackson > La Toya Jackson 195.) How To Kill A Mockingbird > To Kill A Mockingbird 196.) Possum > Opossum 197.) Song Lyrics : ' Sweet Dreams Are Made Of THESE ' > ' Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This 198.) Flintstones : ' Wilma, I'm Home ' > Never Said 199.) Star Trek : ' Beam me up, Scotty ' > Never Said 200.) Country - Columbia > Colombia 201.) Movie Title : The Sandlot Kids > The Sandlot 202.) Lionel Ritchie > Lionel Richie 203.) Bette Middler > Bette Midler 204.) Betty Boo > Betty Boop 205.) Song Lyrics : ' The Best Things In Life ARE Free ' > The Best Things In Life They're Free 206.) Song Lyrics : ' Never Meant To Make Your Daughter Cry, I Apologise A THOUSAND Times ' > ' ...... I Apologise A Trillion Times ' 207.) Song Lyrics : ' I see A Bad Moon A Rising ' > ' I See The Bad Moon Rising ' 208.) Sarah Michelle Geller > Gellar 209.) Pharoah > Pharaoh 210.) Song Lyrics : ' It's A Hard Knock Life ' > ' It's The Hard Knock Life ' 211.) Withdrawl > Withdrawal 212.) Toys : Playschool > Playskool 213.) U.S.S.R. - United Soviet Socialist Republic > Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics 214.) Charlie Bit My Finger > Charlie Bit Me 215.) Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - Set 8 Years After Original Film > Set 10 Years After 216.) Bolognaise > Bolognese 217.) Oxy Clean > Oxi Clean 218.) Sally Fields > Sally Field 219.) Song Lyrics : ' What Would You DO If I Sang Out Of Tune ' > ' What Would You Think ....... ' 220.) Lasagna > Lasagne 221.) Pidgeon > Pigeon 222.) Expresso > Never Existed 223.) War OF The Planet Of The Apes > War FOR The Planet Of The Apes 224.) Battleships Board Game > Battleship 225.) Earwigs Couldn't Fly > Earwigs CAN Fly 226.) Julius Caesar First Emperor Of Rome > Augustus 227.) Ryannair > Ryanair 228.) Boys Stop Growing At Age 21 > Age 16-18 229.) Red Hot Chilli Peppers > Chili Peppers 230.) Cellotape > Sellotape 231.) Transformers : Dark Side Of The Moon > Dark Of The Moon 232.) Song Lyrics : ' Ain't THAT A Kick In The Head ' > ' Ain't LOVE A Kick In The Head 233.) Phrase : ' Just Desserts ' > ' Just Deserts ' 234.) Daddy Long Legs > Cellar Spiders 235.) StraightJacket > StraitJacket 236.) Wookie > Wookiee 237.) Movie Title : Up! > Up 238.) Karate kid Headband - Red Rising Sun > White Lotus Flower 239.) Miss Piggy - Mole On Cheek > No Mole 240.) Statue Of Liberty - Bare Ankles > Shackles On Ankles 241.) ' Luke, I Am Your Father ' > ' No, I Am Your Father ' 242.) We Are The Champions.. Of The World > No ' Of The World ' At The End 243.) Ghandi > Gandhi 244.) 'Me Tarzan, You Jane' > Never Said 245.) Blue Ribbon > Blue Riband 246.) Doctor Who > Dr Who 247.) ' If You Build It , THEY Will Come ' > ' ... HE Will Come ' 248.) 52 U.S. States > 50 States 249.) VW Logo No Gap > Gap 250.) Wiley Coyote > Wile E Coyote 251.) Jack The Ripper Killed 11 > Killed 5 252.) Marseilles, France > Marseille 253.) Raisin Bran - Sun Had Shades > No Glasses 254.) Song Title : Gangster's Paradise > Gangsta's Paradise 255.) Song Title : Hit Me Baby One More Time > Baby One More Time 256.) Can You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking > If You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking 257.) Flintstones : Bam Bam Rubble > Bamm-Bamm Rubble 258.) St John's Ambulance > St John Ambulance 259.) Song Lyrics : 'Footloose, Footloose Kick Off YOUR Sunday Shoes > ' ...THE Sunday Shoes ' 260.) Mad Max - Beyond THE Thunderdome > Beyond Thunderdome 261.) Wall Murial > Wall Mural 262.) Heinz Meanz Beanz > Beanz Meanz Heinz 263.) Three Amigos > ¡Three Amigos! 264.) Aladdin - Arabian > Aladdin - Chinese 265.) Beavis And Butthead > Beavis And Butt-Head 266.) Shell Logo : The Word 'SHELL' At The Top With A Shell Image Underneath > No Word At Top 267.) A-Team - Mad Dog Murdock > Howling Mad Murdock 268.) Vick's Vapour Rub > Vick's VapoRub 269.) Cup O' Noodles > Cup Noodles 270.) Charlie And The Chocolate Factory > Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971 film) 271.) Cheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow 272.) Pavillion > Pavilion 273.) Videgame : Grand Tourismo > Gran Turismo 274.) Aladdin - Return Of Jafaar > Jafar 275.) Matrix : ' Mr Anderson , We've Been Expecting You ' > Never Said 276.) Soccer Player : Lucas Modric > Luka Modrić 277.) Soccer Player : Roberto Firminio > Roberto Firmino 278.) Soccer Player : Saido Mane > Sadio Mané 279.) Song Lyrics : ' Where The Eagles FLY, On A Mountain High ' > ' Where The Eagles CRY..... 280.) Snow White And The Seven Dwarves > Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs 281.) Little Mermaid - Sebastian Yellow Eyes > Back To White 282.) Roger Rabbit - White Eyes > Blue Eyes 283.) Mr Deeds - ' Want Me To Wipe The Leaves On Your Ficus PLANT, Preston ' > ' ...... Ficus TREE ' 284.) ' Wee Willie Winkie RUNNING Through The Town ' > ' ... RUNS Through The Town 285.) Song Lyrics : ' When I Grow Up, I Wanna See The World, Drive Nice Cars, I Wanna Have Boobies ' > ' .... I Wanna Have Groupies ' 286.) Film Title : Rocky And Bullwinkle > The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle 287.) Supermissive Black Hole > Supermassive 288.) Broach > Brooch 289.) Song Title : Promiscious Girl > Promiscuous 290) Film Title : Face Off > Face/Off 291.) Susannah Reid > Susanna 292.) R2D2 - No Wires On Feet > Wires On Feet 293.) C3po - All Gold > Silver Leg, Wires On Stomach, Black Palms, Antenna 294.) Song Lyrics : ' You Scumbag, You Maggot, You Cheap Lousy Faggot, Happy Christmas Your Arse, AND THANK God It's Our Last ' > ' .... I PRAY God It's Our Last 295.) Speech - ' I HAD A Dream ' > ' I HAVE A Dream ' 296.) Gettysburg Address : ' Fourscore And Seven Years Ago Our FORFATHERS Brought Forth On This Continent... ' > ' ..... Our FATHERS ..... ' 297.) Sex In The City > Sex And The City 298.) Arethra Franklin > Aretha Franklin 299.) Haley's Comet > Halley's Comet 300.) Sonic's Arms Blue > Bare 301.) Paddington Yellow Coat > Blue Coat 302.) U.K. Passport 2 Lions > Lion & A Unicorn 303.) Homer Simpson - 3 Strands Of Hair > 2 Strands Of Hair 304.) Spelling - Villiage > Village 305.) Ronald McDonald's Hair - Fuzzy > Straight
/r/popheads Album Of The Decade #9: Lorde - Pure Heroine (preferably the Extended version!)
You guys know who this is, but I'm still gonna try some background.
There’s so many narratives one could pull out from the background of this record. The first one’s a bit vapid: Lorde as the up-and-comer, the alt-pop rebel, the Soundcloud breakout, all while she’s only 17! The Love Club EP dropped in 2012 on Soundcloud, and started gaining buzz across the blogosphere. An early Reddit post feels symbolic of the beginning of her rise: “Lorde, a 17yr girl from NZ has a new EP which is definitely bringing the next level future pop zef.” Never mind the flagrant misuse of “zef,” but it’s a perfect summary of who she was at one point: a budding artist with a keen ear for beats and some great capabilities with a pen. A comment on a different post hints at the narrative that’s more accurate, yet more exhausting in 2019: “It's too manufactured in a way, you can really tell they're going for a specific scene and vibe with her. Like Lana Del Rey but they're being more subtle about it.” This is true: Lorde grew up in a privileged NZ neighborhood, and she’s been signed since she was 14, cultivating an image for herself. Yet deriding her, Lana, or any one artist for being supposedly planted is blatant posturing - at the very least, it sure as hell has no place in judging the music on its own merits. “Royals” eventually blew up off the EP to ridiculous buzz, and months later it was officially released as the lead single to her debut. Its popularity consistently had the air of "teen genius" around it, which worked mostly to the detriment of Lorde who was inevitably shat upon by the holier-than-thou for writing songs that dare to be violently teenaged. Think-pieces recall how gestures like this could be mobilized as political statements – see NYT: “Lorde’s ‘Royals’ is Class-Conscious.” Nowadays, a song like this would receive more vocal pushback – see USA Today: “Taylor Swift has angered many people with her 'You Need To Calm Down' release.” Yet the post-“Price Tag” teen sanctimony of “Royals” was lauded, landing a spot at #2 on Pazz and Jop’s best singles of 2013. Following “Royals,” Pure Heroine dropped in September 2013, almost a year after its independent distribution and months after its official label-backed release. It was great. Note that poptimism wasn’t quite in full swing, and liking Lorde wasn’t really a hip move – after the tragic critical reception of Born to Die, it’s a miracle it was beloved by any publications at all. Nowadays, Lorde is seen as a pop artist, less a symbol of the cynical mainstream industry and more a songwriter in her own right. The disappointment comes with the narrative that surrounds her transition into crit-adoration, the idea of maturity over the trajectory of her career and that her first record was simply the boring teen pop she had to break out of. Often the narrative centers Jack Antonoff, and even haters tend to aim their disdain towards his efforts rather than Lorde. It’s never a good sign when people seem to treat pop music with the women songwriters as secondary to the apparent geniuses that are working in the soundbooth. Pure Heroine may owe a lot to Joel Little, but when many of his most recent works have failed to capture what Pure Heroine did, one realizes that the album itself was likely a great one because of Lorde herself.
You’re not going to learn anything new from this writeup. Yes, the “don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk” / “let em talk” bookends are very cool: a bit of neat conceptual aspiration that was fully realized later on Melodrama. Sure, “Ribs” is some sort of adolescent house party (both genre and location) anthem that totally gets the feelings of growing up down to a T. Hey, this did kickstart the airy boom-clap beats (Charli reference being intentional and purposeful - her only solo hit sounding nothing like the True Romance era nor anything that came after is indicative of something) that define much of the decade’s hits. There’s plenty of better, more educated writers who could tell you loads about Lorde’s influence and influences. If you’re reading this, you probably understand the streamline between Lorde’s mainstream reception and the sudden birth of young acts determined to reach out to the teens as an alternative, a symbol of authenticity among what’s deemed vapid chart music. Perhaps this was the one negative impact of Pure Heroine - the retreat back into tired tropes of singesongwriter supremacy that was witnessed with 21. 2015 brought the class of Alessia Cara, Troye Sivan, Halsey, and Melanie Martinez to the forefront: each carried the mantle of relatability (Melanie less so, but the surrounding narrative scope of Cry Baby and her presence on The Voice were helpful towards establishing her as a real artist), yet none can really be said to have matched the quality of Pure Heroine. What gives? That question’s best answered using a review of a song on Frozen. One of my favorite closers to a review is in Brad Shoup’s review of “Let It Go”: “to a four-year-old this must seem like the biggest music in the world.” Age that by about ten years, and you’ve got Pure Heroine. Its sonic palette has obvious and non-obvious influences. An initial comparison is Lana, whose debut seems to set up a downtempo, lyrically dense precedent for some of the songs on Pure Heroine. But further comparisons are necessary: Gotye and Kimbra have the geographical proximity, and their 2011 records Vows and Making Mirrors layer vocals over often minimal alt arrangements that contain echoes of Joel Little’s pristine aesthetic. Yet the most prominent influences were in the underground: Purity Ring’s Shrines has similarly electronic bombast, iamamiwhoami and Grimes can be heard in shades. That’s not even counting the works of rap and EDM producers that undoubtedly played a role here - think Flume or Clams Casino. One could argue Pure Heroine came into existence from the necessity for the mainstream to co-opt the underground’s sound eventually: Soundcloud’s finest transmuted into its marketable shapes. And it’s so brilliant. I haven’t been able to arrange my thoughts on this record in any elegant fashion. I was considering just a series of hot takes, but then I realized I would piss people off. Here’s some assorted bullet points that I couldn’t figure out where to go with:
“Tennis Court” doesn’t even wait to highlight what the main draw of the album is: Lorde’s voice. That pitch-shifted “yeah” was made to highlight EDM remixes, and guess what, it was! (see: Flume) That video is still iconic -- just her standing in a fucking room doing whatever. It’s probably the only video from this era I actually remember. I have more to say on the following song -- but make no mistake, those steel-pan-adjacent synths are lovely.
“400 Lux” is in the typical tracklisting space usually used to highlight the lead single. While it’s not a single at all, it also happens to be absolutely the best song on the album, so good work on part of Lorde! Production like a warm midnight foghorn and string sections underwater, lyrics that settle on “I like you” two years prior to CRJ really really liking you. Her best love song, one where she doesn’t speak for anybody except her and you. “You buy me orange juice” is the meme, but my favorite line is “you pick me up and take me home again” -- repeated for both emphasis and confirmation of how fucking great it is to be alone in a car with just somebody else.
“Royals” begins like Feist’s “Brandy Alexander,” with an elegant arrangement, yet instead of settling into light fare becomes akin to AWOLNATION’s “Sail” - an underrated bit of pop that undoubtedly had just as much impact - in its electronic buzzes. Perhaps Ryan Tedder plays a big role in the softening that pop experienced in the 2010s. Not her best, but not bad and definitely still amazing.
You’ve heard enough about “Ribs.” Conan Gray’s Corny Ass (one I adore very much, and yet another post-Lorde artist, though given his obvious parallels to Troye perhaps he’s more post-post-Lorde) mentioned it on Twitter to get dragged by the true Lorde stans. But hasn’t it always been a universal Gen Z sad song? Even for those outside of the target demographic it works its spell; see the Pitchfork review of Pure Heroine concluding with a commendation of “Ribs” as the mature work it is. People kind of forget that it’s literally a dance song, though -- easily the most danceable in her discography? Tell me there isn’t an analogue between this and Robyn’s “Honey.” And I think this might be the most explicit cultural reference on the album, to Broken Social Scene’s “Lover’s Spit,” a name-drop more intelligent than what songwriters influenced by Lorde would do in the future. (see: Arlo Parks’ invocation of Gerard Way and Courtney Love). The only other example I can think of is a subtle, perhaps unintentional one: the name-drop of “wicked games” on “Tennis Court.” Perhaps a use of a good cliche, yet the sonic palette would make intentional allusion probable.
“Buzzcut Season” precedes “Glory and Gore” in its dystopian YA novel film adaptation glitz, less trailer music and more the credits sequence. The almost-vibraphone melody is the prettiest sound on the album, and the postponing of the hook is a clever songwriting quirk. When you’re younger, you really do convince yourself of how hellish life is. In 2020, a line like “explosions on TV” is a different, more real kind of frightening. Some of the best harmonization on the record.
“Royals” was the big hit, but “Team” was the song I heard every day on the morning car ride to school. The intro is Lorde’s best: a mantra pitch-shifted until rendered mute. The production is some of Lorde’s best, akin to cuts on the lighter The Love Club EP - more on that later. Like “Royals,” there’s a worrying anti-pop sentiment, present in “I'm kind of over gettin' told to throw my hands up in the air,” but I enjoy the possibility in the phrase being a statement against giving up -- perhaps a stretch, yet one I enjoy as a lyric that contradicts ideas of Gen Z as humanity’s laziest.
“Glory and Gore” probably couldn’t exist without “High for This.” House of Balloons was murky and ugly, and “Glory and Gore” is the murkiest and ugliest Pure Heroine has to offer. Melodrama explored the uglier parts of Lorde’s vocal timbre, but “Glory and Gore” was an early example of her as sheer raw force -- just hear that “and the choir goes out!” No wonder Lorde was asked to curate the soundtrack to a Hunger Games film when she can so easily utilize violent metaphor, writing songs about teenage drama as if she’s been reading up on dystopian YA fiction. It worked then, works now.
Beginning with some excellent vocal panning and stereo effects (compare to alt-J’s “Bloodflood”), “Still Sane” is Lorde’s most underrated. “I’m not in the swing of things” serves as an excellent summation of adolescent lethargy; “not in the swing of things yet” is a lyric I never registered as positive until now. It feels like an acknowledgment of possible hypocrisy in “Team” and “Royals,” that she knows that as a popular artist she’s likely going to be corrupted by the system she indulges in.
Wait, fuck, I forgot about “White Teeth Teens.” Now that’s underrated. Marching band percussion (best rhythm section on the album!), wonky ‘50s radio vocal sampling in the back, that bridge where she just talks shit about herself over a trap beat, FUCK! The fact that the final section is that one vocal loop and the pre-chorus is great. Perhaps the most beautiful section on the album outside of “Ribs.”
Or outside of “A World Alone.” I was both wrong about “White Teeth Teens” and “Ribs” in that this is the most beautiful on the album and the most danceable. The xx guitar riff is the only bit of remotely acoustic instrumentation on the album. Had the album sounded entirely like this, a song like this wouldn’t stand out at all, and the album would’ve sucked. But given the journey Lorde takes through the darkest, dirtiest bits of synthesized squalls, “A World Alone” is a song that’s deserving of the title of shiniest, prettiest song on the album. A revelation.
Oh, damn it, I ended up writing on every song anyways. The only non-song bullet point I had was that it’s less likely that there’s any sort of “indie girl voice,” and more likely that most people don’t have the capacity to distinguish vocalists that are women. Well. The extended tracks are great, too, but I’m kind of running short on time here. Just remember that “The Love Club” is the best song Lorde has ever made, “Million Dollar Bills” is in her top five, and that her EP honestly has production like Grimes’s Visions, right? And don’t get me started on “Bravado” being an elegant dramatic piece and “Biting Down” being so underrated as her spookiest track and “No Better” being amazing the first time I heard it in my sister’s car and “Swingin Party” being the closest Lorde has sounded to St. Vincent’s “Champagne Year.”
CLOSING NOTES OR WHATEVER(?) (there's more on the legacy of this above)
Is Pure Heroine a classic? To the discerning critic, that title would probably go to Melodrama – more arcane structures, more conceptual, more of a statement. But I found Melodrama too fussy a record. Maybe it doesn’t matter if Pure Heroine is a classic. Now that I’m at the end of my high school career, too many records I loved growing up don’t even make me feel that much anymore. Blonde turned from a gorgeous comeback into a mushy songwriting mess. 99.9% is too summery for its own good, the sonics of Kaytranada now ubiquitous on the Pollen playlist. Telefone has “Yesterday” and “Bye Bye Baby,” but everything else rings a little twee now. Vampire Weekend went dad pop. Sufjan’s been cried into too much. I was honestly scared to listen to Pure Heroine for this. Would I hate it? I turned it on and immediately realized, haha, no. Still fun. It's been seven years. Pure Heroine soundtracked my entry into the year I discovered teens could be mean; it's now going to soundtrack the year I leave teenager-dom and have to make do with the real world. Still fun, still larger-than-life.
https://preview.redd.it/tgy96ehit1551.png?width=2000&format=png&auto=webp&s=caa70278d3528a5f651c4f29e9bcf1a398eda9a4 Brief Synopsis: MI6 agent, James Bond, earns his 00 agent license to kill and becomes the infamous 007. Intention: Create a streamlined episodic presentation of the Daniel Craig 007 era films. Each film will be broken up into 40-45 minute episodes with a focus on the espionage action. Release Info: Available Now 6mbps 5.1 MP4 files https://reddit.com/link/fg97sw/video/luxuc9qnt1551/player ------------------------------- Episode 001 – Ellipsis +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Cold intro of Bond earning his 00 license (removed fade in, now hard open) +Created background and mask to remove the barrel effect when Bond shoots the informant -Cut to black removing the Casino Royale intro/song (this is my favorite Bond song and one of my favorite rock songs, but in this format it just doesn’t fit) +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card Open on boy running through the camp -Trimmed the over the top parkour scenes, now Bond is just chasing him on foot through the vegetation, worksite and road -Trimmed a little bit of M going off -Trimmed Bond & Solange to just focus on moving the narrative and plot forward -Trimmed M’s agitated cursing at Bond when he calls at the airport, is transfered to her then hangs up. The majority of her character is just bickering and I wanted to make her more than a disgruntled head of MI6. Hopefully it helps her natural transformation into the more supportive sympathetic role she will take in the third episode. -Cut Bond falling off the truck and then chasing it down and jumping back on. Now he never falls off Episode ends with close up of Bond’s face after Carlos activates the charge that Bond places on his belt +Custom credits (directed by, story by, actor names, studio credits, etc.) +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation and lessen yellow hues Episode 002 – Casino Royale +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Opening sequence after M walks away from Bond after their conversation at Solange’s home +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Trimmed some of Vesper and James’ dialogue after sizing each other up on the train -Removed James’ line about Vesper being single, it now cuts away after he says she’s not his type End of episode after Bond returns and announces that last hand nearly killed him +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation and lessen yellow hues Episode 003 – Vesper +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open with final round +Added Bond opening after James tells Vesper he’s famished +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Cut Vesper and James talking about his little finger cringe -Cut Vesper and James horn dogging in the hospital -Cut Vesper and James in bed in Venice -Cut James calling Vesper a b**** when M asks if he needs time End of episode after Bond introduces himself to Mr. White +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation and lessen yellow hues Episode 004 – Deception Point +Warning +FE Netflix bumper -Cut zoom in and artistic shots of Bond and car Cold open on Bond shifting into gear -Cut to opening credits after Bond opens the trunk to reveal Mr. White +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Trimmed M and Bond’s dialogue when they are reviewing the double Mitchell’s room Episode ends with Bond walking away from the flight attendant at the airport +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Episode 005 – Quantum of Solace +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Cold open on Bond arriving to see Mathis in Italy -Cut to opening credits after Mathis asks, “Come to apologize?” +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Cut bond sleeping with the Strawberry Fields -Removed kissing sound when Bond leaves Fields at the party so now it could just be him whispering to her -Cut Greene talking about Camille being spectacular when she’s on her back -Cut Camille cursing as they walk out of the club -Trimmed the poorly layered double mirage like shot of Bond and Camille walking through the desert -Cut some dialogue between the president and the general -Cut Greene’s reference of how the president would wake up if he didn’t sign -Cut the closeup of the the president aide’s upskirt when she’s on the bed -Cut Bond kissing Camille after she says she wishes she could set him free End with Bond walking off into the night +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Episode 006 – Phoenix Agent +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open on Bond walking up hallway (no horn crescendos) +Added Istanbul title on screen -Removed Eve’s lines about VW Beatles -Cut to intro after Bond fades out into the water after being shot; Added underwater waterfall sfx smooth transition +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Cut Bond lover scene and his scorpion drinking game; now jumps to him at the bar during the day when he hears the broadcast -Cut M cursing on the bridge as she exits the car -Cut Bond responding b**** when psychologist says the name “M” -Cut references and Q’s explaining to Bond’about the palm recognizer on his Walther PPK -Cut shot of Bond testing the palm grip on the Walther PPK while in the car Cropped a shot of Bond hanging from the elevator to remove the CGI superimposed hands from the frame. The idea is to simply remove the focus from his hands not being in gloves. Cropped and shortened shots with gloves to take emphasis off of his hands -Removed scene of Bond disappearing after Severine sees him from the other skyscraper +Inserted the ending theme from Casino Royale to create a musical ending to the episode End episode after Bond retrieves the Macau token +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation, remove excessive yellows, increase red in skin tones Episode 007 – Concomitant Factor +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open on aerial shot of London; rebuilt surround track to make opener more seemless; added typing, glitch and slot machine sfx +Added intro after M completes her call -Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Removed Bond saying he didn’t order Eve (again, I want to make Bond less of a sex crazed agent) -Removed Bond trying to undress Eve -Removed Silva’s advances on Bond, again this is to help the characters stay focused on espionage -Removed Silva shooting Severine. It’s now implied that Bond saves her +Added Severine in the background when Silva backs away from Bon after he takes out his henchmen Cropped shot to remove visual of Severine dead from when Silva looks up at the helicopters -Removed the pan back down to eliminate the need to do a massive zoom -Removed some of Q’s cursing End of episode on Bond looking into the basement ladder way +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation, remove excessive yellows, increase red in skin tones Episode 008 – Skyfall +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open with Bond climbing down the ladder after Silva -Cut to intro after Q responds, “I told you” +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Removed the man’s line about Bond being keen to get home after he jumps onto the back of the train -Removed M’s cursing when they arrive at Skyfall -Removed Kincade calling Bond a little $4!7 End of episode at final scene of movie +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Color correction to increase saturation, remove excessive yellows, increase red in skin tones Episode 009 – Rogue Agent +Warning +FE Netflix bumper -Removed The Dead Are Alive intro Cold open with Bond on rooftop listening in on conversation +Added Mexico City title on screen +Added translation subtitles -Cut last shots of helicopter and Bond looking at the Spectre ring -Cut opening sequence +Inserted first 20 seconds of the Quantum of Solace intro/song and added episode title card -Removed Q’s “oh sh*&” line -Cut Bond looking at the gadget panel in the Aston Martin +Added Roman cicadas to outside scenes when Lucia arrives home and when Spectre attempts to kill her Repurposed Lucia’s later lines about where Spectre is meeting as to have her deliver the lines while Bond is standing there. She now tells him, he says “time for a drink” and transition to him driving to the meeting -Cut Bond and Lucia’s sex scene +Added translation subtitles during Spectre meeting scene -Cut Hinx gouging out the man’s eyes -Cut James turning on the music on the gadgets -Cut Bond taking off the top of a car and Hinx following him down the alley -Trimmed car chase scene to remove the silly part where he gets stuck behind the driver and Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper +Extensive color correction of every scene Applied masks throughout to isolate colors to enhance or diminish their tones while retaining the intended color of the scene. Episode 010 – For King and Country +Warning +FE Netflix bumper Open with Money Penny reviewing files about Franz Oberhause -Cut Madeline and Bond’s sex scene after killing Hinx +Added dialogue to scene where Madeline and James get off the train +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper +Extensive color correction of every scene Applied masks throughout to isolate colors to enhance or diminish their tones while retaining the intended color of the scene. Episode 011 – Spectre +Warning +FE Netflix bumper -Cut the portrait scenes as James walks through the ruins of MI6 looking for Blofeld +Bond theme from Casino Royale ending used as episode credit music +FE Netflix style bumper Extensive color correction of every scene Applied masks throughout to isolate colors to enhance or diminish their tones while retaining the intended color of the scene. https://preview.redd.it/1800yikgbsl41.jpg?width=694&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a64c724f3c5337b954afa67be3008d847dcd944d
Casino Royale: (David Arnold) For the first time since the age of Sean Connery's famed stint as James Bond, the franchise has summoned the roots of its character and closely followed one of writer and creator Ian Fleming's books. Gone are many of the trademarks solidified by Roger Moore's wise-cracking, easy-going version of the agent in the 1970's. Gone is the sophistication and poise ... The Casino Royale title song "You Know My Name" is the first theme song since 1983's "Octopussy" to use a different title than ... The traditional James Bond Theme builds throughout the film before appearing in its full form over the end credits as track 25 "The Name's Bond... James Bond" on the official album. Soundtrack Listing 1. "African Rundown" (6:52) 2. "Nothing Sinister" (1:27) 3 ... All 66 songs from the Casino Royale (2006) movie soundtrack, with scene descriptions. Listen to and download the music, ost, score, list of songs and trailers. The original music is by Burt Bacharach. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass performed some of the songs with Mike Redway singing the lyrics to the title song as the end credits rolled. (A version of the song was also sung by Peter Sellers.) The title theme was Alpert's second number one on the Easy Listening chart where it spent two weeks at the top in June 1967 and peaked at number twenty-seven ... Burt Bacharach – Casino Royale (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) ... Credits Artwork [Uncredited] ... I love the way the trumpet comes in at the end then fades. rumor has it that it's Stan Getz on the sax... Reply Notify me Helpful Fernand8 February 2, 2018 Report; When it comes to collecting all Bond movies on vinyl you will need this one. These are all Original Sound Tracks of Bond ... The seashell at the end of Casino Royale was one that 007 and Vesper Lynd had picked up when they were on the beach together and when he chucks it away he is just dismissing his lost love; Vesper. Nicky finds his way back in the casino and demands money for the blackjack table. Tells dealer to pound cards up his butt. That's The Way I Like it • Harry Wayne Casey. Add time. Add scene. J.S. Bach Matthauspassion BMV • Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Add time. Opening credits, and again at the end of the movie when Ace discusses how Vegas today is not the same. EEE-O Elevan • Sammy Davis ... Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Casino Royale  [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - David Arnold on AllMusic - 2006 - Director Martin Campbell and new 007 Daniel Craig… Find all 39 songs in Casino Royale Soundtrack, with scene descriptions. Listen to trailer music, OST, original score, and the full list of popular songs in the film. tunefind. Toggle navigation. TV Shows; Movies; Games; Trending Music; Blog; Sign In; Join; Casino Royale Soundtrack. 17 November 2006; 39 songs; Follow. Songs and music featured in Casino Royale Soundtrack. Sort. Order. Name ... Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Casino Royale  [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Burt Bacharach on AllMusic - 1966 - Burt Bacharach appropriately comes up with a…