Outside of the Panegyric, Mr. Thursday has largely avoided writing about music in this space. There are a number of reasons for that. Music is a mightily subjective thing, and no matter how diplomatic we try to be, it’s likely that if we started doing album reviews, we’d meet a great deal of resistance. The Panegyric is a useful space for sharing music since all we’re doing is recommending a tune here and there, and in very few words, so we avoid, for the most part, overblowing the quality of a good song, and we avoid entirely trashing music that someone else enjoys.
Well, we’re expanding a bit, now. We’re still avoiding, for the time being, strict album reviews with scores and negativity and such, but we’re starting a new series that we’re titling Sine Macula, which is Latin for “without flaw”. We’ll introduce you to what we consider perfect albums, and speak of them, of our favorite tracks, and perhaps inspire you to buy (or obtain through illicit means) this music. We seek to please.
A note on perfect albums: we are not writing a series on what we consider the Best Albums of All Time, even though many of these albums would fall under that category. We are considering perfect albums, which we are defining very carefully. A perfect album is one that can be listened straight through. There are no tracks that need to be skipped or tolerated. If any tune on this album were to come on the radio or a random playlist, there would be no need to find something else to listen to. Naturally, albums of this sort make for very good albums, but not necessarily our “favorite”.
To clarify by way of example: let’s look at The Beatles. The Beatles’ most acclaimed and lauded album is the stellar Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Our favorite Beatles’ album is The Beatles [The White Album]. Neither of these are “perfect”, by our definition. Sgt Pepper has the often intolerable “Within You, Without You”, and the second half of the White Album is nearly brought to a shuddering halt during the eight minute sound collage, “Revolution 9”. However, we consider both Abbey Road and Revolver perfect, as we’re unaware of any track on either that we don’t like.
We do recognize the total subjectivity of this project, but that said, the Curious Mechanism would appreciate any and all input on this. If you have an album to suggest, a complaint about an album we’ve written about, or anything else, please leave a comment or send us an email. The first review will come in this space next Thursday.