Thu Apr 15 2021
Love this in “Johnny is Dead” “ But wait there's rain ahead, like Brit and Kevin Fed
And magazine debris, is shit she gotta see it”
This is a fun album with fantastic production. “Gettin Up” was great and “Official” had me checking my phone constantly to see “what song is this?” “You” also does great work with repetition. I think “Move” is my favorite track. “Dance on Glass” features some fire ass a cappella. “Shaka” was hella fun, and “Feva” is a synthy head bopper of a closing track.
Fri Apr 16 2021
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
This album from 1969 sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. It's clean and dirty, relaxing and tense, all-around classic dad rock that surely paved the way for the music genre.
"Cinnamon Girl" opens with clappy percussion and catchy guitar riffs. This so-called "cinnamon girl" sounds like a manic pixie dream woman who enjoys nice things in life with her man by her side.
"Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" is short but shares the sentiment of wanting to get away from the rat race, a feeling I'm all too familiar with...
"Round & Round (It Won't Be Long)" is actually quite long at 5:54 and features Robin Lane on harmonizing vocals that invokes the feeling of life slowly passing by as we try to do the things that give us purpose
"Down by the River"is about 9 and a quarter minutes long and features head-nodding instrumentals from Crazy Horse that makes me want to play pool in a seedy, friendly, yokel's bar while coming together to sing along "down by the riiiiiiiver, I shot my baaaaaby"
"The Losing End" is a relatable breakup song -- "my tears fall down like rain" is a classic similie that doesn't ever feel good, but we all go through it
“Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets)" sounds like a cry for help and somewhat of an apology letter to someone Neil Young may have wronged or let down that features powerful and woeful strings (is that a fiddle?) that feels bad but also feels quite nice
"Cowgirl in the Sand" closes the album at 10 minutes and 6 seconds long and starts off with Crazy Horse setting the scene, seemingly telling the listener to "strap in" for this one. Lots of instrumental breaks that let the song tell its story with lyrics that Young wrote while suffering from a 103 degree fever about promiscuous femininity... or maybe it's really about beaches in Spain?
This album is 21 years my senior and I can only sit and wonder how influential it was. As I said, it sounds like it could’ve been recorded yesterday. Fresh sound that transcends music gimmicks and pop culture, and simply ages like fine wine.
Mon Apr 19 2021
Siouxsie And The Banshees
“Spellbound” opens this album and it’s already much more of a badass than I could ever be. The first lines make me think “same” —
From the cradle bars
Comes a beckoning voice
It sends you spinning
You have no choice
“Into The Light” has a really cool guitar riff that carries the song verse to verse and it makes me imagine a river of golden light carrying the lyrics. The words “Remember when” have me feeling nostalgic for something I’m unaware of.
“Arabian Nights” is psychedelic and gothy!
“Halloween” is also nostalgic... carefree days being long gone, and the whatnot. Perhaps life is simply tricks and treats, and nothing more...?
“Monitor” once again jabs at the concept of the passing of time, a jab I know all too well. The instrumentals on this song are really cool and captivating. And those spooky howls? Amazing.
“Night Shift” asks “wonder...
What goes on in your mind, always silent and kind unlike the others...” and I was like “this sounds like me”... and the guitars are sick!
“Sin in My Heart” made me think of Florence +Machine with added glass shattering effect.
“Head Cut” is pretty chaotic and there is a lot of screaming and clapping and howling and screeching and it’s crAaAzy!
“Voodo Dolly” closes out the album and is over 7 minutes long and Siouxsie wants me to LISTEN! The reveal line of what I am to be listening to is quite striking and a great way to close out this album.
This album is spooky and fun and full of dread and I am all about it! I could imagine some of my favorite musicians drawing inspiration from these tracks.
Tue Apr 20 2021
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Crosby, Stills & Nash
CS&N open their debut album with “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” amidst harmonizing vocals, folk sounds, acoustic guitars, and sweet country rock percussion. “You make it haaaard” and lyrics of the such tell the story of a boy who loves a girl, or something like that. It’s sweet! “I am yours, you are mine. You’re what you are”... what could be better? And then the iconic “do do do do do, do do do do” outro kicks in and I know this album is gonna be straight fire
“Marrakesh Express” is an upbeat tale featuring the “cobwebs in my mind” which I relate to. “Did you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express? They’re taking me to Marrakesh!” are fun lyrics and I’m not entirely sure if there is some double entendre work happening here or if the boys have really been to Morocco together.
“Guinnevere” is a slow, quiet story about a girl, I assume Guinnevere herself. She had golden hair. This track gives me feels for summer nights, mosquitoes, and crickets chirping.
“You Don’t Have to Cry” is about wisdom and life experiences. Learn your lessons, bump your head, and you don’t have to cry.
“Pre-Road Downs” is another fun track, this one starts out with a distorted (backwards?) guitar that pleasantly makes me feel tense. This track is upbeat and seems to be about love and life.
“Wooden Ships” has more of that sweet Americana blues sound with organ and bass guitar sounds mixed with leading guitar, and lyrics about eating berries on wooden ships.
“Lady of the Island” is a soft-spoken song about love and the mystery of life, or something. Very soothing!
“Helplessly Hoping” features more vocal harmonizing about love and life and all the things that make us human.
“Long Time Gone” had me bopping my head to the fading background noise (organ keys?) and nodding to the lyrics “it appears to be a long, long, time before the dawn.”
“49 Bye-Byes” closes out the original album (the 2006 re-release has some bonus tracks) and features a marriage of electric guitars and organ and asks “who do you love?” And “you’re just seeing things through a cat’s eye” and finally “bye bye baby... know I love you”, a sad reality one must admit to themselves every so often. A great closer for this album.
“Do for the Others” is sorrowful and very real, and I think it’s about moving beyond a loss. It’s very soft and catchy.
“Song With No Words” starts out beautifully with plucking guitar chords and wordless “da da da” and doo doo doo” vocals that would but Rihanna’s “Work” to shame (regarding non words!!).
“Everybody’s Talkin’” is a familiar song that I’ve heard referenced on Seinfeld (everybody’s talking to me, I can’t hear a word they’re saying... just drivin round in Jon Voight’s car), that being parenthetically said, this is a fine acoustic folk track.
“Teach Your Children” opens with someone asking someone else if they remember the words, which is very funny. This song is full of heart and feels very authentic and touching.
Favorite track: Teach Your Children
Honorable mention: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Wed Apr 21 2021
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds open their "Murder Ballads" album with a deep-voiced Nick on "Song of Joy" - a spookish tall tale about a lady named Joy... or possibly about the mere concept of joy itself. Nick's storytelling is brooding and gothy, and I'm here for it! And after 4 minutes of this 6+ song... I can trust this album will be a horror movie for the ears.
"Stagger Lee" is another story-telly song about a "bad mother fucker called Stagger Lee" and the bartender does not care. It's campy and fun! And devilishly spooky!
"Henry Lee" is the next track on the album and it opens with guest vocals from PJ Harvey (I saw her open for U2 once when I was 11!). Another melancholy tale with accompanying piano and bass AND a pleasantly catching "la la la la" from the duet.
The next track, "Lovely Creature" has a build up of tension that is carried throughout, with backing vocals from an unfeatured lady (and more "la la las") that I can only describe as "spooky consistent".
"Where the Wild Roses Grow" features vocals by Kylie Minogue (she is the wild rose!) and is another spooky tall tale pop-ish goth song with piano and string arrangements that would make Ben Moody blush.
"The Curse of Millhaven" comes in hot and has a head-boppy percussion with an accordion, and it's very fun! Reminds me a lot of My Chemical Romance (Mama comes to mind)... "even God's children they have to die".
"The Kindness of Strangers" is yet another murder tale, about a woman named Mary who is tied to her bed with a bullet in her head. This track features an upbeat piano rhythm with guitar and drums. It's easy listening! This track also features a crying woman, which isn't very easy listening, but it is fantastic story telling.
The next track, "Crow Jane," continues Nick's storytelling of murder and guns. This song features more piano and even more bass and drums. It's slow paced and has me tapping my foot and bopping my head.
"O'Malley's Bar" is the penultimate track on this album, and at 14:28, it's by far the longest song (it's nearly 4 songs worth of song!). Nick does some adlibbing over some piano plucks while singing about a killing spree and how it makes his dick feel, for which I have the utmost respect. My personal favorite line from this track:
"And with an ashtray as big as a fucking really big brick
I split his skull in half
His blood spilled across the bar
Like a steaming scarlet brook"
After that truly horrific tale of O'Malley's bar, the album comes to a close with "Death Is Not the End" (featuring Anita Lane, Shane MacGowan, PJ Harvey, and Kylie Minogue) - a cover of Bob Dylan - and it's a truly wonderful closer. "Just remember, that death is not the end." A haunting, yet comforting message for the pale, pasty, gothic audience Nick and his friends are surely targeting.
Overall I really enjoyed this album. It's weird, it's disturbing, it's haunting. It is simply wonderful!
Favorite track: The Curse of Millhaven
Honorable mention: O'Malley's Bar
Thu Apr 22 2021
My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine's debut album, "Isn't Anything," is actually quite something! Described as "dream pop, shoegaze," this Irish/English band received critical acclaim for this 1988 release, and I am excited to jump in!
The opening track, "Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside)" contains eclectic vocals, drums, and bass alongside a string-like violin-ish dragging sound that is quite peculiar. I'm into it!
"Lose My Breath" is the next track, featuring vocals that I believe are attributed to Bilinda Butcher of the band. This song features acoustic guitar strumming and angelically haunting "doo doo doo" non-words that are quite lovely.
Track 3, "Cupid Come" has some straightforward guitar and drum instrumentation (and some sonic artifacts!) with vocals provided by Kevin Shields. Kevin's lyrics allude to romance, waiting, desire.
"(When You Wake) You're Still in a Dream" is a fast-paced song with Shields on vocals mixed with Butcher's classic angelic harmonies (she's giving me some Amy Lee vibes) that takes the listener away amidst lyrics alluding to a lover who is more invested in love than their partner, quite a painfully familiar sentiment for anyone!
"No More Sorry" opens with echoy guitars and a building percussion that leads the listener to Shield's vocals. This track is distorted and dream-like and almost soothing!
"All I Need" is another dreaming song with layered guitar, bass, and drums that makes me feel like I've entered the 7 minutes in which the body goes from awake to asleep. I feel almost transported to a dreamworld with a heartbeat-like drum along for the ride.
The next track, "Feed Me with Your Kiss," comes in hot with a fast-paced drum beat sharing the spotlight with lo-fi guitars and Shield's hard-to-distinguish vocals that are a staple to the shoegaze genre.
"Sueisfine" is the next track with more dreamy vocals and noise. The title sounds eerily similar to "suicide" but that could just be my mind playing tricks on me. Perhaps that is what MBV want from me...
The following track, "Several Girls Galore" is more sonic artifacts attacking my auditory senses with drums, guitar, and layered vocals that are a little hard to understand. This track may be about a woman with schizophrenia, which makes sense to me considering the song is difficult to grasp, yet more powerful than I could ever appreciate.
"You Never Should" is a song about a strained relationship. The lyrics allude to that:
"Ooh, you said the fault was mine
Yeah, but you never should"
I sense some blame, animosity, and heartache in this track as the layered guitars and guitars and guitars attack my senses, filling my soul with some despair for this fictional (or perhaps autobiographical?) breakup.
"Nothing Much to Lose" is the penultimate track and feels poppier and easier to understand. I detect a hint of a "take me back" attitude based on the lyrics, but with a "let's see what happens" state of mind, as if to say, "well, I'll try to get her back. Nothing much to lose now." I found myself humming along to the outro, very catchy!
My Bloody Valentine close out their debut album with, "I Can See It (But I Can't Feel It)". I decided to do some research into the song's meaning, and people have interpreted it as a breakup song, a song about suicide, and my favorite, a song about anorgasmic ejaculation. Whatever MBV may have had in mind with this closer, it is obviously about a loss of some kind, and to me that is a perfect way to close out this album of lo-fi noise. And perhaps it's some slight confirmation to my theory regarding the aforementioned "Sueisfine."
Favorite track: Sueisfine
Honorable mention: All I Need
Fri Apr 23 2021
Guitarist Jeff Beck's debut album, "Truth" released in 1968 and features Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood in his ensemble. This album has been regarded as "the first metal album," with heavy blue-inspired sounds and rock influences. Quite a legacy!
This album opens with "Shapes of Things" and it is clear from the get-go that this album helped lay the foundation for hard rock and metal. This track features heavy drums and fun guitar riffs mixed with Rod Stewart's strong vocals.
"Let Me Love You" is track number 2, opening with a wicked lead guitar. Stewart sings "When I'm with you woman, my whole life seems so hazy... don't you know that?" a classic sentiment of any good rock song. Beck's electric guitar work is simply mesmerizing.
The third track, "Morning Dew," features bagpipes, strong bass plucks, and funky guitar riffs. It's a cover song, but the band makes it their own, with Beck's hypnotic guitar work stealing the spotlight from Stewart's passionate vocals.
"You Shook Me" comes next, a classic Muddy Waters track, reworked by Beck's group. Stewart covers vocals while a frantic piano, drum beat, and guitar do the rest. This track is full of energy and soul!
Track 5 is "Ol' Man River," a well-known show tune. Stewart's vocals are fine for the song, thought the instrumentation does most of the heavy lifting, with hectic drums, organ chords, and Beck's crazy guitar work.
Up next is a cover of "Greensleeves," a folk song that has been around since the 16th century. It runs a bit shy of 2 minutes, but with beautiful acoustic guitar plucks, Beck makes it his own. It is quite wonderful.
"Rock My Plimsoul" comes next and is a return to the bluesy, rockin' guitar work that I've come to adore on this album. Stewart's vocals are strong and classic, and this track sounds reminiscent to something you would hear on any great classic rock station. Stewart adlibs "rock me, baby" repeatedly to close out the song, and it's quite fun!
"Beck's Bolero" comes next, opening with a build up of guitar and drums that lead to classic rock chaos. This track is instrumental and features effects of crazy energy and good old rockin' instrumentation.
The second-to-last track, "Blues Deluxe," clocks in at 7 and a half minutes. This track is blues at its finest and is said to have drawn inspiration from BB King. This track features an audience (it must have been recorded live) whose enthusiasm grows throughout the song, coming to an overwhelming roar at the end of the track.
The final track, "I Ain't Superstitious," once more features Stewart on vocals with Beck's funky, "wah" guitar magic. There is some great guitar work on the latter half of the track, and it's a fantastic way to close out this debut album.
Favorite track: Let Me Love You
Honorable mention: Beck's Bolero
Mon Apr 26 2021
John Barleycorn Must Die
"John Barleycorn Must Die" is the fourth studio album by Traffic -- released in 1970. It is described as progressive/folk/jazz rock. There are 6 songs on this album, 2 of which are about 4 minutes long, and the rest around 6 or 7 minutes, which I believe means each track will tell a story. And who is John Barleycorn? He is "a personification of the important cereal crop barley and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky," derived from an English folk song. Intriguing...
This album opens with "Glad," a jazzy, pianoy, upbeat instrumental song. Lots of saxophone, organ, and piano going on here. This track is the only instrumental on the album, a great primer for this LP.
Track number 2, "Freedom Rider," opens with more piano and saxophone, leading to Steve Winwood's smooth, high-tenor vocals, as he sings about cool things like lightning and motorcycles. Ride on, baby!
The third track, "Empty Pages," features more piano and organ work, with a popping bass guitar and jazzy percussion. Winwood goes on about the woes of writer's block:
"Staring at empty pages
Centered 'round the same old plot
Staring at empty pages
Flowing along in the ages"
A true joy (/s) of any writer's life!
"Stranger to Himself" is track number 4, and is the shortest on the album at 4 minutes and 2 seconds. This track is poppy and has a really fun guitar/piano solo (duo?). Perhaps I'm projecting a bit onto this song, but the lyrics really strike a chord with and I feel compelled to lay the entire (short) set of words here:
Struggling with confusion, disillusionment too
Can turn a man into a shadow, crying out from pain
Through his nightmare vision, he sees nothing, only well
Blind with the beggar's mind, he's but a stranger
He's but a stranger to himself
Suspended from a rope inside a bucket down a hole
His hands are torn and bloodied from the scratching at his soul
I really dig it.
Track 5, the titular "John Barleycorn (Must Die)" features a soothing acoustic guitar paired with Winwood's voice as he sings us the tale of 3 men who make an agreement that John Barleycorn must die. This is a cover song and it's quite fun. There is some great flute and tambourine work going on here.
"Every Mother's Son" is the closing track on this album, and at 7 minutes and 5 seconds, it's the longest. More piano and organ work build this song up, with an electric guitar vibing with Winwood's vocals:
"I'm a traveling soul and every mother's son
Although I'm getting tired I've got to travel on
Can you please help, my god? Can you please help, my god?
Can you please help, my god? I think it's only fair"
...Did I write this?
This album was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoy the little stories Traffic tells within their folklore, and the instrumentation is very easy-listening. Their lyrics are familiar and relatable, and Winwood's Ray Charles-inspired vocals are truly enjoyable. Nice work!
Favorite track: Stranger to Himself
Honorable mention: Every Mother's Son
Tue Apr 27 2021
Second Toughest In The Infants
"Second Toughest in the Infants," is the fourth studio album by English electronic music group Underworld. This album released in 1996 and falls under the following genres: techno, progressive house, progressive trance. I am all about trance and techno, fueled thanks to late 90s/early-to-mid 2000s video game soundtracks, so I'm really excited to be jumping into this genre.
This album opens with its longest track, "Juanita : Kiteless : To Dream of Love" at 16 minutes and 36 seconds. It is comprised of three tracks, per Wikipedia, "...which features all three parts intersecting each other at various points during the piece; hence, the use of colons instead of slashes..." This song opens with techno beats that make you want to nod your head/reflect/go clubbing. Hauntingly harmonized vocals pop in at 1 minute and sound distinctly robotic/nonhuman. This long track has moments where you can feel a transition of power as the songs morph into one another, with really fun beats, piano, vocals, and repetition carrying it along.
The next track, "Banstyle/Sappy's Curry," clocks in at 15 minutes and 22 seconds. It reminds me of a snythy, bloopy beat I would hear in Sonic the Hedgehog or Tekken Tag Tournament. Vocals come in at around 1 minute 45 seconds that are much less robotic and more human than the previous track's offerings. The ambient tone with funky guitar work at around 6 minutes was really enjoyable and took me away into a slight state of flux. I sense this album will become a new record to work to for me. By the end of this track I could not believe how wonderfully lost I became. "Banstyle/Sappy's Curry," is the perfect background song.
The third track on this album, "Confusion the Waitress," opens with a steady drum beat, followed by synth notes and an added trance beat to the drumming. There's a lot of beepy noises and spooky "she said" vocals. This poor, confused waitress.
Track number 4, "Rowla," offers more electric chaos. Bass/guitar tunes over a steady beat remind me somewhat of a heartbeat, giving this track a life of its own. There is some fantastic work happening in this song that sounds like lasers flying off into the night sky. I love it.
Next up on this album is "Pearl's Girl" at 9 minutes and 36 seconds. This is a steady track with really cool electric noise over a steady beat. This track was also featured in Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3, which makes entirely too much sense.
Track 6, "Air Towel," features more steady synth notes and percussion. There is some dancing of sound going on between my left and right headphone, giving this track a very cerebral sound. Just another great song to concentrate to.
Track 7, "Blueski," is the shortest song on the album, at 2 minutes and 55 seconds. It's a pretty consistent track of repeated guitar pluckery. It doesn't have a beat, but it's still easy to move your head to. Short and sweet.
"Stagger" is the final track on this amazing collection of ambient wonder. This track features more vocals and lyrics than any of the other songs on this album, with a snippet reading:
"The naming of killer boy
Everything's going west, nothing's going east straighten
There's no need to be so uptight straighten
Make up for all their messes I could listen to you all day
What a laugh, cut me I bleed like you, ha ha"
The meaning is vague, though it seems to invoke a feeing of confusion or inebriation. A fitting end to this album.
I was so very pleased with this album. I felt my mind flow away in a river of thought during my time with this collection of music. I can't wait to listen to it again, and again, and again!
Favorite track: Banstyle/Sappy's Curry
Honorable mention: Rowla
Wed Apr 28 2021
Tical is the debut studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man. This is the first solo album by a Wu-Tang Clan member after their debut album, "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)." Method Man has gone on to say the title of this album is an acronym for "taking into consideration all lives," and I'm very excited to experience that consideration.
This album opens with the titular track "Tical," at 3 minutes and 57 seconds. This track has a muddy buildup of audio samples from kung fu movies over a beat until Mr. Man's vocals come in. This song feels very much like a 90s east coast hip hop track, with lyrics about weed and other drugs, per Genius.com: "In 2011 interview with Complex, Meth revealed that this song was performed while he was high on “dust” (a.k.a. angel dust or PCP)".
Track 2, "Biscuits," features another consistent hip hop beat with lyrics of meth, guns, and other lyrical assault!
Next up is "Bring the Pain," which offers another consistent beat with Method Man rapping about being real: "if you’re really real, then you need to bring the pain because pain is the only real thing in life, its something that you feel."
The next track on this album is "All I Need," where Method Man raps about his girlfriend and their dreams of having 1,000 kids together. The Beatles said that love is all we need, and I think Meth agrees.
"What the Blood Clot!?!" is track #5 on Tical, and Meth raps about an argument he had with other members of WTC. I like these storytelling lyrics:
"Keep your thoughts on your lessons
What the Blood Clot!?!
To tell the truth you don't amaze me
Killa Hill Project, a Star Trek phaser couldn't faze me"
A classic "what the FUCK" track.
After blood clot comes "Meth Vs. Chef," a rap battle track between Meth and Raekwon the Chef. There are some great disses on this track, and I am all about that. There's a boxing ring and audience applause in this song that really gives it a competitive feel and it's really fun.
"Sub Crazy" comes next on this album, it features a really cool, kinda spooky beat. I dig it!
"Release Yo' Delf" featuring Blue Raspberry is another dis-like track. Meth goes off about the other industry singers/rappers. Blue Raspberry reminds us that those careers won't be lasting long while a siren wails in the background.
The next track, "P.L.O Style" (aka Palestinian Liberation Organizations [unorthodox and ruthless fighting tactics]) features Carlton Fisk. This track was inspired by guerrilla tactics in the middle east used to de-establish Israel in favor of Palestinian justice.
"I Get My Thang in Action" is another solid track by Method Man with wonderful word play and clever phrasing:
"Shiiit, I told the boy
If you can't get yourself a ten
The least you can do is fuck five twos
And we out, Method"
You can't compete with that.
Track 11, "Mr. Sandman," features an ensemble posse consisting of Carlton Fisk, Streetlife, Blue Raspberry, Inspectah Deck, and RZA. New York-specific lyrics mixed with Blue Raspberry's high octave singing of "Mr. Saaaandman (bring me a dream)" gives this track a true chaotic, fun energy.
Track 12, "Stimulation" is the final track exclusive to this album (as the final track is a remix from an earlier Wu-Tang album) and features Blue Raspberry singing, welcoming the listener to Method Man's stimulation of our senses. Another solid hip hop track to nod one's head to.
The closing track, "Method Man (remix)" is a "fat dub stack" song (a bag of weed that weighs a little heavier than usual. Showing how this song being a remix is giving you a little more than usual.) This track asks "Have you had your meth today?" and now I can say I have!
I'm not too well-versed with 90s hip hop, but this album is consistently good, with no "filler" songs or boring, celebrity-filled garbage. A solid album with some amazing word play.
Favorite track: Meth Vs. Chef
Honorable mention: All I Need
Thu Apr 29 2021
Boy In Da Corner
Boy in da Corner is the debut studio album by English rapper and producer Dizzee Rascal. It was first released on 21 July 2003 by XL Recordings in the United Kingdom before being released the following year in the United States.
Per Wikipedia (as above), this album falls under the "grime" genre of electric music. My interest is piqued...
I Luv U
Brand New Day
Fix Up, Look Sharp
Cut ’Em Off
Hold Ya Mouf
Round We Go
Jus’ A Rascal
Wot U On
Seems 2 Be
"Sittin' Here" introduces Dizzee Rascal with cool beats and bass tunes. This is a solid hip hop track with clever lyrics ("same old story" "it was only yesterday). It's relatable, and it sounds very cool.
"Stop Dat" is another grime track with deep bass synth chords (I'm probably butchering this terminology, bit it sounds bassy!). I dig this song, and it's giving me major Blackout vibes ("Freakshow" comes to mind).
Track 3, "I Luv U," opens with a woman saying the titular line over and over as if her voice is solely activated by the push of a key. This song features a battle between two loves (with his and her vocals!) and it's very fun, and the grimey instrumentation is very addictive.
"Brand New Day" features jingle-bell keys and a grimey beat. Dizz sings about his life, losing his friends, making plans for the future. It's personal. It's good.
"2 Far" features Wiley and opens with funny Alvin and the Chipmunks distorted vocals that lead to a consistent "uh uh" and violins while Dizzee sings about how someone pushed him... too far.
The next track, "Fix Up, Look Sharp" opens with a fun drum beat that samples "The Big Beat by Billy Squier. It's fun and semi sarcastic.
"Cut 'Em Off" features more bass and a steady beat. It's dark and his vocals are echoey and it's a little spooky!
"Hold Ya Mouf" features God's Gift and a synth that reminds me of Saria's Song from Ocarina of Time. Dizz sings about karma and bettering yourself. It's catchy!
"Round We Go" has more "hey hey" backing vocal/sounds and more fun synthy tunes. This track sounds like a breakup song and it's pretty great!
"Jus' a Rascal" opens with people chanting "he's just a rascal" that leads to Dizzee and electric guitars mixed over a cool ambient electric tune. This track sounds like Dizzee's introduction song.
"Wot U On?" has bassy beats and a robo/harmonizing lady vocals in the background. I sense another breakup song! "You're looking at your jewelry thinking you're a dapper" Ahhh, a gold digger song. This song is VERY fun.
"Jezebel" opens with plucking strings and some hip hop beats. This track is dark and the titular Jeze is in some deep shit.
"Seems 2 Be" is more grimey synth track that opens with an iconic monologue from a woman that features this poetry:
"To be honest I’m totally and completely on his dick"
This track is quite outrageous and I'm all for it. He does compare Britney and Christina to Teletubbies at one point, which I simply love.
"Live O" opens with claps and an automated operator ordering you to "leave a message." Dizzee mentions Perrier in this song, and I really appreciate it.
The final track on the original pressing, "Do It!" opens with Dizzee reflecting on his life and planning for his future. This track features more of the same grimey instrumentation that I've come to appreciate on this album, and it's very good!
Favorite track: Wot U On?
Honorable mention: I Luv U
Fri Apr 30 2021
Gris-Gris is the debut album by Dr. John (aka Mac Rebennack) and was released in 1968. This 33-minute LP falls under the following genres: New Orleans R&B, psychedelic rock, swamp rock, and zydeco. The track list is as follows:
Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
Danse Kalinda Ba Doom
I Walk on Guilded Splinters
This album opens with "Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya," with Dr. John's raspy bluesy acid-casualty voice and subtle guitar and drums. Dr. John sings about his remedies while backing vocals carry the song along a smooth, chill vibe.
The next track, "Danse Kalinda Ba Doom," opens with mandolin strums and more backing vocals. This track has a fun, positive, dancy feel... "danse" in fact!
Track #3 is "Mama Roux," a smooth song about Dr. John's queen:
"The Queen is comin', ooo, un ba may
Queen is coming to way pocky way"
Backing vocals sing "mama rouuuuux" while simple percussion and keyboards fill out the song.
Track #4 is another "danse" song, "Danse Fambeaux." This track features more mandolin with some funky whistling. Folksy, story-telling lyrics carry this song while the backing vocals do a lot of the heavy lifting. This is a fun song.
"Croker Courtbullion" comes next. This song features some funky instrumentation and bongo work. This track is an instrumental piece of chaos (with some backing vocals chanting the song's namesake), with constant percussion and bass work mixed with electric guitar and a maraca-like beat. The guitar work is very fun.
"Jump Sturdy" is the penultimate track on this album, and at 2 minutes and 20 seconds, it's by far the shortest. Dr. John sings about a lady:
"She came out the swamps like a crazy fool
Jump sturdy jump sturdy was her name
She came out the swamps like a crazy fool"
This track is very folksy, with the backing vocals carrying the chorus, and a cool banjo and bass guitar keeping the rhythm. This is a very fun story-song, a shame it's barely 2.5 minutes!
Dr. John closes his album with his longest song at 7 minutes and 37 seconds. "I Walk on Guilded Splinters" has been covered by countless musicians, and it has critical acclaim. Critic Richie Unterberger wrote that "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" was "the album's most durable song, a creepy voodoo soup that both smoldered with ominous foreboding and simmered with temptations of sensual delights." This track is definitely creepy and definitely the album's strongest track. Great production and a fun backing band give this track its earned recognition.
Favorite song: Jump Sturdy
Honorable mention: I Walk on Guilded Splinters
Mon May 03 2021
Remain In Light
"Remain in Light" is the fourth studio album by American rock band Talking Heads, released on October 8, 1980. This album is considered to be their magnum opus, and as someone who has never listened to the band, I feel I better strap in! Talking Heads fall under the following genres, per Wikipedia:
New wave, post-punk, world beat, funk, dance-rock, and art pop and I am colored with intrigue!
Remain in Light opens with "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)," opens with funky bass rifs and a catchy guitar rhythm. There's some crazy David Byrne vocals and a cool guitary solo and that catchy guitar rhythm that never goes away! This is a fun song.
The next song on this album is "Crosseyed and Painless," which is catchy and has lyrics about "facts are twisting the truth around" which seems relevant in today's hellscape of disinformation. It's fun!
"The Great Curve," is track #3 on this album. It has a really fun surfer-ish guitar with bongo-ish drums. It's groooovy. And it has a dope guitar solo.
"Once in a Lifetime" is the next track, and it's a song I've heard many times in pop culture. It's a fun song, it's catchy. I've never actually listened to the song in full, and the lyrics are crazy. The lyrics seem improvised... "there is water at the bottom of the ocean," and so on!
"Houses in Motion," is track number 5 and features more funky guitar work and vocal harmonizing. It's very catchy and it has a haunting solo of an instrument I cannot identify!
The next song, "Seen and Not Seen," has fun stream-of-conscience lyrics about a perfect face, which really blew my mind as I listened to this song while struggling to draw a face on a drawing I recently started. Anyway, this song has fun claps and a solid beat, and I like it!
"Listening Wind" is the penultimate track on "Remain in Light". It has African-inspired percussion and eerie jungle noises. The guitar work sounds like animals! This song is very cool.
"The Overload," is the final track on this album, and is it a doozy.
Per Wikipedia: "Some have taken the final track on the album, "The Overload," to be Talking Heads' attempt to emulate the sound of British post-punk band Joy Division. It has been widely speculated - but never confirmed - that the song was made despite no band member having heard the music of Joy Division; rather, it may have been based on an idea of what the British quartet might sound like based on descriptions in the music press."
I have never listened to Joy Division, so I don't have a frame of reference for this song, but it's spooky and brooding and dank, and I like it!
This album is funky and fun and weird, and for that I really love it. I'm glad I finally gave this album a spin. I actually really liked their spooky attempt to be Joy Division. And Once in a Lifetime is simply iconic.
Favorite track: Listening Wind
Honorable mention: The Overload
Tue May 04 2021
At Fillmore East
The Allman Brothers Band
"At Fillmore East" is the first live album by American rock band the Allman Brothers Band. This album was released in July 1971 (a mere 3 months before the tragic motorcycle death of brother rocker Duane Allman) and falls under the following genres: blues, rock, country, and jazz. This jam album is 76 minutes long (that's two albums!) and features the following track list:
Done Somebody Wrong
You Don't Love Me
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
"Statesboro Blues" opens up this jam fest with a cheering audience and a rockin' fun guitar. I see pool halls filled with cigarette smoke and I can smell the scent of tepid Budweiser on tap when I hear this song. It's fun, jammy, and unapologetically Americana.
Track 2 is "Done Somebody Wrong," and features more of the beloved Americana rockin' tunage. Per Wikipedia: Thom Doucette takes a solo on blues harp, and by the end of the song, the band breaks out of the shuffle and builds up to a dual-lead guitar, triplet-based crescendo on this track. It's rockin'!
"Stormy Monday" is next up on this album. This song was written by American blues electric guitar pioneer T-Bone Walker in 1948. The Allman Brothers make this song their own, with their strong guitar work and bluesy/rocky style.
The next track, "You Don't Love Me," is 19 minutes long and is a cover of a 1960 release from Willie Cobbs, which was adapted from Bo Diddley's 1955 song "She's Fine She's Mine." Per Wikipedia: Duane Allman chose "You Don't Love Me" to create a special tribute to recently slain R&B saxophonist King Curtis, interweaving Curtis' signature "Soul Serenade" into a rendition of the song played at a band show at the Academy of Music in Manhattan on August 15, 1971. This track is fun and rockin' and makes me want to go for a long drive down a country road.
"Hot 'Lanta," is the next track on this live album. It's a 5-minute instrumental piece that contains elements of progressive rock, jazz, and blues. It's full of energy, with heavy guitar, drum, bass, organ, and timpani [kettle drum]. It has a wonderful crescendo buildup near the end of the song.
"In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" comes next. This track is another instrumental track with co-writing credits to the Allman Brothers' backup guitarist Dickey Betts. Betts named it after a headstone he saw in Rose Hill Cemetery in the band's hometown of Macon, Georgia. The song is smooth and jazzy with cool guitar work throughout. There's a segment at 2 minutes and 40 seconds that reminds me of the Wii Shop Channel, and I'm not sure why that is. It reappears at 12:30.
"Whipping Post," is the final track on this live album, and at 22 minutes and 40 seconds, it's undeniably the longest. This song launched the brothers into the airwaves, as it was a popular track to play to ensure DJs had ample bathroom time. Per wikipedia: ...as The Rolling Stone Record Guide wrote in 1979, "no wasted notes, no pointless jams, no half-realized vocals--everything counts." And per VH1, "an endless climb of heightening drama staked out by the twin-guitar exorcisms of Duane and Dickey Betts and the cool, measured, almost jazz-like response of the rhythm section." This track truly has a life/energy of its own.
I enjoyed listening to this album, despite its length. It serves as great background noise for work, and allows the listener to periodically daydream about summertime in America.
Favorite track: In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
Honorable mention: Whipping Post
Wed May 05 2021
Let's Get It On
"Let's Get It On," is the thirteenth studio album by American soul singer, songwriter, and producer Marvin Gaye. -- it falls under the genres of soul and funk. This album, released August 28, 1973, is pretty well-known for being very sensual and also very horny. Here's the tracklist!
Let's Get It On
Please Stay (Once You Go Away)
If I Should Die Tonight
Keep Gettin' It On
Come Get to This
You Sure Love to Ball
Just to Keep You Satisfied
Track 1, "Let's Get It On" is nearly impossible to listen to anymore. All I can imagine is every cringey movie scene that features this song, every commercial, swirling chocolate, silhouettes, Austin Powers. It's sickening. BUT! It's a beautiful song with a beautiful message, delivered by a beautiful voice. The jazzy vibes and bass notes mixed with the horns and violins create a wonderful harmony of love.
"Please Stay (Once You Go Away)" is another blushfest, with Gaye's soulful voice begging his lover to stay. The funky guitar work and bongo-ish percussion go great together... just like our protagonists.
"If I Should Die Tonight" is track 3 on this album, and it opens with strong disco-ish strings, with sensual flute work adding to the fun. This sounds like it could be a sexy wedding song.
Up next is "Keep Gettin' It On," and it already sounds like a sequel to the album's namesake track. It's got some great lyric work:
Oh, would you rather make love, children? (ooh, ooh, ah)
As opposed to war (ah)
Like ya know ya should (ah)
Really fun stuff, with a head-boppy tune and nice drum, bass, and funky guitar work.
"Come Get to This" is track 5 on "Let's Get It On." It's Gaye singing to his lover, reminiscing with saxophone and strings guiding us along. It's a candy-sweet track!
"Distant Lover" has some cool, jingly instrumentation, with some sweet bass chords. There's a sharp, laser beam noise in this song that I also dig. It's a pretty sensual track, with Gaye begging his lover to come back home in strained, passionate vocals.
"You Sure Love to Ball" is the horniest track on the album. It opens with heavy breathing from a tired, sexy lady. Gaye sings about staying together, loving you night and day. It has a stringy and saxophoney instrumentation and it really sets the mood for some lovin'.
"Just to Keep You Satisfied" is the final track on this album. It's sensual and definitely more of the same. There's smooth sax and a doo wop backing vocal harmonization, and the strings have a disco-inspired feel. This song closes the album with Gaye saying "we can both try to be happy." A sensual album that surely brought joy to many, many people.
Favorite track: If I Should Die Tonight
Honorable mention: You Sure Love to Ball
Thu May 06 2021
The Boo Radleys
"Giant Steps" by The Boo Radleys was released in 1993 to critical acclaim. It falls under the following genres: shoegazing, Brit pop, psychedelic pop. Per Wikipedia: Reviewing the album's rerelease in 2008, Sic Magazine wrote, "For 64 minutes they were the greatest band on the planet."
"I Hang Suspended"
"Upon 9th and Fairchild"
"Wish I Was Skinny"
"Leaves and Sand"
"Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)"
"Thinking of Ways"
"Barney (...and Me)"
"If You Want It, Take It"
"Best Lose the Fear"
"Take the Time Around"
"One Is For"
"Run My Way Runway"
"I've Lost The Reason"
"The White Noise Revisited"
This album opens with "I Hang Suspended." It's a poppy, rocky, fun song. They sound like any respectable alternative rock band, like maybe Matchbox 20, Third Eye Blind, or Incubus. I like it!
Track 2, "Upon 9th and Fairchild" is another rocky, cool tune. It has fun bass and guitar work, with a distorted voice (Going Under-ish) and it's pretty catchy. It also sounds like No Doubt with some funky guitar work. The lyrics "this is my life too" are cool and repeated throughout. It also features a cool crying guitar with spooky violins.
"Wish I Was Skinny" is a boppy, fun track with wishful lyrics of being skinny and having everything. It has fun clapping and really great guitar work. It ends in a chaotic psych breakdown and it's pretty cool.
The next track is "Leaves and Sand," and it is unfortunately the last track I have time to listen to. I will also listen to "Lazarus" after this per Wikipedia's suggestion, and will complete my review. I'll finish this album tomorrow. I like it and I owe it to myself.
"Leves and Sand" is a chill track that starts off quiet and dreamy before bursting into a band-heavy guitar/drum instrumentation. It's cool and sounds Tony Haw-friendly! It's very shoegazy.
"Lazarus" is the track I have chosen to break free from the tracklist. This album has 17 songs, and though I've run out of my allotted 24 hours to review, 5 is still better than nothing.
"Lazarus" fades open with a funky, psychedelic guitar that is quite addictive. It flows between the left and right headphones, and I really dig it. I'm getting major Wavves vibes from this track!
I am eternally disappointed in myself for snubbing 70% of this album (and I will remedy that tomorrow). But I've really enjoyed what I've heard. Their lyrics are dark but their claps and "buh buh bums" are refreshingly ironic.
Favorite track: Lazarus
Honorable mention: Wish I Was Skinny