Tue Aug 23 2022
I enjoyed listening to this album. I really dig the guitar sound they had going throughout. I didn't like the vocals much, and despite thinking I'd love this album due to Where Is My Mind and Gigantic, it was a bit too much punk for me.
Wed Aug 24 2022
I've always felt "Surrender" is one of the all-time teenage rock anthems, so I was really anticipating loving this live album. However, I was left underwhelmed by the first half, feeling like it dragged and felt like a generic rock show. But once it hit "Need Your Love" I was pretty impressed and that stretch lasted until the end of the album.
Thu Aug 25 2022
Toys In The Attic
I can't figure out whether Aerosmith is a good band that I think sucks, or if they are just completely overrated. I'm honestly shocked by how well-reviewed this album is. It's so generic. The only "good" song on it is Sweet Emotion. Granted, all the guitar solos absolutely rip, but that's the only thing I can think of that this album has going for it.
Fri Aug 26 2022
Bat Out Of Hell
Oh man, I'm so glad I listened to this album. I guess I've never really understood what Meat Loaf's style was (with "I’d Do Anything for Love" as my only reference). I can't say it's my thing..I'm still not a fan of the ballads, but now I can say I get it. I think it's really cool, like Broadway meets rippin' guitars. The title track was the standout song for me.
Mon Aug 29 2022
Untitled (Black Is)
I went back and forth on how I would rate this album. One minute I'm really digging it, and the next I can't wait for it to end. I think ultimately this album suffers for being too long and too boring. The beats on every song are SO good, but the vocals come off as minimalistic and uninspiring and way too repetitive. Standout tracks include Wildfires and Monsters.
Tue Aug 30 2022
Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul
So this was just an enjoyable listen from start to finish. I'm hesistant to give it 5 stars for a couple of reasons. 1) the fact that only three songs are originals 2) the covers don't have a particularly unique spin on them, they just sound good 3) I can't see myself putting this album on to really listen to it, though I do see myself putting it on in the background while making dinner, etc.
Wed Aug 31 2022
Like many others (I assume), my only exposure to the Bee Gees is their disco hits. So needless to say, I was a bit taken aback by the sound of this album. And, in many ways it exceeded my expectations by a ton. There are some really stand-out tracks like "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?" "Israel" "Trafalgar" and "Walking Back to Waterloo" but on no planet should this album be considered a must listen.
Thu Sep 01 2022
17-year-old me would have loved this album, which is ironic because despite my Static-X, Slipknot, NIN-loving teenage self, I never got into Marilyn Manson. I think I just thought his music was too much based on a schtick and not actually music. I guess in a way that's kind of right, but also wrong. Let me explain.
Antichrist Superstar is an excellent industrial metal album of the mid to late 90s. I kept hearing Trent Reznor's influence throughout, so I wasn't surprised to see that he was a producer on this. But, to me at least, what's holding this album back from greatness is the vocals. I'm not saying this in light of Brian Warner's real-life creeper-ness. The songs are dark and disturbing, and not in a good way...more so it feels like it's for shock than anything else. And it worked. His persona is what made this album wildly successful. But it's also what turns me (and many others) off to this music.
If this had been a Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor vocalized album, I'd probably be raving about it and giving it 5 stars. As it stands, its a middle-of-the-road albeit highly influential and noteworthy metal album.
Fri Sep 02 2022
Songs From The Big Chair
Tears For Fears
This album is impressive to say the least. What a quintessential 80s pop rock album. There are so many layers of sounds that merge together to create a sublime listening experience. I also had no idea how many songs from this album I would recognize. Obviously "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is well-known, and for good reason, that song is incredible. This was almost a 5-star album for me, and one that I will certainly return to, but "I Believe" felt like hitting the e-brake on perfection and really killed the vibe. I was just bored to tears (get it?) listening to that one, and couldn't believe it was a single. Highlights include the aforementioned hit single, "Head over Heels / Broken (reprise)" and "Working Hour"
Mon Sep 05 2022
It was just a few songs into this album that I became fully aware that 80s hair metal is just not for me. By the time I got to the title track "Hysteria" I was so over this album and just wanted it to end. How on earth did this have seven hit singles? The only remotely memorable song "Pour Some Sugar on Me" is filled with the same cheesy lyrics, over-the-top production, scratchy-voice vocals, and repetitive guitar riffs with basic solos that all the rest of the songs on this album have. Man, I do not understand how so many people love this genre and how this is considered among the best. Hated it.
Tue Sep 06 2022
The first half of this album was a fun, dance-fest with rhymic beats and repetitive lyrics. It reminded me of bands like Daft Punk, who were almost certainly inspired by music like what Chic has created here. I don't see this as an album I'll really return too, but I thought there were some fantastic cuts such as the pop hit "Le Freak" and album closer "(Funny) Bone"
Wed Sep 07 2022
This album has a pretty good sound, though I wasn't prepared for a lot of the vulgar lyrics. It's funny...I'm OK with the n-word, p*ssy, etc. when a gangster rapper does it, but for some reason it was jarring when Sza did it. That being said, once I got into the album it was really enjoyable and she has a great voice.
But, a huge turn-off for me was this trend that started 5-7 years ago where singers would do this thing with their voice where they sound like Elmer Fudd. Maybe Sza is the artist who started it and the rest mimicked her style, but I hate it. I couldn't get past that style of singing to really like this album/artist.
Thu Sep 08 2022
I keep going back and forth between this is a "great" album and this is a "good" album. Some tracks really do sound amazing like "Fall at Your Feet" and "It's Only Natural" but others come across as cheesy. Ultimately I decided to give this album 3 instead of 4 stars because I only see myself returning to a few tracks, and even then rarely.
Fri Sep 09 2022
I probably listened to more new music in the late 2000s than any other period of my life. So, the fact that I had no idea Portishead released a new album in 2008 I think speaks to its lack of popularity. This is a wholly unremarkable album. Lots of mundane background effects with Bjork-esque vocals layered on top. The only song that seems to break this mold is Deep Water and that song might be the worst of the bunch. Don't get me wrong, there are some cool moments here, such as the ending of "The Rip" and "Machine Gun" but no song feels like it wants to do more than "hey, that's a cool effect, let's repeat it." I feel like the only reason this is critically acclaimed is because they put out a great album in the 90s and critics were impressed they could mount something of a comeback.
Mon Sep 12 2022
The Queen Is Dead
Is this the most overrated album of all time? Rolling Stone puts it in top 200. 5/5 on many review sites/magazines, NME named it best album of all time in 2013. I'm not saying this is a bad album, it's just...mid at best.
Morrissey's vocals are unique but a few songs in and I'm over it. So much moaning. So much repetition. There was definitely a stride from "Cemetary Gates" to "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" where was thinking this is really good, but overall I'm just not that impressed.
Tue Sep 13 2022
This probably could have been a 5-star review for me, but I just really did not get the title track opener. I understand it's dark and morbid and what propelled Black Sabbath into defining a new genre, but it just didn't do it for me. The rest of the album absolutely slayed, however. It was more reminiscent of the progression of blues rock (i.e. Led Zeppelin) than it was "heavy metal" but I get that it's just a deeper sound. They totally nailed it.
Wed Sep 14 2022
This is prog-rock at it's finest. The musicianship is outstanding and the way the layers of bass, drums, and guitar add to one another is stellar from track-to-track. However, I couldn't bring myself to give this 5 stars due to one reason: Geddy Lee's vocals. It was just too high-pitched, nasally, and generally off-putting for me to truly LOVE these songs. Also, to me, the best songs on this albums are the ones I already knew due to radio play.
Tue Sep 20 2022
All Hail the Queen
Admittedly I went into this one with very low expectations. For starters, I don't view Queen Latifah as a prolific rapper, moreso just a TV personality and actress. Secondly, this album peaked at number six on Billboard hip hop charts? And it was #124 on Billboard top 200? Neither of those seem remarkable enough to warrant being on this list.
So with that in mind, I was somewhat impressed when I first started this album. There's some good beats, albeit very obviously a product of the late 80s/early 90s, and she's got a decent flow. I can't say she goes toe-to-toe with some of the best from that era, like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul (the latter of which was a guest on arguably the best track on the album). But eventually this album lost me. It's a lot of the same schtick: she's a female rapper and we should call her Queen. I get it. If this album had stopped at Ladies First (or shortly thereafter), I could probably give it a 3 or 4 star rating, but when it was all said and done, I was just so over this sound.
Wed Sep 21 2022
Sheer Heart Attack
While Queen has a great sound going on this album, I don't think they ever got beyond the impressive 1-2 punch that was "Brighton Rock" and "Killer Queen". "In the Lap of the Gods" and "Misfire" were other stand out tracks for me, but the album lacked cohesion and anything as memorable as "Killer Queen". If I could give half stars, this would be a 3.5 for me.
Thu Sep 22 2022
It's really great start to finish. Not an album I see myself returning to quite often, but I would love to put a vinyl version of this on for background music. Not a bad track and some definite outstanding ones from the title track to "Walk from Regio's" to the monumental 20-minute opus "Do Your Thing"
Fri Sep 23 2022
Super Furry Animals
This was a pretty solid 90s Britpop album. While I didn't really LOVE any track, I thought they were all pretty decent. I would give this another listen. I thought mostly the singles (opening track, Something for the Weekend, Hometown Unicorn) were the standout songs, with the solo/outro in Bad Behavior up there as well. 3.5 for me.
Mon Sep 26 2022
461 Ocean Boulevard
When I told my wife how great this Eric Clapton album was, she replied, "Of course...it's Eric Clapton." Well, yeah. But I guess I kind of always considered Eric Clapton a greatest hits king. Even one of my favorite artists of all-time, Tom Petty, only has a couple albums I truly love, but he has tons of hits that are among my favorite songs.
This Clapton album, however, was solid from start to finish. I loved his tone, the twang of the slide guitar in so many of the tracks, and of course, the solos. What I didn't love, or at least why this album is a 4 or 4.5 instead of 5, is Clapton's vocals. I can't tell if it's that his voice isn't great or if vocals were just too low in the mix (or maybe the vocals were muddled because it's not his strong suit!). Either way, I really loved this album and have already returned to it since my first listen-through.
Tue Sep 27 2022
Deep Purple In Rock
I am one of those people who knew nothing of Deep Purple other than Smoke on the Water. I have to admit, I believed them to be a 70s one hit wonder, with a sound that was reminiscent of Zeppelin, Sabbath, and other staples of the era. I was not prepared for what Deep Purple brought with this album.
First of all, it is HEAVY. Way heavier than I imagined. I know Black Sabbath gets credited with being the genesis of heavy metal, but I found this album to go way harder (albeit not as "gutteral") than Black Sabbath's debut. The riffs are hard, fast, and yet memorable, and the solos absolutely rip. The drumming is phenomenal and together the band just sounds so cohesive.
Secondly, it's way more "jammy" than I ever expected. Every song seems to go into uncharted territory with some studio improvisation. This is the kind of stuff I live for when it comes to music. And sure, it's not as exploratory as a band like the Grateful Dead, but it's unique in it's own way.
I actually got assigned to Deep Purple's Made in Japan live album immediately after this. And initially I was disappointed to have to listen to the same band, the same style two albums in a row. But, I actually went on to listen to a third Deep Purple album. They are that good.
Wed Sep 28 2022
Made In Japan
Strangely I was giving this album immediately after Deep Purple In Rock. As I mention in that review, this was my first exposure to Deep Purple beyond "Smoke on the Water." After listening to these back-to-back I came to two conclusions:
1) Deep Purple is an insanely good band
2) I'm not a huge fan of live albums
As far as live albums go, this one is a banger for sure. But, I just don't think a live album can capture the essence of a band's performance, especially if they are well-known for their extravagant live shows. Sure there are exceptions to this (Nirvana Unplugged comes to mind), but there's something about the audience interactions, the clapping along to the beat, etc. that just don't work for me when I'm driving along in my car.
That being said, I thought every single song on this track was fire. Every song had solos and interplay among the band that was top notch and jamming as good as some of the best I've heard (Allman Bros, Phish, the Dead). At the same time, I don't need a five minute drum solo when I'm sitting at home.
This was tough to rate. I think it's a five-star live album...among the best. But I just didn't love listening to it I think more due to my own reservations about live music on tape.
Thu Sep 29 2022
I am a fan of this era of reggae music, but overall this Burning Spear record didn't really grab me. I thought both Marcus Garvey tracks (title and "old") were great as well as "Live Good". Solid vocals I've come to expect from Burning Spear, with meaningful messages, just want more oomph from my reggae whereas this felt more like chill background music.
Fri Sep 30 2022
Why is Tori Amos acclaimed for anything? This is a serious question. There's nothing noteworthy about her voice, her piano-playing is nice but nothing special, her lyrics range from generic to daft to bad (though I think she's trying to sound profound), and the songwriting is just bland. In fact, in most cases, I think it's not just that she sounds uninspired, she's downright annoying when she starts in with her "ooh" and "ahh" pseudo-yodeling.
The best tracks in my opinion were "Winter" and "Happy Phantom" but even those weren't very enjoyable. This album is laughably bad, and I can't fathom how it made the list let alone considered in the top 100 and regularly cited as one of the greatest albums of all time. It's trash.
Mon Oct 03 2022
This could have been a phenomenal album, but the vocals are laughably bad. The singer sounded like a drunkard trying to keep up with the music based on lyrics he scribbled down on a napkin at the bar. He was off-beat and off-key and it just made it overall unpleasant. I get singers have "unique" voices (i.e. Thom Yorke) but this was just bad. Pity because I really dug the sound of the band.
Tue Oct 04 2022
I really, really dug the sound of this album. But, I found that I mostly enjoyed the tracks with vocals. They seemed to have a lot to offer and really did something with the music ("Strawberry Letter #23" is outstanding), but where this album fell short for me was the instrumentals. They always started with a nice groove but then just kept going on with the same theme. They sounded cool but were just repetitive and got boring fast. I'd love to give this album a higher rating because some of it was SO good, but he lost me with the other half of the tracks.
Tue Oct 18 2022
The White Stripes
This album opens with the thunderous "Seven Nation Army" a song that will live on for ages not just because of it's awesomeness, but because every college football team in the USA now uses it as a jock jam, usually as a kick-off anthem. Despite being tired of hearing that song, I can't deny that it has to be one of the all-time greatest opening tracks on a rock album. And this IS a rock album.
I actually don't think this is the best White Stripes album. Heck, I don't even think it's the best Jack White album. But, it is a very good album. It's one hard-hitting blues riff after another, with the Jack White flair we've come to expect. Personally, it's gets a bit overdone by the time I get to the end of the album and the songs all start to sound the same (to be fair, this is probably true of the White Stripes across the board). Still, there are some truly fantastic tracks that make this an album worth checking out. Not sure what's up with the final track, though...such an odd way to end the album and the song feels totally out of place on Elephant.
Really wish we could give half stars. This one's a 3.5 for me.
Highlights: Seven Nation Army, Ball and Biscuit, Hypnotize
Wed Oct 19 2022
I smiled the instant I saw this Franz Ferdinand album to review. This is the first album that I can say I have memorized from start to finish. I was studying abroad in England the summer that "Take Me Out" took over the airwaves. Being in the UK, particularly on my weekend getaway to Scotland, this song was ubiquitous. You heard it on the radio, on the bus, in the mall, everywhere. And for good reason too: "Take Me Out" is one of the most quintessential alt-rock anthems of this era of music.
So, everyone knows their hit single, but probably view Franz Ferdinand as a one hit wonder (at least in the U.S. where the other singles never really hit mainstream popularity...though a single off their second album did decently well here), and that's a shame because this album is killer.
To me, there are some criteria that make for a perfect album, and this hits most of them: 1) not a single "bad" song...sure there are some you maybe don't love, but they're all listenable enough. 2) an opening track that pulls you into the album and sets the tone 3) not too repetitive...the sound is unique but not every song sounds the same.
Franze Ferdinand's self titled release nails all of these and more. It's iconic early 2000s alt-rock with danceable rhythms at it's best. "Jacqueline" kicks off the album with a mellow vocal intro and then just rips into drums and bass and guitar riffs. "Take Me Out" is still the stand-out song, but they've all got their moments. Particularly, for me, "This Fire" "Michael" and "40'" are among the best, which is saying a lot because so many albums start strong and fizzle out. This album never lets up and finishes just as strong as it starts.
Is my nostalgia clouding my review of this album? Surely. It's not a "masterpiece" by any means, it's just really really great. Is it a "must listen"? No, probably not. It's not like it's an original sound and spawned a whole era of music inspired by it. In fact, it probably doesn't deserve to be one of 1000 albums you MUST hear before you die (which is likely why it didn't make the most recent round of cuts). But, if you are a fan of alternative rock, especially this early 2000s era with The Strokes, The Killers, White Stripes, etc., I think you will truly love this album.
4.5 for me due to the aforementioned reservations, but I'll bump it to 5 since I think it's pretty flawless.
Thu Oct 20 2022
I normally read the entire Wikipedia for an album, sometimes delving deeper into the band, when I'm listening to these 1001 albums. For this one, I wish I had waited until I had formed an opinion about it before I read that Spin put this as album of the year over Nirvana's Nevermind.
Hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to listen to Bandwagonesque and scratch your head as to how anyone could rate it over Nirvana. But, is that because of how great the Nirvana album is or more based on how iconic it's become or how clearly influential the album was? It was hard for me to separate these thoughts from my analysis of this album. The question kept remaining: is this an essential album? Is this an album everyone should listen to before they die?
My overall consensus was that this is a good album. Some of the songs could even be called great. They open up with a long jammy "The Concept" before some much shorter, punchier tunes. I felt the album really hit a stride in the second half and finished strong with some of my favorite songs being "Alcoholiday" and "Is This Music?" I'll probably return to this album someday, but I'm in no rush to. It's just a good album, nothing great, nothing profoundly influential, nothing terrible deep, just fun indie rock. And there's nothing wrong with that, but is a must listen? Probably not.
Fri Oct 21 2022
I'm no electronic music expert, but I do enjoy the genre as a whole. So, despite reviews absolutely slamming this for being drivel, I thought "surely I'll find things I like about this album."
Well, not really...
Maybe Goldie is the pioneer of the classic drum and bass sound we know today that is so prevelant on this album. I don't know. But, listening to this, it doesn't sound innovative, it doesn't seem to stretch the boundaries, and half of the beats aren't even that catchy and danceable. I guess since this came out in '95 it was groundbreaking for the time? If you look at YouTube comments for each song as you go through, you will see that people LOVE this and consider it a masterpiece.
Personally, I found it to be mostly boring and repetitive and the female vocals not outstanding. To say this album is too long is a massive understatement. I'm honestly looking forward to more EDM albums on this so I have something to compare it to, because in my mind, I don't see electronic music lending itself to "must listen" albums but rather signature artists and must-hear songs (a la "Sandstorm").
This one had it's moments, I suppose (the standout for me was one small section of "Sea of Tears"), but all the songs had basically the same drum and bass loop and never went anywhere.
Mon Oct 24 2022
Live At The Star Club, Hamburg
Jerry Lee Lewis
I try to separate the art from the artist for these reviews, and Jerry Lee Lewis is no exception as he's a pedo and an abuser. So, are his contributions to rock and roll still valid despite his behavior? Let's head to a live recording to find out.
For starters, what is available on Spotify doesn't seem to be the full Live at the Star Club album experience. It's only 22 minutes and they're almost all short, blazing-fast tracks with ripping piano. I can't help but agree that JLL rocks the club, but I'm still not convinced it's anything special. Maybe he pioneered this style of music, but you can get a similar experience at a piano bar these days. Not to mention, half of the tracks were first made famous by other artists; he's just putting his spin on them. Which is fine, but it's not what I'm looking for when evaluating the "essentialness" of an album/artist.
Lastly, I've written about my disdain for live albums several times now on this site. I personally don't think they should be included. And this one is definitely not an exception. In fact, I found the mix to be horrible, and when reading about the recording process, it makes sense. It's just all the instruments blended together on a single mic with some audience ambient recording added in.
Overall, there is some great energy in this live show, but I think Jerry Lee Lewis is overrated (though fun) pianist and the recording itself sucks.
Tue Oct 25 2022
I was a little surprised to see a band synonmyous with one hit single from my high school days show up on 1001 albums you must hear before you die. As it turns out, there was another single from this album that I recognized as soon as I heard it. But otherwise, the Verve (at least in my world) faded into obscurity after the obssession with "Bittersweet Symphony" died down.
Imagine my surprise when I fell in love with this album! Sure, the aforementioned hit song opens this album up with great fanfare, but there's truly nothing else that sounds like it on the rest of the album. Instead, I'm met with an interesting mix of psychedlic Brit-pop tunes.
The first five songs really had me thinking this would be an absolute masterpiece, perfect album, but then the middle kind of descended into mediocrity for a bit. Overall, I found myself getting sucked into almost every track and really digging the layers of sound and variety of styles presented by The Verve here.
Wed Oct 26 2022
The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Album #35 and the first that I don't need to listen to in order to review it. Of course, I'm listening through it again as I write this because it's that good.
Time Out is an all-time classic jazz album. I do enjoy jazz, but I'm not one of those fans who knows everything there is about musicians and their instruments and time signatures and movements and all that jazz.
This is an album I can put on almost anytime. Purely enjoyable from start to finish with just brilliant musicianship throughout. The fact that Brubeck did do challenging things with time signatures does make me appreciate it more even if I don't actually understand what's happening. Time Out is 40 minutes of jazz bliss.
Thu Oct 27 2022
What can I say that hasn't already been said? Nirvana's Nevermind isn't one of my favorite albums, despite being at an impressionable age when it was released and even more coming of age when Cobain died (Nirvana Unplugged was a definitive album of my middle school years). For some reason, it hasn't been one that stuck with me over time.
Giving it a re-listen, I can see why it was so critically acclaimed. The first five tracks alone make this worth the listen. Also, as someone who grew up with 90s grunge bands, it's obvious in hindsight just how influential this was on that genre and everything that stemmed from it.
Is this a perfect album? No, but it's hard-hitting, emotional, original, and every song is worth listening to. I think this is one I'll be putting on more regularly from now on.
Fri Oct 28 2022
About a minute into the first song: This is so good! Incredible baseline, rhythm, dancable as hell.
About three minutes into the first song: Alright a bit repetitive, but it's a dance track so OK.
At the end of the first track: Alright this is just like the last CHIC album I reviewed. Laying down funky, rhythmic, catchy beats even if a bit repetitive, and it goes on a bit longer than it needs to.
At the end of the second song: Man, this is really repetitive, and not that good compared to the first song.
At the end of the third song: Actually this just isn't good.
By the end of the album: This sucks!!
When I first reviewed CHIC (the album with "Le Freak" on it), I saw them as innovative and certainly inspirations to some my favorite music, mainly the electronic/funk/pop alternative stuff in the early 2000s like Daft Punk and LCD Soundsystem. Their songs were catchy and groovy even if they did run for too long. This album on the other hand, had one good song on it (the opening track). The rest were boring beats aside from some solid basslines and a few groovy guitar riffs. The vocals were horrendous: uninspired, repetitive, and at times cheesy.
Mon Oct 31 2022
Out Of The Blue
Electric Light Orchestra
I genuinely enjoyed this album. I found the songs fun and some of them even catchy. The arrangements were definitely cool and often unique.
However, I can't get over how much this band seems to try to sound like other bands that obviously influence it. Of course, the first that comes to mind is the Beatles. Go ahead and listen to "Day in the Life" and then "Mr. Blue Sky". Both are great songs, but it's no question how much Mr. Blue Sky sounds like something that's trying to mimic Sgt. Pepper's. There's also some clear Queen influence and potentially more classic rock outfits like Boston, although that's probably a coincidence since their album came out just one year prior, likely when Out of the Blue was being written.
Overall it reminds me of one of my favorite bands from the 2000s: Dr. Dog. They have some great, punchy, catchy tunes, but they sound like they are trying to be an alt-rock Beatles band of a new era. There's nothing original about the sound even if it is enjoyable. I felt the same way about ELO, and though it's likely I'll return to this album again, it's going to sit at a solid 3 for me to just being a sound I've heard all too often before.
Tue Nov 01 2022
It's funny how many reviews are either 4-5 stars calling it a masterpiece or 1-2 stars saying it's garbage. Usually this tells me this is mostly due to differences in genre preference, but with Tommy I think it's mostly due to how one perceives the execution of the concept.
I seem to be the rare reviewer who falls somewhere in between. I see Tommy as both a work of creative genius and a confusing mess.
The Good: Well, it's completely unique being the first true rock opera and essentially creating a new genre of music. There are songs that work as standalone tracks independent of the story (i.e. the singles, most notably "Pinball Wizard" which is undoubtedly the best song on the album). And then there are songs that you wouldn't necessarily put on just for fun (or catch on the radio) that are beautifully composed and interesting.
The bad: Despite the aforementioned comment about the good, some of the songs just aren't good (e.g. "Holiday Camp"). Others come across as mere filler. Now, I remember seeing my local high school perform this decades ago and I really enjoyed it. Middle school me liked it so much I watched the VHS of the official concert for it (Phil Collins was in this, right?) many, many times. But, something about the album by itself just doesn't connect, and it's easy to get bored.
The ugly: the story itself doesn't make any sense. I read the synopsis before listening so I get what is SUPPOSED to be happening (not that it seems like it's a great story by itself anyway) but at very few points during the album is the plot actually comprehensible.
Overall, I agree this is a must listen album, but perhaps we would be better served watching the concert for it and seeing some of the action take place on stage so it makes more sense and not just hoping it ends soon.
Wed Nov 02 2022
...Baby One More Time
This album starts off with two absolute bangers and a ballad that bops. It had me thinking, "Is Britney Spears really going to get a 5 star review from me?" Then "Soda Pop" comes in with a record scratch moment. "You may be wondering how I got here." Indeed. This song is so laughably bad, that if taken out the album would easily be four stars if not five.
The real problem isn't the one-off horror of "Soda Pop" and its not-as-bad-but-perhaps-cheesier cousin "E-mail My Heart" but rather that the rest of the songs don't come even close to the pop goodness that is the opening three songs. There are GOOD songs on this album ("Thinkin' About You" and "The Beat Goes On" to name some of the more memorable tunes) but only "...Baby One More Time," "(You Drive Me) Crazy," and "Sometimes" are truly GREAT.
Thu Nov 03 2022
Penthouse And Pavement
I am trying to understand this album's inclusion this list. It feels like an album that one of the list makers really liked and decided to put it on. If you look at the Wikipedia it's basically like "yeah this album wasn't well received but some people have liked it more over the years." If I were to make a list of my 100 favorite albums, there would be a ton of niche picks on there that absolutely not every person needs to listen to unless they really like the genre or something. This feels like one of those album's.
For starters, it's repetitive as hell. The lyrics in most songs just repeat and repeat and repeat "for a very long time." Secondly, aside from a few moments, the synthpop sound isn't even that noteworthy or interesting. I did really like the groove on the title track, but it didn't need to go on for almost seven minutes. And, "Soul Warfare" was a pretty repetitive, boring song until the totally ripping bass solo. Other tracks were downright obnoxious to listen to: "Geisha Boys and Temple Girls" and "The Height of Fighting " to name a couple.
It's not necessarily a bad album, but it's not good either.
Fri Nov 04 2022
Step In The Arena
I wish I was more well versed in hip hop to give this a fair review. I mean, I know plenty of artists and know what I like but it was very hard for me to judge this album. Their lyrics and flow seemed sophomoric compared to what I was listening to in the later 90s and 2000s. They had some decent wordplay but I wasn't blown away by any rapping. As for the beats, I personally love jazzhop elements and was really digging all of those tracks. Reminded me a lot of Tribe Called Quest who I'd guess were contemporaries of these guys. Overall pretty solid outing but probably not something I plan on listening to much in the future.
Mon Nov 07 2022
Hunting High And Low
This is yet another album that starts off with 3 great songs (obviously "Take On Me" being the real winner) and then it doesn't really go anywhere after that. The sound is quintessential 80s but there are much better offerings in my opinion, such as Tears for Fears's Songs from the Big Chair.
Tue Nov 08 2022
At first I didn't dig his voice but the more I listened, the more I really came to love the overall sound. But after a few tracks I started to realize he sounded a lot like David Bowie...so much to the point where I thought "Man I always thought Iggy Pop was a punk type guy but he's really going for a Bowie sound here." As I always do, I eventually headed to the Wikipedia article to read about this album, so imagine my surprise when I saw that not only did he and Bowie have a friendship, Bowie brought him to his studio to record this album and produced it for him! Yeah no so coincidental or even thievery after all. But then I read that Bowie actually wrote most of the songs and Iggy did lyrics and singing, which happened to be the parts I really didn't like.
To me, this is more of a Bowie album than an Iggy Pop one, and to be fair, I don't know enough about Iggy's songwriting or singing to truly pass that judgment but that's how it felt. I feel like if Bowie had done this all himself with minimal help from Iggy on vocals or lyrics, it would be a 4 or 5 star album, but as it stands it's just mid to me though I did enjoy it overall.
Wed Nov 09 2022
The Sabres Of Paradise
When I was a junior in college, I studied abroad in England. On the weekends, we would take trips and several times we went to London. On one of those London excursions, our professor took us to the Tate museum, which is London's modern art museum. Now, I'm not opposed to modern art, I quite enjoy a lot of it. But, when I walked into this museum and the first exhibit was a TV with a loop of a guy inhaling and exhaling a cigarette, I thought to myself, "Well that's not really something, is it?" Later in the museum, we came to an exhibit that was simply a toilet seat hanging on a wall. "Ok," I told myself, "this is definitely not art museum worthy. What gives?" Thus began a long debate with my professor and some other classmates about what defines art. My concern wasn't so much "what is art?" ...of course, hanging a toilet seat on a wall can be considered "art", my concern was "why does this belong in a museum?"
The same can be said about The Sabres of Paradise Haunted Dancehall album. There are moments where the melody is interest, the beat moves, and the song has rhythm. But much of the album is empty, repetitive noise. And still, there are tracks that sound like someone sat in a big empty room with concrete walls and played around with one of those old toy Casio keyboards we all had in the 80s, using the pre-recorded beats and banging away on the keys to make "music"
This isn't horrible as other reviewers might suggest, but why, why why, would anyone think this is a noteworthy album, among a mere 1001, that everyone should hear during their lifetime?
Thu Nov 10 2022
This is a fantastic album. I especially loved the opening track, which is a cover a song Beck previously did with the Yardbirds. This version is much better in my opinion. But yeah, Jeff Beck absolutely shreds every track on this, and Rod Stewart's vocals are *chef's kiss*. The only reason this isn't 5 stars instead of 4 is because a) almost half of it is covers (which is fine, but I'm picking about wanting artists' original work) and b) the covers, which sound good, are in many cases just standard blues riff that are just enhanced by Beck's guitar and Stewart's vocals. Regardless, I'll be returning to this one again in the future.
Fri Nov 11 2022
When I listened to a bunch of indie rock in the late 2000s (and was coincidentally friends with not one but two professional music critics), the term "shoegazy" always came up and I knew exactly what they were talking about: distorted wall of guitar sound, sparkling, plinky guitar, and watery vocals. I'm ashamed to admit, I had no idea that shoegaze was an actual short-lived micro genre of the 90s. But apparently I love it, and by the third song in, I realized I loved this album as well.
So why 4 stars and not 5? Well, one of my requirements for a 5-star (nearly perfect) album is that there is diversity. So while this is apparently a top-3 shoegaze album, every song follows the same formula. It's fantastic, but by the time I hit "Decay", I was ready for something new. Still, literally every single song resonated with me, and I can see myself including this album as a regular part of my rotation. 4.5/5
Mon Nov 14 2022
A Hard Day's Night
This was a really tough album for me to review. I grew up with the Beatles, but my dad mostly listened to Rubber Soul, the White Album, and Sgt. Peppers. As I got older and developed my own taste in music, I still loved the Beatles but had added Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, and the goat, Abbey Road, to my rotation. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I am only a bit familiar with their early work.
A Hard Day's Night is definitely from the boy band, pop era of the Beatles. Songwriting was overall still pretty basic but it's impossible to ignore how the good the harmonies are, and how catchy most of the melodies are. I was surprised how many songs I already knew despite only two of them being listed as singles. It just goes to show how ubiquitous the Beatles are if one can recognize most of their songs on an album that they've never sat down and listened to straight through before.
All that said, how do I actually feel about this album? Well, it's not groundbreaking or anything, but it's fun and enjoyable. After awhile the songs do start to sound the same, and while I think the first half of the album is just incredible (up to "Can't Buy Me Love"), the latter half feels a bit like throwaway tunes. I'm sure I'll listen to many of these songs time and time again, but as an album, I probably won't really return to A Hard Day's Night even though I did enjoy it, which puts it in the 3 star category like so many of my "it's good, but not great" reviews. 3.5
Tue Nov 15 2022
She's So Unusual
If you would have asked me my opinion of Cyndi Lauper before this album, I would have responded something about "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" being an iconic 80s song that I'm OK never hearing again and writing her off as a 2-hit wonder ("Time After Time" is, of course, a pretty great song).
After listening to this album I am convinced that despite Cyndi being a household name, she did not get nearly the recognition she deserved. This is an 80s pop banger from start to finish (minus the last two songs). Seriously she slays this, and her backing band is incredible as well. She has an interesting voice and great vocal range. I was seriously impressed and can't wait to listen to this one again.
For me, it's ultimately 4 stars (probably 4.5) because although it's nearly perfect, I thought the last two songs weren't just unfavorable compared to the rest of the album, they were downright horrible. I can't fathom who made the decision to end a pop masterpiece with a Betty Boop impersonation.
Wed Nov 16 2022
This album started out with a bombastic, eclectic sound that was pretty unique. I kept thinking there was something familiar about the elements and wasn't surprised to read it was produced by DJ Dangermouse. Once I knew that, it was obvious his fingerprints were all over this thing. Unfortunately, I felt like the album ended with a whimper. I was bored and everything sounded similar in the second half.
Thu Nov 17 2022
Songs For Swingin' Lovers!
While I agree with other reviewers that it's hard to distinguish one song from the next, that's not always a bad thing. There's an iconic and classic sound here that simultaneously feels both timeless and representative of a distinct period of time. This was an enjoyable listen, and although there isn't anything remarkable or award-winning happening here (yes even Frank's vocals, as pleasing as they are), it was such a nice listen. I'd love to own this on vinyl and put it on as background music on a lazy Sunday.
Fri Nov 18 2022
I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail
I was totally taken aback by how much I enjoyed this album. I've always been the type of person that says I have a pretty diverse taste in music, but I really struggle getting into country. I've been proven time and again that older country such as Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash, that I do, in fact, like some country, just not the bubblegum popified version currently dominating the air waves singing about red Solo cups and pick up trucks.
These songs are punchy, catchy ditties that stick in your head afterward (with some somber ballads as well). Overall super enjoyable though I don't see myself returning to it often. After all, country really isn't for me, even if I do like some of it.
Mon Nov 21 2022
Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black
Most late 80s/early 90s rap hasn't aged well. This album is perhaps a quinessential example of that statement. While I'm sure Public Enemy is important to annals of rap history, this album just isn't good. The beats are super lame often verging on annoying. The rapping is just whatever. And though lyrically it's interesting, it's not profound or anything...just dated. Really did not enjoy this one.
Tue Nov 22 2022
Hot damn, this album. I knew I had heard Air before but I could not have described their sound before hearing this album. Turns out, I did at the very least know their radio hit from the Virgin Suicides soundtrack, but this album has a sound I immediately fell in love with.
To me, it almost feels like chill hop before chill hop was a thing. Similar to Daft Punk but more jazzy, less funky and less repetitive. Nearly every song had me feeling good vibes like grooving to the Animal Crossing music while hanging out on my island. The only reason I'm not giving 5 stars is a few songs where the vocals kicked in really ruined the vibe for me. I think I would have liked it better as a pure instrumentals album even though some of the vocals are fine.
Wed Nov 23 2022
Frampton Comes Alive
I came to this album thinking Peter Frampton is generic classic rock. I mean, "Oooh baby I love your way" is a super cheesy song, and that mouth-guitar gimmick he does? I mean...c'mon.
So, when I listened to this album I was SO close to giving it at least 3, if not 4, stars. It wasn't that bad, in fact, some of the songs were pretty darn good. I dug the way Peter and his band jammed out a lot of the tunes. It's not like he's bad at guitar, just nothing special. Also, I've mentioned many a time on here how much I do not like live albums. I mean, live albums are fine, but to me, they are not "true" albums. They, in many cases, are representative of an artist's best work. And, they are often poor audio quality...not to mention how annoying I find it when audiences can be heard singing or clapping along. Or some antic is happening on stage because the crowd is reacting to it, but that translates only to me being bored when I only have audio. So when I found myself kind of digging this one, I even thought, heck maybe this is a four-star album?
But the more I thought about it, and the further I got into the album, I realized just because this is better than I thought and I found myself digging some of the songs, doesn't mean it's still not exactly what I expected it to be: generic classic rock. After all, it's the generic, appeal to the masses, formulaic rock here that has me thinking it's not too bad to listen to. By the end, I was tired of the formula and able to more clearly think about what's so special about this album. To me, nothing at all. It's fine, but it's just that...fine.
Peter Frampton definitely has his place in the annals of classic rock. This was a big album. But, I think there's a reason it really took Frampton Comes Alive to propel him to stardom. There are some hits here, some catchy tunes, and some nice guitar playing. But the songwriting remains simple and cheesy. And aside from a few solid tunes, there's nothing to write home about.
Thu Nov 24 2022
All Hope Is Gone
I went through a metal phase in high school. At the peak of nu-metal, I was donning JNCO jeans, bead bracelets, dyed hair, and a bass guitar. Slipknot became relevant during this time and, of course, I loved them. I have a core memory of tailgating during a high school football game, blaring the self-titled album out of my car as some jocks and preps kept yelling at me to turn it down. I still cringe when remembering that today.
When I got assigned this album, I wondered: will Slipknot stand the test of time? I doubted it, but here we are to find out. The answer, it turns out, is that I'm not sure. This is Slipknot's 4th album, and it was released almost a decade after I was listening to them in my teens. While some of the classic Slipknot, noise metal sound was there (especially in the drums), this album ultimately fell flat for me . Even though I don't listen to much that's very heavy these days, I was disappointed in this one almost because it wasn't metal enough. The slower songs were just lame, and the heavy songs didn't pack enough of a punch. I dunno, I'm sure if I went back to the self-titled from 1999, I wouldn't love it, but I'm sure at least I'd understand why I thought it was great at the time.
Fri Nov 25 2022
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Since I grew up listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker's hits, I was pretty excited to hear their debut album. But, really the only memorable songs on here were the hits. The thing about Tom Petty is that his greatest hits rival most artists's best albums, but I can't think of a single Tom Petty album that I love from start to finish. There are some great ones, Wildflowers being my favorite, but every album seems to have just a few good songs. Don't get me wrong, he's a prolific musician, but this debut was pretty blah. 2.5 solely for Breakdown and American Girl, two of my all-time favorite classic rock songs.
Mon Jan 23 2023
I've always disliked Sting's music. It just seems so...lame. Like, fake bohemianism combined with cheesy lyrics and a commercialized sound, but I've never sat down and listened to a Police album. I figured..they've got some classic singles, and there are definitely some Police songs that I love ("Demolition Man" for example) so one of their highest rated albums must be good, right?
To say I was bored is an understatement. The lyrics are still cheesy, the guitar is kind of whatever, and while the bass is good, it just feels like Stewart Copeland's amazing drumming was wasted with The Police. I know that's just me, and many feel The Police is one of the all time great bands of the 80s (heck BBC called them the "biggest band in the world" which is insane considering the Talking Heads were recording at the exact same time.) Maybe The Police were huge, and I guess that's a good enough reason to put their albums on the list, but if that's the case, I'd call this one of the most overrated albums I've listened to yet.
Tue Jan 24 2023
Pretty great standard blues album. I just find the blues repetitive (like that first song...wow great riff but it just repeats the entire song). Muddy Waters is a pretty great soloist and I enjoyed most tunes but I don't see myself returning to this one.
Wed Jan 25 2023
Really great reggae album from start to finish. The only songs I knew going in were "Legalize It" and "Ketchy Shuby" but there are so many solid tracks here. In fact, I think the title track might be my least favorite of them all. It's a great message, especially considering the year it was released, but it's a repetitive song.
Thu Jan 26 2023
The Gilded Palace Of Sin
The Flying Burrito Brothers
At first I thought. "Well, this album definitely is NOT for me." But the more I got into it, I realized that while I didn't like the more country songs, I did enjoy some of the songs that got a bit psychedelic. They reminded me a lot of the Grateful Dead. Made me think of if the Beatles did country rock instead of pop rock. Not a bad album, but not necessarily one I really enjoyed or will return to. Not exactly sure why it's on the list either.
Fri Jan 27 2023
This is only the second jazz album I've gotten on here, and it's another 5-star album. I love the frenetic energy of this with the soulful Cuban drums. Truly every song is amazing from start to finish. I loved this album so much that when Spotify started playing recommended tracks when it finished, I just started it over. This will be a regular part of my jazz rotation from here on out.
Mon Jan 30 2023
Everytime a song would start I'd be reminded that I don't really like ZZ Top. Cringy lyrics, annoying vocals...just, no thanks. Then I'd get to the instrumental portion and think, "Hey this is pretty good!" Then either back to the cheesiness and the cycle would repeat. I guess I came away from this feeling ZZ Top has a place in rock and roll and can certainly play the guitar, but their overall vibe? Nah, I'm good. Didn't hate it, but this is a one and done for me.
Tue Jan 31 2023
3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of...
I'm getting sick of early 90s rap on this generator. I do really like hip hop, but I'm getting stuff Queen Latifah and Public Enemy and Gang Starr, which did not age well, when there's plenty of early 90s hip hop that absolutely slays like Tribe Called Quest, Notorious B.I.G., Nas.
This album fell somewhere inbetween. It was better than the stuff that shows it's age, but still not anything exception to my ears. Overall enjoyable, but not something I'll be returning to. Give me the good stuff!
Wed Feb 01 2023
(Pronounced 'Leh-'Nérd 'Skin-'Nérd)
I don't love this album as I'm not a huge fan of Skynyrd's hits, but who can hate this album? It's southern rock at its finest. Not really my thing, but the amount of big numbers on here is impressive.