Discussion in 'Community' started by Rogue1-and-a-half, Oct 7, 2014.
The Blues: Traditional Blues from the Heart of America (2002) – Various
So, this is the kind of compilation album you’ll find at your local box store in the bargain bin and, to the degree that there’s no real artistic vision here or any kind of rhyme or reason to the songs collected here, that’s where it belongs. But when it comes to the quality of what is here, it’s better than you’d expect. The sound quality is not bad, given that all of these songs are from the days of vinyl. I mean, it’s not wonderful, but it’s not bad. There are only ten tracks here, so the album is right about thirty minutes long. But it’s got appearances by the classics: Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie McTell, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Big Bill Broonzy . . . and no Robert Johnson for some reason. Some of them even have the most iconic song from those artists, in particular Charley Patton’s Down the Dirt Road Blues, Skip James’ Devil Got My Woman and Mississippi John Hurt’s Candy Man Blues. Some of the lesser known tracks are great as well though. I particularly liked Robert Wilkins’ That’s No Way to Get Along and Good Liquor Gonna Carry Me Down was a good Bill Broonzy track that I hadn’t heard before. So, this seems to kind of be a more or less randomized selection of old-school acoustic blues and, while it’s no exhaustive exploration of the genre, it’s undeniably a lot of fun and is basically all great music, start to finish. I’m sure all of these tracks are on better compilations and we could argue all day about who’s missing here and such. But, bottom line, these are ten great songs and the album just flies by. Sometimes the bargain bin has a lot to offer. 4 stars.
tl;dr – compilation album is short and features an odd collection of songs with no real artistic vision; but these are ten great songs and the sound quality is surprisingly good, so what can I say? 4 stars.
Def Leppard's Hysteria album. This week is the 33rd anniversary of its release. An absolute classic in my eyes, even after all these years I still notice little details in the production that I'd not noticed before.
Blade Runner 2049 OST. The atmosphere in this soundtrack is second to none. Brilliant stuff
I Don’t Want to Let You Down EP (2015) – Sharon Van Etten
It’s not my fault, it’s just my flaw
It’s who I am
You know it’s always been my heart
You know I always fall apart
I’m not really sure how I ended up with this five song EP from singer-songwriter Van Etten on my shelf. But it’s just kind of been there for years now and I never quite got around to pulling it down and giving it a spin, despite the fact that I like Van Etten quite a bit. Well, there was certainly no reason for me to wait this long. I’m on record as a guy who thinks a lot of albums are too long and also as a guy who thinks the EP format is its own particular art-form, so I was poised to like this, I suppose, but I ended up really loving it. The five songs here are just Van Etten in fine form, really sharp lyrically with an aesthetic that is sometimes folky, sometimes rocky and always pretty raw. I ended up just kind of letting the CD repeat after it went finished, listened through it a couple of times every time I listened to it. It’s a pretty emotionally dark set of songs, often hauntingly beautiful, but also pretty catchy. Van Etten’s just good at the craft of songwriting, I think, and this EP would function as a pretty good introduction to her, because, as far as I’m concerned, these aren’t in any sense “throwaways.” She hasn’t put together an EP of songs that just didn’t make the cut for a proper album; she’s crafted a short but beautiful little jewel of an EP, a bittersweet, emotionally vulnerable gem. 4 stars.
tl;dr – beautiful EP is more than just a collection of songs that didn’t make the cut for a “proper” album; vulnerable, beautiful, catchy, it’s a gem with an emotional depth that belies its length. 4 stars.
Stompin’ Grounds (1997) – The Kentucky Headhunters
On Stompin’ Grounds, the Kentucky Headhunters stay pretty well right where the title indicates: their home turf. Which is a more or less slickly produced southern-fried rock. This album sounds really good and it has a high energy level. The musicians and the producers aren’t breaking any new ground, but they’re right in a solid groove and this album will get your foot tapping and your head nodding along. Probably the only serious problematic element here is the lyrics, which are pretty dreadful. The first track, Neck of the Woods, features some clever song-writing with some nice country-music-style turns-of-phrase. But the rest of the album’s lyrics are pretty terrible. Let’s not even talk about Private Part, which has an endearing acoustic guitar riff, but downright made me cringe. The worst one is almost certainly See Rock City which features the lyric, “I wonder if they have coconuts down in old Tennessee.” I mean . . . maybe? Still, I’m more positive on this than I am mixed really, just because the music is really good and good music trumps most of the time; sometimes, of course, a really, really awful lyric can pull you out of a good backing track just because of what a clanger it is and that does happen hear a few times, unfortunately. Running Water is the best track, I think; it’s got an agreeably bluesy ZZ Top style and perfectly serviceable lyrics. Also a positive: the album clocks in at just over thirty-five minutes with eleven songs, meaning that none of the songs really overstay their welcomes, even the worst ones. This isn’t going to change your life, but it’s fun. 3 stars.
tl;dr – unsurprising, but well-executed, country-rock suffers from poor lyrical content, but it’s high energy, affable and entertaining. 3 stars.
Listening to Nirvana's Nevermind since today is the 29th anniversary of it's release, which seems crazy to me but I also barely remember a time where I didn't have this album. Anyways, saw some discussion asking what people's favorite track on the album is and I have to admit I'm having a hard time deciding. I understand the importance of Smells Like Teen Spirit but it's never been my favorite. I'm torn between Come As You Are, Polly, Breed, and In Bloom....
What about you guys, favorite Nevermind track?
I don't know, I think I have to be boring and go with Smells Like Teen Spirit if I have to pick. But that one-two-thee punch of Smells Like Teen Spirit-In Bloom-Come As You Are is one of the greatest rock album openings ever.
Absolutely, and SLTS is easily one of the top opening album tracks - just to clarify so that it doesn't come off as I don't like the song, I love it, just not my favorite Nirvana song.
I remember the first time I actually listened to the album being surprised all of those songs were on the same album, as a dumb 9 or 10 year old with little to no access to cable TV and just one local rock station I assumed all of those songs were from multiple albums, like when listening to a classic rock station. Had a similar reaction to Peal Jam's Ten.
GnR's Appetite for Destruction is another one of those "has more great songs than most bands' greatest hits compilations" albums.
"Come As You Are" would have to be my favorite song off of Nevermind.
Also, I can't hear "Smells Like Teen Spirit" without thinking of Weird Al's "Smells Like Nirvana".
Nevermind is a great album. I’ve always been partial to Drain You, Breed and Lounge Act. Maybe because they were less played.
Kiss - Sonic Boom
Deftones - Ohms
After several listens since its release this past Friday I can safely declare this to be yet another amazing release from one of my favourite bands. I don't know they keep doing it....they just don't miss. Standout tracks for me are Genesis, This Link Is Dead, Radiant City, and Ohms. But really the whole damn thing is great from start to finish.
From one underworld to another.
I am not at all what anyone would consider a Nirvana fan but Lounge Act is one of the most brilliant pieces of songwriting of that entire decade. Hellishly underrated from that album.
I agree about Lounge Act. That and Breed are probably my favorites on the album.
Chopin, complete Nocturnes, played by Brigitte Engerer
Fleet Foxes - Shore
What was a surprise just a couple weeks ago hearing they were working on one to hey, here it is all done!
An underrated album from the king of shock rock.
Those first four tracks add up to one of the best debut album openings ever.