Category: Music

2000, Music

Sing When You’re Winning (2000) by Robbie Williams

It is one of the strangest musical careers of our time, that Robbie Williams was perhaps the biggest star in the UK, for like nearly a decade, and was just a guy with some minor hits in North America. It’s something that has happened over and over and over again – with British stars failing …

2000, Music

The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (2000) by Wyclef Jean

Why are Wyclef’s albums so fucking long? I don’t know the answer but it feels like it’s not just a case of the ’90s album bloat. Here is a man with a lot of pretty decent material (arguably more than on his debut) who doesn’t seem to know how to present it to the world. …

1995, Music

Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot (1995) by Sparklehorse

My memory of Good Morning Spider, the only Sparklehorse record I’ve heard before this one, is that it was pretty harrowing stuff. That makes sense, given that part of it is about an overdose. But I guess I was expecting something similar. And though this record definitely has a “sad” vibe at times, I don’t …

1995, Music

Garbage (1995)

As I have said way too many times, I do not like post grunge. Usually, post grunge takes something I like and basically ruins it. However, Garbage avoid many of the most irritating aspects of post grunge, if you can even classify Garbage as post grunge. (In fact, that false categorization may explain why I …

1995, Music

Ben Folds Five (1995)

At some point during the last 30 or so years before this album’s release, the piano stopped being a rock instrument. That’s particularly weird given its primary in the creation of rock and roll, as it was piano and saxophone, before electric guitar, that helped create what became rock and roll (in part because they …

1990, Music

No Fences (1990) by Garth Brooks

I honestly thought Garth Brooks was a songwriter. I have a memory of channel-surfing and finding a show on which he and some other country songwriters were discussing songs they wrote. So I just assumed he wrote all or most of his material. Going by this album, his breakout hit, he doesn’t. (He co-writes 4 …

1990, Music

Persistence of Time (1990) by Anthrax

I have heard so much about Anthrax but somehow never heard them until today. I still remember reading about their debut in my Billboard book when I was a kid (or a tween), about how it was the fastest metal album ever (supposedly…according to Billboard) and not even knowing what metal was, just sort of …

1990, Music

Facelift (1990) by Alice In Chains

Alice in Chains are, to me, the least immediately appealing of the big Seattle grunge bands. I think that’s because they have the least catchy songs – though Cantrell is a good songwriter he is not necessarily a writer of particularly catchy songs. Though I do wonder how much of my experience of this band …

1990, Music

World Clique (1990) by Deee-Lite

Like you, I have heard “Groove Is In the Heart” a thousand times. Whether I want to or not, I know basically every note. But, unlike some (most?) of the people who bought this album I have never been a fan of dance music. And to the extent that I am welcoming of dance music, …

1985, Music

The Head on the Door (1985) by The Cure

My general appreciation of The Cure keeps running into problems. The problem is that I had their singles collections for years and listened to them fairly regularly but didn’t get around to their albums until recently. And now I listen to them haphazardly: one from the early ’80s here, one from the mid ’80s there, …

1980, Music

Give Me the Night (1980) by George Benson

Who is this album for, exactly? Is it for fans of scat singing? Is it for fans of smooth soul? Is it for fans of soul jazz? Is it not stupid to assume those groups of people overlap? Apparently it’s not as this album topped both the Soul and Jazz charts (ugh) and went to …

1975, Music

Atlantic Crossing (1975) by Rod Stewart

When going through Stewart’s solo early solo records I’m always wary that maybe this one will be the one in which he abandons his early sound for the money-chasing of his later career. But the truth is never so straight-forward and so I find myself listening to a record that manages to both sound close …

1970, Music

Spirit in the Dark (1970) by Aretha Franklin

This is particularly bluesy Aretha record, at least based on my very slight knowledge of her catalogue. Though it produced two hits, it infamously did relatively poorly as an album and, listening to it, it’s fairly easy to see why.

1970, Music

Close to You (1970) by Carpenters

I know the Carpenters by reputation and a few of their hits, only. The title track and a few other songs of theirs were big enough to find their way into pop culture. (For example, the title track has been used on The Simpsons.) Rockist orthodoxy has it that they are not very good – …

1965, Music

I Ain’t Marching Anymore (1965) by Phil Ochs

I came to Phil Ochs late, only because of the recommendation of a friend. (Thanks Derek!) Before that I had heard of his infamous live album, but that’s it. So this is my second Ochs album and, as usual, I am listening to his catalogue out of order. I mention all of this because my …

2000, Music

Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1

I don’t know if I can tell you who Jill Scott is, but I can tell you what she is: she’s ambitious. Scott wants us to both accept her as a very talented singer and a poet. That’s something very few people can pull off.

2000, Music

Parachutes (2000) by Coldplay

Imagine early Radiohead with none of the energy or edge (i.e. none of the alternative/grunge influences) and none of the aritness or idiosyncrasy, and imagine them playing mostly ballads (and the up-tempo songs are so soft they sound like ballads) and I guess you get some idea of what Coldplay sound like on their first …

1995, Music

E. 1999 Eternal (1995) by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

I have had a hard time getting into (and just plain getting) hip hop for basically my entire music-listening life. One of the major barriers to me has been rap – I am a fan of musicality in music, and rap is often not very musically interesting to me. This is especially true of early …

1995, Music

Dreaming of You (1995) by Selena

I remember the singles from the music videos and the ether, I guess, but that was a bit of a surprise to me. Frankly, all I remembered about Selena was that she died young. Like anyone who died young, there has been a lot of hagiographic “what if” since. But I’ve paid little attention to …

1995, Music

Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home (1995) by The Geraldine Fibbers

YES Where has this band been all my life? I read about them ages ago and I just took my sweet time getting to them. And for that, I’m sorry.

1995, Music

Not a Pretty Girl (1995) by Ani DiFranco

Ani had used bands at times before this record, despite her full, percussive guitar style that easily lends itself to solo performances. But on this record she decided to full band more of the time (to my memory) but by recording just her an her drummer.