Category: Music

1994, Music

Ruby Vroom (1994) by Soul Coughing

Beginning sometime in the mid to late ’80s, there was a curious trend in the UK where a bunch of white guys began to appropriate much of the music of hip hop to make music that was, mostly, decidedly not hip hop. This music has very little rap in it (sometimes absolutely none) and had …

1989, Music

Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)

I’ll be honest. I have no idea what the state of R&B was in 1989, outside of Michael Jackson and Prince. (And, I guess, Whitney Houston’s early hits.) It’s a genre I never spent much time with once you get past the early ’70s. Well, until very recently, anyway. So I really don’t have the …

1984, Music

War and Pain (1984) by Voivod

I had heard the name Voivod a bunch before I listened to this record. And I think I had always heard them mentioned as a thrash metal band. But somehow, right before I listened to this, I read they were a speed metal band. And though I think I knew that was wrong, that primed …

1984, Music

I Often Dream of Trains (1984) by Robyn Hitchcock

A few months ago I was listening to one of Robyn Hitchcock’s ’90s records – Jewels for Sophia – and I was completely uninterested in it. I’m not sure if it was actually boring, but it definitely sounded out of time (and conservative) compared to what was being made at the time. It seemed like …

1984, Music

Forever Young (1984) by Alphaville

I don’t love synthpop and I approach these records with trepidation unless I already know the bands. (Sometimes even if I know the band.) It’s just not my thing and it has to really stand out for me to care that much. Usually I prefer when a synthpop band has a broader palette than just …

1984, Music

Powerslave (1984) by Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden are a little like the AC/DC of NWOBHM. At least they are to my ears. Once they dispatched their original lead singer, their sound really settled into place. And the listener is left with a lot of animals that, on the surface, sound very similar to each other. The distinguishing feature from album …

1979, Music

154 (1979) by Wire

Perhaps the shock has warn off. Chairs Missing is so different from Pink Flag – not to mention it helped invent a genre – that one sort of expected a similar leap between Chairs Missing and this record. I’m not trying to say they’re that similar, but they’re certainly more similar than I had been …

1979, Music

Solid State Survivor (1979) by Yellow Magic Orchestra

This is some shockingly ’80s-sounding discofied synthpop. It feels like it’s miles ahead of the British synthpop bands. And if I didn’t know about Kraftwerk’s existence I might be tempted to claim it’s the birth of synthpop. But frankly I don’t have the context to properly assess music like this. When it comes to the …

1979, Music

Cut (1979) by The Slits

I am having a hard time thinking of this band as something more than “not the Raincoats” or “lesser Raincoats”. And that’s utterly ridiculous. A quick google will demonstrate that this album came out two months before the Raincoats’ debut album. And it’s not either band’s fault that I have listened to multiple Raincoats albums …

1979, Music

Join Hands (1979) by Siouxsie and the Banshees

The problem with listening to much of band’s catalogue before listening to their early records is that those early records inevitably sound primitive or immature (or both) in comparison. And that was very much my first impression of this record when I listened to it, as if I was listening to the Banshees before they …

1979, Music

The Pleasure Principle (1979) by Gary Numan

Gary Numan’s debut album continues where Tubeway Army’s final album left off; basically it feels like it’s nearly the logical conclusion of what their second album suggested: a fusion of Synthpop and New Wave that sounds far more like New Wave than virtually all other Synthpop music of the time.

1974, Music

Crime of the Century (1974) by Supertramp

Before I knew what Prog Rock was, Supertramp was just a band on classic rock radio that I didn’t exactly love. Once I figured out what Prog Rock was, they became this caricature for me – my friends who hated prog hated it because they hated Supertramp but, to me, Supertramp wasn’t prog at all, …

2019, Music

Hootie and the Blowfish Live at the Budweiser Stage August 29, 2019

You read that right. Last night, I went to see Hottie and the Blowfish. The band I wrote this review about. I went because my girlfriend wanted to go. I hadn’t been to the Molson Amphitheatre Budweiser Stage in so long I almost forgot what it was like. It seems they have made it a …

1974, Music

Good Old Boys (1974) by Randy Newman

I have long struggled to “get” Randy Newman, often finding the contrasts in tone within a single record, and the excessive arrangements, to be far more of a problem than his voice. (I assume his voice is the thing that keeps most people from enjoying him.) But I was listening to an episode of the …

1999, Music

Fly (1999) by Dixie Chicks

This is my second Dixie Chicks album and I feel like I just basically feel the same way about it. That’s a frustrating experience for me because I feel like I should have some kind of new take. Moreover, given the general feelings of fans that this is (slightly?) inferior to Wide Open Spaces, I …

1994, Music

Definitely Maybe (1994) by Oasis

Loud electric guitars had been missing from British radio for a long, long time by the early 1990s. With the exception of U2 and the Smiths and a few other bands, there hadn’t been much popular guitar-based music for much of the previous decade. And when guitar-based music appeared, it often had synthesizers, gated drums …

1994, Music

Mars Audiac Quintet (1994) by Stereolab

I don’t love Stereolab’s shtick though I get why lots of people do. So my mileage with them varies in so much as I can convince myself that the album is either important (because they probably pioneered their particular fusion) or how ti compares to the other albums of theirs I’ve managed to get around …

1994, Music

Living Under June (1994) by Jann Arden

Before I get to my review, I just wanted to mention that my experience of this album was disrupted. I was listening to it on Google Play but when I went back for my second listen it had just disappeared. Vanished without a trace. I assume the licensing agreement expired but I don’t know what …

1979, Music

Drums and Wires (1979) by XTC

I maintain that the Atlantic created a pretty different sonic difference between American and British New Wave and and, later, American and British Post Punk. With New Wave that gulf is so big that it almost feels silly to call them the same genre; compare to Elvis Costello or the Police to Pere Ubu and …

1979, Music

Off the Wall (1979) by Michael Jackson

I was listening to this record and I was struck once again by the fact that I just don’t like Michael Jackson. I was so struck by this that I posted a crude joke about him on my podcast’s social media which I will refrain from including in this review because it’s both not the …

1974, Music

New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974) by Leonard Cohen

This record has the reputation of being the moment when Cohen switched up the way his songs were arranged. But though there is some truth to that, it doesn’t bother me anywhere near how I imagined it would, which might have something to do with my imagining what it sounded like before I listened to …

1974, Music

Perfect Angel (1974) by Minnie Riperton

Jimbo: Not that sure. I think we better come up with a backup plan. Uhh, let’s see here. Hey, bookie! Wha- what’s the halftime show gonna be?Bookie: You haven’t heard?! John Stamos’ older brother Richard Stamos is gonna sing ‘Loving You’.Ned: I love that song.Jimbo: ‘Loving You’? That’s perfect! Come on Ned, Middle Park’s gonna …

1969, Music

Monster Movie (1969) by The Can

Like most people, I am coming to CAN’s first album (as The Can) having listened to their peak motorik albums many, many times. I’ve treated this one like the first child given up for adoption or something, only getting around to looking for it well after I became a fan of the band.

1964, Music

Where Did Our Love Go (1964) by The Supremes

A lot of Motown albums don’t hold up that well 55 years later, as many of them if not most of them are sort of built the same way that rock and roll albums of the ’50s were built – a bunch of hit singles, their b-sides and then a bunch of dross that was …