Tag: Adult Contemporary

1980, Music

Guilty (1980) by Barbra Streisand

I feel like I grew up with people making fun of these two. I was still an impressionable teenager when I first encountered Mecha-Streisand. And, though the only Barry Gibb impersonation I can think of is relatively recent (i.e. I was an adult when I saw it), I feel like I must have been exposed …

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 – …

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 …

1985, Music

No Jacket Required (1985) by Phil Collins

The more I listen to Phil Collins’ solo work – and, to a lesser extent, post-Gabriel Genesis – the more I have come to respect him, both as a performer and, especially, as a songwriter songwriter. His sense of melody is really strong and his lyrics are definitely above average. I know from Genesis that …

1999, Music

Rainbow (1999) by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey might be the best female pop singer of all time, if we go by technical ability. (I say ‘female’ not to perpetuate gender divisions but only to distinguish her from the man I consider the greatest popular music vocalist in history, who is not female.) It’s this record that has brought me to …

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 …

1999, Music

Supernatural (1999) by Santana

When this record came out I was just starting to get into the less popular ’60s bands. I was familiar with Santana’s biggest songs from that era, but no their albums. I would get their a few years later and listening to those albums would confirm my impression of this record’s hits: this was a …

1984, Music

Private Dancer (1984) by Tina Turner

For my entire album-listening life I’ve struggled with interpretative records (i.e. albums where every song is a cover or, at least, not written by the performer) which didn’t explicitly market themselves as covers record. I think I have struggled with this kind of music so much because of the music I listened to in my …

1994, Music

The Lion King Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1994) by Elton John, Tim Rice, Hans Zimmer et al.

I don’t normally review soundtracks. But occasionally the anniversary of a soundtrack comes up, when the soundtrack was so big, and so culturally relevant to a generation, that to ignore it would be against the purpose of my podcast. So here I am. This one has a lot of baggage.

1997, Music

Come On Over [Original Version] (1997) by Shania Twain

In Canada we have “Canadian Content” rules that necessitates radio DJs (and music video VJs!) play 35% Canadian music. As a Canadian alive in 1997, I have heard at least 7 of these songs ad nauseum. This album was gigantic in the US, yes, but I’m not sure it was as omnipresent as it was …

1992, Music

The Future (1992) by Leonard Cohen

At this point I still haven’t heard much Leonard Cohen. It feels like it’s this gaping hole in my musical knowledge, particularly given that I am also Canadian. Now that he is dead, it feels like I really failed to give him his due in his lifetime, given that he is one of the Great …

1987, Music

Faith (1987) by George Michael

I have never had any desire to listen to George Michael. Nothing about his music has ever really struck me. I find myself listening to this record only because of my podcast. It’s a weird combination of cheese and kitsch with earnestness and bravado. As someone who has only recently started (seriously) listening to music …

1982, Music

Lionel Richie (1982)

I do not like Lionel Richie’s aesthetic: he is slick and sappy at the same time. That is a recipe for disaster, in my eyes (ears). But Richie has a rather incredible knack for melody. These songs are catchy, but it’s not just that. Some of his melodies for the ballads are super compelling, they …

1987, Music

Whitney (1987) by Whitney Houston

This is one of the most commercially successful albums of its era, so I guess that’s why I felt I had to listen to it. But if I learned one thing from this album, it’s that the things that I like about music and the things that most consumers like about music are not the …

2016, Music

Hotel California (1976) by Eagles

Who is this record for? Clearly, it’s for a lot of people, as it sold somewhere between 20 and 30 million copies. But listening to it, I don’t know who it’s for. The rock tracks feel like they appeal to one group of people, and the sappy, over-produced soft rock ballads to another group. It’s …