Tag: Folk Pop

1966, Music

If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966) by The Mama’s and the Papa’s

Oof. Every so often you come across a hit album, be it a critical success or a popular success or both, which has aged really poorly. And the Mama’s and the Papa’s debut album has aged as poorly as their terrible use of the apostrophe in their band name.

1964, 1966, Music

Lightfoot! (1966) by Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot was born in 1938. He was relatively old when he released his debut album. And, though this shouldn’t matter, it’s really apparent in 1966, when this was released. Because something happened in the early ’60s after Lightfoot began his career, while he was refining his style, recording his debut but, importantly, well before …

1970, Music

Tea for the Tillerman (1970) by Cat Stevens

At his worst, Cat Stevens is like a sappier James Taylor (which is really saying something). But, at his best, he’s more musically interesting and ambitious than his bloodless contemporaries. My problem with this record is that he’s at his worst far more than he’s at his best.

2000, Music

Whoa, Nelly! (2000) by Nelly Furtado

I’ve paid basically no attention to Nelly Furtado. I was aware of her hits – and remember the hits from this record – but was otherwise utterly uninterested. Some of that has to do with my music tastes – specially my tastes when I was 19 – and some of that appears to have to …

1995, Music

Tigerlily (1995) by Natalie Merchant

If you had asked me what I knew of Natalie Merchant before I listened to this album, I would have told you I know she was the lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs and I know she’s a featured vocalist on a couple of the Mermaid Avenue songs. That’s it. Well, now I know better.

1975, Music

Between the Lines (1975) by Janis Ian

It sure feels like Janis Ian has been mostly forgotten all these years later. She was basically never mentioned in the various music things I consumed as a teen and my first exposure to her was the use of”At Seventeen” in an episode of The Simpsons. I don’t think I heard much about her again …

1995, Music

Pieces of You (1995) by Jewel

This album is pretty infamous among critics in part because the songs that would become hits Jewel a year and a half later had to be rerecorded before they became hits – according to more than one critic because they sound so bad here. I don’t really understand what they are talking about, to me …

1974, Music

Heart Like a Wheel (1974) by Linda Ronstadt

Despite her relative commercial success, I don’t know much about Linda Ronstadt or her music, beyond “You’re No Good” and maybe the odd other hit song that I’ve heard through the ether – oh and backing vocal guest appearances on Neil Young albums and elsewhere. So I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

1998, Music

White Ladder (1998) by David Gray

When I lived in rez, my neighbour played this record fairly frequently because he loved Dave Matthews and Dave Matthews put it out in the US. (He seems to have played it so much that, a few years later, I would insist that the men in my rez only liked DMB, Sublime and David Gray, …

1998, Music

The Boy With the Arab Strap (1998) by Belle and Sebastian

I have heard a lot about Belle & Sebastian over the years but I guess I never read anything that made me think that I needed to listen to them. Any time I read the word “twee” I certainly get the idea that I won’t like the music being described, whether or not that’s actually …

1988, Music

Sunshine on Leith (1988) by The Proclaimers

If you’re my age, or a little older, you’ve heard “I’m Gonna Be” more times than you could count. Depending on how you feel about this song, you may be pleasantly surprised by the rest of the album or severely disappointed.Because the thing is, there’s maybe one or two tracks on this album that come …

1988, Music

Tracy Chapman (1988)

Chapman’s self-titled album is the introduction of a strong new, one might even say necessary, voice. She offers what was likely a very unique perspective in late 1980s, that of a folk-singing African American woman. Excuse my ignorance but I’m not sure there was much precedent for her, even by 1988. (When I say folk, …

1973, Music

Diamond Girl (1973) by Seals and Crofts

I am fascinated, on some level, by bands that want to combine “soft rock” and pop with roots music because fundamentally they are two very different things. The whole point of roots music was to return to the pre-rock professionalism, which necessarily embraces the rough edges. But the essence of soft rock, and much if …

1968, Music

Bookends (1968) by Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel were one of the groups I listened to more than most when I was in my childhood/tween oldies phase. I want to blame that for why I have such a hard time with them as an adult but I think it’s mostly because I find Paul Simon to be perhaps the most …