Pretty on the Inside (1991) by Hole

Categories: 1991 and Music.

This is a noisy, abrasive set of songs which manages to be significantly more noisy than most of the other grunge bands of the era, at least on record.. That feels like even more of an accomplishment given the expectations around a female-fronted band at the time. I can’t say that I love the songs all that much, but I appreciate the seeming unwillingness to compromise (which seems to have been revealed as something very different through interviews). Pretty great stuff. 8/10 Read More

Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (1991) by Mudhoney

Categories: 1991 and Music.

This is a strong, particularly grungy grunge record, with a bit more of a roots feel than some of the other grunge records from the period. I really like the aesthetic – especially because it is a little more musically diverse than I was expecting – but I find the songs not quite up to par compared to some of the other major grunge bands. (For example, Ten has way better songs but has dated horribly compared to this record.) Maybe I’ll come to like the songs more in time, but I still like the record a lot and I Read More

Temple of the Dog (1991)

Categories: 1991 and Music.

I have generally liked Cornell’s songs more than not and he has a good voice. But there’s an earnestness (for lack of a better word) to his music that can be unappealing. He can, at times, sound like he should have been belting out classic rock songs instead of grunge. When Soundgarden is around to hide his over-singing and to give a little more muscle to his songs, I have zero problem with Cornell. The problems emerge, for me, when he is backed by a softer band. For example, though I didn’t mind Audioslave’s first hit (am I the only Read More

Lightning Bolt (2013) by Pearl Jam

Categories: 2013 and Music.

After Backspacer I was ready to give up. Most of my friends who like Pearl Jam were too. But I heard “Mind Your Manners” and I was willing to give it a chance, as this sounded significantly more energized – and less obviously trendy – than the music from the previous album. So I finally found my way to it and all I can say is that, while at least some of it feels more energized than Backspacer, it again feels like lesser Pearl Jam, and not really worthy of much attention after I finish my usual three listens. Though Read More

Farm (2009) by Dinosaur Jr.

Categories: 2009 and Music.

I love this record. It’s everything I hoped it would be. I have a somewhat irrational fear of reunions and particular a fear of reunions that last. There seems something inherently wrong in rock music being performed by old(er) people, especially when those old(er) people are trying to recapture their lost youth. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older now too, or what, but the reunions of all the great ’80s and ’90s bands seem far less offensive to me than the reunions of ’60s and ’70s band which occurred (recurred?) in the ’80s and ’90s. But I was Read More

From the Muddy Banks of Wishkah by Nirvana (Geffen 1996)

Categories: 1996 and Music.

Most – or at least a majority of – live albums are compilations. It is fairly rare when an album is just a show (though the most famous – and best – live rock album in history is from one show, but that is the exception not the rule); far more often they are tour albums. Unless of course we’re talking about Pearl Jam. For tour albums, some engineer (with or without the band) compiles the best versions of each song and edits them together as a performance. It’s often pretty effective. But when performances are culled from a career, Read More

In Utero by Nirvana (Geffen 1993)

Categories: 1993 and Music.

This is, to my ears, a significant improvement on their most famous album. First off, its better produced! Hooray! Much of the gloss is gone, thank science. Second, the songs are generally more mature. We still get a healthy dose of sentiments I can’t relate too but there are far more I can. And there’s diversity in the music (well there was on Nevermind to an extent, but there’s much more here)! It makes me happy. I like this a lot more. I’m not sure I like it quite as much as their horribly named final album but it’s pretty Read More