Tag: Pop Rock

1970, Music

Stephen Stills (1970)

Though I became kind of obsessed with Manassas’ debut album and Super Session back in the day, Stills is the last of CSNY for me, in terms of listening to proper solo albums. Some of that is accidental (or technical, depending upon how you feel about Manassas). But some of that is also because, though …

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 …

1980, Music

Dirty Mind (1980) by Prince

Like so many artists’ early work, I’ve come to this Prince album backwards. And I suspect that a lot of my issues with it come from all the later Prince I’ve heard. Because, on first listen, this record just sounded like Prince in utero or, um, proto Prince.

1975, Music

Rock of Westies (1975) by Elton John

Based upon the title, the cover, and the presence of “Island Girl”, I thought this was going to be John’s Caribbean record. (I thought “westies” meant “West Indies”; I didn’t know it was a spoonerism.) So colour me surprised by (most of) the actual content.

1970, Music

Tumbleweed Connection (1970) by Elton John

Try as I might, I cannot fall in love with Elton John’s music. I have listened to many of his records at this point – basically only from the ’70s – and I have quite liked one of them. The others don’t really connect with me yet and this one is just another of those.

1970, Music

Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

I honestly had no idea this was an album first. I think because it has been so successful as a property I just assumed it had to have been a musical. But, instead, it was an album. And, as a result, it got reviewed as an album. (And, hilariously, it was banned in some countries …

1995, Music

The Gold Experience (1995) by O(+>

I can’t claim to know Prince’s catalogue that well, especially since the ’80s. So you can’t take what I say as gospel. But, listening to this, I’m inclined to agree with the critical consensus that says it’s his best record of the ’90s (or one of them). There may well be better ones, of course, …

1990, Music

Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990) by George Michael

More than his debut album, this record strikes me as the work of a singer-songwriter, one who also happens to be an incredibly dynamic performer, and a multi-instrumentalist. I’ve only listened to Faith a couple of times, but this feels more personal. And I must say I like it more. As an aside: the fact …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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

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.

1985, Music

The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985) by Sting

Sting’s songwriting grew leaps and bounds while The Police were together. But what grew more was his musical palette, as the police moved from a band that played one style of music (essentially poppy art punk-reggae) to a variety of styles. The Police basically never really got along with each other but, at some point, …

1975, Music

Main Course (1975) by Bee Gees

This album is considered a bit of a landmark in the Bee Gees catalogue because it marks the transition (or the beginning of the transition?) from their earlier baroque pop sound to their disco sound, as well as the introduction of Barry’s falsetto. This is as far as I know one of their albums.Personally, I’m …

1980, Music

Joan Jett aka Bad Reputation (1980)

Joan Jett was pretty young when she made this record – only 19 or 20 – but it sounds like it was made by someone 10 years her senior. That’s often a compliment but it’s not here: like so many punk-adjacent albums of the late ’70s and early ’80s, this one is obsessed with the …

1975, Music

Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy (1975) by Elton John

I keep having the same experience over and over again with artists I’m relatively unfamiliar with, like Elton John: I listen to 2 or 3 or 4 albums and I’m unimpressed and then I get to like the 5th album (or sometimes even the 6th) and I have some kind of epiphany and suddenly worry …

1985, Music

Around the World in a Day (1985) by Prince and The Revolution

I suspect the degree to which I like this album is heavily influenced by the narrative around it, and my lack of engagement with that narrative. Prince is a known iconoclast when I’m listening to this record for the first time. He’s done things such as change his stage name and fail to release completed …

1980, Music

Empty Glass (1980) by Pete Townshend

The story goes that Townshend was writing songs for both this album and the subsequent Who album and Daltrey at least feels like Townshend kept most of the good material for himself and gave the band the less good stuff. (I should point out I’ve never bothered with Face Dances because one thing I don’t …