Tag: Pop Rock

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 …

1990, Music

I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990) by Sinead O’Connor

Sinead’s second album is considerably more self-assured and even than her debut, though it’s lacking a bit of the energy of the debut and, also, the pure shock factor of a woman so young seeming like such a self-assured songwriter and performer. And like the debut, it hasn’t dated that well, but that’s sort of …

1980, Music

Glass Houses (1980) by Billy Joel

I read somewhere that this is supposed to be Joel’s “punk” album, not in that it sounds like punk that it is his response. I think that comes from a way too deep reading of the lyrics to “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, and if it is indeed his response to these trends …

1965, Music

The Beach Boys Today! (1965)

Well this is the moment when the Brian Wilson who has been endlessly celebrated by the music press truly emerges, at least in album form. Though the lyrical sophistication of these songs has been greatly exaggerated (to a degree I don’t think I can stress enough) the musical sophistication is leaps and bounds beyond most …

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 …

1980, Music

Get Happy!! (1980) by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

I don’t know Costello’s career as well as perhaps I should, given his sheer volume and his reputation as perhaps (British) New Wave’s preeminent songwriter. But I feel like I know it well enough to mark this as the first record when he began his genre-driving. It’s not as drastic as a departure as some …

1970, Music

Sweet Baby James (1970) by James Taylor

I don’t like James Taylor. But I’m not sure I knew that before listening to this album. I don’t think I’d ventured much of an opinion about him before, because he never seemed very interesting to me. I have a friend who likes him, and I think tried to get me into him at one …

1995, Music

The Rapture (1995) by Siouxsie and the Banshees

This is my first ’90s Banshees album and I must say I was a little reticent to give it a listen, for two reasons. For one thing, though I feel like their ’80s records have dated rather well for ’80s music, I must say I was worried that this record would sound pretty damn ’80s. …

1990, Music

Flood (1990) by They Might Be Giants

I was pretty overwhelmed by Lincoln and not necessarily in a good way. I had heard so much about the band but didn’t really know anything. On Lincoln they came across to me as a sort of poor mans’ Camper Van Beethoven, which probably not fair for many reasons. But I feel very differently about …

1999, Music

When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He’ll Win the Whole Thing ‘fore He Enters the Ring There’s No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might so When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won’t Matter, Cuz You’ll Know That You’re Right (1999) by Fiona Apple

I could have sworn to you that I had heard this record before; I thought I had heard all of hers. But I went to check my old review and there was no review nor any rating. And that begs a question: did I listen to this and forget to review and or even rate …

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.

1979, Music

Damn the Torpedoes (1979) by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

This is the Tom Petty I like – full of attitude and spunk, with a touch of meanness or bitterness. Like basically everyone, he mellowed out significantly with age, which is the version of him I’m much more familiar with.

1979, Music

Tusk (1979) by Fleetwood Mac

The number of times I’ve heard that Tusk is “experimental” in my life…well, if I had a dollar, I still wouldn’t be able to afford a down-payment on a house in Toronto, or anything, but maybe I could lease a car or something. The problem with pop music fans telling you that some pop album …

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 …

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 …

1994, Music

Cracked Rear View (1994) by Hootie and the Blowfish

The joke goes something like this: Q: What is the biggest selling album in history which nobody bought? A: Cracked Rear View. (Because everyone who bought it was so embarrassed by it later that they hid it and swore to their friends they never bought it, or sold it to the local used music store …

1964, Music

All Summer Long (1964) by The Beach Boys

I just listened to A Hard Day’s NIght for the nth time before listening to this record, because they both came out in the same month. And the problem with doing that is that the Beatles record makes All Summer Long sound like it is from another time; as if popular music has passed the …

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 …

1999, Music

Californication (1999) by Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Scar Tissue” was everywhere in the summer of 1999. The radio was always on at my work and so the song was always on. I fell in love with a girl at my work who loved “Scar Tissue.” And so I found myself torn between my love for this girl, who would sing along to …

1984, Music

Born in the U.S.A. (1984) by Bruce Springsteen

I understand why a lot of Boss fans love this record. More than any other record of his I’ve heard, this one has a (relative) lot of songs I know, and I generally avoid Springsteen as much as possible. There are at least four songs here which, to me, are among the most famous Springsteen …