Tag: Pop Soul

2016, Music

Lemonade (2016) by Beyoncé

Despite her ubiquity, I have never listened to Beyoncé solo album. Years ago, I listened to two Destiny’s Child albums which were better than I thought they would be. Needless to say, we’re a long way from there. (Obligatory mention of the fact that, if Beyoncé is the age she says she is, we’re exactly …

2023, Movies

Wham! (2023, Chris Smith)

This is a fascinating documentary about the British pop duo. Wham! does nothing for me and I can imagine younger me even having some ill will towards them – they are basically anti punk in ethos. (The one album of theirs I’ve heard is way too wannabe Motown for me.) But their story is far …

2021, Movies

Summer of Soul (2021, Questlove)

I have been reading about popular music history since almost before I can remember. Before I had the internet, I had a Billboard book that I read and re-read for some reason. And, once I had the internet, and AllMusic, among other websites, I read everything I could about every artist and genre I had …

1986, Music

Back in the High Life (1986) by Steve Winwood

Traffic are one of those bands I want to love more than I actually do. They’re one of those bands who might have been All Time great had they just had a great songwriter. There are so many moments in their music that I get really excited about, but then the quality of the songs …

1996, Music

Older (1996) by George Michael

This is my third George Michael album, in addition to at least one Wham album, and I can say, without doubt, that I’ve never liked his aesthetic. But he often makes up for that with his talent, as a performer (not just a great singer but as a versatile instrumentalist, and some who commits), as …

1995, Music

Daydream (1995) by Mariah Carey

I’m on my fourth ish Mariah Carey album. And, with listening to her actual albums, I’ve come to believe she may be the most technically gifted female vocalist in pop or R&B. (I might go even further than that.) With every album of hers I listen to, I become more and more convinced that she …

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 …

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 …

1965, Music

More hits by The Supremes (1965)

You know what tells your audience you value them? Leading off your latest album with the last song from your previous (non-tribute) LP. But when the inner voice of self-criticism tells you that maybe you shouldn’t to do that you say to yourself “But hey, this is a new mix that they don’t have yet!”

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 …

1965, Music

Dance Party (1965) by Martha and the Vandellas

Dance Party by Martha and the Vandellas

This album has the reputation as being the group’s best, but I have no idea if that’s true or not, as it’s my first experience of the group in LP form. (I know their hits from oldies radio.) This album contains three of the group’s biggest hits – at least one of which had been …

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 …