Tag: Power Pop

1985, Music

Flip Your Wig (1985) by Hüsker Dü

Time can really change perception, especially when it comes to cultural artifacts. I have read online abbout how this is one of Hüsker’s great albums, perhaps even their best. But I don’t hear it. I don’t know if that’s because I haven’t sat down and listened to New Day Rising recently or whether it’s because …

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 …

2000, Music

All Hands on the Bad One (2000) by Sleater-Kinney

I like this band. I really like their aesthetic and I like their songs. But, at some point, I’ve come to realize that they are an AC/DC type band rather than a band that is concerned with making big artistic strides on each record. (I should probably pick a bett4er comparison given AC/DC’s lyrics, but …

1995, Music

I Should Coco (1995) by Supergrass

Every couple of years – hell, sometimes more than once a year – a new British band comes along that sounds like many previous British bands, but just different enough to sound “new” to enough people, and the British music press and some of their public lose their fucking minds over them. The band makes …

2000, Music

Figure 8 (2000) by Elliott Smith

I think Elliott Smith is a good songwriter. As I have said when reviewing his other albums, I really don’t get the idea that he is one of the great songwriters of his generation, but he’s certainly very good. His songs are a little too poppy for my tastes, but I can at least appreciate …

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 …

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 …

1984, Music

All Over the Place (1984) by The Bangles

So many of my impressions of ’80s bands with only a couple of hits have been formed by those hits, and so I often find myself encountering a band with strong preconceived notions and finding them just blasted apart by albums. I don’t know if I’m alone in thinking “Walk Like an Egyptian” is gimmicky …

1974, Music

Kimono My House (1974) by Sparks

Sparks is one of those bands with such a big cult following that you inevitably encounter someone who loves them. I have, at some point, but it wasn’t a friend, just people on the internet. Reading a lot about a band always gives one impressions, and those impressions are often wrong. So it was with …

1978, Music

Outlandos d’Amour (1978) by The Police

The Police’s debut album is a bouncy energetic thing, with way better than you’d expect musicianship for their music scene and the kind of performances you would require from that same scene. Much of what initially captivated people about this band, present on this album, would disappear by the end of their career.

1978, Music

Parallel Lines (1978) by Blondie

My dad bought a Blondie compilation sometime in my teens. It was a double disc. So I feel like, to the extent I know Blondie, it is through that compilation. Had he bought it 10 years earlier, I would likely know all their hits very well. Alas, he bought it a few years before my …

1998, Music

Stunt (1998) by Barenaked Ladies

You can count me among the many (millions?) of Canadians who were shocked by the success of this record in the USA when it came out. To me, Barenaked Ladies were a comedy novelty act who had some funny songs and videos, which I had mostly grown out of by the time this record came …

1993, Music

Altered Beast (1993) by Matthew Sweet

When I was a teen, I didn’t get Matthew Sweet. He had the odd video on Much Music and those videos made no impression on me. But some people in the media (and probably even some people I knew) spoke about him as if he was…someone, as if he had done something in the time …

1978, Music

The Cars (1978)

The Cars’ debut album marks the point where, for better or worse, New Wave goes commercial. Basically very previous (American) New Wave album was too arty, too quirky, too herky jerky to connect with the average listener. But Ocasek and company found how to merge New Wave with that basic American need for big dumb …