Tag: Singer Songwriter

1968

Aerial Ballet (1968) by Nilsson

Nilsson is just one of those guys I don’t get. I have listened to a few of his records now and every time my reaction is “This is what Nilsson sounds like?” You see, I am not really a fan of pop, and though this music is relatively adventurous – I stress the “relatively” as …

1993, Music

Exile in Guyville (1993) by Liz Phair

Many years ago, after hearing way too many times that Exile in Guyville is a song-by-song response to Exile on Main St. I listened to this right around the time I was obsessed with that Stones album. I listened to this once, didn’t hear a song-by-song response, and decided it was one of the most …

1993, Music

There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You (1993) by Palace Brothers

The impact of this record is dimmed a lot by time and by familiarity with Will Oldham’s career. Apparently this was initially released without credits and the sense of mystery that and the music contained herein created probably has a lot to do with this record’s reputation and the launching of Oldham’s career (as Palace …

Music

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) by Bruce Springsteen

Sometimes I feel like I go on and on about how I think Springsteen is overrated. At least a little of that is because I feel like I have to compensate for all the rock critics who told people Springsteen “saved rock and roll music from disco” or whatever the fuck. But part of that …

1978, Music

Peter Gabriel [Scratch] (1978)

Because of the nature of the collaboration – my favourite guitarist, Robert Fripp, produced this record – I had sort of viewed this record as the holy grail of early Peter Gabriel records, in spite of the lukewarm reviews. I had just assumed that, whenever I got to it, I would discover this incredible mixture …

1973, Music

A White Sport Coat and Pink Crustacean (1973)

I gave a listen to Down to Earth recently, as I figured that I should give the infamous Jimmy Buffett a listen for the podcast, given his longevity, his popularity and his notoriety. But I read that he had essentially disowned that album – it is a pretty conventional singer-songwriter album that does not give …

1968, Music

Randy Newman Creates Something New (1968)

For someone with my oft-stated supposed ability to tolerate weird, unconventional voices, I sure seem to struggle with them lately. On first listen to this record, I thought about dropping it, as I wasn’t sure I could deal with the 1968 iteration of Randy Newman’s legendarily unconventional voice.

1988, Music

Melissa Etheridge (1988)

I know virtually nothing about the history of queer/LGBT performers and especially singer-songwriters in popular music. Depending upon how you feel about the queerness of David Bowie or Freddie Mercury, I may know absolutely nothing. So I don’t truly know how much of a landmark this record is, by a woman who was out, if …

1998, Music

Before These Crowded Streets (1998) by Dave Matthews Band

I have always been the kind of person to go left when everyone else was going right, when it comes to cultural things. If a song is everywhere, it’s pretty much guaranteed I won’t like it. If a movie is getting celebrated a little too much, I want to not like it. What does this …

1988, Music

Tracy Chapman (1988)

Chapman’s self-titled album is the introduction of a strong new, one might even say necessary, voice. She offers what was likely a very unique perspective in late 1980s, that of a folk-singing African American woman. Excuse my ignorance but I’m not sure there was much precedent for her, even by 1988. (When I say folk, …

1988, Music

Viva Hate (1988) by Morrissey

One of my reasons for my antipathy towards Morrissey (and the Smiths) is the music, and I must say the music here is much artier and weirder than I was expecting. (I think we can thank Vini Reilly for that. He’s a musically interesting guy in ways that Street and Morrissey normally are not.)

1973, Music

Diamond Girl (1973) by Seals and Crofts

I am fascinated, on some level, by bands that want to combine “soft rock” and pop with roots music because fundamentally they are two very different things. The whole point of roots music was to return to the pre-rock professionalism, which necessarily embraces the rough edges. But the essence of soft rock, and much if …

1968, Music

Bookends (1968) by Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel were one of the groups I listened to more than most when I was in my childhood/tween oldies phase. I want to blame that for why I have such a hard time with them as an adult but I think it’s mostly because I find Paul Simon to be perhaps the most …

1978, Music

Easter (1978) by Patti Smith Group

I struggle with Patti Smith; she’s one of those artists I think I should like, not just because of received opinion but because the things she does are things I supposedly like. But for some reason I have this barrier. I think it comes from how I first heard her.

1973, Music

A Wizard A True Star (1973) by Todd Rundgren

If you’re like me, you wished that Something/Anything?could have been, well, weirder. Or, if not weirder, at least more varied. I personally find that the record doesn’t quite live up to its reputation for weirdness and variety. Well, be careful what you wish for.

1968, Music

Eli and the 13th Confession (1968) by Laura Nyro

I was barely aware of Nyro when I listened to this record – I had heard her name, likely from seeing it listed in credits and mentioned here and there I guess, but I didn’t know what I was in for.

1988, Music

I’m Your Man (1988) by Leonard Cohen

So many of these songs have made it into the broader culture – either through covers or through the songs actually getting played places I would hear them – that I actually thought I had heard this record before. I can’t find any record of that, but I sure got a sense of musical deja …

1978, Music

The Kick Inside (1978) by Kate Bush

The problem with starting mid-career with an artist is that you kind of assume what they sound like in their maturity or prime is how they’ve always sounded. I started with The Dreaming, a record that knocked me out. It was pretty damn unlikely that Bush’s debut would stand up to it. And I certainly …

1973, Music

Lifemask (1973) by Roy Harper

Lifemask finds Harper pulled in two different directions after Stormcock, which I assume is his best album; on the one hand retreating from its ambitious format on side A but doubling down on side B. The arrangements are also more elaborate, on the whole, than on that previous record.

1998, Music

Mark Hollis (1998)

Given how world-changing the final Talk Talk albums were, I guess we could be forgiven that Holli’s solo debut (and only record to this point) would somehow also be world-changing. I think there’s a natural desire for us to believe that artistic innovators will always be innovative, and always to the degree that they were …

1983, Music

Trouble in Paradise (1983) by Randy Newman

Most people who are not fans of Randy Newman seem to be put off by his voice. (Though given his prominence lately, and given the sheer proliferation of unique voices, I think that he sounds a lot less weird than he did when he first starting releasing music.)

1978, Music

Excitable Boy (1978) by Warren Zevon

My only previous experience with Warren Zevon is Sentimental Hygiene. An idiosyncratic songwriter backed by REM – I thought it was going to be really up my alley. But, alas, I really don’t love that record. It was enough to put me off listening to him again. So I find myself listening to this record …