Tag: Soft Rock

1986, Music

The Way It Is (1986) by Bruce Hornsby and the Range

I know basically nothing about Bruce Hornsby. I remember seeing his name on a Mix 99.9 ad on the subway in high school. And I know he toured with the Dead. That’s all I got.

1976, Music

A Night on the Town (1976) by Rod Stewart

Atlantic Crossing felt like the beginning of Stewart’s long decline from exciting rock and roll singer to raspy poor man’s Tony Bennett. But A Night on the Town finds him in a bit of a holding pattern. The problems of Atlantic Crossing are still here, as are some of the redeeming qualities of that album’s …

1976, Music

Turnstiles (1976) by Billy Joel

I have trouble putting into words how much I hate Billy Joel, especially late ’70s Billy Joel. Basically I don’t like anything about his music, though occasionally there will be something redeeming. And I’m getting to that point where I should be inured to him, where the animus should be wearing off. But it’s not.

1976, Music

Takin’ It to the Streets (1976) by The Doobie Brothers

A little while ago I wrote about a 1976 Boz Scaggs album where I wondered publicly if it was the birth of Yacht Rock. And then I thought, “no obviously that would have to be the Doobie Brothers, they were likely first.” Though I have not heard Stampede the first Michael McDonald Doobies album does …

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 …

1970, Music

Close to You (1970) by Carpenters

I know the Carpenters by reputation and a few of their hits, only. The title track and a few other songs of theirs were big enough to find their way into pop culture. (For example, the title track has been used on The Simpsons.) Rockist orthodoxy has it that they are not very good – …

1975, Music

One of These Nights (1975) by Eagles

I have an irrational hatred for the Eagles that was developed long before I could articulate why I hated them. Now the reasons are that I dislike the whole aesthetic of the Mellow Mafia (and their sheer dominance of American popular music in the 1970s) and I don’t like what they did to country rock. …

1970, Music

Elton John (1970)

Elton Johns self-titled second album

Elton John’s second album is an interesting combination of contrasting styles, with some of it sounding like classic Elton John and some of it sounding like he really doesn’t know what he wants to sound like. It sounds a lot like a debut to me in that it feels like he hasn’t quite found his …

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 …

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, …

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 …

1998, Music

White Ladder (1998) by David Gray

When I lived in rez, my neighbour played this record fairly frequently because he loved Dave Matthews and Dave Matthews put it out in the US. (He seems to have played it so much that, a few years later, I would insist that the men in my rez only liked DMB, Sublime and David Gray, …

1978, Music

52nd Street (1978) by Billy Joel

Full disclosure: I do not like Billy Joel. This is the third record of his I’ve listened to in the last year or so and I have liked exactly zero of them. Moreover, I don’t think I get Billy Joel. At all. I listen to this record and I don’t understand how there are 4/5 …

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 …

2016, Music

Hotel California (1976) by Eagles

Who is this record for? Clearly, it’s for a lot of people, as it sold somewhere between 20 and 30 million copies. But listening to it, I don’t know who it’s for. The rock tracks feel like they appeal to one group of people, and the sappy, over-produced soft rock ballads to another group. It’s …