Tag: Soul

1991, Music

Blue Lines (1991) by Massive Attack

Is this the first ever trip hop album? My limited research suggests that yes, it absolutely is. There may have been some “Bristol sound” singles that presaged this record but nobody seems to have produced an LP. So, whatever you think of this album, and whatever you think of the term “trip hop,” there’s this …

1971, Music

Al Green Gets Next to You (1971)

It took me a little big to “get” Al Green. Years ago, I knew “Let’s Stay Together” and maybe nothing else. And the first album of his I heard struck me as “slick” (though, admittedly, only in relation to like Otis or someone like that). Since that time I’ve basically flipped on him, and now …

1995, Music

Soul Food (1995) by Goodie Mob

So record that has a song that lent its name to a style of music is probably a pretty deal, right? “Dirty South” has become the name of a sub-genre of hip hop, sometimes considered synonymous with southern hip hop, sometimes not, which was a pretty big deal at some point. So I feel safe …

1965, Music

Going to a Go-Go (1965) by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

This record is reputed by some to be the best Miracles record out there. I have no idea if that is true because I’m pretty sure this is my first ever Miracles record. And given that I have no intention of listening to every Miracles record, I guess I just have to take it on …

1970, Music

Sex Machine (1970) by James Brown

One of the things you discover when you start wading into Jame’s Brown’s immense discography is that there is just so much stuff; it is kind of overwhelming and very hard to really evaluate. Is record 15 way better than record 25 or record 35 or record 45 or record 55? Who’s listened to even …

1965, Music

Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965)

If the previous album lacked for name material, Otis certainly fixed that problem on this record: he covers some really big tracks including two big Sam Cooke hits (and another Cooke song), “My Girl” and “Satisfaction”. And to it, he adds his growing ability as a songwriter, particularly with the original (and inferior) version of …

1970, Music

Spirit in the Dark (1970) by Aretha Franklin

This is particularly bluesy Aretha record, at least based on my very slight knowledge of her catalogue. Though it produced two hits, it infamously did relatively poorly as an album and, listening to it, it’s fairly easy to see why.

2000, Music

Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1

I don’t know if I can tell you who Jill Scott is, but I can tell you what she is: she’s ambitious. Scott wants us to both accept her as a very talented singer and a poet. That’s something very few people can pull off.

1995, Music

Brown Sugar (1995) by D’Angelo

So I sat down to write this thinking I was going to write something and then I skimmed some reviews and saw this record categorized as “smooth soul” and it got me thinking: this record sure didn’t strike me as “slick” or “smooth” when I listened to it. Why did it strike others that way?

1980, Music

Searching for the Young Soul Rebels (1980) by Dexys Midnight Runners

If, like me, you are born after this record came out, you likely know one and only song by this band, “Come on Eileen”. (In North America, anyway. Their other biggest hit, the one from this record, was not a hit here.) Moreover, you’ve heard that song so much that you hate it and the …

1975, Music

Why Can’t We Be Friends? (1975) by War

This is my second ever War album but I didn’t remember The World is a Ghetto until I looked up my review. I was going to say they reminded me a little of Earth, Wind and Fire on this one, but not that much. (In the sense of combining ballads and funk on the same …

1975, Music

The Heat Is On (1975) by The Isley Brothers

When a band attempts more than one style, I usually prefer when they mix things up in the sequence. I find the “one side this, other side that” a bit annoying. I’m not sure why I don’t like it, but it bothers me enough that I often find myself docking a point for sequencing like …

1975, Music

Steppin’ (1975) by The Pointer Sisters

This is the extent of my knowledge of The Pointer Sisters: I’ve heard “Jump” a million times. Sure, it’s possible I know some other hits of theirs. If I played all their Top 20 hits maybe I’d recognize a few of them, but the only one I could identify by name (and would know as …

1975, Music

There’s No Place Like America Today (1975) by Curtis Mayfield

My general, um, impression of Curtis Mayfield is that his version of soul is just way too slick for me. I’ve felt this about the limited albums of his I’ve heard, be it solo or the Impressions. I don’t feel that way as much about this record and I’m not sure if that’s me getting …

1965, Music

The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (1965)

Can I tell you how great it is to listen to a Stax record right after a Motown record? It’s pretty damn great. And I must admit that there is a nonzero chance that listening to The Temptations prior to listening to Otis made me like this record even more than I would have normally.