Monday, May 31, 2010
I hope everyone is having a nice Memorial Day and remembering all the people who fought for their country.
And now for some Steely Dan.
These guys feel very 70's to me. Like if the 1970's were a carmel topping and music was an apple on a stick, they'd be steeping in caramel and nuts ('cause the 70's were crazy...I'm here all week).
But seriously folks, this album was nice. However, it didn't feel special to me. I feel like I've heard all of these songs before. It's the slow rock with an interesting sounding guitar and sweet lyrics. It's the Beatles with louder instruments.
I did enjoy their lead singer's voice. I thought he had that gravely thing down and it's extraordinarily pleasant sounding. I feel like I'd should be sipping on a mojito and getting a tan listening to this album.
Overall, this album was very nice. Not super exciting but very pleasant...like a bunny. 4 stars.
Waylon Jennings | Honky Tonk Heroes
Posted by Liz at 10:34 AM
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Sigh. Just got rejected from another job. I'm on month 19 of looking for a full-time job. Getting really frustrating.
But we have bigger fish to fry. Fabulous fish with crazy outfits.
Yeah so this album was just fine and dandy but oh did the songs blend together. My theory is that Elton John really only has two songs that he changes the lyrics to...just substitute "candle" for "yellow brick" and you're good to go...it's like fabulous Mad Libs.
But in all seriousness, this was a lovely album. It had all kinds of classic Elton moments (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Candle in the Wind, Bennie and the Jets) and some new ones (I’ve Seen That Movie Too). It was all the whimsy and happiness that Elton John brings to my heart. However, it felt really long...like interminably. I think it was just too much of a good thing...like a whole bucket of frosting. After a few spoonfuls you're actually kinda' good. And maybe in the mood for some Journey.
Overall this album was fun. Had the classic tracks and some new and interesting ones. 4 stars.
Steely Dan | Countdown To Ecstasy
Posted by Liz at 9:12 AM
Friday, May 28, 2010
Oh Todd. Yeah this album was less album-y than like an entire Todd concert complete with act breaks filled with old school soul classics. I mean the man does like a 10 minute medley of Smokey Robinson-esque tunes.
But dude, this album has everything. And he's got the craziest rock voice that I've heard in a while. This guy is like David Bowie on less mushrooms but more sugar. I really like "Hungry for Love" which was a peppy little rock tune. "I Don't Want To Tie You Down" is a really pretty ballad that felt something out the Joni Mitchell songbook.
Overall, Todd was a delight. Sure he's a little out there but dude, it's the 70's...you really can't blame the guy. 4 stars.
Elton John | Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Well there's not much to say. Tubular bells. 40 minutes of two bells songs.
and it's about the devil... or so i've heard.
Okay well maybe not. But Tubular Bells were all over the Exorcist. Which made listening to this album just a little spooky. And then crazy boring.
I mean you hear one minute of bells you've heard them all. This album was just a smidge bit repetitive and long-winded. I maybe was super tired of it by the end. Okay no, I really was.
Overall, very pretty but oh good lord it never ends. It's like the longest 2nd grade Christmas handbell performance ever. It'd only be better if the 2nd graders were possessed...oh I smell a screenplay.
Todd Rundgren | A Wizard, A True Star
Posted by Liz at 11:12 AM
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
So this album was like the funkier cousin of the Monkees or Elton John. Or a monkey Elton John. How cute would that be? A little chimp Elton John in bell bottoms and suede... that idea is far better than the album has any right to be.
Okay, besides cute monkey people, this album was actually pretty awesome. It's gone tons of pep and energy and also a really interesting sound. It definitely has a quirky Bowie thing happening mixed in with some old school Bob Dylan harmonica stylings.
Overall, this album was really fun. It's got a cool rock vibe about it. Definitely give it a listen if you're a fan of Bowie/Beatles meshings. 4 stars.
Mike Oldfield | Tubular Bells
Posted by Liz at 11:31 PM
Monday, May 24, 2010
Well this album was like funky jazz. Which is just a weird combination...like mixing whip cream and tuna fish. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth just writing that.
Herbie Hancock, on the other hand, did not induce any vomit. In fact it was interesting. However, it did feel, to me, that this was the musical interlude of an even more funky disco song.
Overall, this album was interesting. This felt like the stuff the band would be playing in a jazzy club in the middle of movie. It was interesting little instrumental album and real funky and fun. 4 stars.
Mott The Hoople | Mott
Posted by Liz at 10:24 PM
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Oh this album began in such a way that I wasn't quite sure I was going to make it. But the Lost finale is on tonight and somehow I was going to have to power through it all. I mean we've got a smoke monster to deal with, people.
So it began like a hot mess of electronica. It was like a 3 year old got a hold of a keyboard and went to town. Then there was a song called "The Sad Skinhead". I was almost over it all at that point.
Then it got better, but only a little. This album was too early-stage punk for me. It was all the angry lyrics and weird notes and strange solos without it feeling interesting of melodic in any way. I just wanted it to end.
Overall, I was simultaneously bored and annoyed by this album. 2 stars.
Herbie Hancock | Headhunters
Posted by Liz at 8:29 PM
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Not going to lie. I really really hated the first Roxy Music album. It was loud and weird and I wanted it go away. And then there was another one. And I was not excited.
But, you know what, it was alright. Sure it sounds like Devo if they were trying to break into the wedding circuits or if the B-52's took a Xanax. But, if that's the worst thing that's going to happen then I'll survive.
Yeah they're still weird and I still don't like their music but at least I found myself tapping my feet to these songs. They're catchy and if you can get passed the quirk factor you'll be good to go. 3.5 stars.
Faust | Faust IV
Posted by Liz at 11:04 AM
Friday, May 21, 2010
Okay you guys know Nickelback? (btw, Nickelback haters...they are pretty awesome. And I know I've heard Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin and I should know better, but you know what? I like Nickelback...deal with it). This guy Nickelback if you took away every ounce of the theatricality, threw him one guitar and made his band go away.
Now maybe that doesn't appeal to you. I really dug John's voice. It's gravelly without being distracting and soulful without being fake. It had enough rock in it to be catchy and enough blues to have some emotional weight. It was mystical and catchy without being boring.
That being said, parts of it got a little tiresome, like listening to a whole John Mayer album in one sitting...it's just too much balladocity. Overall, this was a pretty interesting album that I'll definitely stick in my rotation.
Roxy Music | For Your Pleasure
Posted by Liz at 1:26 PM
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I want you to imagine the song, "Let's Get It On". Now imagine you just heard it ten more times...but it's like a different cover band does it each time.
Yeah that's pretty much how this album went down.
Now that's not saying it's a bad thing. Marvin Gaye's got a lovely voice and "Let's Get It On" is an awesome song. Sure the rest of his songs aren't blowaway fantastic but it was still a fun experience to listen to his album.
I really enjoyed the sweet soul styling of "Distant Lover" which sounds like an old school hit from the 50's but funkafied. Also funkified is the title that made me giggle "Keep Gettin' It On" which just sounds like the sequel to the song from a few minutes ago.
Overall, this album was a lot of fun and a good time was had by all. 4 stars.
John Martyn | Solid Air
Posted by Liz at 10:16 AM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
This album was like 1 part Journey, 1 part old-school Beatles and then a little dash of Mozart. It was like the album equivalent of watching Watchmen...it's long and it's just filled with everything. And maybe I was over it about halfway through.
I'm sorry Phil Collins...don't sick Tarzan on me.
This album had long stretches of beautiful piano solos. It also had folk ballads about forests. And then there's songs that sound like a 6th grade band who put their awesome poetry to music...for like 10 minutes.
No this makes it all sound terrible and it wasn't that bad...it was just kinda' long winded and bloated. There are definitely parts of songs that are very dramatic and exciting like in "I Know What I Like" or "Aisle of Plenty". However, for the most part, I found this album excessive and like an inside joke I wasn't in on.
Overall, this was good but not great. I didn't hate it, I just had no real emotions. 3.5 stars.
Marvin Gaye | Let´s Get It On
Posted by Liz at 10:44 AM
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Yes, I know I know. I haven't done this in a few days. I was up at the little bro's graduation and got twelve kinds of sidetracked. Happy Graduation, little bro!
Okay, Lou Reed. I really did enjoy this guy. He has a deep soothing voice that seems like it should be instructing yoga classes or narrating children's books. Sure he doesn't sing but does more of the talk/sing thing. I don't care, I really liked this album.
I really enjoyed "Oh Jim" which is one of those songs that would kick ass singing karaoke to. I mean this guy sounds like he's got charm bursting from ever pore in this song...plus it's real catchy. "How Do You Think It Feels" is also a good song, with more of a Barry Manilow vibe to it.
Overall, this album was real slick and smooth. Sure it would sound great at a Vegas lounge but I still liked it a lot. 5 stars.
Genesis | Selling England By The Pound
Posted by Liz at 2:43 PM
Sunday, May 16, 2010
This album, well, it was like cotton candy. It was sweet and airy but ultimately, as soon as you put it in your mouth its gone. There's just not much going on in this album.
It's only 4 songs long and they're all just really long percussion/Enya solos with this airy voice chanting in the background occasionally. I mean I can only take so much violin and bongo music while someone speaks Japanese in the background.
Ultimately, this album just didn't do it for me. I think it might work as music to through on in the background while you read a book or do a puzzle but not to just sit and listen to. I just got real tired of it real fast. 3 stars.
Lou Reed | Berlin
Posted by Liz at 2:53 AM
Saturday, May 15, 2010
So, by the name of this album, I figured that this was going to be some crazy classy French album. I was all prepared with my croissant and cappuchino and popped on my beret. And then I got Neil Young's long lost little brother...
That's not to say, once I threw out the escargot, that I didn't enjoy this album. It was actually quite fun.
This is definitely a country album with some rock stuff going on. John Cale's got a good voice in a national anthem/rocking out the elevator muzack kind of way. It was very peaceful.
I rather enjoyed the organ stylings of "Child's Christmas In Wales" and his one man Beach Boys hit "Hanky Panky Nohow".
Overall, this album wasn't what I expected but I really liked it in a smooth dentist-chair like music kind of way. 4 stars.
Can | Future Days
Posted by Liz at 7:23 PM
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Alright. Hawkwind. Get over here.
No. Just no. We're not doing this.
This album was a hot mess of weird. Like you know those Beatles movies were they are all cartoons and they talk to large gloves with eyes? Yeah this album was like the music version of the Trippy Cartoon Beatles.
So the Wikipedia for this band says that they are the first "space rock" band. I guess I can say, legitimately, I'm really not a huge space rock fan...whatever that's supposed to be.
However much I am not a fan of the overall thing that is happening in this album, I will give them credit for doing something very different. This album is trippy and hippy but also a little punk. It's like that bridge that's trying to unite them all. In that sense, it's pretty cool.
Also. Dude. Hawkwind's releasing an album in a month. Damn, these guys have some longevity.
Overall, interesting concept. I'm not a fan but that doesn't mean you can't be.
John Cale | Paris 1919. Sounds classy.
Posted by Liz at 10:04 PM
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
So I listened to this album as I read some classic Tolstoy. No seriously. I mean what goes better with Marley than Anna Karenina? It's like marijuana and vodka...the perfect combo.
This album was very interesting. I've heard of Bob Marley before but I had never really heard his music before. This was quite a trip. It's definitely very reggae and laid back and cool. I can absolutely see why this really caught on to the hippy types. I mean, throw me a People magazine and a margarita and I'm good to go with Bob here.
I liked all the songs, as they were all fairly similar. I thought "No More Trouble" and "Midnight Ravers" were both very slick and cool but really all of them were very good. You like one, you'll like them all. Overall, Marley's a pretty hip dude. 5 stars.
Hawkwind | Space Ritual
Posted by Liz at 10:39 PM
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Remember that album with the bongos? Can I have those back?
This album. It was like jazz only with like 15 more instruments thrown on. You have a washboard and a harmonica? Yeah show up at 8 and we'll jam. Your buddy plays the spoons? Why the hell not. It was like the first time your 4th grade class tries to play Ode to Joy on the recorder at the same time...oh it hurts.
That's not to say I hated this album, I just wasn't a fan. It had interminably long stretches instrumentals that weren't too compelling...like the leader singers daughter learned some Mozart piece on the viola and he stuck it in there.
There are moments when the album was good. I thought part of "The Talking Drum" were very pretty and "Book of Saturday" had a breezy summer day vibe to it.
Overall, I thought this album was experimental in a tiresome way. It just kinda' dragged. 2.5 stars.
Bob Marley And The Wailers | Catch A Fire
Posted by Liz at 2:41 PM
Monday, May 10, 2010
So this album, I know, is like beyond epic. I was watching "Adventureland" last night and the poster from this album was on the main character's wall. So that must mean its a big deal.
So I think I get it. It's much more progressive and rocky than the slower ballads but less intense and scary than your Zeppelins or Rolling Stones. There are tons of magical and druggy haze-like moments with the guitars and vocals.
However, this album wasn't as fun as the Ziggy Stardust one. It felt like the hangover album after the bachelor party of the last one. It just feels a little lazier.
Overall, I wasn't crazy impressed but it was a good experience. "Alladin Sane" and "Let's Spend the Night Together" were fun times and I was definitely tapping my feet. 4 stars.
King Crimson | Lark´s Tongues In Aspic
Posted by Liz at 12:39 PM
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I went into this album with not a lot of hope. I mean its a whole album with bongos. Bongos. I mean, what?
But. Dude. This album was a lot of fun.
Sure there was tons of bongos but its like an amazing one-note cover band. They do In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, bongo-style, and also they played Apache...which became the backdrop to the amazing "Jump On It"
Overall, this album was fantastic. It was instrumental but it had a soul and a hipness to it. I have to say, for a album in which 90% of the songs have bongo in the title, this album was pretty cool. 4 stars.
David Bowie | Aladdin Sane
Posted by Liz at 2:35 PM
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Everyone get out the lighters.
Okay let's focus. I got my first taste of Lynyrd Skynyrd. And I get why they're so popular. This album was great. It had everything. I mean I felt like I was wearing suede and fringe and chilling in the 70's with this album.
All of the songs were very consistent and strong. There's a lot of bluegrass and country mixed in but with a definite rock edge. I feel like these guys are the great great grandfathers of the crossover country people like Rascal Flatts and that jazz.
Overall, this album was really fun. They've definitely got an older sound but its solid and this album was a great listen. Plus....there's FREE BIRD!
Michael Viner´s Incredible Bongo Band | Bongo Rock. Yikes.
Posted by Liz at 3:31 PM
Friday, May 7, 2010
So I messed up and fell asleep before I wrote up the Rolling Stones review. Whoopsies. So that just means you get two today.
So this album was filled with no songs I had ever heard before. Not a one. But, it was still a lot of fun. Now these were the Stones I thought I knew. They're peppy and rock without being in your face about it and annoying.
I enjoyed a lot of these songs. "Turd on the Run" is a simple but really energetic rock song. "Ventilator Blues" had a lot of swagger and its definitely got that whole Mick Jagger growl situation going on.
Overall, this album was a solid Stone foray. It's got rock when it needs to and its got the gritty blues when it wants to go that way. It's a lot of fun and you can tell they're having a blast. 4 stars.
Lynyrd Skynyrd | Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd
Posted by Liz at 1:45 PM
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Sorry guys. Got real busy and forgot to do the review!
So I'm totally exhausted so let's just do this thing. Al Green's got twelve kinds of swagger and smoothness. I mean every song was just dripping with funk and grooviness. I was a big fan of "Let's Stay Together" which makes me feel like I'm walking around the cold hard street of New York with a big cozy jacket on my back.
Al Green makes me smile.
This album was lovely and I'll definitely have to find some more Al stuff. 5 stars.
The Rolling Stones | Exile On Main St.
Posted by Liz at 1:20 AM
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
So this was an album where I had no idea what to expect. And dude was it funky.
I don't have a ton to say about this particular one. Their general sound is one that combines the disco beat with a reggae flair which is actually like the musical version of a frat party...it's just flat out fun.
I did enjoy the songs "Cisco Kid" and "Where Was You At" which sound like Jackson 5 hits if the Jamaicans got their hands on them. They've got a swagger and a pep to them that definitely grows on you. Overall, fun stuff. Give them a listen. 4 stars.
Al Green | Let´s Stay Together
Posted by Liz at 12:33 AM
Monday, May 3, 2010
Yeah I know I know. I took my nice sweet time. But isn't it just worth the wait?
David Bowie. Is it bad that I thought he was too normal in this album? I mean his album title was making promises that his songs couldn't cash. It was like a Paul Simon, The Beatles and LSD had a baby.
There were some good songs in this bunch. I liked "Starman" and "Ziggy Stardust" which have a bit more of the goofy space sound. However, otherwise I wasn't so much into this album. I like Bowie's stuff but these songs were just kinda' boring.
I know, I'm probably spitting on the most experimental album of all time, but I just didn't like it. The songs weren't weird enough to be weird and weren't catchy enough to be mainstream. Let's all just hold hands and say Meh. 3 stars.
War | The World Is A Ghetto
Posted by Liz at 10:57 PM
Sunday, May 2, 2010
For some reason I thought The Temptations were a doo-wop 5 part harmony group that did adorable songs that were later covered by California Raisins. Dude, these guys are funky up the wazoo.
These guys, I feel, are birthing the disco era. They've got the beats, they've got the attitude with just a pinch of political message. Just take out the civil rights dialouge and we'd be one bell bottom short of Chaka Khan.
I really liked "Run Charlie Run" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone". I have to say I was really impressed with the amount of swagger that this album had. Temptation...I tip my hat. 5 stars.
David Bowie | The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. Oh Bowie. You're crazy...
Posted by Liz at 8:02 PM
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Alice Cooper. So he's become a bit of a lovable guy now, with all his old man eyeliner and One Red Paperclip helper (awesome story, check it out over here: http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/2006/04/one-afternoon-with-alice-cooper.html)
So this album starts out with "Schools Out" which is played over literally ever summer vacation Walmart/Target/Kohls commercial ever. But, maybe its because the man looks like he's going to eat a puppy on stage, I thought his stuff would be hard rock and scary. But it ended up being this almost Journey-like pop album. I'm a little confused but I can't say I'm disappointed.
"Public Animal #9" is a fun peppy little diddy while "Alma Mater" almost has a hula vibe going on. Overall, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the toned down nature of this album. It was fun and I can imagine a bell-bottomed teenager in the 70's being all about this album which is a little more hardcore than his mom's stuff but not too intense. Way to go Alice. 4.5 stars.
The Temptations | All Directions. Nice!
Posted by Liz at 12:13 PM