Its Better than I Ever Knew

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another.

This week it wasn’t an album. It was a mix of 10 songs from our senior year of high school. For some of us these would have been literal mixtapes. My list has songs which were big the summer before my senior year through graduation. And they are songs I liked at the time. For other people they might be older songs which they liked while they were in high school (if I would have done that, The Beatles would have made the list)(spoiler: The Beatles weren’t on my list). For others, they might be songs which were popular, but they didn’t like them until later. Whatever.

I’m pretty sure this post has more tags than any other I’ve ever written.

Tim’s mix (1996-1997)

“While I did graduate in 1996, my graduating class was 1997, so I am pulling from music all the way to ’97. This includes songs popular then, and songs recorded around then, or songs I just liked and listened to a lot. I thought it would be fun to arrange them in album style, by where I think the best listening order is. So, while the same artist might be listed multiple times, I think it is more enjoyable to listen to in the order below:”

Jump off Van Halen’s 1984 Continue reading

Break the Spell of the Typical

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another.

A note on how I rate things. One star means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

The Clash – London Calling (1979)

The truth is, I’ve only been a radio listener of The Clash. It’s not because I don’t like what I hear. I don’t know why, but I just haven’t ever sought them out. I have heard Joe Strummer with The Pogues and The Mescaleros, but never The Clash (beyond the hits). So I was kind of excited when Greg suggested this album. It felt like something I should have listened to a long time ago. Continue reading

And They were Singing Out a Lovely Song under the Pale Moonlight

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another.

A note on how I rate things. One star means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Electric Light Orchestra – Out of the Blue (1977)

Only one album was shared with me this week, and I think it was kind of lazy choice.

If you go back 14 weeks, you’ll see I suggested my coworkers listen to ELO’s Time. Tim said I beat him to the punch; he was going to recommend this album. Last week he started repeating artists he had previously suggested, and now he’s repeating artists other coworkers (namely, me) have recommended. I can’t blame him though, ELO is a great band. I can blame him for still not reviewing Time, though.

This is one of those albums I don’t actually have to listen to before I write up a review, but I did. And I listened to it on vinyl. Continue reading

Out into the Blue and Sunny Morn

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. Here are the three albums that were suggested to me this week.

A note on how I rate things. One star means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Boyz II Men’s self-titled album (1994)

First off, what is the name of this album? Some people call it their self-titled and other people call it II, since it’s their second studio album (if you don’t count their Christmas album, which apparently nobody does). Whatever. Continue reading

We’re the Only Difference

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. Here are the three albums that were suggested to me this week.

A note on how I rate things. One star means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

John Mayer – Born and Raised (2012)

Kari shared another John Mayer album. I’m not surprised.

I was surprised how, right away, this album sounded and felt so different from Continuum. It felt less bluesy soft pop rock, and more … American. It sounds rather silly, but this album feels more laid back.

And I like it. A lot.

Continue reading

You’re a Blazing Star

Most of the people I work with sit in cubicles. Actually, most of the people at my company don’t work in our HQ – they work “in the field” at retail stores, etc. But one guy with an office near me listens to some great music. I never hear it on Monday mornings, but by Friday afternoon, it’s a mini concert in his office.

I don’t know if you knew this, but I’m kinda into music. So of course I share stuff with him and if I hear something I like coming from his open door, I’ll ask about it. Most of his music is stuff I’ve heard before, but there are some things I’ve never heard before.

One such artist is Ray LaMontagne.

I think he is, in his personal life, a kinda weird dude. I mean, there’s not much out there about him, so I’m just basing my opinion on the little that’s there.

But his music (that’s what we’re really here to talk about, right?) is great. It is everything I could want from a late ’60s-early ’70s psychedelic folk rock band. Continue reading

You Always Run Around Breaking All the Rules with It

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. Here are the two albums that were suggested to me this week.

A note on how I rate things. One star means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

The Black Keys – El Camino (2011)

I had heard of The Black Keys years ago (maybe when Brothers came out), but I’ve never given them a listen. I’m not sure why. Maybe I associated them with The Black Eyed Peas? I don’t know.

As soon as I turned on this album, I knew I had made a huge mistake in not listening to The Black Keys these past few years.

This album is great. It is straightforward, earnest, bluesy and a little rough.

It is garage rock. Continue reading