When You Think You’ve Got the World All Sussed Out

Some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music, rating them, reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. I thought I’d share my thoughts on their suggestions (and their thoughts on mine) with you here.

Here’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it 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.

Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (1977)

This is a classic. This is one of those albums (and artists) I got into because they influenced some of my influences (like Jack and White). I love almost every song on this album, but I bet my favorites aren’t the ones you’re thinking of.

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It was the Roar of the Crowd that Gave Me Heartache to Sing

Some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music, rating them, reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. I thought I’d share my thoughts on their suggestions (and their thoughts on mine) with you here.

Here’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it 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.

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade (2006)

I think the only song from this album I have heard before is the title track. And from that little exposure, I think Chris described them perfectly when he shared this album:

“…it is very Queen-tastic. Large, bombastic melodies, epic double guitar solos, a powerful and energetic vocalist, hard rockin’ grooves…. I give you The Black Parade, a grandiose concept album centered around death…. This album (and the band in general) are much more Tim Burton in their doom and gloom than anything else. Believe you me…when this album first came out, I was on the other side of the fence. I didn’t want anything to do with this group. But one listen to first single “Welcome to the Black Parade” (which I’m sure you’ve all heard) and it was like a slap in the face. I couldn’t help it. That song and has one of the most epic melodies of the last decade.” Continue reading

Jungle Sounds were in My Ears

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’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it 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.

MC Hammer – Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990)

This whole album screams early ’90s to me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I can’t say this has aged well. Especially the drums. The bass actually feels very ’80s. Continue reading

Just Play with Me

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, we decided to share live albums, partly because one of the songs I shared last week was a live version. I think live albums should be held to a greater standard than a studio album. The studio albums are there for me to familiarize myself with a band’s music and enjoy them when I can’t see them live. But the point of a band is not to put out great studio albums. It’s to be great entertainers, and that really means putting on a great live show. If all a band is going to do is play their songs just like they were on their studio albums, I’m going to be disappointed. At least improvise your solos. Of course there are examples of bands taking it too far – Dave Matthews Band will jam on one song for 20 minutes, and while the band might be having fun, it doesn’t always translate into fun for the crowd. Unless you’re so high a Hootie and the Blowfish concert sounds good. But the point is live concerts should give you something you can’t get from a studio album, otherwise what’s the point?

These are a live albums, so there’s some language between songs, etc. If that kind of thing offends you either A) find an edited version or 2) don’t listen to it all.

Also, all of these except one are double albums, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy them. I didn’t listen to a single album straight though except for Chris’ suggestion. I listened to the first half of everyone’s, then the second half. It was a nice way to break it up.

Here’s how I rate things. If I give something one star, it 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.

Queen – Live at Wembley Stadium (1986)

I was sure Tim was either going to share Kiss’ Alive! or this. So I wasn’t surprised.

Most of the songs off this album I had heard before. Some of them though, were nice new introductions. Songs like In the Lap of the Gods (which is so like most of the stuff off A Night at the Opera/A Day at the Races, I’m surprised I haven’t heard it before), Tear it Up, Impromptu, and Brighton Rock were new to me. Well, the covers on the second half of the album were also new to me, but I haven’t heard the original version of those, so I have no reference on them as covers or as live versions. Well, whatever (also, that was a sweet run-on sentence). Continue reading

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