It Don’t Mean Much

For more than a year, some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Trouble is (1997)

I’m not sure what I was expecting to hear, but this wasn’t it. I know there’s a saying about judging things by their cover, but this album’s cover screams late ’90s to me. So while the graphic design is true-to-era, it doesn’t really prepare you for the musical content of the album. This is some groovy, blues-based southern rock.

It has pretty clean, technically impressive guitar riffs and solos. I don’t know that I always care for the sound of his voice, but that’s not why I’d listen to this. By the way, I think his best vocal performance was on Somehow, Somewhere, Someway, which sounded like some other band I’ve heard on the radio, but I can’t exactly put my finger on who. Continue reading

I Find My Way into the Same Old Jam

For more than a year, some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Led Zeppelin’s self-titled (1969)

This is not my favorite Zeppelin studio album. That distinction goes to III (with a score of 3.6/5). Nor is this my least favorite. That would be Presence which still gets a straight 3/5, so it’s not like there’s a huge gap between them. This ties for my third favorite, with a 3.4/5.
Continue reading

There’s a Ton of the Twist but We’re Fresh Out of Shout

For more than a year, some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Weather Report – Black Market (1976)

I haven’t listened to a ton of Weather Report. I discovered them one semester in college when I was taking a history of jazz class and a class about arranging jazz and improving small combo playing/soloing skills. I had been into more big band swing stuff, but that semester I started listening to a wider ranger of jazz. But I had such a breadth, I never went very deep into an artists’ catalogue. So this was the first time I’ve listened to this album. Continue reading

And When the Day is Done I Watch the Moon Rise Above

For more than a year, some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

This week was Spencer’s twins’ 4th birthday, so he challenged us to share a children’s album, starting with his own suggestion:

Dog on Fleas – Cranberry Sauce Flotilla (2003)

Musically, this is a great album. It feels like jazzy folk. Kind of like The Ditty Bops. Although there is some straight up jazz in there, too, that’s pretty reminiscent of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Add to that the occasional vocal line that sounds remarkably like Steven Page from Barenaked Ladies. Maybe I’m predisposed to think I hear him because when I was going to share a children’s album, I thought of BNL.

But what gives this away as a children’s album is the lyrics. Song’s about multiplication tables? Check. Songs with nonsense lyrics, which are eventually explained as talking in code? Check. Songs about agricultural economics? Check. Continue reading

I Saw You, I Met You, I Loved You, I Left You

For more than a year, some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

The Young Veins – Take a Vacation! (2010)

This is a Panic! at the Disco off-shoot. These guys wanted to have more retro rock material while the rest of Panic wanted to have more dance-oriented music. Of the two, I like this retro rock more. It sounds very ’60s despite being released 40 years later. But they’ve had less success. They just released this one album, decided they’d done all they set out to do and went on indefinite hiatus. A no-hit wonder perhaps, but the album is good. Continue reading

Reflections in the Waves Spark My Memory

For more than a year, some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Styx – The Grand Illusion (1977)

It’s Styx. And literally half of these songs are on every greatest hits album of theirs I’ve ever seen. This is the album before Pieces of Eight (which I reviewed about nine months ago) and the album that really changed Styx from being just another prog rock kind of band to one of the leading acts of the time.

I’ll spoil the minor surprise by telling you that after Spencer shared this, Tim shared REO Speedwagon and it made me want to change what I had shared to someone who would have toured with these two bands. There are some other bands I put in this category of classic stadium rock from the ’70s and ’80s: Boston, Chicago, Foreigner, Journey, Kansas, .38 Special, Yes, and maybe some others I’m forgetting right now. Continue reading

I’m Busy in the Blissful Unaware

For more than a year, some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Chicago – The Transit Authority (1969)

In case you didn’t know, the band Chicago was originally The Chicago Transit Authority and this was their self-titled (eponymous) debut album. But then the actual transit authority of the city of Chicago brought legal action against the band. So they became just Chicago and this album became known as The Transit Authority. Most Chicago albums are only numbered with roman numerals – they have no titles per se, so this is also I.

I feel like a lot of Chicago’s stuff (especially their later, and maybe more well-known stuff) could be classified as progressive soft rock … or should that be soft prog rock? Anyway, I was surprised how this record wasn’t really a surprise. It was exactly what I expect from Chicago, except funkier (especially the last half hour). It’s like these guys were younger and had more energy. Continue reading