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. So 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.
Queen – A Day at the Races (1976)
The rocking Tie Your Mother Down seems to always be included on greatest hits albums, and Somebody to Love and Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy don’t lack for love, but there are some other great songs on this album which I’ve only heard a couple of times before.
Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard The Millionaire Waltz. It’s like Bohemian Rhapsody‘s sibling song, but who took its bi-polar meds, where Rhapsody didn’t. But as fine as it is, The Millionaire Waltz isn’t the best song on the album.
Right up front, Long Away is one of those songs I think should get played more. I love its jangle folk pop feel and it’s sense of nostalgia. Well, it doesn’t actually make me nostalgic, but it makes me think I should be – and that’s a good thing. You and I also falls into that category of great songs which deserves to be heard more.
Drowse threw me for a loop. I thought somehow a Pink Floyd song sneaked (snuck?) onto a Queen record. It’s a bit more psychedelic than the glam I’m used to getting from Queen. And I like it, even though it does seem a little out-of-place.
I think I like all of those songs at least as much as the perhaps better known songs. As a whole, at least. It would be hard to beat the full harmonies on Somebody to Love.
I’m not sure how I feel about Teo Torriatte, and I don’t like You Take My Breath Away, but they are the minority. The only song that really confused me was White Man. I mean, I get it – Europeans come across the Atlantic and totally hosed the indigenous people. But it’s weird for a Brit to be singing about it. The other (American) bands I’ve heard cover this topic have all been drawing parallels to how the U.S. government has switched targets to African-Americans or Arab-Americans, or even just average Americans. But is Freddy trying to make parallels to the LGBT community. Nowadays, it’s a hot topic. But (and I’m revealing my lack of knowledge on the subject here) I didn’t think they were really a unified community until the 90s. Now everyone knows he was gay, but (and here I show my age) was he that open about it back then? See – I’m confused by this song.
All in all, it’s a great album. 4/5
Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)
I haven’t heard much Oasis beyond what was on the radio. I’ve heard of them. I’ve just never gone out of my way to listen to them. I think the only song I ever owned from Noel Gallagher came off the first X-Files movie’s soundtrack.
And I was pleasantly surprised. For an album that was released in the mid-90s, this holds up really well nearly 20 years later. Oh man, that was 20 years ago?
The point, though, is that this album could have been released yesterday and it would be exactly the same. Other 90s albums feel really dated. Maybe I’d feel it was dated if I’d have been more into Oasis 20 years ago. Or at all and it would date back to when I listened to them. Does that make any sense?
Oddly enough, I think my favorite track wasn’t Wonderwall or Champagne Supernova, which got tons of airplay back in the day. My favorite was Roll With It. If Jet or The Strokes list Oasis as an influence, I won’t be surprised, simply because of this one track. There weren’t really any bad tracks. Another 4/5.
Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies (2002)
I’ve been to a few concerts in my day and Flogging Molly is easily in the top 5. When they decide to get rowdy, they really know how to get the crowd going. But then they’ll take it down six notches and play a ballad.
And this album is a perfect sample of their stuff. They get rowdy, they get a little introspective. It makes me wish I was Irish. And, like any band with seven members should, they are careful to not have too much going on so as to trip over one another musically. 4/5
As soon as any of my coworkers let me know what they thought of this album, I’ll let you know here. In the meantime, let me know what you thought of any of these in the comments below.