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.
The short version is I still think Time is their best album, but there’s a reason I own this on vinyl. It’s a great record. 4/5
Before I ever picked up the vinyl, I had heard some of the hits off this record: Turn to Stone, Mr. Blue Sky and Sweet Talkin’ Woman, which is one of my favorite ELO songs. I after listening to this album, I found some songs (Like Across the Border and Jungle) I like more than the singles (except Sweet Talkin’ Woman, which is just great).
All in all, though, this is just kind of electrical baroque pop rock album. I feel like Time and some of their other albums are more progressive. Or at least eccentric (or should that be eclectic?). Sometimes their music gets weird, but not so much on this album. I feel like they’re playing it safe, and that’s not really why I like them.
This American Life – Episode 223: The Classifieds (2002)
This week I shared the subject of the first post on this blog.
Back in October of 2002, This American Life did an entire show based on two newspapers from the same week, the Chicago Sun-Times and the local alternative weekly Chicago Reader. And they based an entire show off the wanted ads. Over the course of one 15 minute segment, they play matchmaker and form a one-day band out of the musicians seeking other musicians in the classifieds.
It is absolutely great. 5/5
And because you only got one song out of that podcast (and only one whole album this week), I felt like I should include some more music. This is pretty much just bonus stuff. Anyway, here’s the song which Elton John won’t deny inspired him to write Rocket Man. Although this version is a bit different. The music video is especially great:
I mean, I liked Bowie’s version, but there’s just something about Chris Hadfield singing it which makes it so much more personal. He also collaborated with Barenaked Ladies on an original tune, did an original song about Canada with his brother, and did a version of Across the Universe which was just okay.
And then, because it’s another Bowie song (and I like this more than the original), here’s The Wallflowers off the Godzilla (1998) soundtrack:
I don’t know if this cover is better than the original or not. It’ just so … different, but sometimes you just need a good laugh, and this definitely provides that.
I’d like to think this is what Maroon 5 was thinking about when they said they had moves like Jagger. I’d also like to think that David Bowie called up Mick Jagger and said, “Hey, you wanna come over, snort some coke then film a flippin’ sweet lip sync video?” This music video is so ridiculous, the only way to make it even more silly is to take out the music. Oh wait, that exists.
If my coworkers ever get back to me about what they thought about that podcast episode, that version of Rocket Man, or any of those other videos I shared, I’ll let you know right here.