If you’ve read my blog at all in the last 9 or so months, you know why I’ve been sharing what I have. Every week, some of my co-workers and I have been sharing some of our favorite music with one another. We’re supposed to review it, rate it, and share that with one another – but that doesn’t always happen.
Blind Melon – Blind Melon (1992)
If you want a slice of what the early ’90s was like, look no further than Blind Melon. Sure, everyone has heard No Rain. It’s iconic. But it’s not really like the rest of the album. I had never heard this whole thing before, and I was pleasantly surprised.
I wasn’t sure what to think about the first couple of songs. They were a little funkier than I anticipated. It wasn’t until I Wonder that I really got into this album. The acoustic beginning reminds me of the last scene or so of Rock Star (if you want to watch a movie about the rise and fall and rise of a ’80s rock star, consider this) and the rest of the song was just solid rock without so much of the funk influence you can hear throughout the rest of the album. Change had a similar effect, although the acoustic stuff was more integrated, and I think I liked it better.
Holyman was kind of a blend between the acoustic and the funk. Normally, the funk feel isn’t such a bad thing, but his voice is kinda whiney and fits the rockier stuff better. My favorite of the funkier tunes is probably Dear Ol’ Dad.
But I think the best straight rocker was Drive. I also liked Time, but I didn’t really know what to make of it. It’s a decent album and one I’m glad I’ve actually listened to now. And while there are some tracks that are a 4, the album as a whole is a 3/5.
Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit (2006)
I know I’ve heard of Belle and Sebastian before, but I couldn’t tell you if I’ve actually listened to them. I know I haven’t listened to any of their albums. Perhaps singles that showed up in soundtracks or something.
This is a great pop rock album. It’s not exactly simple. I mean this isn’t the same four or five chords over and over again. But it doesn’t get overly complicated either. The music doesn’t really draw attention to itself. It’s just a great balance of groove and melody.
I was really impressed how ’60s To Be Myself Completely sounded. I mean, the whole album had elements of that, but I really felt it in that track. Actually, it felt like Gold Motel. Sukie in the Graveyard also had a light-hearted ’60s/’70s feel, but it wasn’t quite that kind of retro. You can just tell where their influences came from. Same with For the Price of a Cup of Tea.
We are the Sleepyheads had some seriously crazy guitar and drum stuff going on. The chords felt like a ’80s progression, but then there’d be a psychedelic-era face-melting solo. And the drums felt like Richard Colburn learned his part from a disco drum machine.
Normally, I don’t really like the talking effect they used on the guitar or keys in Song for Sunshine. But it wasn’t too much this time. I still didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it.
This album makes me a little sad I haven’t been listening to them for the past 10+ years. It also makes me want to make more music. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to an album that’s new to me that makes me want to ditch work for the rest of the day, get together with some guys, and jam. I’m giving this a 5/5.
They Might Be Giants – Flood (1990)
I’ve been putting this off for a while. I just haven’t been in the mood. Until now. Songs from this album keep getting stuck in my head. It is a gem from my childhood. The first tape cassette I ever called my own. Although I’m sure it was actually one of my siblings’. Who gives this album to a 5-year-old? My family. That’s who.
I remember sitting on a red cooler between the front seats of our Dodge Caravan on road trips singing along to this more than any other album. I’m pretty sure I know every word of every song on this album. And when one ends, I start singing the next one. It really throws me off when I listen to this album on shuffle, or when one of these songs pops up on a radio.
I have listened to this album so many times, I no longer have a favorite track or two or seven. I don’t always rate the albums I share, but all the songs on here except a couple are 5/5. The only two tracks that are even just meh are Road Movie to Berlin (because of its mostly downbeat mood coupled with its placement as the last track), which I give a 4/5, and Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love, which is just a 3/5 star little ditty that gets lost in the serious ‘90s awesomeness that is the rest of the album.
If my coworkers ever tell me what they thought about this album, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, let me know what you thought of Blind Melon, Belle and Sebastian, or TMBG in the comments.