For a couple of years, some of my friends and I have been sharing music with one another. We’re supposed to review/rate whatever’s shared with us, but that doesn’t always happen.
Genesis – Invisible Touch (1986)
I hadn’t really listened to any Genesis (or Phil Collins) aside from what I’ve heard on the radio (like Tonight, Tonight, Tonight), so I was kind of excited to listen to this.
Tim said he decided to listen to this album kind of on accident, as he was looking for some Police records, and found this during his search. Which makes me feel like Sting and Phil Collins should do some more collaborations together aside from that one Live Aid performance. It’s mostly because of the backup vocals on the chorus, but Land of Confusion especially reminded me of something they could have done together.
In Too Deep was just okay. The best part about it for me was the chorus, but the rest of it is kind of forgettable. Domino was a little long and a little weird, but it wasn’t bad. If I owned a digital copy of this album, I might prefer the two parts of Domino to be on separate tracks to make for easier listening. I’m not sure if Throwing It All Away was actually forgettable by itself, or if The Brazilian just made me forget all about it. I really liked The Brazilian. It was probably my favorite track. Sure it was kind of repetitive, but that didn’t bother me. It felt like something out of some epic space opera.
Very heavy on the ’80s synth, this whole album doesn’t really seem like something I’d normally like, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. 3.7/5
Here’s what my friends thought:
“So, Genesis is pretty well known in prog circles as a sell-out band that started out making cool stuff then kinda just went mainstream. I’ve heard most of these tracks on the radio and they sound mostly like 80s mainstream rock. Pretty good rock, but ya. My favorite track by far was the instrumental the Brazilian. It was the only track where I actually noticed a guitar part. I haven’t heard that much genesis, but I haven’t gotten into what I’ve heard. I just think of tarzan every time I hear Phil anyway.” 3.9/5 – Spencer
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (2016)
After a few weeks hiatus from the game, Chris shared this album because of some tough stuff going on in his personal life. And after listening to it, I feel whelmed by melancholy and a lost sort of feeling.
Mostly Daydreaming was a psychedelic atmosphere jumping from moments of positivity to (especially at end) things dark and creepy. Decks Dark kept moved that to slight eerieness, which actually reminded me of some of the more modern Metroid soundtracks. But what it did right, Ful Stop did wrong. The first half anyway. It was just hard for me to listen to.
It’s hard for me to say without listening to The Bends again, but after that album, I think this is the best (and most normal) stuff I’ve heard from Radiohead. Sure there were some songs I didn’t care for, but there’s still a lot of emotion in this. I’m still giving it a 3.09/5
From my friends:
“I’m sorry to report that I missed most all the lyrics. Things just keep getting busier so I really can’t focus on words while working. Sonically this seemed to be chill, atmospheric stuff, not that sad, but I think its because I didn’t pay attention. It doesn’t seem like one of radioheads big influential albums. At least not from this glance.” 3.5/5 – Spencer
“Sorry Chris, but this album just didn’t do it for me. The music and lyrics were just so depressing. It is probably my least favorite Radiohead album you have shared.
But, I think it helped me identify where my problem lies with Radiohead in general. It actually comes from three areas. First, there is so much going on that a car radio, or low quality system, completely misses. When I put on my Beats, or me UE ear buds there are tons of notes and sounds that you just don’t hear on broad speakers, this makes the music very rich in headphone land, but very flat in speaker land.
Second, the lyrics combined with his voice just become nonsense and noise quiet often. I have a really hard time following a narrative or story for more than ten seconds at a time in any song.
Lastly, the music often becomes repetitive after about 60 seconds. Almost every song starts to loop at one point, and it begins to feel like someone just hit repeat because they got sick of playing (which I am sure is not the case).” 2/5 – Tim
The Temperance Movement – White Bear (2016)
Spencer stays true to form with another new guitar-driven blues-based rock album, although this one is a bit harder than the last couple. Actually, I don’t really see much of the blues base in it.
Musically, it seems like something I would have been into in high school. Not that I’m not still into that it now; it just feels like something that would have been an influence on my music writing back then. I can’t even put my finger on who they reminded me of. The vocals were somewhere between Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Live and maybe Pearl Jam. The writing had tinges of The Beatles (especially from their last couple of albums), but the execution reminded me of Humble Pie, Silverchair and Tonic. Plus there was some other stuff in there I can’t put my finger on.
And then there was Time Won’t Leave, which didn’t really fit the rest of the album. It was king of country influenced. It wasn’t bad. It was just different. I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind was a refreshing change of pace without getting too bogged down. It started ok, but it built as it went and turned into one of the highlights of the album for me. A Pleasant Peace I Feel was probably my favorite, but there wasn’t a bad tune on the album. I felt the whole album deserved to be listened to again. Loudly. In the car. With the windows down.
The closest thing to a lowlight was Do the Revelation, which I feel like I should have liked more than I did. It’s like it was way sweeter on paper, but just ended up pretty ok once it got recorded. This was a pretty sweet record, and now I think I’ll have to look into more of their stuff. 3.25/5
From my friends:
“This was a pretty decent album. I enjoyed it, and would probably listen again. I didn’t feel like the album flowed well, but the individual tracks were good in their own right, just not as good as a whole.” 3/5 – Tim
Delta Rae – After it All (2015)
The last couple of weeks Spencer has shared some recent album releases and I thought I’d follow suit. There are some album that I’ve liked that were released this year, but I’m more excited about this album from last year.
Delta Rae was started by three siblings and another vocalist in 2009, and then they added a bassist and drummer in 2010. This is their second full-length album. On the EP that proceeded this, they had Lindsey Buckingham on as a guest guitarist. I know I’ve shared some folksy rock lately, but this is somewhere between that and Spencer’s blues rock.
The highlight of the album for me is I Will Never Die. Chasing Twisters and Bethlehem Steel are also really good. And so are Run, Outlaws and The Meaning of it All. Ok, so really the only songs I don’t care for are The Dream and Dead End Road.
Here’s what my friends had to say:
“This was an interesting album. It had a pretty wide range of influence, some tracks sounding like country some like hiphop. Nothing jumped out as a favorite (though I really got bored with Dead End Road, pedal steel guitar has that effect on me usually). Cool share. I want to listen more.” 4.0/5 – Spencer
“I can’t give you a whole lot of reasons here, but I really liked this album. There seemed to be an undertone of Christian Rock throughout, which usually turns me off, but in this case it worked. I just felt like the vocals, lyrics, and music just blended very well together. I was actually a bit disappointed when it ended and there wasn’t another track.” 4/5 – Tim
If you want to share your thoughts from any of these, or one of your favorite records from the past couple of years, you can do so in the comments below.