Some of my friends and I share music with one another to listen to at work. We’re supposed to review/rate whatever’s shared with us, but that doesn’t always happen.
This first half of this week I was at a conference in Orlando, so I wasn’t really in a position to listen to a whole lot of music. And then by the time I got back on Thursday, I decided that instead of sharing a whole album, I’d just share one song to whet your appetite for what I’m planning on sharing next week. Before I get into that though, here’s what my friends shared:
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007)
Tim just discovered Spoon, so he shared this album as part of his trek through their catalog. This album takes me back. For two or three years after this album came out, I was hearing Spoon everywhere. And then I’m not sure I’ve really heard anything from them since.
Also, between demo tracks, b-sides, bonus tracks, and a whole bonus EP, there are more additional tracks than there are on the standard album. Because I only worked in the office two days this week, I decided to forego the extras and just listened to the standard album.
Don’t You Evah is one of the singles from the album, and it really stands out as a highlight. It’s catchy, with an easy groove. Eddie’s Ragga is pretty alright, too.
But the best song on the album is The Underdog. It’s not the most important thing in the world, but a majority of this album is rhythmically uninteresting to me. In addition to the reasons I like Don’t You Evah, The Underdog is musically creative. Sure it helps that the guitar spends a lot of time on the up beats and there are some good horns, so it ends up pushing my “ska” button. But the horns are a nice change from the rest of the album. And the rhythms aren’t just four on the floor like all of their other songs.
And it might just be a problem with positioning, but I didn’t really like My Little Japanese Cigarette Case. The acoustic guitar and piano were okay, but there were odd sonic elements that just felt like noise. There was some of that earlier in the album, but it bothered me most on this tune. The Japanese 箏 (koto) was a nice touch. I wish there had been more of it.
It wasn’t a bad album, but it wasn’t mind-blowing either, you know? 3.3/5
Here’s what my friends had to say:
“Good album” – Chris
“I found one after this one that I like better this week. But I think they do some very interesting experimentation without being unrelatable.” – Tim
“I enjoyed this album. Its got good variety of sounds between the different tracks. It took a couple listens to warm up to it, but the grooves in Don’t You Evah and the opener sure made me happy. The motown like influence surprised me but lent a lot to the nice breadth. Finer Feelings was probably my favorite track, groovy and driving, some harmony in there. I look forward to hearing some more Spoon. THanks for sharing it” 4.0/5 – Spencer
Paul Gilbert – I Can Destroy (2015)
Spencer did what Tim and I did last week (and what Tim did again this week) and shared an album he hadn’t listened to before.
The opening track was an interesting blend of bluesy, groovy shuffle with lyrics that didn’t exactly match. And I liked it. Gonna Make You Love Me had similarly good music, although the lyrics weren’t really noteworthy.
While we’re on the subject of lyrics, I felt like Blues Just Saving My Life was a little repetitive. It reminded me of Lost for Words off Gillwire’s album from last week in that I would have done it differently.
Knocking on a Locked Door was good. It reminded me of Queen‘s Headlong. My only complaint is that it was too short; I wanted more. And that’s not really a complaint at all. Love We Had also reminds me of the Eagles or America. I think it’s the guitar work and harmony. To a lesser extend, the vocals on I will be Remembered also remind me of the Eagles.
My favorite song was probably Make It (If We Try). The only failing I have for the album on the whole was the heaviness of the drums. They distracted from everything else for me on half the songs (especially the title track and One Woman too Many). I almost want it all to be ’80s hair metal, but it isn’t gritty enough. Much of the album is too digital, if that makes sense. Make It, however, strikes the perfect balance between a new song going after that old feel. And the drums aren’t too much.
Before I started listening to either album, I expected to like this more than Spoon (don’t get me wrong, I like them both). But I’m surprised how close it was. This had more highlights and more lowlights. 3.16/5
This album also has two bonus tracks, but I couldn’t find My Sugar. Great White Buffalo is a fine tune. His voice on that track reminded me of someone’s, but I couldn’t place it. If you can, I’d appreciate you letting me know. Otherwise, it’s a lot like the rest of the album.
From my friends:
“I think the opening track is very catchy and well written, though I think it really lost something when he yelled the hook line twice. The first time was cool, the second sounded like the same clip and really lost effect IMO. The language also makes it so I can’t play it around the kids either.
I really liked his unique blend of shred solos with blues riffs. Blues Just Savin’ My Life was cool. Very simple, but fun song. I’ll probably give this a 3.8/5.” – Spencer
Disturbed – The Sound of Silence (2015)
As for what I shared, here’s a cover of an artist we’ve listened to before by an early 2000s band who had a couple minor hits and may not realize that nobody really listens to them anymore. Unless they do something like this:
Here’s what my friends had to say about it:
“Definitely a worthy tribute to the original GREAT song. Hard to go wrong covering a really great song. I think it misses the vocal harmonies S&G put on it, but its got good power. So while I wouldn’t ever say its better than the original, its a nice one to have in addition to the original. I’m going 4.5/5” – Spencer