Don’t Let Them Applaude

For a couple of years some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Jefferson Starship – Red Octopus (1975)

Tim was going to share Queen’s The Works, but after realizing he shared that album last November, he went with Jefferson Starship. They’re a classic rock radio staple, but I’ve never really taken a dive into their catalog.

I guess I’m surprised at how many of their songs almost feel like psychedelic country. They remind me of The Allman Brothers Band (except I still like the Allman Bros. more).

Not that there were any bad tunes, but this album ended a lot stronger than it started. The last three songs were really solid. They had great grooves and they knew when to give and when to take. I Want to See Another World was especially good. 3.5/5

There also some live bonus tracks, but I couldn’t find them.

Here’s what my friends had to say:

“I finally got through it a couple times. I agree that the sound is dated. I have to make a conscious effort to look past that until I’m familiar with music. The hippie influence is pretty evident, but at the same time this is rock and roll. I easily imagine an arena full of people rocking out to this stuff as I listen. My favorite track was sandalphon. It was quite interesting musically. Get Fidder was surprising with the violin, but it worked alright and added a nice variety to the album. I sure wouldn’t complain listening to more of this, but I’m not sure it will be one I come back to” 3.9/5 – Spencer

Purple Melon – Henry’s Rocket (2012)

When Spencer introduced this album, he mentioned it was retro British rock. Not quite The Darkness, but with definite Queen influences. But I didn’t pick that vibe up. There were plenty of other influences I picked up on though.

Kings of the World had a sweet Weezer-y, retro bluesy boogie going on. Please Don’t Go reminded me of Fleetwood Mac‘s Don’t Stop. The title track and Love for the World sounded like Dream Theater doing an homage to Pink Floyd. The funky, hard rock chorus of Ready for Love reminded me of Golden Earring’s Radar Love. The driving, country blues song One More Night reminded me of Les Claypool or Primus. Let Me Love You reminded me of The BeatlesI Want You (She’s So Heavy). And the bonus track I’ve Got You reminded me a little bit of AC/DC.

This was the band’s only album. Apparently they released three more tracks on the Seven Years EP and then broke up. I really liked this album, so of course I looked up that EP as well.

One of the things the album did frequently and I think it did well was buildup. The title track, Love for the World and especially the Seven Years bonus track.

The lowlight of the album for me was Princess Peach. I wanted to like it more than I did. I liked elements, but the pieces didn’t quite come together for me.

The highlight of the album for me was Don’t Give Up. It was fine musically, but it had great, poignant lyrics. 3.77/5

Bishop Briggs

Last June, my boss told me to check out this British chick now in LA. Recently, this artist popped back up on my radar, so I figured her time to be shared on this game had come. She just has a total of four singles and one EP. Actually, the EP was released twice with slightly different tracks, so she has a total of 8 songs available, plus a couple of remixes: (Like a) River, Dark Side, The Way I Do, Wild Horses, Be Your Love, Dead Man’s Arms, Pray (Empty Gun), and The Fire.

Her song River has been stuck in my boss’ head for a while, so if you only get to listen to one song, start with that one. Otherwise, I’d recommend listening to all of her stuff (it’s really not that much).

The only song I don’t really like is Wild Horses. Bishop Briggs has an Adele soul quality to her, which isn’t really my thing, mixed with some electronic pop elements. Wild Horses just sounded too much like Katy Perry‘s Dark Horse, which I can’t stand. Pray was a bit that way, too. Especially the background vocals.

Here’s what my friends had to say:

“This isn’t what I expected until I saw her spotify page. Then it was pretty close. It was ok, but really didn’t do much for me. It reminded me of Lorde but less minimal and not as nice of singing. There’s a good chance I’d skip it in a playlist, but at least it didn’t hurt to listen all the way through.” 2.9/5 – Spencer

Feel free to leave your own reviews on Jefferson, Purple Melon or Bishop Briggs in the comments section below.

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