Living Breathing Rock ‘n’ Roll

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.

Queen – The Miracle (1989)

As Tim comes to a close on his month of Queen, we visit one of Queen’s last albums.

The only two songs I knew before this listen weren’t actually the versions I knew. I’ve only heard the single versions. So even the familiar tracks were new to me.

I Want It All is a great song, and the solo section was sweet, but this whole album felt angry. Maybe I’ve just had a bad week and I’m reading into it what I want to. Not that there isn’t a time and place for that. I love me some angry music – but I usually know going in and chose it for that reason. Aside from the two hits, I really liked Was it All Worth It. Not much else really stood out to me, and I wonder if the mood and tone is why.

That’s not entirely why. The Invisible Man was just a little odd. It and Rain Must Fall were very much a product of their musical environment. Not that their other stuff isn’t, but 1989 was a much different place than the ’70s and it shows in those two songs. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t awesome either.

In addition to the standard tracks, I also looked up the five non-album b-sides from the record’s singles. If you liked the album, you’d like the b-sides. More of the same. Hang On in There is especially notable. 3/5

Snarky Puppy – Culcha Vulcha (2016)

I have heard of Snarky Puppy, but have never heard their stuff before. And to be honest, I wasn’t even sure what kind of music they played.

And I’m still not sure what Semente is exactly. Broadly Jazz, but there were so many ethnic sounding melodies and harmonies, I can’t put my finger on what it reminds me of. No matter, I love the groove. I find that instrumental music has to try a little harder to make me feel something. In this case it makes me feel like moving my body, and that’s always a good thing.

It seemed like the whole album was give and take. Every other track was great and groovy, and the off tracks were … just off. I know if every track was the same, it would grate on me a little, but this seemed a bit extreme. Maybe that’s what they were going for. 3.2/5

Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape (1997)

The whole time we’ve been playing this game, I’m surprised Foo Fighters have never come up. This is their second album, although their first was just Dave Grohl and nobody else. There are some classic Foo Fighters hits on here, including Monkey Wrench, which is the first song I remember calling into a radio station to request. And they actually played it – although I don’t remember now if I had the privilege of having my call recorded and played on the air. Ironically, it wasn’t that song that really got me into Foo Fighters. It was Walking After You, which was on the X-Files movie soundtrack the year after this album came out. Although the one on this album sounds like a stripped down, acoustic version compared to the X-Files version.

This album has great songs, which are eclipsed by the singles. My Poor Brain is a little bi-polar, but that’s a good thing; it keeps the listener on their toes. Really, only Doll, Hey, Johnny Park! and Enough Space aren’t “really good”; they’re just okay.

 

And there were also a plethora of bonus tracks, which I didn’t really love as much as the standard album. Dear Lover, the b-side to My Hero, reminded me of Tonic’s Lemon Parade. The cover of Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street, also a b-side to My Hero, was pretty good, but not as good as the original.

If my friends ever tell me what they thought, I’ll be sure to post their reviews here. You can post your own in the comments section below.

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2 thoughts on “Living Breathing Rock ‘n’ Roll

  1. Pingback: An American Audio-logue

  2. Pingback: Take Off Your Shoes Babe, it’s Time for Dancin’ | An American Audio-logue

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