Tag Archives: 3.5 stars

RS #385: Bob Dylan, Love and Theft

#385

Bob Dylan, Love and Theft

Release Date: 2001 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Another late-career Dylan entry. Okay, let's get through this... Bluesy, rockabilly opener. His craggy, nasal vocal style doesn't really appeal to me, but this sounds lighter and looser already. Unpretentious production. Something about "Mississippi" snuck up on me: he's older and been through some stuff and it seems lived in with lyrics like "I'm … Continue Reading ››

RS #392 — The Beatles, Let It Be

#392

The Beatles, Let It Be

Release Date: 1969 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes (unbelievable!)
"The Beatles, Let It Be" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.
Impressions: Their worst album?...And the start of 10 Beatles albums on this list. Which is, what, 0.02% of the list? Let's get to work... Well, even though it's not technically their last album, the whole deal has a down-cast, end of the road vibe. I always liked the stomping acoustic guitar … Continue Reading ››

RS #393: M.I.A., Kala

#393

M.I.A., Kala

Release Date: 2007 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
"M.I.A., Kala" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.
Impressions: Intriguing hip-hop British/Indian multicultural mash up. Opening songs like "Bamboo Banga" are fragmented, percussive, cool but can get a bit numbing, "Jimmy"opens up into a disco cover. "Hussel" sounds of 2007 with big throwback keyboards and tribal drums, yet still unique. Sometime M.I.A.'s rapping veers dangerously close toward Debbie Harry "Rapture" style, but generally she gets by pretty … Continue Reading ››

RS #394: Randy Newman, Good Old Boys

#394

Randy Newman, Good Old Boys

Release Date: 1974 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
"Randy Newman, Good Old Boys" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.
Impressions: Woah, Mr. Newman comes out firing with "Rednecks.," which sports some quite provocative lyrics about institutional racism over a jaunty country/rag. Seems to be that was his '70s modus operandi. Odd to think a guy who'd sing stuff like "we don't know our ass from a hole in the ground/we're rednecks!/We're keepin … Continue Reading ››

RS #421: Various Artists,The Best of the Girl Groups

#421

Various Artists, The Best of the Girl Groups

Release Date: 1990 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
The Best of the Girl Groups
Groups of Girls singing songs. What did you expect?
Impressions: This somewhat difficult-to-find collection of the best tunes of'60s girl groups finishes off a run of three similar collections in a row on this list. Let's put it on… The familar motorcycle themed "Leader of The Pack" by the Shangri-Las starts off with cooing voices, screeching tires, revving motorcycle … Continue Reading ››

RS #441: Suicide, Suicide

Suicide, Suicide
Yep, this is what it sounds like.
#441

Suicide, Suicide Release Date: 1977

Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes Impressions: Completely never heard of these guys. Not even in name, although I'm going to assume it's not party-time music…So far, name is apt: they play lo-fi, almost amateurish, early New Romantic keyboard heavy sad music. The mood is Dire. "Ghost Rider" sounds like if a depressed Elvis got ahold of some synths. You can definitely hear a wire-frame for new wave or goth type … Continue Reading ››

RS #459: The Drifters, Golden Hits

The Drifters' Golden Hits
When I see this record cover, I immediately have a flashback to a yard sale or church basement.
#459

The Drifters, Golden Hits

Release Date: 1968 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Many of these songs are so fully integrated into the landscape of oldies stations that they almost cease to be music. After I had trouble finding this actual collection on line, I eBay'd a CD. Let's put it on... "There Goes My Baby" seems to follow their recipe: smooth doo-wop singing on top of sweet strings and proto-Phil Spector-esque Wall of Sound production, with a … Continue Reading ››

RS #468: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
That typeface really makes it look like "Paul Buggerfield," which would probably be the name of the band in "A Bug's Life."
#468

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Release Date: 1965
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions:  Completely never heard of these fellas. Paul Butterfield is a blue-eyed leader of this blues/rock combo. Mid '60s. Loaded with blues standards. Sure. Let's put it on... Hmm, sounds kind of proto-Cream? "Born In Chicago" sets up the sound. Lots of energy, looseness, and has a gritty Chess records atmosophere that makes it almost sound … Continue Reading ››

RS #477: Merle Haggard – All Time Greatest Hits

#477

Merle Haggard, All Time Greatest Hits

Release Date: 2004
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Oh, man. A FOUR DISC BOX SET?!? Rolling Stone! GRRR, why are you busting my chops like this and, to top it all off, SPOTIFY doesn't have it! So, I could buy it ($40!) or just cobble it together track-by-track online. Ugh, time to get to cobbling. I'm sure most people who have tried listening to the entire list have crashed and burned here, but I'm determined to continue for some reason. Let's listen..."Skid Row" is a nice snappy opener. (CUT TO: 20 songs later) Okay, so far, these tunes are really … Continue Reading ››

#494: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular

#494

MGMT, Oracular Spectacular

MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
The MGMT Lions
Release Date: 2007
Previously Owned: Sort of... have a bunch of MP3s from this one
Impressions: When this album first came out, someone threw MP3s from this album on my work server and I thought they were audio files from our company's management committee meeting.  It's got that now-popular '80s-via-'00s sound by Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann that features big drums and bigger keyboards and some nice hooks. Parts funky, trippy and sarcastic without getting too, too annoying, Oracular Spectacular is a definitely an product of … Continue Reading ››