Saturday, October 22, 2016

Renaissance - Village People

This was not an album I was is intending to review, but to be fair, it does have the spookiest cover art of all time... So why not. This is the 6th studio album, 7th if you count the Sleazy half of Live and Sleazy, by the Village People. This followed their huge flop, and is a departure from their disco roots in favor of New Wave sounds. The wikipedia page has tons more info, more than I'd really ever need but now I can say this is the first album with Jeff Olson as the Cowboy and the last with David Hodo the Construction worker. Now I don't know if this look really works for them.... it kinds looks really fucking dumb. But hey, why not give the album a try right.... what could possibly go wrong?
  1. Do You Wanna Spend the Night: What the fuck is this, it's like they sucked the charm of the Village People out and made them shit. I mean it's an okay song I guess that sounds like like could be a watered down Foreigner, with a weird 80's chorus, but like I don't know. It's not horrible but it's too bland, where's the camp. I do dig the backing vocals, and I mean I like the song and all but I just don't really see myself returning outside of a curious listen.
  2. 5 O'Clock in the Morning: This intro sounds like a Duran Duran copy cat trying to figure out a Bond theme. I do like the synths on this track, but I mean it kinda makes me think of AOR. You know maybe a good comparison would be 90's Foreigner, after they lost their umph. I mean I think if someone else did this it could have been a hit, but it's the group that no one took seriously anymore (well you know what I mean). The song is so repetitive but it hasn't gotten old while I listened, so that has to be a good sign.
  3. Fireman: This is a title, that is pretty cheesy. This has a disco feeling in my opinion, or at least post-disco type sound. There are some lyrics where I'm like, really just say sack. But this isn't terrible, I'm just pretty sure I'll forget about it once the reviews over. I like the bells and sirens and what not. Nice touches. There are also nice synth sounds on this too. It's better than Uptown Fuck.
  4. Jungle City: There's something about this title where I could so picture the cheesiest, campiest, over the top music video of all time ever. Like Raining Men level cheesy video. The song isn't maybe cheesy enough for the music video but it's bad. I like the drums though.
  5. Action Man: "Action Jackson, is my name, bold adventure is my game". So I looked up the lyrics before I heard this song and some other songs on this album. When I saw that chorus I just.... I was not looking forward to this track. Who knows its could be good, but in reality...... it's really not. If anything; it's like more along the lines of what the fuck am I listening to, mixed with Whip It.
  6. Big Mac: I have no words for this song, outside of once I looked up the lyrics and read them I just..... I don't know. Is anything even real anymore? Waterfalls is about AIDS, there exist Titanic video game from Japan and most shocking..... The Village People sang a song about the legendary McDonald's burger... the Big Mac. This isn't terrible, but really were they endorsed by Micky Dees. There's a sort of surf feeling to the tune, maybe like the B52's. Eh, I don't know not feeling it. 
  7. Diet: This is so 80's, but it's not in the good way. So when I was younger, and far less intelligent (or at least had worse taste) I would watch hours of VH1 Classic music videos. Mind you I was in Middle School and most of that music I either like out of nostalgia or I think sucks. Some I still love, Video Killed the Radio Star, Aerosmith but that's besides the point. I feel like, even then, this would have been on of the songs I'd see and be like okay lets wait until this is over so I can see a good music video. My favorite was Pop Up video for Sexual Healing. #Fucking Classic - Not this Marvin's tune.
  8. Food Fight: Is this a sequel to the 2012 film of the same name? You know, I kinda think this is fitting... Not the song but the jesture maybe. David left after this album, I doubt they or he knew while they were recording, but I like to think this is his send off (he sings lead vocals on this track). Okay this is my favorite song here, for the fact it sounds like Weird Al's classic tune Happy Birthday. It also kinda reminds me of Blondie, maybe. That one could be me remembering wrong, but I do know that the vocals and the way this is reminds me of that HB
Overall I have to give this album a 5/10. This wasn't as terrible as I thought it'd be, but I mean I don't know if I'll ever revisit this. I mean while the songs aren't half bad they aren't fun.There is a very 80's feeling to it, and it kinds suffers a bit for that. But I don't know, it isn't terrible

Saturday, October 15, 2016

obZen - Meshuggah

So I've known about this band for quite some time, and since I've haven't really found a right time to do this review I decided to do it now for October. Well also to the fact they also just released a new album, which I wasn't anticipating but I'll give it a spin or two before the end of the year. This is my first full album I've heard from the group, I have only ever heard Selfcaged in it's entirety before (the 1995 ep). I've heard songs and
  1. Combustion: This opens pretty okay, I like the guitar and like the punch to it. The vocals here have a nice scream and I am not hating what I'm hearing. I do dig that riff, it's a bit neat you know. I'm also trying to figure out the time signature while I'm listening to this. I think it's in 4, for the main part, but like could it be in 8. Like is it 6/8 then 8/8. I don't know I probably suck at that, fuck me. But I did enjoy the song.
  2. Electric Red: This song isn't half bad, I like the drums and the bass and the guitar again but there isn't really a ton here for me you know. This feels a lot like the last track on the album. The thing I will comment on is the fact there is this synth that I feel would be so much better if it was more in the front and it was horns and punchier. You know opposed to just background and not in the front. The guitar is okay but I don't really know.
  3. Bleed: Yes there is a puch to this, but I don't know, like when I hear this I just go man.... Machine Gun has much more punchy and edgy and abrasive moments then a lot of metal music. Where's that moment I go, wow this is tough. To be honest, if anything, I'm getting more of a rush getting irritated wanting to feel the rush or going... Machine Gun's going on immediately after this record. To be honest, my favorite part so far is the creepy sort of quite eerie part. But that fucking "jump scare" don't work for this track in my opinion. Also that solo needs to be higher in the mix and actually do something rather than not very much. 
  4. Lethargica: Yes technically there is kinda stuff they do differently here, but yeah I'm just kinda at this point waiting for this album to be over. Also the best parts are these quieter parts, why not build on theres and give us something evil or satanic or dark or crazy complex.
  5. obZen: So I took a break at this point, I couldn't take it front to back. It's not that it was too brutal it was more boring to me.
  6. This Spiteful Snake: The spiteful snake, is going to rake. He's gonna make you spank, and wank your crank. He's insanke and he's gonna bank, monna skrank a crank. Cyber chanks. I do like the solo the most out of any other track here though, if I'm being honest.
  7. Pineal Gland Optics: This is another okay track, but I kind think this would have worked better as an ep. Like seriouly if you have the first 3 tracks plus the last one and the last track it'd be like a 5 probably.
  8. Pravus: Is this title a tribute to the band Praxis. You know their self titled ep has some decent stuff on there, I liked it. And not to mention there was a sort of early version of Jordan (one of my all time favorite songs ever) on the 2007 live album Tennessee 2004. So that's something that I think is neat. I'll admit the opening does make me wonder where this will all go. While I have a hunch, I still am curious. My speakers don't have the bass, but I feel like this would feel great with a subwoofer. I don't know why, but I kinda dig this thing.
  9. Dancers to a Discordant System: The closing track here can be of note, this is the only track with lead vocals from Tomas Haake the drummer on this album. The vocals should have a change of pace right, a different singer should spice things up. It works for Aerosmith and The Beatles and Zappa and really band oriented groups. I am here to say the introduction is neat and it kinda feels like they might go a bit of a different direction. This isn't half bad, I do like it more than a lot of the other tracks here, but that could be because of the vocals
I give this album a 4/10. This things okay, I mean I don't really dig a lot of what I used to and it's not that this is too complex of hard for me to figure out, it's just it doesn't appeal to me. Like you can't not tell me that track to isn't very repetitious. Lots of theses songs don't show me anything that really makes me enjoy listening to this a second time, or even want to listen to this a second time. I guess if I wanted to listen to challenging music, like that is kinda hard to swallow a bit, I would listen to Merzbow or Naked City or Boredoms or maybe some Free Improvisation or Peter Brotzmann Trio. I feel the punch, but like the I wanna fucking get punched. That doesn't happen. Even when I turn it up and I could listen to other music quiter and feel more of a punch. I'm not looking forward to the next album I get set for next saturday, though that reviews almost done but I'm excited for the finale.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Devils Rain - Misfits

This is an album that I've been putting off, and now it's time to finally do it. The Halloween season is upon us and what better time to listen to this band then then. This is the sixth studio album by the Misfits, second led by Jerry Only. I remember digging this when it came out, and still like some tracks on here... but it's been a good 3 years since I've heard anything besides Land of the Dead and Twilight.
  1. The Devil's Rain: Rain fall opens the album, mixed with a bit o'tunder. This is a pretty promising opening. The drums fade in and the rest of the band follows to open the track. Objectively, this opening really don't grab me. This is more of a one ear out the other. The way this is going I think it should cut maybe before the solo then explode. I know that's similar to Kong, but I think it'd work better and make the 50 minutes go by faster (there wouldn't be 50 minutes anymore).
  2. Vivid Red: opening a lot more punchy, but wheres the kick. It still feels kinda weak. I don't know this doesn't do much for me either. I mean I've heard this before but there's kinda nothing there. 
  3. Land of the Dead: This is a re-recording of the 2009 single of the same name. I'm glad they did that, rather than being lazy and reusing the same track they released over two years prior. This version is also pretty solid, and maybe it isn't punchy or strong, but it is catchy. This isn't as good as I remember it being the other times I've heard it, but I still like it. I mean this has the punch I'm more looking for you know.
  4. The Black Hole: The most interesting thing about the track, and most memorable is the ending sound effect.
  5. Twilight of the Dead: This was also a single in 2009, and it also happened to be re-recorded. I do like this track, thought in the context of the album it takes away some of the punch. Or rather some of the, may I wanna revisit this. I mean it still stands out, but it's almost like one track ends then you loop it, change key/lyrics and play.
  6. Curse of the Mummy's Hand: I don't remember caring for this my initial 2011 listen. This track opens kinda stupid, and not even like campy and charming. It's like, really you really wanna do that shit. The song in and of itself it fine. But you know, I kinda miss Michale. The chorus by the way fucking sucks. They way he phrases it.... cringe. Plus he kinda kills the flow of the song.
  7. Cold in Hell: This is an okay track, if you can get over the lyrics. I mean, it does go in one ear and out the other, but I'm not triggered. Also that whole second half of the song, they so fucking easily could have done something really interesting, instead they chose not to.
  8. Unexplained: The two tracks flow, the sounds fade into this track, but that doesn't make it "aye, you're forgiven". Plus I can't really jive with this tune anyway. Some of the vocals are neat, but I feel like maybe mix it up.
  9. Dark Shadows: I didn't realize they were making 80's pop music. I think they vocals are going for more of a 50's feeling, but like then do harmonies and turn the fucking band down. Like imagine how neat it'd sound if at the ending of the phrases they actually had harmonies. Like in a doo-wop manner. Then they sort of build into the chorus, why not add more harmonies or vocals the make it larger. I mean they kinda do later on, but it isn't strong enough you know. This is a large song, it needs to eventually overpower you and build you know. Maybe add the electric guitar and drums later. Open with vocals percussion and an acoustic guitar. I don't know, build it up, don't kinda do that but not have the pay off.
  10. Father: This riff reminds me a bit of Judas Priest. Maybe like a less effective version of Electric Eye. Like the original before they figured it out you know. Kinda like the goofing around before you "get" the riff. Later on, while there is a change, like what the fuck. I don't even know.
  11. Jack the Ripper: Metallica? This isn't terrible, but it makes me think... I really hope that I don't feel as numb towards Hardwired... to Self-Destruct as I have to the albums singles.
  12. Monkey's Paw: It's kinda cute, in a it's not really way. I do think the harmonies work better here, but like I just feel like this is a jumble. Like not really as focused maybe.
  13. Where Do They Go?: This title, it makes me think, "What can I say?". Sometimes it makes me think "Where Can I go?". This is a stupid track, but I gotta say, it works. The fucking 50's charm is there. This actually works, verses the other tracks that don't.
  14. Sleepwalkin': This is okay, I mean I like it more than some of the weaker track, but like.... I still don't completely jive. It's just okay.
  15. Ghost of Frankenstein: Really, how the fuck does that work. Frankly, isn't he just reanimated tissue. So like does he have a soul to even become a ghost. Or would like his soul be a mix of the souls of all the people who's bodies he's made of. Or is it that his brain would be the soul, or the mix, or I don't know and I kinda don't care really anymore. That intro doesn't really work, like they didn't even have a sort of thing to make this a different track. Maybe throw in strings in the pre-chrous.
  16. Death Ray: Closing the album we get a song that actually has some energy. There's a punch and this is the closest they've gotten to the old version of the bad.
Overall I have to give this a 4/10. You know, I get why people don't like this. To be honest it isn't that great of a representation of what the group once was. It'd be like if Aerosmith continued without Steven Tyler or Joe Per.... oh wait. If you can look past the stupid stuff, and think of this as a sort of Jerry Only solo album, kinda in the way Vincent would continue Alice Cooper after 1973. I mean this isn't What The... bad, it's more.... it's more..... I don't fucking know. But it's not the worst thing ever, thought it could be maybe 13 or 12 tracks vs 16. This isn't anything they've come out with, excluding maybe DeA.D. Alive!, since this album *cough* Friday the 13th *cough*. Let's hope they make a reunion Live album and maybe a new album with Glenn and then close the book on the releases.

Okay so if they made this an Ep, made up of 3, 5, 11, 13, 14, 15 (with strings) and 16. Or maybe cut the first two tracks, I think it'd be a 7.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls - Coven

So to kick off my less Halloween-tackular-bonanza-onzi-Month-A-Palooza (fucking let me die please), I have decided to do an album I've been putting off for a while. Why have I been putting it off, because I forgot about it to be honest, the review. This is the debut by Chicago satanists Coven. I chose to initially review this album because it predates Black Sabbath by a year, also another funny thing about this is there's a member that's nickname is Oz. Also Jinx used to do devil horns on stage before Dio was performing. She also gets naked in the gate-fold, but she's much cuter on the cover than naked (IMO). This was pulled after only a short shelf life because of the satanic themes, remember this was 1969, not 2016. But whatever, I still dig this thing and am reviewing it. Oh also, check out the wikipedia page, there's a really interesting story about the songwriter for the record. Not occult odd, just kind.... well you'll see.
  1. Black Sabbath: This is a shot for shot remake of the film of the same name. This opens with a sort of groove, that I wouldn't expect to be here. It's a very interesting sounding sort of vamp over the vocals. The keys, or effects add this sort of horror film eerie dissonant sounds. I like the guitar tone, and I think the vocals and are sort of added too, during the long notes with that echo or dissonance.  The songs has this sort of pivot with drum rolls and it does into a much harder rocking part. That ends with sort of cadence, but I love it because it makes me wanna sing a patriotic song sort of. Not really, but that's what comes to mind. I really like the bass and the sort of marching feeling that is hypnotic and could be them summoning something. I can't believe they fit this much shit, in the best way possible, into 3 1/2 minutes. This is a really well put together track that has great flow and the "pivots" work and don't detract at all.
  2. White Witch of Rose Hall: Okay, off the bat I'ma be straigh, this is a phenomenal track. I could so easily see this being a soul song, if it didn't find it's home on this record. The percussion is pretty solid, though it kinda sounds a bit off a parts but it's all good. The vocals here are great and the groove and forward pushing drive of this song is great. The piano sounds fucking great and they even were able to throw in some variation. Fucking James Vincent, I gotta look into more of his shit. I really like the percussive sounds they got on this track, and it's kinda like outta nowhere. I'd never in 1 million years expect this to be on this type of album.
  3. Coven in Charing Cross: Ah. Classic titular band track. This song has a very psychedelic feeling, but it kinda makes me smile. Hippies were like, happy and "peaceful" but it's funny to hear that mentality and sound for something more conventionally sinister. I love that group chant that makes it almost sound as if it's a cult, but this is a pretty solid tune. There is a song this kind of reminds me of, but I can't quite finger it. I don't like this as much as the last track, but I do still think it's pretty solid. The only thing I think they could have changed was maybe that last longer chant they could have had music or something going on to make it sound hypnotic or more textured. Like it happens three times, each time I think should be start stop start stop. Why not have it start, stop, then start then trip out. I fee like the sound could have been shortened, but I feel like based off the last two songs they could have done something really good with those two other pauses. Hell even reading the chant over the outro solo or having that phase out and then the segue in with a vocal harmonies and someone over it. I have tons of ideas for it.
  4. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge: This is a cover the the Van Halen album of the same name. But oddly enough this sounds much more reminiscent of The Doors. Maybe mixed with Uriah Heep's keyboards (only so slightly though). This still is a great tune, don't get me wrong. I love the grooves and the fucking bass player. Damn, I love that bass line (the tone). This could pass as a Door's reworking or a version before Jim joined the band. Hypothetically speaking of course.
  5. Pact with Lucifer: This is a song that is kind of standard, it really isn't blowing me as much away as one of the other tracks. It's not bad, but it's kind just like a song with Satanic lyrics that could have been recorded at the time. This could so be a Jefferson Airplane song.
  6. Choke, Thirst, Die: This is what my ex used to yell during sex, so as you can tell I have a sort of nostalgic connection to the song. Holy shit, does this remind anyone else of Soft Paradise. Mixed with Stange Days maybe a bit. There is a great solo on the track, I do really dig, but the song is just another song that kinda fits. It isn't throwing anything new at me. I do really like the vamp feeling to it though and the keys really sound great. There's a part where it sort of has a pre-solo vamp section, and they just go to the introduction. Like what the fuck bru, I get that it does pick up, but still.
  7. Wicked Games: This is a song based on a cover of The Weeknd's hit Wicked Games, adapted to modern texts. This is a pretty solid tune and it's good a nice feeling to it. Again there isn't anything crazy here,
  8. Dignitaries of Hell: This so reminds me of Cream in the beginning. Though I do like the keys added, like it gives a different flavor to the sound you know. Like an extra texture.
  9. Portrait: of a picture of my parents, as I left for California? This is another track that fits, but it's a bit more organ heavy maybe. It kinda feels like a less intresting version of something happening on Fly to the Rainbow.
  10. Satanic Mass: This track, at 12 minutes, is the longest by far and most unconventional track too. It's an actual "induction" into what sounds like The Church of Satan. It's creepy and in my option, something you only need to hear once, unless your an occultist or into paganism or satanic imagery, literally. I mean it's just kinda bizarre, it'd be like listening to a baptism on a record..... But into the Church of Satan. Not saying that its fucked because its for Satan, or whatever strain of Satanism it is. I'm more in the, its 12 minutes of an induction ceremony, so like do i really want to revisit this... Regardless of what its into. I don't know you know, its unique I guess but it is what it is. It also has a writing credit to Bill Traut (the guy who produced a number of singles and albums, but for me most notably the first four Styx records). #BillTrautIllimanitiExposed
Overall I have to give this album a 7.8/10. I like the record, there's a punch you dig. All terrible jokes, and confusing dumbass references aside check this out. It's a great rock record and great for Halloween. I think they sort of lost their creative steam after track three, but that's not a terrible thing. I know a ton of people who like songs that work together. It's not so bad it blends, but they all work on the same album. I just wish there were more parts that kind of threw in changes, and things out of nowhere (or at least changed it up a bit). Check it out if you think the cover, the themes, or anything about it is intresting. Hell even if it's just outta morbid curiosity listen to the last track. I think it can be summed up as if Jefferson Airplane, mixed with The Doors. And also if Janis Joplin wasn't boring as fuck. Side note: I wonder what this would have been if it was a live record.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mona Bone Jakon - Cat Stevens

So I've been super busy and haven't had time to do reviews. So I figured I'd do an album I could knock out pretty fast. So I picked the third studio album by beloved singer/songwriter Cat Stevens. Released on April 24th 1970, this was recorded after he almost died because he contracted TB. No really, look it up, he was in a hospital for like a year I believe, and he wrote songs there.
Also as a side note, Who Can I Be Now? [1974-1976] is fucking great.
  1. Lady d'Arbanville: This opens the album, with a completely different Cat Stevens. A much more mature and grown up version. sort of dirge, there is a Spanish feeling to the song. I really like the percussion in the track and this is one of his best. The song is very bare and it really has a close feeling, there is a driving force with the percussion that I love and the two guitars sound fucking great together. I love the organ, I wanna say, that accents the guitar later on in the song and how it progressively gets louder. I think it's a pipe organ. This really is a fucking great tune and it you just feel the feeling in it. I also dig the double tracked vocals, and it just takes you there you know.
  2. Maybe Your Right: This feels like a bit more of a busy version of say, If You Wanna Sing Out. Now I dig the piano in the track, and I think this is a solid tune none the less, it's just I feel there's a lot happening and there's stuff that can distract maybe. It's not like it adds to it though, I think it kinda is just there. I do like that piano roll though, fucking nice sounding. I do like the brushes used and I like the strings. While this is decent enough, I feel like it's a deep cut more than a stand out.
  3. Pop Star: From what I've read, this is a satire about the triviality of celebrity and what not. I can get with that, I mean fuck everyone. Now because I'm not fucking retarded, I know satire isn't usually funny and it more points out the short comings of people. Based on the lyrics, I guess I can say it's satirical. I like the song, though it kinda reminds me a bit of Six String Orchestra, especially the part where the band comes in and plays. I also wanna say, Fuck! that double bass... I love it. This is a solid tune, thought I wish maybe it was a different take. Like it doesn't feel as confident(?). There something missing from keeping this phenomenal you know, but I'm thinking it's probably the fact this is the first time they've done this.
  4. I Think I See the Light: The second this starts I go, White Stripes? This so could be a White Stripes song, you know a piano or more novelty try songs. Not to say this is a novelty song, but that's to get in your mind. I mean this is way more interesting and has a ton more going on than one of theirs would have, but it's pretty great. I also like the motif that plays as an instrumental during the choruses. I also gotta say, great organ solo. It's a solid track.
  5. Trouble: A soft song, also one of my favorite songs he's ever written. Elliott Smith did a great cover of this, but I gotta go with the original. So I guess this song is written about death, and pushing it away. I could see that, there is a very somber feeling to this track. The harmonies in the background are great, and I love they mostly guitar and vocals. The double bass and drums are there, but they aren't as prominent, I wanna say.
  6. Mona Bone Jakon: Slang for a hard on, I really like the percussion in this track. There is some type of bongo or animal skin thing being played. And there sounds like he might be hitting his guitar. This song is kinda filler, and it's a bit disorienting, but I still can dig it.
  7. I Wish, I Wish: This song is just okay, I mean it isn't anything new but there is a bit of a different feeling to it. I do think the highlight though is the solo that is either double tracked or a duel lead. It's pretty great. The piano also sound pretty great, this has a nice energy to it.
  8. Katmandu: Fun fact, that flute was played by Peter Gabriel. There is a great relaxing, sort of Moonshadow feeling to this song. That flute is really great by the way, but I think this is a pretty romantic sounding track. I think this is about the town or city, but I could just as easily see this being a love song. I also love the atmosphere. It's pretty beautiful and one of his best I think.
  9. Time: This is an introduction to the next track, and I really like the sort of Pink Floyd vibe to the track. Like maybe a slightly less progressive version of something like Dogs. Like the acoustic part or something like that. I do dig this though and I love how it's so short and sweet. Plus that ending, damn.
  10. Fill My Eyes: While I wish the chords held over into this track from the last, this is a great second part to it. Maybe it's just my copy but it didn't do that well with it. I mean it worked, but not perfect. But that aside, this is another solid tune Cats. I love when the piano comes in, thought I wish it didin't leave as quick as it came. I would have possibly rearranged the track, but that's me.
  11. Lilywhite: Closing the album is a ballad, that to be honest isn't anything you haven't heard earlier in the tracklisting. I mean the strings really work well here, but it isn't anything that crazy. But that being said, I gotta say, this still works. I love the feeling of the strings and how they play and could almost be floating. The vocals are a great and I think I'm out of things to say :D. But It's solid. The best part tough, is the ending with the string arrangement by it's self. It kinda reminds me of minimalism a bit. With the droning one.
Overall I have to give this album an 8/10. This is a solid record, and I think you should check it out. Really good singer/songwriter tunes and it's not a boring listen. It kinda moves pretty fast and has memorable songs. It's pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

Friday, September 2, 2016

"Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D

This is the second album by Al and is followed by my favorite album of his Dare to Be Stupid. This album thought was released February 28th, 1984. I originally planned to do this before the release of Mandatory Fun, an album I still occasionally listen to tracks off of to this day. Since it's been a while why not do one of his classics. This album is fun too and why not, I mean everyone's back at school we could use some fun.
  1. Eat It: I love this song, and to be honest, still find it really funny. This is a parody of Beat It by MJ. I used to love that track, back in my early days of getting into music. Now I'm not so keen on it, nor am I that keen on really anything by MJ, with the exception of the classics (Got to Be There and Ben). Rather than being about disagreements, and gang shit or whatever the fuck this is about (being tough?), Al makes it about eating. You really can't go wrong there. The honest truth of it is, looking now, I like this version so much more. It's like hilarious, the silly little intro and solo still make me laugh. Those backing vocals too, they did a really good job with this one. I don't know how I can still love this, but like when I hear the original I can't even sit though it anymore. Really, that's kinda of a a fact. But back to the solo, I love it so much and that explosion. 
  2. Midnight Star: This is an original, this song is an "ode to" a made up tabloid. Like a magazine and what not you'd find at a store or something. While this isn't as great as the last track it's still a solid tune and I think it works here. I think this is a pretty funny and silly song, and I like those keyboards on the song. You can tell it's from the 80's or so. This is a pretty decent song though, and I looked it up and he said most of these headlines were real. I really like the arpeggios at the ending and the outro to the song is pretty fun and this is a solid 7 or 8. Probably more liek a 7.5 or so.
  3. The Brady Bunch: This is the Brady Bunch theme. kinda, to the music of Safety Dance. I like the original version of the song, but to be honest I don't know. I'm not really feeling this song so much, I get the joke but I'm not feeling it. I've seen the show before and it kinda fucking sucks. So yeah, but whatever. They did a solid instrumental cover though.
  4. Buy Me A Condo: This is a style parody of reggae music, and I really dig it. Like in all honesty this song kinda got me into reggae :D.  I mean I've heard other bands and songs I've liked, but it wasn't until this that I was able to get into Marley. I'm not a huge fan, but this song is great. I kinda love every aspect of it.
  5. I Lost on Jeopardy: This is a parody of one of my favorite songs, Jeopardy by Greg Kihn Band. I love that sort of funk feeling to the keys and the instrumental cover is such a good fucking cover.... damn! If not for Al it'd be easy to mix the two up, well that and Don Pardo. This song is hilarious and it's really fucking great.
  6. Polkas on 45: This features a bunch of songs, it's a polka melody. The tracks here are Jocko Homo, Smoke on the Water, Sex (I'm A...), Hey Jude, L.A. Woman, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Hey Joe, Burning Down the House, Hot BloodedBubbles in the Wine, Every Breath You Take, Should I Stay or Should I Go, Jumpin' Jack Flash, and lastly My Generation. This also happens to be one of the best ones he has ever done, and the only song I was unfamiliar with at the time of this review was Bubbles. Actually it also has some of my favorite songs here, I love Jocko Homo and Smoke on the Water is still pretty solid. I LOVE Sex, Hey Jude and L.A. Woman. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is a song I've kind of grown tired of, but I like this rendition quite a bit. That goes for Hey Joe and Should I Stay/Jumpin' Jack. I know I basically said a whole lot of nothing, but this is a lot of fun and a great track. Plus it's super catchy and makes you wanna revisit it right after it happens.
  7. Mr. Popeil: This is a style parody of the B52s, according to Wikipedia. But it also mentions that Al said it's not a style parody. This is also is a song about Sam Popeil, who's daughter sings on the track and has sang with Zappa. This is a fun enough song, and I mean it's not something I listen to outside of the context of the album but I do like it. The female vocals on this remind me a bit of God in 3 Persons. So obviously that makes me smile. :)
  8. King of Suede: This is a parody of the King of Pain by The Police and is about the owner of a clothing store, who is the King of Suede. This is a good "cover" and while I'm not in love with the original version I do like it and this one. Plus this is so fucking goofy. Where the original was written after separating from his wife [Sting], this is basically a commercial that I could imagine seeing on TV if this was the 80's or 90's or even cheesy ones today. The Perkins reference made me smile too.
  9. That Boy Could Dance: You know this is an original. The one thing that I have to say is that it isn't as good as the originals of Dare to Be Stupid, but still enjoyable. This is another number that's well enough and it's fun. I dig the saxophone in this and it screams 80's. I could imagine hearing this in an 80's film that someone was playing in the intro or on their boombox.
  10. Theme from Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser): This is a parody of Eye of the Tiger, and now I think is funnier to listen to than it probably was back when this came out. It's making fun of how many films there were, and kind of like eventually he'd be too old to fight and the movie would be him doing something not as exciting. For example, buying a deli and working there. I kinda don't wanna say anything else, because I love how un-Epic these things he does are, over the music to the Epic pump up song people love. I dig the tune well enough, but this makes me smile. Now I know he in the one film he still boxed, but it's funny because they resurrected it and he kind of was "to old to fight". Al predicted the future :D.
  11. Nature Trail to Hell: This song starts out reminding me a lot of the intro to Black Sabbath and Mother. This is I think the best original he did, thus far in his career. Digging the "strings" solo, and damn is this cheesy. Thus making it the sweetest ear candy known to man, to me at least. This song is proabably the best original song here, and it's proabably one of the best originals he's done. I love horror films and I could see this being an 80's slasher film. The instrumental is also really neat, like they did a really good job there are sections and kudos Al.
Overall I have to give this album a 8/10. This is a solid album, fun to play and has some memorable parodies of great tunes. I know I didn't talk it up that much, but really it's fun and reminds me music shouldn't always be serious. Harmless fun isn't a bad thing, I just wish people who did that today did it as good as him. At the end of this album there's really only one thing to think, Does Humor Belong In Music? it's up to you to decide

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul

So I just listened to Endless, and if Blonde is anything like it it'll be kinda of boring and then end on a mind fuck of I don't know. But not good. So to combat that I decided to pick something that does indeed have songs, that aren't complete snooze fests. This is the fifth studio album by southern soul legend Otis Redding. Now what do I have to say about this guy.... Well first off he's amazing. This also sadly happens to be his final solo studio effort released during his lifetime (the Carla Thomas duet King & Queen album the next year, followed by Live in Europe). So why not review this and hear the last album this man made before he passed. October 15th, 2016 is the 50th anniversary of this album, but since that month is devoted to Halloween Month, I'll do this now. Something else I want to mention, just really fast, is I will review all the albums from the debut of Pain in my Heart to at least final posthumous Tell the Truth (possibly do live albums after that too). Just a side note.
  1. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song): Opening the album is a horns that are pretty promising. I don't really like the refrain, I just can't get into it. But the song's verses are pretty solid and I like the groove. There's a chill feeling to it, and the second refrain isn't so "bad". I mean it feels like they aren't fucking up I guess. I do like the feeling though, all though it's also not the saddest song he's ever done. So I don't know if Sad is the right title for this. It's not that I don't like this song, I just think there are far stronger tunes by Otis that should be hits or more well known I guess.
  2. I'm Sick Y'all: I actually do really like the keys on this, and can totally see this song being sampled for hip-hop music. Like to be honest this is a better song to sample than say, Try a Little Tenderness just for the vocal loop *cough*. The drums have a punch to them and then once the organ plays I could so easily see that being looped, maybe cutting out his vocals though. Fuck you could use this entire track besides his vocals. Anyways I really like the feeling of this, its got some great sounds and the arrangement keeps me interested. I like how he has his vocals and there's a bit of a grit rather than say a Jackie Wilson. It works quite well. I know I barley talked about the music but I really can only say its a solid beat, groove and I really like what I'm hearing. I could picture someone crusin' for burgers in daddy's new car to a song like this. Or in a movie crusin' for chicks. 
  3. Tennessee Waltz: Here we have another cover of a tune Sam Cooke did. Yes this time it was also a cover for Sam, Pee Wee King originally performed it. Now what does this version have to add to the version I've heard. Where Cooke had a swing to his, and made you wanna dance, this feels more mournful. Now that might actually be better fit to the material, and the story presented here. The arrangement is very Stax ballad-esque like his other ballads and slower numbers. Now I do enjoy this, but I still love the Cooke version so much it's kinda hard to LOVE this. But I do quite enjoy this soulful version. The song thought doesn't hit the highs or lows or build of two tracks down, but also that really wouldn't work for the given material. I do like the contrast in terms of this and the last song though. This is a bit quieter in the beginning where the last was more of a jam or groove, and it's so much more enjoyable in the context of the album.
  4. Sweet Lorene: I like the groove to this, and totally reminds me of Booker T. The descending riff, of melody rather... Hook(?), played on the horns is really great. This is a bit more energetic than I'm Sick Y'All. The thing they have in common though, is they're both solid tunes. My only real complaint is there's like a part where its more of an interlude for the guitar or a quick fill. They could have had a guitar solo there or something. As I've mentioned it's a lively number, of which who's horns remind me of Blues Brothers (which some of this band was in). Good ole Memphis Soul jammin. 
  5. Try a Little Tenderness: He's a cover of the famous song that dates back to 1932 and was recorded by Ray Nobel Orchestra. There exists many other versions, but this arrangement in my opinion, drunfs them. Even the Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke and Sinatra versions. The building of this song, the tension added, not one second isn't necessary to this songs progression. It's like a movie that cut the fat and only left in everything needed to get from point A to point B, but in the best possible way.... possible. I love the keys, the organ's fucking great and I love the piano in this. Isaac did a great job and the horns fucking work and there's a sort of sigh of relief and ease the pressure after that fucking drop of the title. Maybe it's because I'm stupid, but I can't really think of many songs that are this effective. This really is a masterpiece of a song and arrangement, and also not to mention execution. The only complaint is the version I got his this dead air in the track and I feel it kinda takes away a bit, but once you can't hear it it's fine (and it's the worst for this track).
  6. Day Tripper: This is a cover of the 1965 Beatles pop rock classic. Now to be completely honest,  I prefer this to his cover of Satisfaction. I like the bass in this, and it's nice to hear a different take no this track other than the one I've come to be able to play in my head without even hearing a second of it. I mean, this is much more soul and gospel inspired than the original acid/rock version. I mean I do prefer the original, but this still is a neat rendition that works and is pretty fun. 
  7. My Lover's Prayer:  This opens side 2 and is a soft ballad type song. If you've heard It's Too Late or I've Been Lovin' You Too Long then you'll know how this sounds. I do like this track, but I don't have much to describe this with. It's solid and has some nice arpeggios and it's a sweet soulful song, but I just don't connect with it the way I do some others.
  8. She Put the Hurt on Me: This has a great groove, and some nice rotor organ on it. But other than that I can't say much that I haven't already said about the other songs. This isn't that distant a cousin of earlier grooves. I like the pronounced bass on this though. This feels a bit more fun though, like goofy maybe....
  9. Ton of Joy: My Private Joy is definitely a ton of this. There is a guitar no this that kind of reminds me a bit of Dock of the Bay. I don't know it's kinda boring a bit to be completely honest. Like by this point the album has lost a lot of steam.
  10. You're Still My Baby: This is a cover of the Chuck Willis tune of the same name. This also happens to be the only cover on side two.I think the biggest problem with this is the fact that it's so easy to mix this up with just about any other track so far on side two. That's not a good sign. The problem is if you can easily mix everything up hows that good song writing. It's not.
  11. Hawg for You: I do like the bluesy feeling to this tracks intro, and hey there's something that doesn't sound like the other songs. I mean I'm not in love with the bluesy feeling, but it's a good change. It has this weird sort of Memphis soul feeling to the blues there it doesn't quite feel like Chicago blues. I mean it's pretty neat, the piano is probably my favorite part. But in reality it's kinda forgettable to me, to be honest. Like I'd be more okay with this if this was the last two songs (in terms of doing something different).
  12. Love Have Mercy: I don't remember anything about this track. It was okay, but it isn't anything to write home about. It sucks to because this could have ended so epic, but no.
Overall I have to give this album a 6.4/10. Is every song here amazing, I mean it depends on how you look at it. Overall the album is best consumed front to back, or maybe at least a full side at once (1-6 or 7-12/or my preferred 1-6 and nothing on side two). The second way is actually how I reviewed the album. Yeah there isn't a huge variety, either soft or grooves, and you could argue they almost all sound the same but Otis is a fun guy. There's a charm about him that doesn't piss me off about him you know. But this album has great moments, it's just the lack of variety outside of the fine details it kinda boring. But really side two hurts this album so fucking bad.