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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Frank Zappa for President

Now I have been contemplating to do this since the day it was released, I kinda wanna do The Crux of the Biscuit too, but I figured what's the real point. But I also could do a quick and easy Zappa review for both of these, since I know exactly how I felt the first time I listened to them. So in the spirit of the election year we get this, a collection of tracks with somewhat political themes and what not. So, yeah.... Let's dig in. Also to do a decent review I spent probably more time than I need to listening to the other versions of the songs.
  1. Overture to "Uncle Sam": Dated 1993, this is a Synclavier piece by Zappa. Okay so that means it'd fond it self around the time of Dance Me This or Civilization Phase III. Now I've yet to listen to either of those, completely, for the fact I'm not that big on the synclavier pieces. Some I like, like on Thing-Fish, but for the most part I'm just either in different or don't care for. When I listened to this, I have to be honest, I just though it was okay. I mean I liked it I guess, but I didn't love it. I was probably more like on a scale of 1 to 10 a 6, just over half but not much over. I think it would be better if he added something into it. Like maybe a guitar or some vocals or something else rather than just the synclavier and it's samples. All thought I guess I do still enjoy this, it's just I'd rather it be with real instruments. The biggest complaint is that it's 15 minutes long and kinda gets old a bit.
  2. Brown Shoes Don't Make It (Remix): In 1970 Frank remixed a number of tracks from the Freak Out! album, some of which later appeared on MOFO. This is a similar affair, but differs in that Dick Kunc remixed it in 1969. Now this is still the album track from November 18th, 1966 but remixed. Now to do an accurate review I needed to revisit the original mix, and the Ryko mix to be able to compare and contrast. The biggest comparison I heard was that it was cleared up. On the original it sounds much more mixed together, for lack of better word. Like if your not paying attention I could see you losing track of what's what. But for the most part you can pick out the different instruments. Now on the Ryko version they added digital reverb and I think it kinda fucks with.... Just look it up its not hard to find hate for the Ryko mixes on a Zappa fansite. But you can also hear the drums much more pronounced at certain parts and there is other louder things mixed louder in certain parts. Now this does make it a bit harder to focus on the overall but whatever. The reverb can also distract you at certain parts, but whatever. Now this version it sounds pretty good. I mean I don't know if it's all that necessary since there's... I don't know. I do like it, but I don't really see the need to include this other than the story of the song. I mean what if they included at version from 1969 or 1968 live, that would be a year that hasn't been released yet. I know I didn't really describe the song, but I don't  want to go to into the song because of next year. 2017 is the 50th anniversary of Absolutely Free review, and because of that I plan to have the review out on June 26th. I also wanna point out I really love the freak out at the end and how it sounds in this remix, you can hear everything.
  3. Amnerika (Vocal Version): Now this track, thanks to globalia, pointed out that it's the backing track to That Evil Prince on Thing-Fish or it's the music. I haven't heard that album in a long time, I'm feeling like it could be the same thing, or not, I don't know. I do know that Napoleon sings on this, and it was recorded somewhere from 1982 to 1984 (same time as Thing-Fish). The vocal version reminds me of an extension of The 'Torchum' Never Stops, the section with The Evil Prince. I guess it's nice, I could see some people hating this, but I happen to love Thing-Fish so it's a nice addition I guess.
  4. "If I Was President...": The music is dated as 1985 and the spoken word, probably from an interview, is from 1990. I've actually heard the interview that this was taken from, I don't remember what channel or radio or whatever it's from but you can find it on YouTube. As much as I don't LOVE this, I feel like this is what the album probably should have been a mix of him talking on his views over his compositions. I mean he's an intelligent man and his view take the for front over the composition in this situation. You could go, that's against what his intentions for piece so and so was, but I think the synclavier pieces work best when there's something else going on to. Maybe they didn't do it because of the Eat the Question movie thing, but you know but what the fuck. The funny thing about it though is I've seen most of these interviews in the trailer for the movie.
  5. When the Lie's So Big: This was taken from the March 25th, 1988 show at the Nassau Coliseum in New York. This track though, finds it's original album as Broadway The Hard Way. So I should touch on this, this is a song making fun of Pat Robertson, who was a televangelist who was very far right and he would later make an even bigger ass of himself. Look up his views on the ERA that he said when he ran for office in '92. Now I am not sure on the music front, if this was or wasn't more his vision of what it was to be. I mean it's welcome because it doesn't just sound like the exact same performance as the album version, which is kinda played straight. This has more changes and things that make it feel like it was the dick around that happened on songs from the band. I mean the message isn't really a dick around message, but it is a bit more fun to listen to than the original released version. This version is better at keeping my attention than the other version.
  6. Medieval Ensemble: Another synclavier piece from 1985 and unlike the last sole instrumental piece on this, sits are over 6 minutes. I do find this piece a bit more interesting than the last, it's a bit more chaotic I'd say up front. I also like the way the melody is moving. Yes this eventually starts to get old, but I isn't as bad as say the opening.
  7. America the Beautiful: Taken from the same show as Lie's So Big, this is a cover of the famous song, and it was previously featured on the AAA·FNR·AAA Birthday Bundle from 2008. Now that pisses me off a bit is they are the same fucking length, they don't really even differ at all. I dig the track, but like what the fuck guys, there's no other performance of the song. Okay now that that's over I can say, what I like. The '88 band, while his "best" I don't love everything they did. There's a lot of great shit, but not everything is as good as everything else. These the great performances, then there are the songs that have a certain charm to them. This song has that charm, for me at least and I also do like Bobby's vocals a lot. It's a nice way to end this and probably the best choice, though I'd prefer a different date or live recording. The solo also works in this song so that's a plus. 
Overall I have to give this album a 7/10. I mean it isn't terrible, no. Is there any cohesiveness, kinda. I mean I get the Presidential Year (kinda like how they released Understanding America in 2012) theme to it and the political message, though instrumental might not be the best for this type of album. Basically what it is... It's just a collection of tracks and I mean I guess you could go why? But I do enjoy it and I don't mind this album. That could be the fan boy speaking, probably, but I don't hate this album. It's not as bad as Road Tapes 3. If your a fan I'd check this out, if your not I don't know if this is the best first album for you. I mean it is easy to take, for the most part, but if you don't like it don't let it turn you off. So yeah, hopefully that makes sense. I'll probably end up doing Crux in 7 or so reviews.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Macho Man - Village People

I am almost half done with my reviews for these guys. They only released 8 albums (and one studio/live album) and I've already finished three (this being my fourth). This being the second album by New York's Disco legends the Village People. Released in February 1978, this would be followed by their biggest hit and most famous tune on the next album Crusin'. This album is notable for having the "classic" line up in full form. This album is an album that baffles me a bit, I don't get what two of them are supposed to be, be even more so this has one of the funniest songs to me, the title track. "Every man whats to be a macho man", I guess I'm not every man :D. But this is one of two album not on Spotify, so it took a few months of looking to finally acquire a copy, even thought I stumbled upon, purchased and gave a vinyl copy to my cousin as a joke. Then two months later or so, stumbled upon another.
  1. Macho Man: This song not only has a hilarious promo video, its catchy as hell. Seriously, genuinely listen to the song and it'll be stuck in your head. That chorus is so fricken epic sounding, how could it not be. The breakdown section where it vaguely reminds me of Prince and Lady Cab Driver. This song is... Why do people like Y.M.C.A. and not this. It's so much better. It's so much cornier and this is pure cheese. Like really, watch the fucking music video and try not to laugh. But regardless of anything, I do dig this song. I think it's got a great rhythm, very fun to sing and you can dance to it. It's kinda what pop/dance music is supposed to be. It's also so fucking big, I mean I'm listening to it now and picking up on shit I didn't hear before, it's almost too much. But that "too much" also kind of makes it all that much... it earns it a place in my heart even more. Plus try not to laugh at those ad libs at the ending. It's solid and fun and worth a listen or ten, and really harmless.
  2. I Am What I Am: This song flows from the last, and I think the segue is pretty nice. I mean I don't per say like this song, though maybe it could be cut a bit shorter, but that's not implying I hate it. I like the bass, but I also feel like this song feels a bit rushed. Like I almost feel like the track is sped up a bit. I think if it wasn't so fast it would maybe work better, but then again I don't really know. It could also be that there's a disconnect from the last track. I also feel I should mention this aspect of the song, this is a song that lots of homosexuals took to heart as a "I am what I am, why be ashamed". While Willis may have said it was written for anyone, not solely homosexuals, I don't think it matters. The message of a song is still in the mind of the listener. South Park did a great episode about this. The kids wrote a book to be as gross and fucked up as possible, and the adults though it to have deep messages and fit them to their views and perceptions. I mean that's the subtext or part of the subtext, people also find meaning in meaningless things, but I still think that's a point. Now stupid rant later, who really cares, You Are What You Is and you shouldn't be ashamed. I liked that sentiment, but this song.... I don't know I don't think it's as good as the last. I do really like the instrumental part of the song, I like the arrangement. It's overall I don't think this is as good I guess. 
  3. Key West: The opening could remind you of the opener, but then they have this clavinet that I really dig. This song is pretty solid off the bat to be honest, I don't think it's great great but fun. Also I guess the location of the song is a big hot spot for gay people, back then. I don't know why but these ad libs are ridiculous, you could look at this as a proto-Go West. It's not quite there, but it's almost there. Much in the same way Village People wasn't, the track just missed the spot. All thought I do like the kind of variety in the song structure. I dig the saxophone and I like the bridge section of the song, it's pretty nice.
  4. Medley: Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody: If I remember incorrectly The Time did a cover of Just A Gigolo. I mean that isn't saying much of the famous Irving Berlin song, but I think of Morris Day when I hear this title. There is also a Bowie flick where he's in it and it's title Just A Gigolo from 1978. Now when this song opened I was a bit shocked, I could believe that it has a piano roll. Also I'm not sure if Victor is singing lead on this track. It doesn't really sound like him, but the disco feeling of this track isn't half bad to be honest. This really isn't half bad and it's kind of a great way to add variety to the record. The horns on this, while I mean I'm not blown away, I really am having fun and enjoying myself with it and that's all you can ask for this type of album. The songs work together great and I know they are sometimes done together, but who the fuck cares this just works. It's kinda great, in a laid back way (for the group at least).
  5. Sodom and Gomorrah: I wonder if this is about anal sex? Or rather, gaynal sex..... ahahahahahahahah, get it. This continues that sort of sonic laid back, and change, over the rest of their catalog. I mean it isn't revolutionary and it tells the story in the bible of Sodom and Gomorrah. I'm a bit boggling, because I don't think on a record thats to appeal to the gay community, to have a bible song. :) I mean if I have children I'll definitely play this song for them in bible school or whatever, maybe I'll do a cover. This song is a bit of a mind fuck to be honest, like I really can't make heads or tails but I do like what I hear so hey it ain't half bad.
Overall I have to give this album a 7.5/10. This is so far, the most consistent and best over all record by the group. I mean if it wasn't so fun it'd probably be more of a 6.5, but it's fun and worth a listen. I'll definitely be revisiting this. Now I wanna say I do these Village People reviews because I think these guys are fun. I need to point out, the music is average overall but it's not trying to be that serious. There is tons of people who try to be fun, have an image, and be in general like able and they fail miserably. These guys have a charm to them that, yeah you can say they're gay (which I think only two actually were) but does that matter. I mean who the fuck cares, it's fun music and I feel like if someone was hung up on the "gayness" they're missing out. On another note, I once read a review that mentioned something about Liberal in the review of this album. I think it's time for next review Phil Ochs in Concert (not really, but maybe).

Monday, August 15, 2016

Supermodel - Foster the People

So the last review was so I could clear up space on my iPod, and now I want to clear up a review that's just been sitting and doing nothing for two years. Plus last night I did get some shit done, so why not do this today. This is the second album by Foster the People. This is supposed to be a concept album about, basically, the negative aspects of society. The tracks I've heard off this so far show progression, which is always a good thing. But then once I kinda started this review I was like..... There's a reason it's taken so long to do #boring. So I decided to break up the album over a number of other tracks to "cleanse" my pallet rather than another front to back listen.
  1. Are You What You Want To Be?: I like the island influence in this song and thing it's pretty decent. It reminds me a little of The Police. It's nowhere near as good as them, but it's okay. There is a part where they cry and it reminds me of Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo. I hope you know what I mean? Oh just to be clear, it isn't as good as the original :D. Now coming back to this album to review it, I am very much fear ful for that introduction. It's almost as if I was getting ready for a cringe. I still can tolerate the reggae vibe of the tune, but this isn't that good, and I'm pretty sure I have more of this waiting for me. It's not as bad as Let Me Be, but it's not good IMO. I hear theses little flourishes but I mean it's anything I can't here elsewhere and done better or more interesting. Like I feel like this is trying to engage you or suck you into the the song. Kinda of like a video game, I can't think of the word, but this doesn't pull me in and make me forget I'm listen to a pop song.
  2. Ask Yourself: This opens okay, I mean it isn't the best but it isn't offensive. There is a reason that this kind of reminds me of The Cure (I should do a Cure review) if they were popier. Like maybe this comparison will be bad, but maybe Friday I'm in Love (but stripped of what makes it a solid tune). There's also a bit of a Coldplay feeling.
  3. Coming Of Age: Holy fuck this intro reminds me of CP. You know, this is an okay song, but nothing I'ven't heard before. The vocals and what not just make me think of any other indie band I know. I do like the electronics and may return to this track once in a blue moon, but you know it's nothing I'd listen to like MGMT or St. Vincent along some others. The singing reminds me a ton of Mylo Xyloto, and the intro sounds like it could have been on that album. I really have taken nothing away from this track.
  4. Nevermind: Nice acoustic guitar, but really I can't remember a single thing that happened during and while I was listening to the track. Kinda trippy, but I'd rather listen to Freak Out!. It's like they watered songs down. The ending reminds me of something but I don't care enough to remember.
  5. Psuedologia Fantastica: This track reminds me a little of MGMT with the use of electronics. It actually makes me think of Alien Days if it was written back in their 2008 or earlier days. The electronic kind of reminds me of Siberian Breaks too, but not as cool. This title fits this odd song, but you know I've heard better song in this style than that and may hurt my outlook the song. Maybe The Handshake or another Oracular Spectacular track. Though I think this is cooler than Pumped Up Kicks and shows progression artistically, It just doesn't drag me in. I wish the song would have ended with those piano chords, like had them play over the solo of sorts. That would have been cool. The white noise fade is effective, but I still think that track was a little long. And by a little long it gets kinda boring, I mean the piano works but still. I don't know.
  6. The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones: Well this is an interlude that really does nothing at the end of the day. I mean I get the point, but I don't think it really adds to anything. 
  7. Best Friend: This is the first song that I heard off this album. It reminds me, vocal harmony wise, of Duran Duran a la The Reflex or Notorious. The horns remind me a little of Notorious. This is a pretty decent track the first time though. You can also dance to this song, which also reminds me of DD. This also reminds me of The Black Keys off maybe Turn Blue. Also not really feeling the sentiment of this song, I mean I don't need to be told to look out for strung out friends.
  8. A Beginners Guide to Destroying the Moon: I don't care for this title. I don't know why, maybe because it reminds me of Dark Side of the Moon and A Young Person's Guide to King Crimson. Actually the vocals remind me of Say Anything at points. That's really all I have to say, I mean it's not terrible, but it's not to great. I feel like if you have a title like this you should do something tongue and cheek, not stupid.
  9. Goats in Trees: This must be about The Mountain Goats covering Rush songs. It's weird, that last song wasn't terrible, but this is just like I don't even want to listen to this anymore. Like I mean, nice acoustic guitar but that's all I can take from this, and the VanWyngarden sounding vocals.
  10. The Truth: "of Life", well if you've come to find that I'll let you in on a secret. "The only truth in life is right here in this bottle. Infact, I'd rather have this bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy!". Points to anyone who gets that overly long and pointless reference. Actually there was a reference within the original, so it's like a reference inception. Oh this songs kinda boring, I had far more fun typing this. I mean I like the Handshake-ness but that doesn't mean I'll ever return to it.
  11. Fire Escape: This kinda reminds me of a less tormented Elliott Smith. But with other people doing the harmonies with him.
Overall I have to give this album a 4/10. Foster have grown, but they haven't done anything that make them stick out. They have a lot of interesting things on here that remind me of things I love. They don't have anything that makes them stick out and make me love them. There are other artists who are ballsy like MGMT, St. Vincent, Radiohead this band is more in line Coldplay who have evolved, but somehow don't take extreme chances. I can't stress how little I have interest in returning or even remembering this record. Maybe I should do another Red Hot Chili Pepper's album, and also Chicago's second album too.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Torture Time! - Polly Bradfield, Eugene Chadbourne

So today, since I'm house sitting, I decided to finally review this. Plus it has to be better than that extremely boring Georgie Fame album i just listened to (sorry Oxley you couldn't even save it). Also I've been writing and I need something non-singer/songwriter or to help me focus and get inspired by music. This is the third release by Polly Bradfield. This is a collaborative album between her and experimental guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. Well kinda, she has only been credited to about 20 some odd albums, recorded, from 1978, Frank Lowe's album Lowe and Behold, to 1986, John Zorn's  album The Big Gundown (which might be uploaded soon, either that or Spillane). Hopefully those commas make sense, because i know its technically incorrect use but fuck that. If you remember three February's ago, I was feeling daring and did Environments For Sextet, (which she played violin on). She also played with the other 11 releases he is credited on (from various places, though there might be more). This is also the last album that was released where she was credited as an artist. This album was recorded on April 2, 1981 and should be noted the only instruments on here are violin and dobro.
  1. Untitled: Opening with what sounds like a crank or a wheel being turned. First time trying to do the review, I made it like 30 seconds in and my brain turned to mush thinking how the fuck Polly is doing what she's doing. I mean it could just as likely be Eugene, but Polly is the more talented one (IMO). I have to figure shes doing something with the strings on that violin, and some of these "effects" are really interesting sounding. I can't even describe some of the sounds happening because that take far too long and take away from others interpretations. The thing I like is when I hear sounds that sound like a horn, toys, whistle, saw or something not a Dobro or violin. There is percussive noise, but I assume it's achieved by hitting the instruments. At about five minutes in I'm beginning to hope it can keep this up or get better. I like the sort of sped up horse gallops part, that kept me trying to think how's it exactly done, but I think I might have figured it out. There are also parts that remind me of Mr. Bungle field recordings that find their way all over the debut.  Is that a bicycle bell. Around 13 minutes I do like what's going on, but its kind of losing me. To be honest, I'm not completely looking forward to another 20 minutes of this. It kinda sounds like a fart. I feel like if cut up into individual tracks, to sort of help only get short doses of this the track would be much better. Like maybe cut this into 5 or 6, 1-3 minute tracks. And maybe cut parts that kinda repeat you know. 
  2. Untitled: Bow by the time I'm at side two I'm like, the better be damn great of amazing to make up for the overall okay last track. And yeah it starts off promising, though it leaves me wanting more (in the this isn't enough, not I want to have more the the same or quality). Why no drums bru, that'd make it so much fucking better or something else, horns something. There is a sound that when I hear it I imagine the film being dissolved, like in movies. But in this instance it'd be the sound or music. There is a nice "banjo" type thing I hear, but it fades to fast. I like some "effects" on this track also, but I fear its going to wear thin fast. I mean the last thing wasn't so hot. It kinda sounds like someone masturbating. There's a part where the Dobro is in,  the distance and almost sounds like its over a radio. I like that a lot. But it goes to fast and isn't fully utilized. 6 minutes in, of 15, and I'm kinda picturing what could make this better. Horns would so fucking make this better, like horns that acted as a regular string section. Then maybe pizzicato horns (probably using term wrong or not ever the right term, but fuck it). At 9:24 I'm beginning to completely check out, I am glad I checked the time because that helps me know its almost done. I do like the breathing sounds and how it is chaotic towards the ending but I feel like it didn't do what I wanted it to do. 
Overall I have to give this album a disappointing 5/10. It's free improvisation, what did you expect. I mean as much as I enjoy the genre and take influence from it I can't say anything of it could really be a 10/10. I mean I bet if I was to play this and have ten people review this most would hate it and point out, its not music. The thing is, this is music, we've past the point in time a long time ago where this wouldn't be considered music per say. But that doesn't mean i didn't have hopes of it being a 7 or 8. I mean this album, to me, felt like it could be up there with European Echoes, Environment, Typography of the Lungs and so on. Sadly it's just one I heard I'll probably forget after this review. There is an art to being able to do so much with so little, and you know I learned quite a bit from sitting through this record, but I won't revisit it. Actually on that note, the fact there is so few and little also detracts from this. I mean if they added a percussionist, and he had a shit ton of things to use that'd help make this much more interesting at parts. Really, if you open minded about music I ask you check this thing out, maybe you'll get something out of it. Or if you play a string instrument you can hear weird sounds for 35 minutes. But yeah, its nothing that I'll ever want to bear again.