Shocking Blue – At Home

★★★☆☆ = Good!

What’s it sound like?
Taken from popmatters: the Shocking Blue seem like they set out to be the Dutch Jefferson Airplane, with acid-rock guitar, a full-throated Grace Slick wannabe in Veres, eclectic instrumentation, and semi-hallucinatory lyrics about free love, voodoo, California, and the like. But unlike the Airplane, the Shocking Blue never succumb to pretentiousness through either diffuse experimentation or ponderous songwriting. Instead the band churns out pseudo-psychedelic bubblegum, with all the precision and eagerness to please.

Thoughts
I like this, it’s like well written 60s psychadelica played efficiently by totally sober people.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Shocking-Blue-At-Home/release/6587647

Listen!
Spotify

Schema Info

Shocking Blue – At Home

Description: Album Review of Shocking Blue – At Home


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Steely Dan – Aja

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

What’s it sound like?
Intellectual light radio rock

Thoughts
I’ve begun to appreciate Steely Dan more as I grow older. Their brand of breezy light rock with this lingering darkness appeals to me. They capture life’s disappointments in a distinct way, as if they’re always sitting on the border of being cheesy; like an inside joke at times. Is this Satire?

Humor aside, this is really catchy pop rock with articulate and relatable lyrics. A classic rock staple.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Steely-Dan-Aja/release/3366636

Listen!

Youtube





Spotify

Schema Info

Steely Dan – Aja

Description: Album Review of Steely Dan – Aja


Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

What’s it sound like?
The best of 90s radio alt rock.

Thoughts
A very important record to me, I could not stop listening to this when it came out in the summer of 1995. I know I wasn’t alone cause it was played constantly on the radio. It’s an important part of the development of my musical taste.

However even without that attachment the record has some all-out classics and otherwise great songs. Her lyrics are as the title would suggest, jagged. She’s observant and articulate which is why I think this has such universal love. The lyrics are highly memorable. Her songs often employ a juxtaposed approach: aggressive and then a quiet ‘innocent’ moment. It creates a dynamic aspect to her tracks

Instrumentation- love the textures, where was that bassline in the original master of you oughta know? There’s an interesting drum-loop like thing happening there. It appears again on you learn, giving a slight hip hop like bounce. Overall a perfect balance of alt and grunge textures in the singer-songwriter space. Her vocal range is impressive and perhaps best on display on forgiven. Perfect is over the top in it’s forced emotion around bad parenting.

An enjoyable trip down memory lane that stands the test of time.
More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Alanis-Morissette-Jagged-Little-Pill/release/1358782

Listen!

Youtube

Spotify

Schema Info

Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill

Description: Album Review of Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill


Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

What’s it sound like?
Singer songwriter with pop sensibility and a strong backing band

Thoughts
An all around masterpiece: compositionally, lyrically, sonically. I like the mastering as the sparse instrumentation is brought forward in the mix, creating a distinct texture as if you could reach out and feel each of the instruments.

Her lyrics are pure poetry, singing relatable vulnerabilities in a confident and experienced way. She’s Fiona as she’s always been: fierce, intense and bursting with feeling.

Not a bad track on here, this is ‘singer songwriter’ at a master level.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Fiona-Apple-The-Idler-Wheel-Is-Wiser-Than-The-Driver-Of-The-Screw-And-Whipping-Cords-Will-Serve-You-/release/3673207

Listen!

Youtube



Spotify

Phoenix – It’s Never Been Like That

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What’s it sound like?
Radio friendly pop-rock.

Thoughts
These songs are so apart of my fabric it’s hard to think about them objectively. This is pop-rock songwriting at it’s finest, refined in a radio friendly way but with a style that’s distinctly there’s. Thomas Mars is a fantastic frontman and I love his lyrics, kinda cryptic at times but he sings with an understanding of life that’s hard not to find part of your own self or experiences in.

I’ve got to thank Cyril for turning me on to these guys, probably my favorite French export after Daft Punk.

More Info
https://www.discogs.com/Phoenix-Its-Never-Been-Like-That/release/681327

Listen!
Spotify

More Info:

https://www.discogs.com/Phoenix-Its-Never-Been-Like-That/release/681327

Listen!

Spotify:

Youtube:

#VALUE!

Everything But The Girl – Eden

⭐⭐⭐

A great record and one hell of a debut album. Tracey Thorn’s lyrics are wise beyond her years, singing all too relatable tales of heartbreak and troubled relationships. The bossa nova instrumentation is distinct, I can’t say I’ve heard much else like this 30+ years later.

More Info:

https://www.discogs.com/Everything-But-The-Girl-Eden/release/372059

Listen!

Spotify:

Youtube: