Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 41

Well, Great news *dripping with sarcasm*, the needle on my turntable needs to be replaced. The last set of records that I listened to did not sound quite right. I did a couple of tests including listening to a CD to see if it was my preamp or amplifiers. It was not, thank god they would be expensive to have fixed or replaced. I then figured it must be something on the turntable. I broke out my 10X magnifier to take a look at the needle. To my horror, I found that the needle was curved on one side. I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I need a new Cartridge.” With further research I found that the head of the needle could be replaced, i.e. the cantilever and the needle, for $400 bucks. Holy crap, I know. I looked a little harder and found an internet dealer that will sell the replacement part for half that cost. I am a little short on cash, still paying off another unit at the moment. I am hoping to get the replacement part maybe for Christmas. I also want to have my primary laserdisc player fixed. That is another $100 that I don’t have at the moment too. I realize that I am now just listing things that I need fixed and maybe just want too but that list is kind of long and I have been putting this stuff off so that I could continue to buy records. I have put my backup turntable in place for the moment, a Pioneer PL-12. It is a good stand by but the cantilever on the sure cartridge is so bouncy that I need to put a small weight on the head shell to keep it steady. It is a dime at the moment but I would like to find something a little lighter because even the dime is too heavy. Does anybody know of something that is about a half a gram? I would love to replace the cartridge on the hi-fi turntable with a nicer model but I would need to spend at least a grand to better the sound that I am getting from the current one already on the table. There is also the fact that I want to get a new tape deck and a good transport (CD reader) to go with my outboard DAC (digital to analog converter). I would also love to get a Bryston amplifier for the stereo so that I can use the two stereo amplifiers in the A/V setup. I think that is farther down the time line than I can see at the moment though. Anyway, on with the show.

I want to add that the company, Propellerhead, that I use to record most of my music is putting out an upgrade for the software. I am currently using record 1.5 and Reason 5. For the next month, October,  if you have both Reason and Record you can get the upgrade to Reason 6 at a pay what you want amount as low as one dollar. If you have them then be sure to go here to get that cheap upgrade!!

This is a compilation album that was put out in 1998. That I am aware of, five of the twelve tracks on this album are unique to the album. The other tracks are from Chrominance Decoder and Chick Habit EP. Both are very interesting albums in their own right but those unique tracks on this particular album are very fun indeed. The first unique track to this album is called Theme From Lime Café. It has a very nice sounding verse that is slow and smooth but the break that happens is very odd for the song. It has a horses gallop feeling to me. It catches you off guard but is still very entertaining at the same time. The next track is called Olive Green Dictionary. It uses a 808 drum machine through out the song. This coupled with a clean sounding electric guitar plucked chords. It is also a very relaxing song to hear, very simple. It is kind of a late fall sounding song for me. It is a song that I would love to hear on a cold day with the sun shining to keep me warm. The next song is called Winter Cave. It has a sound that reminds me of teeth chattering in the winter during the verse parts of the song. The chorus part reminds me of late winter when it is still cold but the snow is melting. I say this because there is a violin part that is playing low long notes, low for a violin anyway, over the winterizing sounds of the verse music. The next song is called Stay Away From Robert Mitchum. This is a funny song about a girl who is in love with Robert. She visits a wax work every day because there is a wax version of Robert on display. It is a very funny story that is told through this song and I can recommend that everyone hear it to judge for themselves. The last song that is unique to this compilation is called Jesus and I Love You. This is a very slow song. The lyrics to the song can easily be misconstrued and I think that she sung them flat on purpose. I think this because if you put emphasis on the words differently each time it has completely different meaning each time. It is a very intriguing way to write lyrics to a song. That is for sure.

This was the groups’ first release. It was released in 2003 originally then remastered in 2005 and re-released. It has seven tracks on the disc. The whole album has a nice acoustic sound to it. As a matter fact the song No Cars Go first appears on this EP with a sound that is very minimalistic. It is a fresh take on the song. The first time that I heard this song was from their second full length album called Neon Bible. This version has a full bodied sound with an orchestra backing the song. The production on the Neon Bible version is so much bigger. To hear a version of this song without the big orchestra behind the song is really a beautiful way to hear the song. I know, I know, the version on the EP was released first. Well, that is not the order that I heard them in. Maybe I can appreciate the two versions better because I heart the two versions in reverse order or maybe someone else who has heard them in the proper release order would have a better appreciation than I would. I will never know since I don’t know anyone who is actually interested in music and what I am specifically interested in too. The other song that I really like from this EP is a song called I'm Sleeping In A Submarine. The female vocals in this track remind me of Bjork. I have no idea what they are singing about but the vocals from the female singer are mind blowing. Just the tones that come from her mouth sound amazing to me. The EP as a whole sounds really good. It is a new look at the original sound from Arcade Fire. I recommend this to anybody who has an interest in this group.

This is the first album from Daft Punk. It was released in 1997. I did not find out about them until their second album, Discovery, in 2001. There are five singles that were released from this album. The first is called Alive. The track was originally called The New Wave. It evolved into the track Alive by way of remixes and ended up on the album with the title Alive. It is a very basic sounding techno song progression. The next single released is called Da Funk. This was a big hit in the club scene. It is a great house style song that the band intended to have a hip-hop feel. To me, and to most people that know the song, it has in no way a hip-hop feel. This does not make it any less of a great song though. There are no lyrics to the track either. The third single released from this album is called Around The World. This was the biggest hit from this album and reached number one in the dance charts. The song is easy to listen to with the catchy bass line and the repetitive chorus of the title of the song. There is a cool synth sound that is run through a vocoder to give a unique sound to it. The song is a little bit long though, sitting at just over seven minutes. The next single is called Burnin’. This is another instrumental dance track from the duo. The song got a good remix treatment and was released as a CD and a five track 12” too. This one gets old for me real fast and about half way I skip to the next track. The saving grace for this track is the bass line. It is a very funky bass line. The last single released from this album is called Revolution 909. It is said to be about the French stance on raves and techno music. I pulled this from Wikipedia about the French stance on raves and electronic music, “When asked on the motivations of the stance, Bangalter said: I don't think it's the music they're after, it's the parties... I don't know. They pretend it's drugs, but I don't think it's the only thing. There's drugs everywhere, but they probably wouldn't have a problem if the same thing was going on at a rock concert, because that's what they understand. They don't understand this music which is really violent and repetitive, which is house; they consider it dumb and stupid.””

This is said to be the last release from LCD Soundsystem. It was released in 2010. There are nine tracks included in this album all recorded live in a John Peel like session of recording. The album contains mostly tracks from the last album with a few from the previous two albums. It includes the songs Daft Punk Is Playing At My House and Yr City’s A Sucker from his first album. Daft Punk Is Playing At My House was his biggest hit from the first album. In the chorus he declares exactly that and proceeds to invite you over for the big party that is going to happen. The later track is percussion based interesting track with lyrics that portray greed between cities. The tracks from the second album are Us V Them, Get Innocuous! and All My Friends. Get Innocuous! gets an nice electric acoustic sound that is just enough different from the original track to keep it original to this album. The thing that is the biggest change is what the bass track sounds like. The bottom end is dropped off of is to it gets a paper thin sound to it. I really like the sound of this part of the song. This goes the same for the track called All My Friends but for the piano part. It doesn’t sound as full as the studio version of the song. This is not a bad thing though. I think that these minor changes in instrumentation and tone are interesting. The tracks from the third album are as follows: All I Want, Drunk Girls, Pow Pow and I Can Change. All I Want is my favorite track from the third studio album, This Is Happening. This version is actually a little flat for me with the paper thin piano sound. It may be that the guitar just doesn’t sit as full as the original studio version that I love so much too. I still like this version but it doesn’t satisfy me as well. The track Pow Pow, in this live version, doesn’t seem as cluttered as the original studio version. The instrumentation is easier to follow. I think that I actually like this version better really. The last track that I think is important to talk about from this album, I Can Change, doesn’t come off as flat sounding like most of the other tracks on this album. I think that this may be in part due to the vocals that have a nice sounding echo behind them. The distorted sound on the bass synth part probably helps this track out a lot too.

 That is all for now...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 40

I have quite a variety here, in reference to a time line that is.

This is the latest effort from Daft Punk. It is not a standard release from the group as there are live orchestral movements related to the movie as well as the standard Daft Punk electronic music. It was released in 2010. I was very excited about this soundtrack when I heard that Daft Punk was involved with it. I almost pre-ordered the soundtrack directly from Disney when I found out about that too. There are some very spectacular moments on this soundtrack. This usually happens when the orchestra are not involved in the music. The big hit single from the album is a song called Derezzed. It is a short track with very big beats (just under two minutes).  The song is just music, just the way I like it. There was a video to help promote the song and the soundtrack too. It features the duo that is Daft Punk walking into the Flynn’s arcade to play a video game. The video game is a jousting game. They play the game and that is about it. There are some other good points in this sound track that could have been very easily used a promos as well. Those songs feature the big beats or distorted bass lines that are very prominent in today’s electronic music. A few of those tracks that I would choose as highlights are; The Game Has Changed, End Of Line and Tron Legacy (End Title).  I just found out that there are seven additional tracks that can be found on the two disc vinyl edition of the album. I intend to get a copy of this because I want to own as much of the music from this movie as possible. It is very good music and there is not much music in this world that uses a full orchestra to compliment electronic music. Although the music comes off as a bit wishy washy it is a great start in the use of electronic music in tandem with the grand sound of an orchestra. I would recommend this album to anybody who is into either classical or electronic music. It will bring at least reasonable doubt to the lovers and the haters of both genres.

This is a compilation EP released on 10” vinyl originally. Please don’t get this confused with Super Black Market Clash. They do not contain the same tracks. This collection of B-sides was released in 1980. The tracks that were contained on the album were only available in the US as import singles. I happen to run across this 10” record at a local record store. It looked to be in pretty good condition and I knew how important this record was in music history, at least in the US anyway since the songs were common in the UK. Four of the nine songs are reggae influenced remixes. If you are into the clash this is an interesting set of songs. This collection was rereleased in a 12” and cassette versions. It was released on CD for a short while but was discontinued when Super Black Market Clash was released.

This was a solo effort from Iggy Pop released in 1986. David Bowie was the main collaborator on this album. Although Bowie did not play any instruments on the album he did co-write almost all of the songs on the album. The big hit single that was released from the album, Wild Wild Child (Wild One), was a cover of Johnny O’Keefe’s original song, Wild One. This song had a big influence on me as a kid. I was eleven at the time and thought that the use of synthisizers with regular rock sounds, Guitar and the like, was a brilliant idea. Apparently Iggy Pop did not think so as he has stated that they album was a big failure for him. The other singles released from the album include; Cry For Love, Isolation, and Shades. Of these three other singles the only one that I may have had any interest in was Cry For Love. I am just a romantic at heart and this song did have a little something in it that I was interested in. The album as a whole is pretty lame but if just those couple of songs are taken off it would have gone un heard in most homes. I bought the album for a reasonable price used. The record itself was in amazing condition so I couldn’t turn it down for the price. I will say this about the album, the title track has a fun beat that may be its saving grace after Wild Wild Child (Wild One) that is.

This is the fifth album from Led Zeppelin. It was released in 1973. There are only eight songs that make up this album. I could swear that I know every song that is on this album from being played on the radio. There were only two songs that were released as singles from the album though. The first single released from this album is called Over The Hills And Far Away. This song has become a staple in the classic rock radio stations. For a long time I would not have anything to do with this type of music. This was all that my father listened to when I was a kid, classic rock radio stations that is. It took me a long time to get over the fact that it was my fathers’ music before I would listen to it because I wanted to listen to this type of music. It really is some great music now that I have found the music on my own again. It is just to bad that you can’t find the music on vinyl as easily as you could when it came out. Now it takes either some serious hunting to find a good copy or a lot of money to find a sealed new repressing of the music. This single was backed by the B-side (AA-side?) of Dancing Days. This was not the lead single but was a fantastic song in its own right. This is yet another song that typifies the classic rock genre. It was not issued as a single but was strong enough to have been so. The way that the guitar sings in between The vocals is absolutely genius. The keyboards that back the song are perfect as well. The second single from this album is called The Crudge. The bass line from this song is super funky. If that was all that there was to this song I could listen to the song all day, over and over. As the song stands the synth part of the song is so bad that I cringe every time I hear it come in. The guitar on the song is super simple but works so well with the song. As this album stands it is brilliant, I would listen to it every day except that there is so much other music that I want to hear too. I find it very hard to review albums that have been reviewed millions of times. I mean what hasn’t already been said about these classic albums that I could say differently. There isn’t much that I could possibly say that could be different. I guess what I really want to say about them is that I have found them again after not being forced to hear them from my father and I love the music that they have to offer. I would hope that people like me will read these posts and it will give them a drive to hunt down their parents old collections or hunt the music down themselves and be able to enjoy the music that they contain instead of dreading the music that their parents loved.

 That is all I have for now...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 39

Here is a set from the 00's. Some really good stuff!

This is the initial released from the band Coldplay. It was released in 2000. This is a very moody and atmospheric album with happy lyrics. This album shows that music is just as important as the words are in a piece of music. This album became popular during the 9/11 crisis here in the US. It was the perfect time for the album to gain recognition. The third single being the most linked to 9/11 from this album. The first single is called Shiver. The band has said in the past that one of their biggest influences in their music writing has been Jeff Buckley. With this song in particular it shows that he was a big influence in their music writing. This song is simple and good but was a failure in the US. The video is just as boring. It is the group in a white room playing the song around a circle as if they were practicing the song. The next single was called Yellow. This was the song that introduced me to the band. There is something magical about this song for me. I think that it is a combination of the lyrics, the ease of sing ability and the music that puts this song in my top list of music that I love. The video adds to this idea for me. The video is yet another simple video for the band. It was shot in one continuous take. The video was shot at 50 frames per second so that it would appear in slow motion when played back at 24 frames per second. The video took place on Studland Bay in England. It is merely Chris Martin, the lead singer, walking on the beach at sun rise. About half way through the song the sun starts coming out. It had just rained before shooting began for the video and adds to the moodiness of the song. Chris is actually wearing a rain coat and his hair is wet through out the video too. Chris had to sing the song in double time while walking on the beach so that they words would match the music when they matched the music up in the mixing room. The third single is called trouble. This is one of the two songs that I remember the most from the 9/11 crisis in 2000. The video for the song was very interesting. It made use of two dimensional animations overlaid on each other. One could see the overlay of each animation square while watching the video. This was done as an artful point for the video. The band is traveling on a horse drawn carriage through out the video. There is a woman in a house watering the floor that is made of grass. There is also a crow that travels between the band and the woman. After visiting the woman the crow becomes bigger and more menacing until it becomes a giant black rain cloud and rains down on this world. Everything suddenly has black feathers sprouting from it. At the end of the video there is a tornado that picks up the house and takes it over the rainbow to be dropped in a suburban neighborhood. It is an interesting video that fit the time that it was made. There was also a video made for the UK and Europe. I have never seen that video though. The last single from this album is called Don’t Panic. This is a rework of a song that the band had been playing for a long time. This is a good song from the band but not a great song. They were actually undecided as to what song should be released as the next single and settled on this track. The video for this song uses the same two dimensional video as the previous single, Trouble. The video starts off with an animated diagram of the water cycle. It then shows the band doing chores. The rest of the video shows what could happen in a city if it were flooded, a volcano erupted and earth quakes were to occur. It is interesting but to do the two dimensional video animation again was kind of lame in my opinion. I think that this is a good album if you can handle the sad tones in the music.

This is the second album from Hot Chip. It was released in 2006. Hot Chip is an electronic indie pop band with soul influences. I found out about this band when Yahoo music was just getting popular. It was also during a time when the internet was not monitored at work and I could get away with streaming music for hours at a time. It was only a few years later that I was not allowed to stream music while at work. I later got a warning letter for using the internet at work for the not intended uses. That was the end of music through the internet at work. I later started bringing in my iPod and running it through the onboard speakers in the computers. Then I later used my iPhone since I was moved to a completely different position and did not have access to computers any more. I was not sure about this band when I first heard the couple of song from Yahoo music. I searched the internet to find a copy of the album. After I found a copy I started to listen to the whole album. I fell in love with it. I had never heard an electronic band use soul influences. I think that it helped that one of their big influences was Prince. I like a lot of Princes’ work so of course I was going to like what they were putting out. Yes I did actually buy a physical copy of this album. The first single from the album is called Over and Over. This song is a fun sparkly song with fun wavy keyboards leading the way. The lyrics on this song are very easy to sing along with too. The next single is called Boy From School. The title of the song on the album is slightly different. On the album it is labeled as And I Was A Boy From School. This song is a little bit sadder sounding in the music. The keyboards are just a little bit modulated on this song. I think that this adds to the song and keeps the listener interested in the music. The chorus uses fun harmonies that I just love. I was infatuated with a girl at the church that I went to at the time. I actually made her a mix CD and included one of the tracks from this album. The track is called Colours. She is a comic book artist and to me this song fit the bill perfectly. This song was the third single to be released from the album too. The song starts off slow and then after the introduction it picks up the pace a little bit. The song is all about the colours of things in this world. What really got me with this song was the guitar. It is so simple, it is a distorted guitar but the notes that are played are short staccato notes and the guitar does not even play through out the song. It is mainly played in the chorus only. This is a great album and would recommend to everyone to listen to at least once before saying that you don’t listen to electronic music.

This is the third album from the group Beach House. It was released in 2010. The group is a duo of French and American lineage. They write dream pop or indie pop music depending on who you talk to. There was a special edition CD that included a DVD or an LP that automatically came with the DVD. I purchased the LP and was surprised to find that there was a DVD that came with the package. The DVD contains a video for each track on the album directed by a different director for each track. I am not sure what order the singles were released with this album because of the DVD. I get just a little confused. I know that the song Norway was a single for sure. This is a great song but I get a bit of a head ache listening to it because the key board part has an automatic sign wave detuning that happens. I think that the song Zebra was also a single released from the album. It is a simple song with focus on the guitar and vocals. This album is a little bit on the moody side with the music. It is a very good album that I would recommend to anybody interested in where music is going currently. Although it is a year old it still follows what is currently happening in music today.

This is the first release from the group MuteMath, stylized as MUTEMATH. This EP was released in 2004. It is a seven track EP with one track being released as a single. The track is called Control. A friend of mine told me about this band in 2007 but I did not take notice then. He also told me to look into this band a couple years later, 2009ish, and I still did not take heed. It was not until the soundtrack for the movie Twilight came out that I finely took notice of the band. They had a song on the sound track from their second album called Armistice. The song is called Spotlight and it is an amazing song to hear. It is very inspiring. I think that is an important aspect about this band. They were originally a Christian rock group under a different name but decided to go down a different avenue regarding music to try to influence a wider audience. I think that this has been a positive direction especially with the addition of Spotlight to the Twilight soundtrack. I am also excited about this band, they will have a new album coming out in the middle of October this year. New fall music is always a great thing. I have quite a few albums that I am looking forward to coming up in the next couple months. I hope to review them before this volume is up this year.

That is all for now...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vol.2 Episode 38

It occurred to me after I put up my last post that I did not do a review of the fourth issue of the Radiohead remix series. This is now out of order. Not that it matters to you but it does to me. Well, I guess it is not that big of a deal but it is just a little bit annoying to me that I did not keep these in order. It is too late now though. Anyway, the first track on this triple A-side record is remixed by Thriller Houseghost. This one has a really nice melody that uses a slightly distorted sign wave. The song later uses the same type of tone an octave hgher to flow with the vocals of Thom Yorke. Yorke’s vocals have a nice sounding echo giving the vocals a ghosted effect fitting with the remix title. The next track is remixed by Illum Sphere. This track uses a repetitive tone surrounded by tones in the associated chord. It is one of the slower songs and makes me feel kind of sleepy. This track also makes use of an echo on York’s vocals. It is not has heavy but just enough to make me feel tired. This may also be because of the repetitive tone that runs through the whole song. It is a good remix but it is also a tiring one. The last remix for this record was remixed by Shed. This one starts out with a very annoying sound that for some reason reminds me of the noise makers that were used in the latest Harry Potter movie to keep the dragon inside Gringots at bay. I found that noise just as annoying. On the up side to this the noise is not that bad when I listen to the track on my stereo. The other good thing is that the noise fades a little bit after the first minute. I really like the first two tracks off this one but the last one leaves something to be desired with that noise on the first part of the song. The song gets a little bit better but not by much after the noise dies off. I am sure that I have said this in the past but if I haven’t then here it is. This whole series will be released on CD in October. If you have any interest in hearing any of these songs or owning any of them wait to get the two CD set.

This is the seventh release from U2. It was released in 1991. I hated this album and the songs released from it when it came out. My girlfriend, at the time, loved it. I did not get it. I don’t think that I understood what U2 was all about either at the time. I probably still don’t get them to this date. It has taken twenty years for me to com back to this album enough to say that I like the music that was put out during this time period from the group. I think that it helps that Brian Eno was taped to help produce this album. This still doesn’t answer why I did not like the album when it came out though. Maybe it is that I did not like what Brian Eno was doing or had done in the past in 1991. I mean, it wasn’t until last year (2010) that I started getting into David Bowie music. Anyway, this was the first in a series that would include sounds from alternative, industrial, and electronic dance music. Inspiration would come from the reunification of Germany. There were five singles released from this album. The first is called The Fly. Bono ended up making a character out of the song that he took on the tour for the album. The song has an interesting sound. The guitar has a nice tube sounding distortion that became popular with the alternative scene in the next couple years. Bono used the falsetto in the vocals that would be used more frequently on later albums. The next single from this album is called Mysterious Ways. This is one of two tracks that I remember hearing on the radio in the US. It uses a psychedelic sounding distorted guitar. I think that this is a brilliant sound with the guitar. I remember the video used a strange effect as bono sang in the video. To me it looked like he was filmed on a reflection of some sort of plastic reflective material. I say this because the image would warp strangely. I think that I had distaste for this video and song because of this. This may be where my dislike for the band came from as this video was really my first introduction to U2. The third single from this album is called One. This is the first ballad released from the album. It is supposedly a view point of a fracturing interpersonal relationship. It has been interpreted in other lights as well but this is how most people view the song. He next single is called Even Better Than The Real Thing. Bono has said this about the song, “It was reflective of the times [the band] were living in, when people were no longer looking for the truth, [they] were all looking for instant gratification.” It is a good song that uses some interesting effects on the guitar, a DigiTech Wammy pedal, for example, that creates a double octave sweeping sound. The last single released from the album is called Whose Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses. This is one of the hardest songs that the band has written. It is not that it is hard to play but that it is hard to capture the spirit of the song. As such the band hardly ever has played the song live. When they tried to record the song they ended up with at least twelve different mixes of the song. They finally went back and re-recorded it to match as closely to the original demo of the song. This is really a good album with interesting and new ideas, at the time, for U2. If you haven’t given it a chance, like myself, I think that 20 years later is a good point to do so.

This is the fourth album from the rap group. It was released in 1988. I was taken aback when I found a nonscratched copy of this album on vinyl a few weeks ago. This would have been a DJs dream back in the late 80s. The thing that I thought was ridiculous about this vinyl copy was that it was super thin. It is currently all the rage to press vinyl at 180 grams making the record more sturdy and less likely to warp. This record had to be like 120 grams. It is so thin I could probably see light through the record if I held it up to the light and it is solid black. I grew up with this album in middle school on a copied cassette. I recorded the album from a friend’s cassette. I loved this album because it was rap at its best in my eyes. There is no swearing on this album. This is probably part of the reason that my parents did not take it away from me actually. My parents hated anything that was too heavy or was not the “normal” kind of music to listen to. They kind of had to let that last bit go since I loved all kinds of music. There were three singles released off this album. The first was Run’s House. This song samples the song Funky Drummer by James Brown. The music, other than the sample, behind the vocalists is basically a drum machine and record scratching. It is really that simple. It is these simplistic ideas that brought me to enjoy the old skool rap (the late 80s rap for sure). It was after the 80s that rap became the horrible east coast west coast sound wars. This was one of the fun rap albums that came out. The next single that was released fro this album is called Mary, Mary. This song used a sample from the song Mary, Mary from The Monkeys. The sample makes the song sound so good. The group made great choices with the samples that they used. The last single from this album is called I’m Not Going Out Like That. There were no music samples that were used on this track but there was a political sample that was used. I am not sure what the sample is from though. For me this album is a great piece of nostalgia. I still consider myself lucky to have even found a copy of it, let alone that it was found on vinyl.

This is the fifth studio album from Michael Jackson. It was released in 1979. Quincy Jones and worked with Jackson on this album. Jackson also collaborated on the writing of this album with the likes of Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Rod Temperton. There were five singles released from this album. The first single released is called Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough. This is a great disco inspired track with the inclusion of the string section pushing it into that disco feel. There was a video created for this song as well. The next single from this album is called Rock With You. This was the track that was written by Rod Temperton. This is probably the most recognizable song from this album. This is the one that I remember when I was a child of about four years old. Like I have said in previous posts, my mother listened to the top 40 radio station of the day. This song is also heavily influenced by disco. I don’t have a problem with disco. I love disco and would buy a box set of singles if I ran across one. I am not going to go out of my way to hunt down a disco singles box set but if I happen to find one I would probably buy it on the spot. The third single from this album is called Off The Wall, the title track from the album. This track is also written by Rod Temperton. The song is about getting over the small problems in your life, letting loose a little and having fun in life. The fourth single from this album is called She’s Out Of My Mind. This song was written by Tom Bahler. This single is the ballad single from the album in the classic Michael Jackson style ballad song. For me it falls flat and is not all that interesting musically speaking. The song has been covered many times by many artists. I am not sure if this is also a cover or if this is the first time that the song was recorded though. The last single from the album is called Girlfriend. This song was written by Paul McCartney. McCartney had recorded this song in 1978 with his band Wings. This song was written for Jackson though. It is an interesting turn of events. McCartney wrote the song for Jackson. Then recorded it before Jackson had a chance to record it himself first. Thus, Jackson covered the song that was written for him. This isn’t his greatest effort but it is still good for an artist striking it out on his own finally. Jackson had full creative control over this album and it shows.

 That is all I have for now...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vol. 2 Episode 37

Sorry this one was so late folks. I was cataloging music this weekend. It was a holiday weekend too.

Blur – Leisure
This is the first album from Blur. It was released in 1991. The album was labeled as catching the end of a trend when it was released because there was a style of music called Madchester that was winding down at the time of its release. This may or may not have been the case. It was most certainly influenced by this movement though. There were two different releases for this album. There was a world wide release and a US release. The US release was different in that the three singles from the album were moved to the first three positions and the song Sing was replaced with the song I Know. The first single released from the album is She’s So High. The video for this song was attempted the head of the bands record company, David Balfe. The video featured the band singing and playing in a dark room with rings made of neon. It is all pretty trippy but did not turn out the way that David Balfe intended. I was not into the band until the second album came out but I recognize both this song and the second single, There’s No Other Way, and had a light interest in them both. The second single has the same light and airy sound as the first single. They are both very good songs though. The video for this one features a family sitting down to dinner. This is all that the video is with the exception that the lead singer, Damon Albarn, is lip sinking the song and peering into the camera at every chance he gets. The very end of the video the desert tray is pulled out of a cupboard. The desert is a huge layered fruit, Jell-O and pudding monstrosity. The third single from this album is called Bang. This is one of the bands most hated songs. It was written to appease the record companies’ demands for another bankable single. They wrote the song in fifteen minutes. The song is actually very catchy and enjoyable for as much as they hate the song. The video for the song seems to be recorded in stop motion to appear sped up. There is a lot of footage of the UK city streets giving the head lights and tail lights the streaked effect that I think is so cool. The rest of the album is pretty good too. The only problem that I have with the album is that it was recorded quieter than most.

Family Force 5 – Dance or Die
This is the second album for the group. It was put out in 2008. They are a Christian rock band sort of. They keep the music clean but don’t push the word in their lyrics. This album is heavily dance orientated. Before this album was released the band put out a preview EP with three tracks from the album. This EP was download only. The first single from the album is called Radiator. Based on the lyrics of the song it could be said that the song is about radiating God through what you do. Love what you do and love the people you do it with. It is a good message for anybody. There is a video that is associated to this song. It is a very simple video. It features the band playing in a club style setting with the album logo in the background. The next single from this album is the song Dance or Die. The video for this song is very cool. It is basically the members of the group dancing on a dead planet with an alien giving them the ability to come to life and sing and dance the song. The alien takes them to a dead city and the dancing continues. There are a few clichés that are used from the late 80s, early 90s cartoons that make this video more fun for me than someone who would not understand those references. To be honest I did not remember this video until I brought it up on YouTube to write this up. I remember seeing when it came out it the instant it started though. There are some very good tracks on this album, especially if you like the dance rock style. They, Family Force 5, call it krunk rock but what ever. They also put this album out on vinyl. I did not get it because it would have cost over twenty bucks including shipping. This seemed ridiculous to me because the shipping was nine bucks. Even USPS shipping for 12” media mail is less than five bucks. I couldn’t justify the purchase because of the shipping price alone.

Sigur Rós – Takk…
This is the fourth studio album from the band. It was released in 2005. This is a more up beat album than the previous one, ( ). The group is still singing in a non communicative language for the most part on this album. There is some Icelandic vocals mixed in as well. There were three singles released from this album. The first is Glósóli. It is a childish word meaning to shine like the sun, loosely translated. The video for the song starts out with a child and a drum. The child is walking through the rocky landscape of Iceland. As the song progresses the child hits the drum and more and more children start following him. At the apex of the song the children find themselves on the edge of a cliff. They all run off the cliff and fly. It is really an amazing video. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end every time I watch it. The next single from the album is called Sæglópur. The meaning for this word is “lost at sea”. The first third of the video shows a child wading out in the water. It could be an ocean or a lake, the view is not specific really. The next third of the video takes place under water. The child is enjoying a nice swim when a sea creature of some kind scares him and he hides in the weeds. He thrashes around enough that the weeds tangle his feet and he ends up drowning. A diver Is seen in the last bit of the video untangling his feet and bringing him to the surface. This is a sad video for sure but it does fit with the theme of the song. The last single released from this video is called Hoppípolla. This is translated into jumping into puddles. The song is a sweet piano driven song. The video features the elderly acting like children. It is very cute when you think about it. When I watch the video it makes me feel happy but it also brings sad tears to my eyes. I think this is because it becomes more and more difficult to have fun and be childish as you get older and as your body stops responding in a way that allows the elderly to have physical fun. I can’t say that this is one of my favorite albums from the group but there are some special moments that are associated with the songs. I would love to get a copy of this album on vinyl because it came with two 12” records and a third 10” record that has an etching on one side. I think that etchings on vinyl are very unique.

Radiohead - Give Up The Ghost RMX/TKOL RMX/Bloom RMX
This is the fifth remix single from The King of Limbs remix series. It contains the three listed tracks and was released in the beginning of September 2011. The first song, Give Up The Ghost, is remixed by Brokenchord. It has nearly a full minute lead in before the song actually starts. I find this annoying personally. When the song finally starts up it is very slow. Then the beat kicks in and the song has something to stand on. The beat is a bit dub step in a way. The song seems to drag along though, sort of in a dream state. There is a lot of echo used on the lyrics adding to the dream like state of the remix. The next song, TKOL, is a remix of bits of all of the songs from the album. It is remixed by Altrice. I think that this is my favorite from this disc. It has a shorter lead in than the previous song and it uses a nice piano loop adding to the songs replayability. The drums are more consistent, also making it easier to listen to. There is still a lot of echo used on the vocals but there is not much of Thom Yorkes’ vocals being used in this song anyway. The third song on this record is a remix of Bloom. When I heard this song on the internet preview I hated it. The vocals were slowed down to an unintelligible noise. There is also a drum effect that is being used that sounds awful in a low quality digital playback method, i.e. low quality MP3. After I listened to the song on my stereo I found that the song is somewhat listenable. The drum effect cleared up and had more depth to it. The song is still one of the worst released from the series in my opinion so far but I can at least stand it if it plays on the iPod or what ever. There are still two more releases to come out from this series. I will wait to review them both at the same time when the last one comes out.

That is all I have for now...