Album Reviews of this Week

So I have this massive list of 250+ albums that I made of different albums that I’ve always wanted to listen to but have not (or I’ve listened to it and I wasn’t paying attention). Whether its educating myself on the past and listening to Jethro Tull and Deep Purple or hearing my friend’s favorite albums like Beyonce or Jack Garratt, it’s all on this list.

I started my album a day initiative back in the beginning of July and I’ve completed over 60 albums so far. BUT I still have a long way to go. (I’m actually listening to an album right now lol)

Here are the albums that I’ve listened to in the past few days and a little review! (in no particular order) (also this is almost purely opinion based, I’m just a dog with a blog you know nothing special)

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Joni Mitchell- Blue (1972)

A name that I’ve always heard but I never took the time to listen to, nor did my parents listen to it while I grew up. This album showcases the beauty of an artist, a guitar (and piano in some songs) and a microphone. Her folky sound with a jazz inspired touch was something that inspires the groundwork for many artists.

The melodies were simple yet catchy enough to keep you interested which is something I really appreciate. I always had this idea that when it comes down to it, people everywhere like songs stripped down. There’s a part of everyone (whether its really really small or really big) loves a singer and just a guitar. A point where you could hear the talent pour out without an distracting beat in the background. This album is simply that. An artist and an instrument with heartfelt lyrics.

It’s SUCH a popular album and I think it’s possible because the beauty in how simple she is! Her talents over shadow any need to have anything else because its beautiful by itself.

Favorite Songs: Carey, My Old Man and River

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Gallant- Ology (2016)

Now lets jump up to this year and a completely different genre (I have a wild music taste so expect jumps like this haha). This R&B and alternative rock inspired artist has become pretty famous this year. He was at Coachella both weekends and toured with my boy Sufjan Stevens (who he’s also done a song with). BUT Gallant has done really good on his own. His single Weight In Gold that has 12+ million streams and his album has anywhere between 1 to almost 3 million streams each song.

ANYWAY, now to the album. Its amazing. The sound overall reminds me a lot of Latch by Sam Smith and Disclosure but an extended edition. His voice can go INCREDIBLY high that tenors everywhere bow down too (his high notes are breathtaking!!?? literally how does he do it??!!!). I also love the diversity in the album as a whole, the album can be really funky (Episode) but also be pretty R&B (Bone + Tissue). Overall, I think there is something in this album that everyone could find to like.

Favorite Songs: Shotgun and Episode

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American Hi-Fi- American Hi-Fi (2001)

A step back to 2001, where pop punk ruled MTV and Vans Warped Tour was amazing. (Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t BAD this year I mean State Champs were there and some OGs were there for a few weeks or days but everyone else….eeehhhhh)

Anyway, you might remember them from their one single “Flavor of the Week” but they actually had a few albums (and still making music??? ALSO?? Their band has two member who are also in Miley Cyrus’ band???) Okay okay to the album. Overall, its a good classic for those who collect early 2000s pop punk and like the reminisce in the ~old days~. The songs are catchy yet angsty enough for those who scream “I hate my parents! And this town!” while slamming your door in a perfectly safe suburban home. And there are some pretty good love songs (I’m a Fool).

The guitar work is very nice and they have cool alternative rock inspired riffs in almost every song. The singer’s voice could be better but hey that’s why they aren’t pop singers. It’s pop punk, what do you expect?

Favorite Songs: I’m a Fool (a banger), Safer On the Outside, Another Perfect Day

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Pharrell Williams- G  I R L (2014)

Everyone knows Pharrell Williams after Happy exploded in our ears for years (okay but why do I STILL hear that song in public??). Pharrell Williams was nominated for SEVEN grammys with this album including Producer of the Year. So I had a lot of expectations going into this.

Overall, the album was …weird. I really didn’t know what I was even expecting because I’m not even a big fan of Happy so I don’t know why I expected this album to blow me away. The album though isn’t bad. Pharrell Williams has an amazing voice and has a lot of creative components in his songs. He has horns, background singers and incredibly catchy melodies. He even has Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys on this album so it’s gonna be a good ride.

The album is though pretty diverse too, which can be pretty good like I’ve used it before when describing other albums. But in this case, I was left kinda confused. Like when you listen to the entire Dutchess album by Fergie confused. It’s very interesting to remember Happy is even on this album because a few songs later we have “Lost Queen” which is African inspired and then we have Know Who You Are with Alicia Keys that is slower and incredibly funk inspired while the other songs go back and forth between funk and R&B.

I wouldn’t recommend that everyone listen to it because it sounded messy and was too much for my taste and might overwhelm people.But I think everyone might find one song they would like because of the diversity in beats. But I will say that Pharrell is still better than me and I’m literally just a 19 year girl in my room sooo you pick you who to listen to. 

Favorite Songs: It Girl and Gush

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The Dears- No Cities Left (2003)

Ahhh a pretty unpopular band in Canada the early 2000s that I only knew about because of One Tree Hill. Classic me. If you like Broken Social Scene, The Stills or Arcade Fire, you might like this album.

When I first listened it this album, I thought it was weird and that maybe I wasn’t really getting the message. So I listened to it again and then I kept finding myself listening to it. Its intriguing because the songs give off a sound of mystery and that you’re supposed to be looking for more. The instruments are interesting because there’s horns here and an organ there and then an electric guitar having a solo here. I was left so intrigued and kept listening to the album, searching for what they were trying to tell me. (I didn’t find it, I think its just their sound)

Overall, an INTERESTING album. The vocalists are….interesting. (I wish I had another word but its all I got). I honestly couldn’t even describe it. Its like half talking but half singing. It kinda reminds me of LCD Soundsystem’s “New York I Love You But You’re Bring Me Down,” but the whole album. If you interested and want to feel kinda hipster, give it a listen because it’s probably a sound you haven’t heard before. But it probably won’t make it on many of your Spotify playlist (maybe one).

Favorite Songs: Lost in The Plot and No Cities Left

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Bad Suns- Language & Perspective (2014)

I can’t believe this was the FIRST time I’ve listened to this album. This alternative rock group formed in 2012 hit a lot of (well deserved) fame with this album. The group is inspired from 70s and 80s post punk artists like The Cure and Elvis Costello which are apparent in the vocalist style but keeping the alternative rock commandments.

The album is funky, catchy and full of bops. I have nothing but praise for this album. I’m a changed woman (Not Daft Punk- Discovery or Tame Impala- Currents changed but PRETTY close). If you love Indie Rock, you’ll love this album. Simple as that. Even if you kinda listen to rock sometimes but not really and really love pop music, you’ll probably love this album.

Favorite Songs: Salt and Rearview

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Nick Jonas- Last Year Was Complicated (2016)

Okay but hear me out. Isn’t Nick Jonas kinda like the male Brittany Spears? Like you could see him on stage, half naked with a snake around his neck singing “Chainsaw” to the audience maybe upside down? Anyway, this album a GREAT mix of pop and R&B.

This album is honest. My boy Nick (cause you know, we’re on a first name basis) just went through a break up last year and he doesn’t hold back. This album is MUCH better than the previous album “Nick Jonas” because you can actually feel him hurting within the lyrics. (Except the one line in Bacon where he says “put some bacon on it,” LITERALLY MAKES NO SENSE BUT THE SONG IS GREAT). He calls a girl OUT in the album. The album has major bops but also has a sensitive side like Chainsaw and Unhinged (major Little Bit Longer vibes).

The second time I listened to this album, I fell in LOVE and realized “oh my gosh Nick got B A N G E R Z and pain??” The songs are seductive, inviting to hear his pain and a major club bop all in one. You’ll find a song to scream the lyrics to in the car with your gal pals probably.

Favorite Songs: Bacon and Chainsaw.

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Pink Floyd- The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

While our girl Joni Mitchell was touring for her album the next year, Pink Floyd came out with an album that changed many and was left as a classic for dad rock for decades. And changed the progressive rock world. You would think that it being their 8th album, that it would be going down hill BUT not for them. I mean this album was on charts for 741 weeks.

I honestly feel unworthy to even review this because I feel every word I’m writing, Rolling Stone writers, who are probably (who am I kidding, they are) 50 year old dads, would be shaming me even though I’m writing nothing but praise.

I also grew up listening to this album because my family are HUGE Pink Floyd/dad rock fans so I was already familiar with the experimental aspects that separate it from albums everywhere. I mean they use cash registers and school bells in the beginning of some songs, WHO DOES THAT. But its cool, they pull it off, and I feel incredibly cool and thoughtful when listening to this album. Like “yeah I’m DEEP, I listen to PINK FLOYD and LIKE IT. I’M CULTURED!!!”

Favorite Songs: Any Colour You Like and Money

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The Honorary Title- Anything Else But the Truth (2006)

This Dashboard Confessional (and also toured with them) and Say Anything inspired group is an acoustic-y alternative rock group from Brooklyn. I discovered this album from One Tree Hill also because they performed on an episode lol.

The album overall is about heartbreak, being dumped and life afterwards. How to survive and how slow life can feel. I cannot relate to any of these songs directly BUT after listening to this, I realize that their word choice, metaphors and imaginary paint a good picture. You can hear the pain in the artist, hear it in the lyrics and the overall mood and tones from the instruments. I must mention that the WHOLE album isn’t like this. They have bops like Bridge and Tunnel and Anything Else But the Truth and…um.. Okay so the album is pretty sad. BUT ITS GOOD.

Anyone who wants to take a trip back to the 2006, old alternative rock and want to experience heartbreak or reflect on any heartbreak. Here it is. Or if you just want to take a trip back to 2006 and remember when Dashboard Confessional songs were in every teen drama, this can also be it.

Favorite Song: Frame by Frame, Bridge and Tunnel and Petals

and that’s it for this week!!

If you have any album that you love that you would like me to listen to, let me know!!! I always love hearing people’s recommendations.

~FIN~

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