Album Review of the Week

It has been awhile since I’ve last been here with review post so lets dive straight in! This week and the week before have been an interesting mix. I’ve been listening to a lot of old stuff (good and bad) and some newer stuff (good and bad).

SO LETS DDIIIVVEEE IN

I’ve listened/reviewed a total of 19 albums since my last post so I may or may not include all them (or save them for my next post) haha.

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Cold War Kids- Hold My Home (2014)

An American Indie group that first started off in 2007 came out with their fifth studio that has gotten a lot more recognition with their single “First.” On Spotify, you’ll see this at their number one song played but you won’t see another song from this album on that top 10…for a reason.

I LOVE “First” and it was a really great single, but the rest of the album doesn’t really compare to the praise that “First” received. “First” has pop elements and was played on the radio because it was catchy and genuinely good. The rest of the album is more Ryan Adams and Train 30-year-old dad rock trying to get back into the pop scene. As much as “First” is a great song (“Go Quietly” is pretty good too), I wouldn’t recommend this album to be your first listen if you want to get into Cold War Kids.

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Ms. Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

This beautiful and wonder gal did ONE album because it was so incredibly amazing that it was all she needed to be incredibly loved. (Okay there was also a huge lawsuit about licensing and credit but whatever. WHATS IMPORTANT IS! She has one album and has millions of streams for each song even though the album is almost 20 years old). There’s a feeling when you listen to an album and you just feel everything CHANGE. You begin in separate your life in two parts. Life without the album and life after the album. This was one of those album HANDS DOWN. I loved every single thing about this album. The harmonies in the back was astounding, her soulful and perfectly clean voice makes me want to sob and they even incorporate guitar solos in a R&B/Soul/Hip Hop with some reggae. An album that you could listen to over and over again and find a new part to love.

FS: Ex- Factor, I Used To Love Him, Forgive Them Father

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 Random Access Memories- Daft Punk (2013)

I never was into Daft Punk or knew who they were until this album came out with Get Lucky but I’m incredibly glad that I’ve been slowly getting them. The French duo is doing wonders while trying to hide their faces (for the most part, kinda successfully) and making music for everyone to enjoy (and music for movies). This album particularly has MILLIONS (like 14M+ streams each) of streams and beating out the past albums for a reason. Each song is a BANGER. STRAIGHT. BANGER. Even the slower ones have so much funk into it that it’s hard to not groove to each song. There’s also something new to find in this album of bops. I don’t have much else to say because if you’ve listen to the album that saying how amazing it is will never be enough so it’s hard to find other words to describe it without being extremely repetitive.

FS: INSTANT CRUSH, Lose Yourself to Dance, Fragments of Time and Doin’ it Right

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Jesse Woods- Get Your Burdens Lifted (2013)

As the son of Rolling Stone member Ronnie Wood, the expectation of being a musician is probably something that’s going to exist in the household. The type of music is very different from any Rolling Stone’s song you will hear though. This folk artist with bluegrass inspired accents makes a good blend to listen to the morning. Or in a coffee shop. Or if you’re driving down an empty road and the grass is all yellow and your friend is in the passenger seat and they’re looking out the window daydreaming and you’re also daydreaming about dancing through fields in a collared dress with a pair of saltwater sandals. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who is thinking about this situation). If you like folk music at all in any way, you will enjoy listening to this. Because good folk harmonies and actually feeling the guitar strums individually is a beautiful thing and sometimes you need it.

FS: Broken Bottle, Gold In The Air and Walk Along Cattle Drive (how more folk can these song titles be hahah)

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The Sonics- Here Are The Sonics!!! (1965)

This album really took my surprise because I didn’t anticipate having this much fun listening to an album. As a garage pop/rock band, I didn’t realize the influence that this group had on many artists (including being influential to the punk scene in the 70s and being credited to be influential to Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen and the Fall). They have the funk of Elvis Presley and The Beatles but their own 60s punk twist is what made them stand out from all the garage bands at the time.

I have so much respect and love for the influence and creativity this album holds as an oldie that I recommend everyone to listen to it. It’s kinda like a history lesson in way when listening to it.  And if you hate the whole thing, its okay because you can still jam to “Do You Love Me” because its a CLASSIC.

FS: Have Love Will Travel, Psycho, Walkin’ The Dog

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The Wallflowers- Bringing Down The Horse (1996)

An American rock album in the mid-90s that had Counting Crows in the sidebar on Spotify gave me some expectations before I pressed play, naturally. This album is for the late 30 year old dads getting drunk at family bbq and belting out all the words to “One Headlights” while the kids are in the pool cringing at the thought of their 18 year old dad putting this on a mixtape. It’s the new generation of dad rock and it works.

Overall, pretty okay. They have a funky organ in the back of the songs which always gives a new funky twist. The lead singer’s voice is raspy and soulful with the rock kick. If I don’t drunkly belt out “I Wish I Felt Nothing” with my arms around my friends with a campfire by the end of my life, I don’t think my life will feel complete.

You go 38 year olds dads. Rock on.

FS: One Headlight, The Difference, I Wish I Felt Nothing

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The Decemberists- The King is Dead (2011)

The fact that this album was made during a six week period where they stayed in a barn in Portland makes COMPLETE sense when listening to the album. Colin Meloy said that he wanted to get more in touch with American classic music and he nailed it. The instruments used on this album are INCREDIBLE. I don’t think I’ve heard a harmonica played in this popular of an album with it still being completely in place with the music.

This is an upbeat folk/bluegrass inspired album and it really works. A lot of the songs have the potential of being in montage summer videos and I LOVE it.

FS: January Hymn, Dear Avery, All Arise!

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Simon and Garfunkel- Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)

This album won sooo many Grammys (Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Engineered Album etc.) and I was #shook when first listening because I loved it so much. They really left their last album with such a bang. The amount of instruments they incorporate and the different styles is amazing. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. A classic!!! I have nothing else to say because its so amazing and I’m not worthy to write a review.

FS: Bridge Over Troubled Water, So Long Frank Lloyd Wright, Keep The Customer Satisfied

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The Lumineers- Cleopatra (2016)

Where do I even START. So when I first heard Hey Ho, I wasn’t that impressed. Just another indie folk band who had some good songs like “Flower in Her Hair.” I kept hearing about this album because it was so popular (it hit number 1 on Billboard 200!!!!). So I finally listened to and quickly became a Lumineers Stan probably somewhere within the first one minute of the first song. His voice on this album, I feel like, is overall smoother and cleaner than their debut album. His notes are not forced or grunted like it was with the first album. Its a simple album with a simple band with amazing instrumental work and lyrics. I really like this album and I feel like everyone can find a song on this album to like (or atleast to listen to when they want to feel dramatic).

FS: Where The Skies Are Blue, Cleopatra (Acoustic demo), and White Lie

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Son Little- Son Little (2015)

I discovered Son Little (aka Aaron Livingston) as a recommended artist from the Leon Bridges Spotify page. This album is overall very different because Little will go back and worth between styles. Son Little is a very interesting dude and its hard to put this album into one genre category. There are a good amount of songs that are very 60’s soul/Leon Bridges type but there is also the other half which is more acoustic blues/hip hop. Either way, good stuff. I came to this album for the 60’s soul inspired and those songs did not disappoint. And I even put some of the acoustic blues/hip hop stuff on my playlist. I mean, his voice is ACTUALLY SMOOTH CHOCOLATE. How could I not?

FS: Lay Down, O Mother and About A Flood

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Carly Rae Jepsen- EMOTION (2015)

I’m a pop hoe. I LOVE pop music but in our society, you’re considered Not Cool^TM if you like pop music. So I’ve been suppressing my love and I’ve been turning to the more acceptable Indie Pop and Pop Punk to fill my void. As much as I love love love those genres (My number 1 and 2 favorite genres respectfully), I cannot suppress my love for pop music anymore!!! This album CHANGED ME. My friend Jody talked about this album all the time and I finally listened it when Side B came out and took over the internet music world. This album…is….SO GOOD. I listened to this and felt my body pushed back to 80s and 90s pop AND I WANT TO STAY THERE. Jepsen successfully did the 80s pop sound that Taylor Swift tried to accomplish with 1989 but only succeeded on with her song “Style,” which Carly Rae Jepsen did on her whole album. This song has ONLY bangers. I would love to just drive and scream every lyric.

10/10 Would recommend!!!!!!! Side B is amazing as well!!!!!

FS: Making The Most of The Night, Emotion, First Time (on Side B)

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State Champs- Around the World and Back (2015)

Like mentioned above, I love pop punk and it has been my core since I saw the Predictable by Good Charlotte music video on MTV. This album embodies the beauty of early 2000s pop punk and brings it the modern age. Its keep the great elements but doesn’t stray too far  from punk and end up like All Time Low or The Ready Set. Very impressed especially since this album was nominated for Album of the Year and Song of the Year at the Alternative Press Awards. I bow down to bands like State Champs who have the perfect balance of pop and punk AND a good voice. Do you know how rare that is? Anyway, they keep my 8 year old self alive and I will forever be thankful.

FS: Secrets, Losing Myself, All or Nothing

Honorable Mentions:

Florence + The Machine- Songs From Final Fantasy XV (2016)

Honestly, I cried so hard at her Stand By Me cover. Florence Welch is PERFECT. Only three songs but so beautiful.

Deep Purple- The Book of Taliesyn (1968)

Not their most popular album and I can why but overall I still think it’s pretty good! Their guitar solos and guitar work is INSANE. It’s sooo amazing and for that I need to recommend it. FS: Kentucky Woman, River Deep Mountain High

Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

MY FAVORITE KANYE ALBUM!!! I love love love everything about this album. I feel like everyone knows how great this album is that I didn’t need to explain its beauty in a full review. FS: RUNAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dark Fantasy, Monster

Elvis Costello & The Attractions- This Years Model (1978)

I wanted to like this album so bad because I’ve heard good things about Elvis but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. His music sounded too messy to me and his voice was too naggy. I’m going to try again with his “My Aim is True” album hoping to change my mind. FS: Pump It Up

The Cure- Wish (1992)

A funky fresh album in the early 90s that was the complete opposite the (at the time) very popular grunge. I have a very weird relationship with The Cure because Robert Smith kinda freaks me out but the songs are so ~groovy. FS: Wendy Time, A Letter To Elise, and Friday I’m In Love (of course).

SEE YA NEXT TIME

~FIN~

 

 

 

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