Randy Newman-Good Old Boys (1974)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 93%

Rolling Stone Rating: 100%

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 94%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Rednecks
  2. Birmingham
  3. Marie
  4. Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)
  5. Guilty
  6. Louisiana 1927
  7. Every Man A King
  8. Kingfish
  9. Naked Man
  10. A Wedding In Cherokee County
  11. Back On My Feet Again
  12. Rollin’
  13. Marie (Demo)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling a mix of nostalgia and bitterness.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty boring.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah it’d be wonderful on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Randy Newman is the musical voice of Disney, every time I hear his voice I picture the credits of A Bug’s Life or Monsters Inc. But with Good Old Boys we’re treated to the same voice, with a whole different kind of gravitas. It’s still upbeat and fun sounding at times, but a lot of the songs are about adult subjects like drinking, heartbreak, and rolling doobies. It’s truly an odd experience at first hearing this previously pure artists actual music, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s some sweet sweet self-deprecation tracks that fit really well with his sound. He sounds like a mix between Harry Nillson and Frank Sinatra, but that’s just me trying to rationalize him, to most people he’s Randy Newman, the influential artist, to me he’s the dude who rounded the Disney flicks out.

Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

My Rating: 86% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 100%

Rolling Stone Rating: 100%

Metacritic Rating: 94%

Average Rating: 95%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Dark Fantasy
  2. Gorgeous Feat. Raekwon, & Kid Cudi
  3. Power
  4. All of the Lights (Interlude)
  5. All of the Lights
  6. Monster Feat. Jay-Z, Bon Iver, Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj
  7. So Appalled Feat. RZA, Jay-Z, Prynce Cy Hi, Pusha T & Swizz Beatz
  8. Devil In a New Dress Feat. Rick Ross
  9. Runaway Feat. Pusha T
  10. Hell of a Life
  11. Blame Game Feat. John Legend
  12. Lost In the World Feat. Bon Iver
  13. Who Will Survive In America
  14. See Me Now Feat. Big Sean, Beyoncé & Charlie Wilson

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready for a mish mash of different genres and proof that Kanye is a genius.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Well it depends on the cover but I like the story behind it more than I actually like the look of it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely friggin’ yes.

Final Thoughts:

Kanye and I have an interesting history. I swore to myself I would never like his music in high school, and when it came to Columbia House (my monthly ordered album service) I would never pick his album Graduation (which was popular at the time) because of this oath, even though the album cover was really intriguing. Around comes 2010 and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is dropped and I’ve significantly calmed down from my overly conservative self and I decide to finally give the guy a shot. I couldn’t stop listening. It was one of those albums that changed the way I looked at music. This is one of those times my rating system doesn’t do the album justice, it’s one of my favourite albums of all time, and definitely my favourite Kanye record, but the purest that I am must stick to the formula even when it doesn’t meet my personal draw to the album. The tracks flow well and are diverse, experimental and expertly done. This is an album that will continually impress generations and I’d be surprised if it’s not the album that he is most known for.

La Dispute-Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair (2008)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 96%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Such Small Hands
  2. Said The King To The River
  3. Damaged Goods
  4. New Storms For Older Lovers
  5. Fall Down, Never Get Back Up Again
  6. Bury Your Flame
  7. Last Blues For Bloody Knuckles
  8. The Castle Builders
  9. Andria
  10. Then Again, Maybe You Were Right
  11. Sad Prayers For Guilty Bodies
  12. The Last Lost Continent
  13. Nobody, Not Even The Rain

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Really angry at someone in particular.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Doesn’t do anything for me, kinda just bland.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yep, my roommates would kill me if I put it on, though.

Final Thoughts:

La Dispute by all accounts should annoy the hell out of me, loud sounding, angry, strained vocals, these all typically grate against me. But for some reason it just doesn’t, I find relatability in the anger. I found the voice well rounded and interesting. The backing band equally fighting for the spotlight. I would not hold it against you for hating this album, by all means go for it. But it’s the right mix of emotional uneasiness and musical chaos to strike the right chord for me, Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair (ugh shorter album name please) plays off like an angry but well communicated tantrum after a terrible breakup, take that as you will.

Astrud Gilberto-The Astrud Gilberto Album (1965)

My Rating: 95% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 95%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Once I Loved
  2. Agua De Beber
  3. Meditation
  4. And Roses And Roses
  5. O Morro (Nao Tem Vez)
  6. How Insensitive
  7. Dindi
  8. Photgraph
  9. Dreamer
  10. So Finha De Ser Com Voce
  11. All That’s Left Is To Say Goodbye

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an oldie but a goodie.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s classy and candid looking, I like it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

I’ve never heard of Astrud Gilberto until I watched one of the singers of The Supremes talk about her being the originator of a lot of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra. Being a Sinatra fan I decided to give her a listen. I’ve never been into bossa nova, not that I necessarily thought negatively about it, but more just that I never listened to it. The Astrud Gilberto Album is a great place to start with the genre, and a really great listen. Astrud’s voice is beautiful, and the album is chalk full of recognizable melodies. I’ve never heard something quite like it, and I highly recommend fans of all genres to give this album a good listen to.

Jay Reatard-Blood Visions (2006)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 91%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 95.5%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Blood Visions
  2. Greed, Money, Useless Children
  3. It’s So Easy
  4. My Shadow
  5. My Family
  6. Death Is Forming
  7. Oh It’s Such a Shame
  8. Not a Substitute 
  9. Nightmares
  10. I See You Standing There
  11. We Who Wait
  12. Fading All Away
  13. Turning Blue
  14. Puppet Man
  15. Waiting for something

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Angry/Need to really rock out.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s…uh. Yeah, it’s something. I mean it does really reflect the music, especially tracks like Death is Forming and My Family.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I almost had my hands on a copy of it the other day, but alas, they were sold out. One day my prince will come.

Final Thoughts:

This is such an incredible album. I love every track on it. There are few albums that I play on repeat but this is one of them. Jay Reatard’s vocals and guitar playing are incredible. This is exactly what I’m looking for in a punk record and I don’t think any other punk album will ever top it for me. RIP Jay Reatard.

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