People Under The Stairs-The Next Step (1998)

My Rating: 53% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 53%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro / 4 Everybody
  2. Death Of A Salesman
  3. Hardcore (Feat. Smile-Oak)
  4. Wannabes
  5. Ten Tough Guys
  6. Mid-City Fiesta
  7. Slow Bullet
  8. San Francisco Knights
  9. The Turndown (Feat. Assault)
  10. Time To Rock Our Shit
  11. The Tamburo 5 (Feat. Naimad, Assault & Shine 5)
  12. Los Angeles Daze
  13. The Next Step II
  14. D.A.R.E.
  15. Asshole (Feat. Assault)
  16. Play It Again / Outro

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Want to dig for a couple great People Under The Stairs tracks.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Classic Hip-Hop cover. It’s rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No, this was a miss.

Final Thoughts:

Let me start with saying I do love People Under The Stairs, I believe that The Dig deserves to be on the list for 100 greatest hip-hop songs of all time, any true hip hop head would include them in such a list. But here’s the thing, The Next Step is more of a jam session than an actual album. There are very few hooks or even tangible themes throughout the tracks, and honestly it’s a really ballsy thing to do. One of the emcees known for having hookless tracks is MF Doom, and, well with all due respect, to quote Zorak “you’re no doom.” It’s an album that wants to be a De La Soul or Tribe Called Quest release, but isn’t as calculated as those groups tend to be.

Patti Smith-Horses (1975)

My Rating: 78% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: 94%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 86%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Gloria
  2. Redondo Beach
  3. Birdland
  4. Free Money
  5. Kimberly
  6. Break It Up
  7. Land of Horses/Land of a Thousand Dances/La Mer (De)
  8. Elegie
  9. My Generation

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to hear the beginnings of punk music.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Iconic. It’s one of those covers that bands want to recreate, but never will.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really, it’s fine on my shuffle, not really going to sit down and listen to the whole album again.

Final Thoughts:

I’m glad I sat down and experienced the Horses album as a whole. It was a unique experience. But not one that I’ll jump at going through again. Sure there are some wonderful tunes on this album, but there are other songs that are 10 minutes or so long that I was okay listening to the one time. Iconic? Sure. But vocally she got under my skin at times, especially when it got really trembly. Just not the kinda punk I rock to for the most part.

Pigeon John-Good Sinner (2016)

My Rating: 58% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 58%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Good Sinner
  2. Knock Out
  3. Rebel Rebel
  4. That’s What I Like
  5. Stick Up
  6. The Tops
  7. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)
  8. All Eyes On Me
  9. Gravity
  10. She’s Loud
  11. Shake It Down
  12. Take Off

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You:

Want a no brainer pop album to not pay attention to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty sharp, I think it’s a really cool looking picture that makes me really want to get into this album.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not in the slightest.

Final Thoughts:

Selling out. to me, is when you leave your fanbase to try to make music that’s popular at the time. That’s exactly what’s wrong with Good Sinner, this isn’t the Pigeon John I know and love. This is a Pigeon John that has been shaped by what is popular. The music is catchy for the moment then instantly forgotten. The lyrics are meaningless and radio friendly. I get that you have to make money as an artist, but it’s sad to see one of my favourites (the creator of great tunes like As We Know It and Rock Bottom Again) churn out an album as poor as this. The Identity Crisis continues, please go back to Dragon Slayer and/or Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister.

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