Prince RIP

May. 25th, 2016 04:38 pm
csberry: (pumaman)
I wanted to give myself some time before I put down on my blog my feelings on the passing of Prince. I started writing this blog post about a week after his death. I got distracted and then totally forgot about it until I came to LJ just now to do another post and the site said it had a saved draft. So...below is a somewhat incomplete post about Prince's impact in my life.

********************************

One of the first things to come in mind was David Bowie's recent death. In that aftermath, I shared how he affected me. When I looked back at what I wrote on FB about him, much of what I said about Bowie goes a thousandfold for Prince. Maybe if I was 10 or 15 years older, Bowie would get the essential credit for influencing me. But as a guy who's formative years were in the 80's, Prince was my pop culture reference to a star who was androgynous, alien-like, and demonstrated musical genius on many albums with a sound that was both authentic to the artist and evolving into something new and different from the previous releases.

I first became aware of Prince with "I Wanna Be Your Lover" in the early 80's when I was 7-9 years old. I caught it on the radio a couple of times and liked it. A year or two later, Chaka Khan released "I Feel For You" and I somehow became aware of the Prince connection and that this meant I liked two of his songs (an important stat to keep in the olden days when singles were fine, but knowing you could get a bunch of songs you like for $8 or whatever was actually priceless). It was with the release of the various singles from 1999 - especially the exposure via Solid Gold - that I started to consider myself a Prince fan. (I may have also heard "Party Up" at some point during this period of my life. When I later bought a Dirty Mind/Controversy double-album cassette, "Party Up" sounded very familiar.

But I knew as a 10 year old, that I wasn't supposed to be part of Prince's fan base and that I probably shouldn't own any of his albums. I could enjoy "Little Red Corvette" as the Solid Gold dancers pranced around the stage or sing along with "1999" on the radio, but it never crossed my mind that I could buy the album and not get into some level of hassle or trouble with my parents for the purchase.

When Purple Rain came out, the push and pull on whether or not to buy an album became a practical concern and not just a passing dismissive thought. I enjoyed every song I heard. I wouldn't be shocked if I did buy a 45 of "When Doves Cry" but can't recall for certain and considering the 45s I've kept, I would expect that song to still be in my collection. If I didn't get a 45 of "When Doves Cry," I don't think I got up to buy my first Prince album until 1987 when Sign O the Times came out and I started 8th grade. I either got Sign or Purple Rain on cassette first at that age. From that point on, I started buying up previous and future releases.

Prince was my primary musical influence during high school. He quickly became the musical act of which I had the most albums and who I would most readily identify as my favorite. I never owned Purple Rain on vinyl, so when I broke one of my Walkmen so it wouldn't flip sides any more - instead merely playing the top side in reverse, the first thing I wanted to do was to put my cassette copy in and listen to the end of "Darling Nikki". I would recite the monologue from the end of "If I Was Your Girlfriend" to girls I was interested in. I dreamed of a woman who would be a combination of the females in "Starfish and Coffee" and "Raspberry Beret", as well as "Delirious" and "Do Me, Baby".

When I hiked the Appalachian Trail between my junior and senior year in high school, I took my Walkman and two cassettes. One of those cassettes was my Prince Dirty Mind/Controversy double album tapes. It was shortly after that trip, that Prince's influence really started to wane. Diamonds and Pearls was the album that I realized that Prince and I were parting ways; the headscratching I did with Graffiti Bridge wasn't just with that one project.

I did buy Emancipation and Crystal Ball. But didn't buy another Prince album until 3121.
csberry: (pumaman)
After being MIA for a few years, I figured out where I had stored away my text file with my wake playlist. I added a few songs I had jotted down on a post-it, but need to add a dozen or more songs to this soon.

If you outlive me and show up at my wake, here is what I have set for the playlist so far (in rough playing order):

(Definitely first) Prince – “Let’s Go Crazy”
Howard Jones – “Life in One Day”
XTC - “Grass”
Talking Heads - “Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place)”
Pixies “Wave of Mutilation (uptempo version)”
Bjork - “Hyperballad”
Eric Idle/Monty Python - "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"
Violent Femmes – “Blister in the Sun”
Barenaked Ladies – “Unfinished”
Ben Folds Five - “Underground”
Joe Jackson - “Steppin' Out”
The Grays – “Very Best Years”
Double Trouble – “In the Garden”
Beatles – “In My Life”
Jamie Cullum – “All at Sea”
Zero 7 - “Destiny”
Beach Boys – “God Only Knows”
“How Great Thou Art” - print lyrics and sing
Violent Femmes – “Good Feeling”
Crowded House – “All I Ask”
Jeff Buckley – “Last Goodbye”
csberry: (pumaman)
justin-timberlake-20-20daft-punk

There have been two albums that have kept me quite distracted over the past few of months. First was the release of Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience in March. I was curious about the new music, but was disappointed with my first impressions of "Suit & Tie." One day while mowing grass, I decided to put the album on Rhapsody. I fell in love with the overall sound of the album and with the majority of the songs. There was a timelessness about how he blended the influences and instrumentation. Repeat listens kept revealing little changes or flourishes that made me appreciate the songs the more I listened. It wasn't "brilliant;" it was tremendously interesting for me, though.

The obvious trait of the new collection of songs from Justin is the length. These are songs that aren't here for a quickie - each song is going to woo you, spank you, and cuddle with you afterward. "Pusher Love Girl" can easily be cut down to 3-4 minutes for the radio, but -for the album, honey- it lounges next to you on the couch and stretches around your shoulders for an eight minute grope session. "Strawberry Bubble Gum" follows the same romantic techniques...but, you know, it pushes all the right buttons for me and I'm hooked despite my singing along with "And it all started when she said/ Hey hey hey, smacking that strawberry bubblegum." TO TOP IT OFF, you know what Justin did? He closed the album with a soft, slow jam. *gets the vapors*

My adoration for The 20/20 Experience was then blown away by the release of "Get Lucky" and Random Access Memories by Daft Punk. I had been waiting for the new release even more eagerly after enjoying the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. When the first single had the magic words "Ft. Pharrell," I jumped to hear it when the song was released. The song was a dream come true and I'm thrilled that it is a song that the entire family enjoys, so most of our trips around town have that song (sometimes on repeat or going from single edit to album cut) as the soundtrack.

What I love most about Random Access Memories is the nostalgic feel of the album and how much it coincides with my own musical nostalgia. There are some real quirky aspects to the influences, but they are a good fit for me. (many words could be wasted going on and on about the peculiarities of Paul Williams' writing and performing contributions to "Touch") I feel comfortable getting emotional while Paul's conversational singing style expresses the emotional plea of a robot desiring to experience touch over music saturated with squeaky synths, wah-wah pedals, and a choir. My second favorite track on the album is "Fragments of Time." It is so far from what I think most anyone would readily identify as being a "Daft Punk song." The influence of 70's and early 80's pop and soft rock is overwhelming. The song sounds like it could have easily been the b-side to Al Stewart's "Time Passages" single. Someone I read online stated that the song sounded like Phoenix covering Steely Dan.

Collaborations definitely stand out on the album. Not only does Pharrell Williams sing on "Get Lucky," but he's also on "Lose Yourself to Dance." The Stroke's Julian Casablancas worked with Daft Punk on "Instant Crush." Niles Rodgers worked on three different songs on the album. While some of the collaborations focus on exploiting nostalgic sounds, Panda Bear's work on "Doin It Right" gave the song a contemporary sound more along the lines of M83 and Matt & Kim.

Really, my only real criticism is that I wish it had a better Side1/Song1. "Give Life Back to Music" is a perfectly fine song, however, I yearn for a greater anthemic song or maybe some sort of intro or overture when I think of this collection as an "album."
csberry: (pumaman)
If you think my love for XTC is wasted on a obscure band (in America, at least) without any hit songs (in America, at least), then you don't need to read the rest of this blog post.
Background info about Kowanko you probably should know... )

So, today became a day that I got distracted with hearing Kowanko and decided to scour the net again. While at kowanko.com, I clicked the Mailto link and sent the following:

Subject: Love your music
Body: Every now and then I send off a note in hopes it will reach you, Chris. I have been a fan since the Morgan Creek album (I even bought a second copy to ensure I will never go without those songs). Today I found myself obsessing with your music again. I have listened to the Monsterbuck (songs) but haven't had any luck finding any downloads or CD/vinyl copies of that music.

Anyways, just another note from me to say that I love your music and yearn for more. May 2013 be filled with blessings for you.

Cory

I nearly pissed my pants in front of a bunch of Boy Scouts this evening when I went to turn the volume off on my phone, noticed I had a new email, and saw the following:

Subject: RE: Love your music
Body: HI Cory,
Thanks so much. I'll send you some cds. I'm assuming you don't have the monsterbuck stuff, i.e. Land of Makebelievers, and Jockey Down?
Do you have Spell? (We're stil working on the third Monsterbuck collection...)

What's your address? I'll drop them in the mail and let the postal service take it from there. It's absolutely my gift. Perhaps yo may be able to help me get a show or house concert in your vicinity...I do plan on getting out in the future.

Meanwhile, all the best!
Chris

o_O *gasp* SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Dare I begin to dream of Chris coming and playing in Huntsville? Oh, I would love for him to play at Lowe Mill one evening. *starts to drift off imagining Chris performing on the grassy area next to the water tower as the sun sets one early fall evening.* :)
csberry: (normal completely different)
For the sake of load times and such, I've divided this in two and hiding behind a cut.

Close your eyes and make a wish! )
csberry: (DonnaOMG)
I really can't wait for someone to come up with a way to store and replay dreams. Last night I had a humdinger.

At some point overnight, I ended up hanging out with my subconscious's version of Fiona Apple. It was similar to when reporters spend a few days of hanging out with their subjects, but I didn't take notes or record any of it. We were on a large university campus talking. I did typical interview conversations, but it became more and more friendly as the dream went along. The Fiona in my dreams exemplified the overly-emotional artist that puts their feelings into their art and then have to deal with the public's opinions of those emotions and the celebrity of that artist. As we moved about campus, there were times where we may have caught some folks' eyes and there were times we were swamped with people. I got to see this interaction of the public with the artist as celebrity and the human aspect of dealing with celebrity.

One part of the dream has really stuck with me. At one point we ended up in a salon. The women there started out really sweet and talking about how Fiona's lyrics really touched them. The longer we were there, the more crowded the salon became. The people that interacted with Fiona went from respectful and deeply touched to a frenzy of superficial fandom. Fiona was in a babydoll dress and agreed to let some of the women take pictures of her. We had been sitting on the floor, so she just crouched there and allowed pictures to be taken. As flashes went off, the demands of the ladies grow more demanding and louder. Women were shouting directions on how they wanted her to pose. I just looked in Fiona's eyes and saw a sadness and desperation that crushed me. Things built up with women finally starting to yell that Fiona wasn't posing edgy enough and demanding that she do something outrageous. It is at this point that we all notice that Fiona started to pee. For much of the crowd, this was a joyous act of rebellion that matched their demands for her to do something edgy. However, as I looked at her, I only saw a woman paralyzed by demands and the peeing was NOT what she wanted to do, her body just essentially let loose from the stress. She feigned a smirk and left. I gave her some time alone and found her a little while later. The remainder of the dream was more low-key, but our conversations became more intimate despite my backing off on the intimacy of the questions I asked. I awoke with the "chorus" from Fiona's latest single going in a loop in my head - "I just wanna feel everything."
csberry: (Default)


Fear of a Black Planet continues the emergency news broadcast started in the previous Public Enemy albums. Yes, you can count me as one of the millions of middle-class white boys that bought this album and blared it in the early 90's. I had it on tape and listened to it frequently. But as I moved to CDs, the tape disappeared and I haven't listed to this album since the mid-90's. I was glad that the songs stood the progress in time and there were several songs that thrilled me as I rediscovered them during these listens this past week.

The samples are ample, layered, and used in a way that helps to give an atmosphere of urban chaos...with a beat. The album rocks even when it isn't looping the wail of Prince's guitar from "Let's Go Crazy." The Bomb Squad put together a superb selection of music samples and spoken word (from speeches, stand-up routines, and movie clips) that makes the sampling such an important part of this album. There is so much variety of sample sources and how they are looped and used in Fear of a Black Planet that an "instrumental" version of this album would really kick ass.

Chuck D's vocals are frequently delivered in a baritone holler like a modern-day town crier. But he does have volume control and can deliver conversational raps as well as a slow, quiet-storm voice that has made people wonder who does the vocals on "Pollywanacracka" instead of him. Nope, folks, that's really Chuck D! And let us not forget Flava Flav's role in all of this. He still serves as an MC that jumps in and out of the songs, but he also gets to shine on his own in "911 is a Joke" (and, IMO, less successfully in "Can't Do Nuttin For Ya Man").

Songs I knew I liked: "911 is a Joke," "Burn Hollywood Burn," and "Fight the Power."

Songs I didn't know but now like: I rediscovered - "Brothers Gonna Work It Out," "Welcome to the Terrordome," "Pollywanacracka," and "Who Stole the Show."

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: None I would want to avoid, but I'm not a fan of "Can't Do Nuttin For Ya Man."
csberry: (What The Joel)


It's Bob Dylan's version of country! Um, well, other than some instrumentation, I didn't find it all that different from what I'm familiar with of Dylan's work. I certainly did not listen to his album in the way people did when it originally came out. There is no transition I'm having to make from the electric sound of Blonde on Blonde to John Wesley Harding. To me, a Dylan newb, it is just a slightly twangier version of him...and includes noticeable Biblical references.

I have to say that the album wasn't as painful as I feared. One thing about Dylan that I don't care for did jump out to me. Previously, I've listened to latter-day Dylan for this list. In the later recordings, Dylan wasn't partnered with a harmonica. The mouth harp is on full display here...and I hate it so much. I've cheered John Popper's complaints about the praise that Dylan has received for his harmonica playing. I don't doubt that Dylan followed some sort of folk tradition of sloppy harp playing, but it is not a method of playing the instrument that I care for. Replacing the sloppy harp with psychedelic guitars is definitely the way to go. The only thing worse than the original version of "All Along the Watchtower" is XTC's cover of it.

Songs I knew I liked: None

Songs I didn't know but now like: "As I Went Out One Morning" and "Dear Landlord"

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: "The Ballad of Frankie Lee" - OH, all of the alliterative word play! *cringe*
csberry: (Default)


I'm annoyed, so this will be a quick review. I could have sworn that I did this entry already. I took my sweet time listening to The Marshall Mathers LP looking for things to like and to formulate a good idea on what exactly I don't like about Eminem. But those notes are now gone, lost to the trash since I thought I had already done this post.

So, I will leave a quick and dirty entry here instead. I don't care for Eminem. This album didn't change my opinion. I dislike rappers that scream at you and that is what Eminem does all. the. time.

I have no interest in having a voyeuristic peek into the depraved mind of these characters on the album. These characters (whether faked or an alteration of Eminem's bio) are so off my mindset that I just don't understand their mentality and have no interest in investing my time to understand what makes them tick.

Why invest myself into Stan? Yeah, it is sad he killed his girlfriend, but I don't have any reason to sympathize with him or the story presented in the song. I nearly passed out from excessive eye-rolling each time I reached the end of "Stan" and heard Eminem unemotionally "realize" that the story he heard was actually Stan. Oh, please.

I'll skip the usual fields at the bottom because I don't have the sheet I jotted this on and have no interest in listening to the album again to refresh my memory.
csberry: (Bong)


The only full album ever recorded by Jeff Buckley, Grace, is one of those albums that whets the listener's appetite for what he might have released had he not died during the recording of his sophomore effort. Grace seals in amber Jeff's dramatic (but not baroque) musical style, taking many of the songs from a softness (that makes the listener strain to hear) to bombastic climaxes of drums, guitars, and vocal wails.

And it is Jeff's voice that was his greatest blessing. I feel that it is impossible to understand Jeff's vocal style without spending some time listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, the greatest qawwal (a Sufi singer). Jeff became fascinated with him and frequently covered his songs at cafes in NYC in his early years. The swirling, weaving sound of this style of vocalizing seems very obvious to me when listening to Grace.

I absolutely love many of the songs on this album. The moodiness of the album is its power but also a dangerous weapon when played to a depressed, drunk man with a broken heart. "Lover, You Should Have Come Over" starts off with an introspective whisper and builds to a shirt-ripping plea for another try. "Last Goodbye" is another lover's lament that contains one of my favorite lyrics:

Kiss me, please kiss me,
Kiss me out of desire, babe, not consolation.


Where the album struggles is that it can get a bit too precious. I play individual songs from Grace a lot, but the solemness of "Hallelujah" and "Corpus Christi Carol" really drags down the middle of the album for me. Shoot, I guess I've got to say something about "Hallelujah." Sure, Leonard Cohen wrote the song, but Jeff's version of it is what you hear people singing. Go to YouTube and compare the covers to Leonard's original and then Jeff's and you'll hear it yourself. Jeff's version is that powerful and moving.

Songs I knew I liked: "Mojo Pin," "Grace," "Last Goodbye" (actually, one of my top 5 all time favorite songs...and will be played at my wake), "So Real," and "Lover, You Should Have Come Over"

Songs I didn't know but now like: None

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: None...although I'm really sick of "Hallelujah" at this time.
csberry: (Default)


When this album came out, it was instantly the CD of the Year according to the "music critics class." Lucinda released an album that embodied the Americana genre that had been brewing underground and gave it a place at the Grammy table that year. For those not familiar with Lucinda, the best description of her sound on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is that of a country-fied Sheryl Crow with deeper and more descriptive lyrics.

I was in Nashville at the time and my favorite radio station, Lightning 100, was a big supporter of Americana and Lucinda, so I was exposed to a bunch of the tracks. It was easy for me to go out and buy the album. However, as the years progressed, I moved to other cities that didn't have stations of similar adult alternative mix as Lightning 100, this album started to collect dust. After listening to the album a couple of times today, I was reminded of some songs that I had forgotten about, but I also was reminded on why I eventually sold/gifted the CD.

There are some great hooks in some of the songs, but it isn't a collection of hit songs. Lucinda's songwriting is literary, not pop. Although this is one of her most produced and clearly recorded albums, there is no mistaking Lucinda Williams with Sheryl Crow or Bonnie Raitt. But give this album to any woman that grew up on rural America, especially the Deep South, and she is likely to bond with the stories in these songs. The songs didn't make me tap my foot, but it did touch my heart.

Songs I knew I liked: "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" and "2 Cool 2 Be 4-Gotten"

Songs I didn't know but now like: I had forgotten about "Right in Time," "Can't Let Go," and "Joy"

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: None
csberry: (Default)


Beck is a rock/folk dadaist and Odelay captures the breadth of sounds and music that inspires him. Each song is a collage of samples, riffs, and bizarre lyrics. On top of that, the tone and genre of each song can differ greatly. This quilt with screeching guitars, funk samples, distorted vocals, and nonsensical lyrics is somehow able to remain cohesive as the listener goes from quirky raps to slack blues to somber reflection. Beck and the Dust Brothers are able to take all of these potentially disjointed sounds and songs and put them together in a way it all seems to fit in some sort of audio flea market sort of way with a crooning Don Ho one second and a scratched up Cameo bursts in next.

All of this is possible because of Beck's ear for music and hooks. Ween could get 1001 influences and ideas in their songs, but they were rarely as catchy and melodic as Beck did here. It is also why Paleface is full of hot air when he complains of Beck stealing "his" musical style - Beck is just a better songwriter than most people will admit outside of a passing Dylan-like comment.

Songs I knew I liked: "Devil's Haircut," "The New Pollution," and "Where It's At"

Songs I didn't know but now like: I had forgotten completely about "Jack-ass." For starters, there was no way my brain retained that a song named "Jack-ass" sounds so mellow and (almost) sweet.

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: "Novacane"
csberry: (Default)


I really enjoyed this album. With Songs for Swingin' Lovers, popular ballads were converted into mid-tempo love songs that makes what could have been sleepy into a toe-tapping, peppy listen. It was a very nice album to listen to that did a great job of showcasing the ease in which Frank could make a song sung a thousand times by a thousand different singers sound new. The orchestra plays a supporting role and often is mixed behind Frank with bursts of flourishes that rise above.

Songs I knew I liked: I was familiar with most of these songs, but only recognized a few of the tracks as actual recordings of those songs -

Songs I didn't know but now like: I was familiar enough with these songs that I don't feel surprised by liking any of them.

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: None
csberry: (Default)


The is a 3 CD collection of music. I understand there is also a 7 disc collection and a single disc collection of Sun Records music. I'm going to state that I think this is a Goldilocks situation where 3 CDs is actually just right.

For those of you that may not know, Sun Records was opened in Memphis, TN by Sam Phillips. He started off interested in recording black R&B artists that may appeal to a white audience. That focus evolved into a group of artists that emerged from blues and country to become rock and roll. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and others were part of the Sun Record crew.

The first part of the box set seems like a history lesson on the stage just before rock and roll. There are blues and boogie songs from B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Rufus Thomas, and Joe Hill Lewis. You'll hear humorous country from Harmonica Frank Floyd. All kinds of music of the common Southern man is captured here. But the "history lesson" didn't labor my ears. Most of these songs seemed like lost gems that were gladly welcomed upon listening.

The second and third disc is where much of the artists and music people associate with Sun Records can be found. The blues acts segue to Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. It was a bit surprising how much my ears perked up when Elvis tracks came along. Although there are several songs done by Carl Perkins and Charlie Feathers that were or sounded very much like Elvis songs, the smoothness of The King's voice really grabbed my attention.

I wasn't thrilled about a 3 disc collection being on the list, but must say that I was happier with this box set than I would have thought. It seems that 3 discs is just right for capturing the historical musical collection that Sam Phillips was able to get into his Memphis studios.

Songs I knew I liked: Jeepers, there are just too many songs for me to want to document here.

Songs I didn't know but now like: I enjoyed many songs I don't think I had heard previously, but not were liked enough for me to make note of the song.

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: None in particular...other than the novelty of "Swamp Root" wearing thin on repeat listens.
csberry: (Oh My Joel)
Number 308 is a 3-disc collection of music I have not finished listening to twice, so I'm going to jump ahead momentarily to get this one off my chest.



The last of the Roxy Music albums on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Album list! Avalon is all I really knew of the band before I started this project. I'm grateful to have had an opportunity to become familiar with the history of the band's sound leading up to this album. That new exposure allowed me to find new reasons why I don't like the band.

First off, this album was certainly the least painful of their albums for me. This is primarily due to the fact that I finally felt that Brian's vocals actually match up with the music that accompanies it. There is very little in common with the band that Brian Eno was in and what they had become when Avalon was rolled out. Although Roxy Music is cited as a strong influence on the New Romantics genre of the early 80's, the band had mellowed out and softened up so much, that they sound more like the bands they influenced than their old selves.

This is a synth-heavy album that lays a foundation for Brian's pop crooning and romantic style to preen like a peacock. There is no more tension between the band mixing genres and sounds; all of the music is to serve the balladeering.

Songs I knew I liked: "More Than This"

Songs I didn't know but now like: "Take A Chance With Me"

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: I would be thrilled if I never heard "Avalon" ever again. The rest of the tracks aren't bad, but hold no interest to me in any way, either.
csberry: (Default)


Nothing's Shocking captures an "alternative" band that loves guitar acrobatics, funk rhythms, and manipulating the hell out of Perry Farrell's voice. There are songs about hookers, peeing in the shower, summer, and the existence of God. Often, the music (more than most bands, Perry's altered vocals mimic a musical instrument) comes at the listener in waves that swoop and crash.

The album is certainly not one note. There are rockers, ballads, jazzy interludes, and epic songs that softly build to a sonic climax. Nothing's Shocking manages to entertain, shock, protest, and inform without being disjointed.

Songs I knew I liked: "Ocean Size," "Had a Dad," "Ted, Just Admit It...," "Standing in the Shower...Thinking," "Summertime Rolls," "Mountain Song," and "Jane Says"

Songs I didn't know but now like: I've had and loved this album since it came out. No new discoveries this time.

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: None
csberry: (Default)


For the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik was a goal they had been making their way to for years. Their first few albums were exciting with energy and their blend of funk and punk. However, those albums were also rather chaotic. While Mother's Milk saw the band gelling in a way to record a more cohesive sound, the two major differences to me between Mother's Milk and BSSM is the way the guitar is mixed into the mix and their further embrace of "ballads." The shifting of the guitars to where it is not shoved right up to the front as if to reassure listeners that the Chilis are a rock band first and foremost allowed the band more flexibility on the dynamics of the song. Flea's bass lines sometimes partners equally with the guitar in driving the melody. That helps to make songs such as "Breaking the Girl" and "Under the Bridge" seem like a natural fit for the band and not some token attempt at an alternative power ballad.

So, the songs please the ears more and there is a greater variety and "wholeness" to the band's sound...so why have I felt so indifferent to the album these past few days. I think there is a similarity between this album and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, with over 70 minutes of music there is still a bit of sameness on some of the tracks. The last third of the album, in particular, just couldn't get my ears' attention for very long.

Songs I knew I liked: "Breaking the Girl," "Funky Monks," "Give It Away," and "My Lovely Man"

Songs I didn't know but now like: I have owned the album, so I'm familiar with the album. While I had forgotten a few of the songs, none of the ones I "rediscovered" were long lost loves.

Songs I can go the rest of my life without hearing again: None

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Cory Berry

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