My Progress!

Monday, July 9, 2018

539. Let It Be

Let It Be
The Replacements
1984














Tracks
1. I Will Dare 
2. Favorite Thing
3. We're Comin' Out 
4. Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out 
5. Androgynous 
6. Black Diamond 
7. Unsatisfied 
8. Seen Your Video
9. Gary's Got a Boner 
10. Sixteen Blue 
11. Answering Machine


Well, that was a mixed bag. Predictably, I did not find the song "Gary's Got a Boner" to be particularly enjoyable. But other tracks, such as "I Will Dare" really blew me away, and I was surprised that I hadn't heard it before.

Still, the unevenness of this album prevents it from ever being a favorite. I would only recommend "Androgynous," "I Will Dare," and "Black Diamond." Everything else is skippable.

Apologies for the short review, but I am trying to catch up on quite a few writing assignments today. Next up, The Style Council! Uh oh.


RATING: 4/5

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

538. Purple Rain

Purple Rain
Prince
1984














Tracks
1. Let's Go Crazy 
2. Take Me With U 
3. Beautiful Ones 
4. Computer Blue 
5. Darling Nikki 
6. When Doves Cry 
7. I Would Die 4 U 

8. Baby I'm A Star 
9. Purple Rain


I have never seen Purple Rain and after listening to "Darling Nikki" I'm not sure I want to. But this album on its own is quite good, even if I still don't fully grasp the allure of Prince.

It's a bit amusing that Justin Timberlake performed "I Would Die 4 U" as a tribute to Prince during the Super Bowl when Prince had pretty much said the notion of forcing yourself on dead musicians disgusted him.  Poor misunderstood Prince.

Anyway, a smart, catchy album, but I will happily avoid seeing this man's acting chops. 

RATING: 4/5

Saturday, May 12, 2018

537. 1984

1984
Van Halen
1984














Tracks
1. 1984
2. Jump
3. Panama
4. Top Jimmy
5. Drop Dead Legs
6. Hot For Teacher 
7. I'll Wait
8. Girl Gone Bad 
9. House Of Pain


Once again, I am in a period of convalescence and once again I find myself turning to the albums for comfort. Sometimes this has disastrous results, because some of these albums have the power to transform budding headaches into full blown migraines (see Minor Threat). Fortunately, this album was a complete delight.

Like most people, I was familiar with many of the songs on this album. Still, listening to the full album at once allows you to appreciate how brilliant and cohesive it really is. Now obviously this album heavily reflects the male experience, but I found it enlightening rather than alienating.


Next up: Prince!


RATING: 4/5


Monday, April 9, 2018

536. Out of Step

Out of Step
Minor Threat
1984















Tracks
1. Betray
2. It Follows
3. Think Again
4. Look Back and Laugh
5. Sob Story
6. No Reason
7. Little Friend
8. Out of Step
9. Cashing In


Note to self: do not listen to hardcore punk when you are battling a headache. This album is only 20 minutes, which is perhaps the only nice thing I can say about it. It offers the very worst of punk: unintelligible lyrics that are screeched at maximum volume.

Now, I know I am not being particularly objective here, considering my crankiness. But I can't think of a worst criticism of an album than it makes sick people feel worse. Next up: Van Halen!

RATING: 2/5

Monday, March 19, 2018

535. Treasure

Treasure
Cocteau Twins
1984














Tracks
1. Ivo
2. Lorelei
3. Beatrix
4. Persephone
5. Pandora For Cindy
6. Amelia
7. Aloysius
8. Cicely
9. Otterley
10. Donimo


If I was ever captured by fairies and taken into an enchanted forest, I imagine this is the music they would play for me. It was just plain weird. On this List, weird usually translates to Yoko Ono screeching or some sort of bongo/rock hybrid. Fortunately, this time weird translates to otherworldly and ethereal. 

I usually don't pay much attention to album cover art, but I was actually quite pleased with this, as it perfectly captures the strangeness and the mood of the music. Definitely not something you can really jam out to, but worth a listen in any case.

RATING: 4/5

Thursday, March 1, 2018

534. Diamond Life

Diamond Life
Sade
1984














Tracks
1. Smooth Operator
2. Your Love Is King
3. Hang On To Your Love
4. When Am I Gonna Make A Living
5. Frankie's First Affair
6. Cherry Pie
7. Sally
8. I Will Be Your Friend
9. Why Can't We Live Together


Once again, we deal with the eternal conundrum of doing this List. I am sure at the time this album seemed really fresh, but today it just didn't seem very interesting. So should I judge it purely on its current enjoyability or should I try to retroactively imagine how I would have felt listening to this in 1984?

Let's try to imagine it, shall we? Hair teased, shoulder pads firmly in place...I can see enjoying this. Soul music has never exactly been my thing, but I can appreciate the smooth listening of Sade. And I suppose that the reason this album was a snore for me is because it has been endlessly copied.

So totally dated but we can't blame Sade for that.

RATING: 3/5

Saturday, February 10, 2018

533. Run-D.M.C.

Run-D.M.C.
Run-D.M.C.
1984













Tracks
1. Hard Times
2. Rock Box 
3. Jam Master Jay
4. Hollis Crew (Krush Groove 2) 
5. Sucker MC's 
6. It's Like That 
7. Wake Up
8. Thirty Days 
9. Jay's Game


You only have to listen to the first ten seconds of this album to realize how influential it is in the development of hip hop. Now, you might not be able to tell this from reading my blog, but I actually don't know that much about rap rock or hip hop. Still, that didn't stop me from enjoying this album.

This is somewhat hard to communicate without sounding like the squarest of squares, but I find hip hop to consistently be packed with misogynistic and harmful messages (same with country music, but that's a different conversation). There are obvious exceptions, of course, this being one of them. I was struck with how positive this music was. Okay, I'll end this line of thought before I appointed PTA president.

Just give this album a listen; you won't be sorry.

RATING: 4/5