Liner Notes

Green Day – Dookie

★★★★★

One of my favorite stories from my childhood involves this album. It was my first CD. I got it and a Sony Discman for my 13th birthday. At my party, my conservative Catholic uncle took the CD insert from me to show my dad the lyrics to Longview. “It’s too late now,” my dad said. “He’s had the cassette since Easter.”

That was 20 years ago today, and I think I enjoyed listening to it again today as much as I did then. I can’t tell you when the last time was that I actually sat down and listened to this record. I can tell you that I still remember almost all of the lyrics, and I still like almost every single song (never did care for that bonus track). I remember reading somewhere that the reason music you listened to you when you were in your early teens sticks with you so hard has to do with the actual structure of your brain at that age. I guess that’s why I love this album so much; I’m doomed to love it forever.

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Liner Notes

Baby Driver Soundtrack

★★★★★

This blog was supposed to be one album per day, every day for a year. Obviously I’ve done a bad job of listening to an album every day. However, this is the first time that I’ve been so completely obsessed that I’ve been listening to music, but not listening to anything different for more than a day. On Saturday after seeing the movie in theaters for a second time I bought the Baby Driver Soundtrack, and I’ve been listening to it any chance I can get since.

It’s astoundingly good. The first time I saw the movie, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I heard Kashmere Stage Band playing. And I think I might have fallen out of my seat if it didn’t recline when the very next song was one of my favorite by Dave Brubeck (Unsquare Dance). This is a soundtrack to a movie about driving cars with, arguably, the best car driving song of all time on it (Radar Love), and the rest of the songs are so good I forgot it was even in the movie.

I honestly can’t recommend the soundtrack or the movie highly enough. Go see it, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Liner Notes

Thundercat – “Drunk”

★★★★

I really liked this album a ton, but I lack the ability to describe it almost utterly. What does this album sound like? I don’t know how to tell you. What I can say is that this album features Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Whiz Kalifa, & Pharrell, and somehow when you listen to it that doesn’t seem like a weird combination. Imagine if Steely Dan, the funkiest bass player you’ve ever heard, and a chip-tune artist were all the same person and made an album about Dragon Ball Z and using Twitter too much. And then imagine that it’s really good. That’s “Drunk.”

Liner Notes, Uncategorized

Harry Styles – Harry Styles

★★★

Once I realized who Harry Styles was, I thought my brother was trolling me with this recommendation. It turns out it wasn’t all that bad. Better than Ed Sheeran at any rate.

I think I liked the opening track Meet Me in the Hallway the most. Probably because it reminded me of the tracks Jemaine Clement has done imitating Bowie. Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about (the music is from Rick and Morty; the video from Doctor Strange):

The rest of the album didn’t make much of an impact for me. But given that I didn’t have to force myself to listen to it until the end, I’d say it exceeded expectations.

Liner Notes, Uncategorized

Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

★★★

I started watching season 7 of The Walking Dead last night, and in the second episode there’s a choral version of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, which is side 2, track 1 of this album. There are some other really great songs on this record too; Blowin’ in the Wind and A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall I was already familiar with. The real shocker to me was Girl from the North Country, which somehow I had never heard before but absolutely loved. The rest of the album was not really noteworthy to me. I could have taken or left all the other tracks. I probably won’t come back to this album again, but I hope to hear Girl from the North Country many more times.

Liner Notes

Pink Floyd – The Division Bell

★★★

It’s kind of hard to describe the YouTube show Signal Boost. Ostensibly it’s just a show where invited guests “Boost” some of their favorite things so viewers can check out cool new (or old) comics or movies or what have you. But then it gets into all this weird meta-humor that makes it hard to just pick up a random episode. I mention all that because I watched the latest episode yesterday, and the host of the episode, Mischa Pollack, boosted The Division Bell. So I listened to it on my 2 hour drive home for my dad’s birthday last night.

It’s not my favorite Pink Floyd album, but I did enjoy it. I listened to it once and then almost all the way through again yesterday on the drive, and I’m about 2/3 of the way through it again now. There’s not really any standout songs that I would come back to. That said, I did find the album oddly meditative, which suited my drive home quite well. I find driving to be similarly meditative. That would make this a good road trip album. It would be good to throw on, too when you want something that won’t steal your focus away from whatever you’re doing. Like background noise. I guess that makes this elevator music? That might be a stretch, but Track #1 (Cluster One) definitely sounds like something that would be playing in Heaven’s waiting room.

Here’s that episode of Signal Boost:

Liner Notes, Uncategorized

Marvin Gaye – Trouble Man Soundtrack

★★★★

I woke up with a splitting headache yesterday that didn’t go away for hours, so I spent the holiday sitting around in my pajamas watching the Captain America movies. In the second one (Winter Soldier), Falcon tells Cap that if he’s catching up on what he missed while frozen in ice, all he needs to do is listen to the Trouble Man Soundtrack.

Since I saw that movie the first time, I’ve been meaning to listen to it. I decided today to finally listen to it, and since I did to pick up this project again. It’s been about 5 weeks since I tried to keep up with listening to an album every day. And 6 since I stopped blogging.

I felt a little burned out on the blogging, so I tried just listening. But without the blog, it was easier to excuse not listening to anything. So listening to an album every day but not blogging it only lasted about a week. In that week, though, I discovered that the time I most enjoyed listening was while cooking, which makes taking notes very difficult, especially in my small kitchen. All that to say, I’m going to try picking this project up again, but change the format a little: I’m going to stop individually rating every track. It’s the least enjoyable part of the process to me and all those notes are private anyway. So except for the lack of 👍🏻 / 🤷‍♂️ / 👎🏻 you probably won’t even notice.

Anyway. What did I think of the Trouble Man Soundtrack? It was good. Not “the only thing you need to catch up on after almost 70 years frozen in ice” good, but still pretty good. Based on that line in the movie, I was expecting something beyond just a soundtrack, but that’s all it is (though it is a good soundtrack). Which is to say it was so consistent thematically that it was quite repetitive and a little boring. There also weren’t really any stand-out tracks. I wouldn’t mind listening to it again, but I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario in which I’m trying to think of something to listen to and decided on this (now that I’ve finally heard it the one time). Maybe only the next time I watch Captain America: Winter Soldier?