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.

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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, 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?

Liner Notes, Uncategorized

King Khan & The Shrines – What Is?!

★★★

  1. (How Can I Keep You) Outta Harms Way: 👍🏻
  2. I Wanna Be a Girl: 👍🏻
  3. Welfare Bread: 🤷‍♂️
  4. Land of the Freak: 👍🏻
  5. I See Lights: 👍🏻
  6. 69 Faces of Love: 🤷‍♂️
  7. Cosmic Serenade: 👎🏻
  8. Le Fils de Jaques Dutrone: 👍🏻
  9. Let Me Holler: 👍🏻
  10. In Your Grave: 👍🏻
  11. Take a Little Bit: 👍🏻
  12. Fear & Love: 👎🏻

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Liner Notes, Uncategorized

Ronald Jenkees – Ronald Jenkees

★★

  1. Derty: 🤷‍♂️
  2. Neptune: 👎🏻
  3. Canon In D Remix: 🤷‍♂️
  4. Clutter: 👎🏻
  5. Super-Fun: 🤷‍♂️
  6. The Rock Song Remixed: 🤷‍♂️
  7. Snap: 👎🏻
  8. The Sunfish Song: 👍🏻
  9. Loui: 🤷‍♂️
  10. Gold Spinners: 👍🏻
  11. Remix to a Remix: 🤷‍♂️
  12. Almost Undamaged: 🤷‍♂️
  13. 56K (Rap): 👎🏻
  14. Ain’t No Thang: 👎🏻

Remember when I was talking about how I don’t like a lot of hip-hop, rap, or pop music because they don’t use real drums and/or their synth drums don’t sound like real drums? Ronald Jenkees’ self-titled album is chock full of exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. That and his bad mixing made this album really hard for me to enjoy.

In my notes on the very first track, I wrote “Sounds like the music that plays during the credits of a Jason Statham movie.” That rang true for the whole album. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. If it hadn’t been for the bad mixing and the fake-sounding drums, I think I might have liked quite a few of these songs.

Starting with Clutter, a lot of these tracks were just way too busy. I had a hard time keeping up with everything that was going on. Given that this guy is a self-produced YouTuber, I should give him some credit. His YouTube videos show him playing all this stuff on the fly, which makes him more talented than the EDM folks who stand on stage in weird costumes while their pre-populated playlists run their course.

In all, I think this dude could really benefit from three things:

  1. A real drummer
  2. An engineer to mix his tracks
  3. Some Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

    Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.