Liner Notes

Commodores – The Commodores

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have heard both Brick House and Easy countless times. They’re all over the radio; plus movies, tv shows, and commercials. I never realized A) they’re both by The Commodores (somehow I was under the impression that Brick House was a Rick James song), and 2) they’re on the same album. I also had no idea that Lionel Ritchie was in the band. I guess what I’m getting at is in addition to really enjoying this album, I also learned a lot about The Commodores today.

I’ve always thought Easy was a little corny. I don’t know if my opinion has mellowed or it’s because of its association with Baby Driver now or what, but I’ve definitely learned to appreciate that song more. I also really enjoyed Won’t You Come Dance With Me and Funky Situation. All for completely different reasons. The songs on this album vary quite a bit in tone, which makes it surprising to me that it holds together so well.

Liner Notes

The Damned – Damned Damned Damned

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Neat Neat Neat is both the opening track on this album, and the one included in the Baby Driver Soundtrack. That seems to be a recurring theme. I think at least half of the albums I’ve listened to so far that have a song in the soundtrack had the song in question as track #1. It keeps reminding me of the “Desert Island All Time Top 5 Side 1 Track 1” conversation from High Fidelity. I’m not sure what it was about the song that got my hopes up so high for this record. It was probably the really great chase scene that it was used in. At any rate, I wouldn’t say my hopes were dashed, but they were certainly unwarranted. This album is not really anything to write home about. It’s not bad, though. The more I listened to it, the more it grew on me, too. And since it’s only 34 minutes long, I was able to listen to it a bunch today. I think probably the most enjoyment I got out of it, though, was learning the stage names of the band’s lead guitar and drummer: Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies (respectively). Amazing.

Liner Notes

Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers – Rock ‘n’ Roll with the Modern Lovers

⭐️⭐️

When they point out in the movie that Baby is listening to Egyptian Reggae, I thought it was a genre. I guess it might still be, but it was actually the name of the song he was listening to. There's a lot of songs on this album that sound sort of like Egyptian Reggae, but what struck me while listening to Rock 'n' Roll with the Modern Lovers is that the ones that sound the most like it are covers of traditional songs. Tracks 1 (Sweeping Wind (Kwa Ti Feng)) and 7 (South American Folk Song) are good examples of this. If that sounds weird, it is. The whole album is. I mean, track 12 is a cover of Wheels on the Bus! And somehow it kinda works! If I had to try to describe this album, it would be if Velvet Underground tried to make a Beach Boys album. Weird.

Liner Notes

David Bowie – “Heroes”

★★★

  1. Beauty and the Beast: 👍🏻
  2. Joe the Lion: 🤷‍♂️
  3. “Heroes”: 👍🏻
  4. Sons of the Silent Age: 👍🏻
  5. Blackout: 👍🏻
  6. V-2 Schneider: 👍🏻
  7. Sense of Doubt: 🤷‍♂️
  8. Moss Garden: 🤷‍♂️
  9. Neuköln: 👎🏻
  10. The Secret Like of Arabia: 🤷‍♂️

Woof. I was expecting big things from this album. I’ve always really liked the title track, and I was pleasantly surprised with Low yesterday. Like Low, it started out pretty strong, but fell apart at the end. Only this time I liked the second half of the album even less. The Secret Life of Arabia is almost my favorite track on this album just because it means Neuköln is over.

I’m glad to have listened to this album all the way through the once, but I won’t be returning to it. individual songs, yes. The album as a whole, definitely not (unless I stop after V-2 Schneider).

I will say that I definitely learned something listening to this. I knew “Heroes” well, but I always thought it didn’t sound like other Bowie. It turns out that it does sound like other Bowie, just not like any Bowie I’d ever heard before. It was the only track I knew before listening to the album today. Now that I’ve heard the whole thing, and Low before it, “Heroes” suddenly seems a lot more in-line, for lack of a better word. Once again, I’m finding value in this project, even if I’m not extending my library in the process.

Liner Notes

David Bowie – Low

★★★★

  1. Speed of Life: 👍🏻
  2. Breaking Glass: 👍🏻
  3. What In the World: 👍🏻
  4. Sound and Vision: 👍🏻
  5. Always Crashing In the Same Car: 👍🏻
  6. Be My Wife: 👍🏻
  7. A New Career In a New Town: 👍🏻
  8. Warszawa: 👍🏻
  9. Art Decade: 👎🏻
  10. Weeping Wall: 👎🏻
  11. Subterraneans: 🤷‍♂️

Today’s Zen Pencils inspired me to listen to Low, the first album in David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy.” I’ve heard plenty of Bowie in my day, and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve listened to the entirety of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, yet somehow I’ve never heard a single track from Low.

It blew me away. Unsurprisingly, it was unlike anything I’ve heard before; of his or of anyone else. I was all in on the first side (tracks 1-7), but I will say he lost me a bit on side two when it got more experimental. Still, I’m exceedingly happy to have found this album. It was the first time I’ve heard it; it will not be the last.

My plan now is to continue the trilogy tomorrow with “Heroes” and then listen to Lodger Friday.