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.

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Liner Notes

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Further Out

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Skipping Kashmere, because I've already listened to it, next on the list of songs from the Baby Driver Soundtrack is Unsquare Dance by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. By the time both of the aforementioned songs played in the movie, I was already in love w/the music. So when two songs in a row came up that I thought were not super well known but I still recognized I felt pretty full of myself. I've been a fan of Dave Brubeck for a long time, but aside from listening to Time Out a couple times, I'm not sure I've ever actually listened to one of his albums before. But I have listened to a handful of his songs many times on shuffle.

At any rate, while listening to this album today I had a strange feeling. I was enjoying the album but aside from a couple of standout tracks (Unsquare Dance and Bru's Boogie Woogie in particular) there was nothing noteworthy about this album. But then it occurred to me that the fact that this album is sort of unremarkable is, in itself, remarkable. The first two tracks on this album are in 3/4 time (think waltz). The next two in 4/4, like most modern/pop music. After that, the time signature keeps … advancing? The thing that happens with the "tempos" as the liner notes refer to them is unique; which means I don't even know how to describe what they're doing. After the 4/4 songs is a 5/4, followed by a 6/4, then 7/4, then 8/8 and finally 9/8. The fact that this album has songs in so many wacky time signatures (the only other song I can even think of in 7/4 is Pink Floyd's Money), yet somehow seems a little too run of the mill is astonishing in hindsight. The quartet managed to make weirdly nerdy music while also keeping it accessible.

Liner Notes

Carla Thomas – Carla

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I really enjoyed this album. It's not often I listen to old school R&B, but I enjoy it every time. You'd think I'd learn something from that. B-A-B-Y (track #1) is the song from Baby Driver that inspired me to listen to this one, and it's a great start to a record. Some of the better songs on the soundtrack were only released as singles. Harlem Shuffle was one, but I found the Stones cover. I failed to mention yesterday that track #4 on the soundtrack is Smokey Joe's La La by Googie Rene, which is another. I would have really liked to hear more of his stuff, but I couldn't find any evidence that he ever released a full album at all, let alone w/Smokey Joe's La La on it. All that to say I was kind of expecting that to be the case for this one, too. It turns out Carla Thomas put out 6 studio albums. Now that I'm thinking about it, I remember that they actually show the album in the movie, so I don't know why I was assuming that. Oh, and those 6 albums don't include a collaboration with Otis Redding! After enjoying Carla so much, I may have to add that album to my list, and check it out once this soundtrack expedition is complete. Although I'm only on track #6 of 30, so it'll be a while.

I don't think I disliked anything on this album. I've been listening to it on repeat for hours. If I had to guess, I've probably listened to it a half dozen times today. The sadder songs are still pretty good, but I find myself enjoying them less. That's much less about the quality of the songs than the mood of them, which don't match my current one. That said, there aren't really any standouts for me; even B-A-B-Y. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me caught my attention, but I'm pretty sure it's because I'm familiar with a different version. Dusty Springfield has the canonical English version (she was covering an Italian song), which is probably what I've been thinking of. I haven't listened to it yet, though, because I've been enjoying Carla too much.

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

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

Audioslave – Audioslave

★★★★

  1. Cochise: 👍🏻
  2. Show Me How to Live: 👍🏻
  3. Gasoline: 👍🏻
  4. What You Are: 🤷‍♂️
  5. Like a Stone: 🤷‍♂️
  6. Set It Off: 👍🏻
  7. Shadow on the Sun: 🤷‍♂️
  8. I Am the Highway: 🤷‍♂️
  9. Exploder: 🤷‍♂️
  10. Hypnotize: 🤷‍♂️
  11. Bring Em Back Alive: 👎🏻
  12. Light My Way: 🤷‍♂️
  13. Getaway Car: 👎🏻
  14. The Last Remaining Light: 🤷‍♂️

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