An Album a Day: #6 Tuesday Night Music Club

20 03 2013

Sheryl Crow | Tuesday Night Music ClubShe has always been hot right? Personally I think she has got hotter as she has got older but that’s maybe as I’ve also got older. There is also something very appealing about a hot girl that can also play guitar – am I wrong? Tuesday Night Music Club was of course Sheryl Crow’s debut album and you can see from the album cover that this is a very young Sheryl Crow.

I will also make a small confession now as this post was supposed to happen yesterday but work commitments got the better of me so I am doubling up tonight.

It’s a solid album and very reflective of it’s era of the early 1990’s, the sound is something I would simply describe as soft rock but is often pigeon-holed as pop rock or country rock, for me there is not as much a country influence as in one of my previous posts, The Jayhawks, and I would say that Sheryl is much more effective in her song writing and delivery with a more rounded sound that is not afraid to try something different like in Solidify which has a sound and tempo very reminiscent of funk.

A couple of very famous tracks were born out of this album with Run, Baby, Run and All I Wanna Do gaining a lot of radio airplay and were more the Sheryl Crow sound that we grew to love.

A good solid album with some excellent tracks that really gives a picture of the early 1990’s and where fashion and style were going.

Album Score: 7 out of 10

Sleeve Notes/Artwork: 7 out of 10

Really good sleeve (internally) not so sure about the photo of Sheryl on the front though, very late 80’s in it’s styling! All the lyrics re-produced which is always a bonus.

Track Listing:

  1. Run, Baby, Run
  2. Leaving Las Vegas
  3. Strong Enough
  4. Can’t Cry Anymore
  5. Solidify
  6. The Na-Na Song
  7. No One Said It Would Be Easy
  8. What I Can Do For You
  9. All I Wanna Do
  10. We Do What We Can
  11. I Shall Believe

Favourite Track: Run, Baby, Run

Tomorrow’s Review: Undertow – Tool

Next Selection: Much Against Everyones Advice – Soulwax

The ‘An Album a Day’  list so far.


An Album a Day: #4 Hollywood Town Hall

17 03 2013

The Jayhawks - Hollywood Town HallI got into Alt County in the late 90’s early 2000’s with bands like Giantsand and Lambchop, so this is how I came across The Jayhawks. Although not typically Alt country in their sound, Country Rock would be the more appropriate term, there is some similarity.

This album, originally released in 1992, was the bands 3rd full length album release and their first on the major Def American label.

There is a huge country influence on the album – obviously! – and this provides the band with their bread and butter sound, the harmonised vocals between Mark Olsen and Gary Louris is typical of the way the Jayhawks work. This is evidenced on tracks such as Clouds and Crowded in the Wings.

The album has some hints of later artists like Counting Crows and Hootie and the Blowfish but especially in the case of Counting Crows, The Jayhawks of a much more guitar-centric sound. Olsen and Louris mix the acoustic and electric sounds very nicely and the addition of organ and piano on Two Angels and Martins Song adds a much more rounded sound.

Country Rock can at times, in my opinion of course, come across quite cheesy and repetitive and on this album although tracks are similar there is a lot more depth to the recordings and the musical process. It is quite simply very easy to listen to and no doubt appeals more to a US audience than a European one.

There is nothing wrong with the album and the band are all very accomplished musicians but for me I have to look at what I continually go back to and listen to over and over again, categorically this is not one of those albums. Now whilst I am trying to review things objectively in this blogging process my taste always has to influence me, I have to be glaringly honest otherwise what is the point and ultimately it’s my blog!

Think more “Eagles” of the Hotel California ilk than anything refreshingly new.

Album Score: 7 out of 10

Sleeve Notes/Artwork: 8 out of 10

The album sleeve is very good with some fantastic black and white photos of the band by Andrew Catlin, there is also a nice written piece by Joe Henry which shifts from the norm.

Track Listing:

  1. Waiting for the Sun
  2. Crowded in the Wings
  3. Clouds
  4. Two Angels
  5. Take Me with You (When You Go)
  6. Sister Cry
  7. Settled Down Like Rain
  8. Wichita
  9. Nevada, California
  10. Martin’s Song
  11. Leave No Gold [Bonus track on European CD]

Favourite Track: Crowded in the Wings

Tomorrow’s Review: The Bends – Radiohead

Next Selection: Tuesday Night Music Club – Sheryl Crow

The ‘An Album a Day’  list so far.

A New Band to Start the Week: Under Byen

8 10 2012

Picked out The Listener by Howe Gelb as my first listen of the week and this great Americana album from 2003 features a track called Torque (Tango De La Tongue). A slow moving track with a definite jazz hint from the bass and piano licks. I wondered who the female singer was that duets on the track.

Henriette SennenvaldtThe album notes told me it was Henriette Sennenvaldt, I was of course at a loss with that having never heard of her before so I put trusty Google to the test and it turns out she is the lead-singer with Danish band Under Byen. The title of this post is a new band to start the week but in this respect it is simply new to me, so forgive me if you are already well-versed!

So a quick click across to Spotify and I find two tracks, a  very miserly number considering the band have 4 studio albums to date plus a remix album and a soundtrack to their name.

The two tracks available on Spotify are also the same two tracks available for download on Amazon MP3 so I am going to have to do a bit of searching to find the four albums. the two tracks in question are Pilot and Sort Vinter [affiliate links] both of which come from compilation albums.

Have to say from the limited listening I have had so far I am very impressed with a sound very reminiscent of both Sigur Ros and another Icelandic act múm in places.

Under Byen (Danish for below the city) started in Denmark back in 1995 but didn’t release an album until Kyst in 1999 and this was followed up with Det er mig der holder træerne sammen in 2002. Since then there have been two further albums which includes the last release in 2010 titled Alt er Tabt.

If you are a fan of Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, múm, Bjork or even post rock bands like Mogwai then Under Bye could be worth a listen. If anyone can find any more tracks or official downloads online please let me know.

The Alphabet

6 07 2011

For some time I have wanted to sort through my collection and make everything easy to find.

The easiest way of course is by using the alphabet, so, with work quiet for a couple of days I got my sole employee on the task.

Being a music student it was right up his street! It took about 6 hours in total and shelf space became premium with trying in the close to 1400 cd’s.

The one amazing thing is that I am now listening to more music than ever as it is easier to find.

In the mornings I always have a couple of albums on whilst working, I have started at ‘a’ and am going to work through every artist I have until ‘z’.

I had planned on going through every cd but listening to multiple albums by an artist became tedious!

Anyway in other news…

Bon Iver is awesome and the Tindersticks soundtracks box set is a joy to listen to. What else should I be listening out for?

RIP Mark Linkous

18 04 2010

It has been around a month since the sad news that Sparklehorse lead man Mark Linkous committed suicide. Battling with depression and drug addiction throughout his career led him to take his own life on March 6th outside a friends house in Knoxville, TN.

It has been confirmed that Linkous shot himself through the chest with his own rifle.

Such sad news and another musical genius who passes in tragic circumstances.

I remember buying the first album Viviedixiesubmarinetransmissionplot on the day of its release in 1995. The first introduction for me to ‘Americana’ an introduction that led to purchases like, Grandaddy, Howe Home, M Ward, Lamb Chop and more throughout the 90’s and noughties.

A sound that was at times ethereal, with real emotive power and true reflective songs. The standout track for me from his career is Eyepennies from the 2001 album It’s a Wonderful Life, a track that featured PJ Harvey and an album that featured many collaborations.

That song is very haunting and definitely something to listen to before drifting off to sleep, I have been known to listen to the song 4 or 5 times on loop such is the raw emotion it invokes in me.

Mark Linkous and Sparklehorse will be sadly missed but never forgotten. Rest in Peace.

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