Monday, February 16, 2009

Best albums of the 90's part two

To respond to Jeff's comment on my last blog about GNR's Use Your Illusion I/II, I thought of that. I did. But I've had the discussion with people many times about which double album was better, GNR or Smashing Pumpkins. I will say that Pumpkins had a better album and it will take an entire new blog to cover this point so I won't go into it here. Hell, I owned GNR and not Pumpkins, but Mellon Collie was still a better album.

And now back to the list:

Green Day-Dookie
If you were between the ages of 12 and 52, you wore this album out in the mid-90's. Wore it out! It introduced punk to a whole new demographic who didn't listen to the Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, or The Ramones. The trio re-invented punk into the pop mainstream and created chart topping hits, which is unheard of for the genre.

Weezer-Weezer (The Blue Album)
Just listen to the opening chords of the album from My Name is Jonas. The simple guitar licks going into a rocking movement of electricity and drums will change your life. Money back guarantee. Each song makes you wonder if it's rock n' roll, pop, indie, or at times even beach music. Every track is addicting and laced with easy to rhyme lyrics that will have you singing in the shower. Weezer made it cool to be the geeky college kid again.

Ok. You might want to know why it's not Nevermind. When you can take a hard core alternative pioneer and give them acoustic guitars and they still kick ass, you have a legend. They even took a David Bowie tune, The Man who Sold the World, unplugged it, slowed it down, and still made it work. The entire album is genius.

Alanis Morrisette-Jagged Little Pill
Now some of you might disagree with this, but I promise you that 8 out of 10 people on the street owned this album. Including your grandmother. Alanis Morrisette was a welcome reprieve to the sappy women singers of the decade. She made angry chick rock cool again, but also showed her vocal talent on the few almost acoustic songs on the album. Jagged Little Pill is one of the last albums to hear a girl rock out without the bubble gum studio tracks behind it.

But that's just This Girl talking...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Best albums of the 90

When I was younger, I used to think the folks who went to high school in the 80's and never really evolved in their music taste were lame. I said it, and now I feel bad about it. But back then, I thought that if you were still listening to Motley Crue or Journey is any sort of half-serious manner then you were just someone who refused to mesh with the times. Boy was I wrong. If my pre-teen self could see my iPod she would see these same bands she used to make fun of 15 years ago. But with all the satellite radio stations out there, I noticed that there are a few selected exclusively to playing 90's music. This makes me happy as I love 90's music and have now become the one person I used to make fun of back in the day.

Hip hop was better in the 90's. Rap was better in the 90's. I mean please, Biggie, TuPac, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre...the list can go on. Rock ruled. Live, Soul Asylum, Green Day...come on! Even indie rock was better with Matthew Sweet and Toad the Wet Sprocket breaking into the scene. So this got me thinking to some of the greatest albums of the 90's. Now mind you, this is my opinion and my musical taste doesn't venture much into country, classical, or heavy rap so it might look a bit slanted. But I don't especially care. Here are my picks.

Pearl Jam-Ten
This album is out of control good. Every song on the album can be listened to over and over again. When Eddie Vedder is singing about his long lost father in 'Alive' you can almost feel his confusion and sadness. But the song still rocks out. I dare you to name another band who can pull that off.

Counting Crows-August and Everything After
If you hear Adam Duritz on the radio today, you might change the channel. You've probably heard the same voice and inflection for years from this guy. But there is no doubt that in 1993 when AaEA came out, that you had never heard anything like this before. The lyrics that don't flow but still seem to make sense in a non-logical way. Take a second listen. It's awesome

Smashing Pumpkins-Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
This band just kicks ass. I'm sorry but they do. Siamese Dream was good, but nothing compared to an almost completely listenable double disk. That, my friends, is hard to do. To take a band with their own signature sound and make two disks of songs that all sound different from each other but can somehow stay cohesive is genius. Well done, Billy Corgan. We wish you the best of luck in New Millenium Obscurity.

*The list will continue soon with 3 more albums of the 90's that throw Paula Abdul under the bus.

But that just This Girl talking...

Copper Sails is the new sound for old school rock

Hiding Place by Virginia-based band Copper Sails brings the tangible sound that rock and roll has desperately been searching for. Listening to Copper Sails, you hear a cross of Switchfoot and Three Doors Down that swirls into the delight of rock and pop fans.

The first song on Hiding Place, which also happens to be the title track, forces a smile with its catchy beat and even catchier lyrics. “This is my hiding place,” declares lead singer Boomer Muth, but there is no hiding from the fact that the album is already off to a good start. On “Nobody Move”, quite possibly the most addictive song on Hiding Place, Copper Sails rely on overlapping vocal tricks and a stirring guitar sound to create a sing along song that makes you want to turn up the volume in your car.

While listening to tracks such as “Fool”, “Spinning”, and “Sleeping Giant” Jonathan Crawley plays the guitar with a hint of U2’s The Edge behind it. The electric echoes in the background bring a nostalgic appreciation to the new rock sound of Copper Sails. Crawley, and Jim Courtney provide superb back-up vocals to make a perfect harmony on tracks like “Reckless Motorist” and “Morning Comes Too Early”.
At some points in the album, the songwriting takes a rather non-sequitur turn in “Orange Peel” with lyrics like, “For each one that I see/is half a fool they want to be/picking through your meal/as if it was an orange peel.” However, the band jumps right back into their brilliance to continue on with the rest of the album.

In a world where studio sampling and voice-overs are controlling the radio dial, music lovers everywhere are thirsting for something true. Copper Sails is dynamic, and delivers a refreshing cocktail of one part rock, one part pop, garnished with unmistakable talent with Hiding Place. This is one band to keep an eye on and one album to make part of your collection for real music has found its way back onto the scene.

But that's just This Girl talking...