Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Currently listening to:Week of March 27,2012

To really hear an artist's work, you must look past the hit singles. The entire album is worth hearing to truly get a glimpse of it all in one body of work. Here are some of the albums I am listening to this week.

Pearl Jam - Vs.
 Recorded in 1993, Vs. became one of Pearl Jam's top selling albums. After the success of their debut album Ten, Pearl Jam decided not to release any more music videos and had a lot of pressure on them to make a successful record. Luckily, they did. Vs is a more aggresive record than Ten but it did feature some tender moments such as Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, and Daughter. This record also deals with more serious topics, such as guns, child abuse and racism. A pretty good record that I'm listening to and rediscovering.

Notable tracks:
Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town

The Smiths - The Smiths

This belongs on a list of best debut albums. This album introduced The Smiths (and Morrissey) to the world and features some of the greatest lyrics ever. This album was originally produced by Troy Tate (former guitarist of Teardrop Explodes) then later by John Porter. The original Tate recordings are available in various formats and is worth hearing to see what this album could have sounded like. The Smiths were unlike any group at the time and this album tackles subjects such as the Moors murders, sexuality and living in Manchester. A great start.

Notable tracks:
Pretty Girls Make Graves
What Difference Does It Make?
Still Ill
This Charming Man

Klaus Nomi - Klaus Nomi

I came across my knowledge of Klaus Nomi through David Bowie. Klaus Nomi performed with David Bowie on Saturday Night Live in 1979. He performed with Bowie on the songs TVC15, The Man Who Sold The World and Boys Keep Swinging. Klaus Nomi is performance art! He performs mostly covers on this album. With his soprano opera style, he makes them his own. See Urgh! A Music War for an outstanding performance of Total Eclipse.

Notable tracks:
Lightning Strikes
Total Eclipse
You Don't Own Me

Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies EP

This is the first EP in history to reach #1 on the charts and this shows a softer side to the band. After recording the hit album, Dirt, the band members found themselves evicted from their home. Lonely and depressed they went on to get a few acoustic guitars and record this album. A low-key, somber, and gorgeous album, this solidified Alice in Chains as more than just another "grunge" band. This stands among Alice In Chains best. Isolation, catharsis and acceptance are all themes throughout this album, though No Excuses is almost hopeful. Nutshell is heartbreak and depression defined, and one of the most beautiful songs ever. I especially love the Unplugged version.

Notable tracks:
I Stay Away
No Excuses
Don't Follow

Bad Religion - Generator

Bad Religion on the verge of mainstream success, this album was released before their major label debut, Recipe For Hate. Epitaph Records founder and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz along with Greg Graffin wrote all these songs and they still stand as anthems currently. This band has been going strong since 1980 and have no signs of slowing down. Generator (the song) is one of my all time favorites and this album is where I feel their songwriting is really in top shape. On this album, they showed a somewhat slower, more experimental side, which continued into their later major label albums. Many are divided on this, I happen to like it.

Notable tracks:
Heaven is Falling

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