You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple!
There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections. They are…
One has to be a new release (within the last month)
One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before
What are the 5 albums you ask? Funny you should ask because I have those right here…
New Release – Wig Wam – ‘Never Say Die’ – Their back!!
Never Heard Before – The Velvet Underground – ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’
Not My Normal Genre – Chris Stapleton ‘ Starting Over’
From My Collection – The Rolling Stones – ‘Tattoo You’
From My Collection – ZZ Top – ‘Eliminator’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in February, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2020 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want to classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
I feel I didn’t get to as many as I would have liked as the year seem to got away from me with all that went on with Covid. I did spend a lot of time on a few series such as finishing The David Coverdale Series, The Gene Simmons ‘The Vault’ Series and starting the epic Kiss Review Series. These consumed a lot of my time. What I am trying to say is I missed a lot.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list (okay, there might be one or two). These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way and some thanks to my kids. So, we might as well get started…
#10 – Richard Marx – Limitless:
I have a soft spot for Richard Marx. I think he is a hell of singer and songwriter. I also have a soft spot for pop ballads and he is the King. This album always put me in a good mood and would relax me when I needed a break from the heavy rock. The songs “Another One Down” and “Limitless” really show off those vocals and are so beautiful. And then when your throw in “Front Row Seats” and “Let Go” well, you get an incredible pop masterpiece.
There is only one album this week that even matters. I am not sure why I have the rest on the list. This album is something the world needs in what has been such a crappy year. And we will get to the one in a minute. There are a bunch of other releases this week as the last few weeks have seen an abundance as well so the trend continues. My choice is highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and what I may have missed. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend. Let’s get to the one that matters!!!
ALBUM OF THE WEEK!!!!
AC/DC – Power Up – (Columbia Records Group): YES!! AC/DC IS BACK!!! The first single, “Shot in the Dark”, is what we needed and is typical AC/DC. And typical AC/DC is what we need right now. I have the Light Box Special Edition CD on order and it should be here shortly. I can’t wait to plug it in and light up the room and I can’t wait to play the CD cranked up to 11 on the Stereo. I don’t think anything else needs to be said!! Get It and Crank It NOW!!!
And here a few I might listen to when I have time…
Chris Stapleton – Starting Over – (Mercury Nashville)
I know what you are thinking, Why am I writing about an Ed Sheeran song? Well, I will tell you, I am not real sure. His new album is nothing but collaborations with mostly hip hop and pop artist and honestly, it isn’t that great. It is pretty stale for me. I would rather hear just Ed as to me that is where he shines. Now, I am an old fart and don’t get today’s music, all that crap, but I do know a good song when I hear it.
Oh yeah, now I remember. There is one song on the album, the very last song, that totally kicks ass. It is his collaboration with Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars. The song is called “Blow” and is the heaviest and most rocking song Ed Sheeran has ever done…at least from what I have heard of his work.
The song starts off with a gritty, distorted guitar riff and a scream all reminiscent of Greta Van Fleet and lyrically it is all about sex. With a heavy drum beat and a great rhythm section that funks it up a little, the song blazes through all the hooks and melodies that make a great little rock song. Oh yeah and there is a guitar solo…What!!!!…yep, they threw everything in and then some.
Anderson East’s ‘Encore’ is the follow-up to his label debut album ‘Delilah’. With ‘Encore’, Anderson is finding himself and bringing us such a powerful vocal performance. His voice was so soulful with that grittiness and emotion that it reminded me of Joe Cocker. For that reason alone, I really dug this album.
He had some help with this album with songs written by Chris Stapleton (“King for a Day”) and Ed Sheeran (“All On My Mind”) both personal favorites. He also reworked songs by Ted Hawkins (“Sorry Your Sick”) and Willie Nelson (“Somebody Pick Up My Pieces”).
One of my favorites from the album is the upbeat song “Girlfriend” which feels like he is in church testifying his love to the congregation using horns and synthesizer (organ sounds) to give it that churchy feel.
It is time for the Top 20 Songs of 2017. My previous post, if you missed it, was the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2017. Go check it out by clicking on the link. These 20 songs are all genres other than rock. Some were popular and chart toppers and others were not. They are my favorites, that touched me in some way so don’t expect any indie bands or anything trendy. If you want that go to one of the cool sites out there, this ain’t it.
#20 – “Something Just Like This” by the Chainsmokers featuring Coldplay off the album ‘Memories…Do Not Open’: This song was a family favorite during the year. The one song the wife liked as well as all the kids and as a result, I heard it a lot and it grew on me to where I stopped and listened to it when it came on the radio. A catchy little song with a great beat.
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2017 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2017
Colton Dixon – ‘Identity’: What??? Not Taylor or Harry or Ed?? Nope!!! Colton Dixon’s album ‘Identity’ was the album that did it for me this year. Colton’s very pop album, but a Christian based album, is what I found to be best this past year. The album was a loosely based concept album which was broken down into 3 parts – The Mind, The Body & The Soul. He was able to rock out, dance, and slow it down all with precision. You couldn’t help getting caught up in the messages of the songs and I am still listening to it even though it came out real early in the year. That says something right there.
We are now in December and only 24 more days until Christmas. Here are some great gifts to give…new album releases!!! There is a wide variety of music this week so there might be something for everyone today. My picks are highlighted in Blue. What do you see that you like and want to get from Santa??? Let me know. Also, if you want to purchase an album, you can easily click on the link below the album and it will take you straight to iTunes.
Chris Stapleton – From A Room: Volume 2 – (Mercury Nashville): I am so glad there is a Volume 2 because ‘From A Room: Volume 1’ was sensational. I am looking forward to what he taps into for this one because if it is anything like the outlaw country / southern rock vibe of the first one, you will be in for a treat.
Down ‘N Outz – The Further Live Adventures of… – (Frontier Records): Joe Elliott from Def Leppard returns with his side project that celebrates the music of Mott the Hoople, British Lions & Ian Hunter. This time it is a live concert and another reminder of how great their music was. It deserves to be celebrated. As a Joe fan, no brainer for me.
Finally, a Country album worth writing about. I can not stand the pop country music that is played on the radio today. It is all fluff and no substance. Country music should make you feel something and tell a great story. The only thing I feel with most of country music today is…well…nothing. That is the problem.
That changed with the appearance of Chris Stapleton on to the scene. He is what Country music should be. With his first album, ‘Traveller’, back in 2015, Chris brought the old school brand of Country music back for everyone to enjoy. He was one of the most talked about new artist to come around in a long, long time. The funny thing is he really isn’t new as he has been a songwriter for years, but was finally able to break through as a solo artist.
‘From A Room: Volume 1’ was recorded Nashville at the famed RCA Studio A where some of the greats recorded such as Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Their spirit is heard throughout the album and brings back the old school Country music that we have longed to hear for years.
The first Friday in May is upon us and there is not a ton of stuff out this week. There are a few artists I am interested in and a bunch I am not. Hopefully you can find something you will like. The ones I will listen to first are highlighted in Blue (as usual).
Chris Stapleton – From A Room: Volume 1 – (Mercury Records): In only his 2nd release, Chris Stapleton seems like he has been around awhile…which he has but not as a solo artist. After the huge success of his debut album I am really interested in hearing what he now brings us. I actually hope it is more of the same as his first album was spectacular. If the first single is any indication of what is to come, then we are in for a treat.
Blondie – Pollinator – (Noble ID, LLC): Debby Harry and group are back again with another new release. This is their 11th studio album and honestly i am surprised (and glad) that they are still putting out albums. There are still 3 original members including Debby so I guess that still makes a complete enough band to make them still worth hearing and not a Debby Harry solo album.