April 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

I can’t believe we are finally to end of April. The days get confusing as we have now been home for at least 6 weeks thanks to Covid-19 and the basic lockdown from the governments to help save our lives.  The month started out with Amazon saying they wouldn’t be delivering any albums as they aren’t “Essential”, what the hell do they know, it is essential to me.  And then the local record stores started shutting their doors which meant no crate digging for a long while.

Somehow, that didn’t stop. My crate digging was done virtually.  Amazon actually delivered music and some of my local record stores posted stuff on line and they would ship or you could go by their house or the store and pick it up.  And that is just what happened.  We learn and we adapt.  Human nature.

First up for the month was an E.P. by a fairly new artist I discovered as the opening act on the Needtobreathe tour. I got to meet him, but his debut E.P and get an autograph.  So when a new E.P. was announced, I was excited, but less so because I didn’t see a Vinyl option.  And then on the day of release, I saw on Amazon a vinyl option. And when I got it, I was pleasantly surprised as it was the E.P. plus all the singles & B-Sides he had released the prior year so I basically got a full album of material. I love little surprises like that.

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My Sunday Song – “Disciplined Breakdown” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #180, we come to our final Collective Soul song of the series, “Disciplined Breakdown”.  This song is off the band’s platinum selling album called “Disciplined Breakdown”.  The song wasn’t a single but didn’t need to be to easily be a favorite. The album ended up reaching #5 on Billboard album chart.

The song is about frustration and how things seem to be falling apart and he doesn’t feel it is his fault.  I believe the song about the frustration the band felt in recording this album and that his normal routine had been disrupted and it is causing the process he had for writing to breakdown.  Pretty straight-forward.

The song is full of heavy guitar and even bass riffs.  An instantly recognizable sound.  That repeat riff throughout drives the song into you consciousness and you find yourself singing that riff later.  I feel that sound adds to the frustration.  There is also a driving beat with maybe a little hip hop sound to it…although minor…I still feel I hear it.  Ed Roland sounds great and as the song goes on he seems a little angrier with the frustration building.

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My Sunday Song – “10 Years Later” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #179, we are coving “10 Years Later” by Collective Soul.  The song is off their 2000 album ‘Blender’ and although not a single, it is still my favorite song on the album and one of my favorites by the band ever.  And that is saying a lot.

The song has so few lyrics, but to me is saying so much.  It seems very retrospective about a lost love that seemed to have no closure.  It has been 10 years and he still has no idea if she thinks about him or if he meant anything to her at all and it seems to be bothering him.  It is a very sad, yet touching song.

Musically, the song is slowed down and sounds like a very heartfelt ballad.  With acoustic guitars and some electronic keyboard sounds.  There is almost a Beatles vibe to the sound and the writing.  They throw in a nice little Ross Childress guitar solo in to it that even adds to the mystery of the song.  Ed Roland sings in an almost whispery voice with such a soft delivery that makes the lyrics that much more impactful.  There is a really cool vibe throughout the song and has always stood out as one of my favorites.

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My Sunday Song – “You Speak My Language” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #178, We are tackling the song “You Speak My Language” by Collective Soul off the 2000 album ‘Blender’.  The song was never a single, but one that stood out for as there was something special about it.  It was very different.

Why is it different you ask? This song is very different for Collective Soul for two reason…one, it is not written by Ed Roland and two, it is a cover song!  Two very rare events for Collective Soul.  The song was written by Mark Sandman of the band Morphine and Mark had died a year earlier.  I believe it was done as a tribute to Mark and what a fine tribute it was.  For me, the song is about walking around this world and not finding anyone that understands you for YOU!.  That is until you find the one.  The one that speaks the same language as you.  That gets you, that knows you better than anyone.  When you find that, grab hold.

Musically, Collective Soul attack this song with so much energy and ferociousness that you are taken back by how heavy and wild the song is.  Ross Childress’ guitar playing is brutal with a killer riff and beast of a solo.  This might be the heaviest the band ever got.  Ed Roland sounds great and his lyric delivery is both deliberate and effective and with a little special vocal effect on the mic for added impact.  The song is also mixed throughout with sound effects normally not found in their songs which adds to it as well.  But no matter what the song is, you still hear Collective Soul and they turned a cover song into their own song.  Brilliant!

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My Sunday Song – “Them Blues” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #177, we are discussing a new song from Collective Soul called “Them Blues” from the 2019 album ‘Blood’.  The album finds the band still hitting on all cylinders even after over 25 years together.  “Them Blues” is a mature band with serious topics still showing they can pull brilliance out when most bands are passed their prime.

Musically, the song was inspired by Prince’s album “Purple Rain” as Ed Roland loved the chord progression and when he was tinkering around with it on the piano while listening to that song,  “Them Blues” developed from there. Lyrically, the theme is about life and what was going on in his families life as his wife was going through some hard times.  The song was for her and to let her know that this too shall pass and though it is hard now, it will get better.  A rather touching song.

The song turned into a piano-based song that is very blues influenced and takes a more serious tone.  I love the slow opening piano notes and then a really cool and short guitar riff.  Ed’s (or E as he likes to be called…WTF??) vocals are great, the style switch is a nice change of pace and it seems to take the band into a more serious realm as they captured the emotions nicely.  The best part is the super long guitar solo by Jesse Triplett to end the album…it is killer.  It lifts the song when it needing lifting and it made you feel all was going to be right with the world.  It is a time where lyrically and musically, everything that they wanted you to take away from the song comes across loud and clear.

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The Top 20 Rock Songs of 2019

Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2019.  These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts.  They just moved me in some way good or bad!

If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2019 or the Top Albums of 2019 (that were not Rock), just click on the link and go check them out.

It is time to start the list so here we go…

#20 -“Chase the Feeling (feat. Chris Cester)” by Wolfmother – Single:

No album, just a single and anything they put out will probably end up on my list.  It is full of the distorted guitar sound that is reminiscent of Wolfmother and don’t forget that voice os Andrew Stockdale.  The drum fills are great and that groove keeps the song driving forward.  I hope this is a sign of things to come.

#19 – “All Animal” by Through Fire off the album ‘All Animal’:

I like it loud and I like it heavy at times and this does both.  Pounding drums, blistering guitars and vocals that can scream it out or sing with such great melodies.  A modern rock sound that rips it from the opening notes until the very end.  Perfect for driving down the road at 100mph as it wakes up the beast in you!!

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My Sunday Song – “Contagious” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #175, we are discussing the song “Contagious” off Collective Soul’s 2015 album ‘See What You Started by Continuing’.  The song was the fourth single off the album, but I don’t believe it charted anywhere.

After doing a slow Collective Song last week, I felt we needed a swift kick in the ass and this song does that.  The song grabs me because of one thing.  The guitar!  This is a heavy, hard-driving, guitar screaming guitar song.  The quick tempo, the killer riff that sounds like Collective Soul.  Jesse Triplett and Dean Roland’s guitar work is spectacular.  It has all the energy, the sonics, the vibes that scream Collective Soul. This might be one of the funnest songs they have done in years.

I have to talk about the song’s lyrics as well and this one is quite simple, not like some of their songs.  It is about a long love. I love that has been through a lot and come out the other side still together.  I love the opening line…’Together here we stand / Covered in our rust”.  That shouts a long relationship with that one word…”rust”.  It hasn’t been an easy ride as no relationship ever is.  They have had their struggles, but all is okay.

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My Sunday Song – “Run” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #174, we are discussing the song “Run” by Collective Soul.  The song was the first single released off the 1999 album, ‘Dosage’.  It didn’t do great as it landed only at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it did reach #12 on the US Adult chart and #1 on the Adult Alternative Songs chart (didn’t know there was one). ‘Dosage’ is one of my favorite albums by them and this song was a big part of the reason why.

As with a lot of their songs, “Run” can be interpreted to mean many things.  I believe is a conscientious effort by Ed Roland to structure the lyrics in such a way to leave it up to the listener to decide his intent. My first thought is the song is bash against commercialism.  It is about how generic, stale and boring the world has become.  There is no more original thought and we are swayed by simple advertising to go buy this, you need this, go watch this show, be like everyone else.    The lyrics help hint to that with lines like “From this processed sanity” and “Now in this world of purchase” so I can see this train of thought.

The other thought I have is that it is a child that finally reaches adulthood and when they get there, the world is not what he expected.  The world of adulthood is nothing special, it is boring and he is lost and running to find the answer to what is missing in his life.  Maybe that thing missing is a “messenger” or God.  God has been taken out of everything and the world as a result is not the better for it.

And lastly, it is commentary on the music scene.  The scene is so boring, generic and everything sounds the same.  No more originality in the music.  The record companies are putting out garbage and the lines such as…”From this processed sanity / I weaken with each voice that sings” lead me to believe that might be the case.  See, there are many ways to interpret the lyrics and I will let you decide what you feel is the right one, however, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.

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My Sunday Song – “Gel” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #173, we are going to discuss the song “Gel” off the bands 1994 self titled album by Collective Soul. It was the first single off the band’s second album and after Shine, I was now hooked on the band and haven’t looked back since.  The song didn’t make the Top 40, but it did make it to #2 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and back in the 90’s, I didn’t care about Top 40 anyway.

The song is a quirky, rock track that can have many meanings, it is all left up to your interpretation of the lyrics.  It could be about a man and woman who have a lot of differences and it doesn’t matter, he wants to “Gel” per se.  Me, I like to view it as that people from different backgrounds, different cultures, different beliefs can still come together and meet and have open discussions and just gel.  In a world that is so separated and polarizing today, this song is almost a dream of some sort of utopia as I don’t think people have the capacity to gel nowadays.  That is why I think this song is needed.

Now, there is another theory I have read that it is about the band’s search for a record label as after their debut, record companies were clamoring to grab them up and they all wanted to make changes to the band.  However, the band wanted to do their own thing so could the label and the band come together and gel.  It turns out the label left them alone pretty much and let them do their thing as they were doing it so well on their own.  Like I said, you listen to the song and you interpret it however you would like.

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My Sunday Song – “How Do You Love?” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #172, we are going to discuss the song “How Do You Love?” off Collective Soul’s 2004 album ‘Youth’.  The song was the third single off the album and hit #16 on the Adult Top 40.  The album itself was actually the first album the band did on their own label EL Music Group and was an overall well-rounded pop/rock album with a good balance of both.  This song would fall in the pop realm and was written entirely by Ed Roland as most Collective Soul songs were.

We are slowing it down this week with a ballad.  Yes, they all can’t be rockers.  This one connected to me as I was a very shy guy growing up and I wasn’t great with the ladies (I know…shocker right!).  The song is from the point of view of the person that was in love with someone who didn’t notice, care or love them back at all.  He/She is asking them that if they never knew that people were out there loving them, How did they actually love?  What could they do to make you notice them.  It is a common theme and I think connects with most people as I believe we have all been there at one time or another.  Thankfully, I found that woman that noticed me and now we have 2 beautiful daughters to help us show how to love!!

Musically, as I said, it is a ballad so the tempo is a little slowed down.  You get a mixture of keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and even a string section for added impact.  The chorus picks up the beat a little giving it a little of the power element.  You get a nice little guitar solo from Joel Kosche which all good ballads need.  Ed sings with a lot of emotion with a deliberate pacing to add to the emotion.  I found the song to be quite beautiful and one of my favorites on the album and from the band.

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