Happy Friday! We’ve made it through another week and not a moment too soon. I am ready for this weekend. Thankfully, we also have a ton of new releases to listen to this week (like most weeks lately. There are only a couple I really want to hear and I have marked those in Blue. There are others I’m curious about, but we will see if I have the time. Check out all the releases and let me know what you want to hear this week and let me know what album releases I may have missed. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Anderson East – Maybe We Never Die – (Low Country Sound / Elektra): Anderson’s last album, ‘Encore’, was exceptional. I am hoping for more of the same. If you like country mixed with soul, R&B and Americana, then this will be right up your alley. Can’t wait to give it a spin.
Switchfoot – Interrobang – (Fantasy Records / Concord): Switchfoot is always labeled as a Christian act, but they are so much more. They are alternative, a little post-grunge and power pop and I like it all. I am also a big fan of Jon Foreman’s vocals. I will be seeing them in concert in a couple months as they open for Needtobreathe so this will be a good show.
I found this book on Amazon Unlimited and thought, I like Dokken, this should be a good book to read. And it was, however, my opinion of the boys is now slightly tainted. I now wish I didn’t know what I have learned because I won’t look at the band the same way again. More on that later.
The book is called “Dokken: Into the Fire and Other Embers of 80’s Metal History’ by James Curl. That is a long title. The book is a collection of personal interviews he had with Jeff Pilson and Don Dokken as well as collecting interviews from other people over the years including George Lynch and some Mick Brown (but very little from Mick). The puzzle is pieced together and the story is told of the band from before the beginning with the members other bands all the way to 2019 and where the band stands today.
It is cool to learn about the previous bands and what it took to get to the point of starting Dokken which to me is the weirdest and strangest tale. Dokken got started in the strangest way not anything like the other bands on the Sunset Strip. Dokken wasn’t signed because of all their shows on the Strip, nope. Somehow, Don wound up in Germany and got a deal to record there. The classic line-up was not around yet of Jeff Pilson, George Lynch and Mick Brown. Don was back & forth between L.A. and Germany a lot and was able to pull together the line-up after the original guys he had lined up couldn’t commit. The book tells how he got to know George, Jeff and Mick.
Michael Sweet is the lead singer of Stryper so you think I would do a Stryper ranking first, but nope. I decided to do Michael Sweet’s solo releases before I go through all the Stryper albums. Michael has been rather prolific with his music lately between the Stryper albums, his solo work and his Sweet & Lynch albums there has been a ton of new music. I think he has also been getting better with age both vocally and lyrically.
He has a new album solo coming out soon called ‘Ten’ and before that was released I started listening to his older Solo albums and then one thing lead to another and I went through all of them. So why not rank them from the ones I liked the least to the ones I liked the best and here we are. Eventually I will get to the Stryper albums, but that could be awhile as there are so many to get through, but I will make it eventually. For now, let us get through these. Enjoy…
THE WORST – TOUCHED (2007):
Okay, the album is beautiful. He sounds amazing and I know the album was dedicated to his wife Kyle who was suffering from cancer. It is a love song for her and that is incredibly touching. The album is a collection of his songs and covers that were for his wife and all are ballads and not rocking at all. I am not saying this album is bad, I am just saying I couldn’t enjoy it without that rocking side to go along with it.
For My Sunday Song #92, I am going with another ballad. This one is from Dokken and is called “Alone Again”. It seems I am on a kick of Power Ballads since last week saw “Fly To The Angels” by Slaughter. The song is off Dokken’s 1984 album ‘Tooth & Nail’ and only reached #64 on the Hot 100, but it was #1 in my heart.
Don wrote the song about 8 years earlier and had put it away not to think about it again. Well, that was until when they were finishing up ‘Tooth & Nail’ and the record company demanded a ballad as all bands had ballads at the time. Don went through a bunch of tracks when he and Jeff found it and thought they could work with the song. And work it they did as it came out beautifully.
The song is about a break-up and dealing with the depression that can result from being lonely. The song captures that sadness in the tone and pacing of the song. Also, Don’s vocals convey a deep sadness as well. It really is a sad, depressing and yet beautiful song. This is not a song to play to cheer you up and unless you really enjoy a good George Lynch guitar solo and some Mick Brown drums. Because there is that to brighten your day.
Happy Friday. What are you in the mood to hear today? You have a lot of variety and can listen to blues, rock, christian worship, classical pop, pop, alternative, metal and movie scores. There are even a couple of 80’s bands back (Depeche Mode and Greg Kihn). Whatever you like, let me know what floats your boat. Mine are highlighted in Blue.
Gary Clark Jr. – Live North America 2016 – (Warner Bros. Records): This is probably the best one on the list. Gary Clark Jr. live doesn’t get much better. If you haven’t heard him before, you are missing out. He is a helluva a guitar player. He is blues, rock, soul, r&b and blends it all nicely together. Listen to the video below and you will be like..DAMN!!! This man is awesome!!.
Elevation Worship – There is a Cloud – (Elevation Church): This church is just down the road from us and they do a great live show every year at the Spectrum Center that always sells out. We have seen them several times at church (when we go) and they are amazing. If you like Worship music, this is one of the better, more talented groups out there.