Monthly Archives: May 2012

Try! – JOHN MAYER TRIO – 2005


 

Yeah, sure, you get to bang Jessica Simpson, and then feel that something is missing, asshole…..

Usually I would be loth to recommend an album with John Mayer written on it. However, this is the John Mayer Trio (John Mayer and a couple of other guys) who decided to play some smooth blues inspired pop and recorded the result live in front of a crowd full of girls who are absolutely wetting their panties. The guy is definitely talented on the guitar : witness the manner in which he reworks his straightforward pop ditties into profound, soul drenched, weepy, bluesy numbers (“Gravity”, “Daughters”), both of which have been my companions on many a rum diffused evening. The live setting creates the difference but still, credit where the credit is due. Mayer lets the guitar create the illusion of space, helped along with the rhythm section of course, and lets the notes float, if you know what I mean. Though there are too many upbeat numbers for my liking, and the album closer, “Try”, is unbearable, and I hate all the swooning females, I would recommend this to everyone, even all the non-John Mayer fans. The contemplative, clear and at times, gritty statement of the music on some of the tracks on this album qualifies this for my ‘sitting and drinking alone” days. Kudos John, for making something that people with a penis can listen to.

Recommended Tracks :- Gravity, Daughters, Vultures, Out of My Mind, Another Kind of Green, Somethings Missing

-Baba T


Metal Church – METAL CHURCH – 1984


It is 1984. Every band is new to the thrash metal game and seeking to break into the next big thing in the burgeoning metal genre. Two bands in particular, Metallica and Slayer, have released game changing debuts. Along comes this tight speed metal record from a band little known today to the mainstream crowd, straight from the Elektra thrash stable. It does well, and Metal Church is a player – except for the fact that they never really made it to the top. In hindsight, they could, nah, they should have been big. Pray, tell me, in what way is this album not superior to 75% of the music on Kill ‘em All and Show No Mercy? The instruments are handled in a much more mature fashion by everyone involved and the song writing, while linear and cyclic, has considerable depth and the solos are freaking fantastic, the highlights of the record.  

The points that go against them: the vocals mostly. The vocalist has this irritating high pitched whine (or vibrato as it is commonly called), and his battle rousing cries end up sounding laughably weak. (see “Battalion” for instance) The best point for the vocals is the chorus of the terrific anthem “Hitman”. Riffs are triumphant and desperate, all at the same time. The phrasal repetition of solid metal riffs with difference in expression and pacing achieves the goal i.e. head banging heaven. In fact, they don’t stop at that, but succeed in sounding epic. By this, I mean non-trivial, i.e. the opposite of pop music. Though cyclic in nature, like most of the thrash before and after it, they achieve greatness through the crushing and coherent feel of the music. The guitar solos follow the trend of the chugga chugga rhythms by being extremely to the point, with a strong Iron Maiden/classical music influence in parts. Blast this in your living room, loud and proud. Metal enthusiasts looking for good old school thrash metal would be well advised to listen to this classic, this is a touch above Tier II bands like Testament, Exodus, Kreator, Overkill etc. This is short, to the point, and aside from a few missteps, a perfectly good, fist thumping, chest beating, virtuoso speed metal album.

Recommended Tracks – Beyond the Black, Metal Church

-Baba T

 


21-ADELE-2011


I’ll have to admit: some songs on 21 are proof of the fact that Adele has an idea as to what makes a pop song not only listenable, but memorable.  Somewhere on this manufactured pop princess record designed for mass consumption, there is a human touch, almost as if she lets something genuine shine through.

Preen On

There are exactly 2 good songs on the record, and one another that is almost in the “good” category. All the other songs are bullshit. The discerning listener can dismiss them without a second thought. Piano crap, clichéd and generic, right from the lyrics to the linear, dime a dozen melodies, seriously, people listen to shit like this? They pay money, good legal tender, for this? For once I don’t feel guilty about downloading an album illegally.

The opener, “Rolling in the Deep”, is the sole reason I bothered to look Adele up in the first place. No doubt about it, she has a fantastic voice, and that is what actually carries the song. The steady, arresting rhythm captures the attention, and Adele manages to hold it. Here she sounds heartfelt, strong, even though the song is actually a lament. Her grammy performance came off even stronger than the studio version. Yes sir, Adele does have a clue. She knows how to perform. It was the grammys and her competition is Nicki Minaj or whichever Page 3 personality they used on the stage, so it is easy to call Adele’s success a combination of low standards in pop music and a case of a deaf person among the blind. In fact, not only is it easy, it is true for the most part. Like around 80%, eh?

The second good song is cover. Yes, that is correct. Not only that, it is a cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong”. While the original is icy, ironic, in the best tradition of The Cure patented mope rock, Adele’s version is warmer, more welcoming, and one where her voice is used to best effect, in stark contrast to the vocals on the original. Definitely worth hearing I say.

Yes I did mention one more song that qualifies as not being crap, but what the hell, this is Adele we are talking about here, and I am not exceeding my standard word limit for some Grammy Award Winner. She has potential, but she should try writing her own songs sometime. She should also try writing about something that is not trivial and self-obsessed. Oh, wait a minute; I forget this is pop music where self-pity and narcissism reign supreme.

-Baba T

PS – When I say “good” I don’t mean on the level of the other genuine artists reviewed on this site. This is pop level good. Which is, you hear it one day, hum it the next, and discard it the day after. Unlike great metal or classical music, pop music is like the butterfly, easily born and soon dead.


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