Consider this my 2012 Apology Tour. Sure I am not running for an election this year, but to keep your readership and stick to our motto of being the every man’s music blog, we wanted to start a series called “Upon Further Review”, going to the booth of former reviews and opinions we had and reversing our call. We may only be a step above the replacement officials, but at least we can admit when we get it wrong.
For this first installment, I wanted to cover three albums that I had a change of heart on my recent road trip to the Pacific Northwest. Being in the car for 70+ hours, I had plenty of time to listen to and reassess music, and here are my apologies.
David Lee Roth or Tranny Goldie Hawn? You Decide, America
Ay yi yi. When looking through the albums being released this week to decide what I was going to review, I was pretty disgusted by most of the options. Wes already had Dr. Dog and wanted Sharon Van Etten for next week, and so I explored a new (to me) artist in Air, and was pleasantly surprised. While making the decision to review Air’s new album though, I waded through some other albums/tracks of note. Below you will find where my musical wanderings took me, much to my dismay, and a nice pallet-cleanser at the end if you actually listen to any of the first four songs.
Be The Void
Often in music, especially music criticism, we are constantly looking for the next big thing or focus on bands that are pushing the envelope and bending genres. What can often be missed though is the sheer enjoyment that can come to simply listening to a great song regardless of whether it innovates or not. Thus is the space that we find Dr. Dog, a band that unabashedly pulls no punches but simply takes their musical style from the three immortal “B” Bands of the 60’s: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Band. My initial feelings towards the scrappy Philadelphia quintet was hesitancy over their imitation-over-innovation approach, but ultimately the melodies and harmonies took hold, and the band has held a special place in my heart for the last five years. Their seventh album, Be The Void, sticks mostly to the classic Dr. Dog formula but is also their most noisy, rollicking album to date, although a bit inconsistent.
Lioness: Hidden Treasures
We all knew it would come out eventually, it was just a matter of when. It’s a hard pill to swallow that Amy left so early in her career with so much promise in her future. She was only getting started, but it never really seemed like she was going to be able to pull herself together enough to become truly successful, or truly happy. Many bands have come and reworked the sounds of the 60′s into modern rock once again (ie The Strokes, The Hives, The Redwalls, Dr. Dog) But Amy and the pioneering team of producers behind her were spearheading the revival of that beloved Motown sound that had been missing in music for over 40 years. It was brilliant … She was brilliant. Unfortunately her untimely death has ceased any further progress, but rather than letting the unfinished demos/recordings lay wasted on their hard drive, producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi have hand picked and reworked a few tracks for Amy’s first posthumous compilation album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures. Both brilliant producers have their fingerprints all over this album, essentially constructing/producing every track on the album aside from two (“Wake Up Alone”, “Body and Soul”).