The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Live! (1975)
Tracks 1-5: Perfectly acceptable 70s glam rock sung by a middle-aged man.
Track 6: LITERALLY THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE SONG ‘DELILAH’ EVER AND IF TOM JONES HAS A PROBLEM WITH THAT, TO HELL WITH HIM!
Track 7: Dunh-nah-nah-dunh-nah for a quarter of the album’s running time until the lead singer stops the music to talk the audience.
I guess you had to be there. Three-and-a-half stars.
Queen – News Of The World (1977)
This is their stadium rock album? This is the album they conquered the world with?
Take “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” out of the picture and what do you have? A grabbag of stylistic diversions: Reactionary punk, flamenco guitar, cocktail lounge cabaret, a tender piano ballad or two, one-take English blues, and whatever the hell “Get Down, Make Love” is.
They can’t get away with doing all this if Freddie Mercury isn’t versatile enough to sell each and every one of these genre experiments. For example, Roger Taylor sings the relatively straightforward “Fight From The Inside” and it’s a bathroom break of a song.
News Of The World is not Queen’s best album (that would either be Sheer Heart Attack or A Night At The Opera) but it is indisputably their sixth album.
Madonna – self-titled (1983)
This is the only thing I will write about Madonna.
Her debut album came out when I was five years old. She has been famous for basically my entire life. Some of my earliest musical memories are the songs on this album and I resent her for it. Now I am a middle-aged man and this poppy fluff from nearly forty years ago is still here. It refuses to go away, already.
Highlights: “Lucky Star”, “Everybody”, “Holiday”
Lowlights: My wasted life
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Coming Out Of Our Shells (1990)
This is less a review of a promotional tie-in album than a tale of youth disillusioned.
Like many kids in 1990, I was a fan of TMNT. I played the video games, watched the movies and had the action figures.
When I was a boy and I found out about this album, I was under the impression that I would hear the voices of the people from the cartoon or the movie.
I listened to this album once and only once. I didn’t get to the end. I was disillusioned to NOT hear the voices from either the cartoon or the movie on the album. Plus the songs sucked.
Upon further research, I just learned that this was a tie-in for a concert tour. Dear God.
This wasn’t my first bad product tie-in. I saw Mac & Me. I saw The Wizard with Fred Savage. I got plenty of cheap doodads from fast food joints that came with my meals. But this one burned me good. Fool me once, Pizza Hut and TMNT, shame on you. Fool me twice, won’t get fooled again. A half-star for the childhood learning experience.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – N***A Please (1999)
This is less an album and more an anti-drug advertisement, as it reeks of cocaine paranoia. The second half of this album feels like being in a room with someone stoned out of their mind, subject to their mood and whims and tantrums. They start out being fun to be around but then they turn on you and get scary while you try to appease them to deescalate the situation to keep things from getting violent.
“I Can’t Wait” is a jam.
Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters (2020)
More like Fart The Butt Cunters, amirite.