Music and Stuff

Hello, and welcome to this blog , the perfect place to find reviews of all types of music; rock, electronic, hip hop, and others, reviewed by a teenager completely immersed in all music. Here I will review classic albums, both famous and obscure. So, enjoy my opinions.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Party: Iggy Pop, 1981

I went into a Borders book store in Albequerque, New Mexico, looking for a good album. The selection surprisingly wasn't too bad; there were many bands that I listened to. But all of the albums that were on sale were the ones that were the forgotten albums in that band's catalog; for example, Lou Reed's "Sally Can't Dance", Queen's "Jazz", and this album, Iggy Pop's "Party". Thanks to an iPhone, I was able to look up "Party" to see its reviews. They were pretty average, but despite that I decided to buy the album anyway (it turned out that due to a store promotion I could get 5 dollars off of anything if I bought something; my dad got a book and I got "Party", which happened to cost exactly $4.99). As I got into our car, I put on the CD, and out blasted the opening track, "Pleasure". This was Iggy like I'd never heard him before; this was his best song since "Lust For Life". It got better too; the album is full of surprisingly good songs. Just about every song is great, with only "Happy Man" falling short (although it fell very very short). Although the highlights are "Pleasure", "Bang Bang", "Eggs On a Plate", and "Pumping For Jill", every other song is good (there's even a cover of the jazz standard "One For My Baby"! Iggy Pop doing an awesome jazz song!). If you like Iggy Pop and you like new wave then this is definitely for you. If you just like Iggy Pop then you should go for "Lust For Life" and "New Values" first, and then this. But this is really one of Iggy's best and most consistent releases. A-

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Idiot: Iggy Pop, 1977

In 1976, the name Iggy Pop was (in his own words) "synonymous with shit". But with the help of his best friend David Bowie, by 1977 his life was back on track and he was a star again (although an underground star). Although "The Idiot" is more a David Bowie and Iggy Pop album rather than just an Iggy album, it's a great one at that. The songs have the highly experimental flavor of Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" ("Low" [1977], "Heroes" [1977], "Lodger" [1979]) but they are distinctly Iggy. The first three tracks, ("Sister Midnight", "Nightclubbing", "Funtime") are the most accessible of the album, and are a great start. But "Baby" is a strange industrial pop track that changes the mood of the album, and "China Girl" (it would later be done by Bowie for his 1983 album "Let's Dance" and made into a huge worldwide hit) is a good attempt at a straightforward love song. Then comes "Dum Dum Boys", Iggy's tribute to the members of his first band The Stooges, my favorite of the album. This is followed by the sad, slightly jazzy "Tiny Girls", which seems like it has to do with suicide. The album ends with the industrial rocker "Mass Production", which opens with a minute of an ambient landscape with industrial horns blaring in the background.

This album is a must have for fans of Iggy Pop, David Bowie, or just art rock in general.

Rating: A-

Field Day: Marshall Crenshaw, 1983

Marshall Crenshaw's debut 1982 album "Marshall Crenshaw" marked the return of 50's and 60's pop rock to the music scene; Crenshaw was the head of it all. With a succesful debut behind him, he returned to the studio with his band and producer Steve Lillywhite (Lillywhite was known at the time for producing XTC, Peter Gabriel, and U2, and would become famous for producing R.E.M. and later [and more succesful] U2 albums). Although the finished result is a lot different from the debut, it's a lot better. Although criticised by some for the huge drum sound Lillywhite brought to the record, I think it adds a good quality to the album. This is one of the closest examples of a perfect album I've ever heard. Only one song is sub-par from the rest ("What Time Is It?") and even that song is pretty good. Ranging from the instant classics ("Whenever You're On My Mind", "Our Town", "For Her Love", "Monday Morning Rock", Hold It") to the ones that take some listening to be loved ("Try", "One Day With You", "One More Reason"), this album, in the end, provides one of the best musical investments you can make.

As a sidenote, famous music critic Robert Christgau gave this album an A+ as well. Although I will forever be mad at him for giving my favorite Genesis albums Cs (Cs?!!! Come on Christgau!!!! How could you give "Foxtrot" a C?!!!), I like him more seeing that he can at least love this.

A+ (I use letter grades now)