After way too long a break, the Listening Project continues…
Artist: Brian Eno
Album: Ambient 1: Music for Airports
Comments: Enjoyed listening to this a lot, very relaxing. Eno’s “Ambient Music” might be the last “new” genre of music. The influence of this album can be felt from Phish to the Mars Volta. No standout tracks since it really has to be enjoyed as a whole.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Album American Beauty:
Comments: A folk rock masterpiece. Robert Hunter’s lyrics are haunting, cryptic and full of an imagined “old, weird America.” “Box of Rain” is close to a perfect song: meaningful, challenging and beautifully produced.
Artist: Johnny Cash
Album: America IV: When the Man Comes Around
Artist: Not as good as I remember it being. The song selection is forced and maudlin. “Hurt” is interesting and probably the only thing that stands the test of time.
Artist: Del McCoury Band & Preservation Hall
Album: American Legacies
Comments: What should have been an interesting collaboration isn’t actually very interesting. Turns out Bluegrass and Dixieland, despite common roots in the blues, make pretty uncomfortable bedfellows. The songs sound over-stuffed, like a stew with too many ingredients.
Artist: Jackie Greene
Album: American Myth
Comments: Middling post alt.country rock. “So Hard to Find My Way” is a great song that’s worth checking out on Spotify. It wouldn’t sound out of place on a Van Morrison record from the early 70s.
Artist: Anders Osborne
Album: American Patchwork
Comments: NOLA’s favorite Swede swings and misses. The rocking songs don’t rock and the ballads would be better left to a country crooner. The highlight is Stanton Moore’s half-swung, half rocking drumming, but I’d rather listen to Galactic.
Artist: the Black Crowes
Comments: I got Amorica as a gift when I was a teenager and it still rocks hard. “Wiser Time” and “A Conspiracy” are great fucking rock songs. Highly recommended for anyone that likes whiskey & guitars.
Album: And All That Could Have Been
Comments: I have no idea why I have this or where it came from. A tepid live album that doubles as a greatest hits package. I’ve never seen NIN. Are they really this bad live?
Artist: Pink Floyd
Comments: A forgotten prog-disco Pink Floyd Album! Songs with Animal themes! Pretty cool, but it won’t be replacing Dark Side of the Moon in your rotation.
Artist: Uncle Tupelo
Comments: The smartest thing Jeff Tweedy did was leaving to start Wilco. Uncle Tupe hasn’t aged well & Jay Farrar’s vocals are pretty damn ragged. The highlight is probably “Give Back the Key to My Heart” which features a gurgling but beautiful duet with folk-rock hero Doug Sahm. I also like the Tweedy penned “New Madrid” which seems to be about St. Louis.
Artist: Brian Eno
Album: Another Green World
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: Another Side of Bob Dylan
Comments: Dylan’s first attempt at reefer drenched wit isn’t his best, but “Chimes of Freedom” and “My Back Pages” are genius. Worth a spin just to hear them in the original context.