Listening Project: Welcome to the Letter B

The Listening Project is my quixotic attempt to listen to every album on my 120 gig iPod in alphabetical order.

 

Artist:

Glass Candy

Album:

B/E/A/T/B/O/X

Comments:

Meh. Pretty damn forgettable hipster dance music. 80s pastiche only goes so far. Would be good to work out to. Maybe.

 

Artist:

Baby Charles

Comments:

Baby Charles

Comments:

Meh. The letter B you are off to a week start. Baby Charles is one of those revival soul acts from Britain. They hit all the right notes and ape all the vintage sounds, but it’s a pretty damn soul-less affair.

 

Artist:

Bloodkin

Album:

Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again

Comments:

Bloodkin are a neo-Southern rock band that gained a little notoriety in the 90s because Widespread Panic liked to cover some of their tunes. Apparently the guys in Bloodkin liked to do a lot of drugs and drink lots of bad whiskey. Turns out that’s not good for your career, especially if you’re not popular enough to warrant the filming of a VH1 Behind the Music. Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again is Bloodkin’s Behind the Music in album form. Actually it’s not nearly as bad as that sounds. The boys have an interesting turn of phrase and an understanding of how to write catchy rock songs. “Rhododendron” is a killer song. The album is probably worth stealing if you’re really into southern rock.

 

Artist:

Bob Marley & the Wailers

Album:

Babylon by Bus

Comments:

I’m stunned there’s only 1 album on my iPod that starts with the word baby. I was expecting between 3 & 17. Frankly I’m relieved. Maybe all those babies were 90s R & B or something.

Back to Babylon.

I’m not a huge reggae or Marley fan, but I love this album. Babylon by Bus is a live album, but don’t hold that against it. Ashton “Family Man” Barret’s bass playing is astounding and highlights the record. The groove is so simple but so deep, it’s impossible to ignore. Marley’s voice sounds a little bit torn & frayed but that just makes Babylon feel more authentic.

 

Artist:

Trombone Shorty

Album:

Backatown

Comments:

Meh (again). I should love this album. I love New Orleans music and the Trombone Forum follows me on twitter. I also like Shorty in Treme, despite the fact Treme is basically a 2 year long hectoring PSA. But Backatown just didn’t do it for me. The arrangements were very stock and I thought the groove was way too square. I’m sure I would enjoy the hell out of Shorty live, but he needs to step up his game in the studio.

 

 

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