Thursday, June 17, 2010

Disc #31: Cadet (Cadet)

Artist: Cadet
Album: Cadet
Released by BEC Recordings in 2001

This was a new one for me, as I've never heard any music by Cadet before. I may have heard of the band when I was younger and more in tune with Christian music circles, but none of my friends had any of their music. Come to think of it, I don't believe Nora has ever mentioned even owning this album. I think I have just discovered why.

After listening to this album once through, I came to an interesting conclusion. It wasn't bad music, nor did I hate what I was listening to, I just wasn't inspired at all. There wasn't one moment that either disgusted, or excited me. It is perhaps the most apathetic I have ever felt.

The only really annoying thing about this album is the second track, "God-Man (Jesus is My Superhero)". I can live with calling The Lord your "superhero", as there are many teens who might relate to that on some level. After the chorus, when they shout out, "It's God-Man!" now that's disrespectful. It's not controversial, it's just straight-up rude and immature. Did no one on the record label stop and think about the implications of the lyrics on this track? I guess not.

I don't know what else to say about this disc. This is probably because there really isn't much to say at all. Their only saving grace is the fact that they are promoting a very positive message. For that, I will bump Cadet's score up to a:


Join me next time as the experiment continues with Disc #32: Cake (Comfort Eagle).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Lost Albums: Part 1 (A-B)

I've prepared a little treat for you all. As I've been going through my discs, I've been thinking about the CDs that I used to have but have been lost, stolen, traded or sold at some point over the years. Periodically throughout the experiment we will explore these discs. I won't go into the contents in great detail, but it will be fun to discuss them briefly.

Artist: Aerosmith
Album: Big Ones
Status: Traded

I'm pretty sure I traded this one to Ben, but I have no idea what I got in return. This is one of the first CDs I ever owned. It played and played. I guess I grew tired of it. I'm not a big Aerosmith fan, but it would be a good one to still have in the collection.

Artist: Alanis Morisette
Album: Jagged Little Pill
Status: Sold

I sold this one to my sister once I though it wasn't cool any more. I think I sold it to her for 7 bucks, I probably thought that I was ripping her off, and was proud of myself. Sarah, I'm sorry I used to be a jerk. I'm not sorry I don't have this CD anymore.

Artist: Barenaked Ladies
Album: Maybe You Should Drive
Status: Traded

Another one that went to Ben, and I think it was in the "Dumb and Dumber Trade". It was the first BNL album I owned and I should have kept it. I may go pick it up again. I want to hear "Jane" again. Oh Wait! I hear it every day at work on CHFI!

Artist: Ben Folds
Album: Way To Normal
Status: Lost

My sister-in-law got me this album just the other year, and I have no idea where it has gotten to. I thought it was one of his best so I hope to get it back someday soon. Perhaps I will take matters into my own hands...

Artist: Blink 182
Album: Enema of the State
Status: Sold?

I think I sold this one to Deja Vu Discs, but I can't remember. I might have just tossed it one day in an effort to be more pure. I don't know if it helped, but it did blow some of the chaff out of my collection. I loved these guys in high school. The big difference between me and the band is that I have matured since then.

Artist: Busta Rhymes
Album: When Disaster Strikes
Status: Discarded

Everybody makes mistakes, right? I found $40 one day in the mall parking lot when I was a young teenager (so young, so stupid). I went and bought two albums. This was one of them. I'm so sorry. I threw it out only the other year because I hate throwing away CDs, but I just couldn't bring myself to sell it to Deja Vu Discs. Why would I want to tempt someone else to make the same mistake I did? It was only logical to give it the ol' heave-ho. It should have happened years ago.

So that completes the first installment of The Lost Albums. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you join me next time as the experiment continues with Disc #31: Cadet (Cadet).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Disc #30: Bryan Adams (Anthology-Disc 2)

Artist: Bryan Adams
Album: Anthology (Disc 2)
Released by Badman Limited/ A&M Records in 2005

My apologies once again for the lengthy hiatus. On the Mike Jones Scale of good/sucky, computer viruses score SUCKY, every time. The good news is that I'm back online and it's going to keep on coming. We're on our 30th disc, and there's lots more to go, so I've got to keep the pace up.

We must return with Mr. Adams one more time as we look at the second disc of his "Anthology". Right off the bat I'm going to say that I didn't enjoy it as much as the first disc. There are still a large number of large hits, but they are much more sappy in general. That being said, it's still a gong show, with massively successful singles such as "Please Forgive Me", "All for Love", "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?", and that's just the first three tracks!

I love "The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You", but every time I hear it I can't help but remember how nasty he looked in the video. He may be a heart-throb, but this video made him look gross. However, this disc also contains two tracks that I've already reviewed from "MTV Unplugged", and they are "I'm Ready" and "Back To You". These are two of my favourite BA tunes ever.

I have two complaints about this disc that I would like to highlight at this point. First, I've never been a big fan of artists releasing a greatest hits compilation shortly after a studio album comes out, and putting a bunch of those new tracks on the disc. It's one thing if the track is already a huge hit single, but that's not the case here, as at least two of the "new" tracks he has put on this album are not hit singles. They're decent tunes, but how can you know that they will have the impact and longevity of some of the other massive hits on this release?

Second, and this one really bugs me, is the selected recording of "When You're Gone". The original release of this tune is a wonderful due,t with Mel C, formerly of The Spice Girls. Before you criticize, listen to the track because it's loads of fun. On this disc, however, a version has been recorded not with Mel C, but none other than Pamela Anderson. What? Pamela Anderson? You're joking right? Well, maybe she can sing. I'll listen to the track before I judge.

Yeah, that's what I said to myself, trying not to be a judgemental person. Have you ever been to a karaoke bar, and some chick gets up there and tries to act like she knows what she's doing? If she was drunk, it might make sense, but she's totally sober. She sort of hits all the notes, but her tone makes you develop a facial tick. That's what Pamela Anderson's vocal talents are like. I have no clue how this decision was made, but that person needs to be fired. ASAP. PA certainly has one or two assets, but neither one of them are singing.

At the end of the day, this is still a great album, chalked full of mega-hits. I had fun listening to it, despite a few draw-backs. Therefore, this disc will receive a score of:


Join me next time as the experiment continues with a little surprise...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Disc #29: Bryan Adams (Anthology-Disc 1)

Artist: Bryan Adams
Album: Anthology (Disc 1)
Released by Badman Limited/ A&M Records in 2005

First off, a big thanks to Ben Wideman, who took us to one of America's largest independent music stores the last time we were visiting L.A. We took a lengthy tour through Amoeba Music and picked up this gem, along with a couple other classic albums that we will come upon later. If I had been living near this store during my bachelor days, I would have way more school debt, because all of my money would have gone to Amoeba. We will meet again, and hopefully I will have more disposable funds.

One thing that I really like about greatest hits compilations is that, unless you are already a massive fan, you get to hear some songs you aren't familiar with, along with the big hits you love. For example, the first track on this disc, "Remember", is one that I have never even heard before. It is from an early demo that Bryan did, but it's still something new, and I'm glad that a few tracks like this made it onto his anthology.

This first disc is comprised mainly of his hits from the 80s, with a few from the very early 90s. It's a healthy blend of all-out rock tunes with some strong rock ballads. There's not a whole bunch of big guitar solos, but I love some of the riffs. One of my faves is in the duet with Tina Turner, "It's Only Love". This tune starts with a great rock riff, and is one that any of you budding electric guitarists could pick up pretty easily.

You know I love a good sing along, and this CD certainly has many of these. There are a few songs I'm less familiar with, but I was wailing along with Bryan's raspy vocals through the majority of the tunes. There are some huge hits on this first disc, such as, "Heaven", "Summer of '69" and "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You". These are international super-hits which almost anyone can hum along to. That's not what impresses me about this album, but it sure gives me some respect for just how influential his music has been. You've made your country proud Bryan!

This album has great hits, great rock, and is loads of fun to sing along to. It would be great at any party you could throw (keep that in mind as BBQ season is now fully upon us). All that being said, I'm gonna be bold and give this one a score of:


Join me next time as the experiment continues with the other half of this compilation with Disc #30: Bryan Adams (Anthology - Disc 2).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Disc #28: Bryan Adams (Room Service)

Artist: Bryan Adams
Album: Room Service
Released by Badman Limited in 2004

Since I bought Nora this album for Christmas several years ago, I haven't really given it much of an opportunity. However, I have to say that it is really easy to listen to. It took me a few days to figure out why I really liked this album. It's much more rock-y than most of his earlier stuff. Well, it's pop-rock really, but way less love-ballad and more rock guitar.

I will briefly skip ahead to the next disc, Adams' "Anthology", only to mention the DVD that comes with it which features a concert in Lisbon, Portugal, from the "Room Service" tour. He and his band are definitely portraying the rock and roll guy image, all wearing blue jeans and tight black t-shirts. It's a fun look, and they really do rock out.

I think that is a fitting illustration of the feel of this album. It's a good blend of up-beat tunes and slower jams, but all rock. I'm a big fan of "This Side of Paradise" and "Open Road", both of which you may be familiar with. I also love the opening track, "East Side Story", and think that it's a great way to kick off the album (please ignore the horrible Harry Potter video and just enjoy the song). Even though I'm not a huge BA fan, and don't have any of his previous studio albums, I was still able to get into this disc fairly easily.

He may not be the heart-throb that he was 15 years ago (or maybe you still think he is), but he still knows how to put together a solid album. It has just enough cheese that I'm not sick to my stomach, unlike many of his earlier hits. Due to the amount of enjoyment this album produced in me, I will give it a score of:


Join me next time as the experiment continues with another BA album on Disc #29: Bryan Adams (Anthology - Disc 1)