Review of Massive Attack: Mezzanine

Please read and listen to Scott Coates pick  Massive Attack: Mezzanine  before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
3.4

Review of Massive Attack: Mezzanine

This April 2019 selection by Sonic Collective member Scott Coates was this album made most famous for the amount of movie and TV soundtracks you hear their songs a part of. We all had to admit that the quality of the production for this electronic, ambient masterpiece stirs creative visualizations within all the tracks. It is literally hard to listen to this album and not picture a movie or TV scene. Though our scores below may not look spectacular this definitely deserves the respect it has garnered over these many years. Massive Attack is actually touring again and playing this album in its entirety and adding new mixes and visuals. Listen to this review and learn all these points below and more:

  • What Amy Winehouse and Madonna have in common with Massive Attack.
  • What two artists from the late 80s and early 90s Darren thought mashed together sounded similar to Massive Attack on this album.
  • What Massive Attack’s relationship at the time of creating this album had to do with the final output.

Join us and listen to our thoughts and tidbits of information on this classic electronic album. Does it stand the test of time? When would you listen to this? Hear what we think and let us know your thoughts.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Scott Coates
Overall opinion: 3.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 3.5

Darren Scott
Overall opinion: 3.5
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 3

Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 3.5
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 2

Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: N/A
Would I recommend?: N/A
Influenced my tastes: N/A

Florence + the Machine: Lungs


Florence + the Machine: Lungs
Scott Gregory, May 2019

Hello all you Sonic Collectivists and welcome to our pick for May, 2019. I’m Scott G, and I clearly remember the very first time I heard this month’s artist. In 2010, Florence and the Machine appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, singing Dog Days Are Over and You Got the Love, and I was like “OH.MY.GOD. Who is this woman?” One of the biggest compliments I think I can give a musician is “I’ve never heard anything like this before” and that was certainly the case here.

The songs she sang were off the groups recently released album “Lungs” and after a couple plays, I settled into the habit of pulling the singles out and adding them to my play lists and not really thinking of the album as a whole. Well, the time’s come to do what the collective does best and dig in and experience the album as a whole. Reading up, it sounded like Florence had a very long, very winding road to land to the sound she landed on for this debut album. I’m going to be watching for whether this represents a culmination of those effort, or does she sound like she’s still exploring even within the bounds of the album.

Some picks really polarize the group, and I’m very curious how this will go with them and you. Does that “wow” factor hold up now that there’s been a decade of listening to her and imitators work in this space, or are these albums’ dog days over and it’s all old hat. Check back with us at the end of the month to see what the group thinks “Lungs” by Florence and the Machine, and be sure to share your thoughts with us as well. This has been Scott G on behalf of the Sonic Collective, see you then.

Lungs on Spotify
Lungs on Apple Music
Lungs Wikipedia page
Florence and the Machine website

Massive Attack: Mezzanine


Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Scott Coates, April 2019

I’ve been listening to a fair bit of funky, jazzy, electronica lately: The Brand New Heavies, Chemical Brothers, Morcheeba and a few others. While thinking of similar bands, Massive Attack came to mind. I’d listened to their Blue Lines release a few times but hadn’t listened to this month’s pick, Mezzanine. Upon giving it a listen I realized there are a lot of tracks that I’ve heard before, namely Angel which was on the Snatch soundtrack and Safe from Harm which was featured on The Insider soundtrack. Some of my mixed chillout albums also have Massive Attack tracks on them. 

Mezzanine is the third studio album by the Bristol, England, released on 20 April 1998. It took a long time to make and band members pushed themselves in various new directions, often finishing songs, then tearing them apart and almost starting again from scratch. It features many samples, ranging from Isaac Hayes to The Cure. In 2003, the album was ranked number 412 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It faired very well in the UK, entering the charts at #1 but didn’t do as well in North America, peaking at 51 in Canada and 60 in the US.

This is a potentially dark exploration, but one I’m looking forward to and I hope you enjoy doing so as well. Settle in to a relaxing spot and give it a roll.

Links
Mezzanine on Spotify

Mezzanine on Apple Music

Mezzanine Wikipedia page

Massive Attack website

Massive Attack fan page

Review of Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City

Please read and listen to Darren Scott pick  Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City  before reading and listening to our reviews below. Quick Summary: 
  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
4

Review of Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City

For March 2019 Sonic member Darren Scott picked Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. This was his second album but his first big studio album. It was important to know when listening to GKMC that it is a concept album that tells the story of Kendrick as a youthful K.Dot on the streets of Compton. You will hear more in our review and we’ve added some links below that will expend on the details of our review and rediscovery of this album but a few things you will learn in this review are:

  • What the M.A.A.D. acronym stands for.
  • Who Lamar saw get shot when he was 8 years old.
  • Why you should go to the 420 Premium Market if you are in Calgary (or your local legal cannabis dispensary) and pick up some San Raphael Tangerine Dream cannabis 
  • That at least 1 in 4 white Canadian dudes music tastes does not include this Lamar album

Join us and listen to how we dissect this album and how a recent album is already known as being a major influence.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Darren Scott
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Gregory
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Coates:
Overall opinion: 2.5
Would I recommend?: 3
Influenced my tastes: 1

If you’d like to understand the story being told on the album and the suggested best order to listen to it check out this great article at Noisey.

The Narrative Guide To Kendrick Lamar’s ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’

Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City


Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Darren Scott, March 2019
Listen to why I picked this Kendrick Lamar album. It is actually more like a film. The album was meant to be played in order and tells the story of a young Kendrick on the streets of L.A.  Does the influence stand up, does the album still sound relevant? Listen for yourself and then join us at the beginning of next month for our review.

Links
Wikipedia
iTunes
Spotify

Review of Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

Please read and listen to Scott Gregory’s pick for Fleetwood Mac: Rumours before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’: 10 Things You Didn’t Know: Rolling Stone

The story behind Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’: Timeout.com

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
4.8

Review of Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

For February 2019 Sonic member Alain Dupuis picked this popular soft rock album. He had not really heard it before. Will he like it, will the album stand the test of time? Give a listen and let us know. If you haven’t heard the back story of this album, you really must. We’ve added some links below that will expend on the details of our review and rediscovery of this album but a few things you will learn in this review are:

  • Who slept with a lighting guy?
  • There is a song on this album that was covered in the 90s that Scott G claims rocks hard!
  • The two song clips that start this review are FU songs to the opposite writer.

Join us and listen to how we dissect this album and how it stands up like a champ.

The Sonic Collective



Our Individual Review Scores


Alain DuPuis:

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Gregory:

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Scott Coates:

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Darren Scott:

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Fleetwood Mac: Rumors

Rumors – Fleetwood Mac

Alain DuPuis, February, 2019
Greetings, fellow audiophiles. It’s Alain, back with another Sonic Collective pick for the month of February 2019, and I’ve been thinking about this one for a long while now.

Rumors by Fleetwood Mac, released in early 1977, is the band’s eleventh studio album. It spawned a number of singles including Go Your Own WayDreams, and Don’t Stop, several of which I’m sure you’ve heard either on the radio or out in the wild at least a few times.

What attracted me to Rumors were the rumors around the making of Rumors. See, I’ve had this longstanding theory that the best music is made when the artists are in emotional distress. Good music is rarely bred from contentment. And while Rumors was being created, nobody in the band was content…

Fleetwood Mac’s line-up at the time consisted of Lindsey Buckingham (guitars and vocals), Mick Fleetwood (drums), Christine McVie (keyboards/vocals), John McVie (bass), and Stevie Nicks (vocals). Prior to working on Rumors, things went sour between the McVies and after eight years of marriage, they called it quits, all but ceasing to communicate with each other – except to discuss musical matters. Meanwhile, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were having an on-again / off-again relationship that led them to frequent and heated fights. The duo’s arguments stopped only when they worked on songs together. Mic Fleetwood was dealing with dark times of his own, having learned that his wife, the mother of his two children, was having an affair with his best friend.  While all this was going on, the press who had picked up an interest in the band, frequently wrote false reports about both present and past members.

With rumors inescapably swirling internally between band members, as well as outside of the band thanks to shoddy journalism and a growing fan base eager for salacious news, Fleetwood Mac was faced with trying times – Rumors was the result, filled with songs deep and personal, full of angst, pain, resentment, and introspection – or so I hear.

It must be pretty good since the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry, an honour only bestowed to “culturally, historically, or artistically significant” recordings. One prominent member of the band was even cited as saying it was the most important album they ever made.

Stevie Nicks has suggested that Fleetwood Mac created the best music when in the worst shape. Lindsay Buckingham said the tensions between band members informed the recording process and led to “the whole being more than the sum of the parts”.

I haven’t given the album a listen yet, but having heard rumors of its backstory, I’ve been eagerly awaiting my turn to pick so we can dive in and see if my previously stated theory holds true – Is the best music made when the artists are at their worst?

Check back at the end of the month to hear our reviews

Review of ABBA: Arrival

Please read and listen to Scott Gregory’s pick for ABBA: Arrival  before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

Our Individual Review Scores
Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 3
Influenced my tastes: 3
Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 3
Scott Coates:
Overall opinion: 2.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 2
Darren Scott:
Overall opinion: 2
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 2

ABBA: Arrival


ABBA: Arrival
Scott Gregory, January 2019
Hello everyone and welcome to The Sonic Collective. Scott G here with our pick for January, 2019. We’ve been playing around the last couple months with some really fun ways to pick albums, but I’m going to sneak back to the single album format for a second to correct a grevious oversight on our part.
We’ve completely neglected a band that cranked out Eight albums in nine years, all of them went platinum and you can still here them playing n the radio everywhere, all the time.
Afer they won Eurovision in 1973 with their song Waterloo, I wonder if Benny, Bjorn, Frida, and Agnetha knew how quickly things were going to change for them. By the time they got to their fourth studio album in 1976, aptly named Arrival, they were launching into worldwide megastardom, and ABBA would changethe face of music forever.
I thought this was a great album for us to dissect pricesely because it’s the bridge between their early work and the height of their succcess, and it also includes a healthy number of their most recognizable songs, but an equal number of tracks we’ve likely never heard before to chew on. I’m going to listen to the 1977 release that included Fernando because I really enjoy that song, but you can go with the 1976 release that didn’t if you’re sick of it.
ABBA’s always been celebrated for their harmonizing and technical brilliance in song composition. I’m really curious to see if that’s mostly just a judgment of their singles, or if even the B-sides show the same level of care and attention. I’ll probably even watch the videos for some excellent 70s fashion and dance moves.
So, I invite you all to join us in enjoying The Sonic Collective’s first pick for 2019: Arrival by ABBA.
Links
Wikipedia – ABBA
Wikipedia – ABBA  Arrival Album
iTunes – ABBA, Arrival 
Spotify – ABBA, Arival

4 Movie Soundtracks That Matter

Soundtracks that matter

We all know that around the holiday season there is nothing better than watching a good movie. It also is a great way to avoid that weird uncle with bad breath, ha ha.
Sonic Collective member Scott Coates suggested we all pick a movie soundtrack that we really felt made the movie better. A great movie soundtrack can create an emotional connection to the characters, the environment and the story. Though there are many to pick from, listed below are the four our experts say you need to watch and listen to. We will all spend December watching and listening and then we will release our podcast that will allow our experts to tell you why the movie and soundtrack blended together so nicely. Happy holidays and enjoy the movies and music.
Listen to our podcast and check out the details below.

 

Trainspotting


Selected by Scott Coates
Released July 9, 1996
Few movies have made as strong an impact and stuck with me as Trainspotting has. While it’s an incredible movie, the soundtrack plays an indelible role in cementing the film. Songs I didn’t know before and some I did, came together to elevate mood and moments in a manner rarely achieved. The songs and movie are the better for it. Truly one of the best curated soundtracks that works in complete symbiosis.
Track Listing

  1. Lust for Life, Iggy Pop
  2. Deep Blue Day, Brian Eno
  3. Trainspotting, Primal Scream
  4. Atomic, Sleeper
  5. Temptation, New Order
  6. Nightclubbing, Iggy Pop
  7. Sing, Blur
  8. Perfect Day, Lou Reed
  9. Mile End, Pulp
  10. For What You Dream Of, Bedrock
  11. 2:1, Elastica
  12. A Final Hit, Leftfield
  13. Born Slippy, Underworld
  14. Closet Romantic, Damon Albarn

Wikipedia Page
iTunes
Spotify
Amazon

Romeo + Juliet


Selected by Scott Gregory
Released 1996
The Romeo + Juliet movie attempted to update the classic story for a 90s audience, and the soundtrack called upon quintessential 90s artists to set help set the stage. It’s a great blend of existing songs and ones written just for this album. It went triple-platinum, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 Album charts.
Track Listing

  1. Crush, Garbage
  2. Local God, Everclear
  3. Angel, Gavin Friday
  4. Pretty Piece of Flesh, One Inch Punch
  5. Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet), Des’ree
  6. Whatever (I Had a Dream), Butthole Surfers
  7. Lovefool, The Cardigans
  8. Young Hearts Run Free, Kym Mazelle
  9. Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good), Quindon Tarver
  10. To You I Bestow, Mundy
  11. Talk Show Host, Radiohead
  12. Little Star, Stina Nordenstam
  13. You and Me Song, The Wannadies

Wikipedia
iTunesSpotify

The Greatest Showman


Selected by Alain DuPuis
Released December 2017
The Greatest Showman original soundtrack accompanies the movie of the same name, recanting a very creatively liberal musical interpretation of the story of P. T. Barnum’s creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Effron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya all lend their singing voices as well as acting chops to their roles. While I’m not personally a big fan of musicals or long, elaborately choreographed dance numbers at the best of times, I’ve gotta admit, this movie is really damn good.  Particularly when the cast starts singing their songs. Holy shit, these people have serious talent. Most of the songs from this album are really catchy, and have found a home in my permanent playlists on Spotify. That’s how good I think the soundtrack is. And maybe by the end of the month, you’ll find yourself agreeing with me!
My recommendation: watch the movie! The songs will make way more sense in context of the story, and then the  emotion will really shine through.
Track Listing

  1. The Greatest Show
  2. A Million Dreams
  3. A Million Dreams (Reprise) – Reprise (Austyn Johnson & Cameron Seely)
  4. Come Alive
  5. The Other Side
  6. Never Enough
  7. This Is Me
  8. Rewrite The Stars
  9. Tightrope
  10. Never Enough (Reprise)
  11. From Now On

Spotify
Wikipedia
iTunes

Super Fly


Selected by Darren Scott
Released December 2017
I’ve always liked a wide variety of music and I love the Soul and Funk. Though I had heard some of the music before by Curtis Mayfield from the movie it wasn’t until I saw Super Fly at one point in the early 2000s that I understood what an awesome soundtrack can do for a movie. It was funky, awesome, hilarious and sometimes cheesy to me but I ate it up. Released in 1972, this was Curtis Mayfield’s 4th album and is very recognized for the history it made. It is one of the few soundtrack albums that actually outsold the movie box office earnings. Ranked by Rolling Stone as the 69th album in their Top 500 of All Time List I invite you to listen to this funky gem and watch the movie with us this month. I hope the rest of the group and our listeners love it as much as I do.
Track Listing

  1. Little Child Runnin’ Wild
  2. Pusherman
  3. Freddie’s Dead (Theme from ‘Superfly’)
  4. Junkie Chase
  5. Give Me Your Love (Love Song)
  6. Eddie You Should Know Better
  7. No Thing on Me (Cocaine Song)
  8. Think
  9. Superfly
  10. Freddie’s Dead (Theme from ‘Superfly’)
  11. Superfly

Wikipedia
Spotify
iTunes
Amazon