Here’s our review of our pick for November 2021, Welcome Reality by NERO. This is the debut album for this electronic group, released in 2011. Have a listen to hear what we thought of it.Continue reading
Our pick for November 2021 is Welcome Reality, the groundbreaking debut album from English Electronic group NERO. The album is conceptual, taking a stab at what civilization might look like in the year 2808.Continue reading
For April 2021, The Sonic Collective member Darren Scott has chosen the Sleaford Mods, Divide and Exit album. This new and edgy working class electronic punk music is minimalist, raw as hell and has a distinctly new sound. With our world is so much chaos, we need more voices like this, telling it like it is. Enjoy Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn as the Sleaford Mods.Continue reading
For June 2021, Sonic Collective member Alain Dupuis has chosen to review Sublime’s 1996 self titled album, their first major label debut. Does this album hold up? Can ska, punk, and reggae all collide into an album that we enjoy? Listen along with us, and stay tuned for our review.Continue reading
The Sonic Collective has decided to pick a round of influential country music artists. Member Scott Coates explains why he chose Willie Nelson’s Shotgun Willie album. Listen to this selection and then join us back on February 1, 2021 to hear our review of this classic Willie Nelson album.Continue reading
Please read Scott Coates’s pick, The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland, before reading and listening to our reviews below.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland
The group collectively agreed that this was an album we really enjoyed. Between Jimi Hendrix’s incredible guitar skills, the songwriting, and the production value, this one didn’t feel like a chore to get through. Quite the opposite, in fact. Is anyone surprised? This album sits at the precipice of bluesy, proto-hard rock, which makes for a really interesting musical journey. As our recommend score indicates, this isn’t an album to miss, so you should give this one a listen and let us know what you thought.
Overall opinion: 4.9
Would we recommend?: 4.8
Influenced our tastes: 3.4
Our Individual Review Scores
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 3.5
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 4
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 4
Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5
Welcome to the Pleasuredome is the debut studio album from the British synth-pop band Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Released in October of 1984, Pleasuredome hit #1 in the UK and European charts, eventually reaching triple platinum status in their home country, moving more than 900,000 units. The album found success all over the world as well, reaching the tops of many international charts.Continue reading
Alain here – Thanks for tuning into the Sonic Collective! For the month of June, 2020 we continue our exploration of Hip-Hop, and once again, it’s my turn to choose our album. After Scott Coates pulled the rug out from under my feet in May by picking the same album I was planning to review (A Tribe Called Quest) I was at a bit of a loss for what album to pick. I consulted with one of my best friends, a guy who is very attuned to Hip-Hop culture and its fascinating history, and upon his recommendation, I landed on Afrika Bambaataa’s Planet Rock: The Album.
We first need to talk about who Afrika Bambaataa is, to fully understand why this album is so significant.
Lance Taylor, AKA Afrika Bambaataa, got his start in the New York party scene back in 1977, where he DJ’d Hip-Hop parties, brushing shoulders with other legends, such as Grandmaster Flash. He vowed to use Hip-Hop to reach out to angry or disaffected youth, drawing them away from the trappings of gang life. Afrika Bambaataa founded the Universal Zulu Nation, a collective of socially and politically aware rappers, B-boys, graffiti artists and other people involved in the emerging hip hop culture. The goal of the Zulu Nation was to build a movement out of the creativity of the next generation of outcast youths with an authentic, liberating worldview. The Zulu Nation can be credited with spreading Hip-Hop music and culture via house parties, block parties, gym dances and mix tapes, further cementing it into the social zeitgeist.
Afrika Bambaataa was also the founder of the Soulsonic Force, which originally consisted of approximately 20 Zulu Nation members. The personnel for the Soulsonic Force were groups within groups with whom he would perform and make records. Records such as Planet Rock.
Released in 1986, Planet Rock: The Album was a cornerstone album and one of the earliest successes in the genre of Hip-Hop. It attained gold status and generated an entire school of “electro-boogie” rap and dance music in its wake. Rick Rubin once said of its titular track, “One of the most influential songs of everything. It changed the world. There hasn’t been a song like it in Hip-Hop since.” Slant Magazine awarded the album #84 on its list of Best Albums of the 1980s, and the track Renegades of Funk was once covered by Rage Against the Machine.
Fun fact: Kraftwerk members received songwriting credits on Planet Rock. Bambaataa was heavily inspired by the band’s futuristic sounding electronic music, and interpolated portions of Kraftwerk’s songs, including “Numbers” and “Trans-Europe Express”. I bring this up because Kraftwerk was one of my picks from way back in 2015, an album I chose to review based on how influential they were. It all comes full circle, my friends.
Enjoy Planet Rock: The Album, and check back at the end of the month to hear what we have to say about it.
Thanks for tuning into The Sonic Collective! It’s once again my turn to pick, and for the month of February, 2020, I’ve chosen for us to review Van Halen’s Diamond-Certified eponymous debut album, Van Halen.
Hailing from Pasadena, the band played a number of gigs in the mid to late 70s, eventually catching the attention of two executives from Warner Bros. A deal was struck, and Van Halen entered the studio in 1977, basically taking their live show and tracking it out over the course of a couple of weeks at a cost of around $40,000. Van Halen was released in February of 1978, and almost immediately began to make an impact on the charts. Fans loved it, while certain high-profile critics panned it. But the critics were, of course, wrong. The album reached #19 on the top 200 chart, and before 1978 had come to an end, it had already attained Platinum status from the RIAA.
The legacy of Van Halen is still present 42+ years onward. Their sound defined what hard rock / heavy metal would be for the next decade. It spun off a number of well-known singles, including “You Really Got Me”, “Running With The Devil”, and “Jaimie’s Cryin’”. Eddie Van Halen would achieve god-like status among guitarists for his innovative approach to his instrument, and David Lee Roth is often praised for his stylish, bombastic, and energetic personality as the band’s frontman. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Let’s dive in and see where it all started this month!
Alain Dupuis, October 2019
This is not a joke.
We are absolutely listening to Celine Dion this month.
I’ve been threatening everyone with this for a while, and now, as the leaves turn yellow and the cold October air brings with it the looming threat of another Canadian winter, the time has come!
I fully expect this to be a polarizing one, but those are some of the most enjoyable and interesting episodes of The Sonic Collective, as far as I’m concerned. So strap in, bucko. We’ve got ourselves a damn album to review!
Back in 1996, Celine Dion released Falling Into You, an album which eventually came to sell 32 million copies. Let that sink in. THIRTY-TWO MILLION COPIES. It’s one of the best-selling albums of all time, so how could we not review it at some point? I won’t even mention all the awards Dion managed to take home as a result of this album. Needless to say, regardless of our personal feelings now or at the end of the month when it’s review time, history suggests that people seemed to really appreciate the music of Celine Dion in the 90s.
Indeed, Falling Into You is a heavy-hitter that received a lot of radio and television play thanks in no small part to singles like It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, Because You Loved Me, and of course the title-track, Falling Into You. The album also contains a number of notable covers.
What I find particularly interesting is that despite the incredibly impressive sales-figures and innumerable radio-plays, this was a critically mixed album. Billboard, AllMusic, and Entertainment Weekly gave it positive reviews, while the LA Times and Rolling Stone Album Guide gave it very unfavourable reviews. It makes me wonder what the Sonic Collective’s final consensus is going to be. Tune in at the end of the month to see for yourself. And better yet, join us along for the ride! Listen to the album then let us know what you think in the comments, or on Facebook, or Twitter, or SoundCloud. Good pick? Bad pick? We wanna hear from you!
That’s it… we’re finally doing this, fellas! Grab yourselves a pumpkin-spiced latte, because autumn has arrived, it’s my turn to pick, and the only thing that can warm my icy-cold heart is some mid-90s power ballads from the queen of Can-Con, Celine Dion.