Review of The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out

If you don’t know who Frank Zappa is, it is definitely worth learning as he has contributed much to music, namely the alternative or psychedelic music scene. The Mothers of Invention was Frank Zappa’s first band and this album is considered  very influential. Sonic Collective member Darren Scott thought he would introduce Zappa and his band to the group and we had no idea what we were in for.

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The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out

The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out
Darren Scott, July 2019

“I’m not sure what I am getting us in to.” – This thought keeps running through my head as I have now committed our Sonic Collective members to listen to this album featuring front man Frank Zappa.

Not too long ago I watched Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words on Netflix and I found the story very interesting. Frank Zappa was a classically trained composer who wanted to push musical boundaries. Zappa is a very interesting man.

I have to admit, even as a massive music fan, I found most of Frank Zappa’s music I heard a bit strange. Now that it is my turn to pick an album for the group I figured it was about time that I give this very influential musician his due.

Through a bit of research I decided to not actually pick a Frank Zappa album but rather go with one of his first bands, The Mothers of Invention. I feel there is so much to learn about this group, Frank Zappa and the movement he was a part of in the 1960s.

Though I don’t think this album will be for everyone and may not score well with the group, I invite you to listen along and make your own opinion. I respect that Frank Zappa was creating something new and pushed music forward. That’s more than I can say for all the bubblegum pop garbage we hear on the radio all day.

Bring an open mind(and maybe some cannabis) and enjoy this month’s pick, The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out.

The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out on Wikipedia

Album on Spotify

It’s Fluffy Album Review

 

Review of Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals

There are a few select artists that push the envelope of music so far that they actually get a massive backlash from the public. Religious zealots and conservative thinkers love to let people know what they feel is immoral or against God. Unfortunately, they almost always miss the point the artist is trying to make. The good news is that music fans and those that might like darker music know that artists like Marilyn Manson are true leaders that push music and society in new and amazing directions. We invite you to hear our four differing opinions of this album and learn about this album.

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Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals

Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals
Alain DuPuis, June 2019

Marilyn Manson is a band that has long been misunderstood, and largely by design. I will never forget when Antichrist Superstar came out in the mid 90’s and caused a minor moral panic. Who was this weirdo group fronted by an angry, satanic, cat-murdering, rib-removing maniac musician?! Even my parents knew who Marilyn Manson was. The clever marketing almost backfired when the band ended up being disallowed from playing shows in certain cities. I never admitted as much to my rather conservative religious parents, but I LOVED that shit. It’s been years since I visited any Marilyn Manson content, so I figured it was time to dust off the old CD player.

Now, on to the review. Mechanical Animals came out in 1998, the third release for the group. On the cover of the album, an androgenous nude(?) Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) stood there like some weird alien. Did that generate a lot of hype? Yep, you bet it did. It also reinforced the notion that he is a brilliant frontman, willing to deliver his vocals flamboyantly, and unafraid.

Mechanical Animals debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, the group’s first album to do so, which meant like it or not, they were a band you had to take seriously.

I chose this album because I think it will probably serve as a good entry point for people who only know of the negative press and the hype. This album came with a number of great singles such as Dope Show, and Rock is Dead, but there are songs that never hit the radio that I think are worthy of a listen.

Check back in a month to see what the other guys thought of Mechanical Animals, and dont forget to leave us a comment, a Tweet, a like on Facebook. Hell, we even reply to emails.

Mechanical Animals Wiki

Mechanical Animals on iTunes

Mechanical Animals on Spotify

Fun fact:

Mechanical Animals is the middle of three concept albums that take the listener on a journey through the mind of “The Worm”, the main protagonist in the plot line, and a semi-autobiographical representation of Manson himself. He is a flawed and tragic anti-hero and self-realized sage that tries to save the world only to find the world doesn’t want to be saved. This consumes him with rage and disgust and transforms him into the destructive and oppressive Antichrist Superstar. The weird thing about this concept is that it’s meant to be played in reverse order, starting with the 1999 album Holy Wood and ending with Antichrist Superstar.

Review of Florence + the machine: Lungs

Please read and listen to Scott Gregory’s pick  Florence + the machine: Lungs  before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
2.6

Review of Florence + the machine: Lungs

Sonic Collective member Scott Gregory landed on Florence + the machine’s Lungs album for us to review for May 2019. This album is adored by many and there is no doubt that Florence has immense talent. What we wanted to know though was if this album stands up to the test of time and can stand alone as a complete album. We all admitted that though none of us had listened to much of Florence + the machine in the past that we were all very excited to listen to this release that is nearing 10 years old.

We had differing opinions of this album and we have to admit it felt out of most of our comfort zones. That being said we can offer our expertise and look at this as objectively as possible to determine if this is the type of album that you might want to add to your collection. A few things to listen for in this podcast are:

  • How dealing with learning disorders and cutting out the alcohol saved Florence’s career
  • What statement by Scott Gregory stunned Scott Coates
  • Does she live up to the comparison to Kate Bush, Sinead O’connor, Bjork, PJ Harvey?

Join us and listen to our thoughts and tidbits of information on this recently loved 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: 2
Would I recommend?: 2
Influenced my tastes: 2

Darren Scott
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 2

Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 2
Influenced my tastes: 2

Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 3

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