M83: Hurry up, we’re dreaming

Hi all you people out there in Collective land. It’s me, Scott G, here to present our pick for November 2020, which is also the last of the double album round. As you know, Alain picked our last band, Frankie Goes to Hollywood. This was right up my alley because I’ve spent a lot of time with 80s and 90s Brit synth and pop.

I was really torn on what to pick for this round. Looking through a bunch of top-10 lists there were a lot of great options. I was leaning heavily towards Bruce Springsteen’s The River, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd…lots of solid, safe picks.

But stretching out into top 50 lists, the band M83 caught my eye. First, because the name was unusual, and as far as I could tell I’d never even heard of them before. Their double album’s from 2011 and is called Hurry up, we’re dreaming.

Coming off a Brit synth pop from the 80s, I thought it’d be cool to pair it with some more synth from 30 years later and across the channel. Will there be cultural differences we can detect in the album? Will there be an evolution we can trace back? How will it feel coming off an overtly sexually charged album into something more atmospheric?

Their sixth studio album, coming in at a tight 73 minutes, I’m really hoping for a  polished and deeply immersive double record. I don’t usually listen to a lot of ambient music, and I hope this is as new and interesting for you all as it will be for me.

So with that, let’s start our journey together with the Sonic Collective’s November, 2020 pick: M83’s 2011 double album, Hurry up, we’re dreaming. See you at the end month.

 

Links

Apple music

Spotify

Wikipedia  

Other albums considered

The River – Bruce Springsteen

Generation Terrorists – Manic Street Preachers

Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth

Review of Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasuredome

Please read Alain DuPuis’s pick, Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasuredome, before reading and listening to our reviews below.

The Summary

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall?
2.5

Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasuredome

For our 3rd selection in this round of influential double-albums, Sonic Collective member Alain Dupuis reached back to 1984 and this first Frankie Goes to Hollywood album, Welcome to the Pleasuredome. This albums contains the 6th and 20th best selling singles in the U.K., for Relax and Two Tribes. But how did this stand up as a whole album? Can we all finally relax? Well, this review didn’t go as we thought. Listen along and see why we struggled with this 80s classic. Hint: It’s the cover songs and the bi-polar sound of this album.

Perhaps the producer was over zealous, perhaps the band wasn’t in control, perhaps this lives just perfectly in 1984 and should stay there. What do you think?

Overall Scores

Overall opinion: 2.6
Would we recommend?: 2.3
Influenced our tastes: 2.5

Our Individual Review Scores
Alain Dupuis
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 2.5
Influenced my tastes: 1

Scott Gregory
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 3
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Coates
Overall opinion: 2
Would I recommend?: 1
Influenced my tastes: 1

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


Review of The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland

Please read Scott Coates’s pick, The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland, before reading and listening to our reviews below.

The Summary

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall?
4.4

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 Scores

Overall opinion: 4.9
Would we recommend?: 4.8
Influenced our tastes: 3.4

Our Individual Review Scores
Scott Gregory
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 3.5

Alain Dupuis
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 4

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

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

Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasuredome

FGTH - Welcome to the Pleasuredome

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.

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Review of Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde

Please read Darren Scott’s pick for Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde before reading and listening to our reviews below.


  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall?
2

Review of Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde

The group weren’t big fans of this album. We couldn’t get into Dylan’s vocals and the harmonica was a little too shrill for our likings. While there were some moments of greatness to be savored, we felt like this album left us wanting more from such an incredibly hyped and appreciated artist. We all felt music fans should listen to at least one Dylan album in their life, and now that’s done.

 

Overall Scores

Overall opinion: 2.3
Would we recommend?: 1.9
Influenced our tastes: 1.6

Our Individual Review Scores
Scott Gregory
Overall opinion: 3
Would I recommend?: 2
Influenced my tastes: 2

Alain DuPuis
Overall opinion: 1
Would I recommend?: 1
Influenced my tastes: 1.5

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

Darren Scott
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?: 3.5
Influenced my tastes: 2

The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland

 

This month’s selection is by Scott Coates.

 

Electric Ladyland was the the third and final studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the final studio album released in Hendrix’s lifetime before his death in 1970. It was also the only record from the band produced by Hendrix himself and the only Experience album mixed entirely in stereo. Mono was still the go-to method back then.

It was recorded at several studios in the US and UK between July 1967 and January 1968, and released on October 16, 1968. It was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. There were several covers as well, one featured 19 nude women on the inside cover, which did not see wide release.

Recording sessions were said to have been very chaotic, more resembling a party, with friends and guest musicians popping in and out. This caused at least one producer to leave the project and saw people such as Traffic’s Steve Winwood play bass and organ on ‘Voodoo Chile’.

Fifty-years after his death, Hendrix is still regarded as one of the ultimate guitar gods and we’ll take this month to learn why. Enjoy the journey ahead!

Links

Electric Ladyland – Wikipedia

Apple 

Spotify

Amazon

Other Albums Considered

Sign o’ the Times – Prince

Tommy – The Who

Physical Graffiti – Led Zeppelin

Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones

Double Album Round and Our 1st Selection! (It’s Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde)

Double Album Round & 1st Selection of Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.

As we have just completed a round of album reviews that were all hip hop and rap, we thought it will be a blast to try a new concept this month. We all came up with some ideas, but an interesting one was double albums. Younger people may not even know what a double album is (or even a single album, for that matter).

Listen to my story of how we came to this concept and as to why I decided to pick Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album.

Spend the next month with us listening to this album and then come back at the beginning of September 2020 to hear our review show about this album. We will dive into the history of a double album a little more and see if releasing so many tracks at once is a good idea.

Times, they are a changin’

Darren

Other albums I considered were:

  • The Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’
  • Arcade Fire — ‘Reflektor’
  • The Clash – ‘London Calling’ (But I’ve already picked a Clash album. Have a listen.)

We have also already reviewed a few double albums by chance. Check out:

The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out

The Allman Brothers Band: Live at Fillmore East

Enjoy!

Review of Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill is an amazing vocalist. She can sing. She can rap. She can do it all. This album really set the tome of what was to come for hip hop. WE know now just how powerful hip hop and rap is now, but back when this was released in the late 90s some though hip hop might just be a phase, or just more droning type pop music.

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Review of Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force: Planet Rock

Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock

For a change in pace, we decided that the 4 Sonic Collective members should select albums from a randomly selected genre for everyones next pick. Hip Hop was chosen and for the second pick of this round member Scott Coates chose A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.

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Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Hi there Collectivists. Collectivi? Collectovers? What’s up! This is Scott G from The Sonic Collective announcing our pick for July, 2020. This one was really hard for me. We’ve had a rap/hip hop theme going this round, and the guys have picked some amazing and diverse albums. I wanted to bring something equally interesting and diverse to the group but what?

There’s a period of time called “The Golden Age of Hip Hop” that spans from the mid 80s to the mid 90s. Our previous picks, including Afrika Bambataa, A Tribe Called Quest, The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and Dr. Dre all come from this period of time. I was about 21 coming out of that stretch of time, and I’m sure it had a deeply formative effect on my musical tastes and maybe even my world view.

So I knew I wanted to pick something just out of this pocket, preferably a female artist or group, and something more on the funky or soul side of the rap/hip hop spectrum. I also lean towards artists whose singles I’ve enjoyed, but have never gone much deeper on them.

My choice came to me when I was watching a show about the stand-up comedian Dave Chapelle. One of the things I admire about him was his willingness to walk away from fame and fortune to maintain his personal and creative integrity. The world was ready to anoint him a king if he played ball, and he said, “see ya!”

There’s another artist who was presented a crown that upped and walked away. She had acclaimed roles in multiple movies, multi-million unit selling albums, grammys, and a world ready to throw all the dollars at her. Lauryn Hill said no.

But before she said no. Before all the fallout from the disbanding of the Fugees and stresses of stardom led her to leave the public eye, Lauryn dropped one of the greatest rap albums of all time on us.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, her one and only studio album came out in 1998 to rave reviews. They equally compliment her beautiful singing voice, excellent rapping and deep and honest lyrics.

Until now I’d never listened to anything other than the singles from the album. With this pick, we get one of the queens of rap and neo-soul into the mix with what some consider one of the top-ten overall albums of the 90s. I think that could be an accurate assessment if the rest of the album lives up to the singles.

So join us this month as we enjoy Lauryn’s infusion of rap, hip hop and neo-soul, inspiring a generation of rappers and women in general, as she lays her story on us at the Sonic Collective’s July pick: 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and be sure to check in with us at the end of the month to hear the crew’s thoughts and to share yours with us as well. See you then.

Links

Apple music

Spotify

Wikipedia  

Other albums considered:

Illmatic – Nas

The Score – Fugees

CrazySexyCool – TLC