Review of Jay-Z: The Black Album

Jay-Z's The Black Album

We dove into Jay-Z’s 2003 classic, the Black Album, which was hyped up to be his mic-drop. A magnum opus. His final release before he sailed off into the sunset. As history has shown, Jay-Z did not retire. But was this album worthy of his swan-song? Was this a worthy farewell to the rap game? And how does it sound now, over 20 years later in an era of mumble rap, trap beats, and blending of styles? Find out the answer to these questions and more as we reveal our thoughts and opinions on this one. Spoiler alert: We didn’t all agree!

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Review of MC5: Kick out the Jams

Get ready for a thrilling ride through music history! In the last four episodes, we’ve been grooving to the catchy tunes of one-hit wonders. But now, hold on to your seats because we’re shifting gears. Our very own music aficionado and Sonic Collective member, Darren Scott, has taken us on a journey back to the world of influential albums.

This time, we’re diving headfirst into the debut album of the incomparable Tracy Chapman. Picture this: soul-stirring lyrics, mesmerizing melodies, and a voice that’ll give you goosebumps. We’ve gathered around to dissect this musical masterpiece and explore how it still holds up today.

October 2023 saw us dive into the very first punk album of all time. It’s so the first that it wasn’t even classified as punk at the time. MC5 recorded this, their first album live and we all felt the sound recording and quality was pretty darn good considering how long ago this was done. It stands up.

But when we really got into the music, things took a bit of a turn. We enjoyed a few of the sounds, notably the title track, but found overall this album just became noisy after a couple of tracks and started to down-right irritate some of us. Scott G enjoyed it the most but the rest of us found getting through in one listen a bit of work.

That said, we’re glad we had the experience, as this was really the beginnings of punk and an entirely new sound to the world. We’ve widened our musical knowledge and scope.

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Review of Tracy Chapman: Self-titled

Tracy Chapman Album Review

Get ready for a thrilling ride through music history! In the last four episodes, we’ve been grooving to the catchy tunes of one-hit wonders. But now, hold on to your seats because we’re shifting gears. Our very own music aficionado and Sonic Collective member, Darren Scott, has taken us on a journey back to the world of influential albums.

This time, we’re diving headfirst into the debut album of the incomparable Tracy Chapman. Picture this: soul-stirring lyrics, mesmerizing melodies, and a voice that’ll give you goosebumps. We’ve gathered around to dissect this musical masterpiece and explore how it still holds up today.

But here’s the twist – while we found ourselves nodding in agreement on some aspects, our opinions and passion for this album couldn’t be more diverse. Is Tracy Chapman an artist worth your precious listening time? Well, there’s only one way to find out: tune in and join the conversation with Darren at The Sonic Collective! 🎵🔊

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One Hit Wonder or Not? The Wallflowers – Bringing Down the Horse

In last round of our “One Hit Wonder” series, we gave a listen to Bringing Down the Horse by The Wallflowers. Overall the album was generally liked with some differences of opinion on some of the positives and negatives of the album. We also mature and share our reasoning of what qualifies as a one hit wonder and decide if this band qualifies based off the performance of “One Headlight” and the rest of the slbum. Tune in to the episode to see what we thought of it.

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One Hit Wonder or Not? Blu Cantrell – So Blu

Album review: Blu Cantrell - So Blu

In the third installment of our One Hit Wonders round, we listened to Blu Cantrell’s debut album, So Blu.
The album was released in 2001 and featured the very famous and very awesome song “Hit em’ up Style (Oops!)”.
But what about the rest of the album? Equally awesome? Well, that’s what we endeavored to find out this month as we dissected So Blu. Does Blu Cantrell deserve to be better known for her body of work? Was she done dirty? We seemed to be aligned for the most part. Tune in to the episode to see what we thought of it.

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One Hit Wonder or Not? New Radicals’ Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too

New Radicals

So here, it is, the second review of our One Hit Wonders round, this time listening to New Radicals’ Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too. If you haven’t listened to/read about why we picked it, check that out first.

The album was released October 16, 1998, and is essentially an album by lead singer, Gregg Alexander, who is the only person to play on all the album’s tracks. He enlisted a swath of session musicians (28) to play instruments while recording, really making this an album of hired guns. The very successful You Get What You Give charted high on most Top 40 lists around the world, then the band broke up in 1999. A second single, Someday We’ll Know, was released shortly after the band called it quits and the rest is history.

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One Hit Wonder or Not? a-ha’s Take on Me

Sonic Collective member Darren Scott started off our one hit wonder round by choosing a-ha. a-ha is often considered a one-hit wonder, largely due to the immense success of their debut single “Take on Me.” The song reached number one in the United States and several other countries in 1985, and its innovative music video became an iconic part of 80s pop culture.

We now go back and listen to this album and explore this band a little deeper to see if they deserve the negatively perceived one hit wonder moniker. Listen along to see what we discovered about this band from Norway, we think you will be surprised at some of the things we discovered.
Enjoy! Darren @ The Sonic Collective

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Review of Patty Loveless: When Fallen Angels Fly

Scott’s pick had the team split. We had a range of opinions covering the entire spectrum. We’re usually more into music where the guitars are plugged in, so country music has a hard time breaking into the mix. Still, everyone found something to appreciate (or at least not dislike!) about this album, even though the scores hit both ends of the spectrum. Have a listen and see what each member of the team thought after a month of listening and see who you matched up with most.

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Review of The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground and Nico

The Velvet Underground and Nico

Alain’s pick for March 2023 had us listen to The Velvet Underground’s debut album, The Velvet Underground and Nico, which was released in 1967, but failed to really make a splash on the music scene until nearly a decade after its release for a variety of reasons. The Velvet Underground would ultimately go on to leave a legacy of influence and high regard in the annals of music history, and we decided to start at the beginning to see if the band is worth the hype.

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