Throwback Thursday Album (a few days late): Sheryl Crow’s “Sheryl Crow”

SHERYL CROW LP 1996

 

I haven’t always been a fan of Sheryl Crow.

I’m going to date myself here but when Tuesday Night Music Club dropped, I wasn’t particularly fond of “Leaving Las Vegas.” It was slow sounding, and back then I was still a rap and hip hop head listening to WuTang Clan, Biggie, with the few rock bands that snuck into my tape (yes I was around for tapes) collection – Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M, The Black Crowes, etc. These were all artists that kept me awake, alert, and entertained. And I wasn’t thrilled with Sheryl’s voice overall. The, like most teens my age, “All I Wanna Do” dropped, and I instantly changed my tune towards her. It was fast, funny, and had a great melody. Pretty much pop rock gold, which turned into platinum for her. Followed by “Can’t Cry Anymore” and I was pretty much hooked.

Then her second album, “Sheryl Crow,” finally arrived. I remember vividly ordering the tape from our campus store (which stopped selling cassettes and instead sold cds for EVERY artist) and once it arrived, I was completely blown away with it. She produced it, which back then and now for that matter – for a woman to produce her own music – pretty much unheard of  unfortunately. While Bill Botrell was behind the debut album production, this one was Sheryl. Plus 1. It was filled with just absolute greatness. I can’t say back in 1996 offhand that every cassette I owned was great from beginning to end, but THIS album my dear friends was. Every song to me, was a potential single, and every song had a message, hiding behind the pop rock and the quirky sound effects. The melodies worked extremely well with her voice and the lyrics were simple yet effective. And let’s face it on a “A Change Would Do You Good,” there were hand claps. I’m a fan of the hand claps. More songs need hand claps. That was a no brainer hit.

“If It Makes You Happy” to this day makes me laugh – not in a mean way, but the chorus kills me. “If It makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. If It makes you happy then why the hell are you so sad?” Why does it kill me? Because this chorus reigns true to life to this day, 21 years later. Things that make people happy should make us happy, not sad. If it makes us sad, then we shouldn’t continue to do things that make us sad. It’s just that simple. Plus 2. I also love the fact that while she sings the chorus, it comes completely across as shouting to me – as if she was trying to drive the idea home. I hear ya Sheryl. I hear ya. Even my mom thought this was a hit and she doesn’t like anyone.

Another favorite of mine, “Sweet Rosalyn,” is about a woman who keeps her head above water, working just enough to get by but she needs something to keep her going, to continue the fight, to keep her moving forward as they say. My favorite line is “Well, maybe we all could use a little grace to know when to run and when to stay in one place.” It’s not a long song lyrically, but it still makes an impact with the instrumentation. Between the slide, the dobro, and twangy guitars, I was pretty much sold on this one. Sheryl throws down on this one y’all. Check out this video of it.

 

 

I will always support Sheryl because I remember her fighting with Walmart in regards to the song, “Love is a Good Thing.” For those who don’t know, there’s a lyric about kids who use guns they purchased at Walmart. At that time, it was very true. And Walmart didn’t take too kindly to her statement (despite the stories hitting the news revealing where the guns came from) and removed her album from the stores. She stood firm though, and she didn’t give in. That to me, was completely awesome. And fierce. You rule Sheryl. She wanted it to be known that we need to do something about gun control. She sings it so nonchalantly but in doing so, made a big statement. Plus 3.

The opener, “Maybe Angels” is the song that kicked off my love for this album…the piano in particular. It just sounds so weird with the guitar riff that it fits. So weird. But it fits. And the subject matter about not being able to feel angels, but they are around. “I swear they’re out there, I swear…” It’s a mid tempo toe tapper (Say that FIVE times fast. I dare you. It’s ok. I’ll wait.” She finds angels to be mysterious, but she knows..she has a feeling…that the unexplained..can only be answered by angels. The rockers who have passed away, they’re coming back too. Ok, Sheryl. I believe you.

I won’t go on and on, but this is truly a great album. From beginning to end, it entertains, and you hear something different with each listen. AND she broke the dreaded second album slump AND the “Best New Artist” curse that hits many after winning a Grammy. Thank you Sheryl for releasing a perfect pop gem. My ears thank you as well.

 

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Last Podcast of the Year, with a Mix to Boot. Bye 2016…

Happy New Year’s Eve my wonderful Earbudders,

As promised I made my last poddy a mix of just some of my favorite songs of the year. Better listen and download before it’s too late. Enjoy and I shall return next year.

Download

Stream

songmixlist

Intro Music – Praying For Time – George Michael

Starboy (feat. Daft Punk) – The Weeknd

VRY BLK (Feat. NoName) – Jamila Woods

Til The Evening – HONNE

Moving On – Roosevelt

Dollar Days – David Bowie

Alexander Hamilton – Broadway Cast of Hamilton

Dance with Me – LEAGUES

In The Lobby- Iggy Pop 

How To Fly – Skye And Ross

Lost On You – LP

Underwater – Goldroom

Light Up (Yachtclub. Remix) – MUTEMATH

Working Poor – Fantastic Negrito

Raise the Flag – BROOKZILL!

Don’t You Wait – Solange

Breathe Life – Jack Garratt

A-YO – Lady Gaga

Mad Love – JoJo

Lighting Turns Sawdust Gold – Sleigh Bells

Love Is a Soft Machine – Rocky

That Girl – Tegan & Sara

Close Enough – Ghost Beach

Have a safe and happy New Year. Thanks for listening…

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My Favorite Albums of 2016

endoftheyearalbums

 

My fellow earbudders,

Well. Another year of music has come and gone, which means, another list of favorites to publish for you to read, consume, and just maybe decide what to put on your own end of the year playlist for gist and shiggles. These 40 albums were my favorites. I try not to say the “best “ones because I know that for every album that is on the list, I probably missed my fair share of musical goodies but these are the ones that got numerous plays on my ipod. This year revealed reunions, long awaited returns, artistic passion, departed souls, and your run of the mill pop fluff – of which there was a little too much of I admit. I was bored by many of the pop songs I heard on the radio – same beats, same squeaky voiced people singing the same things over and over again. You could take the head off one singer, replace it with another and you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference. But the true artists – the ones that display quality over quality, fought their way through the cracks of pop goo. So for that I’m grateful for this year of music and helping me get out of darkness. For now anyway.. Enjoy the list. And Happy New Year.

1. Anderson Paak – Malibu
2. Solange Knowles – A Seat at the Table
3. Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
4. S U R V I V E – RR7349
5. The Weeknd – Starboy
6. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
7. Beyonce – Lemonade
8. Brookzill! – Throwback to the Future
9. Tegan and Sara – Love You to Death
10. The Kills – Fire and Ice
11. JoJo – Mad Love
12. Emeli Sande – Long Live the Angels
13. J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only
14. Robbie Williams – Heavy Entertainment Show
15. Kane Brown – Kane Brown
16. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
17. Childish Gambino – Awaken! My Love!
18. Raleigh Ritchie – You’re a Man Now Boy
19. David Bowie – Blackstar
20. Elizabeth Cook – Exodus of Venus
21. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
22. Teenage Fanclub – Here
23. Santigold – 99 Cents
24. Jack Garratt – Phase
25. Africaine 808 – Basar
26. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive
27. Hamilton Soundtrack
28. Shura – Nothing’s Real
29. Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math
30. Michael Kiwanuka – Love and Hate
31. Leagues – Alone Again
32. Roosevelt – Roosevelt
33. Rocky – Soft Machines
34. Deftones – Gore
35. Hidden Figures – The Soundtrack
36. Lazarus (Original Cast Recording)
37. Ria Mae – Ria Mae
38. Jamila Woods – HEAVN
39. Skye and Ross – Skye and Ross
40. Ghost Beach – Blonde

Honorable Mentions:
LP – Death Valley EP
Big Gigantic – Brighter Future
Justice – Women
Dawn Richard – Redemption

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New Year, New Music… 3 Months Late.

Happy new year folks.

Sorry I’m very late with this. Still battling the demons. And losing more than winning. But I give to you another show full of new music. So I hope you listen with open ears and an open heart. From rock to dance, there’s something for everyone. And that’s the great thing about music. Sit back, open a few beers, or whatever floats your battleship, and have fun.

Stream and download here —> Podcast #44

 

 

podcast 44.2016.march.collagerowof5withpics

 

Break Into Your Heart – Iggy Pop

Sound And Vision – David Bowie

The Outlaw Josey Wales – Zella Day

City Lights – Wolfmother

A Womans Wisdom – Wild Nothing

Lead Me to the Water – Shake Shake Go

Ch-Ching – Chairlift

Green With Envy – Sea Pinks

Eat The Rich – Motörhead

What Happened To Us? – Hoobastank

Dancing On Glass – St. Lucia

Forgiveness – Editors

Make Me A Believer (feat. Mac Powell) – Andy Mineo

Best in Me – Chris Trapper

Love Type Thing – Tegan And Sara

Walk With The Noise – IAMX

The Switch – DMA’s

Take My Heart – La Sera

I’ve Got Love On My Mind – Natalie Cole

 

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My Favorite Top 40 Songs of 2014.

pusheen2014FAVORITE40SONGS

And here as promised, are my favorite songs of the year. They were upbeat, and catchy and in some cases, throwaway but still enough to garner my attention for over a minute. It’s all over the map. Some will agree. Some will disagree. I admit, there isn’t a lot of rap on this list. I just don’t listen to as much rap as I used to because the beats sound the same now. It’s really sad. But a few made the list that I really really loved. So, enjoy reading my earbudders.

40. Magic – Coldplay
39. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
38. La La La (Feat. Sam Smith) – Naughty Boy
37. Animals – Maroon 5
36. Fury Oh Fury – Nico Vega
35. No Fear – Common
34. Can’t Do Without You -Caribou. Long intro that’s repetitive, BUT once 1:30 kicks in, it’s all good.
33. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
32. Time of Our Lives (Feat. Ne-Yo) – Pitbull
31. Ghost – Ella Henderson
30. Brill Bruisers – New Pornographers
29. Sugah Daddy – D’Angelo
28. Outside – Foo Fighters
27. Black Rage – Lauryn Hill. Yes, she did make a single. Yes. I wish she’d make an album.
26. Röyksopp and Robyn – Do it Again. God I love Robyn. That is all.
25. Transgender Dysphoria Blues – Against Me!
24. Gogon City (Feat. Jennifer Hudson) – Go All Night
23. You and Me – You + Me
22. Get to You – Antigone Rising
21. Bury our Friends – Sleater-Kinney Thank Buddha they’re back. And they’re good.
20. I Wanna Get Better – Bleachers
19. January 28th – J. Cole – This dude is worth listening to. One of the few …
18. Rather Be – Clean Bandit (this band saddens me because while I LOVE this song, the album was such a major DUD)
17. Habits (Stay High) – Tove Lo
16. Right Now – Mary J. Blige
15. Stay with Me – Sam Smith
14. I Really Don’t Care (Feat. Cher Lloyd) – Demi Lovato
13. Bang Bang – Ariana Grande, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj
12. Shake it Off/Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift – tie. Sadly she won me over. #popgold
11. Boom Clap – Charli XCX
10. Anagram – Young the Giant
9. Chandelier – Sia
8. Turn Down for What? – DJ Snake and Lil Jon
7. Head Underwater – Jenny Lewis. For the 30 something females like myself, a MUST listen.
6. Two Weeks – FKA Twigs. Beautiful Music Video.
5. All About that Bass – Meghan Trainor
4. Fancy (Feat. Charli XCX) – Iggy Izalea
3. Want it All – Tender Games. Seriously. This album was pretty great.
2. Beyonce’ (Feat. Jay-Z) – Drunk N’ Love – You. Just. Couldn’t. Escape. This. Song.

And my #1 FAVORITE SONG OF 2014
Wait for it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPTOWN FUNK (Feat. Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson

bruno.ronson.funk

 

“Don’t believe me just watch.” Hands down one of the funkiest tracks I’ve ever heard. Of course those two should give The Time and Morris Day a shout out for biting their style, but I loved this from the first time I heard it and it was my go to song to make me smile this year. I can’t wait for Mark’s album.

See you all next year. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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2014 Favorite Albums of the Year! Yay!

Well fellow earbuds, another year is about to come to a close. It was full of good music, and bad. But mostly good. I tried to soak as much of it in as I possibly could but as a fellow colleague of mine told me that I try to remember on the daily, “there’s no way you can listen to every song on your ipod in a day.” I really do keep that in mind as new albums come my way. And I’m sure I will have missed a few gems that I will kick myself for in the next few months. And it wouldn’t be me unless I share with you my personal list of great albums that came across my pod this year. Let it be known these aren’t the “BEST” albums of 2014 because there are just way too many that would fall into that category. This is just a list of my favorites that weren’t too shabby in a year full of radio filler. I’ll make a separate list of singles later. For now, here are the albums. Remember, these are just my particular favorites. They held my attention for more than just one run through in my ipod. I’m sure some will disagree, and that’s fine. And really, it doesn’t matter. Because it’s MY list. Enjoy earbudders.

 

Sirens (Deluxe Version)

1. Gorgon City – Sirens. Just enough dance that makes me want to care and just enough divadom to make me shake it and break it. There is enough here for everyone who enjoys dance and electronic music. I wish more music was like this. It doesn’t matter if this is played in your living room, or on your ipod, or iphone with headphones. It is good quality music.

 

The London Sessions

2. Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions. The queen of hip-hop soul delivers strongly on this one. A mix of r&b and house music, this is really what I’ve been waiting for from her. Changing with the times, she worked with Sam Smith and Disclosure, two of my particular favorite Brit artists to create a refreshing makeover of her voice and sound. This album makes me remember why she’s the queen. All hail.

 

Mind Over Matter

3. Young the Giant – Mind Over Matter. I wasn’t a huge fan of YTG’s previous album but I completely changed my mind with this one. This was one of my first favorites of the new year. They combine pop with a little bit of groove behind them. I was pleasantly surprised. There is not one bad song on this album. Nice job guys.

 

Tough Love

4. Jessie Ware – Tough Love. One of the best r&b albums that really wasn’t labeled as an r&b album. You can hear the pain and desperation and loneliness in her voice, backed with slow and melodic beats. She reveals the ups and downs and love and everything in between.

 

Sistrionix

5. Deap Vally – Sistronix. One of the best rock albums I’ve heard this year. This sister duo make Jack White sound obsolete. A mix of garage rock, songs about life, money, and struggles, and you have a great listen. Turn the volume up on this one. Loudly.

 

Lead To Light

6. Nico Vega – Lead to Light. A mix of rock and 80s synths, this one is a no brainer. The lead vocalist, is loud, scratchy, and very reminiscent of Patty Smythe. There are enough radio friendly keepers to keep your attention at will. It’s a fun album about love and life.

 

Sound Of A Woman

7. Keiza – Sound of a Woman. This woman is like a little kid on coffee, candy, and red bull when performing – loud clothes, dance moves, etc. An excellent voice with beats to match. Throw this one on at a party and watch the ones standing in the corner finally get the stick out of their asses and move.

sam-smith-in-the-lonely-hour-track-list-album-cover

8. Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour. There is something about white boy blue eye soul that is just easy on the ears. He’s another one where you can hear the disappointment of love lost forever. You just want to hug him and reassure him that everything will be ok in time. We’ve all been there.

 

Sonic Highways

9. Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways. Once again, Dave Grohl and the boys deliver. The album only has 8 songs but enough rock power and hutzpah to blow out every Marshall speaker on the planet.

 

Annie Mac Presents 2014 [Explicit]

10. Annie Mac – Annie Mac Presents 2014. The one DJ on this list who knows what works for dance heads like myself. This album is a very nice compilation of unknowns and knowns in the electronic/house/dance world. It flows nicely and leaves me wanting a lot more.

 

Hey Hey

11. Mapei – Hey Hey. She made a splash on the scene with her song, “Don’t Wait,” but this whole album is pretty stellar, with a mixture of dance, and heavy on percussion with a message of positivity (“Change” among one of the standouts). It’s an album you can listen to anywhere in any mood and she’ll put a smile on your face. She reminds me a lot of Nenah Cherry. She also reminds me of a female Andre 3000. She wasn’t afraid to use horns and go a little crazy with production when necessary.

 

Royal Blood

12. Royal Blood – Royal Blood. Crunchy guitars, loud vocals, and frustration towards life. Great combination. There are times this sounds like a 70s throwback band, where the music is battling against the vocals for superiority. It’s sad that in the gazillion bands I hear played on the radio, that this band seems to be omitted. Get on that rock radio.

 

Goddess

13. Banks – Goddess. The voice of an angel, the soothing beats of downtempo r&b. I truly fell in LOVE with this album this past year.

 

Transgender Dysphoria Blues

14. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Another favorite of mine, Laura Jean Grace and the boys deliver a short, to the point, punk rock album full of ball bustin’ roller coaster emotion.

 

The Veronicas

15. The Veronicas – The Veronicas. Canadian twins deliver an album of all of the place styles. It’s a great pop mix of dance, new wave, rock, and a little rap. They were quite the surprise late in the year.

 

Days & Nights

16. Daley – Days & Nights. Yet another Brit singer throwing down in r&b land with a very unique voice that is easy to listen to whether you are winding down after a hard day’s work or going for a nice drive to clear the head.

 

JHUD

17. Jennifer Hudson – JHUD. One of the overlooked albums of the year. It really upsets me that she never gets the credit she deserves. This album delivers and has something for everyone. Her voice is truly from heaven. Whether it’s straight up r&b, pop, or dance, or singing with a live band, Jennifer Hudson is truly the gem music is made of.

 

Year Of The Caprese

18. Cherub – Year of the Caprese. I swear this album sounds like it was made in their bedroom. Some songs are very minimalistic in delivery. And some are just rip roaring on the dancefloor and break something jams. Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed.

 

St. Vincent

19. St. Vincent – St. Vincent. A little hip-hop, a little synth, a little rock, and make for a very enjoyable album. Well done, Annie.

 

Language & Perspective

20. Bad Suns – Language and Perspective. Loud pop rock with insights about life. Can’t go wrong.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

Globalization

1. Pitbull – Globalization. Say what you want about him, but this boy can spit. Only he does it backed by a party beat. He wants everyone to have a good time, while also boast his bragadocial wordplay to the females. I find it entertainingly amusing. With all the crap hip-hop out there, and all the so called bosses rapping about weed, and women, and sex, and yada yada yada, I’d much rather listen to someone getting me off the couch and on the dance floor. Keep doing your thing Armando. And thank you for pulling your pants up.

 

Trick

2. Kele – Trick. Yes, the lead singer of Bloc Party released another solo album. You didn’t know? Yes, he did. And it’s good. In fact, I wish BP would do more albums like this. He has the right vocal delivery with electronic support to make it likable without it wearing on you like many electronic albums do after a period of time. The album isn’t too long, and it’s not too short in length which is always good for me. Be a little open minded and check him out.

 

CUT 4 ME

3. Kelela – Cut 4 Me. I thoroughly enjoyed this mix of rap and r&b. It was quite the standout in a lackluster year of rap – just in my own opinion.

 

glitter mob

4. The Glitch Mob – Love Death Immortality. This is another album I thought was overlooked for the year. Great beats. Great rhythms. Great everything.

 

TALKING IS HARD

5. Walk the Moon – Talking is Hard. This whole album sounds like an 80s arena rock anthem throwback set to new wave dance/rock music. Another diamond in the rough.

 

Black Messiah

6. D’angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah. I added this last minute. I also added this not so much because the album is good. I’ve listened to it three times now and I can honestly say, I only like half of it if that much. But I’m so glad this talent in neo soul r&b has returned. I had pretty much written him off after his drug issues and car crash some years ago. But that write off was off the table once I saw him perform online at Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival. I thought there was hope. Well, there was hope. I just wish the whole album was as good as the bits and pieces I liked. But welcome back D. You have sorely been missed.

 

That’s it for me for albums of the year kids… next up. My favorite songs of the year. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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Podcast #39: The One Before the End of the Year Smash.

Hello again fellow Ear Budders,

Well, this is the last podcast before my end of the year favorites next month. This one is full of new music so free your mind, sit back, and relax. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.

Stream

Download

As usual, click on the pic for a bigger view.

podcast1.2014.#391collagerowof5withpics

 

Something of Freedom – Frank Turner

Up (feat. Demi Lovato) – Olly Murs

Dangerous (feat. Sam Martin) – David Guetta

Little Things – Oh Land

Years Of War – Porter Robinson

Teenage Millionaire – The Veronicas

Lovelife – Take That

Time of Our Lives (feat. Ne-Yo) – Pitbull

Cruel Intentions – Art Department

In the Clear – Foo Fighters

Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon

Burials – Dirty Heads

Forgive and Forget – You Me At Six

Therapy – Mary J Blige

Reach Out – Rumer

I’ll Never Be Free – She & Him

With You (feat. FMLYBND) – Dirty South

You & I (Forever) – Jessie Ware

Holding Back The Years – Simply Red

 

See you next month for the BEST OF. It’ll be legendarily awesome.

 

 

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