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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Bruno Just Wants to Party.

As much as I dig melancholy and deep lyrics, there are times I just want to listen to fun music – music that keeps my mind preoccupied from the other voices in my head I hear on the daily. Music that stays in my ears like infected earworms that leave me smiling. Congratulations Bruno Mars, you have been selected to uplift my spirits. And you do so magnificently.

The new album, 24K Magic, is a dance extravaganza of entertainment. It’s pretty clear that he was influenced by 80s and 90s music because the whole album is just a throwback to that era. I’m not complaining about it at all. I believe Bruno wants the world to just relax, have fun, dance, and not think about their problems. That’s kind of what he’s been all about anyway, but this third album really drives the idea home. From the title track, to “Chunky” to “Callin’ All My Lovelies” to my particular favorite, “Finesse” he keeps the party moving. My only complaint is that there are only 9 songs. He left me wanting more. My guess? Since the album is a tribute to old school 80s synths, and 90s drumbeats, maybe he also wanted to stay true to how albums were made back in the day 8 or 9 songs, and that was it. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a short album, but it still packs a punch nonetheless.

What I love about Bruno is that he has tremendously big bravado in such a small stature. And he’s so darn likable. That smile, the way he carries himself, how he pines for the ladies it goes a long way to garner attention. One thing is for sure, he’s like the Tazmanian Devil. Once he leaves, you always know he was around because his voice and spirit stay with you for the rest of the day. He makes it his mission to make sure everyone has a good time because life is just too short not to and I appreciate that in a man. Even his love songs are pretty entertaining and I’m not a fan of love songs. He is a complete charmer and I’m thankful that in a world of music crap we have Bruno to celebrate life. And this is coming from a resident Eeyore. So if you want to have a good time, throw a party, twerk yourself into oblivion, put on 24 K Magic. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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Song of the Day: Blood Orange’s “Augustine”

 

For two reasons: I love the drum track behind it, and the carefree dancing. I also will throw in a special honorary mention of seeing Julian Casablancas from The Strokes eating in a diner. I had to do a double take.

Enjoy Earbudders.

 

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Podcast #43. Electric Boogie..

Fellow Earbudders,

I’m back with another one right before the end of the year. I don’t know if I’ll make another year ender podcast, but stay tuned for my favorite 30 albums of 2015 post. It’s a doozy.. Until then, enjoy this show of dance, shakin’, and lovin’…

Click it.. click it!!! CLICK ITTTTTT!

Podcast #43

 

podcast 43.2015.collagerowof5withpics

Uma Thurman (feat. Wiz Khalifa) [Remix] – Fall Out Boy
Do What You Wanna Do (MYNC Radio Edit) – Nile Rodgers
Indestructible (feat. DBX) – Armin van Buuren
Temptation – Escort
Keep On (feat. Green Velvet) – Catz ‘N Dogz
In the Wild – Capital Kings
Til The Money Runs Out – !!!
We Are Not Alone (Fei-Fei Remix) – Basement Jaxx
When You See Me – Computer Magic
Pay My Rent – DNCE
We Continue – Dam-Funk
Milky Way – Air Waves
The First Heartbreak – Matthew Ryan
No Liars – Matthew Good
Life Is a Fear – Editors
Life is Long – Laura Stevenson
Philip the Engineer – JR JR
Smoke Around the Bend – Small Black
Happy Song – Bring Me the Horizon

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Will They or Won’t They? LCD Soundsystem

As of 5 hours ago, Consequence of Sound posted a link saying that LCD Soundsystem will reunite next year. And then, their record label, or James Murphy’s label said that this is untrue. Could this be for hype? Or are they shooting down wishful thinking? I really hope that wishful thinking turns into a reality. I like many, many, MANY, others would love to see a reunion and gladly give LCD our money. Until then, enjoy these LCD Soundsystem genius danceable lovin’ flashbacks.

Make sure you turn the volume up.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bea Miller: No Apology Necessary

Just wanted to tip my fellow earbudders on a young singer named Bea Miller. Every few years, there is a female singer that strikes the heart of young folks and older folks like myself. Bea Miller is that singer at the present moment. With her heartfelt lyrics about fitting in, standing up for yourself, growing up, and taking life as it comes, her album, “Not an Apology” is just that – not an apology for who she is. In a time where females are expected to be perfect with no flaws, Miller takes her flaws and wears them like a badge of honor. She is open about her fears, her loves and securities. It takes guts to put feelings into a song for those to accept or reject. But she is a delight in taking that risk. She calls people out for how she was treated (Paper Doll), dares people to change (I Dare You), and just plain rocks out with no regrets (title track), and takes charge of her actions (We’re Taking Over). I think it’s pretty much pop gold for the summer. If you have never heard of her, I suggest you go and listen to her. You won’t be disappointed.

As pop gooeyness as this album is, “Young Blood,” the opening track, is my particular favorite. “But in dark times when we close our eyes, it’s a nightmare, it’s a nightmare. When the sun don’t shine we lose our minds but I swear we can get there.” That’s my favorite verse. I believe, and I could be wrong, that she’s trying to convey the idea of doing things for ourselves despite the trials. We can run away from our troubles, but we eventually have to go against them head on and we WILL overcome them all because we’re young and strong. We can’t be destroyed. Wear the strength well and use it to your advantage. Nothing is perfect, but we can try and trying to overcome is betting than nothing. Don’t give up, and don’t back down. It’s a great song and a great attitude to have.

So cheers to Bea Miller for helping people get through life, and helping us realize we’re not alone. There are many of us, of various ages, trying to make it through life one day at a time. And no we’re not apologizing for it.

She’s so young, but with an old soul. And that, my fellow earbudders, is my review of the moment.

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