With the Congress bringing the almighty U.S. government at a stand-still (you know, except for Congress receiving their own paychecks), we decided to craft a list of the top ten songs to accompany this government shutdown. The last time the government took this route, there were actually some fitting tracks ruling the airwaves: “Another Night” by Real McCoy, “Run-Around” by Blues Traveler, and “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio are just a couple where the title rings all too true. Not to be outdone, 2013 gives us “Blurred Lines”, “We Can’t Stop”, and “Radioactive” to appropriately jam to.
Pop corollaries aside, we decided to make this list for those that are mighty frustrated, and want to rage against this inefficient mess. Not much lighthearted fare on this list, just bombast after frustration, followed by some heavy indictments. Whether this shutdown affects you or not, get your riot gear on and hit the streets (or at least your nearest dive bar). Enjoy, and as always shoot us some favorites of yours that we missed.
10. M.I.A. – “Born Free”
Contrary to the beliefs of the uninitiated, flipping off all of ‘Merica during her Super Bowl performance was just a mild dose of M.I.A.’s anachronistic career. M.I.A. has always had strong views, but her big coming out party for her views may be her lead single for her third album Maya. Accompanied by a shocking video, “Born Free” takes to task the ever more oppressive role of government.
After dropping our Review Royale of the new Justin Timberlake album this week, we thought it would be a good idea to tackle artists that have gone solo for our list this week. We already broke down the best albums released by an artist after going solo in honor of Jack White releasing his first solo record. So we thought, “Why not just look at solo artists career as a whole, after leaving their band/group.” Easy enough to find plenty to pick from, but exceedingly difficult to pick just ten for this particular list. We had to axe a couple that simply didn’t have enough solo material to justify putting them above more established solo musicians (Dan Auerbach and Jack White). We just can’t be sure which direction people with just one solo album will go. Back to the band or keep going on their own. Either way, there were some very tough cuts, but we think we came away with a list worthy of your attention. Enjoy, and let us know who we missed, left off, or shouldn’t have included at all.
10. Justin Timberlake
Following the “hiatus” of ‘N Sync in 2002, JT quickly released his solo debut Justified. I know of at least a few sophomores and juniors in high school who couldn’t resist the former boy-bander’s cool pop sound. Little did we all know, Justified would serve as merely a bridge to even more progressive and layered pop sounds. FutureSex/LoveSounds and The 20/20 Experience have done more than show off JT’s love of the backslash, affirming Timberlake as pop icon. Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Solo Careers”
After the painful experience of reviewing Neil Young’s new cover album, Americana, we decided to go back to some of our old favorites, and create a list of the top ten cover albums. It was surprisingly difficult to find a comprehensive list of cover albums that have even been released, so I am certain we are missing a couple of classics, but also was very happy with strength of the list we came up with. Another couple items of note is that the album needed to be 75% covers to be considered and a lot of 1950’s and 60’s albums were not considered. A lot of early Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. albums were comprised mostly of covers because that’s just the way the music business was run back then. Somebody would have a minor hit, then ten artists would cover it to bandwagon and try to copy its success.
So what makes a great cover album? There are a lot of opinions on that, but we firmly believe it is not enough to simply mimic already great songs. What we like to see is an artist keep the feeling of the original but substantially change the arrangement. Also great is when an artist manages to rescue a song from obscurity and make it completely their own. There is not absolute formula to a great cover song or album, but as with most of our list the following selections hit us the hardest. On to the list.
10. David Bowie – Pin Ups
Bowie’s lat album with The Spiders from Mars was a tribute album to some of his favorite tracks from the 60’s. Pin Ups contains classic songs from The Who, a lesser known track from Pink Floyd’s most underrated era, a Kinks track for the ages, and some lesser-known bands that I probably would have never been turned onto otherwise such as The Pretty Things and The Easy Beats. All of these things fused with the Bowie twist means it is a sure-fire instant eargasm.
Here it is folks. If you are as big of a Stones fan as us, then you should have been able to deduct most of the entries, if not the order, of our top ten Rolling Stones tracks. What amazes me is the enormity of the popularity of each of these songs. With many bands, the most popular tracks often seem to be simply the most accessible, but with the Stones we get the best of both worlds. This top ten list came so easily to us, with little rancor or argument. The Rolling Stones truly went from England’s newest hit-makers to England’s greatest hit-makers. Please check out #’s 50-31 here and #’s 30-11 here. Also, check out our top 5 Stones albums here.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest bands of all time forming to make some of the best, most memorable music ever. The Rolling Stones originally joined together in 1962, marking them as early competitors with The Beatles, and one of the few bands that could actually give them a run for their money in terms of quality of music, influence of music, and overall badassness of music. The remainder of this week, LxL is choosing to remember, praise, and love on the Stones for their 50th b-day. So sit back and enjoy our first Stones post of the week, as we journey through our favorite albums of one of our favorite classic bands: Continue reading “Weak List Wednesday: Top 5 Albums of The Rolling Stones”
It’s fair to say that there are plenty of overrated things in the entertainment industry. HBO’s Entourage, Michael Bay, the entire clan of Kardashians (not just Kim), and essentially everything in the vein of “Hollywood life” or “Los Angeles culture” all lead the pack in worthless assets to the industry that should make people cringe, and maybe even throw-up in their mouth a little bit. Close behind all of these resides a special spot for the worthlessness of the Super Bowl halftime show. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, and the Super Bowl itself, and all the fun and hype that come along with it. But over the years, the halftime shows have just become a chore to watch. In fact there are really only two non-nudity involved halftime shows that have really ever stood out to me, and last nights performance was actually one of them. Continue reading “Madonna’s Halftime Show Review”
It has been known as “The Holy Grail of Rock ‘n’ Roll” or the “Most famous album never released”. In 1966 and 1967, at the same time as The Beatles were concocting their career staple Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beach Boys were constructing their own magnum opus known as SMiLE, meant as an ambitious follow up to their first masterpiece, Pet Sounds. But the project was rumored to be scrapped near the final stages due to dissension among the band about the project as well as Beach Boys front man and producer Brian Wilson dissolving due to heavy drug use and mental disorders. Many tracks meant for SMiLE including staple Beach Boys songs “Good Vibrations”, “Heroes and Villains”, and “Surf’s Up” ended up landing on subsequent albums, but the album was never released as intended. Also, several of the missing tracks on SMiLE got released in the 1993 Good Vibrations box set but not released in album format or in complete.