Whitney – Whitney Houston

Whitney - Whitney Houston

-Album of the Day-

Released: June 2nd, 1987

                Whitney Houston’s second studio album is known for the hit singles it produced and the records it broke for and achievements it accomplished as the product of a female solo artist. As far as albums go Whitney is not a great one. It doesn’t do anything different from a musical standpoint that would allow it to stand out, nor does it push the limits of album production to new interesting places. Whitney is put together like a random collection of love songs that were being performed by Houston at the time. With all of that being said what makes Whitney stand out amongst other albums from the 80’s is that this collection of love songs is particularly great. From the first moments of I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) to the final moments of the duet performance Houston gives with her mother Cissi Houston on I Know Him So Well listeners are given great music to listen to. Continue reading “Whitney – Whitney Houston”

Advertisements

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles.jpg

-Album of the Day-

Released: May 26th, 1967

                Originally planned to be released on June 1st, 1967, in the United Kingdom, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released ahead of schedule to a world that was not ready. For nearly half a year Sgt. Pepper’s dominated the public consciousness, selling better than any previous Beatles album had done, and it’s worth mentioning they had all done pretty well. Undeniably an important leap forward in the power, and conceptualizing of albums as more than just a collection of songs. Now musicians could tell stories over an entire album. Thematic elements could carry from song to song, along with the messages. A door had been opened on the day that Sgt. Pepper’s was released, not just for the consumer, but also for the creators, and nobody has looked back since. Continue reading “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles”

Playin’ Up a Storm – The Gregg Allman Band

Playin Up A Storm - Gregg Allman

-Album of the Day-

Released: May ?, 1977

Placed squarely in the category of albums that are too often overlooked, Playin’ Up a Storm is an excellent mixture of old and new Blues, Southern-Rock, and, surprisingly, Soul from Gregg Allman. While this album has Allman stepping outside of his roots a bit in some of the performances he doesn’t seem to be outside of his comfort zone, perhaps showing the amount of versatility in his instrumental abilities and more particularly his voice.  Allman runs the show on Playin’ Up a Storm, and he and his band do just what the title says by mixing some new material with some personal favorites and making it all sound good.

Continue reading “Playin’ Up a Storm – The Gregg Allman Band”

Cat Scratch Fever – Ted Nugent

Cat Scratch Fever - Ted Nugent

-Album of the Day-

Released: May 13th, 1977

Regardless how people feel about Ted Nugent’s more recent endeavors, it would be foolish to ignore the contributions he made to Hard-Rock in the 70’s and 80’s. Cat Scratch Fever, Nugent’s third studio album, is one of those more well-known contributions. In particular the title track on Cat Scratch Fever is one of the most recognizable Rock songs to be released in the past 50-60 years, and that says a lot about Nugent’s ability to write catchy guitar hooks and fun lyrics, which this album is filled with. For those few that thought the album Cat Scratch Fever began and ended with the title track, they are missing an excellent collection of some of the hardest hitting Rock songs of the 70’s. Continue reading “Cat Scratch Fever – Ted Nugent”

Double Up – R. Kelly

Double Up - R. Kelly

-Album of the Day-

Released: May 29th, 2007

Double Up is an intimidating album for listeners who are not familiar with R. Kelly’s brand of Hip Hop and R&B. At just over 76 minutes long, this album is a bit of a beast, and most of it focuses on R.Kelly and his stream-of-consciousness styled lyrics, which can be jarring for people not familiar with R. Kelly’s brand. For those of us that are familiar with Kelly’s musical style, or even welcome it, Double Up can be a gold mine of Rap bangers from the mid-2000’s, and R&B songs that are willing to address matters most songs would rather not talk about. Double Up is an album for people who, like R. Kelly, want to hear truth in the words being said.  Continue reading “Double Up – R. Kelly”

Such Sweet Thunder – Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington - Such Sweet Thunder

-Album of the Day-

Released: May ?, 1957

“I never heard / so musical a discord, such sweet thunder.” A line from Shakespeare that must have struck a chord for the Duke since he used it as the title this stunning Jazz album that takes influence from a multitude of William Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. Such Sweet Thunder is the type of concept album that music historians, and theorists could spend decades studying, trying to understand why Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn, Ellington’s lesser known musical partner, chose the music they did for the different parts of Shakespeare they were trying to represent. Shakespearian experts will leave Such Sweet Thunder with much to talk about, and for those who are less familiar with the works of the Elizabethan playwright the music is good enough to stand on its own without the references. Continue reading “Such Sweet Thunder – Duke Ellington”

Book of Dreams – The Steve Miller Band

Book of Dreams - Steve Miller Band

-Album of the Day-

Book of Dreams – The Steve Miller Band

Released: May ?, 1977

                Pop Rock group The Steve Miller Band probably doesn’t get the credit it deserves for creating two of the best Rock albums of the 70’s in back to back years: 1976’s Fly Like an Eagle, and 1977’s Book of Dreams. Whatever reason, Book of Dreams is an album any listener should take a chance on. While it is far from perfect, this album provides a great, spacey, rock sound, some of the best singles of the 70’s, and Steve Miller’s smooth vocals, a combination that is almost guaranteed to please. Continue reading “Book of Dreams – The Steve Miller Band”