Hello everybody. Today I decided to experiment and test out a potential new series for me to do on the site. I call it “Rapid Fire Reviews,” and in the series I plan to give my thoughts on albums I’ve listened to recently. Today, I’ve got five albums to discuss, so let’s get started!
LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
The first album I want to talk about is LCD Soundsystem’s second studio album, released in 2007, Sound of Silver. This album has some very funky rhythms while maintaining a nice, almost post-punk rock and roll vibe. Unfortunately, a multitude of songs suffer from dragging just a bit too long, especially the title track and “Get Innocuous!” With that said, though, the album still had some great tunes, such as the NBA 2K-featured “Time To Get Away,” “Someone Great,” and “All My Friends.” The slow ballad “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” serves as a nice ending to the record and a refreshing change of pace. Overall, Sound of Silver is a pretty good album, but nothing too spectacular.
The Who – Tommy
The second album to discuss is The Who’s 1969 rock opera, Tommy. Having heard about this album for years, Chase and I finally decided to give it a listen about a week ago. And it pretty much met my expectations, while chucking in a few nice surprises. The titular Tommy is a “deaf, dumb, and blind kid,” and we are told his life story from his birth all the way until his “Miracle Cure” and exaction of revenge upon his former ridiculers and abusers. The album ranges from over-the-top levels of messed up (“Cousin Kevin,” “Fiddle About,” “Sally Simpson”) to traditional hard rock (“Pinball Wizard,” “Christmas,” “The Acid Queen”). The album features a bunch of little songs that serve as scene establishment, but these are occasionally distracting and unintentionally funny. Tommy has a reputation as a classic for a reason, and this album’s certainly worth checking out, even if it’s not quite as good as other Who albums, namely Who’s Next and The Who Sell Out.
Wipers – Is This Real?
Next up is Is This Real?, a punk rock album from the Portland, Oregon-based Wipers. This album is absolutely magnificent, and is one of the best punk rock albums to come out of the 80s. This album influenced Nirvana, who covered the songs “Return of the Rat” and “D-7” on a Wipers tribute album. I first heard of Wipers when a song by them came up on Spotify. And while that song, “Rebel With A Cause,” was not featured on this album, it did inspire me to give their debut album a go, and I’m super glad I did. The moods range from typical fast-paced punk tunes (“Return of the Rat,” “Up Front”), to dark, brooding, eerie tracks that send shivers down your spine (“Alien Boy,” “D-7,” “Potential Suicide”), to lighter, poppier tracks (“Mystery,” “Let’s Go Away”). The guitar on this album is ace, especially the riffs in “Mystery” and “Potential Suicide.” This album may not be for everybody, but I really enjoyed every track from this one.
Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model
The penultimate album I’ll review today is Elvis Costello’s 1978 release, This Year’s Model. This album was – good – yeah, I really don’t have a lot to say on this one. I was a bit disappointed because this album is supposed to be one of the best albums to come of the 70s. And while most of the tracks were pretty good, namely, “Pump It Up,” “The Beat,” and “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea,” a few of them came off as a bit bland and forgettable. One thing I noticed about the album is the sound of the organ. I usually love organ in rock music (see: The Band), but here it just comes off as unnecessary, and, well, bland. As a whole, this record was fine, but nothing remarkable, and the hits definitely suffice.
Big Star – #1 Record
Finally, I’d like to discuss Big Star’s debut album from 1972, #1 Record. This album was simply amazing, and I’d recommend it to anybody who likes rock music. Vocalists Chris Bell and Alex Chilton have distinct enough voices to provide a unique flair to their respective songs, while still being able to pull off a great harmony. The softer tracks sound beautiful – check out “The Ballad Of El Goodo,” “Thirteen,” “Try Again,” and “Watch the Sunrise.” Also, the electric songs totally rock – see “Feel,” “Don’t Lie To Me,” and “In The Street.” I guarantee all of you are aware of the song “In The Street” without even being aware of it: that song was covered by Cheap Trick and served as the theme song to “That 70s Show.” Pretty cool! Lastly: “The India Song.” Just listen to this song and try to get it out of your head. Spoiler alert, you won’t be able to.
Thank you all so much for reading! Make sure you check out our other articles, as well as our weekly playlist. Also, we have a surprise cooked up for next week, so stay tuned! If you all have any suggestions for albums to potentially review for this series in the future, please let me know in the comments. See you all next time.