Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Catching Up...Briefly

I spent a big chunk of this morning catching up on some newish releases. Here's some of what I listened to.

Brian Wilson's "No Pier Pressure" is quite frankly unlistenable. I didn't expect "Pet Sounds." Hell, I didn't even expect "Love You." But this is a new low in sound and lyrics. I love you, Brian, but as our friend Jeff K. pointed out, "a record like this is an indicator that an artist doesn't have anyone around him strong enough to say 'no, that sucks" to him, like Billy Crystal after 'City Slickers.'"

Alabama Shakes new one, "Sound & Color" is even less exciting than their first. I will admit to warming up to some of their debut, though it's hardly the "Otis Blue" it's been hyped to be. "Sound & Color" is an apt title, since that is all it really is. "Songs & Hooks" is what the band really needs.

Rhiannon Giddens' "Tomorrow Is My Turn" has some really fantastic moments. People are loving this record and I can hear why. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but what it has going for it that so many records do not is heart. Giddens oozes soul and inspiration. The Pasty Cline cover, "She's Got You" should have been better, but the exquisite "Shake Sugaree" more than makes up for it.

Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts mix it up on "Blaster," showing off their love for 70's glam and hard rock, as well as some 90's grunge. It doesn't all work, but when it does, it really pays off. "Amethyst," "White Lightning" and "Blue Eyes" form a killer trifecta, with "Blue Eyes" even hitting power pop territory. And it's hard to fuck up T. Rex's "20th Century Boy," so they didn't.


William Repsher said...

If you had told me that the Brian Wilson album was conceived, written and produced by John Stamos, I've have no problem believing it.

What I don't get: that crappy, fake auto-tune twinge on certain vocals. I'm willing to be there is absolutely nothing wrong with Brian Wilson or Al Jardine's voices ... it's just that someone decided it would be a "cool" thing to apply the auto-tune effect on certain vocals. Not realizing how insulting and degrading it sounds to a recording artist who did as much for harmony vocals as anyone in pop music over the last 50 years.

Signtopia said...

Somewhere inside Brian Wilson's head is the real Brian Wilson. It seems to be a sticking point for many how some of everybody's music heroes venture way off track and disappoint us all. Since Todd Rundgren was mentioned previously in this regard.....Todd has said that he has gone on trips and sometimes never came back. That might explain something about Todd's last three albums.(ha) I remember an interview where Todd was talking about Brian Wilson showing up at the New Cars rehearsal and greeting everyone..."Hi, I'm Brian Wilson". Todd said that he had "met" Brian several times over the years and Brian still says "Hi, I am Brian Wilson.". Oh well.....there are far greater things to fret about I suppose.

Charlie Carr said...

I think in the other thread someone mentioned that guys like Brian Wilson have no current chain of accountability. I mean - first off, I haven't listened to this and may never, but do you imagine there is someone in his creative support system who might say "Hey Brian . . ." ???

Anonymous said...

Who's in Brian's orbit who could tell him something isn't up to snuff who actually has taste: Al Jardine? Joe Thomas? Mike Love??

If you want a Brian fix, be sure to check out the upcoming biopic, Love & Mercy. The half set in the 60s with Paul Dano playing Brian is amazing, lots of great scenes set in the studio, as great a recreation as I think anyone could ask for. The problem with the movie is the half set during the Landy years with John Cusack playing Brian. Bad ideas on multiple levels.

Hey Sal, speaking of Todd Rundgren, what about doing one of those 10 great songs from an artists shitty albums playlists for Todd?

Bruce H

Sal Nunziato said...

I'd love to do that, Bruce H., but according to most Burning Wood readers, the last 27 Todd records have been shitty. I'd have to send out personal thumb drives to all willing participants.

Let me see what I can come up with.
"I'm certainly game," he says rubbing his filthy little mitts together.