Sunday, September 27, 2015

The comment that caused a career to Fly away

I have had a hard time starting this blog. The CD is incredible but the trio or one of them is difficult. What the singer said and the reaction or overreaction to the comments is not an area I want to go into with my blog. Unfortunately the  contervery seems to have an halo effect with the trio and caused an early demise to a stellar career. 

The trio are the Dixie Chicks and whatever your opinions on their lead singer Natalie Maines are that is fine with me.  What I want to review is in my opinion is one of the great modern country CDs. 

Fly came out in 1999 and dominated the country music charts and propelled the band into crossover success. I like most of America loved the trio. The group was fun and a great blend of modern feel with a healthy nod to their country past. 

The CD starts off with the track Ready to Run, which was also included in the soundtrack to the Julia Roberts movie Run Away Bride. The video that accompanied the song was very cute with the trio running away from their weddings on bikes. Sticking with the video theme Goodbye Earl is wonderfully tasty song about vengeance. The video with its release had some great stars in it, Jane Krakawoski and Lauren Holly as the best friends and Dennis Franz as Earl.  Finally Cowboy Take Me Away another successful crossover hit. 

The thing that makes this CD is great is in between these crossover country songs is some wonderful updating of country classic themes. Hello Mr Heartache is a country gem along with Cold Day in July share the wonderful traditional word play that are in country classics. Hole in My Head and Sin Wagon are fun jams. Finally you can hear feel the desperation and hopelessness in the tracks Heartbreak Town and Without You. 

Well if you don't know what happened to cause the trio's career go sideways find out for yourself I am not covering it here. Still with such a prefect blend of the old and new in a country music scene that seems to have abandoned their past it makes you wonder what if. 

Til next time listen to the best your ears deserve it.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Guy is Immortalized

Hey a review of an CD from this century in fact this decade.  I wrote in an earlier post of my love of Disturbed and how they re awoken my love of Hard Rock.  Well Disturbed took a five year hiatus and the members put out some good music.  Then last year on Disturbed's Facebook page The Guy was shown being revived.

The CD was released and shot to number one on the charts.  Fans loved it and the critics were back on the hunt again. Critics are what critics are, I take everything they say with a grain of salt and to take pieces of what they say to make a true picture. They don't like the CD and don't see any growth, the quote I loved was "this was a for Fans only release", of course they wrote the CD for the fans who else buys it?

On to the CD.  First of I disagree with the critics there are some new things on the release.  First off there is almost a ballad, well by Disturbed's standards a ballad.  You're Mine is a song the lead singer David Draiman wrote for his wife. it and the song The Light are almost upbeat and happy.  I am not sure I would have used those terms to describe any Disturbed tracks from earlier CDs.  Finally the cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence should put the haters of Draiman's voice to rest.  The man can sing and his delivery on this track proves it.  Sheryl listened to the track and didn't know it was Disturbed.

Now there are the standard Disturbed tracks. The title track is powerful and Immortalized can be used to fire up teams before taking the field.  The video release for The Vengeful One brings back Disturbed mascot The Guy and although a great video it isn't Land of Confusion.  I am kind of happy they didn't try to remake the Todd McFarland video that was lighting in a bottle and couldn't be repeated.  The new video is live action and animation, it features The Guy returning and taking on the evil of the media.  The funnest point is that the corporation has an intern named Hope and the monsters of executives eat her  Not exactly subtle but funny.

In some ways the critics are right if you like Disturbed you will like this CD.  In other ways they are wrong I can see some changes without losing your fan base.

Til next time listen to the best your ears deserve it.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Powerful Soft Rock Mr. Cross

Me and Sheryl were watching Anchorman 2 and Christoper Cross's Ride Like the Wind comes on. Wow that is a great song do I own that?  Reviewing ITunes I find out, no I don't.  That was quickly fixed.  I am surprised and not so surprised that the Album didn't make it onto ITunes, I probably had a copy of a copy on cassette.  It was nice to rediscover another musical piece of my teenage years.

Now in the early 80's Christopher Cross dominated the air ways and many a jam box.  I remember several youth group and choir groups bus tours that Mr. Cross was played on the jam box on the way home. It was a soft rock sound that parents and teenagers could listen to.  Growing up in Miami in the early 80's you couldn't get away from the song Sailing.  Everybody with a boat either had that or Jimmy Buffett playing on a loop.

The album, as I rediscovered is really one of the perfect examples of Soft Rock.  Not only did you have the classic Sailing, there was I Really Don't Know Anymore and Ride Like The Wind.  Those tracks featured on background vocals the Great Micheal McDonald another legend in the soft rock field.

As a funny side note Sirius XM has put out a temporary channel called Yacht Rock. Please check it out it plays all the artists I have listed and more.  I am back in my parents Volkswagen and listening to the AM radio, good times.

To say the album was a monster is an understatement.  When it hit the Grammy's the album and Mr. Cross won five awards.  And if this isn't a shocker it beat Pink Floyd's The Wall for album of the year.

Unfortunately for a lot of Soft Rock artist of the age MTV showed up.  Pop and Dance ruled the charts and airwaves fueled by the Music Video.  Not to say Christoper totally disappeared there were a few very notable hits, Think of Laura from General Hospital, that's for you Halcomb, and Arthur's Theme from Arthur but nothing like the monster his first Album was.

So if you want to take a great trip back and listen to classic give his first album at try.

Til next time keep listening to the best your ears deserve it.