Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Cars - s/t

I already reviewed my CD copy of this album over here, but I also own the album on vinyl. Rather than re-reviewing it, I'll just hit what I missed on the first review, which is that it's simply ridiculous for "Good Times Roll," "My Best Friend's Girl," "Just What I Needed," "Don't Cha Stop," "You're All I've Got Tonight," and "Moving in Stereo" to all be on the same album. Most bands don't have greatest hits lineups that strong. This is an insanely good cars album and you should own it.

The Carpenters - The Singles 1969-1973

Along with Boston's self-titled debut, which you should own because there are a zillion copies and it's really really good, and Frampton Comes Alive, which you should own because there are a kazillion copies and it's better than you think, every vinyl collector should also own this Carpenters compilation. Why? Because it's everywhere and because you like the Carpenters more than you think you do.

Remember this scene from Tommy Boy? Well that's actually how the Carpenters work. I bought this album because my parents used to own a lot of Carpenters stuff and it's the only concert my Mom has ever been to. Anyway, the first time I dropped the needle on this record and heard "We've Only Just Begun," it really worked on me. Let's just say that I was attacked by a sudden cloud of dust and pet dander which made it look for all the world like I was openly weeping to the first song on a Carpenters compilation. I double dog dare you to listen to this album and see if your room doesn't get dusty all of a sudden. If the music itself doesn't do it, just think about what a ball of talent Karen Carpenter was and how her untimely death could have been prevented. There will be waterworks. This is a top-to-bottom solid introduction to the music of The Carpenters. Buy it, cry to it, don't let your friends see.

Eric Carmen - s/t

As a fan of power pop, I have nothing but respect for The Raspberries, which is why I bought this album. Eric Carmen is the former frontman of the classic power pop combo The Raspberries. While most people pick up this album for its mega-hit "All By Myself" (yes, the very one you just started singing in your head when you read the name of the song) I picked it up to see if there were any other Raspberry-esque nuggets hidden anywhere else on the album.

The most Raspberry-ish tunes on the album are probably "My Girl" and "Last Night," but they're not quite as good as the "Go All the Way" heights of Carmen's work with his former band. There are a few very pleasant tunes on this album, one instantly recognizable hit, and, I'm sad to say, some substandard filler. Put this album on a set of scales, and there's more going for it than against it, but I honestly hoped it would have been better.

Badger Postulate #1

Postulate #1: If you introduce your children to the music of Cheap Trick, they will enjoy it.

Cheap Trick has a certain universal appeal. They rock hard enough for heshers, they have enough pop appeal for girls, they're deviant enough to make teenage boys chuckle, they're sensitive enough for your parents, they're rebellious enough for punks, weird enough for nerds, and normal enough for everybody else. Oh, and they write great songs. If your child is a human being born on Earth, chances are they will be receptive to Cheap Trick, given the chance.