Fatboy Slim – You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby (1998)

Fatboy Slim became a household name with this release. It’s a decent listen for sure, and is a nice mixture between big beat and other electronic sounds. Let’s dive in and have a listen, track by track.

We begin with the eerie sounding Right Here Right Now which is an EDM classic. It takes a while to build up, but when it hits you, it hits very well. It’s a great dance number with many different sections to boot. It has a great midsection and climax, short story of the tune is that is a great tune to listen to, despite the fact it goes well over five minutes. It finishes with some interesting radio chatter, before leading into the next tune.

The next one perhaps is even better. The Rockafeller Skank is an optimistic and cheerful tune with some country-esque Telecaster sounding licks and some other great samples. It never bores once through the listen, and has an ear busting (in a good way) climax with more multi-sectioned goodies sound wise. A good listen.

Fucking In Heaven is ridiculous sounding for THAT sampled quote. This one seems a little overkill for that reason, it’s a good piece without sounding great. It still has its moments, sounding rather comical. It’s throwaway, but decent for a South Park sort of tune. It does have some, once again, good midsection based sounds. Nice.

Gangster Trippin is a much more listenable tune than the previous one. It sounds really good, with alternating sections as well with some alternating samples and melodies. This sort of music isn’t played much at parties or in regular day-to-day life, so it is worth a listen for that purpose. Much like the other songs on this album, it is fairly repetitive, mind you.

The next piece is fairly meh. Build It Up, Tear It Down is merely an exercise in doing that to a dance track, with mixed results. No doubt a fan favourite, but it just lacks quality. Better examples of dance tracks out there have done this sort of thing. Just very, meh.

Following that is a vast improvement. Kalifornia has some weird sound effects and samples to boot. But it’s quite enjoyable. Suitable for a road trip or something similar, it’s a good listen throughout. The beats are quite heavy for sure, propelling this piece along very well. The outro is pretty different.

Soul Surfing is a crowd pleaser. It’s sort of a mixture between a soul and funk pastiche. It’s an adventurous and nice listen. There are many different guitar based samples and some unusual breakdowns. A nice listen, but like much of the album, good, but not great.

You’re Not From Brighton is quirky. It’s likely considered by many to be a filler track, but sounds so cartoon like and different that it does necessitate listening. Sounds not like out of a Donald Duck cartoon or something similar, it sure is interesting. Guessing the tune here, not a lot of us are from Brighton, UK, either. A basic, slowed down outro leads into the next piece.

Probably the defining Fatboy Slim piece is here, Praise You is a good-vibe and uplifting piece with a piano riff, a variety of samples and many different tasty sounds. It kind of blows away a lot of the other songs on the album. It segues to and from the piano riff to an organ led midsection. It’s a good listen. There is some beatboxing here if you listen closely as well.

Following up is Love Island. This could be a reference to Ibiza, the club paradise of the world, off the coast of Spain. Google that one, if you don’t know about it. The song has a very moving intro, before launching into a static sounding acid-like piece with some interesting peaks and troughs. By this point, we recognise the album as a good, yet not great listen. It’s still worth the time if you can put that into the recording itself.

Acid 8000 finishes the album. It’s a beatastic and extended piece for a long period of dancing, in or out of home. Some pulsating sounds make up this one. “It’s so easy to get acid, you can get it anywhere,” launches the more danceable section of this one. The baby screaming is unnecessary and annoying.

This album is okay, but only okay. The main thing letting it down is the length of the album, which is excessively long. If 10-15 minutes were chopped off some of the songs, this would be a much better listen. Still, it’s better than most EDM compilations out there right now, which gives it a sort of place in history. But still, it could be bettered here.

6/10

Kid Rock – Sweet Southern Sugar (2017)

Believe it or not, Kid Rock is still around these days. He transitioned from being a rapper to a rock star, onto doing his own brand of country based music. This, his latest release is a surprisingly good listen. Let’s check it out.

We start off with some native American sounds and trippy backdrop of Greatest Show On Earth before marching into a droptuned piece that sounds great. Some great lyrics are here as well. Kid Rock sounds better than ever here. It’s an excellent piece that sounds, once again, different to anything Kid Rock has done before. It’s catchy as well, with a great guitar solo. Nice way to start, dude.

The follow up song Po-Dunk has a great set of riffs to start with. It leads into a harmony heavy song about a southern girl. It’s a very country style song, but doesn’t sound anything like old country and western songs. It’s Kid Rock in the 21st century for all of us to hear. It’s a quirky and wonderful listen for all to hear. It has many different riffs and samples here, a nice tune.

Tennessee Mountain Hop alludes to good tunes and good times, and lyrically refers to Johnny Depp. Ironically, Kid Rock dissed him on his first album. But hey, this song will make you feel good. That is what great music is about though, it sounds so good that you will refreshed afterwards. It’s an ode to classic rock as well, with references to God as well. An excellent tune, and a shining moment on the album. It is picturesque this song for sure.

I Wonder is an attempt at a postmodern sounding country piece. It’s a loop and electronic based piece. It’s a little weaker but still, it’s Kid Rock. It breaks into a rock heavy song, with a blistering guitar solo. It gets better as it goes along, however, with Kid Rock pleading about a lover that he misses. A good listen anyway.

The next song, American Rock ‘n’ Roll is a pacing, drum driven song about said topic and having a good time. It is a great song for the purpose of music alone. It’s a gentle and driven listen, a classic Kid Rock song for sure. A blistering guitar solo will blow you away here, a decent tune. The chorus is very much a singalong one.

The follow up Back to the Otherside is an acoustic driven piece. It’s about keeping on through tough times, which isn’t sung about much these days. Self-preservation is the theme here, a great anti-Nine Inch Nails sort of song. A good effort. Positivity is the main point.

Raining Whiskey is another acoustic number. It talks about a place that one cannot go back to with a lover. It references a dark place where one goes to drink away their own pain. It’s a good listen with some old fashioned touches about it, which is reflective lyrically. A chilled out sort of vibe is on this tune.

Stand The Pain is another good piece about dealing with issues. It’s a wonderfully constructed and orchestrated piece. Kid Rock knows how to make good music for sure, even at over 40 years old. The theme of keeping strong goes on throughout this album, which is essentially a positive one. The outro is full on.

Up next is Sugar Pie Honey Bunch which is a love song. Kid Rock seems overly serious on this record, which is unusual for him to be so. It’s a quieter and more meaningful listen compared to the other songs on the album. It’s very moving. It’s very committed to a love in Kid Rock’s life, be it real or metaphorically speaking.

The last song on the album is Grandpa’s Jam, is an out there, more rock and roll based. It’s very explicit, and fittingly so. It’s Kid Rock being selfish again, but it rocks hard. A good way to complete the album with a hard rock sort of vibe. A good listen, despite a lot of selfish swearing.

This album is quite good. It shows Kid Rock still has his mojo after all the years of being a musician. Hopefully he keeps on going as he ages. His records are still very consistent, if you like what is written here about Kid Rock, give this a listen.

8/10

Tan Dun – Martial Arts Trilogy: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Banquet & Hero (Music from the Soundtracks) (2011)

It’s rare we have a release like this. Tan Dun is a famous Chinese classical composer who features on this album. For anyone who finds Chinese history and culture fascinating, here is a great way to discover some of that, at least musically. It’s a mixture of music from three different Chinese films. Let’s have a listen here to discover some of the great Chinese classical music at hand.

We begin with the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon title track. It has a haunting melody and beautiful Chinese instrumentation at hand. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra lead on, eventually leading in with violins and other classical instrumentation. It’s so beautiful that you never want to forget this piece. Epic. A nice introduction to this sort of music, it ends sounding glorious.

The next piece The Eternal Vow is a melancholy, yet pacing piece to listen to. It is merely a continuation of what has come before, but sounds so lovely and beautiful that it demands close listening. It is surely one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever made. Terrific stuff.

Silk Road harks back to a traditional sounding piece of music that most westerners would never have the opportunity to hear in their lives. Ladies and gentleman, this is something one should listen to before they die. Chinese classical music is fantastic, and this is no exception.

A Love Before Time is a pacing and lovely sounding tune with English female vocals. It’s different for sure, but sounds fantastic. It takes the main melody from the previous pieces and makes a great song out of it. A good listen, still sounding different from anything else out there.

The next piece, The Banquet – From “The Banquet” is a subtle piano piece with some distant sounding Chinese instrumentation and melodies in the background. Some gospel vocals are here too, it’s a nice sounding instrumental at hand. It changes pace surprisingly towards the end.

After that, we have Waiting – From “The Banquet”. This is a more typical piece that one would find in a movie. It’s a piano and violin piece that soothes the soul. A nice, gentle and understandable listen for this album.

In The Bamboo Forest – From “The Banquet” is a low end piano and percussion piece that goes together well. It is propelled along with a chugging rhythm, and sounds pretty neat. It then has orchestra sections in it as well. Chanted vocals then appear. The percussion then overtakes the listening experience.

Sword Dance – From “The Banquet” is a continuation of the previous piece, yet with a more orchestrated and beautiful classical background that is more traditional of western music. It’s a lovely sounding piece, although short.

The next piece, Only For Love – From “The Banquet” has Chinese singing, which is really beautiful, along with a traditional European sort of classical music setting. It’s an interesting mixture, and is just as good as the other songs here. Nice. It’s soothing and reassuring.

The next piece, Overture, starts off with a Chinese based melody. It then has some traditional Chinese drumming propelling the piece along. It’s not as melancholy as some of the other pieces on this album, at least to begin with, but it still works effectively. It’s a nice listen all the same. Good stuff. More backing gospel harmonies are here, too.

Tan Dun’s most famous piece, For The World, arrives next. It’s a sad and beautiful piece that is extremely moving emotionally. It is a must hear if you enjoy this sort of music, undeniably beautiful. It’s a greatly orchestrated piece of emotion here. Gorgeous.

Sorrow In Desert is a lonely sounding piece that has some prominent drum sounds in it. It’s an image evoking and soundscape sort of piece for listening. Brilliant stuff here, worth a listen.

Farewell, Hero is the last piece on this album. It’s another sad and moving instrumental here. One could even be moved to tears listening to this album, but hey, that is what some of the music here is like. Gospel harmonies and violins are here to be heard.

Although this is merely a film soundtrack, it is definitely worth hearing for something different out there. It’s worth the time, and any Chinese culture fan should take a listen to this. It’s a good representation of these three films set to music.

8/10

The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)

Silly name aside, this album is one of the greatest pop/rock albums of all time.

Brian Wilson, the genius and main creative force in The Beach Boys took a break from touring due to mental health issues. Whilst the other members of The Beach Boys were touring, he was inspired by The Beatles Rubber Soul album to create this, the best album by the group, and a standout of its time. Let’s listen on and hear what it is like.

We start with Wouldn’t It Be Nice which is a nice whimsical song about loving someone forever. It has some interesting sounds here as well. This is what great music is about, the perfect quest of rhythm and melody into a great song. It’s mint. Just a really great song here.

The next song You Still Believe In Me is a melancholy sort of piece about self-doubt in a relationship. It’s actually better than expected, with some great keyboard songs, and bicycle bells and bicycle horns to boot. This is a really great listen, right here. The harmonies at the end are delicious.

That’s Not Me is about being yourself to a lover. It sounds so brilliantly wonderful and colourful. Is it any surprise the hippie movement dug these sorts of tunes? Everything on this album is done to perfection, no question about it. Even though there is an air of melancholy in the song, it’s great to hear.

Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) is a classic tune by The Beach Boys. It’s slow, yet reassuring. It is such a beautiful piece to hear, and it is devoted to a lover. Nowadays, this sort of romanticism is lost on the postmodern music scene. This is great regardless of this fact. Some nice string sections are in the background here as well.

The next song I’m Waiting For The Day is a reflective piece. The sounds on this album are unconventional, with a great variation and structure of the music at hand. It’s good to hear if you are still in love with someone you have not been with for a long time. The song is great as well.

The instrumental piece Let’s Go Away For Awhile is brief, yet beautiful. It has a huge variety of tasty instrumentation here to listen to. It does follow a structure as well. It has sounds you never have really heard before, and that is what makes it seem so wonderful and fresh, even today.

Sloop John B was adapted from a Caribbean song from pre-Great Depression times. It’s a great listen, but the subject matter is very depressing. The song otherwise is fantastic to hear regardless though. It’s a good piece about homesickness and a series of unfortunate events.

God Only Knows is similar thematically to the other songs on the album. It is also one of the most famous and well-known songs by The Beach Boys. It is so beautiful and lush sounding that it is very hard to hear anything that would match this song elsewhere from other groups. A great pop song.

The keyboard and saxophone driven piece I Know There’s An Answer is a plea for being strong in turbulent times. The keyboard drives this one along very well. Brian Wilson is obviously a top notch genius at making music, as on here and other recordings by The Beach Boys will show. It never gets boring at all this record, not for one minute.

The next song is about having an affair. Here Today makes caution about being this way. It’s a really enjoyable listen. Considering that divorce rates are as common as Facebook accounts these days, this is a must listen for those who are cautious about these things. It had some interesting intertwined melodies here as well.

I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times is a sort of reflection about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Again, despite the misery of the lyrics, we hear a varied, well-structured and lush musical backdrop to hear. It sounds audibly delicious, a nice sounding song, and album for the matter. There are some theremin sounds in it as well, now that is rare.

Pet Sounds, the title track, is another awesome sounding instrumental. It sounds sonically great. There are some weird and wacky sounds that are beautiful in this album to hear. A nice break from the other songs, and it is definitely worth a listen.

The last song Caroline, No was actually about a high school crush of Brian Wilson’s when he was younger. It has harpsichord, saxophone, tom-tom percussion and other wonderful instruments here. It sounds deep and meaningful, for this great piece of music. As it fades out, we hear a train rushing past us and dogs barking as we finish this truly great album.

This is a stone cold classic album. There is nothing like this in the history of music. Everything about this is very much near perfection. It was critically acclaimed and directly inspired The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. You should listen to this if you haven’t already, it’s funtastic.

9/10

Korn – Follow The Leader (1998)

Nu Metal was seen mostly as a niche genre of heavy metal music. Before the release of this album the genre and band were not taken very seriously by music listeners. This album, Follow The Leader, changed that. It made Korn into superstars.

Does the album live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

We begin with the weird sounding It’s On! which then has a groove based beat and some freaky sounding distorted guitars. We head into Nu Metal territory right here, and it sounds demonic. Jonathan Davis’s ripping vocals enter the scene. The groovy sounding chorus hits you. A good way to start the album. It is totally different to most music out there.

The next song is Freak On A Leash. It’s about being ripped apart by emotions. The drumming here is excellent with rolling snare beats, leaving the rest of the band filling in with the distorted guitars and quiet/loud dynamics. The chorus is strange uplifting for a singer sounding like he is having some personal issues at hand. It’s brilliant though. Catchy too. The drop tuned guitars are fantastic to hear.

Got The Life, another hit single, is very catchy. It sounds like satanic disco, and the interplay between the instruments and singing are top notch. Jonathan Davis sounds like a man full of fear and rage, not many singers can fit that description. It is still a great listen today. It refers to a God that hates oneself. If you are Christian, stay away from this album. It is certain heavy listening.

Dead Bodies Everywhere is a slow start with a toy sounding melody, before bursting into a Nu Metal style danceable tune. That’s right, these guys had a great sense of musical accomplishment at hand. It’s not as strong as the two before it, but it’s a deeply disturbing listen. There is some semi wah-wah guitar sounds in the breakdown too.

The rebellious Children Of The Korn is a rap/metal piece. It sounds better than you’d expect. It’s just different, in a good way. It seems more subtle than what came before. Ice Cube is featured here as the rapper, and does a great job. This sort of song would likely have got some good attention here for Korn.

The next piece, B.B.K. sounds creepy. It’s designed to sound that way. This is almost like Industrial Music in the respect that it sounds rather freaky. But in any case, it still sounds consistent to listen to. The semi rapped jibberish on this one is interesting as well. This album is very heavy indeed.

Pretty is not what you’d expect. It sounds monstrous in the chorus, whilst being quieter in the verses, a good Nirvana style trick. The lyrics are horrific, taking a likely influence from Death Metal or a similar source. Sort of a cross between Nirvana and Slayer. It’s effective though.

All In The Family is a rather disturbing tale of horrific sex. It’s not really worth mentioning in this review as it is rather disturbing lyrical adventure. It’s a good listen if you want to hear some freaky stuff though.

The next song, Reclaim My Place has some more unusual guitars and bass work once again, focuses on personal issues. Strangely enough, this seems to be the case throughout the album. It’s a lesser track on the album but still, it’s okay. It’s about fighting demons from within and without. The repeated screaming of the phrase: “WHAT THE FUCK?!” is epic and brilliant.

Up next is Justin. Surprisingly for a Nu Metal band, these guys can groove too. This is a case in point, this is a heavy, groove based piece. It has some good wah-wah guitar and multi-tracked sound effects and vocals. This makes for a compelling listen. Korn sounding heavier than most forms of music out there, and this is an example of that. This song is rather long though, it could have benefitted from some editing here. Otherwise, it’s okay.

Seed begins with some quiet sounds, before launching into more Nu Metal goodness. It is rather slow to begin with, but once Jonathan Davis begins singing, we are back in Nu Metal territory. It sounds like a plea for help from the singer here. It breaks down into a mid-section with bass guitar and excellent drumming, before beginning to rock hard. It’s a surprising listen all the way through.

Cameltosis begins with some goosebump inducing sounds, sounding like a distorted electric sitar. It then goes into a song asking a woman of fancy what she wants sexually. You could only imagine the restrictions by those who find this album scary towards others, namely parents and authorities. This is not light music at all, it is some of the heaviest music you will hear. The drum loop at the end is awesome.

The next song, My Gift To You starts with, get this, bagpipe style sounds with Nu Metal guitars. It’s certainly different, but better than the last two songs for sure. It’s another great listen from the world of Nu Metal here. It has some down-pitched distorted vocals here too. Great stuff. It certainly sounds warped. The repeated screams about hating someone and feeling the pain are brilliant.

The last piece Earache My Eye starts with a spoken word piece. It seems totally unnecessary to begin with. The last piece here is a nonsensical Nu Metal piece. It finishes off the album quite nicely, and we come to a close here.

Nu Metal rose in popularity after the release of this album. It’s not the best album ever, but it’s not bad still. The only real drawback? Many of the songs here are quite long, some editing of the length of album would have helped. Otherwise, it is a good entry to the world of Nu Metal here.

7/10

The Beatles – The Beatles (1968)

After the death of their own manager, Brian Epstein, The Beatles began to fall apart. There were many reasons why this was so, but their manager’s passing began this process. Sadly, The Beatles struggled to be cohesive as musicians together from then on in.

This album was intended to be completely different from the previous two albums released in 1967. It sounds like it as well. Sadly, it is not the best album that The Beatles ever did. There are great moments here though, so let’s examine this album, track by track.

We begin with Back in the U.S.S.R. which is a comical story of sexual romping. It’s a controversial topic about loving Russian girls. Airplane sounds are everywhere, and some really great guitar playing is here. It’s an interesting piece to kick off an album with. Nice job by the group.

The next song, Dear Prudence, is a gentle acoustic driven piece by John Lennon. The harmonies here are just fantastic to hear on this song. A good effort here, worth a listen. Some great lyrics are here too.

Glass Onion is John Lennon referencing a load of songs done previously by The Beatles. It’s lyrically a weak effort, even though the melody and instrumentation beg to differ here. It’s okay a listen, perhaps alluding to Alice In Wonderland? It’s a good, not great song though. The outro is very discordant.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is truly a nonsensical piece from Paul McCartney. It’s difficult to tell what the meaning of this song is, although he sings about a family sort of situation. It hasn’t dated that well, but it’s enjoyable.

The short and random Wild Honey Pie is a great interlude in between songs. It sounds odd, as it is supposed to be. It’s over before you know it though.

The next song The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill is rather an uninspired story about which references Captain Marvel, and has kids singing in the background. It could have been reworked a bit, but it’s still listenable, despite it need some editing here.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps is a solid piece by George Harrison which features Eric Clapton playing a Gibson Les Paul. There is some story behind that. The song itself is actually very good, it’s a shining moment on the album. Good stuff.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun is a psychedelic piece with some additional twists and turns. It’s a good piece in terms of structure, and is a John Lennon classic. It talks about having a fix (of Heroin likely) and said warm gun, which is likely about love. A good listen.

The Paul McCartney piece Martha My Dear is lovely sounding. It’s a nice piece about a girl that Paul is singing about. A good song, even though it is familiar territory by The Beatles here. The orchestration in the background is a nice touch to the song.

The John Lennon piece I’m So Tired is about that particular feeling one gets when insomnia is experienced. It also refers to attempting to rectify a love based situation as well. It’s a better effort by John Lennon here on this album.

Blackbird is a great acoustic piece. It is so pure, simple and well done that it is a highlight of the album. You can hear foot tapping away in the background and the singing is fantastic here. A must listen. The bird chirping in the background is great too.

Piggies is a political song, if you know what it is about. It’s a good piece about the dog-eat-dog nature of Capitalism towards the rest of humanity. Hence the song title. It’s a really good listen. If you research this song on the internet, you’ll find something freaky about the history of this song.

The follow up Rocky Racoon is pretty ordinary. It sounds like a child’s story tale set to music, but seems a little weaker in relation to the other songs on the album. It just is disappointing in some respects. It’s still worth listening, but not by a great deal.

The Ringo Starr song Don’t Pass Me By is well written, but the fiddle is annoying and not really necessary. The rest of the song is decent but is fairly forgettable really. Goes on for too long as well.

Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? is filler. It could have been easily scrapped, but probably not really necessary. It’s a bit different to what the previous songs have been like, fortunately. Chugging piano and Paul’s singing drives this one on.

I Will is a refreshing break from the mediocrity of the previous few songs. It’s a nice love song about being devoted in love. This should be a great song for a good band to cover at some point. A nice, kind and gentle song.

The last song of side one, Julia, is a John Lennon ode to his own mother, who was tragically killed when he was younger. A nice and solid piece from John Lennon. Simply powerful here. The lyrics are fantastic for this song. Very, very good.

The song Birthday is an uptempo piece about the said topic. It’s better than lame Happy Birthday singing for sure, and is fast and pacing with some very good guitar work here. This puts us into a better listen so far on side two of this double album. Good work.

Yer Blues is supposed to be a blues parody. It does sound like a rather poor quality blues number here. It does have some great lyrics in the bridge, but once again, could be better done for sure. It’s a drag to listen to.

Mother Nature’s Son is a better effort and has some nice acoustic guitar and orchestrated accompaniment in the background. Foot tapping is here again as well. It’s a beautiful piece, one of the better ones on side two for sure. Paul McCartney does this very well here.

The weird song Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me and My Monkey is a random piece. It’s enjoyable, but rather trashy. It’s worth listening to anyway, but lyrically isn’t inspiring.

The song Sexy Sadie is a great sort of tale about said woman who John Lennon lusts after. Fictionally of course. It is actually well written and there is some great piano work here, which Radiohead were inspired to write Karma Police from. But that song is completely different to this one, it’s a nice number here.

Helter Skelter is a proto hard rock/heavy metal piece. It’s not quite that, but sounds fantastic compared to everything else on this double album. It just kicks ass. Everything about it, from Paul’s singing to the harmonies and drumming, is just spot on. A must listen for anyone who wants a reference point for heavier rock and roll. It’s an extended piece with many twists and turns. The ending is fantastic.

Long, Long, Long is a subdued piece compared to what was offered previously. It works very well here. It’s an acoustic and organ keyboard based number with very quiet and subtle singing. Maybe Miles Davis got the idea for his album In A Silent Way from here? But it’s a good listen. The ending is different, too.

The directly political Revolution 1 is an interesting one. It’s one of the highlights of the album, and has some very decent lyrics in it. “If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow,” is a great line, for example. It rocks very well, and is worth listening to for sure. Catchy too. It cautions about any sort of political revolutions of any sort, brilliant.

The next song Honey Pie is very much an old fashioned piece by Paul which harks back to pre-1960’s jazz and big band music. If you are a fan of this sort of thing, you may enjoy this one. It’s not outstanding, but still, it’s okay. The lyrics are very whimsical.

Savoy Truffle is a rather silly piece about food and the experience of different tasting desserts. It’s a foodie anthem that is quite catchy. Good work from George Harrison. The brass section here is great.

Cry Baby Cry is a nice childlike song with some psychedelic lyrics for us to hear. It refers to a medieval setting with kings, queens and other noble like characters. Simple and effectively done, the calm before the storm here.

The extended piece Revolution 9 is a weird one. It harks back to John Lennon’s experiments on his own experimental albums done around this time with Yoko Ono. It sounds like a strange LSD trip, and is not really necessary here. Sure, it is well pieced together. But it isn’t needed here at all. Only worth listening to once for most people here.

We finally finish here with the beautiful ballad Good Night. It’s a good way to finish off this album. It’s another childlike lullaby here. Good stuff.

This album is a big mish-mash of things. Unfortunately, it is not as good a listen as the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Abbey Road albums. Still worth having in your collection as a history based record, but even then, this could have been bettered.

7/10

Frank Sinatra – Songs For Swingin’ Lovers! (1956)

Before The Beatles, rock and roll had a mild introduction into the world of music. Jazz was still the main form of music listened to at this time. Frank Sinatra had a career turnaround with his album released in 1955 In The Wee Small Hours. It was a great record, and paved the way for future classics done by “old blue eyes”.

This is completely different from the album released the year before. Instead of laments about love lost, we find ourselves swinging to happy, positive songs about being in love with someone special. It’s definitely a different listen, so here we go.

We kick off with the upbeat You Make Me Feel So Young referring to the youthful love experience at hand. It alludes to childhood delights and the wonderful feeling of bliss involved. This album sounds great from the word go, it’s a lovely piece.

The next piece, It Happened In Monterey refers to a love that was magical met long ago in Mexico. Now, this piece of music does seem lyrically melancholic, but musically is anything but. Frank Sinatra seems happy about it all, and it is a great listen. Obviously, he misses the lady in question. But it’s a well orchestrated piece here for sure.

You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me refers to a love that never dies, and in fact, intensifies over time. Could one these days make a successful pop song like this? Doubtfully so. It refers to the habit of love needed “as regularly as coffee or tea”. Nice stuff here.

You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me is really inspired. It’s so classy sounding, and outright great listening that one is tempted to fall in love with the music here. Better than most contemporary artists out there today, and that is saying something right here. It sounds sort of suspenseful too.

The next song, Too Marvelous For Words is a very lovely piece devoted to a direct love in one’s life. It still sounds upbeat and positive that it lifts the mood up high in a positive way. It refers to Webster’s Dictionary and birds as well. A great listen.

After that, we have the wonderfully sung Old Devil Moon referring to a look in a partner’s eyes on a great night out together. Lyrically, it is just so good here. Suitable music for any modest dinner party with friends at home, this album is.

Pennies From Heaven refers to a dream like state of thinking where coins fall out of the sky. Perhaps Syd Barrett got his ideas from these sorts of lyrics? Maybe, maybe not. It’s another really great sounding tune though. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Love Is Here To Stay is a lovely piece about eternal love and feeling good about it. These days, people are lucky to survive a marriage longer than 2-3 years. But this is a blissful song. No questions asked. The music here is quality, not quantity.

The next piece is the now classic tune I’ve Got You Under My Skin. It’s one of the most famous songs from Frank Sinatra ever. Why is this so? It’s a great performance, period. Frank Sinatra sings along very well here, a must listen. The suspense and instrumentation here is terrific.

After this, we have I Thought About You which is a reminder of love at hand. It’s another swinging number that just sounds great. This album is consistent all the way through, which is why it deserves its place in history as one of the best albums not just by Frank Sinatra, but of all time. Mint.

We’ll Be Together Again is a reminder of a love that is being missed. But hold on, it’s not totally dreary. In fact, Frank Sinatra pulls off the need and desire for a lover so well here, it’s a great little number. A nice listen.

Makin’ Whoopee refers to making love in the title and the lyrics indicate this too. It’s a lovely song, showing off Frank Sinatra’s cheerful and crooner style voice here. Nobody does this sort of music better than Frank Sinatra himself. A nice piece.

The lovely piece Swingin’ Down The Lane is very old fashioned indeed. It’s a joyful ode to love and dancing. It puts a 1950’s style imagery of lovers in your mind that are dancing to this sort of music. Great stuff.

The subtle sounding Anything Goes is a lyrically nonsensical piece about people’s love and individual preferences in life. A nice, yet strange piece. It is still as enjoyable as the other songs here, mind you.

How About You? is the last piece on the album. It has our singer telling us what he enjoys best, and asking if you also enjoy the same things as well as much as Frank Sinatra does. A nice way to finish this album.

This is truly a great listen. If you love vocal jazz in a pop context, do start here. It’s one of Frank Sinatra’s best albums too. Give this album a whirl, it still sounds as good today as it did in 1956.

Smooth.

9/10