Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks

The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Years’ Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every Thursday. This is album 16/40.

Thus far I have not enjoyed Bob Dylan. I put this review off for weeks but the next album is Nirvana’s Nevermind and since I really want to get to that album I must review this one.

First impression: His voice sounds different… less Bob Dylan-y.

Second impression: I’m super sleepy. Do I have mono? Again?  You can’t get mono twice, can you? Maybe there’s just too much harmonica in these songs and it’s lulling me to sleep.

Third impression: I had to start Google-ing this album in order to care about it. The gist is that Bob Dylan was going through a lot of turmoil in his personal life. Most notably with his wife Sara (good name!).  That’s why this album reeks of heartbreak and sorrow. Fortunately, that theme doesn’t resonate with me right now.

Final thought: This album made me realize that I do like Bob Dylan, I just prefer when his songs are sung by someone else.

Rewind Button: Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced?

The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Years’ Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every Thursday. This is album 15/40.

Oh Jimi Hendrix, I don’t think there was a garage or a basement jam session I visited in my early teen years that didn’t have a poster of him up on the wall.

This is my review: I was unable to listen to this album without thinking of this scene from Wayne’s World. I love that movie, therefore I enjoyed this album.

Other bloggers who rewound Are You Experienced can be found Here, Here, Here, and more to come.

Only one more album until I can review Nirvana’s Nevermind! Yay!

Rewind Button: The Beatles – Abbey Road

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The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Years’ Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every Thursday. This is album 14/40.

The Beatles are really starting to grow on me. Or I have the exact opposite taste to the creators of this Rolling Stone list. I think I like each Beatles album more than the last.

Is there a bad song on this album? Not really.

Hits: I Want You She’s so Heavy, Here Comes The Sun, Oh! Darling, Because.

Lesser Hits: Mean Mr Mustard, The Sun King, The End (but they’re all only 2 minutes or less so you can’t really complain).

I’m now regretting never visiting Abbey Road while I lived in London.  I was often nearby and at least twice someone said, “Hey, we should go to Abbey road and take our picture.” But no, I was too cool for a cheesy tourist photo of a band I had respect for, but not a lot of understanding of.

Goodness, it would have only taken an hour on the bus! I had a monthly travel card so it was essentially paid for.

From my old flat to Abbey Road Studio in less than an hour.

But that’s what happens when you live somewhere for a while – you start to take it for granted. Instead of visiting places like Abbey Road I wandered down to the nearest Nero Coffee shop in Clapham Common with my computer and checked out celebrity blogs or read a book – I might have even worked on my novel.

Ugh. Now I’m ashamed of myself. Time to go and listen to Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” and realize all the ways I’ve wasted my life.

Other Rewind Button reviews can be found Here, Here, Here, Here, and more to come…

Rewind Button 13 – The Velvet Underground & Nico

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The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every ThursdayThis is album is 13/40.

Once again, I am baffled as to how I have lived this long without listening to this album.

Here’s how I listened to this album: on an iPod, walking around South Cambie in Vancouver to run some errands, then I continued listening to it at home on my cheap iPod dock thingy. When the song “Heroin” was on I walked past a protest. At one point I wasn’t sure if the drums were from my music or the pot drumming mob. It seemed fitting.

Things that stood out:

  • The voices. His sounded like a junkie Bob Dylan. Her’s reminded me of an indie movie – some scene where the protagonist, a poet or a musician who is misunderstood, is traveling by bus with their head against the window as prairies pass by in the background.
  • As I listened to the music without being aware of the song titles I was shocked by the line “I feel like I’m a man/ When I put a spike into my veins.” Jesus! I thought. Not very subtle. The song is called Heroin. Nope, not subtle at all. Apparently the V.U. has said their intention to show the sad side of heroin, but some fans thought they were endorsing it.
  • Some of the songs go on and on like a garage band session on … like Heroin, for example. European Son was also too much for me to handle and I had to switch it to the next song before the jamming was over. I’m sorry – I’ve dated too many musicians and spent too much time in garages listening to songs slowly unravel to appreciate The Velvet Underground’s songs over 5 minutes long.

Things I learned after listening to the album that are interesting:

  • Andy Warhol was their mentor and manager – hence the album cover. I’d always wondered how they got the rights to use that image.
  • The female voice is that of Nico, part of Warhol’s Factory family. She was a model, actor and singer/musician. She was born in Germany. This explains her voice: I originally thought she had a speech impediment or that she’d once been deaf.
  • When it first came out the album had a peel off cover on top of the banana that revealed a flesh colored banana. To remind us of a penis, right? Oh, Andy Warhol.

Will I listen again?

  • Sure. Nico’s voice has grown on me, so has junkie Bob Dylan’s (Lou Reed)

Other Rewind Button reviews of this album can be found Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and I think there are others soon to come.

The Rewind Button # 12 – Miles Davis, Kind of Blue

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The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every ThursdayThis is album is 12/40. 

I missed out on this album. I went to find it on the Rewind Button’s group Dropbox, but it had been taken down . Why? Because I’m super behind.

So, I didn’t listen to it. I didn’t search for it on iTunes myself (lazy), I didn’t look for it on YouTube (super-lazy). However, I’m sure I would have liked it. I like jazz. Just not modern sound arty jazz that sounds like whale music.

In the interest of getting this review done despite my tardiness and incompetence, I’m going to judge this album on it’s album cover.

* This album is classy. He’s wearing a tie and a vest.

* This album is sexy. The lighting is low.

* This album is pure and simple goodness. The image is minimalistic.

* This album features horn instruments.

Am I right?

Other (better) Rewind Button reviews for this album can be found Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and a few more to come.

Elvis The Sun Sessions

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The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every ThursdayThis is album is 11/40. 

After a month of traveling to Toronto, NYC and Calgary, then getting sick for two weeks, THEN producing and hosting the Two Year Anniversary of Say Wha?! on top of working a FULL TIME job, and weekly dance classes I am FINALLY getting to this review.

What did I think of this Elvis Album?

In one word: Nice.

In two words: Very nice.

In three words: I’ll listen again.

I was shocked that I liked this album. Maybe it had the mellow vibe that I craved after a cray-cray month. I liked is yodeling voice.

Favorite songs: Blue Moon, I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone and I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine and Don’t be Cruel.

Mostly this album reminded me of the movie Cry Baby. It’s such a good movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch these videos and get a taste of its awesomeness.

Other Rewind Button Reviews: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and Here

The Beatles – White Album

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The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every ThursdayThis is album is 10/40. 

This should have been posted nearly a month ago. I’m bad. I’ll blame travel and sickness and the fact that this is a double album FULL of songs.

The album begins with Back in the U.S.S.R. which is a fun song with Beach Boys-y “wee-oos.” This scared me because you know how much I hate the Beach Boys.

Songs I enjoyed: Dear Prudence, Blackbird

Songs I was meh about: Revolution 9, Piggies, Rocky Raccoon, Long, Long, Long, Long.

Most Say Wha?! song title: Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey

That’s all I have to say about this album at this time. If I had any more minutes in my days I’m sure giving it a second or a third listen would change some of my impressions, but right now, I just don’t have the time.

Other Rewind Button Reviews Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, 

Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde

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The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every ThursdayThis is album is 9/40. 

Listening to this album was a challenge. Vancouver is finally sunny. I’m busy with a day-job, and I’m behind on my podcasts. Also I climbed a mountain this Saturday and have spent Sunday and Monday moaning in agony. The last thing I wanted to do was listen to this album. 

It’s his voice. I can’t stand it for longer than five minutes. 

I tried listening to this album twice before I put it on tonight while soaking in Epsom salts. Then I had to turn it off. Then I turned it on to write this review while the steam rises off my pink lavender-scented newly salted body.

I just can’t do it. I turned it off again during Leopard-Skin Pill Box Hat, which is an adornment I want to wear not hear. Apparently it’s a satire on materialism, which just proves why Dylan isn’t the man for me. 

One of the main issues I have is that I cannot get all the Bob Dylan parodies out of my head. 

Like this one by Jimmy Fallon.

Of course, the entire movie Walk Hard.

Since Bob Dylan was before my time, these parodies are how I’ve come to know his music, unfortunately it’s ruined the experience for me. Them and his voice.  He slides up, over and around notes. His rhythm is a drone.

I like his character, his politics and his message just not his songs sung his way. Other songs his way, however, are highly amusing. Like this cover of “Friday.” 

You can read other Rewind Button Reviews Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and it turns out I’m not the last of the group to review it. More to come. 

The Rewind Button – The Clash

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The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every Thursday. This is album is 8/40. 

YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! 

I liked this album. A lot. I’d listen to it again. And again. AND AGAIN!

Here’s why.

Growing up in suburban Calgary in the early 1990′s I spent a lot of time in garages listening to friend’s and boyfriend’s create songs on their guitars. On weekends I would go to community centres for All Ages gigs to see bands, any band. I didn’t care. I just wanted to be around musicians, punk rockers, hardcore kids, emo kids and kids with zines. Why? Because I lived in suburban Calgary where everyone looked the same, talked the same and obeyed their conservative parents. 

I liked being an outsider and listening to strange music was one of the easiest ways to do this. 

But here’s the thing, I was never much of a punk. Okay, I had a zine (like a blog but on paper that you sold for $1). But aside from putting my voice out there and dressing weird I never fully committed to punk rock. I listened to music created by people who listened to real punk rock. 

Rewinding London Calling this week was my punk rock awakening. Sure, I’d heard songs before, but I never sat down to listen to them. What blew me away was the textures of ska (Rudie Can’t Fail), reggae (The Guns of Brixton), surf-rock (Brand New Cadillac), and even pop (most of the songs) that are weaved throughout this album. It’s so much more than punk rock. 

Yes, it’s political, it’s personal, and you can dance to it. At least I did.

When the album was over, I was sad. And it’s a double album! 19 whole tracks. Ok, punk length tracks; the shortest being 1:48, longest 5:33. But still, this album left me wanting more. It made me want to rewind my youth and put this album in my 13 year old grunge rock hands and say “This! Listen to this before you buy that Green Day album.”

Album Highlights: London Calling, Rudie Can’t Fail, Train In Vain.

Other Rewind Button Reviews: (Updated throughout the day)

Renee Sylvestre-Williams

 Music Quest

Betty Livin’

The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street

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The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every Thursday. This is our seventh week. This is album is 7/40. 

What you need to know:

* This is generally regarded as The Rolling Stones’ best album.
* It was written and recorded between 1968 and 1972.
* It was recorded in Southern France as The Rolling Stones fled England to avoid paying their taxes.
* Keith Richards was at the height of his heroine addiction at this time.

As this is a double album with 18 songs on it, at first I was overwhelmed -that’s a lot of Mick Jagger for a girl to take in one sitting. After my first listen through I have to admit, there weren’t many songs that stood out for me. Overall it had a consistent tone with no songs jarring, interrupting the flow, which I guess is what you want in an album. The bad thing about it is that nothing really stood out to me as special or unique from the rest (to my untrained ear).

Things I liked: the bluesy and country feel of this album. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Not that I’d ever listened to an entire Stones album before this date. I had expected something more Rock n’ Roll, something to Start Me Up. This was a pleasant surprise – so much harmonica!

What makes it great: Honestly, I’m not sure. A lot of reviewers outside of the Rewind Button (like real Music reviewers from music magazines) talk a lot about the ‘feel’ of this album, apparently it had a good feel. 

Songs that I’d listen to again: Shine a Light On You, Happy.

Song that made me feel like I was having a bad dream: I just want to see his face.

Song I danced to: N/A this album was too pogo/polka bouncy for me to really dance to like the way I enjoy dancing.

Overall impression: This album didn’t speak to me. It wasn’t painful to listen to, but I probably won’t listen to it again. I had me longing for Sgt Petter’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  I’m starting to fear I’ve lost the ability to love music I can’t dance to or that I don’t have a personal memory with. Does this mean I’m getting old? I think it does.

For more information about the making of this album read this great article from the Guardian.  I think I like the story of this album more than I enjoyed the music.

Read the other Rewind Button Reviews of this album here:

Reb Stevenson

Zachary Stevenson

Music Quest

1Throne

Betty Livin’

Pimplomat

BeARiverWithMe

Love As A Verb