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Old 07-27-2017, 03:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Shelf in the Room: Aux-In's Album Review Thread

Side project.


My shelf of CDs...

...some of which I haven't listened to in a while. Some of which were given to me and I've never listened to. Some of which found their way into my collection and I don't remember how they got there.

Stay tuned.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Basically, my premise for this journal is to wing some reviews when I can spare a few, with the idea that this will essentially serve as a sort of cataloguing of every album for which I own a physical copy. Most of what's here will be rock & nu metal (I think), with a sprinkling of other genres. Pro tip: I am putting myself under no extended pressure to write the greatest reviews of all time, either, and that's a burden lifted that I am going to enjoy.

With that in mind, I'm going to kick things off with some copypasta from one of my posts in another thread, as it looks like I will be getting into several Pearl Jam albums from the get-go:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aux-Out View Post

http://www.musicbanter.com/general-m...ml#post1858510

I went through one of those sprees a few years ago where I bought a slew of albums, and Lightning Bolt, Riot Act, Backspacer, and Pearl Jam (self-titled) were a part of that. They sat there ever since as I never got around to giving them a spin. I know there is a reason I've always felt Pearl Jam to be #4 of the Seattle biggies, and I'm sure I'll find that out as I go along.

All those other guys have gotten attention for living up to the rockstar ethos that it's commonplace and kind of boring at this point, so I'm up for giving a big **** you to said ethos by taking a look at what kind of following Vedder has outside of Amazon reviews (I don't know much past Yield).



Now go and lock that boy away until he's 110, 'cause he's a living museum piece at this point.
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt (2013)

Now, I have always likened Vedder to be a good bloke, but, unfortunately, I don't connect with his music as much as some of the other guys from Seattle. Be that as it may, this was an opportunity to give Vedder's material a greater chance than I ever have. As this was going to be my first write-up, I took the time to listen to Lightning Bolt three times, with an open frame of mind, and in an unaltered state. I came to the following conclusions:

Lightning Bolt starts off with the energetic "Getaway," which can be interpreted as an anti-religious anthem. The liner art next to this song is that of a preacher on his bully pulpit, with two members of his flock sitting in front of him, listening, faintly, to his every word. Faintly, because of such lines as:

And if you wanna have to pray, it's alright
We all be thinking with our different brains
Get yours off of my plate, it's alright
I got my own way to believe.


This theme appears in some other songs as well, in the same style of the stanza that I just posted: somewhat abstract, conceptually and lyrically, but not too unobvious as to be opaque. Other songs have themes which include death, loneliness and despair, such as "Sleeping By Myself's" lyrics forever be sad and lonely. Kind of straight and to the point. I'm sure there are differing themes not mentioned here, but I don't really remember and/or mostly couldn't be bothered to give them any sort of detail. "Sirens" is this album's soft-ballad radio...Jam.

Ultimately, conclusions are conclusions, and I just couldn't get into Lightning Bolt in any visceral way, musically or otherwise. B.o.r.i.n.g. I am not sure what Vedder should be writing about at this stage of the game. I'm just a lowly Internet forum poster, after all. Why would he care how I feel? He wasn't writing for me. Fair enough. Point blank, though: I simply didn't care about the message and I have a mind of my own, anyway, so I can pass on the third-hand preaching. Admittedly, I think I'm gravitating more toward abstract/inanimate themes with each tally on the passing calendar year.

Could this be Pearl Jam's weakest output? Maybe. I don't and won't know until I make my way through the rest of their stuff. It's definitely a shame, because the art, design and packaging, which opens like a book, is absolutely stellar. Although it's too early to tell, as I have more albums to sift through, Lightning Bolt just might be the purdiest (sic) of them all -- the toppest of shelves, which is why I thought to begin with it in the first place. If only the music had matched, the fusion would, perhaps, make for an iconic record on a mass scale ala Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, instead of its current place on my two-sectioned bookshelf from Walmart.

Final Tally: I'm a fan of giving bands at least one Eddie Vedder for even taking the time to come up with creations that they want to share. They are under no obligation to put themselves under such scrutiny.

Lightning Bolt gets 1.95 Eddie Vedders out of 5.


Last edited by Aux-In; 08-31-2017 at 01:33 PM. Reason: Added album date
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't listen to much of anything on this shelf anymore, but that doesn't mean I'm here to intentionally rip on bands I'm no longer into or never liked. Nope nope. This journal is operating under the Fair Shake Doctrine: insert the CD...listen...take it in...blah blah blah...

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Pearl Jam - Backspacer (2009)


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..:The Skinny (aka First Impressions): This is my first time listening to Backspacer, and just by holding it in my hands it feels more "rocky" than Lightning Bolt. The album art is essentially psychedelic and pop art mixed together. Similar format, in book style. I notice that the bottom right pic on the album front is an artist's rendition of Evelyn McHale, which I only recognize due to people talking about it on MB, actually. And each of those cover pics get their own foldout inside.

CD Insertion Time: Holy cow I forgot all about interactive CDs. On the menu pop-up are links to concert downloads, Pearl Jam news, wallpaper downloads, band pics and more. I tried hitting the "Play CD" option only to receive an error message. No wonder I have always thought enhanced CDs were gimmicky and clunky as ****. Anyway, I kicked out of that and opened it in Media Player instead.

Album Time: Hmmm. This sounds a lot less listless than Lightning Bolt was. Much more put-together as a "rock" album. I am just going to call it rock and not get super into what's the subgenre of a subgenre's genre. I was never good at breaking down rock music, anyway, especially when it comes to layers of guitar-work. Heavy on music sheet analysis, my reviews will not be. The mastering sounds better to me as well, but I might like it because "it sounds louder, bro."

I actually think this album could grow on me in a way I knew Lightning Bolt was never, ever going to do. "Gonna See My Friend" and "The Fixer" have catchy parts that you can sing. Song #5 ("Just Breathe") cues your standard sad, slow ballad radio song which tends to put me to sleep. Like a lot of albums, additional slow- to mid-tempo songs were added to give things some balance, even if they end up sounding like filler in the end. Lyrically, I'm OK with things...some pain in the far-off distance, that's not touchable + feelings of emptiness and that kind of thing, but it's not overcooked. I mean, it's not like you come to Pearl Jam expecting to get Celine Dion. Ultimately, there are no bangers here, but that wasn't my expectation -- and isn't -- for any of Pearl Jam's later material.

Final Tally: Pearl Jam is still having fun here; they don't sound like a band in decline. Although it's a bit too jammy and slowey for me, I can give Backspacer some respect for what it is.

Backspacer gets 2.75 Eddie Vedders out of 5.

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Last edited by Aux-In; 08-31-2017 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Added album date
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Pearl Jam - Riot Act (2002)



If Lightning Bolt was "listless" and Backspacer was "jammy," then Riot Act is "semi-dirgey." But I don't want to keep getting bogged down in comparisons, so let's get bogged down in corporate packaging instead. The photography and design layout is classic grunge imagery all the way around, including malnourished skeletal royalties who haven't seen the inside of a food pantry in the last 400 years. Inside the lyric booklet are some B&W photos of the band, as well as some out-of-focus, guitar-thrashing stills, a staple of any grunge affair.

Eh, I was just messing with you about nomo comparos, because this output is more "guttural" and honest in lyrical content, whereas Lightning Bolt came across to me as try-hard preaching. I don't have a big essay for you to read on the matter, but I can tell the difference. And I'm three Pearl Jam albums in at this point. How much more authority do I need?

Okay now, I was messing with you again about getting back to comparisons. It's time to dig into Riot Act.

---

1) "Can't Keep" is the opening track, and it's experimental and wafty-sounding, almost trancey tbh + composition with the clear baritone Vedder, distinctly.

2) "Save You": <<>>Dirge incoming<<>>. Not really digging the drums on this one, though. But it's aight.

3) "Love Boat Captain": Sucked bad. Vedder hogs all the attention, leaving the band to sound kind of second rate.

4) "Cropduster": Vedder going one way and the band going another. Out of sync and unpolished. Get on the same page, brahs.

5) "Ghost": Regular/no impact. Has a cheesy guitar solo, but the guitar-work does get better as "Ghost" goes along, I must say.

6) "I Am Mine": This is the first song I instantly recognized out of the three albums so far. This was definitely on the radio. Well done. Memorable lyrics. Electro-acoustic vibe. This is a sound that would later be buried into the ground by a ton of post-grunge acts, but this is 2002 and we don't need to worry about that yet. Google or YouTube this if you must.

7) "Thumbing My Way": Snoozy.

8) "You Are": Yeeees. Dirge all day long. It's almost like this song had dinner with Mad Season and Mark Lanegan behind Pearl Jam's back, and it's quite a feast.

9) "Get Right": You know what makes cheesy guitar solos less cheesy? Dirge, that's what. Have I mentioned dirge yet? Vedder brings his bears as well. Not bad.

10) "Green Disease": Makes no impact.

11) "Help Help": Slow hummer that's just sort of there but with some decent riffs.

12) "Bu$hleager": Storytelling voice of Vedder overlaying some acoustic guitar waves and backing vocals, and it's pretty obvious that it's about a now-former president.

He's not a leader, he's a Texas leaguer
Swinging for the fence, got lucky with a strike
Drilling for fear makes the job simple
Born on third, thinks he got a triple


I suppose it's political w/out being annoying about it. This had to have been written not too long after the dust-up of 9/11.

13) "1/2 Full": Heavy on some blues-rock riffs to start off and then the guitarist is all over it later on with some proper dirge.

14) "Arc": One minute and five seconds of Vedder practicing a Gregorian chant or something. Quips aside, this can't be Vedder trolling because I know passion when I see or hear it, no matter the form, so it's lookup time. *type type, google google*. Time's up: yeah, I didn't think so. Apparently, it's written for nine people who died during a Pearl Jam performance at Denmark's Roskilde Festival in 2000. There are live performances of this that give a better sense of the emotions going on here. I've been in several mosh pits myself, so I guess anything can happen. Respect.

15) "All Or None": Slow outro that I won't care about.

Final Tally: Remember how Lightning Bolt got a bonus Vedder simply for existing? I'm not going to do that with Riot Act. Instead, I'm going to give this album a bonus point for meaning and context. Musically, Riot Act is dirge-lite, unpolished in a few places, experimental in others (it's supposed to be), but there are some highlights & cohesive moments to be had. Due to its experimental nature, it will take more time to digest, but this is a band being a band.

Riot Act gets 3 Eddie Vedders out of 5

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Old 09-08-2018, 08:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Getting back to this sucker. I'd like to open things up and hop around more in this collection, so it's time to finish up my Pearl Jam exploration as I dig in to the remaining studio album of theirs that I own, which is their self-titled.

Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam



Genre: Hard Rock
Year: 2006
Place of Origin: Seattle, WA
General Pace: Moderate

The boys have moved past their grunge roots to provide a stripped down yet highly-polished college rock band vibe for this album. Not a whole lot to say as Pearl Jam is just...very regular. Not a lot of experimentation, not a lot of risk-taking. There are no radio hits here, not that there has to be, but you'd have to be okay with that before you hit play.

Best Song: "Severed Hand." McCready lets loose on guitar and there's no stopping him.

Final Tally: Pearl Jam gets 2 Eddie Vedders out of 5.



ADDITIONAL

Noting but not reviewing:

Pearl Jam - Rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003)



I also have this greatest hits CD, and what I'm going to do with greatest hits CDs is that of bands where I already own a lot of their albums, I am going to note it but not review it. Of course, this album has a lot of their radio hits, so I'm already familiar with those. Rearviewmirror does have a cover of Wayne Cochran's "Last Kiss," which was previously popularized by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers' cover in 1964 (source: Wikipedia). I was not a fan of Pearl Jam's rendition when it was on the radio constantly, but I can appreciate it now in small doses. As a cover it does the song justice.

PEARL JAM (BAND) END SUMMATION

I started this journal with Pearl Jam on purpose because everyone rags on them and I also knew very little about them outside of the radio, even though I had these albums sitting on my shelf the entire time. The album that I'd want to spend more time with is Riot Act for the reasons mentioned in my review of it. It is certainly their most experimental (of the albums I've heard), so it needs more time for digestion than any of the others.

While I didn't become more of a Pearl Jam fan than I was previously, it was interesting to learn about the concert deaths, which is something I clearly never knew about before. And even though Vedder as a front man simply doesn't bring out the raw emotion in me that Cobain or Staley were able to do, nor does Pearl Jam as a band have the earthy, gritty rawness of Soundgarden, I'm not a hater and I respect their legacy and place in history as an early grunge staple. Their later iterations I haven't followed closely, but I think they can still pack stadiums and wear a lot of Cubs attire.

In my ranking, Pearl Jam will remain number four of The Big 4 Seattle bands. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

FOREWARD

One change I am going to make is getting away from using a rating system as it feels arbitrary. Instead of rating albums I will be stating whether I'd go back and listen to them again, which should be sufficient enough.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Adema - Unstable



Genre: Nu Metal
Year: 2003
Place of Origin: Bakersfield, CA
General Pace: Slow to heavy-lite

Tracklist:

1. Co-Dependent
2. Rip the Heart Out of Me
3. Stand Up
4. Unstable
5. Promises
6. Blame Me
7. So Fortunate
8. Stressin' Out
9. Do You Hear Me
10. Let Go
11. Betrayed Me
12. Needles

For no particular reason at all, this album has been on my mind as the next one to review. Normally it would be better to start off with a band's debut and go from there, but I remember liking this release much better for all the reasons I'm going to explain.

For their first two albums, Adema was fronted by Mark Chavez, half-brother of Korn's Jonathan Davis. [Chavez would leave the band shortly after this release]. Unstable is mostly about relationship life cycles and the things that happen within them, but as you get further into the album, it separates from some of that as it flows much like that of growing into adulthood. Adema does this in sometimes whiny ways that the genre is known for, but also in ways that are genuine and sincere.

The album starts off with "Co-Dependent," a catchy banger that deals with subject matter obvious to its title.



Hit-wise what we really want here is "Unstable," a typical song about being trapped in what seems like an up and down, on-and-off-again relationship, and secretly liking that dynamic.



Other Songs:

"So Fortunate." I love this song because it's such a positive message about learning to be a father and a man. Maybe it's the music that I normally listen to, which would be my fault, but in terms of popular cultural messages, Chavez gives us something to look forward to since the days when Rambo and Schwarzenegger movies were setting the tone for manhood, and without all the faux bravado and try-hard machismo that exists now. Was always impressed by this song. Oh, and they incorporate violins and all of that if that's of interest.



"Stressin' Out" is probably third-best after "Co-Dependent" and "Unstable."

"Do You Hear Me." Chavez talking to a loved one after they have passed, saying all the things that were never said, but still having a private moment as it's not revealed what he's on about.

Quote:
Watching you get ill, it changed our lives
Your hand went limp and we cried
I didn't realize you had to go
Emotionless overflow
I wish I had the chance to tell you I'm so sorry
"Let Go." A contemplative song about releasing oneself from burdens and being content with the choices you've made.

Even when the band gets a little cringey on "Stand Up," a song where Chavez is speaking to a woman about leaving an abusive, drunk and violent boyfriend, this is Adema relating life to you. That's what I enjoy about this album. It's like heartfelt nu metal or some ****.

As time marches on, this may hold up less and less, but there's plenty of variety here and it's a sufficient go-between other nu metal albums, if you go between them at all.

Best Tracks: "Co-Dependent";"Unstable";"So Fortunate";"Betrayed Me";"Do You Hear Me." Even though there are stronger songs, if I was given only one choice to pick a song off this album and never hear the rest again, I'd choose "So Fortunate."

Most Nu-Metally Song: "Needles." If you just want nu metal and none of that other stuff, this is it.

Would I return to this album?: Yes.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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WWF: Forceable Entry



Genre: Various hard rock and nu metal
Year: 2002
Album Type: Compilation
Place of Origin: N/A
General Pace: Moderate to heavy

I used to watch wrestling with my dad growing up, although I haven't caught much of it in quite a while. I do follow WWE in the news and know some of the company's recent developments, such as their subscription model and global expansion in China and elsewhere, for instance. Wrestling is as popular as ever, so I took a listen to past theme songs featured on this disc from when the Company was the WWF.

Forceable Entry has selections from such bands as Disturbed, Limp Bizkit, Creed, Rob Zombie and more. One cool surprise is that there is a Union Underground song called "Across the Nation," although it is definitely no "Turn Me on 'Mr. Deadman'." Those guys put out one album then called it quits, and "Across the Nation" only appears here. Neurotica's "Ride of Your Life" was kind of a sleeper, too, but generally, I found the music to be quite dreadful. Please don't beat me up, Vince.



Honorable Mentions: Drowning Pool's "The Game" for Triple H's theme, and I will give a nod to Lita as she chose a Boy Hits Car song for her theme.
Worst Song: Kid Rock covers ZZ Tops' "Legs," and it sucks baaaaaalls."

Would I return to this album?: No.
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Old 09-15-2018, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Kid Rock - Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast



Genre: Hip-Hop
Year: 1990
Place of Origin: Romeo, Michigan
General Pace: Low-beat moderate

Before Devil Without a Cause made him a known rockstar and media figure, Kid Rock was an up-and-coming rapper from Romeo, Michigan, who would later become a fixture on the Detroit scene. He is 19 years old when he releases Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast, his debut album. As you might expect, the lyrics are super immature, which I will get to in a moment. On the inside fold is a picture of a fresh-faced Kid Rock giving us the middle finger. Well hello to you, too, sir. In the dedications he wants to thank your mama, let you know that he is the Royal Pimpness and Original Freakmaster, and he'd also like to thank all the gay men, because that's just more "girls 4 him." Oh, and all you backwards country ****s who hate Kid Rock? Yeah, you can blow him. And you ****s who wouldn't let him sample your music? **** you, too.

As far as the production goes, the recording is crisp so you can hear everything. Although the beats are fairly weak, his lyrical spins are pretty good. But getting back to that immaturity for a second: the lyrics revolve around pimping and john talk, being a great MC, and not holding back on sexual innuendos and hardcore descriptions of his sex life. He will fill you in on all the details, rest assured. Really nothing other than that. Musically, this is straight up old school hip-hop. Lots of turntable spinning, a mixture of guitar-work here and there, some tape recordings of peoples' conversations added to the mix, and a whole lot of beat-talkin'. That said, you can hear the genesis of the style he would later perfect with his backing band Twisted Brown Trucker on Devil Without a Cause. This is most notable on the tracks "Genuine Article" and "The Upside."

How did this get into my collection?: I actually found Kid Rock before he blew up on a game called Road Rash 3D for the Playstation, which has "Somebody's Gotta Feel This" on it. This caused me to buy Devil Without a Cause. I asked my then-girlfriend to get Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast for my birthday. So when I put this album on for the first time, it was a whole different world from his rock stuff, and man I thought it was total dog ****. Listening to it now, it's actually kind of fun for what it is. Generally, I have always categorized Kid Rock as an underrated lyricist, in a sense, even though he's not taken seriously. That opinion still holds on Grits, even with the sophomoric content.

Best Song: I guess "Yo-Da-Lin in the Valley."
Worst Song: "New York's Not My Home." Snoozefest.
Funniest Song: "Wax the Booty." Explicit depictions of sex from the Freakmaster himself. He's headed for that coochee, and dat booty.

Would I return to this album?: No, but it's interesting that it exists.

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Old 09-20-2018, 05:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience



Genre: (Various) Grunge, metal, hip-hop, hard rock, etc.
Year: 1993
Album Type: Compilation
Place of Origin: N/A
General Pace: Varied

Band/Tracklist

1. [Nirvana] "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die"
2. [Anthrax] "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun"
3. [Beavis and Butt-Head][Mike Judge] "Come to Butt-Head"
4. [Megadeth] "99 Ways to Die"
5. [Run-DMC] "Bounce"
6. [Aerosmith] "Deuces Are Wild"
7. [White Zombie] "I Am Hell"
8. [Primus] "Poetry and Prose"
9. [Sir Mix-a-Lot] "Monsta Mack"
10. [Red Hot Chili Peppers] "Search and Destroy"
11. [Jackyl] "Mental *@%#!"
12. [Cher with Beavis and Butt-Head] "I Got You Babe"

Well this is a fun one.

In a lot of ways, The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience was my intro into all of the acts here, except Nirvana, which is quite a statement for an album to make.

Intro + Comedy Skits: Beavis and Butt-Head are a hapless and clueless duo who act much like they did on their MTV show, replete with idiotic and socially inept behavior that shows no signs of abating. The album begins with Beavis and Butt-Head taking the main stage at a presumed rock concert. As the announcer introduces these fine gentlemen, the manic roar of the crowd increases and the pair essentially play air guitar until the skit fades into the first track. From there, the album unfolds much like their show did with Beavis and Butt-Head inserting themselves into various dream-like scenarios, or comedy bits, involving the bands represented. For example, they hop on a bus and party with Anthrax, only to get kicked off after getting into the band's groupie photos in ways they shouldn't. Later, they stop by Run-DMC's place and try to act like they're from "around the way," or Hollis Street, so that the rap group lets them in the door. Even Cher gets involved as her and Butt-Head trade barbs and sing together on a rockier version of "I Got You Babe," showing she has both a sense of humor and a great set of pipes.

Getting to the music:
  • Nirvana starts things off with the sludgy and heavy-sounding "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die," which is a lyrical mixture of seemingly unrelated things that Cobain was known to incorporate into his songs. At the time, this song was only available here. Tbh, while respectable, it always felt kind of out of place, and it does even more so now, unfortunately.
  • "Come to Butt-Head." An original by Mike Judge, creator and voice actor of both Beavis and Butt-Head. It's a soulful, R&B-sounding jam that is pretty good for an original. I like Butt-Head's line, "I would, like, do homework and stuff, for your love."
  • Megadeth's "99 Ways to Die" is definitely awesome and I'd still rock it today. I think it is technically the best song on the album, even if I enjoy some of the others more.
  • Aerosmith's "Deuces Are Wild" is soaring, beautiful, and catchy. It's not known for sure, but some indicate it is a tribute to Tyler's daughter Mia.
  • Run-DMC's "Bounce" is strong both beat-wise and lyrically, easily allowing the listener to follow along with it.
  • Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Monsta Mack." I think it's funny and has a good beat. Better than "Baby Got Back" IMO.
  • "I Got You Babe." Mentioned that above. Cher even jokes about Sonny Bono, her former husband and once-mayor of Palm Springs, CA.
  • The rest of the music is so-so to disappointing.

How this album got into my collection: This was part of an order I placed with Columbia House, a now-defunct mail-order service for CDs and cassettes. The way it worked is that they would send you catalogs where you could order a bunch of music for a nominal fee, and they would bill you later for the full amount. A lot of parents probably found that last part out by surprise.

Noting for history: Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle" and Guns N' Roses's "The Spaghetti Incident?" were also a part of this order, among others.

Memory Lane: We used to go to this public swimming pool, which is no longer in operation, and I would listen to music on a portable cassette player during the car ride(s). This place had surrounding lakes for paddle boating and fishing, and it also had arcades. During one of the trips, somehow the coin door was left unlocked on Russian Attack, and my brother and I took the money. We took the money, so that we could play more Russian Attack. Our parents eventually found out about it and they made us go up to the owner and apologize, which was extremely embarrassing and scary as a young lad. I guess I can say, in a roundabout way, which is a huge stretch, mind you, that Beavis and Butt-Head are a part of a moment where I learned a life lesson.

Not particularly relevant to this review, but this album was as much as I would get into Beavis and Butt-Head. I never saw the MTV show when it ran because we didn't have cable. I only caught bits and pieces of it from when I had a friend record some old music videos on VHS, which I still have. And this was years later. One of the clips is of Nirvana winning Best Alternative Video for "In Bloom" at the 1993 MTV Music Awards.

Summation: I wrote more than I set out to because several things were tied together. This disc has some great songs and is worth a spin at least once. The biggest beef I have with it is that the comedy skits are built into some of the songs. There is no separating them, which could be problematic because the skits might be a miss for some. To be sure, there really isn't a way to argue that this is sophisticated content, as the comedy is incredibly juvenile, but find me a person who comes to Beavis and Butt-Head to get Shakespeare or Hemingway. You'll need to keep the mood light if you want to get the full benefit of The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience.

Best Songs: "99 Ways to Die"; "Bounce"; "Monsta Mack"; "Deuces Are Wild"
Weakest Songs: "I Am Hell"; "Search And Destroy"; "Mental *@%#!"

Would I return to this album?: Yes.
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Last edited by Aux-In; 09-21-2018 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Union Underground - ...An Education in Rebellion



Genre: Nu Metal
Year: 2000
Place of Origin: San Antonio, Texas
General Pace: Medium heavy

Ah yes, The Union Underground, a vastly understated nu metal act if there ever was one. The reason for that is because they were a one-album wonder, this being their only studio release. So far.

The intro is a hazy, drug-like fade-in and the last track is a meh throwaway, but take those out and you have an entire midsection that is listenable. Not OMG super mega good, but definitely enjoyable. "South Texas Deathride" and "Turn Me on Mr. "Deadman'" were the radio hits, the latter of which would be their biggest number. I don't even think "Deadman" is the best song here; I found myself singing along to the rest of the tracks just the same. I kept waiting for that to dissipate, and it didn't. Having listened to this yesterday, I had "Trip with Jesus" stuck in my head hours later, so it's the sleeper pick on the album. Yeah, I forgot about all of the drug references in their songs.

While maybe not an everyday spinner, ...An Education in Rebellion is an amazingly consistent nu metal output. Something to check in on every so often.



Would I return to this album?: Yes.

---

As of this writing, The Union Underground have reunited with a different batch of band members and are working on a new album. That would make an almost 20-year gap between releases...for a nu metal band.
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