29 Sep 2015
Let’s Play “Smash or Trash,” Part Two
Continued from Part One…
- My first impression: humorless concept-world-prog. But humor is generally in short supply in progressive rock circles, and I like prog. So I shouldn’t hold that against ’em. All manner of styles are on display here. I was worried there’d be vocals, with the inevitable pompous lyrics. But this seems to be a wholly instrumental set. Oh, heavens: it’s a 2CD set! Still, it’s pretty interesting stuff, so it goes in the yes pile. Wow…more discs are making it through my filter than is typical of this exercise.
- This is the kind of music that some call “soulful.” I call it dull, and the vocalist has a bit of that yodelly inflection that might endear her to the Americana crowd. And with notable exceptions, southern accents don’t resonate with me. Perfectly serviceable, but…pass.
- I think they call this genre “progressive bluegrass.” They remind me a bit of Mason Williams, which is good. Rootsy-flavored music with jazz-level instrumental chops. I don’t dislike this – not at all – but neither am I the right person to review this disc. Pass.
- Nice enough, but if I wanted a Jackson Browne album – and I most assuredly do not – I’d go get one. Pass.
- This was a disc placed in my hands at the recent Americana Music Festival and Conference in Nashville. And it’s a CDR that isn’t playing properly, so I was all ready to pass, but then it jumped forward to a subsequent track, which is pretty damn fine. I think I’ll hold onto this one for review.
- Spanish-language salsa/Latina music. Very nice. Ah, now that I recall, I did tell the publicist, “sure, send me that for review consideration.” But I more or less expected the accompanying one-sheet to be in English! Nonetheless, set aside for a brief review.
- The Americana tag is a pretty big umbrella that apparently includes a lot of stuff that I’d call rock ‘n’ roll. This definitely has a suthun flavuh, but it’s quite well done. In for review, yup.
- About the best thing I can say about Dixieland is that I prefer it to opera and Scandinavian death metal. Pass.
- Oh, wait: I forgot about dub reggae and ska. I prefer Dixieland to those too. Aaaand…pass.
- The label is already warning me that this is a genre-spanning disc. Or is it? I hear a white guy trying – in vain – to convince me he’s Blind Lemon Jefferson. Skipping to other tracks, it’s pretty lifeless (others might say “laid back”). Pass.
- Wow. Weird. At first listen, this sounds a bit like Station to Station-era David Bowie crossed with Memphis soul. Or Lou Reed crossed with Meat Loaf‘s band. Tough to pin down, and intriguing. I think I’ll spend some time with this one. Yes.
- How did this disc get into this pile? Clearly a mistake; I definitely want to review it. This is the latest from Terry Adams and NRBQ, a disc in which they pay tribute to the music of Thelonious Monk.
I should make it clear that none of the discs that I’m passing on are what I’d classify as trash; not by a long shot. Oftentimes I get stuff that I deem terrible. This latest lot is some pretty uniformly high-quality music. But there are only 260 work days in a year, and my once-a-day posting limits how much I can cover. So a good deal of worthy music is getting passed over. All I can say is that the stuff that made the cut will come with my enthusiastic recommendation (except when it doesn’t).
Follow “the_musoscribe” on Twitter and get notified
when new features, reviews and essays are published.