pop Archive

Album Review: Sloan — Commonwealth

Rock fans who fall into a certain age bracket may recall the buzz around the release of Liz Phair‘s major-label debut, 1993’s Exile in Guyville. As the popular story went, the album was a track-by-track feminist response to The Rolling Stones‘ 1972 double LP Exile on Main Street. Or something like that; on close examination,

Album Review: The Legal Matters

My friend Bruce Brodeen occasionally endures some good-natured ribbing for those mini-reviews he penned in his NotLame mail order catalogs of the 90s. If you viewed his writing a certain way, it seemed like he thought everything was great. But I’m reminded of the (possibly apocryphal) conversation between a fan and Raymond Burr of TV’s

Album Review: Sade — Love is Stronger Than Pride

Love is Stronger Than Pride, the third album from Sade (the band named after lead vocalist Sade Adu) was a commercial juggernaut on its original 1988 release, yielding four hit singles in eight months, three of which made the US charts. With its recent reissue, now seems as good a time as any to review

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2014, Part 3

Five new releases are the focus of this clutch of hundred-word reviews. Analog Son – Analog Son The name might conjure mental visions of a synthesizer outfit, but the sounds that this duo-plus-friends (guitarist Jordan Linit and Josh Fairman on bass) produces is some fresh and uptempo funk. Seven of the ten tracks are instrumentals

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2014, Part 2

Today’s set of five 100-word capsule reviews looks at recently-reissued, previously-unreleased, and/or compilation albums. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini: Original Stereo Soundtrack What we have here, in my estimation, is a fascinating and extremely well-written essay that happens to include a CD. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is not anyone’s idea of great

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2014, Part 1

Some familiar names and some true obscurities are highlighted in this, the first of five sets of five capsule reviews. This week I’ll review 25 albums, arbitrarily limiting myself to exactly one hundred words each. Gene Rains – Far Away Lands: The Exotic Music of Gene Rains Exotica – that early 60s genre featuring wide-panned

Album Review: NRBQ — Brass Tacks

NRBQ are one of America’s great musical treasures. Though they’ve never enjoyed the sort of commercial success of, say, a Creedence Clearwater Revival or The Band, the catalog of this band formed in 1967 is filled with riches that draw from all manner of musical forms. Listeners are as likely to hear shades of cajun

Hundred-word Reviews July 2014, Part Five

All this week, I’ve been working to reduce the contents of my in-box to manageable levels; these are the last five of 25 albums in that effort, each review adhering to a 100-word limit. Don’t mistake brevity for a negative review; these are all worthwhile releases. Today’s five – all reissues – are all over

Hundred-word Reviews July 2014, Part One

I’m bound and determined to reduce the contents of my in-box to manageable levels, so this week I’ll be covering 25 albums, each adhering to a 100-word limit. Don’t mistake brevity for a negative review; these are all worthwhile releases. Today’s five – all new releases – are all more or less pop (in its

Keith Allison: Man of Action (Part Five / conclusion)

Continued from Part Four… Bill Kopp: You first rose to fame as a cast member on Where the Action Is. Can you tell me how you got that gig? Keith Allison: At the time, I was playing with The Crickets, as their guitarist. But when in town, I did all the Boyce and Hart demos