Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pretentious Long-Winded Sophomore Album Title>>

Wow, way back when I was proclaiming good ol' Whale as the "next big thing that never happened" my pretentious ass never even realized those crazy Swedes actually released a second album just three years later. With the delicious Cia Berg again at the helm (talk about the pioneer of the "hottie nerd" revolution, no?), Whale's second slab of wax delivers in just that way late 90's alternative rock did. Of course comparisons can be made with nearly every female-helmed band at the time (Breeders, Garbage, Veruca Salt, etc) but Whale owns a weirdly Euro Pop sensibility that most bands this side of the pond lacked (or at least lacked at the time). The band eschews a rocking "Hobo Babe" anthem on this record for a lot more depth and darkness; a bunch of slow, heavy-lyric ballads mixed in with lots of manic trip-hop. Not quite the party album as their debut (unless you are still holding raves in your basement) but a lot more satisfying a listen. The epic "Go Where You're Feeling Free" cannot help but bring shades of "Happy Colored Marbles" or some similar bigger-than-its-britches mini-epic. Solid stuff that still sounds as good 20 years later. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Another Dimension Of Rhythm

Take one part Big L and one part House Of Pain and you pretty much end up with A.D.O.R. With rap skills straight outta Mount Vernon, NY, A.D.O.R.'s career began with producer extraordinaire Pete Rock (just then coming into his own) producing his first single, "Let It All Hang Out" which enjoyed some significant 1992 radio and video play. Floating through the scene and eventually signed by the majors, A.D.O.R.'s career stalled significantly when he was dropped by Atlantic on the cusp of his debut LP release for "creative differences" (generic industry-speak for artists not falling into line with label demands). The Concrete never saw the light of day save for limited promo/review copies and the world would have to wait another year until A.D.O.R. released a quasi-revamped version on his own label (entitled Shock Therapy). As far as the music, it all sounds terribly familiar and will constantly remind you of any number of early-90's rappers (especially anyone on Tommy Boy) but man, it is nice to hear some old-school hip-hop I haven't played to death (to gotta be honest, I had never heard of A.D.O.R. and only recently stumbled upon him thanks to SiriusXM's Backspin). The rip I have is culled from vinyl (possibly one of the promo out there?) so there are some skips and cracks but it's the most complete version out there I could find. Enjoy.