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Cartel - Chroma

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My wife said I should review this album, and a year later I finally am. Cartel is a band never heard of before we met, and the only reason she really digs them is because of a personal connection with the band. Someone in her immediate family may have married a member of the band and subsequently divorced him, but I am not going on record saying that. No one's going to Google Cartel and read this shit anyway.

Cartel is the logical extension of bands like Blink-182 and Green Day. Imagine the high pitched, slightly whining vocals of those bands and amplify that over guitar players who probably started playing because of Van Halen but settled for Tom Delonge. They figured out you could make the instrument sound "really radical" through a loud amp without much talent. This band has a lot of those moments. I could film a early 2000's skating movie based around this album with meaningless scenes of teenagers doing tricks and looking really stoked.

But honestly, I like thi…

Alan Jackson - Drive

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I don't have a straight answer as to why I'm reviewing Drive. Perhaps I like to challenge and surprise myself, but I may want to revisit a very awkward time in my life. 2002 was not my most memorable time, and music in this era was fairly middle of the road. Country, Rock, and Pop underwent drastic changes. Hip Hop sat on the bench as the contender of mainstream music.

When Somebody Loves You was about as middle of the road you could get in 2000. I mean, Alan put out a song called "www.Memory," which we promptly forgot about after 9/11 in favor of patriotic manifestos. Jackson was no longer a Neo-Traditionalist and more along the lines of an aged Country star amongst a growing population of younger singers and bands with much less Country oriented music. Think about how watered down Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, and Dierks Bentley sound in contrast to early Alan Jackson or George Strait. Hell, even consider how boring Garth Brooks got when he tried to m…

Alan Jackson - High Mileage

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This album came out right when I was consumed in Britney and Backstreet. I was a kid, so my standards of quality were not developed for shit. Alan Jackson was a little old for my tastes. It did not help that High Mileage featured much maturer work. While I loved his cover album, Under the Influence, and distinctly remember talking about Drive with Dan and Nell Jackson, songs like "Little Man" and "I'll Go on Loving You" struck me as the work of a much older artist. Mind you, I grew up on songs like "Chattahoochee" and "She's Got the Rhythm (And I've Got the Blues)." Jackson's early material appealed to a younger and older generation.

But when I listened to High Mileage during my freshman year of college, I found a gem. The darker themes and maturer sound appealed to me because I understood love, disappointment, depression, and alcohol a lot more than when I was eight. Though I never got the allusion to "Honky Tonk Heroes&qu…

Alan Jackson - Here in the Real World

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I reviewed Alan Jackson's unofficial debut, New Traditional, shortly after starting this blog. Never did it occur to me that I should review more of his albums, but I think he fits my criteria. Despite success almost from the moment he hit the airwaves, I rank Alan as not only a misunderstood artist, but also a fantastic songwriter who never gets recognition. As I said before, I cannot believe a guy from Newnan, GA, a town thirty minutes away from me, wrote "Here in the Real World."

Lately, I am revisiting Country of the eighties and nineties, and Alan was the first artist to launch my obsession with the genre. Long before I swore off Country music as a teenager, I referred to myself as Alan's number-two fan: I said his family was his number-one fan group. In fact, I knew Alan's father-in-law, Dan, who once cussed at me for wrecking his wheelchair into a table. We talked more about George Jones than Alan, and I heard some behind the scenes stuff I will take to m…

November 2017 Update

I deleted over a hundred entries, and most of them centered upon my own music. Since most readers are not interested in my music, I no longer wish to promote myself as a musician here. I make my music for myself, and if even one person wants to listen, I'm honored by their interest. However, I want to refocus this blog on my opinions on other music and media. Since I do not engage with my readers, I think its best if my input is cut and dry rather than a platform for promotion.

Thanks for seven years of support. I look forward to many more.

Bad Reviews: Drake - More Life

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I am not even a casual Drake fan. When I heard "Hotling Bling," I felt inspired to write a similar song, but never came close because that track is literally genius. The lounge elevator music permeating through a sincere track about love lost, the need for control, and betrayal. Some people call it misogynistic, and I call it one of the greatest things to come out of Hip-Hop.

And Drake took that concept and made an entire album entitled More Life: an album so nauseating I have to chug two bottles of Pepto to even write this review. I anticipate the black poop to hurt me less than Drake's crooning later when I am stuck to the toilet for an hour.

"Free Smoke" renders one of the most annoying refrains ever as Drake raps about something entirely irrelevant to me. I do not feel engaged by the opening track, and that is a problem. "No Long Talk" features Drake sounding as if he randomly yelled at the microphone and his producers add the repetitive backgrou…

Glen Campbell - Meet Glen Campbell

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Since Glen Campbell passed away, going through his discography made for an emotional and introspective experience. All of the albums I reviewed, and even some I did not, I knew quite well already. But going through them chronologically and hearing some songs for the first time in years, I found myself mourning a person I never met yet felt as if I knew. Obviously, I do not know the real Glen Campbell and it would be crazy to act as if I conceived who he truly was as a person. What I do know is his music, and that is my favorite part of Glen, so that is all I need to know.

Meet Glen Campbell was supposed to be a career revival akin to Johnny Cash's work with Rick Ruban and American Recordings. Instead, I remember not even being able to find this CD in Walmart after its release. I believe this should have ended his discography and been his final album, and the final tour and three studio albums were based on greed rather than benefiting Glen. For instance, his latest release, Adios,…