audio review : Be Myself ( album ) …. Sheryl Crow

audio review : Be Myself ( album ) .... Sheryl Crow

It seems the title is a reminder, but there’s paradoxical irony in having to remind yourself to be yourself. This project has Sheryl Crow taking the Long Way Back to her rock roots after that near-awful country album she released a few years ago, though it is (also) a little bit country. Rest Of Me, which could pass for an old standard, is bouncy and delightful. Most of the others are only about Halfway There.

my rating = 3 of 5

2017

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

review : Great Value ice cream : I Love Peanut Butter

review : Great Value ice cream : I Love Peanut Butter

The name is a bit misleading for me. I don’t actually love peanut butter, but I do love peanut butter ice cream; a rare find in the world of treats. The distinction is that most are flawed by the inclusion of chocolate. This, a Walmart exclusive, isn’t. It’s peanut butter and nothing else; even the “ribbon” and cookie dough pieces are peanut butter; which almost automatically makes it one of the best ice creams I’ve ever had the pleasure of melting and devouring.

my rating = 5 of 5

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

audio review : Reachin [ A New Refutation Of Time And Space ] ( album ) … Digable Planets

audio review : Reachin [ A New Refutation Of Time And Space ] ( album ) ... Digable Planets

Digable Planets do sound cool. I’ll give them Dat. This album, as ridiculous as its full title may be, has the monotone rappers vibing over an array of hip-hop beats inspired by jazz and funk. Okay, “inspired” is an understatement. Every track, song or otherwise, includes an old sample from a funk or jazz record. That puts the word New in quotation marks and slaps a big question mark on the trio’s perceived talent. Good To Be Here is my jam though.

my rating = 3 of 5

1993

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

video review : Frozen

video review : Frozen

You don’t have to be a skier to imagine how scary it would be to get stuck on a lift, in the bitter cold, for almost a week. That’s the dilemma the three protagonists in this Stephen King styled story face. It’s a girlfriend-boyfriend couple, Parker and Dan, along with Dan’s third wheel best friend. Their decision to ride the lift one last time, despite the resort closing early due to an on-coming snow storm, becomes their doom.

You’d think they’d use their hats and hoods to protect their faces from the wind. You’d think the owners of a public ski resort would’ve long ago done something about their killer wolf infestation. Those are two major plausibility faults in a story that’s otherwise terrifically realistic. The tension heads high about a quarter of the way in and only gives way to moments of desolation. The death scene near the middle is especially poignant.

my rating = 5 of 5

2010

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

audio review : J Beez Wit The Remedy ( album ) … Jungle Brothers

audio review : J Beez Wit The Remedy ( album ) ... Jungle Brothers

The regular rap songs are decent, if only for their raw hip-hop beats, but they’re not even close to being outstanding enough to justify the experimental rest of this album; abstract bits of seemingly random bullshit. There’s even a track entitled Spittin Wicked Randomness. Lyrically the Jungle Brothers don’t sound much different than they did four years back when they dropped the comparatively classic Forces Of Nature set. What happened to their musical focus between then and now is anybody’s guess.

my rating = 2 of 5

1993

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

audio review : We Wait And We Wonder ( song ) … Phil Collins

This military-style anthem, about the effects of terrorism in Britain, doesn’t get great until near the end. That’s when Phil Collins finally gets a chance to let loose vocally. “We wait and we wonder,” the title chant goes, and he sings it; seeming to ad lib the melodies, a skill past songs suggest he has quite the knack for; with passion… over bagpipes and all.

my rating = 4 of 5

1993

audio review : Both Sides ( album ) ... Phil Collins

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

audio review : Ghosts ( song ) … Michael Jackson

Though the spooky soundscape; a thumping in the floor, a creep behind the door; suggests otherwise, this isn’t just a song about ghosts. The term seems to be a metaphor for something deeper, something real. “Who gave you the right to shake my family tree,” the controversial King Of Pop asks rhetorically, “Tell me; are you the ghost of jealousy?” He’s apparently addressing his many detractors, but the point is nearly lost in the groove.

The beat, produced by Teddy Riley, is as cold as the concept, and the bridge conjures 1970s funk, but it’s the aforementioned chorus; not the words themselves, but their harmonic melodies; that haunts. It’s a majestic masterpiece; one of the best I’ve heard, in my life, from Michael Jackson or anyone else. There’s just something (special) about the way it’s layered that, at the right moment, can literally send chills down your spine.

my rating = 5 of 5

1997

audio review : Blood On The Dance Floor [ History In The Mix ] ( album ) ... Michael Jackson

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

audio review : SloLove ( song ) … Janet Jackson

This is fast, at least for a Janet Jackson song, so the concept shouldn’t revolve around anything “slo”. And if it had to be about “love”, her and her partner; man, woman, who knows with Janet; should be dancing instead of fucking, which is apparently what’s going on here. “Can’t control the heat when our bodies meet,” she says, “Baby, take it to another level tonight.”

The beat, a slick groove gorgeously produced by Anders Bagge and Arnþór Birgisson; you’d swear it were Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis; serves as the backbone to what stands as, musically speaking, one of Janet Jackson’s best songs. With a totally different title and slightly altered theme; it has a romantic summer night dance vibe; it could even near classic status.

my rating = 4 of 5

2004

audio review : Damita Jo ( album ) ... Janet Jackson

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

audio review : Last Place ( album ) … Grandaddy

audio review : Last Place ( album ) ... Grandaddy

Fambly Cat was supposed to be their final album, but it’s common for bands to foolishly announce retirement only to reunite years later, so Grandaddy is back. Their sound, semi-psychedelic folk-rock led by a stoned Jason Lytle, picks up where it left off a little over a decade ago.

There’s nothing here as instantly catchy as Elevate Myself, let alone AM 180; probably their best song; but This Is The Part is a real winner. Clear Your History, a new song released to promote the coming of this album, should’ve been included in place of one of the inferior others.

my rating = 3 of 5

2017

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

Honey Nut Cheerios

Honey Nut Cheerios

Eating a bowl of plain Cheerios is a bland affair in comparison to this sweet alternative, one that happens to be almost as healthy. It’s a blend of honey and almond, or natural almond “flavor”; there are no actual almond pieces on the Ingredients list; that makes this Honey Nut variety taste good.

my rating = 4 of 5

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

audio review : Loyalty And Betrayal ( album ) … E-40

audio review : Loyalty And Betrayal ( album ) ... E-40

The title, Loyalty And Betrayal, has to do with friends, which I guess is appropriate considering there are just two solo songs on the album; the aforementioned title track and a warning to big name rappers about the finicky music industry. Every other features a guest vocalists, from Clicksters like Suga-T to members of other clicks like Cash Money’s Baby and No Limit’s Mystikal. Nate Dogg should’ve been limited to one song and the Nah Nah beat sounds way too close to Lucy Pearl’s You; both are produced by Battlecat; but Ya Blind, a dedication to Captain Save-A-Hoe, is fun and Doin The Fool is a major slapper.

my rating = 3 of 5

2000

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest

audio review : Doin The Fool ( song ) … E-40 + Too Short ( featuring Pastor Troy + Pimp C )

The beat is a slapper. It’s a distorted drum loop led by a monster bassline and nothing else, but its ghetto simplicity serves as part of its allure. The song starts with a burp because it’s for, and by, “playa-ass niggas” who like to get tipsy and fuck bitches. “I told her I’d buy her some clothes,” Too Short says, “but I be lying to hoes.” E-40, whose verse proves that style over substance can be a damn good thing if you have the charisma to pull it off, fucked one at his place and shot a “fat-ass” cum shot on her breasts.

Doin the fool, which means the same as acting (like) a fool; my only complaint about the song is that potentially confusing twist on what was already a perfectly suitable slang phrase; encompasses more than sex and drugs (alcohol/weed) though. It also has to do with money, guns, flashy vehicles and 64-dollar cologne; the latter of which Pimp C flaunts to attract hoes, taking us back full circle. But make no mistake about it. This one is for the guys; all you “haters” included, “just to let you know this shit don’t stop.”

my rating = 4 of 5

2000

audio review : Loyalty And Betrayal ( album ) … E-40

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrPin on Pinterest