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Old 01-16-2019, 02:47 PM
141 posts, read 26,512 times
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Combat Rock, The Clash
To be fair, this albums seems to be in an ongoing rehabilitation. That said, when released it was seen as a sellout (the two singles, though it was in the U.S. and not the UK that Rock the Casbah charted higher than anything they'd previously done) and also more of the same (as on Sandinista!) but not as good. And let's be honest - their four previous albums comprised a catalog so formidible that it became increasingly hard to live up to. It soon became a cliche to note what when a band released an album perceived as representing a musical deterioration intended to cash in, that that band had "released their 'Combat Rock'".

I can take or leave the two singles because I've simply heard them too many times. And Overpowered by Funk is pretty embarrassing. But Sean Flynn? Ghetto Defendant? They're usually dismissed, but I quite like them, Allen Ginsberg's narration included. Atom Tan and Red Angel Dragnet are so-so, and I don't need to hear Car Jamming more than every few years. But the no-nonsense assault of Know Your Rights? Bring it on. And Death is a Star is an ethereal little gem of a lyrical painting. Finally, there's Straight to Hell, an epic that stands as one of the best songs in the band's canon. Finally, Combat Rock declines to descend - unlike its predecessor - into including every last fragment of a tune as a track. Sandinista! is great, but a third of it is filler and another third of it only aspires to reach the level of mere filler.

Combat Rock is a solid album, and about half the tracks range from good to great.

This Side of Paradise, Ric Ocasek
I loved The Cars when I was a teenager in the eighties, and I still like every single track on their biggest album, Heartbeat City. After that album they took a break and Ric Ocasek released his second solo album. His first, Beattitude, was only mildly interesting. His second one, however, climbs out of the sort of Panorama-esque inaccessibility of its predecessor while still being more experimental and less interested making in top 40 hits than the releases by the full band.

Most of the Cars appear on the album - all, in fact, except for drummer David Robinson (whose talents had largely been neglected on Heartbeat City in favor of drum machines) appear on at least one track. But Ocasek is calling the shots, and the result is an album that sounds like someone had collected the best non-single tracks from various Cars albums. It isn't completely free of clunkers (P.F.J.), and it is clear that Ocasek threw a bone to Geffen in the form of Emotion in Motion, a syrupy single that hit #15 in the United States. But the other eight tracks are deeply layered aural landscapes that reward repeated listenings.

This Side of Paradise wasn't so much disliked as ignored. I was seeing it as a cutout (remember those?) within a year of its release. But I still occasionally play much of it.

The Final Cut, Pink Floyd
As with Combat Rock, the Final Cut is inevitably compared to an amazing run - Dark Side of the Moon-->Wish You Were Here-->Animals-->The Wall - of albums that immediately preceded it. And it has its problems. It largely consists of The Wall leftovers. It is in many ways, as is often claimed, a Roger Waters solo album, albeit one with a fine backing band. It contains some songs that are mere fragments (Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert) and some of Waters' most banal lyrics ('And you slide towards the big truck'). Also, it is overtly political with a focus on the Falklands War, and the casting of the UK as a villain and Argentina as a victim hardly works. Finally, the range of the production results in an album that is intermittently either too quiet or too loud during playback.

With all that in mind, such gems as The Gunners Dream and the title track are to be found, as well as solid tracks like Your Possible Pasts, The Postwar Dream, Paranoid Eyes, and the single Not Now John. Even some overly sanctimonious moments such as The Fletcher Memorial Home have their moments. The Final Cut is somewhat inaccessible, but then so is much of The Wall. A serious listen reveals many worthy musical pleasures. It certainly tops everything from Momentary Lapse of Reason on - and that's not meant to be damning with faint praise.

Well? What outliers do you like?
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:53 PM
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I've never been able to turn another metal or punk fan on to Biohazard's Urban Discipline album.
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Old Yesterday, 03:07 PM
1,455 posts, read 585,961 times
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As in non-mainstream? Robin Thicke's albums are really good, sultry and enjoyable.
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Old Yesterday, 03:51 PM
12,089 posts, read 14,710,252 times
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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Echo

Much better, imo, than the unjustly lauded Wildflowers, which I think has way too much filler and tossed-off duds.

Allman Brothers - Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas

People don't like this because Duane and Berry were gone. I get that. They were great. But this lineup was a hot band in its own right, and could do some things that the original band was not capable of. It's high points are every bit the equal to anything on At Fillmore East.

Rush - Caress of Steel

Sure, "I think I'm going Bald" sucks. But if you dig into the egghead fairly tale songs, you'll find some of the most savagely wailing riffery of not only Rush's career, but in all of rock history.
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Old Yesterday, 07:05 PM
Location: Eastern Tennessee
2,438 posts, read 1,634,500 times
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Doyle Bramhall's "Birdnest on the Ground".

Reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn.
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Old Yesterday, 07:13 PM
1,573 posts, read 562,832 times
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"Rejoice, Dear Hearts."
Brother Dave Gardner.
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Old Today, 01:08 AM
Location: Troy, NY
377 posts, read 35,692 times
Reputation: 192
"Jim Belushi & Dan Aykroyd" as the

Have Love Will Travel Review: Have Love

A small sample:





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Old Today, 05:47 AM
Location: Bologna, Italy
6,089 posts, read 3,232,729 times
Reputation: 2639
Agree about Combat Rock. It's like a proto- trip-hop albums at times. The singles are actually not representative of the record at all.
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