Rip-Roaring Rock, Start to Finish
Rollingstone Magazine’s ranking: #91/100
I came of age in a post-album era. iTunes purchases were only .99 per song, and we picked apart an artist’s catalog like making our plates at a buffet.
I wonder what this has done to our musical palate: we don’t give ourselves time to give any songs a chance, never mind giving a whole album with a variety of lyrics and tunes an opportunity to impress us.
I only knew about Elton John via his greatest hits. But, that kind of leaves me with no idea of who Elton really was as an artist. I feel like it has been said that we get to know an artist through their “B-Side” (which is a reference to the other song that was sold with a single when it was a physical 45RPM vinyl disc), so I was blissfully unaware of anything beyond “Crocodile Rock” and such.
Elton John was born in 1947 and has had an illustrious career starting with his first album in 1969 (Empty Sky) culminating throughout the years to make him the 5th best selling artist of all-time, having 50 (FIFTY) top 40 hits and releasing 30 studio albums. So we know Elton can write a hit, and many of them, but how does his album work hold up?
Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #91 – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John (1973)”
Two Modes, Fun Concept
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #28/100
Soul Blazer was a game that I knew absolutely nothing about, but I had heard much of it being from the heralded trifecta of Quintet, a Japanese video game company that created Act Raiser, Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia. Out of those game, Act Raiser was the only one I had played before, which was a cool mash-up of a city simulator and side-scroller fighter.
This game is no different as there are two different “modes” that you alternate between: 1) a dungeon crawler where you defeat enemies to release the souls of a town; 2) the town itself where the now freed residents help you with information/items to so you can get further in the dungeon. These two sections play off each other well as there was something satisfying about returning from a dungeon and seeing all the new things in town. Also, dying in any video game is typically frustrating, but having this mode to return to in-between dungeon bouts was refreshing.
Continue reading “The Top 100 SNES Review: #28 – Soul Blazer (1992)”
Electric Writing and Powerful Characters
“There are people in the world for whom “coming along” is a perpetual process, people who are destined never to arrive.”
Somehow as a senior in high school, they decided that it was a good idea to have school only every other day. I was taking community college classes at night, so they put all my other classes a on an “A” day, which left me with way too much free time. Outside of Madden ’06, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II, and creating a 20×20 mural for the prom theme of a Midsummer Night’s dream, I did a lot of reading.
I’m not even sure how I found Go Tell It on the Mountain back then, but I remember it being a good read full of fiery language had a bizarre ending.
That opinion still stands.
James Baldwin was born in 1924 and grew up in Harlem with a preacher step-father. He ended up moving and living in Paris as he wanted to get away from american racism as well as homophobic culture. Go Tell It on the Mountain can be viewed as a semi-autobiography as the protagonist, John, grows up in Harlem himself in a religious household as Baldwin weaves themes of gender and sexuality into the story.
Continue reading “Top 100 Book Review: Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin (1953)”
Like the Concept, Not the Execution
I’ve always been a fan of Frank Sinatra. One of the first albums I ever owned was “Classic Sinatra – His Great Performances from 1953 to 1960.” Those 20 songs encapsulate so much of what is great about Sinatra: timeless voice, great instrumental backing, classic songs.
During college, I worked at a local YMCA that played awful radio music and during the holidays the station changed to Christmas music only. We literally listened to nonstop, Christmas music for 30 days — you try and deadlift to “Do You Hear What I Hear.” (Gentle reminder that this was before mp3 players).
I took over as part-time DJ during my shift to avoid from losing it, and I would occasionally sneak in upbeat Sinatra songs to cater to the “Open to All” mission statement but quickly learned how sensitive people were to music selection.
Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #100 – In the Wee Small Hours – Frank Sinatra (1955)”