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Constant Listener "Andrew H. Lee" RSS Feed (Snohomish, WA)

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Jet Plane And Oxbow
Jet Plane And Oxbow
Price: $11.55
58 used & new from $4.54

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, January 26, 2016
This review is from: Jet Plane And Oxbow (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

When I press play on an opening track like “Prime,” the change is almost instant. The music I hear is so appealing it changes my life. The ordinary life becomes the extraordinary life just by virtue of the music, if only for a few minutes. Ironically, I don’t really even know what Jonathan Meiburg is singing about. I can’t easily understand all the lyrics, but it doesn’t matter. In this case it’s all about the music and the feeling. And to me, music like this feels amazing. But why? It’s that electronic hook mainly. It lights up something inside me - some kind of internal recognition receptor turns on and just, like, glows. It’s like something was out there, or maybe it was inside me, and I knew it was there but I couldn’t find it, so I couldn't say it, but I can recognize it when I hear the band play it.

And that’s just the first song.

And no, they’re not all like that. Musicians can’t be magicians every time. But in the case of JET PLANE AND OXBOW, the power of Shearwater’s opening trick is strong enough to light a path all the way to the end of the album for both the band and their listeners.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener

P.S.

I liked Shearwater's last studio album as well. Check out my review here:

Animal Joy


Wild Stab
Wild Stab
Price: $11.99
51 used & new from $9.54

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, January 25, 2016
This review is from: Wild Stab (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

The last time I listened to Paul Westerberg it was 1992 and it was the songs “Waiting for Somebody” and “Dyslexic Heart" on the SINGLES soundtrack. The last time I listened closely to anything Julianna Hatfield has done it was 1993 and the album was BECOME WHAT YOU ARE. After hearing these two as The I Don’t Cares on WILD STAB, I think I may just have to rewind over twenty years and do a do-over on paying attention to their careers.

This is simply a great rock and roll collaboration record with something for everyone, and it’s brought to you by a couple of seasoned musicians who still have star power and who really know what they’re doing.

“Back” kicks it off by getting all indie rock pensive and poignant, but its follow up “Wear Me Out Loud” brings on the hooky rock-a-tude right away. Enjoy a little gimmicky humor with a song about having to pee (“1/2 2P") before “Sorry for Tomorrow Night” busts out the fiddles around some lovable loser lyrics. On "Dance to the Fight” Julianna Hatfield takes the lead and sweetly rocks out on sour lyrics like “drunken, flunken out, I’m on my hands and knees on a Friday night.” This is followed by just a wee bit of a contrast with the slow down and cuddle up vibe on “Kissing Break” (a song that’s ready for some rom-com movie montage).

And technically the record’s not even half over yet. I’ll save the second half for you to experience without any spoiler clues, but I will say this:

Give this record a chance to be heard on something good. No ear buds, okay? No tiny bluetooth speakers in a noisy room, alright? You should break out some good headphones, preferably the kind that have ear pads of some kind. I speak from experience. For this one I started on my iPad streaming to a cheap little Amazon Basic bluetooth speaker while I was distracted doing something else, and it was nothing special. But when I put on the good headphones and paid attention it all came alive and it was great. Get to know this record on something good before you let it get short changed on something convenient.

So far I can’t decide whether I like the first half of WILD STAB better or the second half. This is a very good problem to have. And when my favorite song is the last song on the album, I think that’s a very good sign. This is a Record with a capital R and as music appreciators we’re lucky to have it.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2016 8:47 AM PST


4 1/2
4 1/2
Price: $11.59
68 used & new from $5.99

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, January 23, 2016
This review is from: 4 1/2 (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

Here is an alphabetized list of random words and names that came to mind while I listened to 4 1/2 by Steven Wilson:

addictive, artful, art-pop, atmospheric, avant garde, epic, experimental, futuristic, George Harrison, groovy, grungy, hard rock, haunting, healing, heavy, industrial, jazzy, Jeff Lynne, Jon Auer, Led Zeppelin, Manheim Steamroller, masterful, Neal Casal, Nick Drake, noirish, outer space, prog rock, psychedelia, robots, rubbery, shimmery, soaring, soothing, sprawling, swirling, Yes...

These are things that came to mind based on my own music collection, experiences, and exposure - some of them may not be relatable or even make sense, I don’t know, but I do know that they popped into my head. This is my first Steven Wilson experience and I feel lucky coming in late on him. Looks like I’ve got some more albums to work back through, that is, if I ever feel like I want to stop listening to this one.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2016 6:44 PM PST


Waking Up The Giants
Waking Up The Giants
Price: $9.82
48 used & new from $3.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, January 15, 2016
This review is from: Waking Up The Giants (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

Who are these guys? I like them. I like them a lot. They have a big, polished, radio friendly sound and for now I won't hold that against them. It's a pleasure to press play on the debut album of a band I've never heard of and to be so pleasantly surprised.

And this is one of those rare albums where I find myself waiting in vain for all the good songs to be over. Where is the filler here? It all sounds so good I almost don’t trust it. If I wanted to be critical I guess I could say nothing really challenges the listener here. Musically speaking, if Grizfolk is picking the listener up for a date, they don’t sit in the car and honk the horn and then brood mysteriously when you get in. No, Grizfolk comes to the door and walks you to the car. They’ve got flowers for you and all that. They make it easy to like them - if you’re not too jaded that is.

With a name like Grizfolk I expected more guitars I guess. Maybe more of an acoustic flavored folk rock sound. Not so much here. Yes, the guitars are there but there are no big guitar solos and the overall sound of the band seems more keyboards and drums driven. Much of the album is dipped in a poppy, electronic coating that candies everything up nicely. Hooks abound, and you may find yourself singing along pretty quickly. There are multiple moments that sound taylor made for big crowd concert sing alongs.

Speaking of concerts, after listening to WAKING UP THE GIANTS I found myself wanting to know more about Grizfolk. Who are the band members, where are they from, what are they like, and what do these guys sound like live? Holden Caulfield said certain books make you "wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it” I say that certain albums make you wish the band was from your hometown and you could go see them live and in concert whenever you felt like it. WAKING UP THE GIANTS by Grizfolk is one of those albums.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 22, 2016 5:35 AM PST


First Comes The Night
First Comes The Night
Price: $10.00
44 used & new from $5.30

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, November 17, 2015
This review is from: First Comes The Night (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

I just realized it has been thirty years since Chris Isaak released his first studio album, SILVERTONE. Reagan was president, Springsteen was riding high on BORN IN THE USA, and MIAMI VICE was the hottest new show on television. How is it that a man who is this damn handsome, who sings this beautifully, and who exudes such effortless cool hasn’t become more of a household name at some point over all these years?

FIRST COMES THE NIGHT is yet another reliable entry in the Chris Isaak catalog and the familiar ingredients are all present. The Elvis meets Orbison golden vocals, the songs of heartache and breakup, the buckets of reverb, the shots of slide and Spanish guitar - and through it all that feeling that each song seems made for night driving, the beach, or the block party.

But there are some less common flavors here too, and they keep Isaak’s music interesting. I don’t know if he has ever started a song with the chorus like he does on “Reverie” - and that chorus repeats and repeats until it wears a groove in your mind. “Baby What You Want Me to Do” keeps building until it’s spinning around the room with mascara running down its cheeks like a bad carnival dream. The rock and roll piano of “Running Down the Road” is a welcome breath of fresh air from the typical guitar dominance, and it makes a brief return a few tracks later during “Keep Hanging On." “Every Night I Miss You More” is a straight up old school country song with a huge helping of twang, immediately followed by “The Girl That Broke My Heart” which sounds like something John might have sung on an early Beatles record. This is all just really good stuff.

Chris Isaak’s last release was a critically acclaimed double covers album of Sun Studio classics and Sun Studio/Sun Records founder Sam Phillips was oft-quoted around the release as having said;

“I have always listened to Chris Isaak. He’s very talented and his music is so damn honest. It’s incredible.”

I agree. I’ve felt the same way ever since hearing “Wicked Game” in seventh grade. I’m an adult now. And after hearing FIRST COMES THE NIGHT it feels good to know there are still some musical artists I can count on.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener

P.S. A few of the songs I referred to only appear on the deluxe 17-track edition. Make sure to get the deluxe edition - it’s worth it!


Made in the A.M.
Made in the A.M.
Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $10.61
106 used & new from $0.50

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, November 13, 2015
This review is from: Made in the A.M. (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

Look at this studio discography:

UP ALL NIGHT (2011)
TAKE ME HOME (2012)
MIDNIGHT MEMORIES (2013)
FOUR (2014)
MADE IN THE A.M. (2015)

What other band has put out a hit studio album every year for the last five years? If another band has done that, good for them too, but even if they have I’m not aware of it and that says something about One Direction and their work ethic, their broad appeal, and their global reach. There are so many other great bands out there, and they simply don’t keep up. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but One Direction certainly deserves all the success in the pop music world for making it so much fun to be a fan. And how long will it last? We’ll see. These guys remind me of The Beatles in a number of ways and it will be interesting to see if they ever make a full transformation into a sort of "do what we want/art over pop” type of group that brings the spotlight with them even as they try to withdraw from it.

Not all 1D songs and albums are created equal of course, but they’re all good in at least some way aren’t they? For me, that has been their trademark so far. Every song seems to have a hook or a chorus or a moment of some kind that you can hang your hat on. There’s always something to like in there somewhere. MADE IN THE A.M. is no exception to this tradition.

“Hey Angel” opens the record with the boys sounding not so much like a "boy band” as a grown-ass adult rock group with a thread of dark, jangly guitar and raspy, full-throated lead vocals. That sound and feeling seems to be stuck with this one song, but that’s okay. It’s a nice teaser for another direction that One Direction can go in.

“If I Could Fly” is one of those drumless dim the lights and take a seat numbers every album and every concert’s gotta have. Time to serenade the ladies with your sensitive side and a string section, guys. But later, the album’s other softie “I Want to Write You a Song” improves on that formula with acoustic guitars and an appealing restraint that resists suddenly breaking into a big chorus. Soft, simple, and acoustic for the whole three minutes, followed by “History” and its hand-clapping, collective sing-along that does a nice job of kicking it up a notch, but not all the way to the top.

Smack dab in the middle of the album are three songs in a row that seem to break more noticeably from the stereotypical 1D style for an extended exploration into some classic styles and sounds of the 70’s and 80’s. The boys get kind of retro here and it’s cool to hear. The finger-snapping doo-wop flavor of “Never Enough” with the hooky horn charts and squawky “Come ons!” are more interesting and memorable than your average 1D hit. And is it just me or does “Olivia” have a kind of bouncy Billy Joelishness in there? “What a Feeling” seems like a step back to a time when, well, to a time when another song with the words "What a Feeling” was a huge hit on the radio.

The hints of real artistry pop up again when at first “Walking in the Wind” has a sort of Paul Simon “Rhythm of the Saints” sound to it, both in the guitar and in the vocal delivery. Then a big 1D chorus jumps in and doesn’t ruin the song, but makes it more typical. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’d like to hear them continue to explore their personal, quirky, creative, quiet sides as a band and to make that kind of exploration more the rule than the exception.

Overall, a nice sense of dynamics, a variety of song styles, and thoughtful track sequencing help make this whole 17-track top forty cocktail go down pretty easily. It’s a fun sneak peak into what the future may hold for these guys as they continue to evolve.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2015 2:10 PM PST


Alone in the Universe
Alone in the Universe
Price: $14.02
42 used & new from $9.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, November 13, 2015
This review is from: Alone in the Universe (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

Is this a Beatles solo album? You’ll hear what I mean on the first song. Maybe it’s the chord changes or something. Maybe it’s the “when I was younger” memory lane motif reminiscent of McCartney’s “Early Days.” Or maybe it’s something familiar in the musical DNA. Oh wait, who is Jeff Lynne again anyway? Oh, oops, looks like he’s one of the biggest names in popular music - singer, songwriter, musician, producer - two huge bands (Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys) and millions of albums sold. Oh, and he has significant connections to a number of musical legends - The Beatles, Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty…and yet I simply wasn’t aware of Jeff Lynne until now really, for some reason. I just never got around to him I guess. Or did I? He seems like he could be one of those artists where you might know him without knowing you know him. I guess I did have a Travelin Wilburys CD back in the day. And after all, how many of us can sing along to “Free Fallin’” when it comes on the radio or over the speakers at the grocery store (or when Tom Cruise sings along in Jerry Maguire)?

ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE is, quite simply, a great little pop rock record and everyone who likes great little pop rock records should listen to it. “When I Was a Boy” captures childhood memories without turning mushy. “I’m Leaving You” seems to channel the the drama of classic Roy Orbison. “One Step At a Time” is a slice of 70’s radio gold with a dancey, disco vein that sounds like a hit (and a sure fire live concert classic). Lynne’s music possess the confidence and subtle creativity of a master producer working within his genre. His singing serves the song and changes style and approach as needed. These songs are not in danger of “they all sound the same” syndrome.

Jeff Lynne is no Bob Dylan when it comes to lyrics but then again who is, really? Lynne’s lyrics are simple and direct and they get the job done. “When I was a boy I had a dream” - boom, done. “When the night comes, that’s when I think of you” - perfect, got it. The message is conveyed, the listener has room to insert their own fluff if they want to, and the songwriter focuses instead on the “how" and the “why" of the music and performance instead of on the “what” of the lyrics.

Lyrical simplicity could seem like a stumbling block, with words like “she’s dirty to the bone” possibly coming across as cliched and corny at first. But throw in that song's variety of ear-candy guitar parts (love that opening ripple), and the surprising contrast between the sweet music and the sour lyrics, and the darn thing can start to grown on you. It’s a sort of tonal contrast that is used effectively multiple times on this album. Though perhaps we could say the album title itself is an exercise in contrast - the smallness of feeling alone vs. the vastness of the universe. It’s “Alone in the Universe,” after all, not “Alone in My Bedroom.”

And with Jeff Lynne as the man responsible for nearly every bit of the singing, songwriting, playing, and producing on this gem of an album I think it’s safe to say that being alone can have its benefits.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener


The Best of The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12
The Best of The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12
Price: $17.88
84 used & new from $12.40

215 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS (a 2 disc vs. 6 disc comparison), November 7, 2015
Dear Music Appreciators,

This "Best of" version is the one I heard first, streaming on NPR, and the 6 disc deluxe edition is the one I bought on Amazon because I couldn't resist the extras (more songs, more versions of songs, the hardbound book, etc.). But the 2 disc The Best of The Cutting Edge Provides the most accessible, traditional, and easily enjoyable listening experience from beginning to end.

A particular highlight for this reviewer was "Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence," which I missed the first time it came out (Bootleg Series 1-3). This song rocks. The guitar work stings and runs you over. Dylan yells. He sings some different lyrics. Words from "Tom Thumb's Blues" make an appearance. And Dylan picks his guitar player over a woman - "She's good alright but she ain't as good as this guitar player I got right now." A fitting tribute to the singular guitar work of Mike Bloomfield.

For what it’s worth, I’ve created a little track-by-track/side-by-side guide to help you know some of the difference between what’s on the 2 disc version (The Best of The Cutting Edge) vs. what’s on the 6 disc version of this release (The Cutting Edge Deluxe Edition).

- The 2 disc version contains 36 of the 111 tracks on the 6 disc version.

- It appears the 2 disc version contains 2 tracks (disc 1 track 14 and disc 2 track 3) that are slightly shorter than their counterparts on the 6 disc version. There may be others with very minor differences of a few seconds as well.

- The 2 disc version contains just 2 versions of “Like a Rolling Stone” whereas the 6 disc version devotes the entirety of disc four's 20 tracks to the song and I’ve read this is the full sessions for this particular song, but not sure if that is accurate.

The 2 disc version contains the following number of tracks off each disc of the 6 disc version:
- 10 out of the 23 tracks on disc 1
- 8 out of the 19 tracks on disc 2
- 2 out of the 20 tracks on disc 3
- 7 out of the 19 tracks on disc 4
- 4 out of the 15 tracks on disc 5
- 5 out of the 15 tracks on disc 6

How many songs (regardless of take or version) that appear on the 6 disc set do not appear on the 2 disc set? Answer = 12

Those songs are:

- It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
- It’s All Right Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
- From a Buick 6
- Ballad of a Thin Man
- Jet Pilot
- I Wanna Be Your Lover
- Unknown Instrumental
- 4th Time Around
- Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way (and I’ll Go Mine)
- Temporary Like Achilles
- Obviously 5 Believers
- Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

So, other than that the 6 disc version is comprised of additional versions of these songs as well as additional versions of the same songs that appear on the 2 disc set.

Disc 1 Track 1 on The Best of the Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 2 Love Minus Zero/No Limit (Take 2 Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 2 on The Best of the Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 5 I’ll Keep it With Mine (Take 1, Piano Demo) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 3 on The Best of the Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 7 and 8 Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream (Takes 1 and 2 Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 4 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 9 She Belongs to Me (Take 1 Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 5 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 13 Subterranean Homesick Blues (Take 1 remake electric) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 6 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 15 Outlaw Blues (Take 2 remake electric) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 7 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 17 On the Road Again (Take 4 electric) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 8 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 20 Farewell, Angelina (Take 1, Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 9 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 22 If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Take 2, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 10 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 23 You Don't Have to Do That (Take 1, Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 11 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 1 California (Take 1, Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 12 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 4 Mr. Tambourine Man (Take 3 with Band, Incomplete) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 13 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 6 It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Take 8, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 14 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = a shorter version of Disc 3 Track 5 Like a Rolling Stone (Take 5, Rehearsal) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 15 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 3 Track 12 Like a Rolling Stone (Take 11, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 16 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 9 Sitting On a Barbed Wire Fence (Take 2) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 17 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 12 Medicine Sunday (Take 1) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 18 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 16 Desolation Row (Take 2, Piano Demo) on the Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 19 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 15 Desolation Row (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)

Disc 2 Track 1 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 10 Tombstone Blues (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 2 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 14 Positively 4th Street (Take 5, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 3 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = a shorter version of Disc 4 Track 1 Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 4 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 7 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (Take 3, Rehearsal) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 5 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 3 Highway 61 Revisited (Take 3, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 6 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 10 Queen Jane Approximately (Take 5, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 7 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 19 Visions of Johanna (Take 5, Rehearsal) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 8 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 5 Track 5 She's Your Lover Now (Take 6, Rehearsal) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 9 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 5 Track 11 Lunatic Princess (Take 1) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 10 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 5 Track 14 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Take 8, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 11 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 5 Track 10 One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later) (Take 19, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 12 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 4 Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (Take 13, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 13 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 6 Absolutely Sweet Marie (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 14 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 8 Just Like a Woman (Take 4, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 15 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 10 Pledging My Time (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 16 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 14 I Want You (Take 4, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 17 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 5 Highway 61 Revisited (Take 7, False Start) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2016 1:41 AM PDT


The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol.12 (Deluxe Edition)
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol.12 (Deluxe Edition)
Price: $117.56
62 used & new from $69.99

86 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, November 6, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Dear Music Appreciators,

Bob’s back. Can you dig it, man? There’s a lot to dig into on this release, whichever version you decide to go with. The sound is great and has a sort of up close and personal and in the studio feel to it (as it should!). It’s interesting to hear these classic songs as they evolve and change. Most versions included on this 6 disc set seem to be different enough or good enough that they are worth listening to.

What a great opportunity to step back in time and hear these seminal songs of the 60’s as they were and as they could have been vs. how they were released. The Cutting Edges gives some insight to Dylan’s process during the peak of his powers and only serves to increase the perception that his was a one-time only comet streak of musical inspiration that arguably burned brightest during the nearly two year period represented in these recordings.

The hard bound book accompanying this deluxe issue is called Bob Dylan Mixing Up The Medicine 1965-1966 and it is almost entirely photographs with not much in the way of text. It’s fun to see all these pictures, especially the pictures of lyrics sheets with handwritten changes and newspaper articles from the time period that are clear enough to read the text of the articles. I also like the section titled “Articles from Around the Globe” that includes magazine and album covers and assorted Dylan related oddities of the time from other countries.

The actual lines notes are packaged with the discs and seem reasonably extensive (54 pages including pictures). The discs are packaged to look like mini LP’s in a gate fold sort of style - there are three sections that fold out with 2 discs in each section. One of the product photos on Amazon is made to look like there are 5 separate pieces to this deluxe edition plus the discs, but there are only three - the photo book and the liner notes with the fold out discs - and both of those slide into the main slipcase. In the Amazon photo they are showing the photo book and the liner notes/discs twice - one where you see the front of them, and once where they are laying open to show an example of the contents.

For what it’s worth, I’ve created a little track-by-track/side-by-side guide to help you know the difference between what’s on the 2 disc version vs. what’s on the 6 disc version of this release. But first, some summary notes on the subject:

- The 2 disc version contains 36 of the 111 tracks on the 6 disc version.

- It appears the 2 disc version contains 2 tracks (disc 1 track 14 and disc 2 track 3) that are slightly shorter than their counterparts on the 6 disc version. There may be others with very minor differences of a few seconds as well.

- The 2 disc version contains just 2 versions of “Like a Rolling Stone” whereas the 6 disc version devotes the entirety of disc four's 20 tracks to the song and I’ve read this is the full sessions for this particular song, but not sure if that is accurate.

The 2 disc version contains the following number of tracks off each disc of the 6 disc version:
- 10 out of the 23 tracks on disc 1
- 8 out of the 19 tracks on disc 2
- 2 out of the 20 tracks on disc 3
- 7 out of the 19 tracks on disc 4
- 4 out of the 15 tracks on disc 5
- 5 out of the 15 tracks on disc 6

How many songs (regardless of take or version) that appear on the 6 disc set do not appear on the 2 disc set? Answer = 12

Those songs are:

- It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
- It’s All Right Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
- From a Buick 6
- Ballad of a Thin Man
- Jet Pilot
- I Wanna Be Your Lover
- Unknown Instrumental
- 4th Time Around
- Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way (and I’ll Go Mine)
- Temporary Like Achilles
- Obviously 5 Believers
- Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

So, other than that the 6 disc version is comprised of additional versions of these songs as well as additional versions of the same songs that appear on the 2 disc set.

Disc 1 Track 1 on The Best of the Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 2 Love Minus Zero/No Limit (Take 2 Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 2 on The Best of the Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 5 I’ll Keep it With Mine (Take 1, Piano Demo) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 3 on The Best of the Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 7 and 8 Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream (Takes 1 and 2 Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 4 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 9 She Belongs to Me (Take 1 Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 5 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 13 Subterranean Homesick Blues (Take 1 remake electric) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 6 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 15 Outlaw Blues (Take 2 remake electric) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 7 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 17 On the Road Again (Take 4 electric) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 8 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 20 Farewell, Angelina (Take 1, Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 9 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 22 If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Take 2, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 10 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 1 Track 23 You Don't Have to Do That (Take 1, Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 11 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 1 California (Take 1, Solo Acoustic) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 12 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 4 Mr. Tambourine Man (Take 3 with Band, Incomplete) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 13 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 6 It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Take 8, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 14 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = a shorter version of Disc 3 Track 5 Like a Rolling Stone (Take 5, Rehearsal) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 15 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 3 Track 12 Like a Rolling Stone (Take 11, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 16 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 9 Sitting On a Barbed Wire Fence (Take 2) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 17 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 12 Medicine Sunday (Take 1) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 18 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 16 Desolation Row (Take 2, Piano Demo) on the Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 1 Track 19 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 15 Desolation Row (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)

Disc 2 Track 1 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 10 Tombstone Blues (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 2 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 2 Track 14 Positively 4th Street (Take 5, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 3 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = a shorter version of Disc 4 Track 1 Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 4 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 7 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (Take 3, Rehearsal) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 5 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 3 Highway 61 Revisited (Take 3, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 6 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 10 Queen Jane Approximately (Take 5, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 7 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 19 Visions of Johanna (Take 5, Rehearsal) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 8 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 5 Track 5 She's Your Lover Now (Take 6, Rehearsal) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 9 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 5 Track 11 Lunatic Princess (Take 1) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 10 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 5 Track 14 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Take 8, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 11 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 5 Track 10 One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later) (Take 19, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 12 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 4 Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (Take 13, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 13 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 6 Absolutely Sweet Marie (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 14 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 8 Just Like a Woman (Take 4, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 15 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 10 Pledging My Time (Take 1, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 16 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 6 Track 14 I Want You (Take 4, Alternate Take) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)
Disc 2 Track 17 on The Best of The Cutting Edge = Disc 4 Track 5 Highway 61 Revisited (Take 7, False Start) on The Cutting Edge (6 disc)

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2015 12:52 PM PST


Water For Your Soul
Water For Your Soul
Offered by Music-Shop-US
Price: $9.49
41 used & new from $6.64

9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, July 31, 2015
This review is from: Water For Your Soul (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

What a cool album cover. Kind of a lofty suggestion though, water for MY soul? Water, with all it’s refreshing, restorative, and life-sustaining qualities, for "my soul?" I hate to be the semantics police (I know, I know, there might be other meanings here) but unfortunately the music on this album doesn’t quite do these implied concepts justice for me.

But for plenty of Joss Stone’s fans, perhaps this album will be sort of like water for their souls I guess, in the sense that Joss always has a beautiful voice and a sort of a hand-holding, healing-soul-sister “we’re all in this together” kind of vibe going on, and lots of people will enjoy and identify with that regardless of what she does on her records.

Yes, there are reggae beats and a wide variety of instruments spread around on this album, and that’s pretty cool and groovy and everything but where is there any sense of joy or fun or at least some good ol’ fashioned showing off of that big expressive voice? Even the "up with people” type songs (such as “Star” or “Clean Water”) seem restrained by an overly busy instrumental background and relatively understated vocals and never quite seem to take off and soar. “Star” hands the big chorus off to a children’s choir for example, which gives the song a sort of plodding, creepy feeling rather than turning it into the jubilant, people-come-together kind of anthem it could have been. And this one particular example of choosing a musical style or effect over a chance to feature Joss Stone’s greatest asset (her voice) might just be symbolic of the main issue that infects the entire album.

In many ways WATER FOR YOUR SOUL is too long and too serious, and it lacks the big vocal moments that have made Joss Stone a pleasure to listen to so many times in the past.

But I criticize because I care. Funny thing is, despite all of it’s issues, with each succeeding listen I’ve found more to like and can’t deny that there are words and music and beats here that want to wear some grooves in my mind. Okay, fine, I’ll take numbers 1 through 5…oh and numbers 7 and 8…basically I’ll take half the album and you can keep the rest.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener


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