Tag Archives: The Lone Bellow

2020 Album Countdown: The A-OK (24-18)

7 Dec

I’m trying something different with my countdowns this year. Instead of writing a whole big thing (that nobody will read) I did individual album reviews and put the link under the artist. If you wanna check out my specific thoughts, click the link-if not, move through the count!

This is NOT the final list. This is the middle of the countdown list.

24.

Jason Mraz (1 awesome; 2 good; 5 ok;  meh; 4 dislike of 12 = 

8.3% awesome; 

16.7% good; 

66.7% OK & up

 -33.3% dislike = 

33.4% OK & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/05/jason-mraz-look-for-the-good-album-review/

This is a very light, and optimistic album.  And I have an ethical dilemma about supporting a “look for the good in everyone” or “make love not war” narrative, when it’s a matter of ethics violations, suppression, human rights, and life and death, as is going on right now.  It’s the right message for a different time.  Sorry (not sorry), but this hippy-dippy $hit ain’t gonna cut it right now, and it’s a pretty privileged position to be coming from when people are literally dying in the street.  At this time, I say, Jason, read the room.

Also, not to get too down on the artist of my first concert experience, but I really dislike the genre of reggae.  So each song was judged on my opinion, rather than on it’s own merits as I usually would.  Because there’s no way I’m putting even a good reggae song on my playlist!

Thirdly, listening to reggae I do not like made me wonder if there’s some sort of listener effect (scientifically speaking) where your opinion remains consistent.  For example, because I didn’t like 2 reggae songs in a row, am I more likely to hate that third song too?  Even if it’s not reggae? And this is only broken with an extreme like of that third song?  I was wondering because of the true reggae songs, I think there were 3-4, yet I really didn’t like any of the songs that followed….

23.

Jojo  (2 awesome; 3 good; 5 ok; 1 meh; 4 dislike of  16 = 

12.5% awesome; 

18.8% good;

Awesome good avg = 15.65%

62.5% OK & up

25% dislike

Awesome – dislike = neg

Good – dislike = neg

Awesome good avg – dislike = neg

Ok – dislike = 37.5%)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/jojo-good-to-know-album-review/

22.

Lady Gaga (5 good, 5 meh, 1 hate of 16 = 

31.2% good; 

31.2% meh; 

Avg of good & meh = 

31.2% OK

-6.3% for hated song = 

24.9% good; 

24.9% OK

Chromatica (interludes):  they’re nice.  I like them and was left wanting more each time.  I gather they are a type of separation for the musical chapters.  I say that because I was wondering why the album doesn’t sound futuristic until a third of it is finished.  And I realized there was a break-up to end the first third, then a 2nd chomatica interlude, and a definite change in feel/sound.  If that’s the case, I say throw out the entire first chapter.  Every song was weak and generic.

I was listening to the Lady Gaga album, and a song came on that immediately made me amped up and excited.  I thought–finally!  It took til track 16, but here is a show-stopper.  It was the next song in her catalogue, Bradley Cooper singing “Black Eyes” off A Star Is Born Soundtrack.  But that little story tells you how I felt about Chromatica.  There was some strong ‘remix for the gay club scene’ vibes from this album.  It’s dancy.  I did like, what I gather, is supposed to be 3 chapters of a story.  It’s a neat concept, and I’d like to see it done better in the future.  On this album, you could unfortunately toss chapter 1 and 3 in the trash.  Each of the songs on the first and last thirds of the album were weak to bad.

21.

The Flaming Lips (4 ok of 11 = 36.4%)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/the-flaming-lips-american-head-album-review/

Alice fell asleep in Wonderland.  That’s how I would describe the album.  It’s experimental, but down-tempo, low-key.  Background music, with distortion.  

These last 3 songs, finally woke me up.  I nearly didn’t finish listening to the whole album, because I thought I could tell where it was headed.  I’m glad I didn’t abandon it before it got better.  I wish Flaming Lips had released an EP with the latter-part of the album.  

20.

Alicia Keys (7 ok of 16 = 43.8% ok)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/alicia-keys-alicia-album-review/

I guess the album is good, though it’s not my cup of tea, apparently.  I wanted higher energy, less slow, less chill.  But even for those who like this easy-going music, I think the album could have benefitted from some editing.  Don’t keep every song just to have a more substantial album.  Cut weak songs–even if it turns into an EP.  Or single.  

19.

Joan Osborn (7 ok of 10 = 70% ok)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/08/joan-osborne-trouble-and-strife-album-review/

18. The Top A-OK album of 2020 is:

The Lone Bellow (6 good; 6 meh of 12 = 

50% good; 

100% meh and up; 

avg = 70% Ok )

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/27/the-lone-bellow-half-moon-light-album-review/

Next list is The Good.

Check it out!

The Lone Bellow: Half Moon Light Album Review

27 Nov

I Can Feel You Dancing:  Would have benefited from another verse.  It’s too much chorus repeating.  I do like the touch of brass.

Good Times;  The bass is cool, there are brass instruments which is great, and the keyboard is nice.  I like the brass!

Wonder;  The harmonic humming sounds good, then when it turns into the sample material it’s still somewhat unique.  They do just enough to tell you it’s a take on the original and call it back, but most of the song is completely original.

Count On Me:  The bass drum heart-beating throughout the song is the strongest part of this one.  The lyrics are a little cliche’, but they sound nice sung as a group.

Wash It Clean:  It is a nice song, but larely forgettable.

Enemies:  Quiet, very quiet.

Interlude:

Just Enough to Get By:  This song suddenly sounds like a completely different band.  There is no indication of this singer or sound prior to this track.  So I like it, it’s a little soulful and bluesy more than the rest–but let’s hear some of this elsewhere on the album.

Martingales:  This song is also a bit of a departure from the rest of the album (in a good way) save for the choral backing.

Illegal Immigrant:  Not an attention getter.  Too soft, too unassuming.  I do give props for any country-leaning group to tackle anything even adjacent to race relations.  This is a pretty mellow and coded and safe take on a hot-button issue.

Friends:  More jazzed up, but I don’t really like that talk-singing stuff.  I do like a touch of whistling so good on ‘em for that.

Dust Settles:  I think it might be a heavily coded political unity song.  And it tells a story in detail, as a good country song tends to do.  But my opinion is that it’s not a very original, or genuine story.  It’s a bunch of cliche’s and probably guesses about how other people feel.  I don’t get a big sense of introspection or personal feeling from the song.  It’s a bit distant, instead of from the heart.  Again though, I really give the band credit for writing on anything political–however coded and arms-length.

August:  big strings are the reason I was attracted to Lone Bellow’s earlier work.  So I’m happy some are included.  But disappointed they’re not center-stage in the song, or featured on more of the album.

finale: