God Bless Tiny Tim
God Bless Tiny Tim
The Adolescents - “The Blue Album”
‘I haunt MC’s like Mephistopheles,
Bringing swords and Damacles,
Secret service keep a close watch as if my name was Kennedy’
Simon R.E. Leeks
When I first heard about this album I was just getting into hip hop and, being fairly naive, was skeptical of anything outside of the traditional ‘golden era’ of the genre. Throw into the mix that this album was coming of the back of the commercially unsuccessful Blunted on Reality,and I was considering not buying this. So, being highly presumptuous, I almost didn’t, but I guess sometimes you’ve just gotta gamble eh? Luckily for me I did and learnt a valuable lesson about music that I’ll never forget and always tend to think of when I’m about to pre-judge a piece too heavily. And that is that it’s almost impossible not to have at least some sort of expectation before listening, but it’s about suspending that expectation until you’ve given the music a chance and really thought about what the artist(s) are trying to do/say.
Though you may not have heard the whole album, it’s highly likely that, purely vicariously, you’d actually have a reasonable grasp of what to expect from The Score. The album went six times platinum and is widely considered to be one of the best hip hop albums to date, therefore it’s likely you’d have come across some of it at some point. The Score also feels very familiar due to it being responsible for heavily influencing the majority of late 90’s alternative hip hop. This is definitely a good thing. Hip hop should be about breaking boundaries, of whatever kind, and encouraging experimental shifts into the ‘alternative’. I genuinely believe that hip hop today would be a poor imitation without pioneers like Fugees showing that you don’t need a huge budget (theirs was $135k, and they produced the album in a basement), or mainstream themes, in order to have a lasting effect upon the industry.
The production on the LP is predominantly sampling, with contributions from all the members, and a few extra producers like Salaam Remi, but it also has a really cool instrumental aspect to it. For instance on ‘Family Business’ Wyclef is on the guitar, which i just think adds a really nice layer of richness and story (similar to an Andre Benjamin feature, on recent release ‘Pink Matter’ by Frank Ocean, where he plays guitar) and reminds you that these guys are bloody talented musicians.
As far as vocals, Lauryn Hill absolutely smashes it. A precursor to her solo success on Miseducation, her voice holds so much passion and fire. Just listen to ‘Ready or Not’ and tell me you can’t hear the emotion in her voice. Take the description from member, Pras: ‘The three of us was each going through some pain. Lauryn was crying when she did her vocals. It was unbelievable. To see her singing with tears coming out of her eyes, it made me want to cry too.’ Pretty moving stuff.
Anyway, if you like hip hop, this LP cannot be disregarded. It’s done so much for the genre, and music, since its release. The fact these guys only made two albums just immortalises the material, which hopefully helps us forget how much of a crazy bitch Lauryn Hill can be. But her album is still bad-ass, so if you like this, disregard her craziness and buy it, and then buy The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and listen to that for the progression, it’s worth it.
Cream - Wheels Of Fire
Label: ATCO Records - SD 2-700
Format: 2 x Vinyl
I was lucky enough to have been kindly given this by a friend; ‘Who’s Next’ by The Who! I’ve been looking for this album everywhere. I love Who’s Next. ‘Baba O’ Riley’, ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ & ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ are some of my favourites. There’s nothing more relaxing than putting a good vinyl record on. The synth on Baba O’ Riley never fails to give me chills! What are you listening to on vinyl?