[Music] The Catch and Release #2

The Catch and Release showcases a choice sample of recently acquired music to my collection; some of these albums that I’ve “caught” will happily be part of my collection forever. But, there are albums that I acquired on a lark, that upon a listen or two have not resounded with me, which I have chosen to release back in the wild.
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What can I say…I started the Catch and Release series in September 2017… planned to make it an ongoing series…and then Big Shit happened. Our lives got into a dander. But! I am committed to this series and sharing new-to-me music with all of you! So, let’s ignore the fact it’s been months since I did one of these, m’kay?

The Catch

Forever committed to adding women artists into the music collection…

Jann Arden – A bunch!

As I shared with y’all a couple of weeks ago, I am a Jann fann! I had Canadian songstress, Jann Arden’s Living Under June back in the day (still do!). I have always found solace in her music. Just a couple of weeks ago I shockingly discovered I have most of her studio albums, several of them acquired while thrifting! I have had a chance to listen to them all and all are keepers. Jann, for the most part, has had a streak of great albums under her belt. She has just released her latest album last month called These Are the Days, which I reviewed recently (spoiler: it’s a goodie!).

Tara MacLean – Silence (1996)

I first heard Canadian songstress, Tara MacLean – where else? MuchMusic. She had a song that got a lot of airplay back in 1996 called Evidence. Its soft heartbeat drums and Tara’s soulful voice caught me at a time when Alanis was crooning about having one hand in her pocket…all respect to Alanis, but Tara’s music was a calm in a storm. I found her album, Silence, for a song at a Taleze, and it’s a calming change of pace.

Tracy Bonham – The Burdens of Being Upright (1996)

Knowing only one song of Bonham’s – Mother Mother – I found this one at my local thrift shop. I had always wanted to take a further look at her music. Her strong voice and her mix of hard rock was a welcoming surprise. Wow, this is a great album full of adrenaline. Each song is strong. This album’s sound takes me back to my uni days of smelly bars and moody grunge. Tracy sings her heart out. Now, I am interested in finding more from this artist.

The Release

The Cure – The Cure (2004)

I picked this one up at my local Mission thrift store on a lark. Now, I consider myself a fan of the Cure’s early stuff (1979 – 1993). Standing on a Beach lived in my Walkman for most of grade 9. I later enjoyed their Wish album, although this is where they turned more commercial (for example, Friday, I’m in Love was a constant on the radio…).  So when I found their 2004 album, The Cure, I was curious about where they were at musically, and I was willing to give the newer albums a shot…And honestly, I think it’s time Robert Smith hang up the rat’s nest. What I heard with this album was a band attempting to recapture the dark magic they had from the 80s, and it just didn’t work. It was painful, in fact. Smith was off-tune on most tracks (intentional, I’m sure) and tried to use his high-pitch woos and screams he’s known for from previous hits (see Love Cats). It just didn’t work for my ears. I’m passing…Now to find a copy of Disintegration

Cracker – Kerosene Hat (1993)

The very first song on this CD is Low – a song that I instantly recognized as the Canadian band Moist…except it wasn’t Moist; it’s Cracker! (Oops!) I can see how this album sold records based on that song alone. As the album continues down the tracks, I liked the bluesy bar rock (complete with tons of cowbell and tambourine)…but I couldn’t stand the lead singer’s crooning…If Cracker were to release this as an instrumental album, it would be on the keep pile!

Evanescence – Fallen (2003) and The Open Door (2006)

I was interested in Evanescence back with their hit Bring Me Back to Life was playing everywhere. Amy Lee’s beautiful voice juxtaposed with orchestral hard rock was different than the norm in ’03, and it was an attractive and curious sound, but I didn’t  pursue it…that is until I found Fallen and the Open Door for cheap. I picked them up to listen, and gave them thrice a listen…and… I don’t think I am a fan of Evanscence’s brand of orchestral Gothic rock. As lovely as Lee’s voice is, it seems she only has one type of singing: the start high and remain high. I don’t know, am I off base here?

Violent Femmes – S/T (1982)

I am probably gonna get flack for this one…Guys, I want to like Violent Femmes so much! I mean, in some way I feel a pressure to like them because of their 80s cred. I mean, this album cover is iconic! Alas, I just…don’t. Blister in the Sun is on the radio constantly. When I found their album for sale at the VV, I grabbed it, thinking, Hey, maybe they have other songs I like? Blister in the Sun was the first track, and an easy pass. Kiss Off is also recognizable…then so is Add It Up (Ethan Hawke from Reality Bites, anyone?) But, no, it honestly comes down to this: it’s Gordon Gano’s voice – it grates! I like the rawness of the guitar and fast drum rolls, but Gano’s nasally voice takes me right out of it. I just don’t see myself pull this off the shelf to listen. Anyone else feel this way about the Femmes?

More to come! Thanks for reading!

19 comments

  1. I love the Catch And Release series, having tried something similar on the KMA… can’t even remember what I called it. Hit It Or Quit It, I think? I dunno, but something James Brown-inspired sounds about right to me.

    Anyway, good on ya for going through things. It’s a tough slog, but ultimately worth it. So I gotta say I agree with keeping the Jann, especially when you’re already a, er, Jann fan. And I highly endorse keeping the Tracy Bonham. I love that CD, and even got to see her in concert at Edenfest, and for such a little lady she has one helluva huge voice! She has more, have fun finding it all!

    Not gonna disagree with ditching the Cure. Not my bag at all (saw them at the same show as Bonham and we left their set after about three songs ugh). And I never got to Evanescence either so OK. But I gotta give a vote for the Cracker. If his voice doesn’t do it for you, I get that, and that’s a shame, ‘cos I played the hell outta that record in the day and was surprised to see it in the ditch pile. And I definitely was surprised to see VF in the Release side. I thought that can’t be right! But I read your blurb and I get it and that’s cool. Me, I love that album (I have a 2CD set with lots of extras as well as the old original). I always figured his voice was part of the whole thing, you know? Still, fair play!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just have one question for you before you throw away that copy of Kerosene Hat: did you listen to the hidden track? I think it’s around track 69 and it’s called “Eurotrash girl”. They played it a ton on Toronto’s CFNY just before they went totally commercial and renamed themselves the EDGE. Anyway, Eurotrash girl is a brilliant track. It may very well save the disc for you.

    Oh and I’m with you on The Cure, haven’t been able to listen to any of their material since 1999. I’d be happy if he just stopped recording and continued to do live shows, they’ve got more than enough material. They’re still awesome live by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although I live for the cure’s 85-2000 material, I agree that the vocal tuning wandered a fair bit on that one, and it’s been sitting on the shelf since the mid-00s for me.
    Though a lot of the albums that came before it are usually within an arms length of the turntable/CD/cassette player!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tracy Bonham has such an amazing voice. I remember not liking the rest of the album as much. Thanks for jogging my memory. I am going to find it an listen to it again. I have been revisiting a bunch of bands since seeing the Breeders last week

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That sure is a whole lot of Jann!!

    Anyhoo, I think I like that Cure album. I have the CD… though I can’t remember too much from it, so maybe that speaks volumes!

    Evanescence made me want to fill my ears with cement *shudders*… I haven’t listened to Cracker in a long time, but now I wanna… Femmes: I’m with you all the way. Picked up the LP cheap a few years ago and sold it shortly after (for less cheap).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Y’see? Jann’s been at it a long time!
      I think I struck a chord with that Cure album! At last someone is piping up about Evanescence. Just not my thing. I thought I would get a lot more flack about Femmes. Glad we see each other on that one!

      Liked by 1 person

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