lauryn hill - the miseducation of lauryn hill

Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

Day 5 of the #mayvinylchallenge had me twisted. Best side or solo project. What does that even mean? I was looking at the entries and got even more confused: do you count solo work after the original band broke up? What if the side project becomes the main project? I had a few things in the air, from Ty Segall’s Sabbath rooted Fuzz project to the one-off between Ginger Baker and Fela Kuti. But the minute I saw The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill sitting there on my shelf there wasn’t a second of hesitancy. This was my favorite album of 1998, and a sterling example of someone stepping out from the shadow of a popular outfit to blow the doors off the music world. Whatever you think of Lauryn Hill how, this album is incredible from start to finish.

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beastie boys - sounds of science

Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)

There’s an art to compilations, and it’s not always the same art.  Does that make sense?  I don’t know – it’s currently 10:30 in the morning and I’ve already had a snort of whisky in my coffee.  Anyway, compilations can be a generic overview, target a specific period in time, or – if they’re really ambitious – display an evolution of artistic exploration in such a way as to capture an essence, a distillation of what makes a band unique.  So enter The Sounds of Science by the Beastie BoysContinue reading “Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)”

beastie boys - hello nasty

Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (1998)

We’re back…with an album I intended to cover a few weeks ago, so I’m going off the few notes I scribbled down concerning Hello Nasty, the 1998 melange of styles brought to the table by the one, the only, Beastie Boys.  Breaking out of the grungy soul/funk hybrids that made up Check Your Head and Ill Communication,  things go a little more old school 80s with a lot more traditional sampling and scratching, but the imprint of what the band did is unmistakable.  Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (1998)”

beastie boys - ill communication

Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (1994)

Yes, this is the one with “Sabotage” and as gigantic as that song was (and still is), it’s almost a shame that it overshadows some of the finer moments of Ill Communication, the fourth album from the Beastie Boys.  I’m not going to pretend “Sabotage” isn’t a great song, but coming back to the full album after so much time it feels a little like the grander, more polished version of Check Your Head.  Which is great, but not enough to put this album over the top in my ranking of the B-Boys discography. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (1994)”

beastie boys - check your head

Beastie Boys: Check Your Head (1992)

It’s telling that the Beastie Boys are pictured with instruments on the cover of Check Your Head, their third album.  Constantly searching and evolving, the group put more of an emphasis on using live instrumentation, bringing in much more of the punk, rock, and soul/funk roots that colored their childhood.  If Paul’s Boutique is (arguably) the “best” Beastie Boys album, then Check Your Head is my favorite Beastie Boys album, the one that made me fall in love with the band. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Check Your Head (1992)”