beastie boys - the mix up

Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)

It’s been a while, so in my head I was getting The Mix-Up confused with The In Sound From Way Out.  THAT album is a compilation of the instrumental tracks from the previous Beastie Boys records.  THIS record is the official seventh studio album from the mixmasters, an all original instrumental album that serves as a respite from the hard rap stance of To The 5 Boroughs, and for me personally it’s one of the best records to just throw on a chill to, a laid back groove session that reinforces the chemistry between Diamond, Yauch, and Horovitz. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)”

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)”

axiom funk - funkcronomicon

Axiom Funk: Funkcronomicon (1995)

When I was 17 I was introduced to two albums that changed my life.  Hardcore Jollies and Up For the Downstroke were two sides of a puzzle I became obsessed over ever since: the hard rock attack of Funkadelic and the buttery soul funk of Parliament.  The concept of Axiom Funk is to take those elements – and players, and songs – and update them with the dub sonic foundation of Bill Laswell.  If all those things are your jam, then I welcome you to enter the Funkcronomicon. Continue reading “Axiom Funk: Funkcronomicon (1995)”

aretha franklin - aretha's gold

Aretha Franklin: Aretha’s Gold (1969)

There was Aretha Franklin, the talented jazz singer signed to Columbia who just didn’t know how to harness all that talent. And then there’s Aretha Franklin, the powerhouse signed to Atlantic who wisely set her up with Jerry Wexler, who immediately knew how to take that power and just unleash it (he just stepped aside and let her do her thing).  Between the two of them the legend that was Atlantic Records in the 60s was solidified, and Aretha’s Gold is frankly ridiculous when you consider this is just a sampling of what Franklin brought to music in late 1967-68. Continue reading “Aretha Franklin: Aretha’s Gold (1969)”

al green - the absolute best

Al Green: The Absolute Best (2004)

If there are better songs in the discography of Al Green I’m unaware of them.  That’s not because I think The Absolute Best, a 2-disc compilation ranging the entirety of Green’s stay with Willie Mitchell at Hi Records contains all that is the pinnacle of the man’s career.  It’s really (and sadly) because it’s the only music I have from Al Green and everything I’ve heard elsewhere can be found on this compilation. Continue reading “Al Green: The Absolute Best (2004)”