Saturday, May 6, 2017

CD Odyssey: The First 1000

One thousand posts! Hard to believe I’ve made it this far, but here we are.

The last 100 discs saw some more noticeable shifts, both in terms of overall rating and which decade the album was coming from.

There were 10 5-star albums in the past 100, which is about even for the entire Odyssey overall, but there were considerably more 4 star reviews (33% of the last 100 vs. only 23% of all reviews). I ascribe this mainly to my new approach to checking out albums first on Youtube before I decide if I want to buy them.

Another shift is the most listened to decade. While the 1990s still has the overall lead with 236 albums, only 13 of the last 100 albums were from that decade. Instead, the 2010s have taken over, with fully one-third (34%) of my last 100 reviews being of records released since 2010. This is because since Disc 904 I’ve been alternating between a random album from the main collection and a random album from my backlog of recently purchased albums. While I’m still buying music from every decade, it isn’t surprising that a lot of my new music is, well, new.

Here are the ten albums that scored the full 5-stars from Discs 901-1000:

·         Warren Zevon– Excitable Boy
·         Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
·         Frank Sinatra – A Swingin’ Affair
·         Allman Brothers – Idlewild South
·         Dori Freeman – Self Titled
·         Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
·         Blondie – Parallel Lines
·         Sera Cahoone – Deer Creek Canyon
·         Beastie Boys – To the 5 Boroughs
·         Alela Diane – To Be Still

Four of these ten are albums released within the last ten years, so don’t let anyone tell you that “no one is making good music anymore.” There is plenty of great music being made every day.

Once again there was only a single 1-star review, which was Duran Duran’s “Rio”. Duran Duran is just one of those bands I love to hate. If Sheila decides to bring another one of their records into the house it’ll get similarly rough and unfair treatment.

As I run out of room for my collection I have become a lot more ruthless on getting rid of albums. Here’s the full list of albums that were dismissed from the collection out of the last 100:
  • Billy Joel, “Storm Front” – just a bit too mopey.
  • Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin, “Colvin & Earle” – I admire both artists, but this album didn’t work for me. One of the few I bought without an exploratory listen first.
  • Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle “One from the Heart Soundtrack” – A bad run for collaborations, although I do still want to see the movie.
  • Dar Williams “End of the Summer” – an example of how my new “listen first” system isn’t perfect. I bought this album after listening to it on Youtube, but still couldn’t find it in my heart to keep it.
  • Annabelle Chvostek “Resilience” – the only Wailin’ Jennys solo album to not make the grade so far. I liked it though, and probably could’ve kept it but I knew someone who would enjoy it more than me and so passed it along.
  • Steve Earle, “Terraplane” – Another “buy it on faith” album, but after this and “Colvin & Earle” the next Steve Earle album is getting vetted first. Sorry, Steve!
  • Kills, “Ash & Ice” – Also bought on faith because I love the band. It was close, but I just see myself listening to one of the other four every time, so I let it go. Also, I know of a good home for it.
  • Dido, “No Angel” – I bought this on a whim because it was in a bargain bin. I liked it, but just not enough to keep it.
  • Sheryl Crow, “C’Mon, C’Mon” – this was a tough one because I love “Steve McQueen” and “Soak Up the Sun” but again, space is of a premium and I don’t see myself choosing this one over “Tuesday Night Music Club” when I want to hear Sheryl belt one out.
I also got rid of the two Beastie Boys albums that are instrumentals. I had previously reviewed “The Mix Up” and kept it, and hadn’t yet reviewed “The In Sound From Way Out” but when I reviewed “To the 5 Boroughs” I realized I wanted to hear the Beasties rap, and these albums didn’t provide that thrill so they are both gone.

In terms of overall reviews, Alice Cooper remains in top spot with 26 albums (two up from 100 albums ago), and Steve Earle stays in second place with 19 albums (two up as well). The third place tie between Tom Waits and Bob Dylan is broken in Dylan’s favour. Waits had a review, but Dylan had two, and now sits alone in third at 18 reviews.

Thanks for reading!

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