Songs from the Front Lines

Songs from the Front Lines

Songs from the Front Lines: Jim and Greg celebrate Memorial Day with music capturing the veteran experience. Later they review Coldplay's Ghost Stories.

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reviewXSCAPEXscape available on iTunes

Michael Jackson Xscape

Is Michael Jackson back from the dead? It seems like it lately, with the Thriller star moonwalking from beyond the grave, and his second posthumous release debuting at #2 this week. Xscape features eight hitherto-unreleased tracks, each in two forms: Jackson's original demos, plus new versions spiffed up by producers like L.A. Reid, StarGate and Timbaland. Greg finds it interesting that they included the demos — as he puts it, there was a reason Jackson left those behind. And while the production team did a good job reworking the tracks, Greg doubts that the Prince of Pop would have been satisfied with this album. Jim ponders the bizarre tracklist, which includes an update of America's "A Horse with No Name," a Paul Anka collaboration, and a song titled "Do You Know Where Your Children Are" that Jim finds simply“disturbing.”While Xscape isn't as awful as other posthumous releases (Tupac and Jimi Hendrix come to mind), neither host thinks fans will keep listening once the hype dies down. It's a double Trash It.

JimGreg

Music News

Oh, how the mighty have fallen—and we're not just talking about lackluster MJ. After its two-month reign as the nation's #1 album, the Frozen soundtrack has at last been ousted from its throne… by Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 50. What are we to make of this coup by Universal's unending compilation series? On one hand, it's proof that the Top 40 crowd is still the biggest force in purchasing music. But on the other, it's surprising that teens still want Now! to curate their playlists when it's so easy to create their own. Turn Down for What? For Idina Menzel, apparently.

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Memorial Day: Songs from the Front Lines

In honor of Memorial Day and the men and women who have served in our armed forces, Jim, Greg and you, the listeners, present Songs from the Front Lines.

reviewGhost StoriesGhost Stories available on iTunes

Coldplay Ghost Stories

In 2011, not even Jim and Greg's disapproval could keep Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto from taking the band to new heights of arena rock success. Three years later, Chris Martin and his plaintive falsetto are back for more with Ghost Stories, the band's sixth studio album. Initially, Greg appreciated Ghost Stories's move away from the anthemic sing-alongs of Mylo Xyloto into a more sparse musical landscape, not unlike the band's melodic debut Parachutes. Ultimately, though, Ghost Stories never quite reaches the same heights as that album, with both critics put to sleep by Martin's (newfound) heartbreak-filled lyrics set to somber music that's molded in part by EDM producer Avicii and hip hop Timbaland. Jim and Greg both say Trash It.

JimGreg

Featured Songs

  1. Coldplay, Yellow, Parachutes, Nettwerk, 2000
  2. Michael Jackson, Love Never Felt So Good, Xscape, Epic/MJJ Music, 2014
  3. Michael Jackson, Chicago (Original Version), Xscape, Epic/MJJ Music, 2014
  4. Michael Jackson, A Place with No Name, Xscape, Epic/MJJ Music, 2014
  5. Michael Jackson, Do You Know Where Your Children Are, Xscape, Epic/MJJ Music, 2014 (0:20)
  6. The Chainsmokers, #SELFIE, #SELFIE (Single), Dim Mak Republic/Universal, 2014
  7. Barry Sadler, The Ballad of the Green Berets, Ballads of the Green Berets, RCA Victor, 1966
  8. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son, Willy and the Poor Boys, Fantasy, 1969
  9. Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods, Billy. Don't Be a Hero, Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods, ABC Music, 1974
  10. Edwin Starr, War, War & Peace, Motown, 1970
  11. United States Military Academy Band, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Songs of the Civil War, Sony, 1991
  12. Bill Withers, I Can't Write Left Handed, Live at Carnegie Hall, Columbia, 1973
  13. Eminem, Mosh, Encore, Aftermath, 2004
  14. 3 Doors Down, When I'm Gone, Away from the Sun, Universal, 2002
  15. Twisted Sister, Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant), Love Is for Suckers, Spitfire, 1987
  16. Rosanne Cash, When the Master Calls the Roll, The River & the Thread, Blue Note/Decca, 2014
  17. Gang of Four, I Love a Man in a Uniform, Songs of the Free, EMI, 1982
  18. Irving Berlin, This Is the Army, Mr. Jones, This Is the Army (Original Broadway Cast Recording), Warner Bros., 1942
  19. New Order, Love Vigilantes, Low-life, WM UK, 1985
  20. Motörhead, 1916, 1916, Epic/WTG, 1991
  21. Coldplay, A Sky Full of Stars, Ghost Stories, Atlantic/Parlophone, 2014
  22. Coldplay, Magic, Ghost Stories, Atlantic/Parlophone, 2014
  23. Apollo Brown, Cellophane, Thirty Eight, Mellow Music Group, 2014
  24. Yoko Ono, Mindweaver, Season of Glass, Ryko Distribution, 1981
  25. Uncle Tupelo, Screen Door, No Depression, Rockville, 1990
  26. Uncle Tupelo, Life Worth Livin', No Depression, Rockville, 1990
  27. ABBA, Lay All Your Love on Me, Super Trouper, PolyGram, 1980

Footnotes

theverge.com MJ's moonwalking hologram billboard.com Xscape debuts at #2 rollingstone.com Quincy Jones on Xscape nytimes.com Frozen unseated by Now! 50 wbez.org Jim's MJ review chicagotribune.com Greg's MJ review coldplay.com Coldplay chicagotribune.com Greg's Coldplay review