London Calling

London Calling and Opinions on Keith Richards & Disclosure

London Calling, the double album masterpiece by British punk band The Clash, recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Jim and Greg pay it tribute with a Classic Album Dissection. Then they review the new albums by electronic duo Disclosure and rock icon Keith Richards.

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Music News

Pope Francis just completed his first“sold-out tour”of the United States. Now you can own your own souvenir, as the Pope is putting out a pop album called Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward! To Greg, the record has a progressive rock feel, falling somewhere between Yes and Yanni. Jim notes that the Pope wasn't exactly in the studio laying down some“tasty licks,”as producer Don Giulio Neroni arranged the music around Francis‘ famous speeches. If the Pope is trying to speak directly to the population, a pop album isn’t a bad way to do it.

This week, Taylor Swift's album 1989 charted its 48th week on Billboard, and one musician is riding the coattails of that success. Alt country singer Ryan Adams released a track for track cover of 1989 and received more attention than ever. Jim thinks that without Swift's songs, there's no way Adams would be on the Billboard charts. He also references an article highlighting the "mansplaining" idea that people can only realize the strength of Swift's songwriting when a white male performs the tracks. Greg thinks that Adams is doing some solid marketing, as his music hasn‘t been relevant in 15 years. What do you think of Adams’ covers? Let us know!

classic album dissectionLondon CallingLondon Calling available on iTunes

The Clash London Calling

Next up is a patented Sound Opinions Classic Album Dissection – this time of one of the greatest double albums of rock history: London Calling by The Clash, which recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of its US release. London Calling represented a huge leap forward for the English band. All four members seemed to be at their peak during writing and recording: Joe Strummer on rhythm guitar and vocals, Mick Jones on lead guitar and vocals, Paul Simonon on bass and Nicky“Topper”Headon on drums. They were paired with the unconventional Guy Stevens and engineer Bill Price and were able to draw from a variety of influences – reggae, ska, rockabilly, and jazz – all layered on their particular brand of punk rock. The songwriting partnership of Strummer and Jones was at its high point. Jim and Greg are both moved by Strummer's lyrics, which demonstrate a very sophisticated worldview. To demonstrate the greatness of London Calling, they play two standout tracks: "Spanish Bombs" and "Clampdown."

reviewCaracal (Deluxe)Settle available on iTunes

Disclosure Settle

With their 2013 release Settle, the British electronic duo Disclosure seemed destined to take EDM and mainstream pop by storm. They certainly pushed Sam Smith into the stratosphere. Then came a successful collaboration with Mary J. Blige on 2014's The London Sessions. But, Jim and Greg were disappointed to hear the new album Caracal is something of a let down. It's more song-focused, but also more star-focused with guest vocals by Lorde and The Weeknd. Jim and Greg have heard better from Howard and Guy Lawrence and these guest stars. Caracal gets a double Trash It.

reviewCrosseyed HeartCrosseyed Heart available on iTunes

Keith Richards Crosseyed Heart

Keith Richards is, at times, more of a myth than a man. His riffs are legendary, and his ability to survive his own rock lifestyle is almost supernatural. But his new solo effort, Crosseyed Heart, is an opportunity to show the real Keith, grit and all. The bare-bones production style is admirable, as are personal tracks like "Amnesia," which references his 2006 brain surgery. But, for the most part, this is Keith-by-numbers, nothing great. So Greg says Try It. Jim thinks he's being kind and can't understand why anyone would need to sample this record, let alone own it. He notes that The Rolling Stones, solo and together, have been letting us down three times longer than they were good! When they were good, they were very good. But this record ain't that. Trash It, says Jim.


Featured Songs

  1. Pope Francis & Damiano Affinito, Wake Up!, Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!, Believe Digital, 2015
  2. Taylor Swift, Welcome to New York, 1989, Big Machine, 2014
  3. Ryan Adams, Welcome to New York, 1989, PAX AM, 2015
  4. Disclosure feat. Gregory Porter, Holding On, Caracal, Island, 2015
  5. Disclosure feat. Lorde, Magnets, Caracal, Island, 2015
  6. Keith Richards, Crosseyed Heart, Crosseyed Heart, Mindless, 2015
  7. Radiohead, Everything is in Its Right Place, Kid A, 49:57, 2000
  8. The Clash, London Calling, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  9. The 101'ers, Keys to Your Heart, The Future Is Unwritten, Chiswick Records, 2007
  10. The Clash, Tommy Gun, Give 'em Enough Rope, Epic, 1978
  11. The Clash, London Calling (The Vanilla Tapes), London Calling: 25th Legacy Anniversary Edition, Sony, 2004
  12. The Clash, The Man in Me (The Vanilla Tapes), London Calling: 25th Legacy Anniversary Edition, Sony, 2004
  13. The Clash, Koka Kola, Advertising & Cocaine (The Vanilla Tapes), London Calling: 25th Legacy Anniversary Edition, Sony, 2004
  14. The Clash, The Card Cheat, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  15. The Clash, Hateful, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  16. The Clash, Death or Glory, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  17. The Clash, Lost in the Supermarket, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  18. The Clash, Rudie Can't Fail, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  19. The Clash, Revolution Rock, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  20. The Clash, Spanish Bombs, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  21. The Clash, Clampdown, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  22. The Clash, Brand New Cadillac, London Calling, Epic, 1979
  23. R.E.M., The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite, Automatic for the People, Warner Bros., 1992
  24. Alice Cooper, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Billion Dollar Babies, Warner Bros., 1973
  25. The Rolling Stones, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Out of Our Heads, London Records, 1965
  26. Furnaceface, We Love You, Tipper Gore, Just Buy It, One Handed, 1992
  27. The Innocence Mission, Bright as Yellow, Glow, A&M, 1995

Footnotes Pope on his Album Pope Album Free Listen Ryan Adams 1989 More 1989 Mansplaining & Taylor Swift The Clash Greg reviews Disclosure Mary J. Blige on The London Sessions Greg reviews Keith Richards Keith's Amnesia