Easy J’s HOT Album Takes: Steve McQueen

Its 8 AM on a Friday. I am done with work for the week. I have taken my melatonin supplement. I have an ice cold Miller Lite. Must be time for some HOT takes.

 

Banger of the Week:

Appetite

This is one of those songs that makes you feel cool when you listen to it at work. I particularly enjoy the base groove. The buildup to the chorus is really what my brain wants to hear. It has everything I look for in a great 80’s jam, although my taste is not nearly as refined as Spencer’s I am sure. The lead vocals are a silky tenor, tons of synth nonsense and rhythmically reliable back beat that is just interesting enough to make me say “huh.” I can’t say if it was a jam in its own time, but I’d say its a jam now.

 

I Don’t Get It:

BlueBerry Pies

I don’t know if this is good or bad, but this was the most difficult take for me this week. I had similar feeling about a good chunk of the B-Side but I think this is the one I feel most (least?) strongly about. Maybe this is my fault. I just can’t find a reason to like this song. Instrumentally there isn’t a ton going on to keep my interest so that leaves vocals and lyrics. The vocal performance on this track isn’t remarkable and the lyrics feel predictably nonsensical by this point in the record. Feels like a filler track to me. I just don’t get it.

 

Rhyme:

I hear you’ve got a new girlfriend/
How’s the wife taking it?

-“Moving The River”

 

Beat of the Week:

Hallelujah

Open with a drum fill? Fuck yeah. I’m on board. The instrumentals throughout the record can sound a bit homogeneous at the surface level. From the start it is easy to hear this is a different type of song.To my ear the key element is the the rhythm guitar which, paired with the slightly jazzy rhythm section makes a really pleasant noise to have in the background of a song. I could see this beat being used in songs from a handful of different genres.

 

Hook Line and Sinker:

When Love Breaks Down

The lead in is damn near perfect. It’s short, sudden. the first time its almost unexpected. While the rest of the track is slow with a lot of space the chorus is a sound poem with airy ooooos and awwwws on backing vocals and a sudden emotion in lead vocals. The groove frees itself becoming much more active and the rhythm guitar can counter the groove and the pieces  are all in the right places.

 

Right In The Feels:

Goodbye Lucille

I am going to be upfront and say I had a difficult time connecting with this album in an emotional way. The lyrics being a bit figurative didn’t make things any easier for me. That being said this is a good break up song. It’s a good song straight up. The chorus is cleaver, there is enough lyrical detail to know exactly what is going on and the song conveys that feeling pretty well.

The Brief:

Earlier this week Connor wrote a great post about how he needed to really give this album attention to appreciate it. I had the exact opposite experience. The first couple times I listened to it I tried to really LISTEN like Connor did later in the week. It just didn’t work for me. I feel now like I was trying to make the album something it wasn’t. Like studying the habits of sharks by putting them on the slab of concrete behind my apartment where the pool used to be. Tuesday night at work I had it on while I was working on some stuff that required the majority of my attention and I found myself humming along to the melody in some of the catchier tracks. This album, to me, shines brightest in the background.

 

14/20

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: jasonpocketeasy

Sleep all day rep all night.

2 thoughts on “Easy J’s HOT Album Takes: Steve McQueen”

  1. I forgot to mention this in my review but your Rhyme of the Week is spot on.
    “I hear you’ve got a new girlfriend/How’s the wife taking it?”
    That line is absolutely savage and brilliant.
    I like how you were able to step back from the album in terms of how you listened to it, and found a way that let it really vibe with you. I find it fascinating you were able to get more out of it as background noise then as a deep listen. Looking forward to more of these!

    Like

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