1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 27: Great Albums, Full Albums vs. Single Songs.

I posted a summary, not really a review, more of just a personal opinion, today about Bob Marley and The Wailers’ album ‘African Herbsman.’ A classic that isn’t very well-known yet definitely deserves greater recognition. ‘m gonna start posting more music that I really enjoy on here, since I find that often the people I meet aren’t familiar with some of the greatest music in an artist’s catalogue. Most only know the popular tracks, but that’s only a few tracks, selected from various albums. The popular songs only reflect the catchiest or most radio-friendly songs on any album, but that isn’t always what makes a song great. Apart from that, I’ve noticed that most times listening to an album in its entirety provides an optimal musical experience, every song further shaping the direction in which the album is going. It becomes a journey in a way, since music allows you to simply let go and let the vibes take you away, no matter where you’re at at the moment. There have been a few albums that have become personal classics for me over the years, some being classics in general, such as ‘Sgt. Pepper’s.’ My list extends throughout most genres, and I love to let my library just play on shuffle sometimes as well, delivering whatever I’m meant to hear, becoming absorbed in the different moods each song invokes. My favorite bands overall are Pink Floyd, then The Beatles, followed by Led Zepplin, and I also have to include Bob Marley and The Wailers here. When it comes to rap 2Pac has always been the most inspiring to me, and Eminem and Nas are some of the best after Pac. Classic rock is amazing to me, hence my three top bands. As far as guitar solos go, I have to say that ‘Stairway to Heaven’ takes the top spot for me, closely followed, or maybe even tied to, Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb.’ The way each song slowly leads up to its respectivs electric guitar solo is absolutely perfect in both instances, producing goosebumps whenever I close my eyes and just vibe. Apart from crazy intense electric guitar, I find acoustic music to be extremely melodic and relaxing. Some of Led Zep’s songs, such as ‘Going to California’ and ‘The Rain Song’ portray this beautifully, or The Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). When it comes to Pink Floyd, just like Zeppelin, they have amazing songs on most of their albums, and although ‘Comfortably Numb’ is my favorite Floyd song, the album that I consider the best, the one that flows so effortlessly from start to finish, never losing the feeling, laced with various electric guitar riffs from the master, David Gilmour, is ‘The Division Bell’ which Pink Floyd released in 1994, the same year I was born. Pink Floyd’s music is generally very spaced out, and my interest in that kind of music orignally developed a long time ago when I first began tripping, and I’ grategul for that, since now I listen to classic rock whether I’m sober, stoned or tripping, and it always does the trick. The main reason why I had such a great interest in listening to music while I was tripping was that I had previously had such ecstatic and even somewhat psychedelic experiences with weed when I first started smoking, a more than mellow mood vibrating in my ears from the soft reggae melodies if The Wailers. My all time favorite song by them has always been ‘Is This Love’, and now that I dedicated it to my wife it just means that much more to me. That Bob was always at the peak of the greatest relaxation is something that really shows in his music, it transmits that divine peace and harmony which he always preached whenever possible. On the rap side, I honestly have to say I’ve been listening less now that I’ve started analyzing and attempting to simplify my life, and to minimize some of the negative influences to my life. However, hip-hop has played, and always will play I believe, an important role in my life, being a rapper myself. Some records truly are classics, and it can’t be denied. Usually these classics come from earlier times when rappers sometimes attempted to really include knowledge, or sometimes even wisdom, in their lyrics. Some don’t have much of either, yet are classics regarless due to the amazing flow or lyrical skill of the artist. Such is the case with Eminem’s music for me, my favorite album of his being ‘The Marshall Mathers LP.’ Eminem packs a punch with every rhymescheme, consistently rhyming multiple syllables in a clever word salad that no rapper could top. Unfortunately he doesn’t use his talent to promote much positivity, although we know Marshall Mathers is a pretty troubled dude. Another thing that makes his music great is that Slim Shady doesn’t shy away from expressing his troubles in his music, often probably exaggerating them, but he puts them there regardless, and the raw energy is evident apart from the savage lyricism. A different rap style which is equally great can be heard in Nas’ early breakthrough ‘Illmatic.’ Not much about emotions like the mentioned Eminem album, but a perfect story-telling flow over boom bap rap beats with great samples to complete the jam. ‘Illmatic’ has become a classic within hip-hop, and with good reason. Another amazing and refreshing album by nas is actually not one of his earliest ones, but a rather recent one, ‘Life is Good’. Nas has a lot of timeless albums though, such as ‘God’s Son’ and his collaboration album with Damian Marley, ‘Distant Relatives’, in which hip-hop and reggae are ingeniously blended to render a masterpiece. I haven’t mentioned many female musicians, I might have to write about them at another time. My favorites though are Lana Del Rey, Norah Jones and Sade. Norah- album ‘Come Away With Me’ has always been one of my favorite album, every song is beautifully written and recorded, and the total outcome is nothing short of a classic. Some of the most relaxing music I’ve ever heard for sure.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 28.

~ Rebel Spirit

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