[30] Arrested Development – 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of . . .

1 Nov

While it has never been my favorite genre, and there is plenty I actively dislike, Hip Hop could also have been the inspiration for my long held answer when asked what kind of music I like.

I like music that takes talent and effort to write and perform. (And late 80s / early 90s Rock which I acknowledge sometimes took neither.)

There is talent and effort on display all over the place on this week’s Recording.

3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of . . .

3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of . . .











For me, Hip Hop is the poster child (along with Country) of a genre where people will say, “I don’t like any of it.” I’ve always found this an extremely closed minded and, in all likelihood, an inaccurate statement.

Even if 99% of everything is worthless there is still that magical, meaningful 1%.

I recall liking the singles from this album at the time they hit, which is impressive because it came out at a moment in my life where I had given up on radio and spent most of my time in Rock Clubs. Yet still “Tennessee”, “People Everyday” and “Mr. Wendal” were all so ubiquitous as to not only reach an ear not listening for this sound, but to ingratiate enough that they still leave warm fuzzy feelings more than 20 years later.

Admittedly, a Hip Hop album that leans heavily on guitar samples is more likely to gain my acceptance, and the funky twiddling that underscores much of this album is comforting as the Beastie Boys were a decade earlier.

The lyrics are an odd mix of militantism and peace-and-love-and-good-happiness-stuff. It is a far cry from the gangster rap that would follow, but still far from naïve in its message of trying to get along, being proud of yourself and your heritage, interspersed with occasional random stabs of anger and violence.

I wonder if the thing I’m enjoying most is the nostalgia, whether the album would be as powerful discovered whole today.

But there are certainly songs I do not recall hearing before now which nevertheless leave a positive impression – “Children Play With Earth” for example is catchy with a purpose, without being too preachy.

So perhaps I am enjoying it this much now because it was that good back then.

Owned before blogging? No. (2 of 30. 7%)
Heard before blogging? No. (4 of 30. 13%)
Recommend? Yes. (25 of 30. 83%)

Next week: Art Ensemble Of Chicago – Urban Bushmen


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