Greatest Hits – The Notorious B.I.G

Just to throw you all a curveball here I thought I would follow Phillip Glass with The Notorious B.I.G. Hey I am just a postmodern pragmatist, what can I say. Biggie is a true poet chronicler of the streets, and a genius. Since his death he has become cast as the Barry White of Rap which I think undermines his output, true there is a soul/R and B strand to his stuff, but even his love songs are laced with a cold reality.
One of the jump out tracks from this album tonight is Dead Wrong, maybe too much reality for a Friday night in County Durham though as a typical crime on these streets is the desecration of garden gnomes. Hypnotize is another favourite, again strong on subject matter, but insightful all the same. My favourite song on the album is Juicy from his first album. The song is his pay back to all the people who said he would amount to nothing and a look at his life before he was famous.
Micro review; It’s all good, and if you don’t know, now you know.

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Koyaanisqatsi – Philip Glass

Here is another one of my guilty intellectual pleasures, from American’s favourite avant-gardist. This was the first Philip Glass album I owned (and I have been wandering around, alone, on the slippery slope ever since) and it was purely because of seeing the film.
I think this is one of the few times when a soundtrack really doesn’t need the visuals (Thomas Newman and Micheal Nyman would also get this acolade). This album stands alone, completely independent of the film for which it was conceived. It is probably the most accessible Philip Glass album too with some classic moments. One of my favourites is Pruit Igoe, it starts slow then those big Glass melody lines kick in, sounding like the whole orchestra is playing the same 5 notes. The Grid is also great, following similar Glass by numbers rules (slow start, gradual build up, lots of instruments playing the same couple of notes).
Warning; Don’t try and whistle any of these tunes while standing at a bus stop, you could find you become a social outcast, I know, because I did, and I have.