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What's This Album About?

Singer/songwriters have a deep love of words, but most album reviews give lyrics a light treatment. Host Bobby Waller dives deep into the lyrics of today’s best songwriters to find their meanings, messages, humor, and humanity.

Singer/songwriters have a deep love of words, but most album reviews give lyrics a light treatment. Host Bobby Waller dives deep into the lyrics of today’s best songwriters to find their meanings, messages, humor, and humanity.

Singer/songwriters have a deep love of words, but most album reviews give lyrics a light treatment. Host Bobby Waller dives deep into the lyrics of today’s best songwriters to find their meanings, messages, humor, and humanity.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Singer/songwriters have a deep love of words, but most album reviews give lyrics a light treatment. Host Bobby Waller dives deep into the lyrics of today’s best songwriters to find their meanings, messages, humor, and humanity.

Language:

English

Contact:

9165418948


Episodes

Retrospective Album Review: The Kick Inside by Kate Bush

2/20/2018
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Forty years ago this week, Kate Bush released the album that would make her the first woman in UK history to chart with a song she herself had written. But what made this hugely influential album so different than the standard pop fare of the day? —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android •

Duration:00:14:52

Album Review: I Like Fun by They Might Be Giants

2/5/2018
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What happens when the troubling zeitgeist of our time catches up with the world’s most beloved fun-time band. —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email

Duration:00:15:56

Album Review: POST- by Jeff Rosentock

1/22/2018
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Jeff Rosenstock takes an inward look at politics in what some critics are calling the first great album of 2018. —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email

Duration:00:13:10

Album Review: Soul of a Woman by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

1/8/2018
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In 2016, three musical legends hammered out their final albums in the face of death, but only one of them stayed focused on a brighter future. —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email

Duration:00:08:16

Sex and the Sacred: A Retrospective Review of Songs of Leonard Cohen

12/25/2017
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Fifty years ago, Leonard Cohen shocked the world by mixing the language of sex with the language of religion. But was he the first person ever to do that? —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email

Duration:00:16:13

Album Review: Songs of Experience by U2

12/11/2017
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Bobby Waller explores the philosophical underpinnings of U2’s Songs of Experience. This album brings the theological themes of 18th century romantic poet William Blake into full focus within the context of recent political events and lead singer Bono’s brushes with death. —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • [...]

Duration:00:15:12

Album Review: Turn Out the Lights by Julien Baker

11/27/2017
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Almost every reviewer makes a big deal out of how Julien Baker identifies herself as queer and Christian. But is Turn Out the Lights a queer Christian album? —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email

Duration:00:19:33

Album Review: Masseduction by St. Vincent

11/13/2017
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Annie Clark says that the thesis for her new album as St. Vincent is “I can’t turn off what turns me on.” But what does that mean? —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS • Email

Duration:00:17:39

Ep 012: I Tell a Fly by Benjamin Clementine

10/30/2017
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A strange comment on his US work visa application led British avant-garde artist Benjamin Clementine to create one of 2017’s most compelling–and unusual–concept albums. —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS •

Duration:00:12:31

011: Aromanticism by Moses Sumney

10/17/2017
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In a society that glorifies romanic love, being alone is seen as failure. But for Moses Sumney, solitude is a pathway to authenticity. —-more—- Full Transcript Rejecting Romance: Finding freedom in solitude Album Review: Aromanticism by Moses Sumney Hi, everyone. I’m Bobby Waller. When I’m looking for an album to analyze on What’s This Album About?, I have a few criteria in mind. It’s got to be new, and it’s got to have well-crafted words—preferably with a consistent message or...

Duration:00:13:48

010: Brick Body Kids Still Daydream by Open Mike Eagle

10/3/2017
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Open Mike Eagle explores what it means to come from a place “that should never have existed” and doesn’t anymore.—-more—- Full Transcript Home is Complex Album Review: Brick Body Kids Still Daydream by Open Mike Eagle Welcome to What’s This Album About?, the podcast that dives deep into the lyrics of today’s best songwriters. I’m Bobby Waller, and this episode is dedicated to Open Mike Eagle’s new album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. Brick Body Kids St [...]

Duration:00:10:17

009: Science Fiction by Brand New

9/30/2017
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The cover art on Brand New’s album Science Fiction depicts two teenage girls who have jumped off the railing of a second-floor balcony, presumably to escape their parents control for a night out on the town. Arms spread, they are frozen in the air, just about to hit the ground. Will they land safely or will it hurt? The picture nicely reflects the theme of this album: when we make a leap into the darkness, we don’t really know if the result will be transcendence or disaster. Join host...

Duration:00:13:08

008: Dark Matter by Randy Newman

9/30/2017
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Can Disney darling Randy Newman return to his dark roots? Dark Matter is the work of a decidedly post-Disney Newman—a man who would sooner lead us to compassion than shock but who, like the pre-Disney Newman, still points out how this world is riddled with some pretty dark matters and how, sometimes, the best way to face the absurdity of it all, is with humor. —-more—- ⬇ Full Transcript Can Disney Darling Randy Newman Return to His Dark Roots? Podcast transcript • Album Review: Dark...

Duration:00:10:18

007: Everything Now by Arcade Fire

9/30/2017
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Would life be better if we could have everything now? Canadian alt-rock superstars Arcade Fire explore the connection between getting more and having less in this album full of paradoxes. Join host Bobby Waller as he looks at the five most delicious paradoxes in Arcade Fire’s “Everything Now.” —-more—- ⬇ Full Transcript The 5 Delicious Paradoxes in Everything Now Podcast transcript • Album Review: Everything Now by Arcade Fire Hi, everybody. Welcome to

Duration:00:12:46

006: Melodrama by Lorde

9/30/2017
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Can the Child Prodigy Behind 2013’s “Royals” Survive the Transition to Early Adulthood? At age 16, Lorde charmed the pop world with her runaway hit single “Royals,” a song about the malaise of suburban teen life. But what happens when the poet laureate of suburban teen pop is no longer a teen–and no longer trapped in the suburbs? —-more—- ⬇ Full Transcript Growing Up Lorde: Giving the green light to both hedonism and humility Podcast transcript • Album Review: Melodrama by Lorde

Duration:00:12:31

005: Colter Wall’s Self-Titled Debut Album

9/30/2017
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Colter Wall’s songs embrace the time-honored country ethic of sticking almost proudly to your self-destructive ways - despite the deleterious effects they’ve had on your life. These themes, and Wall’s skilled songwriting, are evident in this album’s five great country choruses.—-more—- ⬇ Full Transcript 22 Going on 72: The age-old wisdom of alt-country’s hottest young songwriter 5 Great Country Choruses by Colter Wall Podcast transcript • Album Review: Colter Wall (Self-Titled Debut...

Duration:00:10:30

004: Pure Comedy by Father John Misty

9/30/2017
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What did choking on a piece of watermelon candy in a JCPenny store teach Father John Misty about life? A lot, apparently. Join host Bobby Waller and dive deep into this lyrically rich album by singer/songwriter Josh Tillman to learn what it can teach us about the human condition. —-more—- ⬇ Full Transcript What Can Choking on a Piece of Candy Teach Us About Life? The 5 Best Moments of Pure Comedy Podcast transcript • Album Review: Pure Comedy by Father John Misty

Duration:00:13:46

003: The Order of Time by Valerie June

9/30/2017
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Time shapes life in its own immutable way. And spiritual growth, Valerie June tells us, is commensurate with our ability to understand how time works. Time gives us hard work and heartache. But it also gives us opportunities—to speak the right words, to the do the right things, and to strengthen our bonds with the people we love. —-more—- ⬇ Full Transcript What’s Time Got To Do With It? Podcast transcript • Album Review: The Order of Time by Valerie June

Duration:00:08:48

002: The Navigator by Hurray for the Riff Raff

9/30/2017
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Puerto Rican-American singer Alynda Lee Segarra begins The Navigator the way she began her career–by honoring black and white American roots music. But then, something interesting happens in the middle of Track 5. Dive deep with host Bobby Waller to find out why this album changes midstream. —-more—- ⬇ Full Transcript A Sudden Shift: One Woman’s Rediscovery of her Puerto Rican Roots Podcast transcript • Album Review: The Navigator from Hurray for the Riff Raff Hi, everybody. I’m...

Duration:00:11:36

001: Freedom Highway by Rhiannon Giddens

9/30/2017
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Second albums can be tricky, especially if they follow a critically-acclaimed first album. Such is the case with Freedom Highway. Dive deep into the lyrics of this highly anticipated second solo album to find out: Does Rhiannon Giddens avoid the sophomore slump? —-more—- Full Transcript Does Rhiannon Giddens Avoid the Sophomore Slump? Album Review: Freedom Highway by Rhiannon Giddens

Duration:00:12:09

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