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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.
More Information

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

Are We Not Men? Has Devo’s Debut Album Stood the Test of Time?

8/13/2018
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It’s been forty years since the release of Q: Are We Not Men A: We Are Devo! Host Bobby Waller explores the meanings behind the band’s name, debut album title, and song lyrics. Learn why this quirky band’s satirical social commentary feels as relevant today as it did in the early days of MTV.

Duration:00:17:21

Album Review: Automata II by Between the Buried and Me

7/28/2018
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Critics are calling Automata II by Between the Buried and Me a prog metal triumph. But what is prog metal? And what’s going on tin this dark tale of mania and manipulation?

Duration:00:16:22

Album Review: Please Don’t Be Dead by Fantastic Negrito

7/9/2018
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The album title “Please Don’t Be Dead” references blues artist Fantastic Negrito’s brush with death in 1999 that left him in a coma for three weeks. Host Bobby Waller shares the fascinating back story of this drug-dealer-turned-Grammy-winner whose new album warns us of the perils of our times while artfully avoiding divisive political rhetoric.

Duration:00:17:55

The Pizza Effect: How Angelique Kidjo brings the Talking Heads’ album “Remain in the Light” full circle

6/28/2018
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How is Angelique Kidjo’s remake of classic Talking Heads album like a pizza? Host Bobby Waller explains how Kidjo’s take on Remain In Light is an example of what sociologist of religion call “the pizza effect.” The pizza effect describes what happens when an element of one culture (pizza) is more fully embraced by another (America) and then it gets exported back to the culture of origin (Italy), often with raised status. Through this album, we’ll trace the fascinating path of the “pizza”...

Duration:00:20:29

Album Review: God’s Favorite Customer by Father John Misty

6/15/2018
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Critics are calling Father John Misty’s new album “raw” and “honest”. But what exactly does it take to write honestly? Host Bobby Waller looks at the techniques FJM uses to communicate frankness in his writing.

Duration:00:23:39

Sarah Shook’s new album about heartache is making people laugh. Here’s why.

5/29/2018
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When host Bobby Waller listened to Sarah Shook’s new album, Years, he laughed. Out loud. Several times. Why would this country punk album full of dysfunction and dive bars be funny to anyone? In this episode, Bobby looks at the lyrical and musical components of Years through the lens of comic theory to find the subtle and surprising ways Shook takes her listeners to the intersection of heartbreak and humor.

Duration:00:17:43

Is Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN Pulitzer-Worthy? A Lyrical Analysis

5/8/2018
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Kendrick Lamar’s album, DAMN, recently won the Pulitzer Prize for music - the first ever awarded to an album that wasn’t classical or jazz. In this deeply reflective concept album, Lamar, a self-proclaimed Christian, looks at the current-day context of the Black experience in America through the lens of the Old Testament. He explores theological questions such as why does God allow innocent people to suffer, what does it mean to be God’s chosen people, and how do those who are cursed...

Duration:00:26:13

Album Review: Liberty by Lindi Ortega

4/18/2018
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A Tale of Betrayal, Revenge and Redemption in the American West Critics are calling Lindi Ortega’s tribute to the music of spaghetti westerns one of the best concept albums of 2018. But what IS a concept album? And what’s the concept behind Liberty? —-more—- Album News BEST SELLERS: My Dear Melancholy by The Weeknd The World is Yours by Rich the Kid Care for Me Isolation

Duration:00:24:00

Retrospective Album Review: Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel

4/4/2018
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Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends Turns 50 On the surface, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends are about as different as two albums can be. But on closer inspection of the lyrics, the similarities are striking. Host Bobby Waller explores this groundbreaking concept album by one of America’s most revered folk duos. —-more—- Album News Best sellers: ? by xxxtentacion and Hardwired… to Self Destruct by MetallicaCinema

Duration:00:23:50

Start Making Sense: A Lyrical Analysis of David Byrne’s American Utopia

3/20/2018
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Have you ever noticed how often David Byrne uses the word house in his songwriting? Host Bobby Waller takes an in-depth look at the former Talking Heads frontman’s favorite word and how its use in Byrne’s new album reflects a change of thinking from burning down to building up our metaphorical homes. New Feature: Album News! Starting with this episode, we take a few minutes at the start of the show to let you know what critics are saying about new releases, what albums are topping the...

Duration:00:22:50

Album Review: By the Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile

3/5/2018
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Master Brandi: Zen and the Art of Forgiveness How much is Brandi Carlile’s new album about forgiveness? And how much is it about something bigger? —-more—- Learn more Show notes • transcript • buy this album Subscribe Apple • Android • RSS •

Duration:00:10:55

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

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