Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Enemy Strikes Black

I should be writing a paper right now but I thought I'd make a brief appearance and update you on what's been going on. Sorry for the lack of movie reviews lately... Since the Sundance Film Festival I've been busy with school, work, football, and other devious distractions. I think I get a little burnt out after the rush of holiday/Oscar films in November, December and January, then attending the film festival in Park City. But I'll probably get my groove back right before or immediately after the Oscars (February 24th).

I've been buying, trading and listening to a lot of music lately... some good stuff is on the horizon. I read that Whiskey Town is reissuing Strangers Almanac, one of my favorite albums. Freedy Johnston has a new covers album out (available only through his website and other select outlets), and I'm curious about the new Lenny Kravitz album.

I can't believe I overlooked the latest PE album (featured as album of the week). It actually came out last August, and marked 20 years since their debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show. How to Sell Soul to a Soulless People... was impressive at first, and after one or two listens I was shocked that this album didn't get more commercial press. But PE set the bar so high back in the late 80's/early 90's with classic, groundbreaking and epic albums that everything after that feels like a let down. Chuck D has no interest in making the same album over and over again (remember the lyric- "Who gives a f*ck about a g*dd*mn Grammy!").

That being said, their latest effort feels a little like a retrospective. It's reflects on the past and gets pensive about the future. There are outstanding moments here (Harder Than You Think), and some filler (Eve of Destruction), but mostly I wish that the album was trimmed from 19 songs to a tighter 12 or 13 songs. Nevertheless, PE always has something to say and a message worth listening to. Even their weak songs speak louder than a lot of the mindless pop that fills our airwaves today.

My Top 5 PE albums
1. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back (1988)
2. Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
3. Apocalypse 91, The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
4. Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987)
5. Rebirth of a Nation (2006)


Anonymous said...

FYI, I pretty much wore out the "Fear of a Black Planet" tape my sophomore year in high school.

Nobo said...

that wasn't anonymous, that was nobo.