JD McPherson’s second album is a foot-stomping, ass-shaking thing of beauty. If your idea of Valentine’s Day romance is being cozy with a loved one in front of a fire, don’t put on this album. Its songs will make you want to go out and find a dance floor to chase away these winter doldrums.
Hootie & the Blowfish never were cut out to be superstars. They were meant to be the best band at the local bar. They were ordinary guys, and they played ordinary music, the kind that could be heard in any college town on the East Coast or Midwest during the early '90s when the local bar wasn't having grunge night. It was the ordinariness of the music on their 1994 debut, Cracked Rear View, that connected with millions of American listeners – they sounded like everybody's favorite local band. Once they were superstars, their bubble burst fairly quickly as the 1996 follow-up sold considerably fewer than the debut, and by the end of the decade, they had settled into a reliable routine of turning out modest records and touring steadily, without many people outside of their core fans noticing. Their popularity might have declined, but as the 2004 Atlantic/Rhino compilation The Best of Hootie & the Blowfish (1993 Thru 2003) illustrates, their music changed very little over the course of the decade, nor did the quality of their music decline.
Roy Orbison's 1961 and 1962 Monument albums, Sings Lonely and Blue and Crying, are drawn together on one CD. All of the original faults are still present, including the relatively lightweight content, but the familiar singles plus the Orbison covers of pieces such as "Love Hurts," coupled with the excellent sound, make this a good investment. And the annotation isn't bad, either.