Sunday, February 19, 2012

Album(s) of the Week! - a hobbit fiesta

I found myself humming The Hobbits "Down to Middle Earth" earlier this week and decided to give the entire album a listen.  

It's an okay album, almost good, far from great.  "Down to Middle Earth" is the best song with it's trippyness, distortion and of course lyrics about Middle Earth.  Being the first song it gives you too much hope for the rest of the album.  


There are a few good toons, "Treats" stands out and by far the creepiest song is "Clap Hands til Daddy Comes Home."  It's as disturbing as the title sounds and, if you really need to, you can give it a little listen on Amazon.

Like all the albums this weeks "Down to Middle Earth" suffers from the old hobbit bait and switch.  One song about Middle Earth and that's it.

Continuing the hobbit theme, I went with the "Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy."

You might know the campy "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" video but the rest of the album is a mess.  Side one is sung in the voice of Spock with songs like "Highly Illogical" and "Spock Thoughts."  The weirdest track is "Amphibious Assault" which is basically a spoken word science fiction story with an anti war angle.  You have to be a really big Spock fan to enjoy side 1.  Side 2 is Leornard Nimoy doing folky pop songs like "Gentle on My Mind" and "If I were a Carpenter."  Not too shabby.

For the hobbit trifecta, I decided to explore "For Christians, Elves and Lovers" by one of the earliest christian rock groups,  The All Saved Freak Band.  I was surprised to discover this album wasn't released until 1976.  At the time it must've seemed extremely dated.


In this case the hobbit song, "Theme of the Fellowship of the Rings," is the worst song on the album.  Which means it's aweful.  One of the band member sings the whole song in a raspy imitation of Golum.  It's a slow dirge that neither rocks nor rolls.

I've also learned that rock needs a big dose of negativity to work.  This album suffers from a level of earnestness and positivity that just destroys music.  They really needed someone in the group to say "hey, maybe you should learn to play guitar before doing a solo" or "a song about Jesus and witchcraft might be a bit much, especially as a blues jam" or "Gollum, really?" Sadly, there obviously wasn't that negative voice around during the recording session.  It wouldn't have made for a great album but at least it might be be listenable. 

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