Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Robert Randolph & The Family Band - Unclassified (2003)


If this doesn't get you up and going in the morning, you need a new pacemaker. I've already professed my love/envy for this man and his music and this debut studio album is as intense as his debut live album. One of the most pleasing aspects of this album are the positive lyrics. Some gospel, some not, but all uplifting. How is this band still flying under the radar? Probably because of its amalgamation of genres; people like to pigeon-hole music and this mix of funk, blues, soul, jam band, gospel, pop, rock, R&B makes pigeon-holing difficult to do.

Music critic Thom Jurek has this to say about this CD: "This is multivalent music, full of the message of joy, passion, and realization, and it is played in such an enlightened manner, so completely unburdened by the rigidities of context and category, that it exists on its own plane." Think he likes it? (Yes, I had to look up the definition of 'multivalent' too.) Even at such a young age, Randolph was recently named to Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #145 (Aug 23, 2003)

Tracks: Going In The Right Direction, I Need More Love, Squeeze, Good Times (3 Stroke), and Run for Your Life are my favorites. That's 5 tracks out of 11 if you're counting. Other quality tracks include Nobody, Why Should I Feel Lonely, and the Santana-tinged Calypso. I don't care as much for the more popish track Soul Refreshing or the slower tracks like Smile and Problems, but that doesn't mean I skip them.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I bought this CD when I was doing graduate work at the University of Houston. From BC, it was a 90 minute commute each way at least 3 times a week. This CD got a lot of playing time on SH 288.

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