Turkey Shoot 2006 & Reviews of Jay-Z and Tom Waits

It’s Turkey time! This week Jim and Greg celebrate Thanksgiving with their annual Turkey Shoot. The two critics will name some of the biggest musical disappointments of the year and bury them for good. They’ll also review the first post-retirement album from hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and make holiday gift suggestions for the music lover in your life.

Turkey Shoot
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Music News

First up in the news is a discussion of the legacy of R&B singer Ruth Brown. She passed away earlier this week at the age of 78. One of the original divas, Brown helped establish Atlantic Records and the R&B sound as we know it today. In fact, Greg explains that Brown even predates the great Ray Charles. She also won a Tony Award for her part in Black and Blue, and starred as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray. The singer was an activist in the music industry and pushed Atlantic to start the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which worked toward royalty reform and distributed millions of dollars directly to musicians in need.

Kingdom Come Jay-Z

Kingdom Come

After a much-hyped retirement, Jay-Z has returned with a new album, Kingdom Come. While many folks take up pottery or flock to Florida during their retirement, the hip-hop star became a CEO, bought a basketball team, and made a number of cameos. Perhaps this life didn’t satisfy J-Hova, because he was compelled to return to rapping after only three years. But, neither Jim nor Greg can understand the urgency. To them, he just sounds bored. This is not a new issue for Jay-Z—he’s often been plagued with a great voice and very little to say. But Greg thinks Kingdom Come is his worst effort ever. The album gets two Trash Its.

Orphans Tom Waits

Orphans

Next up is a review of the new album by Tom Waits. Longtime listeners know that Waits is often a bone of contention between our two hosts, and this time is no different. The new record, Orphans, is a three-disc set that began as a trip through the Waits archive. But Waits also added 30 new recordings to the mix. Jim thinks this is a perfect example of the songwriter’s consistent inability to self-edit. He used to love Waits, but now just plain hates him. For Jim, Waits is an art-rock caricature, and this album is a Trash It. Greg is a tried and true Waits fan, and thinks that his storytelling is in top form. He is also interested in the sonics on Orphans and thinks it’s one of Waits’ best albums. He recommends listeners Buy It.

Turkey Shoot 2006

Every Thanksgiving, Jim and Greg like to get out and shoot some turkeys. But don’t worry—these turkeys deserve to die. This year’s nominees for most disappointing album are:

Box Set Gift Suggestions

This episode of Sound Opinions isn’t all negative. Jim and Greg also provide you with some holiday gift suggestions for the music lover in your life. They recommend wrapping up the following box sets:

  • The Clash: The Singles
  • What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977)
  • Rockin’ Bones: ‘50s Punk & Rockabilly
  • Jerry Lee Lewis: A Half Century of Hits
  • Tommy Boy Presents Hip Hop Essentials

Here are some other box sets to check out:

  • Steve Reich, Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective
  • Gram Parsons, The Complete Reprise Sessions
  • Buddy Guy, Can’t Quit the Blues
  • Waylon Jennings, Nashville Rebel
  • The Byrds, There is a Season
  • Various Artists, A Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box
  • The Pretenders, Pirate Radio
  • Tori Amos, A Piano: The Collection
  • The Bee Gees, The Studio Albums, 1967-1968
  • Robert Plant, Nine Lives
  • David Crosby, Voyage

And for DVD fans:

  • Michael Franti, I Know I’m Not Alone
  • Nirvana, Live! Tonight! Sold Out!
  • Jeff Tweedy, Sunken Treasure: Live in the Pacific Northwest

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!