After more than a year and a half, we have arrived at the 536th and last album(s) review of my blog journey. It has been more rewarding than I could possibly imagine, and I will follow up this post with two more posts. The first will be my parting thoughts on this entire process, and the second will be my personal ballot for Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, even though they didn’t ask me. However, ubefore all of that, we have some more music to address.
My original plan was to have yesterday’s blog featuring the top selling album of 2022 be the last entry, but my son asked, and I conceded, to make his album pick the last review of the blog. His first pick was “Motomami” by Spanish singer Rosalia, and he later amended his pick to add the album “Skinty Fia” by Irish punk band Fontaines D.C. As always, Zach opens my aperture to music I would never have otherwise listened to, and I remain grateful for his endless list of suggestion and his creative tastes.
“Motomami” is an exotic record with a very foreign and unusual flavor. I actually struggled to pin down what language I was hearing, and part of that is due to the highly produced and processed sound on some of the songs, as well as the Spanish dialect versus a more Latin sound. The record reminds me of a blend of jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and flamenco. I didn’t realize it when I was listening to it at the time, but my favorite song “La Fama” features The Weeknd and his contributions in Spanish are flawless. Other favorites include the quirky tune “Chicken Teriyaki”, the poignant ballad “Hentai”, which is Zach’s favorite, and `I have to acknowledge the song title that is “CUUUUuuuuuute”. When we were in junior high school, we had a P.E. teacher name Bruce Hall, who we called Bruce Fonzahalli because of his ridiculous over-confidence. His favorite line when one of us would mouth off was, “Ahhhh Cuuuuuteeee”… drawn out way too long. I’m glad Rosalia can also appreciate Bruce Fonzahalli. More importantly, I’m grateful for her beautiful voice and this collection of songs she created with her gifts and talents.
“Skinty Fia” is a much darker and intense sound, not surprising given the origin and genre of the band named Fontaines D.C. Named for Johnny Fontane, the Vegas singer in The Godfather, with D.C. representing Dublin City, they set the tone intensely with their opening track “In ar gCroithe go deo”. The music fits perfectly with my vision of the dark and dingy side of industrial northern Europe. Some of the tracks, like “How Cold Love Is”, “Bloomsday”, and the closing track, “Nabokov”, are just a bit too far down that hole for me.
Fortunately, they do diversify their sound, and tracks like their lead single, “Jackie Down The Line”, the title track, and my favorite, “Roman Holiday”, are great listens and I imagine would be phenomenal in a dark club late at night. “The Couple Across The Way” is a beautiful ray of warmth, featuring lead singer Grian Chatten on accordion. This band has its roots in the decades-old punk sound of Europe, but brings a unique and modern approach and talented playing to their music. I look forward to seeing what comes next.
I didn’t realize when I began how introspective and autobiographical this collection of thoughts, observations and memories would be, but like everything else I own, someday it will all belong to my son, and thus, it stands as the most complete record I can produce of a life lived loving music and celebrating the beauty of the art. I never could have imagined that my son Zach would not only take an interest in music, but also make it one of his passions in life, even to the point of being a remarkable performer and vocalist in his own right.
I love you dearly, my son. You are my greatest accomplishment and I remain immensely proud of you and appreciate your friendship and support and love through life’s ups and downs. I selected the photo below as it serves as a representation of accomplishment. For years, we said we would climb that mountain together, after you climbed your own figurative mountains, and we stand here together in 2022, continuing to take on the challenges of life. Don’t ever give up and don’t ever stop believing in yourself, any of you… and spend your days and nights surrounded by the music you love. What more could we possibly want?