Discord & Rhyme: An Album Podcast

Discord and Rhyme is a podcast where we discuss the albums we love, song by song.

Filtering by Tag: Phil Maddox

The Democratization of Music Criticism

by Phil Maddox

I’ve been a huge music nerd for literally as long as I can remember. My parents and family played music constantly and I’ve always ravenously consumed as much music as I could. Ultimately, though, if you want to get into more music, recommendations from friends and family are only going to get you so far. You’ll eventually need to branch out and start finding stuff on your own. These days, this is mostly accomplished via YouTube, Spotify, and various other streaming services - learning about new music that you’re curious about is unbelievably easy. Back in the nineties, however, it was considerably more difficult. You largely had to depend on a combination of taking chances on stuff you heard on the radio, a small handful of blogs, and professional music critics.

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What Makes an Album "the Worst"?

by Phil Maddox

The other day in the Discord and Rhyme Slack, John and I were having the kind of discussion that only two enormous music dorks would ever have - debating what the worst Yes album of all time was. John claims that it’s Union, the disastrous 1991 album that saw two warring factions of Yes coming together and producing an album that was immediately loathed by every single Yes fan that bothered listening to it. I, however, claimed it was Heaven and Earth, the 2014 album that has successfully bored every single person that’s listened to it into a coma. The crux of our debate came down to this: Union has a couple of great songs on it, but a good chunk of it is insanely terrible - some of the worst music ever released by a respectable band.  Heaven and Earth, however, is just boring. There’s no good songs on it, but nothing quite as bad as the junk that piles up on Union. I thought the good songs on Union were enough to elevate it; John thought the bad songs were bad enough to sink it.

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In Defense of Bad Albums

by Phil Maddox

As long as I can remember, I’ve never been satisfied with just getting a greatest hits album by a band, or even just getting a band’s most acclaimed work. Ever since I was a kid, if I got into a band, I wanted to hear absolutely everything the band ever recorded. The earliest band I can remember doing this with is the Moody Blues - I remember scouring every store that sold cassette tapes in the hopes of finding an album that I didn’t recognize. I didn’t have access to discography information at that time, so I didn’t even know what albums I didn’t have - I’d just keep checking in the hopes that I’d eventually encounter something new.

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