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(New)Friday Night Music Playlist

February 4, 2017

I mentioned previously that I love music, and I am just starting to get back in to listening to cool tunes and jams. I am going to try and do this each Friday night where I pick my top 4 or 5 albums to listen and chill to while listening and writing short reviews. I hope you will join me.

Tonight, my first pick is Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man soundtrack based on the 1972 motion picture. The 70s was the center of my childhood, and I did not get to listen to much secular music. I did not know much about musicians or anyone famous until I got in to my early teens.  Raised in a moderately conservative home, I listened to a lot of hymns and classical music, both of which I appreciate. However, now, some lifetime later I have been discovering really cool music to enjoy.

Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man soundtrack has a definitive 70s early synth-blues-progressive-jazz sound. The first two tracks which are “Main Theme From Trouble Man (2),” and ““T” Plays it cool” are my favorites right off the start. I think the whole album can be easily enjoyed by LP if you possess a modern turntable, or CD if you prefer. Listening is best enjoyed with headphones, or with an high end player with superior speakers. I just listen with headphones, sit back and enjoy the music.

Tracks 3-6 are sultry and soulful ballads. The rhythm and vibe has you tapping your toes or nodding your head to the cadence. Track 6 “Trouble Man” is a vocal track, it has a serious groove and has a feel good sound. I am not going to list all of the songs on here, but I recommend this album. I think Trouble Man still has longevity, and still holds up even though it is a bit dated. Marvin Gaye left us too soon to see how his career would have evolved, much like many other musicians and artists, his story ended in tragedy.

Out of the 13 tracks on this album, not one is remotely bad. I’m listening to track 8 right now, which is ““T” Stands for Trouble,” and it reminds me a little bit of something Stevie Wonder or Herbie Hancock might play. I used to enjoy some of the those police dramas when I was a kid, and this album brings back nostalgia. You cannot go wrong listening to this saxophone and bass guitar filled album. I give this album two thumbs up. Click the links to hear samples on Youtube.

The next album I want to present is a little more contemporary. Empire of the Sun’s album Two Vines is a positive sounding, higher energy album you can dance to privately or when you are out and about. I first heard this album in late 2016. It was one of those chance things I caught while watching the Jimmy Fallon show one night. I do not think there are any bad songs on this album.  Track 1 is called “Before“and is upbeat and happy. I need happy. Happy is good. Track 2 “High and Low” has sort of some strange amplified feedback, but I like the groove and ambient and rhythmic song. This was probably the first favorite of this album for me. Generally, as a personal rule, I am very picky about the music I listen for enjoyment. I do not like a lot of the modern 2000’s and newer rock, pop or alternative music. However, my taste in music is more of an eclectic potpourri of style and sound. Two Vines has sort of a dreamy quality.  I like this album because the sounds are easy on the ears. There is a certain sense of poetry, and allure. There era I most enjoyed music was with Electronic and Petshop Boys. There is definitely an early 90s feel to the audio dynamics and vocals on this album. Track 6, “Way to Go” reminds me of those early influences. If you have heard Daft Punk’s music in Tron: Legacy, some of the songs are easily reminiscent. Lastly, I feel like this album has a steady flow of sound, and is musically cohesive. Have a date on Friday night? This would be a good album to play before entertaining your guest.

Earlier I mentioned LPs and CDs. I meant to include MR4 and MP3 audio as well.

Feeling a little nerdy tonight? In 1984, this creative and instrumental group cemented my love for hip beats, narrative inserts and mind blowing rhythms. The Art of Noise’s (Who’s Afraid of the?) The Art of Noise, were early pioneers of much of our modern electronic and dance music. By some people’s standards, The Art of Noise is weird. And, it is completely okay to say that because, the weirder the better if you ask me.  Moments in Love is probably my favorite song on the album. Out of 9 tracks, this is my favorite song to get my creative momentum going. This is another album that has had longevity, and I recommend adding to your playlist.

Something I have recently begun to like listening to is string quartet tribute albums. I mostly enjoy them because I don’t want to be distracted by words when I am writing and can just enjoy the different instrumental sounds. I am not saying I do not like the original songs the way they are performed, but there is something to be said about just hearing creative covers of artists songs. Right now I am checking out A Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Matchbox 20. “Bent” is a really good song, and so is, ” Busted“. If you are not used to listening to covers of songs in other formats, do not assume it is like listening to elevator music. Far from it. I find the string tributes as well as other instrumental genre tributes to be clever. I will talk about this more at a later time. (Someone please remind me.) Since I grew up in a home where classical music was listened to and enjoyed, I have an energetic appreciation to the sometimes quirky and outlandishness of instrumental tributes. They are fun. Give them a try, why don’t you. “If You’re Gone” is a song that helps me reflect on things and hum along. You know a song is good when you can hum along. If you get a chance, check out Vitamin String Quartet web page. They have music you can buy on their website, if you find an album you like. When I went to a friend’s wedding a few years ago, their DJ had some of these songs playing in the chapel before the wedding. It intrigued me. Two thumbs up for  Vitamin String Quartet.

I will be back next Friday for another round of Friday Night Music Playlist, and during the week for my regular write at night blog. I hope this entry was as interesting for you as it was for me.


  1. Enjoyed this! Hoping to click on the music links next time I work on pics.

    • Thank you. I am working on posting 5 new albums tonight. I am bit eclectic. Tonight’s will be more progressive rock/AOR rock/Christian Metal and the influences these albums have had on me in the last few years.

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