Explore albums by notable singer/songwriters across musical genres. Dive deep into the lyrics to find the meanings and messages of albums by artists who pay careful attention to their lyrics, create strong concept albums, or have something thought-provoking to say through their music. Listen here or subscribe through your favorite podcast app.
Ep. 35: The Lemon Twigs - Go to School
Can innocence survive cruelty? The Lemon Twigs explore the effects of cruelty on innocence on their new album, Go To School, an allegory about a chimp who goes to school for human kids.
Ep. 34: Odetta Hartman - Old Rockhounds Never Die
The past and the present come together on this innovative album that seamlessly blends old-timey songs with fresh new beats.
Ep. 33: MITSKY - Indie Pop's Rising Diva Cowboys Up
On the surface, Mitski's new album, Be the Cowboy, is full of sweetly melancholic songs about love and loneliness. But on closer look, it's a serious commentary on the heartbreaking differences between who we are, how we present ourselves, and what others perceive.
BONUS! The Summer Before the Summer of Love: How Rock Became Art
How did rock n' roll transform from teenage dance music to serious art? Host Bobby Waller explains in this bonus episode on rock's coming of age.
Ep. 32: Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis
Alt-country star Robbie Fulks collaborated with Linda Gail Lewis (Jerry Lee Lewis's sister) to create "Wild, Wild, Wild"--an album that pays tribute to the raucous spirit of early rock n' roll. The album is full of wit, grit, and cleverly-crafted lyrics that showcase Fulks' songwriting acumen and Lee's timeless vocals (she's 71!). Many of the songs reflect Lee's rich life experiences as a first-generation rocker and celebrate the musical influences that helped shape the genre. Listen in as host Bobby Waller reviews the five most memorable stanzas "Wild, Wild, Wild."
Ep. 31: Are We Not Men? A 40-Year Retrospective Review of Devo's Debut Album
Host Bobby Waller explores the meanings behind the band's name, debut album title, and song lyrics. Learn why this quirky band's satirical social commentary feels as relevant today as it did in the early days of MTV.
Ep. 30: Between the Buried and Me
Critics are calling Automata II by Between the Buried and Me a prog metal triumph. But what is prog metal? And what's going on tin this dark tale of mania and manipulation?
Ep. 29: Fantastic Negrito
The album title "Please Don't Be Dead" references blues artist Fantastic Negrito's brush with death in 1999 that left him in a coma for three weeks. Host Bobby Waller shares the fascinating back story of this drug-dealer-turned-Grammy-winner whose new album warns us of the perils of our times while artfully avoiding divisive political rhetoric
Ep. 28: Angelique Kidjo
How is this remake of the Talking Heads' album Remain In Light like pizza? Host Bobby Waller explains how Kidjo's take on this classic album is an example of what sociologist of religion call "the pizza effect."
Ep. 27: Father John Misty
God's Favorite Customer
Ep. 26: Sarah Shook
Ep. 25: Kendrick Lamar
Ep. 24: Lindy Ortega
Ep. 23: Simon and Garfunkel
Bookends: A 50-Year Retrospective
Ep. 22: DAVID BYRNE
Ep. 21: BRANDI CARLILE
By the Way, I Forgive You
Ep. 20: KATE BUSH
The Kick Inside 40-Year Retrospective
Ep. 19: THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
I Like Fun
Ep. 18: JEFF ROSENSTOCK
Ep. 17: SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS
Soul of a Woman
Ep. 16: LEONARD COHEN
Songs of Leonard Cohen - A 50-Year Retrospective
Ep. 15: U2
Songs of Experience
Ep. 14: JULIEN BAKER
Turn Out the Lights
Ep. 13: ST. VINCENT
Ep. 12 - BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE
I Tell a Fly
Ep. 11: MOSES SUMNEY
Ep 10: OPEN MIKE EAGLE
Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
Ep 9: BRAND NEW
Ep 8: RANDY NEWMAN
Ep 7: ARCADE FIRE
Ep 6: LORDE
Ep 5: COLTER WALL
Ep 4: FATHER JOHN MISTY
Ep 3: VALERIE JUNE
The Order of Time
Ep 2: HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF
Ep 1: RHIANNON GIDDENS
What's This Album About gives you album reviews of new releases by notable singer/songwriters across musical genres. Dive deep into the lyrics to find the meanings and messages of albums by artists who pay careful attention to their lyrics, create strong concept albums, or have something thought-provoking to say through their music. Listen here or subscribe through your favorite podcast app.