Sound Opinions

Sound Opinions

United States

Take two nationally respected rock critics, the latest music news, personal commentary, and exclusive interviews and performances, add a huge pile of records old and new, and the result is Sound Opinions - the world's only rock and roll talk show.


#569 Songs That Give You the Creeps & Opinions on Leonard Cohen  

The spookiest time of the year is upon us. To celebrate Halloween, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot turn the show over to listeners who share the songs that tingle their spines the most. Plus, they share their thoughts on Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize and review the latest from singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.

#568 Beach Slang & Opinions on Drive-By Truckers  

Beach Slang has wowed critics and audiences alike with its loud, energy filled live performances and unabashedly earnest lyrics. But in front of a live audience at the Goose Island Tap Room, Beach Slang songwriter James Alex strips away the volume, but not the heart, for an intimate acoustic performance and conversation with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. Plus, the new record by Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers, and the story behind a forgotten garage classic.

#567 Bob Mehr on The Replacements & Opinions on Solange  

The Replacements never had a hit song, but few bands have inspired such a deep personal connection with their fans. Bob Mehr, author of the new biography Trouble Boys, speaks with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot about the heartbreaking story and enduring legacy of the Minneapolis band. Plus, a review of the new album from Solange and a look at the sample driving Drake's "Hotline Bling."

#566 Fall Review Roundup & Buckwheat Zydeco  

September is bursting with major new album releases. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot give their take on several of the biggest new records, from Bon Iver to M.I.A. to Against Me!, in this Review Roundup. Plus, they report on Chance the Rapper's music festival and pay tribute to Buckwheat Zydeco.

#565 Herb Alpert & Opinions on Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds  

Trumpeter Herb Alpert has had a remarkable, multifaceted career. In addition to scoring his own hits with the Tijuana Brass in the '60s, he cofounded A&M Records, signing a diverse roster of artists ranging from The Carpenters to Janet Jackson. Herb Alpert joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a conversation. Plus, a review of the new album from legendary band Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

#564 Buried Treasures & Alex Ross  

Many great albums are released each year, but only a handful get the attention they deserve. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their Buried Treasures of 2016: the best albums that flew under the radar. Plus, they speak with critic Alex Ross about the use of music as a weapon.

#563 Mudhoney & Opinions on Wilco  

Mudhoney was at the forefront of Seattle's exploding music scene in the '80s and '90s, paving the way for grunge with its distorted, chaotic sound. Though the group never received the world-wide attention of its peers Nirvana, Mudhoney has achieved a cult-like longevity. Mudhoney talks with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot and performs in front of a hometown Seattle audience. Plus, the new album from Chicago band Wilco, and the psychedelic sample driving a key Beyoncé track.

#562 End of Summer Songs & Opinions on Angel Olsen  

With lyrics about sun, surf, and young love, there are plenty of songs that welcome in the summer. But how do you musically say goodbye to warm weather and prepare for the fall? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot swap their swim trunks for their sweaters and share their favorite End of Summer Songs. Plus, a review of the new album from Asheville-based singer-songwriter Angel Olsen.

#561 The Art of Writing Hit Songs with Mann & Weil & Opinions on Frank Ocean  

What goes into writing a hit song? Sound Opinions takes a look at the craft of songwriting, from the Righteous Brothers to Beyoncé. Jim and Greg talk with legendary Brill Building songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil about their decades long career. Then they talk with Ryan Tedder about penning songs for Adele and Taylor Swift. Plus, a review of the long-awaited new album from Frank Ocean.

#560 World Tour - Brazil & Opinions on Ryley Walker  

With all eyes turned toward the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the Sound Opinions World Tour makes its next stop in Brazil, a country with an unmatched musical influence on the globe. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore the rich musical history of Brazil, including the bossa nova, MPB, and Tropicália phenomena of the 1950s and '60s. Plus, a review of the new album from Chicago fingerpicking virtuoso Ryley Walker.

#559 Courtney Barnett & Opinions on Lydia Loveless  

Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett’s 2015 album Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit was a critical success and Sound Opinions favorite. Her conversational songwriting manages to be simultaneously clever and poignant, and her guitar technique combining lead and rhythm parts is nothing short of impressive. All of her skills are on display as Courtney Barnett joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for an interview and intimate solo performance in front of an audience. Plus, a review of the new album from country singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless

#558 Ska & Opinions on Jamila Woods  

In the late 1950s, Jamaican musicians blended home-grown rhythms with R&B to create ska. The genre's influence quickly spread across the globe, paving the way for the reggae phenomenon. Jim and Greg explore the history of ska from its island origins to its British revival to its most recent punk incarnation. Plus, a review of the debut album from poet and soul singer Jamila Woods.

#557 Tortoise, Post-Rock & Opinions on Michael Kiwanuka  

With an eclectic all-instrumental blend of rock, jazz, dub, electronics, and the avant-garde, Tortoise emerged as the leading band of Chicago’s so-called “post-rock” scene in the 1990s. On its seventh album The Catastrophist, the group has introduced a radical new element: vocals. Tortoise joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a conversation and performance. Jim and Greg also explore the history and legacy of the post-rock movement. Plus, a tribute to Alan Vega of Suicide and a review of the new album from British soul musician Michael Kiwanuka.

#556 Moby & Opinions on The Julie Ruin  

Moby became the face of techno with the blockbuster success of his 1999 album Play. In his new memoir Porcelain, he explores his origins in the underground rave scene of ‘80s New York up until his mainstream success. Moby joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a conversation. Plus, a review of the new album from post-Riot Grrrl band The Julie Ruin.

#555 Better Campaign Songs & Opinions on The Avalanches  

It’s not a political rally without a crowd-pumping and uplifting playlist. But political campaign teams are not always great music tastemakers. NPR’s National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea talks with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot about hearing the same songs over and over on the campaign trail. Then Jim and Greg play campaign managers and make a list of better campaign theme songs. Plus, a review of the long-awaited second album from Australian electronic group The Avalanches.

#554 Savages & Opinions on Maxwell & DJ Shadow  

The London-based quartet Savages made a stunning debut with Silence Yourself in 2013 and established a reputation as a formidable live act. On the 2016 followup Adore Life, the brooding post-punk band tackles something new: love songs. Savages joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a conversation and live performance. Plus, reviews of the new albums from Maxwell and DJ Shadow.

#553 Best Albums of 2016...So Far  

We’re barely halfway through the year and already there’s an overwhelming amount of great new music to enjoy. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their lists of the Best Albums of 2016...So Far. Plus, they discuss the “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism verdict and pay tribute to Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell.

#552 Bob Mould & Opinions on case/lang/veirs  

After his pioneering work in Hüsker Dü and his alternative era success with Sugar, Bob Mould shows no signs of slowing down. The legendary songwriter and guitarist joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a live performance and a conversation. Plus, a review of the new collaboration between Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs.

#551 Anxious Anthems & Opinions on Paul Simon  

Nervy guitars and pounding drums can perfectly convey the restless sensation of being on the verge of breaking down. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite Anxious Anthems. Then, they review the new album from venerable songwriter Paul Simon.

#550 Eleanor Friedberger & Opinions on Chance the Rapper  

After making her mark in the indie duo The Fiery Furnaces, singer-songwriter Eleanor Friedberger launched a solo career blending her former band’s experimentalism with classic ‘70s sounds. She joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a conversation and live performance. Plus, a review of the new mixtape from Chicago artist Chance the Rapper.

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