Category Archives: Music

SBox Soapbox: Why Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Doesn’t Need to Show Freddie Mercury’s Death

This week was a huge one for the upcoming musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, based on one of the most renowned bands in music history, Queen. Not only did we gain a new member to the cast with Lucy Boynton set to play Mary Austin, but we also got our first official look at Rami Malek as the legendary frontman, Freddie Mercury. This news follows a recent stream of news about the project, including the casting of Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, Gwilym Lee as Brian Man, Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon, and Allen Leech as Paul Prenter.

The film has been a long time coming and has been highly anticipated since its announcement back in 2010. In that time, fans who have followed the production have debated over a few aspects of the upcoming film, including the apparent timeline of the movie as it pertains to the untimely passing of Mercury. At one point, the script allegedly intended to place the events of his death in the middle of the movie (which came with its own set of debates), but it seems now that the film will be set between the formative years of the band and their famous performance at Live Aid. This gives Bohemian Rhapsody a relative timeframe of 1970-1985, skipping Mercury’s death entirely. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: Why Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Doesn’t Need to Show Freddie Mercury’s Death

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SBox Recommends: 24k Magic by Bruno Mars (Album Review)

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If you’re even slightly familiar with modern day Pop/R&B music, then there’s no way you haven’t heard of the name Bruno Mars. He’s one of the industry’s most well-known, beloved, and respected figures, and for good reason. Ever since he first arrived to the industry in 2004 (well before people knew his name), Mars has contributed greatly to the music industry as not only a singer, but also a songwriter and producer. He’s been responsible for countless hits, collaborated with several major stars, and launched three successful studio albums so far; the latest of which was just released half a year ago from now. Continue reading SBox Recommends: 24k Magic by Bruno Mars (Album Review)

SBox Recommends: The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem (Album Review)

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Music is an art that serves many different purposes. It can be a means of entertainment, unity, escape or catharsis. Though with music being an ever-changing entity, it can also be a means of controversy; such is the fate of most hip hop albums of the late 80’s, early 90’s and beyond. Few were as consistently on the receiving end of that than Eminem.

It’s funny for us to think about now, but as respected of an artist as Eminem is now, that wasn’t always the case. Think back 16 years ago from now when his third studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP, first released on store shelves. Some of us aren’t much older than that and don’t remember the shit show that the record produced. The CD didn’t even spend 10 seconds in the radio before activists, parents and critics were taking to the streets with pitchforks demanding Slim Shady’s head.¬†An album like that could probably never be released today. The same people who claim Jerry Seinfeld’s one gay joke was the worst thing in the world or thought James Rolffe was sexist for not wanting to watch the new Ghostbusters wouldn’t last two seconds in the same room as this album, let alone listen to it.

The funny thing is, for all the outrage it caused, it sure as hell sold a ton. And even funnier than that, the album has since been considered a classic- one that only appreciates with time. And in an age of outrage culture where everyone walks on eggshells before saying anything, the album has never been more relevant. In honor of the album’s recent anniversary, let’s take a look back at one of hip hop’s finest albums. Continue reading SBox Recommends: The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem (Album Review)

SBox Recommends: Innuendo by Queen (Album Review)

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One year ago from right now was the first time I delved into the Queen catalog and became a fan. In one year’s time, Queen has changed the way I look at music, introduced me to the rock genre (alongside Journey), and became my favorite band of all time. In a way, they’ve changed my life.

Two days ago marked the 25th anniversary of Queen’s thirteenth album, Innuendo. Released on February 5, 1991, Innuendo was the first time the world heard classics like “Innuendo”, “Headlong” and ‘The Show Must Go On”. It wasn’t the most successful of Queen’s offerings nor did it produce many hits, but we celebrate it for having significance; not just for the band’s history, but for music history.

This will be different from my other reviews. I’ve never reviewed an album before nor have I ever reviewed something older than a few months old. What I’ll do is go through the track listing and give you my thoughts on each song on the album. I’ll provide writer’s credits and fun facts for each and end it with a score as usual. Continue reading SBox Recommends: Innuendo by Queen (Album Review)

SBox Soapbox: Bohemian Rhapsody (October 31, 1975-2015)

On this very day 40 years ago, the British band known as Queen released one of the best rock songs ever created, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Though the album A Night at the Opera, where the song originates, released a couple weeks later, this song was released as a single on Halloween 1975. The result was critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

Lead singer and writer of the song, Freddie Mercury, had apparently been working on this track years before he joined Queen. The song contains bits and pieces of random songs he was writing since the late 60’s, one of which was named “The Cowboy Song”. (This bit of song is the origin of the line “Mama… just killed a man.”). Mercury presented the song idea to the band in the mid-70’s during production of their fifth album.

Recorded between six recording studios containing as many as 180 overdubs, the song took three weeks to complete. At 5 minutes 55 seconds long, the song is one of Queen’s longest singles released (second only to “Innuendo” in 1991). Hits aren’t usually this long, leading everyone to believe that “Bohemian Rhapsody” had no chance for mainstream success.

It’s success is mainly due to the workings of DJ Kenny Everett of Capital Radio. He received a copy of the song early and teased bits of it during airplay. The demand for the whole song was sky-high, leading him to play the entire song 14 times in two days. Everyone loved it, and the rest is history. Queen’s record labels in Europe and North America had no choice but to release the single ASAP.

The song enjoyed mainstream success for its time and several times afterwards. Today it is considered a classic, one of the best rock songs ever created, and one of the best songs of all-time. Though not their first hit, this is easily Queen’s magnum opus and the work they’re most known for. It stands the test of time almost half a century later, and it probably always will.

To this day we acknowledge the music video as one of the best (not to mention one of the first). We are also still pondering what in the hell this song means. Freddie Mercury has stated that the lyrics are just gibberish. Still, that isn’t stopping people from trying to figure it out. If he was lying, then that’s unfortunately a secret he took to the grave. Nonetheless, the song is enjoyable whether it has a meaning or not.

To get personal for a moment, this is my second favorite song ever. It was my favorite for many years, but was surpassed by yet another Queen song four years after first hearing “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I often consider this my first Queen song. That’s, of course, bullshit. Anyone my age and even a bit older was introduced to Queen through other means whether they knew it or not. I consider it my first because this was the song that made me a Queen fan. Had I never experienced this song, I would’ve never gained the curiosity to check out the Queen library. Today I stand by the fact that Queen is my favorite band of all-time.

It’s for that reason I thank this song for changing my attitude toward music and introducing me to the rock genre. Therefore, I invite those who either don’t know this song, or haven’t seen the video in a long time, to enjoy the above video along with me and the billions of other who can now do the fandango.

God save the Queen!


On a slightly separate note. I’ve been meaning to make a Top 5 Queen Songs post for a while. That post is still in “the works” (if you know what I mean). I’ll try and get it done as soon as I can, especially since there’s no better time than now to give it a go. If all goes well, you’ll see it within the week.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBox Soapbox: My Views on Music

Hard to believe this is my first SBox Soapbox of 2015. Ah well, better late than ever.

Lately I’ve had music on the mind. Not too sure what caused this subject to suddenly hit me in recent months, but I believe it all started with my discovery of the band Journey back in November. I heard the song “Separate Ways” on the radio, used Shazam to find the song title, and downloaded it later that day. Maybe it actually started in late December when I was finding songs to download before my long train ride home from New York. I was in a rush at the time and just downloaded any song that sounded remotely good. In the process, I solidified Journey as one of my favorite bands and Jay-Z as one of my favorite rappers.

All I know is that lately I’ve been listening to music a lot more than I used to.

Continue reading SBox Soapbox: My Views on Music