Sound Opinions

Saturdays 9-10 p.m.
  • Hosted by Greg Kot, Jim DeRogatis

Sound Opinions is where music lovers come together. You can make discoveries, debate, learn about pop culture, engage, have fun and find new ways to further enrich your life through music. Whether you're an expert, or just a casual fan, Sound Opinions is your source for smart and engaging music criticism and conversation. Each week on the show, nationally respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis interview artists, talk about pop culture and music industry news, review new record releases and give trends a historical context. And, because on Sound Opinions,“everyone's a critic,” you are invited to join in the debate.

Ways to Connect

Mary Wilson of the Supremes

Jan 23, 2020

Motown Records helped create the soundtrack for a generation. And no group at that famous label was more iconic than The Supremes, both for their sound, and for their groundbreaking glamour. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk to Mary Wilson of The Supremes about her days at Motown, and how the group became international ambassadors representing an entire community.

The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, Neil Peart & Beach Slang

Jan 16, 2020

Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys elevated pop music to new artistic heights with the band's 1966 masterpiece Pet Sounds. With its ingenious orchestrations and earnest lyrics, the album remains an enormous influence to this day. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot present a Classic Album Dissection of Pet Sounds. They also review the new album from punk band Beach Slang and bid farewell to Neil Peart of Rush.

Buried Treasures & Joan Shelley

Jan 9, 2020

A new year calls for new tunes. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are back with a new batch of Buried Treasures. They're always on the lookout for great new music beyond the FM dial and this week they share their latest finds. These artists might not be household names, but they're definitely worth adding to your collection. They'll also talk to folk singer-songwriter Joan Shelley about recording her latest album in Iceland and how her Louisville, Kentucky heritage manifests in her music.

Songs About Pot, Rock Doctors & Angie McMahon

Jan 2, 2020

As of January 1, 2020, Illinois joins several states in legalizing recreational marijuana. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot acknowledge the numerous songs about weed and share some of their favorites. Plus, Jim and Greg are the rock doctors, finding walk up music for a martial artist. They also find out what unique song got singer-songwriter Angie McMahon hooked on sonics.

Albums of the Decade and Greg's 2019 Mixtape

Dec 23, 2019

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot close out 2019 and the 2010s by sharing some of their best albums of the decade. Then, Greg will share his annual mixtape and the hosts will discuss musicians the world lost this year, including rapper Juice WRLD and Flamin' Groovies lead singer Roy Loney.

This is a Christmas special like none other. Holiday music collector and expert Andy Cirzan scours record stores, dustbins, and basements to find the best and rarest tunes for the season. And each year he treats Sound Opinions listeners to a much-anticipated hour of music. This year’s compilation is called Santa vs. El Diablo and is a 'best of' from the last 30 years of Andy's collections. 

Sound Opinions Holiday Spectacular 2019

Dec 16, 2019

It's a holiday tradition on Sound Opinions to welcome weird wax aficionado Andy Cirzan to share his annual mix of tinsel-time tunes with us. He shares his bizarre holiday music finds and the stories behind them with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot.

Best Albums of 2019

Dec 12, 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot reflect on the best albums of the year. They also hear from Sound Opinions producers and listeners about their favorites.

The Best Albums of 2019

Dec 12, 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot reflect on the best albums of the year. They also hear from Sound Opinions producers and listeners about their favorites.

Beat writer William S. Burroughs had a profound impact and interaction with rock and hip-hop music from the 1960s through his death in the late 1990s. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with author Casey Rae about his book on Burroughs and "the cult of Rock 'n' Roll." They also review new albums from Leonard Cohen and singer and violinist Sudan Archives. 

Thanksgiving Leftovers & DJ Shadow on Sampling

Nov 26, 2019

As we finish eating Thanksgiving leftovers, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot clear out musical discussions still left over from earlier in the year. From chart-topping phenomenons to surprising archival finds, there was just too much music this year to cover it all as it happened. Plus, DJ Shadow explains how he found the sample for his latest single, "Rocket Fuel."

Songs That Make You Cry

Nov 20, 2019

For one reason or another, everyone has got a handful of songs that make them cry. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of the songs that bring tears to their eyes.

Buried Treasures

Nov 13, 2019

As we all settle in for the season, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot figure Sound Opinions listeners are ready for a playlist refresh. This week, they dip into the wealth of great new music beyond the FM dial and play you some Buried Treasures. These artists might not be household names, but they're definitely worth adding to your collection. Plus, legendary bluesman Bobby Rush shares the jazz track that got him Hooked on Sonics.

Songs About the Radio and Opinions on Michael Kiwanuka

Nov 7, 2019

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot both fondly remember discovering new bands on their FM dials; and though there are many ways to find new music, there's still a bit of magic to hearing a new favorite over the airwaves. To honor that legacy, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite radio-inspired tracks by artists like Wall of Voodoo and Donna Summer. Plus Jim and Greg review Kiwanuka, the latest album from English soul-folk artist Michael Kiwanuka.

Janis Joplin

Oct 31, 2019

Janis Joplin was known for her iconic singing voice, gregarious image and refusal to conform. But behind her chill, blues mama persona was an intellectual, intentional artist. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the life and career of Janis Joplin with author and biographer Holly George-Warren. They talk about the legacy of Joplin's music and identity almost 50 years after her tragic death.

Bands in Costume

Oct 24, 2019

Rock and roll has never been purely about the music. The image a band puts forward can be almost as important as their songs. Some bands take it an extra step and make theatrical costumes an integral part of their act. In honor of Halloween, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite bands in costume.

Though originally panned by many critics, the Rolling Stones' 1972 album Exile on Main St. is now considered a masterpiece. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot serve up a classic album dissection for the deeply influential recording.

Songs We Love By Bands We Dislike

Oct 10, 2019

Have you ever listened to a song and loved it, only to find out it’s by an artist you can’t stand? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot will explore the concept of great songs by horrible artists and share a few of their favorites. Plus they'll review Ghosteen from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and pay tribute to drummer Ginger Baker and The Muffs' Kim Shattuck.

Sound Opinions: Family Bands

Oct 3, 2019

<!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->The family that plays together, stays together, right? If you‘ve ever traveled in a van with your mother, father, sister or brother, you know it's not that easy. From Sister Sledge to The Cowsills, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of the great Family Bands that made it work. Plus, Jim and Greg review Ode To Joy, the latest album from alt-rock band Wilco.

Fugazi Classic Album Dissection

Sep 26, 2019

Washington D.C. post-punk band Fugazi reshaped the definition of punk in America. Their 1990 debut album, Repeater, connected with a generation and eventually sold more than a million copies. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with founding member Ian MacKaye about the writing and recording of the album and its impact. Plus we review Sturgill Simpson's new album, Sound and Fury, and learn what song got a member of the band Dehd "Hooked on Sonics."

With an influx of new music, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot decide it's time for a review roundup. They share their opinions on records by Tool, Lana Del Rey, Common and more. They also pay tribute to the late Cars' frontman Ric Ocasek and solo artist Daniel Johnston.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are always on the lookout for buried treasures - newly released music that is flying underneath the critical and commercial radar. They're back this week with some exciting new songs. Jim and Greg also talk with a member of a somewhat buried treasure act from the past, Peter Lewis of Moby Grape. They discuss ways the 1960s San Francisco group turned convention on its head and some of the bad luck that befell the band.

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are joined by legendary funk and R&B bassist James Alexander of the Bar-Kays. They discuss his early days as a pivotal part of the Stax Records house band in Memphis and the enduring legacy of 1971's Shaft Soundtrack, which featured the Bar-Kays as the backing band. Then, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite bass lines and their players... who usually aren't the flashiest members of a band, but they're a pivotal part of its heartbeat.

Sound Opinions: Quitting Songs and Whitney

Aug 29, 2019

While critical and commercially successful “soft rock” music is rare in 2019, the Chicago band Whitney found a way to make it work. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with the two main members of the band about how they came to their unique sound and their new album Forever Turned Around. Plus, the hosts select their favorite songs about quitting work.

Sound Opinions: Best Music Cameos

Aug 22, 2019

Sometimes, all it takes for a song to go from good to great is the addition of a guest artist, whether it’s a rapper going in on the verse or a guitarist shredding a solo. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite musical cameos.

The Mountain Goats & Opinions on Sleater-Kinney

Aug 15, 2019

Over the course of 17 albums, The Mountain Goats have gone from a super lo-fi solo project to a polished four piece combo. We're joined by the whole band for an exclusive performance and interview with songwriter John Darnielle and drummer Jon Wurster.

Sound Opinions: The Legend of Robert Johnson

Aug 8, 2019

For decades, the myths surrounding Robert Johnson overshadowed his contributions as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. From the legend that he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads to mystery surrounding his untimely death at age 27, the truths of Johnson’s life have remained untold. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with music historian Bruce Conforth about Johnson’s career, death and working to give the guitarist his identity back.

Sound Opinions: Why the Ramones Matter

Aug 1, 2019

Back in the 1970s, punk was shorthand for a subculture that took pride in breaking the mainstream’s mold. And at the vanguard of punk rock was The Ramones. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore the cultural contributions of the band, beyond the myth, with the author of Why The Ramones Matter, Donna Gaines. Plus, they revisit their 2007 conversation with the late Tommy Ramone.

Sound Opinions: Julia Jacklin

Jul 25, 2019

While Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin’s voice has a soft vibrato and sweet tone, her lyrics are laced with a dry sense of humor and unflinching honesty. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk to Julia about her new album, the pressure to appear perfect on social media and how as a performer and woman she sets boundaries to stay sane. She also gives a live performance at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago.

Buried Treasures & Tasha

Jul 18, 2019

It's time again for hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to share their latest buried treasures: recently released, under-the-radar albums you need to hear! They'll also chat with Chicago singer, songwriter and guitarist Tasha about her music, which champions marginalized people as well as prioritizes topics like self care.

Pages