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

Buried Treasures & Ask the Critics

Jun 4, 2020

Looking for new music that you won't hear on the radio or almost anywhere else? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some recent songs they're loving (aka Buried Treasures) that are beneath the mainstream radar. They also answer some questions from listeners in another edition of Ask the Critics.

In a time when many independent concert venues have a doubtful future, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot relive their favorite moments experienced at live concerts. They also pay tribute to recently deceased percussionist, Tony Allen.

History in Song, Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino

May 21, 2020

Sometimes musicians double as historians, documenting the world around them. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite tracks about historical figures, events and places. Plus, a conversation with Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino about sobriety and how it has affected her music.

Virtual Vacations & Mudhoney Live

May 14, 2020

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are going on a virtual vacation via music. Tour guides including Kraftwerk, Spoon and A Tribe Called Quest will take you to Japan, India, Italy and more. Plus, they revisit a real trip they took to Seattle to interview the great Mudhoney. And they pay tribute to Little Richard. 

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have a conversation about the history of women in hip-hop, and how amazing MCs have been chronically undervalued since the beginning of the art form. They talk Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Roxanne Shanté and more. They also review new records from Jason Isbell and Chicano Batman, and Greg bids farewell to percussionist and band leader Hamilton Bohannon.

While a lot of the world is at a standstill, new albums are still coming out. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot review the new records from Fiona Apple, The Weeknd, The Strokes and more. They also hear from the Boston Red Sox's organist about how COVID-19 has impacted his work and what he's doing to lift baseball fans' spirits. Plus, Greg bids farewell to the late, great Bill Withers.

Buried Treasures & Sudan Archives

Apr 23, 2020

With nothing but time on our hands, hosts 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. Plus we'll hear a live performance and interview with singer and violinist Sudan Archives.

Back in the 1950s, artists like Little Richard and Liberace found unique ways to present their sexuality within the “acceptable” boundaries existing in society, and in many ways, pushed them. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have a discussion about sexuality in music. They also review new albums by pop artist Dua Lipa and indie acts Waxahatchee and Melkbelly.

This week Sound Opinions welcomes prolific singer, songwriter, and producer Raphael Saadiq. Perhaps most widely known as a member of the 1990s R&B band Tony! Toni! Toné!, he's also released five critically acclaimed solo albums, all the while producing notable work for others, including "Lady" by D'Angelo, and "Cranes In The Sky" by Solange. Plus, Jim and Greg bid farewell to legendary songwriter John Prine.

Spring Review Round-Up and The Masked Marauders

Mar 31, 2020

Spring is here, and it's time to get caught up with some of the new releases of the season. From comeback kids to buzzworthy new artists, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have you covered. Plus, we revisit the "best" supergroup of all time 50 years later, The Masked Marauders.

Social Distancing on the Desert Island

Mar 25, 2020

In light of the global pandemic, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are encouraging listeners to practice social distancing. They'll be sharing a fresh batch of Desert Island Jukebox picks, music that seems particularly well suited to the moment we're in. Greg also bids farewell to the late singer and songwriter Paul K. of Paul K. & the Weathermen.

Joni Mitchell's Blue

Mar 18, 2020

Almost 50 years ago, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell released what became her signature album, Blue. The record is full of complex lyrics, gorgeous guitar and deeply personal themes. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot do a classic album dissection of Blue, sharing the context of the record, exploring its lasting impact and looking in depth at its impressive track list.

OutKast's Stankonia, Caroline Polachek

Mar 12, 2020

After their third album went double-platinum, Atlanta hip-hop duo OutKast let their creativity run wild on 2000's Stankonia. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot do a classic album dissection of that landmark record. Plus, Caroline Polachek shares the song that got her into music as a career and Jim adds a song to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Songs About Animals

Mar 5, 2020

Outside of their natural habitats, you'll find animals all over music. From hound dogs to blackbirds, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite songs about animals. They also review new records from Tame Impala and Grimes, and Greg bids farewell to David Roback of Mazzy Star and the Rain Parade.

Songs About Time & Ask the Critics Pt. 2

Feb 27, 2020

Let's "Rock Around the Clock" like Bill Haley told us to! 2020 is another leap year, Daylight Savings is around the corner and this week, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore their favorite Songs About Time. They also answer more listener questions for another edition of Ask the Critics, ranging from their personal experiences making music to their biggest disagreements. 

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! Plus, Jim takes a trip to the desert island jukebox to play a song he can't live without. Then, they hear from musician Briston Maroney about the song that got him Hooked On Sonics.

Ask the Critics

Feb 13, 2020

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot answer listener questions in a segment called Ask the Critics! They’ll give responses on subjects like musical taste, disagreements with each other and what it’s really like to be a professional critic. Plus, they’ll talk to music journalist Mark Binelli about the rise of deceased musician hologram tours. They also review the new album from English art rock band Wire.

King Crimson and R.I.P. to Andy Gill of Gang of Four

Feb 6, 2020

King Crimson is a legendary progressive rock band that has evolved through the decades in innovative, and sometimes surprising ways. This week, Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis explore the constant evolution of the classic band that refuses to rest on its laurels. Plus, Jim and Greg pay tribute to Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill, dead at the age of 64.

Best Acting By Musicians in Film

Jan 30, 2020

Over the years, several notable musicians have tried their hand at acting in movies, whether it’s playing a character or playing themselves. While the results are mixed, there have been a handful of great, pitch perfect performances. With the Oscars looming, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite acting performances by musicians in film. They’ll also talk with Joel Anderson, host of the third season of the podcast Slow Burn, which focuses on the murders of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

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.

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.

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