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

Velvet Underground Dissection

Aug 13, 2020

The 1967 debut from The Velvet Underground didn't sell many records, but arguably no album in the past half century has had a greater influence on rock music. Jim and Greg offer a Classic Album Dissection of The Velvet Underground & Nico.

The New Analog & Opinions on Neil Young

Aug 5, 2020

In a world becoming increasingly digital, Galaxie 500 co-founder and author Damon Krukowski says we need to hang on to aspects of analog media. Damon joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to talk about the value of noise, liner notes, and his book The New Analog. Plus, reviews of the latest releases from Neil Young and Sault.

Talking Heads Drummer Chris Frantz

Jul 29, 2020

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot chat with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club drummer Chris Frantz about his new book, Remain In Love. They discuss Talking Heads’s musical successes, internal conflicts and what it’s like to work with David Byrne and Brian Eno. Plus, Jim and Greg dig into some of their favorite tracks by the 'Heads and Tom Tom Club.

Chicago Soul

Jul 22, 2020

From the late 1950s through the 1980s, the Chicago Soul musical movement was thriving and inspiring listeners with its diverse sounds. From Curtis Mayfield to Minnie Riperton, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the signature artists of the era, and how the music tells the story of political and cultural change in Chicago. Plus, they explore its lasting impact.

Songs About Helping and Rock Doctors

Jul 16, 2020

In these confusing and anxious times, we could all use the occassional helping hand. This week, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite songs about helping. Then they help a listener find new music to soothe her grandmother.

Buried Treasures

Jul 9, 2020

It's time for another edition of Buried Treasures, where Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis share some under-the-radar new music you need to hear.

Bill Withers is beloved for writing classics like Lean On Me, but Greg Kot has long contended that Withers’ best album is Live at Carnegie Hall. This week hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot honor Withers’ life by doing a classic album dissection on that record and review the latest album from Phoebe Bridgers.

Sometimes current events inspire urgent art. This week Jim and Greg share their favorite instant commentary tracks, songs that were published in a hurry in hopes of affecting change. Plus they review the first Bob Dylan album of new music in eight years and Jim adds a song to the desert island jukebox. 

Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Jun 18, 2020

While the year is only half over, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot couldn’t wait until December to share their favorite albums. This week, Jim and Greg share their picks for the Best Albums of 2020 so far.

Cover Songs & Opinions on Jehnny Beth

Jun 9, 2020

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the roots of the term “cover song" and dig into the surprising stories behind some of rock's most notable examples, from Elvis's rendition of "Hound Dog" to the Feelies doing the Rolling Stones. Plus, Jim and Greg share a few of their favorites. They also review the debut solo album by Jehnny Beth of Savages.

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.

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