Sound Opinions

Saturdays 9-10 PM
  • 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

Sound Opinions: PJ Morton

Jul 19, 2018

PJ Morton is an indie soul artist that just happens to be in Maroon Five, one of the biggest pop groups in the country. But his solo sound is light years away from Top 40 R&B, blending his New Orleans gospel roots with strains of Stevie Wonder. PJ joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and performance.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures & MSNBC's Ari Melber

Jul 12, 2018

It's time yet again from Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to open their treasure chests and reveal relatively unknown new albums YOU need to hear! They'll also talk to host of MSNBC's The Beat, Ari Melber, about his love for rap music and how he integrates it into his political coverage.

Sound Opinions Live!

Jul 2, 2018

So many talented musicians perform on Sound Opinions, but we don't always have time to air every song. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite never-before-heard live performances from artists like Beach Slang and Arcade Fire. Plus, they unearth even more favorite performances from our archive.

Sound Opinions: The Best Albums of 2018 So Far

Jun 28, 2018

The year is half over and we think it's time to share some of our favorite albums of 2018 so far! Find out what albums hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have at the top of their lists, plus hear from some listeners.

Sound Opinions: Hinds & Review Round-up

Jun 21, 2018

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with two members of the Spanish women rock band Hinds about their unique take on punk rock and how they've reached fans in America and the U.K. Also, with an influx of new releases, it’s time for a review round-up! Jim and Greg give their opinions on new albums from Parquet Courts, Neko Case and Kanye West. 

Margo Price and Remembering Anthony Bourdain

Jun 13, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are joined by country singer-songwriter Margo Price. Price is signed to Jack White's Third Man Records, and her sound is a blend of outlaw country and roots music. A natural born storyteller, Price joined the hosts for an interview and performance. Plus, Jim and Greg revisit their interview with world traveler and chef Anthony Bourdain, who we lost recently. He was 61.

Sound Opinions: Joni Mitchell's Blue

Jun 7, 2018

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.

Sound Opinions: Anxious Anthems & Leon Bridges

May 31, 2018

Forget “Keep Calm and Carry On.” This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot play their favorite Anxious Anthems. Then, they chat with some listeners to hear what songs make them nervous. Plus, the hosts sit down with soul singer Leon Bridges. Leon's latest album, Good Thing, marks his transition into an adventurous new sound.

Give The Drummer Some

May 24, 2018

What role do drums play in Rock? Should that be keeping the beat or leading from the front? Who are some of the greatest drummers in rock music? The beat goes on as Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot focus on the contributions of drummers to rock music with drummer Joe Wong. Wong also hosts a podcast on drummers called The Trap Set.

Sound Opinions: John Prine

May 17, 2018

For the last 50 years, John Prine has garnered a multi-generational fan base through his nuanced storytelling as a songwriter and performer. The balance of humor, plain language and reality in his music is what makes him stand out in the genres of folk, country and beyond. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk to Prine about starting his own independent label, working with Phil Spector and his writing process.

Jim and Greg dive into their piles and piles of new music to bring you their latest favorites. Plus, some of our favorite musicians tell us about the songs they'd want with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

Sound Opinions: Slayer

May 3, 2018

With Slayer's farewell tour approaching, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot revisit their interview with two members of the iconic thrash metal band- drummer Dave Lombardo and guitarist Kerry King. They discuss their signature breakneck song pace, favorite moments in the group and working with hip hop producer Rick Rubin.

Sound Opinions: Songs About Horses

Apr 26, 2018

And they're off! In honor of the Kentucky Derby, it seemed like the perfect time to explore a relatively common theme in music - horses. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss why these majestic animals cross genres from soul to rock and roll. They’ll also share some of their favorite tracks about stallions, mares, ponies and more.

Sound Opinions: Jason Isbell

Apr 19, 2018

For country singer/songwriter Jason Isbell's latest record, "The Nashville Sound," he wrote about his role as a father and an artist in today's America. It ended up being his most political album yet, addressing issues like white privilege and working class frustrations. Jason joins Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to talk about songwriting, ethics, sobriety, and performs a special acoustic set. 

Sound Opinions: The Legend of Captain Beefheart

Apr 12, 2018

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore the legend of Captain Beefheart, a musician with a larger-than-life personality who blurred the lines of music, art and noise. Also, they talk with longtime Captain Beefheart collaborator Gary Lucas and share their thoughts on why Beefheart's music, however difficult, is of value.

Sound Opinions: The Regrettes

Apr 4, 2018

The Regrettes are a young band that blends 1960s girl group sensibilities with the edge of Bikini Kill. Their debut album, Feel Your Feelings, Fool! was a Best of 2017 pick for both Jim and Greg. The Regrettes joined Greg for a performance and conversation.

The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St.

Mar 29, 2018

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

Sound Opinions: SXSW 2018

Mar 22, 2018

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot make their annual pilgrimage to the South By Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas. They'll report on some of their new favorite bands that music lovers need to hear. 

Sound Opinions: Songs About the Music Industry

Mar 14, 2018

What happens when artists take a look inward at the music business? Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot play the best Songs About the Music Industry. Then, they sit down with the dynamic Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures & A Giant Dog

Mar 8, 2018

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot dig up some buried treasures - albums that aren't yet in the mainstream but that deserve some more attention. Plus, cult rock outfit A Giant Dog join them for an interview and performance.

Sound Opinions: Film Soundtracks

Mar 1, 2018

A film's soundtrack can be as memorable as its visuals. So as awards season winds down, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot pick some of their favorite film soundtracks. Plus, Jim and Greg review the soundtrack for the film Black Panther.

Sound Opinions: Don Was

Feb 22, 2018

Don Was is a bassist in the band Was (Not Was), a successful music producer for artists like The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, and the president of legendary jazz label Blue Note Records. This week, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot pick the brain of the multi-talented Don Was about his influences, what he looks for in an artist and what he loves about music. Plus, Jim and Greg review new albums from indie rock band Superchunk and rapper Dessa.

Sound Opinions: Sir The Baptist

Feb 15, 2018

In many ways, Chicago artist and producer Sir the Baptist is a chaplain in the R&B scene. He creates hip hop infused music that bridges the gap between his gospel roots and the world around him. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk to Sir about making music with a message, plus he performs in studio with a 10-piece band.

When candy, flowers, and love notes fail to woo your sweetie back, there's only one thing left to do: stake out under a window, hold up that boom box and blast an “I Want You Back” song. This Valentine’s Day, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot present their favorite pleading songs. Plus, they'll review the new album from Justin Timberlake.

Sound Opinions: Cover Songs

Feb 1, 2018

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk to author Ray Padgett about his book Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time. They discuss the roots of the term "cover" 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 favorite cover songs.

On his debut record, The Autobiography, Vic Mensa raps about his life growing up on the South Side of Chicago. With a confessional tone, he explores topics like community, violence, drugs, and racism. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Mensa about his influences, his struggles and the experience of growing up “five blocks from the projects and five blocks from Obama’s house." Plus, they review the latest album from tUnE-yArDs, Jim pays tribute to the late Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries and Greg bids farewell to South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela.

Sound Opinions: New Wave and Alison Moyet

Jan 18, 2018

Jim and Greg talk to Lori Majewski about her book Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and the Songs That Defined the 1980s, co-written with Jonathan Bernstein. In it, the authors reveal why New Wave caught on so strongly with pop fans and the media, especially post-punk in the U.K. Plus, an interview with Alison Moyet, an English singer-songwriter that came up in the New Wave scene, and is still making waves musically.

Sam Beam has been releasing his signature indie folk records under the moniker Iron & Wine for over 15 years. His 2017 effort, Beast Epic, returns to his stripped down, acoustic roots. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot interview Sam Beam at the Goose Island Barrelhouse and they talk about his sound, collaborations and fatherhood. He also delivers a performance in front of a live audience. Plus, a review of the new album by punk rocker Jeff Rosenstock.

Sound Opinions: Alex Cox & Opinions on N.E.R.D.

Jan 4, 2018

Few filmmakers have embodied the punk aesthetic like Alex Cox. He joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to discuss the classic LA punk soundtrack to Repo Man, the making of the Sex Pistols biopic Sid and Nancy, and his fruitful collaborations with Joe Strummer. Plus, a review of the new album from Pharrell Williams's side project N.E.R.D.

Sound Opinions: Mixtapes 2017 & Musical In Memoriam

Dec 27, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot present DJ sets full of some of their favorite songs of the year. They'll also pay tribute to some of the musicians who died in 2017.

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