YTD recordings listened to: 388
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 247
Not good music: 112
Honorable Mentions: 9
Possibles: Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood, Skyzoo, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bob Gluck Trio, Ether Net, Oddisee, Holly Williams, Dave Arner Trio, Graveola, Safe Haven, Cyanide Pills, Trap Them, Orchestra Super Mazembe, Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, Inzinzac
It’s new release Tuesday so let’s dive right in to the lukewarm mainstream music pool.
@@@ Magical Cloudz: Impersonator (Matador, 2013). An electronica record from Matador. Opens up with some vocal loops, slow and interesting. And on top of that comes a low, strong projecting male Nick Cave-y kind of voice. And that’s it for that. I like the loops, I don’t love dude’s voice. Second tune, This is Magic, is not. Just kidding. Church organ and dude’s voice singing about meaningful things. I’m not connected to this music, maybe I’m dead inside or maybe the music isn’t that compelling and up its own butt a tiny bit. I do appreciate the sparseness of the material and I know a lot of folks like this flow so check it for yourself. I would rather listen to No More Shall We Part by Nick Cave. Awesomeness right there, I tell you.
@@@ Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa: Seesaw (J&R Adventures, 2013). First tune, Them There Eyes, is a big band/blues hybrid as Bonamassa gets to do his solo amidst a flurry of horn bips and bops. The recording is a bit bright for my taste — I prefer my blues records thicker. The second tune, Close to My Fire, is a classic torchburner blues ballad/love song. Hart has a nasal tinge to her singing that is pleasing while her voice doesn’t give me the shivers. The third tune is a cover of Nutbush City Limits which I’ve clipped below. I wish Hart’s voice had more weight to it and I wish Bonamassa had a slightly cleaner classic blues tone, but that’s just me.
@@@ Willy Moon: Here’s Willy Moon (Cherrytree/Interscope, 2013). In the MOG machine deceptively labelled as indie/alternative. This is mainstream pop by a male bimbo, a mimbo as they used to say on Seinfeld. Moon’s voice is all right with good energy, but he doesn’t have much (if anything) to say. If you enjoy the feeling of empty cliches washing all over you you will love this record. The gospel tinge is interesting but there’s no follow through to give the record more weight.
@@@ Saturday Looks Good to Me: One Kiss Ends it All (Polyvinyl, 2013). Opens up with the tune One Kiss, a blurry and mopey indie electronic affair. Oh boy, I’m feeling bogged down already. Second tune goes hard twee pop — tambourine, sweet female vocals, lots of reverb and jangly guitars. Songs are decent while not super memorable. This isn’t really my cup of tea but check it out for yourself.
@@@ French Montana: Excuse My French (Bad Boy/Interscope, 2013). Some more mainstream hip hop from the P. Diddy mothership. When did the big hip hop records get so symphonic and cheesed out? A rapid and unwelcome loss of funk. The first tune, Once in a While, is about a cold blooded murder and it is mad dramatical. Mr. Montana, who I will refer to as Frenchie has good energy on the mic with a thick tongued delivery. I’m feeling degraded, not uplifted.