@@@ THEY.: Play Fight w/ Tinashe (Avant Garden/Island, 2020) A midtempo R&B track off last week’s Line of Best fit email. Retro-ish sounds with small guitar snippet samples and a lot of vocal tracks including some background vocals with delays on them. The vocal hook is yeah yeah, play fight. A female vocalist comes in for a quick spot and I like her better than the fellas. My favorite component here is the occasional bass pulse and my least favorite component here is the plethora of vocal tracks.
@@@ Kamaal Williams: Mr. Wu (Black Focus, 2020) A fusion-y jazz sound here with a drummer recreating a classic techno beat (at least in the beginning of the track) some chill keyboards, and medium high poppin’ bass sounds. After an extended intro a sax comes in, a tad low as the drums dominate the mix here. There are a lot of moving parts in this and while not a fan of the beats per se I do like how loud they are, and I really like the occasional hand drum hit that pops out of the mix. I don’t like the synth part that goes the whole track, oy. I’m a tough sell for the fusion, it doesn’t super work for me.
@@@ Fontaines D.C.: Televised Mind (Partisan, 2020) I’ve seen this band floating ’round the interwebz but I’m not sure if I’ve heard them. It’s a brisk updated rocker with spy movie themed guitars, two of them one with tremolo, and a curt, alienated vocalist who drops his lines in there against the backdrop of splashy drum sounds. Give the drummer a few quarters as he’s working his ass off here. I’m not sure if I’ve figured out what a televised mind is but they’re rocking it purdy good. I think the vocalist is running a hustle on the listeners with his aloof posturing here. He sounds a bit like a mental patient and I believe it to be on purpose. Some nice moments of slashing guitar but the prize here goes to the drummer.
@@@ Taylor Swift: the last great american dynasty (taylor swift, 2020) Now 30 years old Taylor Swift, to my ears has fulfilled her destiny morphing into a New Age adult alternative singer/songwriter. I’m not sure I understand why she would adopt such a breathy vocal delivery with these ‘serious’ lyrics. I guess she only knows about singing in terms of a relationship and love cuz it sounds like she’s singing a love song. She has collaborated with some of my least favorite current musicians, members of the National who really bring the highbrow subversive cheese. Super refined and barely recognizable cheese — it’s vaporized cheese, vaped cheese let us say. I return to the idea that she’s an adult alternative singer because this track is notable for what it’s not — it’s not funky, it’s not angry, it’s not particularly strident, it’s barely poppy. The vocal hook is ‘I had a marvelous time ruining everything’ which is a good hook but….most folks would know what could go here.
YTD recordings listened to: 576
Good music, not list worthy: 292
Not good music: 255
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept