@@@ twenty one pilots: Jumpsuit (Fueled by Ramen, 2018) This track occupies the #1 slot on the hot tracks section of Apple Music. My first impression is that this is a bite job on the Imagine Dragon’s tune ‘Believer’ which I can barely stomach. The singer here is a bit of a moper which is surprising for the position. There is no moping in mainstream music. It employs a classic quiet in the verse and the crush it in the chorus technique that took Kurt Cobain to the bank. It’s an epic sound but to be honest I have no clue what this is about. The last 90 seconds gets into a sensitive piano driven section which is unfortunate — it has comforting lyrics that amount to a nice side dish of word salad. Jumpsuit, jumpsuit cover me. I guess the jumpsuit is a metaphor for a desire for protection. It’s a bag of ass, the tune that is, not the jumpsuit.
@@@ Childish Gambino: Summertime Magic (Sony Music, 2018) This is the side of Childish Gambino which is closer to Lionel Ritchie than the activist, soulful Curtis Mayfield side shown is This is America. I like a bunch of the sounds and I like the dancehall Caribbean slant to the beats. I like Mr. Gambino, I have respect for him and his skills but this tune sounds more calculated than joyous to my ears.
@@@ Alessia Cara: A Little More (Def Jam, 2018) A surprising dip into white people feelings music with guitars from the label Def Jam. This track is also in the Apple Music hot tracks section. Cara has a husky and pleasing voice, the lyrics aren’t particularly interesting, the guitar part is all right and the vocal hook centers around wanting a little more of you. It’s a yearning 2 minutes, slow and a wee bit melancholy.
@@@ Mary J. Blige: Only Love (UMG, 2018) Mary J. Blige goes for the big disco dancefloor empowerment anthem. This is a fully realized arrangement with complex string arrangements, a load of background vocals, some clavinet (I think) and Ms. Blige doing her thing on the microphone. This is the best of what I heard today because it sounds genuine in its performance. It’s not particularly a summer song despite its updated disco beat action with lyrics about love building you up and breaking you down. Not really grilling music unless you enjoy searing meat to the heartbreak of other humans.
YTD recordings listened to: 404
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 212
Not good music: 181
Honorable Mentions: 4
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts