Music for 7/26/21!!! Mashd N Kutcher, Hermitude

@@@ Mashd N Kutcher: Get on the Beers (Brewery Records, 2020) Stupid and brilliant at the same time — some clown ass down Under spliced up some news broadcast footage about Covid and turned it into a celebration of beer and pub culture all served up over trashy dancefloor banging. Take this seriously, get on the beers, you can’t beat that shit. Classic unt-tss drum machine action, an appearance by the Orange Chaos Pig, and some super fat arena style synth action. Very funny and stupid.

@@@ Hermitude: Don’t Forget Me (Nettwerk, 2021) This is a breezy world music infused dancefloor slider with a G rated hook and a loverboy singer. It’s pretty straightforward with it’s boombaton/reggaeton beat and friendly sounds so I’m going to peep a couple of other tracks. Lots of guest vocalists, mainstream electro sounds, it’s a suburban/normie/cubicle dance thing. Not really for freaks like me.

Music for 7/15/21!!! Jennifer Lopez, Snoh Alaegra

@@@ Jennifer Lopez: Cambia el Paso ( , 2021) Swimsuit queen, Puerto Rican MILF goddess has really turned into more of a singer than an actress. I’ve checked out her tracks before and I appreciate she sings in Spanish but this track is a bit less dynamic than other ones I”ve checked out. Maybe she has to dumb down the beats for her super blanco boyfriend Ben Affleck!!! We kid, we kid. The repeating synth melody gets a bit tiresome, I like the beat, and I’m agnostic on her singing, it’s a bit repetitive the vibe of the track that is.

@@@ Snoh Aalegra: Neon Peach (Roc Nation, 2021) Wow, somebody took the Michael Jackson pop funk style and ran with it. I never really loved the formula in the first place but Tyler the Creator guests on this track and his last record is fire. It’s a straight beat spiced up with some percussion, a fair amount of melody all wrapped up in a chill feel. Tyler definitely elevates the track with his rhyming, he’s quite skilled and shit and I should not finish up this review without mentioning that my mild disdain for the funk pop formula is a personal preference and that tens of millions and even billions love the Michael Jackson jam sauce!

Music for 7/12/21!!! DE’WAYNE, The Kid LAROI, Meggie Lennon

@@@ De’Wayne: Super 8 (Hopeless, 2021) All three of today’s listens are off this week’s Line of Best Fit. This is some slicked out rock, with traces of pop and a little bit of black music mostly in areas of the vocals. It blows out in the chorus with maximum panning and pop injection. Very nice and standard buzzy bass, straight beat so the action is in the vocals. It’s less funky than old school Prince rock tunes but it’s definitely using that template. Big ups on the bass sound, less so on the guitar tones, and maybe I don’t need quite so many vocal tracks.

@@@ The Kid LAROI: Without You (Sony, 2021) A white MC on Sony opening up with strummed acoustic guitars and no beats. This, I believe, is going to travel a very predictable road. It’s a Most Palone move, but yet to flex its hip hop beats. Might there be no beats and it’s just this doofus doin’ in on the microphone? Oy it’s looking that way, so not predictable but not good. He’s scared to be alone that’s one of the vocal lines and I don’t care, this stinks. I’m sure he’s a great guy and I don’t wish him any ill will it’s just not for me. I don’t think I can get with any aspect of this, it’s just not where I’m at.

@@@ Meggie Lennon: Lost in the Plot (Mothland, 2021) Slotted as indie pop on Apple Music I see this as Beatle-y/Oasis-y UK pop rock with synthesizers. There’s a guitar and it has rock feels but it’s not primarily set to be that. It’s a bit orchestral and a bit kaleidoscopic and maybe could use a bit more energy. Not necessarily rock energy but maybe a little brisker on the tempo. Very nice arrangement, really like the bass player, and maybe wrap it up a bit sooner.

Music for 7/6/21!!! Laura Mvula, Mimi Webb, Aziya

@@@ Laura Mvula: Got Me (Warner, 2021) Some major label dancefloor bangin’ straight out of the 1980’s gated snare, four on the floor playbook. She evokes Prince’s synth sound, a little Nile Rodgers, and then plenty of 1980’s whoo hoo and other vocal melodies. I’m down with plenty of it save for the mainstream pop arrangement which kinda doesn’t work for me. I know folks love this kind of jam but those are people with jobs and who don’t really expect much. A minute away from the end she breaks out of the groove and it works wonderfully before she starts to build it all back. She shoulda moved that forward to much earlier in the tune. I enjoy her vocal work but could use more dynamism in the arrangement.

@@@ Mimi Webb: Dumb Love (Sony, 2021) We’re out of the frying pan into the fire as this is a torchy, epic mainstream pop banger. Fingersnaps and more importantly the reverb patch on her voice is just a bit much. Too big and she’s not a good enough singer to fill that space. The lyrics are fine but who’s tuning in for fine? Not me. In tunes like this I hear the Sam Smith emotionally overwrought influence and I don’t like it. Too cheesy and over the top dramatical.

@@@ Aziya: Heaven For Me (Osmo-sis, 2021) Another variation on a theme. While we switch to a rock palette it still refers back to an epic dancefloor banger vibe a bit. Again, a bit much on the reverb patch on the vocals, she does a better job in the chorus than in the verse. I guess there must be listeners that enjoy the mashing together of rock sounds and dance sounds but they don’t go well for me. Just sayin’. I love me some rock in my funk, I love that, but rock guitar over such a straight beat, meh not so much. She’s the most soaring vocalist of today but that’s a little unfair as the Ms. Mvula in the first tune had different aspirations for her music and was going for a more sultry flow than the epic meteoric cheese bomb.

Music for 7/4/21!!! Ed Sheeran, John Carroll Kirby

@@@ Ed Sheeran: Bad Habits (Asylum, 2021) I never have recognized that Ed Sheeran transformed himself from coffee shop balladeer to some sort of sexy dancefloor banger kinda guy. Oh man, this is just crazy, this morph job. Falsetto vocals, synth bass, four on the floor and a wee bit of guitar or a synth part that sounds like it was first written on a guitar. Oh Ed! I guess if you feel like rubbing knobs with a hobbit then is some sort of fetish heaven but I don’t find Ed Sheeran sexy and I find this extremely unconvincing. I made it 2:12 minutes through the song which I think is a miracel.

@@@ John Carroll Kirby: Blueberry Beads (Stones Throw, 2021) I can’t remember how I got to this track, shoot me! It opens as a combo platter of chill jazz and lounge groove with both retro drum kit sounds and a drum machine. I like the doubling up of rhythms. Instead of a horn line you get a nice, fat synth patch. So electric bass, two sets of rhythm, a synth, piano, and a little flute-y percussive type thing in the back of the mix. It’s mostly a groove and a farily comples one at that, thought the pianist gets a bit out there but still chill. Like the bass player, love the cymbals in there, like the piano less, the synth hornlines are all right, and could use a bit more action.

Music for 6/21/21!!!! Mykki Blanco, Eloise, Hope Tala

@@@ Mykki Blanco: Love Me (Transgressive Records, 2021) From what I can tell from being plugged (unfortunately) into the music media ecosystem Mykki Blanco is going mainstream after being a bad boy of club music/hip hop. He’s got a lot of guests on this record including Big Freedia out of New Orleans who I saw in a really amazing documentary last year — check that out if you can. The video below is a 808 clap type track, a morning booty track typa thing. I don’t love the rhythm but Blanco exudes energy and identity on the microphone, he really just airs it out. I think Blanco is a he but I don’t want to assume. Imma check out his Big Freedia track and then move on. ‘That’s folks’ is a power track with an ominous piano part and a section where they shout out tons of their people as well as stuff like ‘truancy, that’s folks’. The sounds are current and a pretty uncommon mash of hip hop and dancefloor business.

@@@ Eloise: Wanderlust (AWAL, 2021) Don’t know if this is going to morph into the romantic soul/dreamy jazz that the Apple Music blurbs but this track is an acoustic guitar/vocal thing. I like the bedroom production sound; they bring in some chill keyboards to start building so maybe there will be a cheese bomb at some point. I appreciate the tastefulness of the keyboards and how it never builds to some explosive crescendo. It’s a chill sitch, mainstream and well done. Imma check the kickoff track and see if she uses the same formula. It’s not the same it’s confessional bedroom soul with laidback drum machine beats, finger snaps, but a really nice oscillating keyboard part. Well produced, romantic lyrics, this is for people with jobs.

@@@ Hope Tala: Mad (EMI/Republic, 2021) Opens up with a Brazilian beat put into a drum machine but a club four on the floor kick drum. Tala comes in with the dreamy business with lyrics about how somebody is driving her mad. She may be driven mad but she remains remarkably composed while it’s happening. This is the most restrained tearing of the hair out that you will witness this summer. I like the Brazilian drum beat, after that it’s all right.

Music for 6/18/21!!!! Deb Never, Emotional Oranges, Mac Wetha

@@@ Deb Never: Disassociate (Moonlanding. 2021) These listens are from the Line of Best Fit weekly email. Some guitar driven pop with a classic rock guitar part and then trap rhythms with a fat bass. Ms. Never rocks a breathy style, she’s not about to cream herself but she’s breathy. The song expands outward in the chorus until it is a full pop erection. Lyrically, well it’s internal, her feelings or not feeling much and back and forth. It feels like something’s missing…demons, wake me when it’s over, scared to death of growing older, yadda yadda yadda, fragments of familiar feels. Half bigly guitar solo and some rock drums. I like the acoustic guitar, trap combo platter, I like the drum machine in verse/drummer in chorus, don’t like the lyrics, the chorus is bit cheesy. This one’s for the normies.

@@@ Emotional Oranges: Down to Miami (UMG, 2021) Opens with a guitar vamp, then a chill boombaton Latin drum machine beat and right up in yer grill vocal recording style. I like how the guitar and the drum machine mesh. A gent comes in and he’s kinda begging to fly out to Miami so you know…they can fornicate and shit. They start out well but they start layering in the vocal tracks like it’s a middle school lasagna. Really a summer chill vibe. I don’t want to be a bummer but get down to Miami while you can because the ocean is rising and that shit is headed underwater. For real unfortunately. Light like a cultured fart from Prince Harry.

@@@ Mac Wetha: Wayside (Dirty Hits, 2021) Super creamy rich male voice sounding like that dude from Tears for Fears. A lot like that dude, a lot. He’s on a saddie trip here with a straight rock drumming and a lot of arpeggiated guitar sounds. It’s updated ’80s rock and while it’s executed well the energy is lower rather than higher and I feel like putting on a nubby sweater and applying for a job denying claims at a health insurance company. He goes falsetto at points in the track and while I’m circumspectly taking a piss on this, there is a huge market for this sort of suburban baby food. I made it to the end minus 35 seconds which I think is pretty good.

Music for 5/24/21!!! Sad Alex, City Girls

@@@ Sad Alex: Until (Red Bull, 2021) This is one of the few tracks from the Red Bull imprint that didn’t sound like all the musicians had been shot in the eyeball with funny enough Red Bull. Female singer, sly post relationship lyrics, medium funky beats and a sparse arrangement. It works all right, I’m not a mainstream kinda fella but a lot of people are. She even went for the dude, what the fuck! I like the chorus except for the insane backing vocal stacking

@@@ City Girls: Twerkulator (UMG, 2021) You can count on the major labels to crank out the stripper pole female hip hop tracks right at the beginning of the summer. Two fleshy lipped black females just airing out the booty, it’s what a good chunk of America works on. Ooh, the first verse was not obscene but they bust out on the second verse with mad pussy references. It’s light, a little disposable but also catchy and horny for that hot vax summer. Could be an entry for the song of the summer.

Music for 5/11/21!!! The Coral, Dawn Richard, Chris Ruben Band

@@@ The Coral: Faceless Angel (Run On Records, 2021) The first two listens today are off last week’s All Music notable release email. I’ve been a longtime fan of the Coral for over a decade. This track released at the end of January sports typical Coral melancholy but is packaged with a firmer rock guitar with a steady beat and a rhythmic guitar part. Big ups to the organ solo and the vocalist who has a lot of experience getting his freak on. It’s a bit more straightforward than classic Coral stuff but still plenty of energy going on here. Out of loyalty to this band I will circle back and check out more of their latest album, the Coral Island. I did check a little and it doesn’t have the weirdness I remember of their earlier stuff.

@@@ Dawn Richard: Nostalgia (Merge, 2021) I’ve heard Richard’s music before and have felt she was on the verge of making something hot and unique. She’s been rocking the space age black diva for a bit and here she’s tossing off a pretty straightforward dancefloor banger with gospel style vocal flourishes, tasteful techno beats and high energy. I’ve found previous efforts a bit messy but this arrangement is spot on for me — dynamism but tightly focused. I’m not the biggest fan of Merge releases but they did a smart thing putting this record out as this might be the dancefloor bangin’ record that really puts Richard on the map. I don’t know how much she’s on the map to this point, I just care about the music and this is resonating with me.

@@@ Chris Ruben Band: Darling (Self-released, 2021) I got to this rock funk outfit via a music publicist email. I’m open to funky rock, but I’m not sure this is going to work for me. It’s more of a distorted guitar sound and a pretty frat boy sounding singer and this is much more rock with a wee bit of funk in it rather than a split between rock and funk. I will take this opportunity to refer young folks who haven’t heard Funkadelic to run and not walk over to the Funkadelic drawer on their streaming store or wherever you listen. Now if you’re a frat boy then hop in cuz the water’s warm and these guys are there for you.

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Music for 3/30/21!!! serpentwithfeet, Karl Benjamin, Art School Girlfriend

@@@ serpentwithfeet: Fellowship (Secretly Canadian, 2021) Album of the week over at Line of Best Fit and I’ve seen it peeped in other outlets as well. I switched up to the second tune Same Size Shoe as this track is number two and bound to be prime and representative of the record. Mr. serpentwithfeet sure does make some very lush loverboy r&b and when I say loverboy I think he’s a lover of gents which is none of my bidness. His voice is stellar, sweet and a bit fragile. He sings like he’s ringing a bell. On the flip side there are a lot of lush soft sounds and not a bit of contrast so it does come off a bit claggy. The elasticity and energy of his voice overcomes a bit of that but a bit of firmness is what I would jump and down over. Otherwise, it’s hard to be against his voice and his singing.

@@@ Karl Benjamin: Apricot Sky (Atlantice, 2021) Also over at Line of Best Fit. More lushness, there’s a lot of comforting music out and about now, could be the Covid. The chorus is an epic recitation of the words ‘Apricot Sky’ which I have no clues as to what that’s about. There are repeated references to spending too much time in front of the tv which I don’t know how that relates to the apricot sky. I like his voice, but the song makes no sense to me and it doesn’t move me. That’s not a rational thing but that’s where I’m at.

@@@ Art School Girlfriend: In The Middle (UMG, 2021) Our last listen is also off this week’s LIne of Best Fit weekly email. It opens a bit gray before it goes to a beat that is half rock/half dancefloor. I’m not obsessed with gender, I think this is a gent singing in a falsetto but I’m not 100% on that. There’s a wave of distortion that could be synth based or an undercover guitar that swells right before the end and that’s pretty much the only sound that caught my attention, the other sounds are meh.