Active Music Listening Sunday February 8, 2015 — Grammy edition!

YTD recordings listened to: 107
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 61
Not good music: 37

Honorable Mentions: 7
Buys: 4

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata

@@@ Sam Smith: In the Lonely Hour (Capitol Records, 2014).  Recent promo has equated Sam Smith with the absolute brilliance of sliced bread.  This first tune, Money on My Mind is a slick r&b tune — I thought this white boy was workin’ old school.  I dig the drum sound, I don’t dig the plethora of vocal tracks, it clutters shit up.  Lastly on this tune his enunciation is weird, he sounds more than a bit thick tongued.  Let’s go to this next tune.  This second tune, Good Thing, appears to be more old schooled, but man this guy’s delivery is super overwrought.  Or maybe his underwear is really tight and he’s gasping for air.  It’s probably not his underwear.  Oh, here comes the club influences that they’re tucking into both the tunes I’ve peeped thus far.  This third tune, Stay With Me, is the big ballad with extra cheese sauce.  Big reverb on his vocals, big choir behind him, slow resonant piano chords.

Personally, I can’t believe this biscuit is up for 4 Grammies.  Christ what a maudlin, flabby, ball of slightly turned dairy.  I thought with all the hype this would be better than this.  Boo hiss.

@@@ Meghan Trainor: Title (Epic, 2015).  I been readin about this blond genius and her masterpiece ‘All About That Bass’.  After a little interlude comes the big boy, All About that Bass.  Oh yeah, I heard this one — she sounds like a horny 13 year old.  Now for a girl who is singing so much about the bass, she doesn’t have much in her voice — maybe they scooped some woof out before they released her into society.  Yeah, have you ever heard Madonna woof when she hits the mic.  This tune is catchy.  This third tune, Dear Future Husband, drains the sexy out of the last tune and replaces it with sugar.  Multi-tracked sweetness.  The sounds on this record are really nice, I like parts of her voice and I don’t like other parts, but she’s got a little more goin for her than Sam Smith.  She’s shallow as fuck, but this is what mainstream music is today — a sweet sonic fart to comfort you while the world crumbles.

Maybe instead of reviewing another record we can give a few shout outs to the fabulous artists we will see tonight.

Oh, Miley Cyrus best vocal album!  Life is rich, that girl can barely carry a tune in a bucket.

@@@ Bernhoft: Islander (Big Picnic, 2014).  I hadn’t seen this record in my travels but it’s up for best r&b record.  Bernhoft appears to be rocking a thick glasses frame look and I don’t know what to call this music except for a watered down Commodores record.  This guy makes Lionel Ritchie look like Jesus.  Handclaps, disco synth parts, and a sort of weak forced falsetto.  He sounds like he has to stand on a couple of telephone books to make it up to the microphone.  I bet he wins.  I’m gonna give this dude one more tune, but I don’t think I can make it past two.  Painful.  He’s got a human beat box going on this second tune and that’s scarier than the black ISIS flag.  Oh shit, he’s got some white boy funk thing going and it hurts.  I’ve clipped this tune below so you don’t have to take my word for it.

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