Thursday July 2, 2015: Tough Age, Meek Mills, Glenn Hansard, Andy Grammerd

YTD recordings listened to: 517
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 299
Not good music: 178

Honorable Mentions: 14
Buys: 9

Possibles: 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, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Royce Wood Junior

@@@ Meek Mills: Dreams Worth More than Money (MMG/Atlantic, 2015)  Opens up with a super dramatical track called Lord Knows.  West Coast beats and a bumpschious bass line, super blasting.  Mr. Mill has a very urgent component to his voice and he just wants a new Mercedes even though he’s already filthy rich.  I’m torn on this first tune — I’m positive on the beats and the bass, and I don’t like the string flourishes in the arrangement and the reverb on the voices is pretty cheesy.  This second tune, Classic, really cranks the funk with a super crisp beat and a simple piano loop.  The third tune, Jump Out the Face is a spitfire track (in places) with Autotune (thumbs down) and more strings (thumbs down).  It’s a split report card with some good and some bad.

@@@  Glenn Hansard: Winning Streak (Anti-/Epitaph, 2015).  A single I got to via the Beats Music highlights page.  He’s channeling Van Morrison pretty hard on this track but not in an annoying.  I’ve heard Hansard’s music before and I think he has a very sweet voice.  I like the mandolin at the end, the lyrics are a little conservative, the bass player is great, the drums are pretty straight, and that’s pretty much it.

@@@  Tough Age: I Get the Feeling Central (Mint Records, 2015).  A Vancouver band that I got to via the CFUV weekly email, which is coincidentally in Vancouver.  If you took the Ramones and duct taped them to a surfboard they would sound a bunch like these guys.  Straight, borderline manic rock ‘n roll energy, a reverbed surf twang guitar, a straight singer just workin the middle.  Oh wait, they’re working a power punk Brian Wilson vibe in this second song, Snakes and Ladders.  And with a pube of Nirvana power guitar as well.  They’re back to surf punk on the third tune, Gutter Lemon.  Sweet, fire up the espresso maker and pogo sticks!!!!  Looks like this record is going to bounce back and forth between the power punk and the caffeinated surf punk.

@@@  Andy Grammer: Honey, I’m Good (S-Curve, 2015).  Cited as ‘song of the summer’ here at the Daily Beast.  If this is song of the summer, let’s just get right to autumn.  It’s a strange mix of pop cheese, blue eyed soul, a little bit of soft rock/country and electronic music.  He’s got a good voice but it’s way fucking bouncy, and the tune has too many handclaps.  And as the song moves on there are even more vocals layered in.  I’m clipping the video for this tune below so you can peep it for yourself, but it’s got 21 million views so duder is getting paid for this pop tart.  You should hear the second tune, Back Home, you really need a big hamburger bun for this hunk of cheese.


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