9/16/15: Petite Noire, Jon Cleary, Verbal Kent, Better Off

@@@ Petite Noire: Life is Beautiful (Double Six Records, 2015)  Some pan-genre African electronica I got to via the Beats highlights page.  After an intro instrumental the album kicks in proper with the tune Best and it sounds like a British old school rock with electronic tune — think Bryan Ferry or Kate Bush or Peter Gabriel or Simple Minds.  The production is slicked out and the tunes dramatical.  We are sophisticated listeners here and would never say that African music has to sound ‘African’, but I don’t like this particular record of African music.

@@@ Jon Cleary: GoGo Juice (FHQ Records, 2015) Some New Orleans party blues/funk on this first tune.  I got to this record from the London Jazz blog.  Sometimes this style of music doesn’t translate well to a record but the energy is pretty high and the party vibe gets right in yer earholes.  The record sounds great, the band has chops and folks should check out this fine slab of New Orleans blues/funk/rock.

@@@ Verbal Kent: Anesthesia (Mello Music, 2015).  Some organic/live band hip hop off the Beats highlights page.  The first tune September opens up with some active piano chords, and old school beat with a tight funky sounding snare and Mr. Kent’s voice, steady and medium urgent but not full spit.  The second tune, Suit Case, really cranks the energy with a driving beat and Kent working at almost full speed with a old soul style vocal break.  Add Anesthesia has a trippy organ part that pushes into your head with repetition and works well for the stoner theme of the tune.  Mr. Kent is a bit of a potty mouth and he appears to enjoy the smoking of the marijuana and while he is not in full gangster mode he is not interested in being anybody’s bitch.  Solid rhyming over vintage sounds.

@@@ Better Off: Milk (Equal Vision, 2015).  Some what I think will turn out to be emo-lite raw that I found on the Beats highlights page.  Big vocal melodies, big rifle, and a big rock drum sound.  Big, big, big.  I’m having trouble figuring out whether these are meaningful lyrics or just rock sentiments.  Usually the emo lyrics are pretty over the top, popping with empathy and feelings.  The second tune Dresser Drawer is more openly emo — I heard the word numb and a shard about ‘saving the world’.  The third tune Suicide Island is back to power rockin — if you like Weezer and hate the suffocating emptiness of that dude’s lyrics check these guys out.  Not quite as poppy but a similar formula.

YTD recordings listened to: 738
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 425
Not good music: 255

Honorable Mentions: 20
Buys: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, 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, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Pat Thomas, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Ruby Amanfu, Madd Again!, Fuck the Facts

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