@@@ Empress Of: Me (Terrible Records, 2015). Musically advanced and lyrically aware indie electronic off the Beats highlights page. I would agree the vocal arrangements are complex and sophisticated but the sound palette is pretty standard. The second tune, Water Water is a common techno sound with manipulated vocals as the innovation — same formula. If folks want to hear some shit, check out the opening track of the Madd Again! record that just came out. The way they arrange those electronic elements is much more sophisticated than this art school techno pop.
@@@ The Libertines: Anthems for Doomed Youth (Harvest, 2015). I’ve never bought a Libertines record but even I know these guys are famous drug addicts. Good for you fellas! The opening tune Barbarians by the Gate mostly a rock tune with Joe Strummer-esque vocal stylings. It’s a bit snoozy but hopefully they will replace the smack with some strong coffee. The second tune Gunga Din is a soggy anthem to drinking or not drinking with a outro spasm. Eh, it’s all right but I would rather listen to any Clash album though that’s not what they’re entirely going for.
@@@ Shemekia Copeland: Outskirts of Love (Alligator, 2015). A modern electric blues record I got to via last week’s All Music notable release email. The first track, the title track has both a blues feel and a power chord rock feel. Copeland has a huge blues voice and guitar duties are handled by Oliver Wood (I know this from the full review of this record on All Music). I really like some of the guitar tones and not others, while the production is very clean while I tend to prefer dirty ass blues records.
@@@ Flint Eastwood: Find What You’re Looking For (Not sure, 2015). Some music out of Detroit that I got to via a music publicist email. Supposedly featuring Detroit roots/Motown theatricality I hear a pretty mainstream Kate Bush style electronic New Age tune. I do dig the thumb piano but that’s cancelled out by the finger snaps and the general vibe of the tune. I call these self-help tunes and I don’t usually enjoy them. The production here is gorgeous.
YTD recordings listened to: 742
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 428
Not good music: 256
Honorable Mentions: 20
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