@@@ John Newman: Revolve (Universal Records, 2015). Opens up super dramatical with a movie trailer voice talking about how strong and resilient we are. Oh, the journey of life, it’s gonna be a cheese-fest. And the string flourishes enter for mo drama. And when the music comes it is an uptempo, soft chinned disco club banger with horns. I think there’s something wrong with Newman’s tongue — maybe it swelled or some such, his enunciation is funky. Let’s check one more tune. The second tune Something Special opens up with finger snaps and the sparse piano chords and then the club diva, and the throbbing shopping mall beat and we all dive back in the swimming pool full of cheese. Puh-lease. No soul homie and fix your tongue.
@@@ Here We Go Magic: Be Small (Secretly Canadian, 2015) Some experimental rock off last week’s All Music weekly email. I’m sure it won’t be experimental — and wait — fuck me I’ve been lied to again. Not only is it not experimental, it’s not rock!!! I can’t believe I’ve been lied to again. This first tune is a lasagna of synths and keyboards — it has a slightly fetid late ’70s smell, as if a disco star of dubious hygiene left his polyester pants on a radiator to grow new life forms. Let’s go to the next tune, I’m sure it’s gonna rock. The third tune, the title track, is a bit firmer but it’s still a weak tea. A little David Booey on tranquilizers. I more object to the bullshit marketing than the music. If you want some soggy, proggish synth singer-songwriter dive right in, don’t let me stop you.
@@@ Neon Indian: Vegas Intl. Night School (Mom & Pop, 2015). Some electro-indie off the Beats highlights page. He got the laser guns poppin’ over the disco beats and it was just an appetizer, a sonic dumpling to get you either suicidal or ready to hit the dance floor with your stupid friends. Mr. Indian hits the mic on the second tune Annie and it’s an ’80s influenced club-rock banger. A little Clash like rhythm guitar but chorused out and plenty of loverboy falsetto to go with yer synth pudding pops. Boy I couldn’t pick shit today in the listening hole. Mr. Indian what do I say to you as you do your thing? I’ll give you one more shot and you serves up a sort of squirgled, chopped loverboy pate, I think he’s giving props to early robotic sounds. Dang.
@@@ Troye Sivan: Talk Me Down (Capitol Records, 2015). I really wish the major labels wouldn’t pollute the youth of America with this cornball music, it’s gonna ruin their minds and shit. Too much reverb on his voice, and a movie trailer beat. And he just wants to hold your hand. Yeah and I just want to put a 2X4 upside yer head.
YTD recordings listened to: 842
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 483
Not good music: 288
Honorable Mentions: 21
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, Madd Again!, Fuck the Facts, Shannon and the Clams, Destruction Unit, Rim Kwaku Obeng, Graeme Barrett, Kowloon Walled City, Israel Nash