@@@ Adele: Hello (XL/Columbia, 2015). A significant fraction of the praise for Adele and her music is because she makes a shit ton of money for the music business and because she’s not a soft core porn star. And while I appreciate that she’s not a pornstar I do think she’s a bit hyped. This tune opens up slow with piano and Adele singing about a past love. Oh she’s wailing now and I’m more than a bit surprised at what a cheese biscuit this tune is. I thought of her as being more retro. By the time you get to the end with the big background vocals and the arena drum roll it has crossed my cheese line. It’s a huge vocal hook and she has a huge voice; I don’t understand why they have to pump it up on steroids.
@@@ Grimes: Art Angel (4AD). Some new most likely hyped indie off the Beats highlights page. Opens up orchestral and angelic in the first tune. That unfocused nugget gives way to some handclap, clean guitar indie. Ms. Grimes’ voice is not grimy — it’s very high and girlish. She brings in the requisite synth sounds that are so hip these days. She really sounds seven years old and it’s very disconcerting. The third tune makes her aesthetic clearer — she’s a collage artist of sorts — orchestral in one tune, indie with electronic in another, surf-y and a tad world music in the third tune. Like little worlds and what not. It’s all right. I don’t tend to feel these jump around records that rock a super wide variety of sounds.
@@@ Chokehold: Illuminati (591654 Records, 2015). Some arty, heavy rock I got to off my heavy metal mail-order email. The singer is dour but not super pissed, drums heavy but not super heavy metal crushed, and the guitar sounds are classic metal/hard rock. Now they’ve morphed this first tune into something more aggressive with the singer snarling. This tune has its roots in that Alice in Chains smack-grunge of the ’90s. Let’s move to the second tune. I know that grunge-y ’90s sound is making a comeback so if you’re into it these guys are feeling it.
YTD recordings listened to: 900
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 512
Not good music: 312
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, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep