@@@ Old Dominion: Meat and Candy (RCA, 2015) Off the Beats highlights page. I’m not sure what sort of culinary agenda these guys are advocating — putting candy on meat, or eating candy after eating meat. Or calling one’s meat ‘candy’. Regular readers know how much I love new country music — cut me a chunk of good ol’ boy cheese rock and I’m ready to go out in my pickup truck and skin a gator or some such. As you can tell from this review the kindest thing I can say about this music is not to talk about it. We got your Bon Jovi whoa hos, and you got your super cliche lyrics, and a slightly smaller than usual dose of power chord rock guitar. And that’s all packed into this first song. I can’t really say if I loathe the slow songs or the uptempo rockers. This second tune, Half Empty, is a new country song about a girl in the bar. Oh this meat and candy is shit. Woof.
@@@ Talib Kweli: Indie 500 (Jamia, 2015). I’m a big fan of Kweli’s politics but that gets you no pass on the music you make. The first tune Which Side Are You On features a choir of singers asking Which Side Are You On? over a not great guitar riff and some piano. Kweli’s rhyming is superior and I like the arrangement of the second tune much better. A big beat with the same gospel choir but more focus. Kweli is rhyming at a fast speed with perfect rhythm and style. I didn’t really feel the first tune but the ones after that I enjoyed a lot more. The tune clipped below is hot and man Kweli can rhyme.
@@@ Jamie Woon: Making Time (Polydor UK, 2015). Off this week’s All Music email. It opens up with the tune Message and it’s a bit of a mash of r&b with electronic elements and those slow piano chords that are meaningful. Woon has a refined voice but he sounds a bit affected and tight. Let’s move to the second track. The second tune Movement is a high end thumper with big bass and a snare shot beat underneath a fog of whoo hoos. This is r&b for people with high paying jobs and no soul and no taste; extremely manicured and polished — let’s called it processed like Spam funk. Spunk.
YTD recordings listened to: 909
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 517
Not good music: 314
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, Goldlink, Noisem