4/26/16: Beyonce, Sophie Strauss, Citizen Kay, Night Beats

@@@ Beyonce: Hold Up (Columbia, 2016).  We are doing a song by song review of Beyonce’s new monster shot.  If you’re alive and you’ve been feeding off the intertoobz you know Beyonce been wronged and this record is her working out her bad feelings about Jay Z’s infidelity.  I like the arrangment here, it’s very minimal and well done.  A well placed bass pulse and a percussive, abstract synth sound.  The vocals are a bit of a mixed bag.  Some of the lines are very memorable, some cliche and some oddly out of place.  If the vocals were more raw it would be a great contrast to the constrained arrangement.  They are B level lyrics, oscillating between very good and interesting and predictable.

@@@ Sophie Strauss: Yeah No Fine (Self-released, 2016).  I got to this indie folk/adult alternative record via a music publicist.  This first tune has some Daniel Lanois sized reverbs and it’s pretty and lonesome and half rocking.  This first tune is dragging just a wee bit so let’s move to the second tune.  Y’all know I have mad music to listen to so we gotta keep things moving.  Strauss’ vocals are mixed a bit too high in the mix.  I’m gonna check out this third tune and head out most likely.  The second tune was mostly a vocal performance where this third tune has pep.  I like it okay but I think she needs to either work on the lyrics more or de-emphasize them a bit.  I’m gonna judge it on what I hear upfront.

@@@ Citizen Kay: Our World (Asphalt Records, 2015).  Some Australian hip hop I got to from the weekly CFUV playlist email.  This first tune, the title track is bouncy and concious and perfect for a beer soaked frat party.  Kay’s flow on the microphone is a bit clunky in this first tune but he’s working quickly and well on this second tune, Wax On Wax Off.  This tune appears to be perfect for a pubic hair removal commercial.  Wax On Wax Off!  I would like this record more if the beats were different.

@@@ Night Beats: Who Sold My Generation (Heavenly, 2016)  Some Northwerst stoner psych also off the CFUV weekly email.  Plenty o’ reverb on the vocals in this first track, and some pretty high end riffage.  The second tune moves towards a late ’60s hippie rock/soul bumptiousness with generous dollops of psych wails and crescendos.  I like the guitar playing, the mix is bit too splashy for my earholes, and I like it without loving it.  Check for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 377
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 212
Not good music: 140

Honorable Mentions: 8
Buys: 7

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Cha Wa, Systema Solar

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